Theatre News

Giant, with John Lithgow, adds further cast

The piece has its world premiere at the Royal Court

John Lithgow and Romola Garai,
John Lithgow (© Jessica Howes) and Romola Garai (© Ruth Crafer), photos supplied by the production

The Royal Court has announced the cast and creative team for the world premiere of Giant, a new play by Mark Rosenblatt, directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Giant is set in the summer of 1983, as Roald Dahl prepares the final edits for The Witches. Following a public outcry over his recent antisemitic article, Dahl faces pressure to issue a public apology. The play takes place over a single afternoon at Dahl’s family home and revolves around a confrontation between Dahl and his publishers.

Already revealed, the cast includes Tony and Golden Globe winner John Lithgow as Roald Dahl and Olivier Award winner Elliot Levey as Tom Maschler, Dahl’s British Jewish publisher.

They are joined by Rachael Stirling as Felicity Crosland, Dahl’s fiancée, Romola Garai as Jessie Stone, Dahl’s Jewish American publisher, Tessa Bonham Jones as Hallie, the Dahl family’s housekeeper and Richard Hope as Wally Saunders, Dahl’s handyman.

The production is set to run at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 20 September to 16 November 2024, with an opening night on 26 September.

Levey noted today: “What an honour to be making my Royal Court debut playing a man so central to its history. Tom Maschler is in the marrow of the Royal Court. It was his second home. John Osbourne, Arnold Wesker, George Devine, Tony Richardson – all the gang in those early heady days – owed something of their careers to Tom. Rosenblatt’s new play couldn’t be more timely, brilliant and revelatory – it packs a punch. I’m thrilled to be coming along for the ride. Maschler and the old gang would be proud of this one.”

The creative team for Giant includes designer Bob Crowley, lighting designer Anna Watson, sound designer Alexandra Faye Braithwaite, and casting director Arthur Carrington. Bellaray Bertrand-Webb serves as assistant director, with  Jmie Todd as associate designer.

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Performances begin: 20 September 2024