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Mill at Sonning Premieres The Big Sleep, Merrells Stars

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This autumn, The Mill at Sonning will host the world stage premiere of Raymond Chandler's classic crime novel The Big Sleep, adapted for the stage by John and Alvin Rakoff.

In 1940 Los Angeles, General Sternwood (Martyn Stanbridge) is being blackmailed and hires private detective Philip Marlowe (Simon Merrells) to stop the malicious threats. Marlowe is soon immersed in a world of deceit and double-cross with the General's two beautiful daughters.

The Big Sleep, directed by Emmy winner Alvin Rakoff, also features Samantha Coughlan and Anna Doolan as the General's daughters with set design by Eileen Diss, costumes by Jane Kidd and lighting by Matthew Biss.

Edinburgh Fringe Award nominee Simon Merrells' credits include Steven Berkoff’s Oedipus, Emperor and Galilean at the National, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Raz Shaw at the Globe, and the RSC's Comedy of Errors.

Samantha Coughlan was in The Children’s Hour with Kiera Knightly and Elizabeth Moss and Terry Johnson’s West End production of Rain Man. Anna Doolan was in the BBC series The Hour with Dominic West. Martyn Stanbridge was in The Shaughraun directed by Garry Hynes at the Abbey Dublin.

The Big Sleep opens 27 October 2011 (previews from 20 October) and runs until 26 November at the Mill at Sonning.

- Natalie Generalovich


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