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Plays cast: Hampstead's Eve, RSC's As You Like It & Matthew Kelly in God of Carnage

Kirsty Bushell, Michele Austin and Chris Harper will star in Colette Kane’s new play, I Know How I Feel About Eve, running at the Hampstead Theatre from 25 January to 23 February 2013.

Bushell's stage credits include Belongings (Hampstead Theatre), Twelfth Night (RSC) and 13 (National Theatre), and Harper's include The Village Bike (Sheffield), Kid Like Jake (Old Vic New Voices) and Saturn Returns (Finborough). Austin has appeared in The Riots (Tricycle), Sixty-Six Books (Bush) and Wild Child (Royal Court).

Directed by Lisa Spirling, the play revolves around a couple, Jo and Alex, who are trying to return to their normal existence after a sudden and shocking loss, and examines the potential effect of modern science on our lives today and the role it will play in the future.

This will be a Hampstead Theatre debut for both Spirling, whose past credits include Beowulf and Boeing, Boeing, and Kane, who has previously written Scarlett and the Silent Disco, Belong and Ways to Look at Fish.

I Know How I Feel about Eve is designed by Polly Sullivan with lighting by Richard Howell and sound design by Richard Hammarton.

Following their collaboration on King John in 2012, Maria Aberg will direct Pippa Nixon and Alex Waldmann as Rosalind and Orlando in a brand new production of As You Like It at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

One of three Shakespeare plays as part of the final season programmed by Michael Boyd as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outgoing artistic director, the production will run from 24 April to 28 September 2013 (previews from 12 April).

Waldmann made his RSC debut last year playing the title role in King John and played Catesby in Richard III, while Nixon played The Bastard in King John and Lady Anne in Richard III. Her television work includes Law and Order UK and The Bill.

Music for the production is composed by Laura Marling, who won the Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and has been nominated twice for the Mercury Music Prize.

Playing alongside Waldmann and Nixon will be: Karen Archer (Le Beau); Cliff Burnett (Duke Senior); David Fielder (Adam); Michael Grady-Hall (Silvius); Mark Holgate (Charles the Wrestler/William); Joanna Horton (Celia); Natalie Klamar (Phoebe); Luke Norris (Oliver); Oliver Ryan (Jacques); John Stahl (Duke Frederick) and Nicholas Tennant (Touchstone).

Arberg, whose credits include Days of Significance and The Crucible, said: “I could not imagine doing this play with any other Rosalind than Pippa Nixon. She is an extraordinary actress and I'm thrilled to be working with her again. Her collaboration with Alex Waldmann on King John was truly inspirational and I am delighted to be back in the rehearsal room with them both.”

The play is designed by Naomi Dawson with lighting by James Farncombe. The sound design is by Tom Gibbons and Movement by Ayse Tashkiran.

Matthew Kelly is heading the cast of God of Carnage, running from 7 to 23 February at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

Kelly has worked in major regional theatres across the country, the West End and on television, and has received wide recognition for his work, winning a Royal Television Society award for Best Performer in Drama, and an Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as ‘Lennie’ in Birmingham Rep’s production of Of Mice and Men.

Others in the cast are James Clyde, who recently appeared in Dangerous Lady directed by Lisa Goldman at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Miranda Foster (Hamlet, The Talented Mr Ripley) and Tracey Childs, well-known for her television appearance in Howards Way. She also starred opposite Matthew Kelly in Edward Albee's Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Trafalgar Studios in London in March 2009.

Written by Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton, God of Carnage revolves around two couples who call a meeting after their sons, Ferdinand and Bruno, are involved in a playground punch up. However, as the meeting progresses, and the wine starts to flow, rational conversation descends into a hysterical argument.

The play ran in London in 2008 starring Ralph Fiennes and Tamsin Greig; and scooped an Olivier for best new play before transferring to Broadway in 2009, where it won a Tony and became the third longest running production of the decade. In 2011 a film adaptation by Roman Polanski called Carnage was released, starring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet.

For director, Patrick Sandford, this is the first of two productions he will direct in his final season as Nuffield Theatre artistic director.

-Hayley Minn


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