At the Young Vic, leading Irish actors Rosaleen Linehan (The New Electric Ballroom, Blood Wedding, Dancing at Lughnasa on stage) and Susan Lynch (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, O Go My Man, The Night Season, Dancing at Lughnasa) will play the battle-weary mother and daughter in the first major London revival of award-winning 1996 play The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which is directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins and runs in the main house from 21 July to 21 August 2010 (previews from 15 July).
The first in McDonagh's Leenane Trilogy - which also comprises A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West, all of which are set in the small village of Leenane in County Galway - Beauty Queen centres on lonely spinster Maureen and her devilishly manipulative mother Mag. Maureen longs for the romance that will spirit her away. But if she goes, who will stir the lumps out of Mag's complan?
At the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Sharon Small (Life Is a Dream, TV’s Mistresses, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) will play the mother in Spur of the Moment, the debut play by 18-year-old Anya Reiss (written when she was 17). Pre-teen Delilah likes High School Musical, swim parties and ogling the lodger. While her parents throw verbal grenades at one another, they barely notice their 21-year-old tenant starting to notice her.
Also in the cast are: Kevin Doyle, James McArdle, Rosie Day, Aisling Loftus, Jordan Loughran, Yasmin Paige and 12-year-old Shannon Tarbet as Delilah. The production is directed by Jeremy Herrin, who also directed Polly Stenham’s multi award-winning 2005 debut That Face, which was written when she was just 19.
At Shakespeare’s Globe, for the world premiere of Howard Brenton’s historical drama Anne Boleyn, Spooks star Miranda Raison, playing the title role, will be joined by Anthony Howell as King Henry VIII and James Garnon as King James I. Also in the cast are: Michael Bertenshaw, Sam Cox, John Cummins, Naomi Cranston, Ben Deery, Mary Doherty, John Dougall, Will Featherstone, Peter Hamilton Dyer, Colin Hurley, Amanda Lawrence and Dickon Tyrrell. Raison also plays Boleyn in the Globe’s concurrent production of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, in which Dominic Rowan stars as the monarch. Anne Boleyn, directed by John Dove, is in rep from 28 July to 21 August 2010 (previews from 24 July).
Also at the Globe, the company of Christopher Luscombe’s 2008 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which returns to the Bankside rep from 14 August to 2 October 2010 ahead of a UK and US tour, will feature: Christopher Benjamin (as Falstaff), Serena Evans (Mistress Page), Sarah Woodward (Mistress Ford) and Andrew Havill (Frank Ford), along with Nathan Amzi, Gareth Armstrong, William Belchambers, Philip Bird, Peter Gale, Michael Garner, Gregory Gudgeon, Sue Wallace and Paul Woodson.
And finally, at the West End’s Novello Theatre, Lydia Leonard will play Jackie Kennedy and Anna Francolini Maria Callas opposite Robert Lindsay in Martin Sherman’s Onassis, which runs for a limited season from 12 October 2010 (previews from 30 September) to 5 February 2011. Also now confirmed for the cast are: Tom Austen, Liz Crowther, Ben Grove, Robert Hastie, John Hodgkinson, Sue Kelvin, Graeme Taylor and Gawn Grainger.
A millionaire by age 25, the late Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis (Lindsay) became one of the world’s richest men, but it was the glamour of the women in his life which brought him real fame, causing him to pursue personal vendettas and amass empires on an international scale. Onassis focuses on the last years in his life, including his complex connections and interwoven relationships with Jackie Kennedy, widow of president John F Kennedy, opera singer Maria Callas and his son Alexandros.
Originally premiered as Aristo at Chichester Festival in September 2008, the retitled Onassis has been revised for its new incarnation. Ahead of the West End, the play, directed by Nancy Meckler, runs from 10 to 25 September 2010 at Derby Theatre, which only reopened in 2009 after the administration and closure of Derby Playhouse. Lindsay was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
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