Theatre News

Armstrong, Cranham and Hicks announced for the Ustinov's 'Three Black Comedies'

Initial casting has been announced for the Ustinov’s Autumn Season of black comedies.

Alun Armstrong will appear in Exit The King at the Ustinov Studio
Alun Armstrong will appear in Exit The King at the Ustinov Studio

Alun Armstrong, Kenneth Cranham and Greg Hicks were among the casting announced today for the Ustinov studio’s autumn season titled Three Black Comedies. Further casting also announced today includes Lia Williams, Sally Dexter and Richard Clothier.

The season opens with Play Strindberg, the UK premiere of Friedrich Durrenmatt‘s black comedy, starring Greg Hicks, Sally Dexter and Richard Clothier. Hicks has played numerous major roles for the National Theatre and RSC, including recently, King Lear. He won the 2003 Critics’ Circle Award and received an Olivier Best Actor nomination for his performance as Coriolanus. Sally Dexter credits include Oliver!, Closer and she has played Lady Macbeth opposite Rufus Sewell. Richard Clothier returns to the Ustinov Studio after starring in Fifty Words in 2013, and has worked extensively with the National Theatre and RSC.
Play Strindberg, a surreal love triangle played out in a desolate island outpost, is directed by Nancy Meckler, Artistic Director of Shared Experience for 22 years, where her work included the award-winning productions of Anna Karenina and War and Peace. It plays from the 11th September to the 11th October.

Kenneth Cranham stars alongside Lia Williams in the UK Premiere of Florian Zeller‘s new play The Father. Nominated for a Tony Award for An Inspector Calls, Cranham’s numerous stage credits also include The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre, The Homecoming at the Almeida and the West End productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight. Lia Williams’ extensive stage credit include Oleanna, Old Times, A Streetcar Named Desire and Skylight, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. The Father, focussing on the relationship between an elderly man and his daughter, was the winner of three Moliere Awards (France’s equivalent of the Olivier Awards) including Best New Play 2014, and here receives its UK premiere in a translation by Christopher Hampton. It plays from the 16th October to the 15th November.

One of the UK's most recognisable characters actors, Alun Armstrong, spent nine years with the RSC, originated the role of Thenardier in Les Miserables; he won an Olivier Award for the title role in Sweeney Todd and has since become recognisable to millions with his extensive television appearances including Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Garrow’s Law, Penny Dreadful and New Tricks. He will be starring in the new translation of the Eugene Ionesco play, Exit The King. Directed by artistic director Laurence Boswell, Exit The King follows the last day in the life of the great King Berenger, now 400 years old, once the ruler of millions of subjects, but now on his last legs. It plays from the 20th November to the 20th December.

Tickets for all shows in the Ustinov Studio’s Autumn Season Three Black Comedies are on sale now from the Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at