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Boardwalk Empire's Anatol Yusef to join Elizabeth McGovern in AVA: The Secret Conversations

The new play is set to open in January

Elizabeth McGovern
© Simon Annand

Screen star Anatol Yusef has been cast to star alongside Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) in the world premiere of AVA: The Secret Conversations at the Riverside Studios.

Yusef, perhaps best known for his television roles in Boardwalk Empire and Preacher, will play Peter Evans, a journalist hired by Ava Gardner (played by McGovern) to write her autobiography when she lived in London in the 1980s.

Producer Karl Sydow said: "I'm thrilled to have cast Anatol Yusef alongside Elizabeth McGovern in this fantastic new play that explores so much about what the legendary Ava Gardner had to deal with throughout her illustrious career and tumultuous marriages."

Adapted by McGovern, the piece is based on the book by Evans and Gardner and will chronicle Gardner's life as one of Hollywood's greatest stars in the '40s and '50s.

The book was published the year after Evans' death in 2013, with the stage show imagining the collaboration between Evans and Gardner while also flashing back through Gardner's life.

Directed by Gaby Dellal and designed by 59 Productions, the creative team also includes costume designer Fotini Dimou, lighting designer Elliot Griggs and sound designer Ella Wahlström.

AVA: The Secret Conversations runs from 14 January to 16 April.

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