This Life's Daniela Nardini will take to the stage in Hammersmith, west London, for the second time this year when she stars in Cue Deadly, a new 'live film' by crime writer and 'New Puritans' founder Nicholas Blincoe. The 'neo-noir thriller' - which won this year's inaugural £30,000 Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award (See News, 28 Feb 2003) - will have a limited season at Riverside Studios from 19 November to 6 December 2003 (previews 19 November).

Cue Deadly takes up the award's challenge, of presenting no-holds-barred avant garde drama, by merging characteristics of contemporary film and literature as well as theatre. In it, a mystery man, unable to shake off the pressures and paranoia of his job as a hitman, chances upon two women, one of whom he hopes can help him escape. A gambler and two gangland brothers have other ideas.

After a long absence, Nardini returned to the stage in March 2003 to take the title role in the Lyric Hammersmith production of Camille (pictured). She's best known for playing Anna in the cult BBC TV series This Life. Her other screen credits include Rough Treatment, Undercover Heart, Big Women, Reckless, Flying Blind and Tube Tales.

Nardini will be joined in the Cue Deadly cast by Khalid Abdalla, Andrew Bridgmont and Rick Warden. The production is directed by Dan Hine and Kirsty Housley (under the 'mentorship' of Complicite collaborator Annie Castledine) and designed by Soutra Gilmour, with cinematography by Brian Tufano.

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust was set up to support the development of experimental drama. On top of the guarantee of a three-week season at Riverside Studios and £30,000 in prize money, the largest award of its kind in the UK, the winner receives support in financial management, contracting, press and publicity as well as assistance in the long-term strategic development of their work.

Applications are now being sought for next year's award, for which the deadline is 20 February 2004. For further information, visit the Trust website.

- by Terri Paddock