Commissioned nearly a quarter of a century after Shepherd’s first produced play, entitled Revelations staged by Bridge Lane Theatre, Holding Fire! contains music by award-winning folk legend John Tams (with whom Shepherd collaborated on the National Theatre’s production of The Mysteries) and composer Joe Townsend with ballads sung by Keith Kendrick.
England 1837: a country on the cusp of revolution. Young Lizzie is propelled on a journey from a London slum to the servants’ quarters of a great house, and from first love to murder. In her flight from authority, she comes across the Chartist William Lovett, a man striving to steer a middle course between the brutal coalition of Parliament and Industry and the angry forces gathering against it.
Directed by the young director Mark Rosenblatt, a previous recipient of the James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award, the cast includes Louise Callaghan (as Lizzie), Peter Hamilton Dyer (Lovett), Nicholas Shaw, Jim Bywater, Kirsty Besterman and Alice Haig, who recently graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama. The production, designed by Janet Bird, runs in rep until 5 October 2007.
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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at Shakespeare’s Globe along with the cast, author Jack Shepherd, director Mark Rosenblatt, artistic director Dominic Dromgoole and other first night guests including Gemma Arterton (appearing in this season’s Love’s Labour’s Lost) Charlotte Westenra, Maxine Peake, Robert Delamare and Helen Pearson.
Several members of the cast including Shaw, Besterman and Bywater are also performing in repertory at the Globe in The Merchant of Venice often completing a week’s run in one production and then filling another role the next day! Jim Bywater is also no stranger to the Globe’s stage having performed there ten years ago in Two Gentlemen of Verona - directed by Holding Fire! author Jack Shepherd.
- by Tom Atkins