David Troughton will join Kevin Spacey in Trevor Nunn's Old Vic production of Inherit the Wind, which opens on 1 October (previews from 18 September), running until 20 December.

Troughton plays Matthew Harrison Brady, the pro-creationism lawyer (based on William Jennings Bryan) who goes head-to-head with Spacey's character Henry Drummond in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee's modern classic, described in press material by Nunn as a “titanic clash of ideas”.

First performed in 1955 and often considered one of the great American plays of the twentieth century, Inherit the Wind is a fictionalised account the famous 1925 Scopes 'Monkey' Trial in which science teacher John Scopes was accused of violating a Tennessee state statute by teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to his students. In the play, two legal titans confront each other when a community puts freedom of thought on trial.

Stage and screen veteran David Troughton was most recently seen on the West End stage in the Bath Theatre Royal revival of Alan Bennett's Enjoy alongside Alison Steadman (See News, 22 Sep 2008). His other recent theatre credits include Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Playing with Fire and The Skin of Our Teeth .

Alongside Spacey and Troughton, the company includes: Paris Arrowsmith, Paul Birchard, Ken Bones, Adam Booth, David Burrows, Sonya Cassidy, Ian Conningham, Sam Cox, Mark Dexter, Mary Doherty, Branwell Donaghey, Janine Duvitski, Sarah Ingram, Nicholas Jones, Sid Livingstone, Simon Lee Phillips, Sam Phillips, Vincent Pirillo, Christopher Ragland, Susan Tracy and Janet Whiteside.


Elsewhere, the full company has been announced for the Donmar Warehouse's forthcoming production of Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream in a new version by Helen Edmundson, which is directed by Jonathan Munby and runs from 13 October (previews from 8 October) to 28 November.

Joining the previously announced Dominic West, who makes his Donmar debut (See News, 17 Apr 2009), are Rupert Evans (Astolfo), Kate Fleetwood (Rosaura), David Horovitch (Clotaldo), Lloyd Hutchinson (Clarion), Sharon Small (Estrella), Malcolm Storry (Basilio), David Smith (Soldier/Servant) and Dylan Turner (Soldier/Servant).

Life Is a Dream examines the conflict between free will and fate by following the travails of Segismundo (West), the banished heir to the throne of Poland, who dreams of palaces, empires, freedom and revenge.


In other play casting news:

  • The full cast has been announced for Simon Stephens’ new play Punk Rock, which runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from 8 to 26 September 2009 (previews from 3 September). The play centres around a group of educated, articulate and aspirational young people in their final year together at an English grammar school, revealing the “dislocation, disjunction and latent violence simmering under the surface of success”. Sarah Frankcom, the co-artistic director of the Manchester Royal Exchange will direct a young cast which includes Nicholas Banks, Henry Lloyd Hughes, Harry McEntire, Jessica Raine, Tom Sturridge, Katie West and Sophie Wu.

  • The forthcoming promenade production Katrina, produced by site-specific specialists Jericho House at the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf (See News, 19 May 2009), will be performed by Andrew Dennis, Andrea Harris, Stephanie Langton, Wunmi Mosaku, Joe Speare and Orlando Wells. Katrina, which is written and directed by Jonathan Holmes, is composed entirely of accounts provided by both survivors and those responsible for the failed relief effort following the hurricane which destroyed the city of New Orleans in 2005, and runs from the 4 to 26 September 2009 (previews from 1 September).