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Plays Cast: Clybourne, New Women, McCoy Fall

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Stuart McQuarrie and Jason Watkins will join original cast members Lorna Brown, Sarah Goldberg, Michael Goldsmith, Lucian Msamati, Sam Spruell and Sophie Thompson in the West End transfer of Bruce Norris' critically acclaimed satire Clybourne Park, which premiered at the Royal Court in September and opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 8 February 2011 (previews from 28 January).

McQuarrie and Watkins will play Russ/Dan and Karl/Steve, the roles originally played at the Court by Steffan Rhodri and Martin Freeman.

Clybourne Park, which is directed by Dominic Cooke, considers the development of attitudes towards race over time by juxtaposing the problems faced by Russ and Bev, a white couple selling their home to a black family in 1959, with the issues encountered by Lindsey and Steve, a couple trying to raze and rebuild the same house in 2009.

Stuart McQuarrie can currently be seen in the feature film Burke & Hare with Andy Serkis, Mike Leigh's Another Year and will soon appear in William Ivory's Any Human Heart on Channel 4.  Previous film credits include Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Franklyn, while on stage he has appeared in Wanderlust and Relocated (Royal Court), Happy Now (National Theatre), The God Of Hell (Donmar Warehouse) and The Taming Of The Shrew (RSC).

Jason Watkins is currently filming the third series of BBC Three show Being Human having recently completed work on BBC Four's upcoming Dirk Gently. His stage appearances include The Late Henry Moss (Almeida), Our Class, Landscape With Weapon, A Laughing Matter and She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre), Peter Hall's Kafka's Dick and Filumena at the Piccadilly Theatre and the RSC's A Servant For Two Masters at the New Ambassadors for which he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2001.

A new cast has been announced for the long-running production of The Woman In Black, with Antony Eden and Patrick Drury joining the 22-year old show, directed and revised Robin Herford.

Based on Susan Hill’s 1970s novel, the play is a ghost story told through the eyes of a keen young solicitor sent to a secluded house to wind up the affairs of a recently deceased woman. The Woman In Black was adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt. Originally produced at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in December 1987, The Woman in Black has been running in London since 1989.

Eden, who plays The Actor, has stage credits including the 2008 production of Hangover Square at the Finborough Theatre and more recently, this summer's national tour of Carrie’s War. He is joined in the cast by Patrick Drury whose West End credits include The Memory of Water at the Vaudeville and Major Barbara, The Enchantment, and Much Ado About Nothing at the National. Drury plays Arthur Kipps in the new cast, who take up their roles on 20 December 2010.

Sylvester McCoy, better known as the seventh (and longest serving) Doctor in Doctor Who, will star in the ‘first ever' stage adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's earliest novel, Decline and Fall, which runs at the 60-seat Old Red Lion from 30 November 2010 to 8 January 2011.

Decline and Fall, which was published in 1928, tells the story of Paul Pennyfeather, a student at Oxford University who is sent down for indecent behaviour, thus beginning a downward spiral taking him from the dizzying peaks of high society to an untimely grave, via a less-than-reputable Welsh boarding school and the cells of a badly-run prison.

The stage version, which is adapted by the Old Red Lion's new co-artistic director Henry Filloux-Bennett, draws not only on the novel but on Waugh's own diaries and letters, highlighting the autobiographical elements of the novel, in an “irreverent and hilarious look at class and society in the 1920s”.

Sylvester McCoy's theatre credits include Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory and UK Tour); The Fool in Trevor Nunn's King Lear alongside Ian McKellen (RSC International Tour and New London Theatre); and the title role in The Mikado for Carl Rosa Opera Company (Sheffield Lyceum and UK Tour).

Directed by Tom King, the cast also features: Fay Downie, Jonathan Hansler, Michael Lindall, Emily Murphy, Owen Roberts and Morgan Thomas.

Partial casting was recently announced for Sheffield Theatres' David Hare Season, which will see Malcolm Sinclair and Matthew Cottle perform in Racing Demon and Hattie Morahan playing Susan Traherne in Plenty.

Racing Demon will be directed by Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans and staged in the Crucible Theatre, Thea Sharrock will direct Plenty in the Studio Theatre and Peter Gill will direct The Breath of Life in the Lyceum Theatre.

Plenty, directed by Thea Sharrock, spans three decades and comments on post-war England, questioning ideas and values. The piece sees Hattie Morahan play Susan Traherne who, after being station behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France, returns to Britain to a string of dead-end jobs and destructive relationships which drive her to the brink of madness. Morahan's recent credits include The Real Thing at the Old Vic, as well as appearances in Time and The Conways at the National Theatre and The Family Reunion for the Donmar Warehouse. Sharrock's recently directed After the Dance a the National, her touring production of Blithe Spirit will open at the West End's Apollo Theatre in March 2011.

Plenty is design by Lucy Osborne with lighting by James Farncombe and music by Adrian Johnston.

Equity president and Malcolm Sinclair and star of BBC sitcom Game On, Matthew Cottle will lead the cast of Racing Demon, directed by Daniel Evans. The full cast for the production, which opens on 16 February (previews from 10 February 2010) and runs until 5 March 2011, has been announced as Jonathan Coy (Charlie Southwark, Bishop of Southwark), Estella Daniels (Stella Marr), Ian Gelder (Rev Harry Henderson), Emma Hamilton (Frances Parnell), Mark Leadbetter (Tommy Adair), Jamie Parker (Tony Ferris), Paul Rattray (Ewan), Mark Tandy (Gilbert Hefferman, Bishop of Kingston) and Jane Wymark (Heather Espy).

Alongside the productions, Sheffield Theatres will also present a series of readings, workshops and events as part of the season, as well as teaming up with a local independent cinema to screen some of Hare’s television and film work.

Finally, casting has also been announced for the Bush Theatre's Schools Season, with the star of recent ITV hit Downton Abbey Joanne Froggatt and Brick Lane's Christopher Simpson heading up the ensemble of 11 actors.

The Knowledge by John Donnelly and Little Platoons by Steve Waters make up the season and will run in rep, with both pieces written to examine education in Britain today. The Knowledge, which focuses on the insecurities of a young teacher is directed by Charlotte Gwinner. Little Platoons, which examines the proposals for free schools as part of the Big Society and the middle-classes' obsession with education, will be directed by Nathan Curry.

Evolving throughout the run of the Schools Season, a campaign will ask 1000 young people from the local community what they want from school and the education system. The collated responses will be displayed in the foyer of the Bush. A series of debates on the issues raised by the productions will accompany the shows with panels of key figures involved in the education system today.

The season is designed by Signe Beckmann, with lighting design by Mark Doubleday and sound by Tom Gibbons.


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