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Tamsin Greig and Jade Anouka to appear in Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth at the Gate Theatre

The show opens at the Gate Theatre on 22 January

Tamsin Greig, Jade Anouka and Alex Jennings
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStageq

Initial casting has been announced for Ellen McDougall's production of Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth at the Gate Theatre.

Throughout the run, different actors will take on the roles of poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, who sent over 400 correspondences to one another over the course of their lives.

Guest actors for the run include Travis Alabanza (Jubilee), Jade Anouka (Queen Margaret), Tim Crouch (An Oak Tree), Tamsin Greig (Labour of Love) and Alex Jennings (The Crown). The full line-up will be announced soon.

McDougall explained the concept: "The two performers each night will meet each other, the audience, and the story of Robert and Elizabeth at the same time. The performers won't know how the story ends: they will discover it with the audience. The idea of reaching out into the unknown, and our need for one another, feels very prescient.

"I very much hope that people will return to see Dear Elizabeth more than once - to see how two very different people might meet each other and build a relationship in the act of performing it. We will be having two press nights, each with a different combination of performers, changing the ways the piece resonates."

Dear Elizabeth has design by Moi Train, sound by Jon Nicholls, lighting by Jessica Hun Hang Yun, assistant direction by Yasmin Hafesji and assistant design by Sally Hardcastle. During rehearsals the company will be composed of Hannah Ringham and Nigel Barrett.

Ruhl is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee, whose credits include Orlando and How To Transcend a Happy Marriage.

Dear Elizabeth opens on 17 January and runs until 9 February.

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