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Cast: Rafe Spall Is Found at Bush, New War Horse

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Rafe Spall will star in next month’s premiere of If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, the new play Nick Payne, who won the 2009 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright. The four-hander opens at west London’s Bush Theatre, directed by artistic director Josie Rourke and running from 22 October to 21 November 2009 (previews from 17 October).

Surviving school as a fat kid is tough enough, but when your mum’s a teacher, it’s hell. When Anna hits back at bullies, she’s suspended from school and finds herself stuck at home with her hapless uncle Terry, who’s dossing on the couch. Anna becomes swept up in a friendship she can’t live without.

Spall, the son of actor Timothy Spall, has made a name for himself on stage with recent credits including Hello and Goodbye, Alaska, John Gabriel Borkman and The Knight of the Burning Pestle. His film credits include He Kills Coppers, Hot Fuzz, Kidulthood and Shaun of the Dead.

If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, Spall is joined in the cast by Michael Begley, Pandora Colin and Ailish O'Connor. The production is designed by designed by Lucy Osborne, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick and sound by Emma Laxton.

In other play casting news, a new company takes over at the end of this month in the National Theatre’s adaptation of War Horse, now running at the West End’s New London theatre, where it’s booking up to 12 February 2010.

From 30 September 200, the full cast of actors and puppeteers will be James Barriscale, Gregory Bartlett, Michael Brett, Simon Bubb, Matthew Burgess, Killian Burke, Finn Caldwell, Laura Cubitt, David Emmings, Robert Emms (as Albert Narracott), Jack Gordon, Robin Guiver, Stephen Harper, Bettrys Jones, Avye Leventis, Jonathan Livingstone, Colin Mace, Eamonn O’Dwyer, Patrick O’Kane, Toby Olié, Ian Piears, Malcolm Ridley, Ruth Rogers, William Rycroft, Rachel Sanders, Anthony Shuster, Matthew Spencer, Matthew Tait, Ben Thompson, Howard Ward and Roger Wilson.

In Nick Stafford’s stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s book, young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. Unable to forget Joey and still too young to enlist, the boy embarks on a treacherous mission to find the horse and bring him home.

After two seasons on the South Bank, where it premiered in October 2007, War Horse transferred to the West End, opening on 3 April 2009 (previews from 28 March) at the New London theatre (See News, 18 Dec 2008). The production is co-directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris and designed by Rae Smith, with lighting by Paule Constable, movement by Toby Sedgwick and music by Adrian Sutton.

On stage, horses, children and other selected characters are brought to life by life-sized puppets created by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for South African puppet company Handspring. The puppets, and set designs by Rae Smith, earned War Horse Best Design prizes at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier awards.


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