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Cast: Nyman in Ghost Stories, Ruined, NT Spring

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Further casting has been announced for several upcoming plays at some of London’s leading subsidised theatres.

At the Almeida Theatre (See News, 22 Oct 2009), Jenny Jules and Lucian Msamati will be joined in the European premiere of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined by Damola Adelaja, David Ajala, Michelle Asante, Silas Carson, Kehinde Fadipe, Joel Kangudi, Okezie Morro, Wunmi Mosaku and Steve Toussaint.

Ruined, which runs from 22 April to 5 June 2010 (previews from 15 April) at the Almeida, was first seen in a co-production between the Manhattan Theatre Club and Chicago's Goodman Theatre lastyear. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize for drama, it also picked up seven Best Play awards, including the New York Critics' Circle Award, two Drama Desk awards and four OBIE Awards.

The play, inspired by Brecht's Mother Courage, is set in a bar in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As tales of local atrocities spread and tensions between rebels and government militia rise, shrewd Mama Nadi must reassess her business priorities and personal loyalties when two girls arrive tainted by their recent past. Indhu Rubasingham directs.

At the Lyric Hammersmith (See News, 3 Jun 2009), Andy Nyman will take to the stage himself in Ghost Stories, the “truly terrifying theatrical experience” which he’s co-created and co-directed with League of Gentlemen “master of the macabre” co-writer Jeremy Dyson. Content details of the show, subtitled “What are you hiding from?”, remain a mystery. The press release synopsis says: “This is not a film. This is not a game. This is theatre.” While the website promises “a spectacular 80 minutes with no interval that will chill and thrill in equal measure… You'll be sleeping with the light on for weeks!”

The production carries a warning: “Please be advised that Ghost Stories contains moments of extreme shock and tension. The show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 16. We strongly advise those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending.”

Nyman’s stage acting credits include Moonlight and Magnolias, but he’s best known for co-creating and directing Derren Brown’s TV and stage shows. In Ghost Stories, he’s joined by Nicholas Burns (Fat Pig on stage, TV’s Misfits), David Cardy and Ryan Gage. Ghost Stories runs at the Lyric Hammersmith from 1 March to 3 April 2010 (previews from 24 February), following dates at co-producing theatre, the Liverpool Everyman, from 4 to 20 February.

And at the National Theatre this spring (See News, 21 Jan 2010):

  • In the NT Cottesloe, the double bill of Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon and Tennessee Williams will be performed by the same company of actors from the plays’ original season last October at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate: Joanna Bacon, Robin Bowerman, Steven France, Gavin Harrison, James Jordan, Jacqueline King, Michael Malarkey, Janice McKenzie, Ailish Symons, Michael Thomson, Anna Tolputt and Liz White. Northampton artistic director Laurie Sansom helms the productions, which join the Cottesloe rep on 7 April 2010 (previews from 24 March).
  • Also in the NT Cottesloe, from 11 May 2010 (previews from 4 May), the cast for Drew Pautz’s new play Love the Sinner, includes: Fiston Barek, Paul Bentall, Nancy Crane, Jonathan Cullen, Sam Graham, Robert Gwilym, Scott Handy, Louis Mahoney, Charlotte Randle, Ian Redford and Richard Rees. Fierce theological debate and a brief cross-cultural sexual encounter arise when a group of church leaders hold a conference in an African hotel. Matthew Dunster directs.
  • And kicking off this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier, from 27 April 2010 (previews from 20 April), Harriet Walter and Samuel Barnett (returning to the National for the first time since originating the role of Posner in The History Boys in 2004) will be joined in the cast of Thea Sharrocks’ 1657 Jacobean tragedy Women Beware Women by: Sioned Jones, Vanessa Kirby, Harry Melling, Lauren O’Neil, Tilly Tremayne and Andrew Woodall. The production is designed by Lez Brotherston.
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