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Cast: Nardini Desires, Wrath & Harewood’s King

This Life star Daniela Nardini and Gary Milner have joined the cast of Rob Ashford’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, which runs from 28 July 2009 to 3 October 2009 (previews from 23 July) at the Donmar Warehouse (See News, 17 Apr 2009).

As previously announced, the revival stars Rachel Weisz as fading southern belle Blanche DuBois, with Ruth Wilson as her pregnant sister Stella who is married to Elliot Cowan’s brutish Stanley Kowalski.

Nardini and Milner (who was last at the Donmar in Ashford’s production of Parade play Eunice and Steve Hubbel. The company also includes Barnaby Kay as Blanche’s would-be suitor Mitch, Jack Ashton, Charles Daish, Judy Hepburn and Luke Rutherford.

First seen in 1947, Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play had its last major London production at the National Theatre in 2002, when Glenn Close and Iain Glen played Blanche and Stanley, the parts immortalised in the 1951 film by Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando.

In other play casting news:

  • David Harewood will play Martin Luther King in The Mountaintop, which runs at south London’s Theatre503 from 12 June to 4 July 2009 (previews from 9 June). Katori Hall’s new play is set in King’s Memphis hotel room on the eve of his assassination, a night when the civil rights leader is forced to confront his past and the future of his people when a mysterious maid (Lorraine Burroughs]) visits him. Harewood is best known to theatregoers for his leading Shakespearean credits for the RSC, National and elsewhere while his many screen credits include the film Blood Diamond (See Off-West End News, 15 May 2009).
  • At Chichester Festival, Oliver Cotton, Sorcha Cusack, Damian O'Hare and Christopher Timothy will lead the large ensemble cast in Frank Galati’s adaptation of John Steinbeck 1939 literary classic The Grapes of Wrath, which tells the story of the Joads, Oklahoman share-croppers who lose everything during the Great Depression and trek 2,000 miles across country in search of a better life. CFT artistic director Jonathan Church reunites the creative team behind his Olivier Award-winning revival of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men - Simon Higlett (set), Tim Mitchell (lighting) and John Tams (music) – for the new production, which runs from 16 July to 28 August 2009 (previews from 10 July) in Chichester and then embarks on an autumn tour care of co-producers English Touring Theatre.
  • And at the West End’s Tragalgar Studios 2 (See News, 31 Mar 2009), Alan Cox (son of Brian Cos and recently returned from starring in Frost/Nixon in the US) and Ben Porter have joined the festival line-up for Orwell - A Celebration, which runs from 8 June to 4 July 2009. They’ll perform two of Orwell’s monologue essays, 1936’s Shooting an Elephant and 1931’s A Hanging, which run alongside Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish’s adaptation of Orwell’s 1939 novel Coming Up for Air, performed by Hal Cruttenden.
  • - by Terri Paddock


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