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Cast: Findlay in Menagerie, Orange, Jermyn Play

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The Young Vic’s forthcoming revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic The Glass Menagerie will feature a cast led by Olivier Award winner Deborah Findlay, alongside Sinead Matthews, Leo Bill and Kyle Soller.

The production, which is directed by Young Vic deputy artistic director Joe Hill-Gibbins, runs from 17 November 2010 to 1 January 2011 (previews from 11 November) as part of the venue’s 40th anniversary season.

Williams’ autobiographical 1944 play centres on Tom, a young would-be poet, who struggles to support his overbearing mother and delicate sister. The last major London production, directed by Rupert Goold, starred Jessica Lange in the West End.

Deborah Findlay will perform the iconic role of the mother, Amanda Wingfield. Findlay recently starred alongside Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton in popular BBC drama Cranford. On stage, she won an Olivier for Stanley (NT/ New York) and was nominated for a second for The Cut (Donmar). Her recent West End credits include Madame De Sade.

The cast is completed by: Sinead Matthews, whose stage credits include Our Class, Women of Troy (NT), Lulu (The Gate) and The Birthday Party (West End); Leo Bill (Posh, Pains of Youth, The Observer); and recent RADA graduate Kyle Soller, who appeared in The Glass Menagerie earlier this year at Salisbury and is currently performing opposite Michelle Ryan in The Talented Mr Ripley (Northampton Royal Theatre).

The Glass Menagerie features a new score written by Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning composer Dario Marianelli, and is designed by Jeremy Herbert.

** DON'T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE GLASS MENAGERIE on 29 November 2010 - including FREE programme, FREE drink & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with cast & director - all for just £25!! - click here to book now! **

British African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi has announced casting for its all-female production of Joe Penhall’s Blue Orange, which runs at the Arcola Theatre from 29 October to 20 November 2010 (previews from 29 October).

The production, which is guest directed for Tiata Fahodzi by founding artistic director Femi Elufowoju Jr, will star Ayesha Antoine (Juliet), Esther Hall (Emily) and Helen Schlesinger (Hilary).

The play, which premiered ten years ago at the NT Cottesloe and won Best New Play at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Court ten years ago, is a “passionate, witty and ultimately devastating exploration of institutional politics”.

Juliet, a young woman sectioned to the mental health system, alternately bewilders and beguiles her medical consultants with stories of a damaged childhood in thrall to Idi Amin and a precarious urban London upbringing. Her doctors question where the truth lies and to what extent it would be more dangerous to keep her inside than to set her free whilst keeping their own ambitions fiercely on the agenda.  

Casting has been announced for Athol Fugard's production of Train Driver, with Sean Taylor taking the title role in the play, which runs from 9 November (previews from 3 November) until 4 December 2010 at the Hampstead Theatre.

The play focuses on the story of Pumla Lolwana a woman who, in December 2000, walked from her home in one of Cape Town's squatter camps with her three children and stepped in front of a train. The piece is written by South African playwright and actor Athol Fugard, who directs his own work for the first time in 10 years.

Taylor plays the train driver who pours out his rage, grief and confusion whilst searching for for the unmarked grave of the family. He is witnessed by a black grave digger, played by Owen Sejake. Both actors work includes several Fugard plays, mostly working in Australia and South Africa, where they created the roles in the original production.

Finally, Tennessee Williams’ The Two-Character Play will receive a rare revival at the fringe Jermyn Street Theatre next month (26 October to 20 November 2010), directed by Gene David Kirk and starring Catherine Cusack (Clare) and Paul McEwan (Felice).

Reality and fantasy are interwoven with terrifying power as two actors on tour - brother and sister - find themselves deserted by the troupe in a decrepit state theatre in an unknown state. Faced (perhaps) by an audience expecting a performance, they enact The Two-Character Play - an illusion within an illusion, and outcry from isolation, panic and fear.

The production is in memory of Corin Redgrave, who died in April this year. There will be a gala night on 18 November in aid of Caged Prisoners and Outside Edge, charities that were supported by Redgrave and his wife Kika Markham.


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