Theatre Royal Bath has today announced further productions and new casting for its 2019 Summer Season.
Four additional productions have been announced, to include ‘Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938’, ‘The Life I Lead’, ‘Trying It On’ and ‘The Man in the White Suit’, completing the theatre’s 2019 summer season programme. Katherine Parkinson, Janie Dee, Vanessa Redgrave, Miles Jupp and David Elgar are among the stars set to take to the stage in both treasured and acclaimed new works.
The season will open with the UK premiere of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ in the Ustinov Studio, starring Janie Dee (Follies), Michelle Asante (Our Lady of Kibeho), Aysha Kala (Obsession), Lewis Reeves (My Night with Reg), Mark Hadfield (The Libertine) and Rebecca Lacey (Doc Martin). This Christopher Durang comedy will be directed by Tony Award-winning director Walter Bobbie.
The original production premiered at the McCarter Theatre and Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and after a successful run it transferred to Broadway where it received six Tony Award nominations and won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.
‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike‘ is produced by special arrangement with Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschorn, Sue Wagner and John Johnson.
The production will run at the Ustinov Studio from 6th June to 6th July.
‘Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star. When Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something boy toy, Spike, so begins a rollicking weekend of rivalry, regret and all-too true premonitions’.
The production will be followed by ‘Blithe Spirit‘, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders and Lisa Dillon. Joining these previously announced cast members will be Emma Naomi (Pinter at the Pinter), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Spooks), Simon Coates (Richard III), Lucy Robinson (Cold Feet) and Rose Wardlaw (Outlying Islands).
Written in 1941, Coward’s inventive comedy proved light relief at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright’s most popular works.
The production brings together a multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Richard Eyre with design by Anthony Ward and lighting by Howard Harrison.
‘Blithe Spirit‘ will run in the Main House from 14th June to 6th July.
‘Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated’.
Further casting has also revealed for Anton Chekhov‘s theatrical masterpiece ‘Uncle Vanya‘, a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, in a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare. Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath to make his directorial debut and stars in the title role. He will be joined by Katherine Parkinson (Home, I’m Darling), Clémence Poésy (In Bruges, Harry Potter), Ann Mitchell (Widows, EastEnders), John Light (Mary Stuart, The Son), John Standing (The First Churchills), Marty Cruickshank (Call the Midwife) and Michael Byrne (Mary Stuart).
‘Uncle Vanya‘ will run in the Main House from 18th July to 3rd August.
‘It’s late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil’.
New plays added to the season will see ‘Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938’, written and directed by Vanessa Redgrave, who also stars. Joining Redgrave will be Robert Boulter (The Inheritance), Paul Hilton (The Inheritance) and recent RADA graduate Lucy Doyle, who makes her stage debut.
In the late 1930s, the illustrious actor Michael Redgrave became close friends with the celebrated poet Stephen Spender. Through their families’ notebooks, journals and memoirs, and Stephen’s poems, Vanessa Redgrave discovers the love affairs they remembered, and the hopes and fears of a generation that confronted the rise of fascism in Europe. Among these was the German writer Thomas Mann. As Stephen’s love and respect for a young American woman studying psychology in Vienna grew deeper, he and his secretary Tony Hyndman tried to assist her in obtaining false visas and passports for socialist Jews and their families to escape from fascist Austria.
Written and directed by Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Michael Redgrave, the play highlights the affectionate and intimate thoughts of individuals during these years of political and social disaster.
Vanessa Redgrave is regarded as one of the greatest actors of her generation. She has won a plethora of awards, including an Olivier Award for The Aspern Papers and a Tony Award for ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’. She also received Tony nominations for ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. She is a is a six-time Oscar nominee, winning for Julia. Her narration of ‘Call the Midwife’ has brought her voice to millions. She recently appeared in ‘The Inheritance’ in the West End, for which she was nominated for a 2019 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
The production will run at the Ustinov Studio from 11th July to 3rd August.
Also playing in the Ustinov Studio will be acclaimed dramatist David Edgar’s ‘Trying It On’. After 50 years of writing, ‘Trying It On’ marks the playwright and contemporary political commentator’s professional debut as a performer in this fascinating deliberation on how, why and whether our opinions change in the course of time. The production is directed by Christopher Haydon.
David Edgar has been writing critically acclaimed plays since 1971. His name is synonymous with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he is the venue’s most performed living playwright, and for whom his numerous plays include ‘Destiny’, winner of the John Whiting Award; ‘The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’, winner of a Tony Award and the Society of West End Theatres Best Play Award; ‘Maydays’, winner of the Plays and Players Award for Best Play and ‘Pentecost’, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year.
‘Trying It On‘ will run at the Ustinov Studio from 3rd to 7th September.
Main House productions will include ‘The Life I Lead’, which sees leading stand-up comedian Miles Jupp (Rev, The Thick of It, The News Quiz) bring to life the remarkable story of David Tomlinson, the actor best remembered for his performance as Mr Banks in the classic Disney film ‘Mary Poppins’. Didi Hopkins and Selina Cadell direct this richly comic and moving tale of fathers and sons across different generations.
‘The Life I Lead‘ will run in the Main House 27th to 31st August.
Also in the Main House will be Sean Foley’s adaptation of ‘The Man in the White Suit’, which previews in Bath prior to a West End transfer. Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon star in this world premiere of classic Ealing comedy.
‘The Man in the White Suit‘ will run in the Main House from 6th to 21st September.
As previously announced, the summer programme will also include William Boyd’s ‘The Argument‘ (7th – 24th August), directed by Christopher Luscombe and starring Felicity Kendal CBE, a darkly comic play that delves into what it is to dispute with those we love and offers a biting take on human dynamics.
Further casting will include Sarah Earnshaw (The Nightingales), Esh Alladi (Absolute Hell) and Rupert Vansittart (The Crown).
The production is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.
‘The Argument‘ will run in the Main House from 7th to 24th August.
‘Pip and Meredith are having a disagreement about a film they’ve just seen when Pip’s phone rings and a full-scale row about their marriage breaks out. In the course of ten arguments, we follow the repercussions, as Meredith’s parents, Chloe and Frank, her best-friend Jane, and Pip’s best-friend Tony, take sides and end up embroiled in arguments of their own. Vitriolic, razor-sharp and veracious, the arguments rake over past prejudices, expose unjust judgements and reveal difficult truths’.