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Plays Cast: Keeley Hawes in Barking in Essex, Bush's Disgraced

Keeley Hawes has been cast alongside Lee Evans and Shelia Hancock in Clive Exton's new comedy Barking in Essex, which opens at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre on 16 September 2013 (previews from 6 September).

Hawes, best known for her many TV credits including Spooks, Ashes To Ashes and Upstairs Downstairs, made her professional stage debut two years ago in the National Theatre's revival of Clifford Odet's Rocket To The Moon.

Joining her in the cast of Barking in Essex are Karl Johnson and Montserrat Lombard.

Billed as a "diabolically funny play", Barking in Essex centres on Algie Packer, Essex's most notorious gangster. He's done seven years inside and now he's coming home to collect his booty - £3,672,000 in untraceable notes. But there's something Algie's family have forgotten to mention...  The Packers are Essex's lovable, but most dysfunctional family.

Clive Exton, who died in 2007, was best known for writing scripts for TV series including Poirot, Jeeves and Wooster and Rosemary and Thyme and the film 10 Rillington Place. He wrote Barking in Essex in 2005.

Barking in Essex is directed by Harry Burton (who directed Evans in The Dumb Waiter), with design by Simon Higlett, lighting by James Farncombe, sound by Gareth Owen and casting by Anne Vosser.  It will be produced in London by MJE Productions and James Quaife Productions.

Bush artistic director Madani Younis has announced the leading cast for Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, which runs from 17 May to 22 June.

The play, Akhtar’s first work for the stage, was originally produced in January 2012 at the American Theater Company, Chicago, and was followed by a sell-out run at the Lincoln Center 3, New York. It won the Jeff Equity Award for Best New Play in 2012.

Hari Dhillon plays Amir, and Kirsty Bushell returns to the Bush following her role in 2000 Feet Away to play Emily. Further cast will be announced shortly. Nadia Fall directs.


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