Theatre News

Open Air Theatre casting: Mark Benton in Hobson's Choice, Nicola Hughes revisits Porgy and Bess

Principal casting has been announced for two major revivals at the Open Air Theatre

Mark Benton will star in Hobson's Choice
Mark Benton will star in Hobson's Choice
© Dan Wooller

The Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park has announced principal casting for its summer productions of Hobson's Choice and the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.

Mark Benton will play Henry Hobson in Hobson’s Choice, with Jodie McNee as his daughter Maggie.

The production, which is directed by Nadia Fall, runs from 12 June to 12 July following Timothy Sheader's season-opening revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

Harold Brighouse's unlikely love story combines comedy with romance as it follows the lives and loves of boot-maker Henry Horatio Hobson and his three daughters.

Benton is best known for his television roles in Early Doors, Northern Lights and Waterloo Road. His stage credits include The Front Page (Donmar Warehouse), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Nottingham Playhouse) and the 2013 UK tour of Hairspray.

As previously reported, the musical offering at Regent's Park next year will be the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, running from 17 July to 23 August 2014. Also directed by Sheader, the show tells of Porgy, a beggar, and his devotion to taming wild Bess to save her from a life of ruin.

Rufus Bonds Jr (The Color Purple, US tour) and Nicola Hughes will play the title roles.

Hughes revisits the role of Bess following her Olivier Award nominated performance in Trevor Nunn‘s 2006 production at the Savoy Theatre. More recently she was seen in the WhatsOnStage Award-nominated revival of The Color Purple at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Porgy and Bess also features Phillip Boykin, re-creating his Tony Award nominated performance as Crown, and Sharon D Clarke (Ghost, The Amen Corner) as Mariah.

Further casting for the Open Air season will be announced shortly.

See also: Our Brief Encounter with Mark Benton