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Bush Extends Fiennes Feet, Tours Little in 50 Ways

2,000 Feet Away, starring Joseph Fiennes, has been extended by a week at west London’s Bush Theatre (See 1st Night Photos, 17 Jun 2008). Anthony Weigh’s play received its UK premiere at the 81-seat west London new writing venue on 16 June 2008 (previews from 11 June) and had been booking until 12 July. It will now continue until 19 July, with extra seats released from 1 July to meet demand.

In Eldon, Iowa, a tiny community in the American heartland with a high concentration of sex offenders, the deputy sheriff (Fiennes) must enforce a new law banning them from living within 2,000 feet of anywhere children may gather. When the deputy has to evict his neighbour’s son AG, the new law hits home.

Well known internationally for his screen successes in the likes of Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth, Enemy at the Gate and The Merchant of Venice, Joseph Fiennes, brother of Ralph, was last on stage in the 2005 West End revival of John Osborne’s Epitaph for George Dillon. Fiennes is joined in the cast by Ian Hart as AG and Phyllis Logan as AG’s mother, as well as Roger Sloman, Kirsty Bushell and Kevin Trainor in multiple parts and, alternating in the three children’s roles, Oliver Coopersmith, Joe Ashman, Charlotte Beaumont, Miranda Princi and Charlie Coopersmith.

The production, which marks the UK debut for Australian-British playwright Anthony Weigh, is directed by Bush artistic director Josie Rourke and designed by Lucy Osborne.

2,000 Feet Away will be followed at the Bush by 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, a collection of short new “break-up” plays written by various dramatists and inspired by theatregoer contributions. The production, starring Ralf Little (pictured), will embark on a brief tour to Oxford and Norwich and visit the Latitude Festival in Southwold Suffolk (19 and 20 July) before arriving at the Bush for a week from 21 to 26 July 2008.

Ralf Little is best known to TV fans from The Royle Family and Two Packets of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. His previous stage credits include On the Ceiling, Billy Liar and last year’s Stacy, for which he was nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Solo Performance.

Over the past year, the Bush invited audiences to send in, anonymously, their best break-up experiences, which have been used by five playwrights - Lucy Chillery, Ben Ellis, Stacey Gregg, Lucy Kirkwood and Ben Schiffer – to create 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, a comic cocktail of characters and stories. Little is joined in the cast by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Claire Keelan and Michelle Terry. The production is directed by Anthea Williams, designed by Mika Handley, with lighting by Tom White and music composed by Arthur Darvill.

- by Terri Paddock


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