Theatre News

Martin Freeman Returns to Court for Clybourne

The Office star Martin Freeman is returning to the Royal Court for the first time since 2002 to star in Bruce Norris‘ satirical new play Clybourne Park, which opens in the Theatre Downstairs on 2 September 2010 (previews from 26 August).

Freeman, who was in Kosher Harry at the Court in 2002, is joined in Dominic Cooke‘s production by Lorna Brown, Sarah Goldberg, Lucian Msamati, Steffan Rhodri, Sam Spruell and Sophie Thompson.

Clybourne Park, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in New York back in February, marks a reunion for Norris and Cooke, who collaborated on The Pain and the Itch at the Royal Court in 2007.

The play opens in 1959, as Russ and Bev are selling their desirable two-bed at a knock-down price. This enables the first black family to move into the neighbourhood, creating ripples of discontent amongst the cosy white urbanites of Clybourne Park.

In 2009, the same property is being bought by Lindsey and Steve whose plans to raze the house and start again is met with a similar response. Are the issues festering beneath the floorboards actually the same fifty years on?

Martin Freeman’s theatre credits include The Exonerated at Riverside Studios and Blue Eyes and Heels at the Soho Theatre. On film, he has appeared in Hot Fuzz, Breaking and Entering, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Confetti and Love Actually.

His fellow cast members are also known for their screen comedy credits – Sophie Thompson featured in Four Weddings and a Funeral while Steffan Rhodri is a familiar face from BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey.

Clybourne Park is designed by Robert Innes Hopkins with lighting by Paule Constable and sound by David McSeveney, and continues until 2 October 2010.