Russell Tovey (pictured) and Mariah Gale will join Eileen Atkins, David Haig and Marcia Warren in the upcoming revival of Edward Bond’s black comedy The Sea, the second offering in Jonathan Kent’s inaugural in-house season at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket (See News, 15 Oct 2007). The production runs from 23 January (previews from 17 January) to 19 April 2008.

The Sea is set in 1907 in a small East Anglian seaside village where a wild storm sets off a series of events that changes the lives of all the residents. Bond’s play premiered at the Royal Court in 1973 and has only had one major London revival since, at the National Theatre in 1991.

At the TRH, as previously announced, multiple Olivier Award winner Eileen Atkins stars as Mrs Rafi, the role played by Corale Brown and Judi Dench at the Court and NT respectively. David Haig, currently appearing at the Haymarket in William Wycherley’s 1675 classic The Country Wife, stays on to play Hatch, with Marcia Warren as Jessica Tilehouse.

Russell Tovey, who plays Hollarcut, was part of the original cast of The History Boys at the National Theatre, reprising his role of Rudge on Broadway and on screen. His other stage credits include A Respectable Wedding, Tintin and His Dark Materials.

Mariah Gale won both the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer and the Ian Charleson awards for her performance in ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore at Southwark Playhouse (See News, 22 May 2006). Her other credits include Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and The Tempest, alongside Patrick Stewart, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and most recently Vernon God Little at the Young Vic.

The Sea will also feature David Burke (Mary Stuart, Richard II, Coriolanus, The Voysey Inheritance) as Evens and Harry Lloyd (Bash, TV’s Robin Hood) as Willy Carson. Others in the cast are: Sarah Annis, John Branwell, William Chubb, Selina Griffiths, Emma Noakes, Philippa Urquhart and Jem Wall.

The current Haymarket production The Country Wife, starring Toby Stephens and Patricia Hodge, finishes its season 12 January 2008. The Sea is followed, from 20 May (previews from 6 May) to 1 November 2008, by the world premiere of Marguerite, the new Boublil and Schonberg musical based on Alexandre Dumas’ 1848 novel La Dame aux Camellias and starring Ruthie Henshall. All the productions in the season are directed by Jonathan Kent, and designed by his long-term collaborators Paul Brown (set) and Mark Henderson (lighting).

- by Terri Paddock

** Don’t miss our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE SEA - including a FREE drink & access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A on 21 January 2008 – all for just £30!! - click here to book now! **