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Burstyn & Kane Join Starry Children's Hour Cast

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As previously tipped, American stars Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane will join Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in The Children's Hour when the production opens at the Comedy Theatre on 9 February (previews from 22 January 2011). Burnstyn will take the role of Amelia Tilford whilst Kane plays Lily Mortar.

Also announced today, the cast for Ian Rickson's production will include Amy Dawson (Rosalie Wells), Isabel Ellison (Catherine), Bryony Hannah (Mary Tilford) and Tobias Menzies (Doctor Joseph Cardin). Final casting for the play has still to be announced.

A six-time Oscar nominated actress, Burstyn's film credits include The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Same Time Next Year, Resurrection and Requiem for a Dream. Making her West End debut in the play, her American theatre credits include 84 Charing Cross Road, Shirley Valentine and Same Time Next Year for which she won the Tony Award.

Carol Kane is best known for her role in the US sitcom Taxi for which she has won two Emmy awards. Her film roles include Gitl in Hester Street for which she was Oscar nominated and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. She recently played Madam Morrible in the Broadway production of Wicked as well as on tour and in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Knightley, along with American screen star Elisabeth Moss, aka the lascivious Peggy Olson in TV’s Mad Men - will star as teachers at a girls’ boarding school in the new production.

In the play, the teachers are accused by a disgruntled student of having a lesbian relationship - an accusation that subsequently ruins the women's careers and lives.

The Children's Hour was last produced in London by the National Theatre in 1994 in a production. Lillian Hellman’s other plays include The Dark Angel, Watch on the Rhine, The Autumn Garden and, her best-known work, The Little Foxes, which was also made into a 1941 film starring Bette Davis.

The show will be the first new production for former Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson since his success with Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, which transferred to the West End at the start of this year after premiering at the Royal Court last autumn. It picked up Best New Play awards at this past year’s Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Whatsonstage.com Awards and is Broadway-bound next year.


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