Casting for the Lyric Hammersmith’s upcoming revival of Eugene O’Neill’s 1924 play Desire Under the Elms has been announced.

The Nobel Prize winner’s lesser-seen opus reworks the Greek tragedy of Phaedra to the unsettling scenery of rural New England.

Having seen his two half-brothers off in search of California gold, Eben Cabot can finally claim rightful ownership of his mother’s farm. But when his elderly father returns to take charge with a pretty new wife in tow, Eben struggles to repress the battles between lust, pride and conscience that rage within.

The Lyric production, which runs from 3 October to 10 November 2012, is directed by Sean Holmes and will star Morgan Watkins as Eben Cabot, Finbar Lynch as Ephraim and Denise Gough as Abbie Putnam.

Watkins recently appeared at the Lyric in Holmes’ acclaimed revival of Edward Bond’s Saved; Lynch was recently seen on screen in the BBC’s Richard II and on stage in the Old’s Vic’s Duchess of Malfi; Gough’s credits include Messiah (BBC) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester/West End).


In other casting news, the Gate Theatre has announced that Charlotte Westenra’s production of Sunset Baby will star Michelle Asante, Chu Omambala and Ben Onwukwe.

Dominique Morisseau's play, billed as a "vibrant and witty look at the point where the personal and political collide", is the final production in Christopher Haydon’s Resist! season focusing on the the stories of rebels and revolutionaries.

Morisseau is an American playwright and actress, an alumni of the 2011 Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, and a 2011-2012 Lark Playwrights Workshop fellow. Her play, Follow Me To Nellie’s, was developed at the 2010 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and produced at Premiere Stages in July 2011.

Michelle Asante (Nina) has recently been seen on stage in One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Eclipse/Sheffield Theatres tour), Ruined (Almeida) and Torn (Arcola); Chu Omambala (Damon) has appeared in Danton’s Death, Women Beware Women, Statement of Regret, Troilus and Cressida and Candide (all for the National Theatre); and Ben Onwukwe (Kenyatta) has RSC credits including Days of Significance, Pericles and The Winter’s Tale.