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Harman, Sher & Piggott-Smith headline Bath summer season

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Further casting has been announced for Theatre Royal Bath’s summer season, the first since the departure of Peter Hall, who has overseen productions at the venue for the past eight years.

As previously announced, this year’s season comprises productions of Sheridan's The School for Scandal, directed by Jamie Lloyd; Terry Johnson's Hysteria, directed by Johnson himself, starring Antony Sher; and Shakespeare's The Tempest, directed by Adrian Noble.

Running from 5 July to 21 July, The School for Scandal will feature a cast led by Nigel Harman as Charles Surface, Susannah Fielding as Lady Teazle, Serena Evans as Lady Sneerwell, James Laurenson as Sir Peter Teazle, Ian McNeice as Sir Oliver Surface and Maggie Steed as Mrs Candour.

Sheridan’s classic comedy is a romp through the lives and loves of the upper classes in 18th century fashionable London society. Sir Peter Teazle has married a young country girl in the hope that she will be too innocent to cause him any bother, but his aims are thwarted when she takes up with the most outrageous set of scandalmongers in town; Lady Sneerwell, Mrs Candour, Sir Benjamin Backbite and the notorious playboy Charles Surface.

Nigel Harman comes fresh from the West End production of Shrek, for which he won both the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. Susannah Fielding’s recent credits include Zach Braff's play All New People, while Ian McNeice played Churchill in the stage premiere of The King’s Speech.

The School for Scandal is followed, from 26 July to 18 August, by Hysteria, written and directed by Terry Johnson.

Set in 1939, the play centres on 82-year-old Sigmund Freud, who has fled from Nazi-occupied Austria and settles down in a quiet Hampstead suburb where he aims to spend his dying days in peace. But when surrealist painter Salvador Dali unexpectedly turns up in his study, along with a young woman who finds it impossible to keep her clothes on, all hell breaks loose.

Starring multi award-winner Antony Sher, who was recently seen in the West End in Broken Glass, the cast will also feature Will Keen (Cheek by Jowl’s Macbeth), Indira Varma (Twelfth Night, Donmar West End) and David Horovitch (Mike Leigh’s Grief).

Closing the season, from 23 August to 8 September, is Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble, whose recent credits include The King’s Speech.

The cast includes Tim Pigott-Smith as Prospero, alongside Geoffrey Freshwater, Mark Hadfield, Mark Quartley, Iris Roberts and Philip Voss.

Pigott-Smith’s recent stage work includes A Delicate Balance, Educating Rita and Enron, while his television credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, The Queen and The Hour as well as The Jewel in the Crown, for which he won the BAFTA for Best Actor.


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