The Royal Court has announced principal casting for its forthcoming autumn season productions of Michael Wynne's The Priory and Mike Bartlett's Cock (See News, 9 Jun 2009).

Wynne's new comedy The Priory, directed by Jeremy Herrin, runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 26 November to 9 January 2010 (previews from 19 November), and centres on a group of successful thirty-somethings who retreat to a converted rural priory to celebrate New Year.

The cast will include Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), who won a Tony nomination this year for her performance in The Norman Conquests and is best known for her on-screen collaborations with Simon Pegg including Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, and Rachael Stirling. Stirling’s theatre credits include Pygmalion and Theatre of Blood (NT/Improbable), while her screen work includes Tipping the Velvet and The Young Victoria.

Bartlett's Cock runs in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs from 18 November to 19 December (previews 13 November), in a season that marks the 40th anniversary of the Court's legendary studio space. The play examines the categorisations of sexuality and features a young man who must choose between his ex-boyfriend and “the woman of his dreams”.

Directed by James Macdonald, the cast will include Ben Whishaw, who rose to prominence in the title role of Trevor Nunn's Old Vic production of Hamlet in 2004 and has since been seen on stage in …Some Trace of Her (NT), Leaves of Glass (Soho), The Seagull (NT) and Mercury Fur (Paines Plough). His film credits include Perfume and Brideshead Revisited.


The National Theatre has announced the full cast for Deborah Warner's forthcoming production of Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 polemic Mother Courage and Her Children, which stars Fiona Shaw in the title role and runs in rep in the NT Olivier from 16 September (previews from 9 September) to 8 December 2009.

Joining Shaw in the cast are: Anthony Mark Barrow, William J Cassidy, Johannes Flaschberger, Peter Gowen, Jonathan Gunthorpe, Stephen Kennedy, Youssef Kerkour, Martin Marquez, Louis McKenzie, Kyle McPhail, Siobhán McSweeney, Harry Melling, Eleanor Montgomery, Stephen O'Toole, Charlotte Randle, Guy Rhys, Clifford Samuel, Gary Sefton, Roger Sloman, Colin Stinton, Sophie Stone, Morgan Watkins and Sargon Yelda.

Mother Courage is translated by Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Caroline, Or Change) and designed by Tom Pye, with costumes by Ruth Myers and lighting by Jean Kalman.


Jane Asher, Daniel Betts, Lucy Briers, Tony Gardner, Nicholas Le Prevost, Rachel Pickup, Orlando Seale & Finty Williams will lead the ensemble in the Rose Theatre, Kingston's forthcoming Behind Closed Doors season, exploring 'private lives on the public stage'.

The season, which runs from 1 October to 28 November 2009, includes two main house productions played in repertory; Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce directed by Peter Hall and Miss Julie by August Strindberg, in an English translation by Kenneth McLeish, directed by Rose artistic director Stephen Unwin.