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Cast: Open Air Flies, Full Much Ado & HighTide

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Casting has been announced for the first production of the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park season, a new staging of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies to mark the Nobel prize-winning author’s centenary.

The production, which reunites the creative team behind last year's production of The Crucible, promises to rediscover the story in the "unparalleled atmosphere of theatre in the open air" and runs from 25 May to 18 June 2011 (previews from 19 May).

Open Air artistic director Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel co-direct a cast of up-and-coming young actors including George Bukhari (Piggy), James Clay (Jack), Sam Clemmett (Bill), Theo Cowan (Henry), Matt Ingram (Roger), Jordan Maxwell (Maurice), James McConville (Sam), Stuart Matthews (Eric), Alistair Toovey (Ralph) and Joshua Williams (Simon). Harrison Sansostri, Spike White and Adam Thomas Wright are sharing the role of Perceval.

Golding’s 1954 novel, which is adapted by Nigel Williams, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on a desert island. What starts as an adventure becomes a struggle for survival as superstition and immorality sees the community slide into a darkly sinister world.

Subsequent productions in the 2011 season include John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, directed by Lucy Bailey (23 June-23 July), Shakespeare’s Pericles directed by Natalie Abrahami for ages six and over (2–23 July), and a revival of George and Ira Gershwin’s musical comedy, Crazy for You (28 July-10 September).

Full casting has been announced for Shakespeare's Globe's production of Much Ado About Nothing with Joseph Marcell, Ewan Stewart, Paul Hunter, Matthew Pidgeon and Joe Caffrey joining the previously announced Eve Best and Charles Edwards.

Best and Edwards play sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick in Jeremy Herrin's production (making his Globe debut) which runs from 21 May to 1 October this summer.

Paul Hunter, who plays Dogberry, has recently been seen in The Play What I Wrote and The Fantasticks in the West End. A co-founder of Told By An Idiot he will appear in the company's production of And The Horse You Rode In On at the Barbican later this month.

Matthew Pidgeon, whose recent stage credits saw him at the Soho and Tricycle Theatres alongside Cora Bissett in Midsummer, plays Don John. Ewan Stewart, whose recent credits include the National Theatre of Scotland's Beautiful Burnout as well as Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, Major Barbara and The Murderer for the National Theatre, plays Don Pedro

They are joined in the cast by Joe Caffrey, Phillip Cumbrus, Marcus Griffiths, Adrian Hood, Lisa McGrillis, David Nellist, John Stahl, Ony Uhiara and Helen Weir.

Full casting has been announced for this year’s HighTide Festival, which runs in Halesworth, Suffolk from 28 April to 8 May 2011.

The festival, which was established in 2007, showcases up-and-coming playwrights and contemporary theatre, with recent successes including Adam Brace’s critically-acclaimed Stovepipe (Brace is returning this year).

This year’s productions are:

  • The European premiere of American Stephen Belber’s Dusk Rings A Bell, about reigniting a teenage romance 20 years on, starring Paul Blair (Ray) and Katherine Kingsley (Molly).

  • Former poet laureate Andrew Motion makes his debut as a playwright with a controversial work about the war in Afghanistan, Incoming, featuring Christian Bradley, Timon Greaves and Penny Layden.

  • Nicked, a musical about the coalition government with Nick Clegg as the central character, written by performance poet Richard Marsh with an “original, urban” score by Natalia Sheppard, aka Rogue Nouveau and directed by Pia Furtado. The cast features Amy Booth-Steel (Britannia), Peter Caulfield (David Laws), Alexander Delamere (Gordon Brown), Peter F Gardiner (Danny Alexander), Ross Green (George Osborne), Sam Hodges (David Cameron), Jason Langley (Nick Clegg) and Ashley Lilley (Sam Cam/Miriam).

  • The final play of the festival is by Adam Brace, Midnight Your Time, which reunites the creative team behind Stovepipe and stars Diana Quick.
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