The Almeida Theatre Announces Casting for OUR TOWN directed by David Comer
10 October – 29 November
Press Night 17 October
Casting is announced for Our Town at the Almeida Theatre. Award-winning US actor-director David Cromer will direct and perform in this intimate version of Thornton Wilder’s iconic American play. The cast will also include Michael Ajao, Paul Bigley, Arthur Byrne, Sidney Cole, Kate Dickie, Laura Elsworthy, Anna Francolini, Matthew Jacobs-Morgan, Daniel Kendrick, Simon Lennon, Jessica Lester, Richard Lumsden, Annette McLaughlin, Christopher Staines, Rhashan Stone and David Walmsley.
We grow-up, we fall in love, we have families and we die. That is our story.
Performed on a bare stage with minimal props, two people fall in love, marry, and live out their lives as a small American town becomes an allegory for everyday life.
Cromer’s acclaimed production of Our Town ran for over a year at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York where it won multiple awards. It has subsequently been revived in Los Angeles, Boston and Kansas City. With Cromer reprising his role as Stage Manager, this will be the UK premiere of his celebrated production of Wilder’s classic.
Our Town will be designed by Stephen Dobay, with costumes by Alison Siple, music by Jonathan Mastro and lighting by Heather Gilbert.
David Cromer is the 2010 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. His recent productions include Women or Nothing at The Atlantic, Nikolai and the Others at Lincoln Center, Really Really at MCC in NYC (starring Zosia Mamet), Sweet Bird of Youth (starring Diane Lane) at the Goodman Theater (Chicago), Tribes at Barrow Street in NYC, House of Blue Leaves on Broadway (starring Ben Stiller) and Brighton Beach Memoirs on Broadway. Cromer’s work has garnered multiple awards throughout the US, working with companies such as Steppenwolf Theatre and Big Game Theatre. He is also an acclaimed actor and recently appeared with Denzel Washington on Broadway in the Tony Award winning A Raisin in the Sun.
American novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder won three Pulitzer Prizes; for the plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth and the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey. His novel The Eighth Day won the National Book Award. Wilder’s play Matchmaker ran on Broadway from 1955-1957, and was later adapted into the musical Hello, Dolly!
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Michael Ajao made his screen debut in Joe Cornish’s critically acclaimed film Attack the Block and since then has appeared on television in Colour and The Damnation of Darwin.
Paul Bigley most recently appeared on stage in 39 Steps (West End). His other theatre credits include Breaking the Code (West End), One Way Pendulum (Old Vic), Uncle Vanya (Belgrade Theatre Coventry / Arcola Theatre), The Ring of Truth and Factors Unforeseen (both Orange Tree Theatre), The Lady in the Van (Theatre Royal Bath) and Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Manchester). He has also appeared on television in The Hour and Hustle. His film credits include Shakespeare in Love.
Arthur Byrne’s recent theatre credits include Matilda (RSC), Singing in the Rain and Oliver (both West End), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Bristol Hippodrome/ Theatre Royal Bath), Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Half a Sixpence, Never Forget and Abba Mania (all Bristol Hippodrome). Arthur’s television and film credits include I’d Do Anything and The Woman in Black.
Sidney Cole most recently appeared in The Man in the Green Jacket (Jermyn Street Theatre) and The Full Monty (Sheffield Crucible/ Tour/ West End). Other theatre includes Macbeth and The Queen and I (both Out Of Joint), Ripped (Soho Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Manchester Library Theatre), An American Airman Foresees His Death (Royal Court), The Rover, Every Man in His Humour, The Great White Hope, Two Nobel Kinsman and The Balcony (all RSC). Sidney’s television credits include Silent Witness, Absolutely Fabulous and Jonathan Creek.
Kate Dickie has previously appeared on stage in Aalst (National Theatre of Scotland/ UK and Australian tour), Any Given Day (Traverse Theatre) and Electra (Theatre Cryptic). She has a distinguished television career with credits including Game Of Thrones, The Escape Artist, New Tricks and Tinsel Town for which she was nominated for a BAFTA. Kate’s notable film credits include Filth, Prometheus, Now Is Good, Outcast and Red Road for which she received the Best Actress BAFTA (Scotland), and Best Actress awards at both the British Independent Film Awards and Montréal Film Festival.
Laura Elsworthy appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s production of Macbeth (Manchester International Festival/ The Armory, New York). Other theatre credits include The Only Way is Chelsea’s (Theatre Royal York/ Soho Theatre), Cooking With Elvis ( Derby Theatre), The Accrington Pals (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Kitchen Sink (Hull Truck Theatre) and Wedding This, Wedding That (Old Vic Tunnels). Television credits include Doctors and Fresh Meat.
Anna Francolini has previously appeared on stage in Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse), Lee Miller and 5/11 (both Chichester Festival Theatre), Into The Woods (Royal Opera House), Victor / Victoria (Southwark Playhouse), That Day We Sang and A View From the Bridge (both Manchester Royal Exchange). Anna’s credits for the National Theatre include Caroline or Change, Almost Like Being in Love and Metropolis Kabaret. She has appeared many times at the Arcola Theatre with credits including Mare Rider, How the World Began, The Wolves at the Window and Anatol. Anna’s television and film credits include Vera, New Tricks, Rome and Jonathan Creek.
Matthew Jacobs-Morgan has previously appeared on screen in the BBC series My Almost Famous Family as well as Anthony Wilcox’s 2011 feature film Hello Carter. Matthew also starred in the music video for Ed Sheeran’s song You need Me performing the lyrics entirely in sign language.
Daniel Kendrick’s recent stage credits include If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, Ding Dong The Wicked and Vera, Vera, Vera (all Royal Court), Chapel Street (Old Red Lion/Liverpool Playhouse) and Coalition (Theatre 503). He has appeared on television in Ripper Street, Our World War, Mr Selfridge and Run.
Simon Lennon was a member of the National Youth Theatre’s West End REP season in 2013 in which he appeared in James Graham’s Tory Boyz, Romeo and Juliet and Prince of Denmark (all Ambassador’s Theatre). Simon has also previously appeared on screen in the BBC drama Our Girl.
Jessica Lester makes her stage debut in Our Town. Her television credits include Doctors, Coming Up and Law and Order: UK.
Richard Lumsden’s stage credits include Fall & Rise Of Lenny Smallman (Arts Theatre), Glory of the Garden (West End) and Hindle Wakes, (UK tour). He has appeared on television in Trollied, Remember Me, Midsomer Murders, Catherine Tate Show and Love Soup. His film credits include The Scouting Book for Boys and Sense & Sensibility. Richard’s credits for Radio 4 include Clare in the Community, Dear Mr Spectator and The Trouble with Caves.
Annette McLaughlin is an accomplished stage actor whose credits include Brief Encounter (US / Australia Tour), Matilda (West End), She Loves Me (Chichester Festival Theatre), Anything Goes (National Theatre / West End) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Theatre). Her RSC credits include Written on the Heart and Measure for Measure. She has performed numerous times at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, with credits including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, Part 1 and High Society. Annette was nominated for a TMA award for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Chichester Festival Theatre).
Christopher Staines’ extensive stage credits include Dr Faustus (Rose Theatre Kingston), She Stoops to Conquer and A Laughing Matter (both Out Of Joint / National Theatre), Hamlet (National Theatre), Amy’s View (West End/ National Theatre), Three Sisters (Chichester Festival Theatre), Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, (West End), The Tempest (RSC / Little Angel) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) amongst many other. His numerous television credits include the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of Wolf Hall, Garrow’s Law, On Expenses, Judge John Deed, Foyle’s War, Pride and Prejudice, This Life and Highlander.
Rhashan Stone has appeared extensively on stage and screen with theatre credits including Love and Information and Clubland (both Royal Court), Simply Heavenly (Young Vic /West End), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Forum and Merry Wives Of Windsor (both Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Trance (Bush Theatre) and The Inland Sea (Wilton’s Music Hall). Rashan has performed at the National Theatre in Southwark Fair and The Red Balloon, and his numerous RSC credits include Richard III, Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Camino Real. His many television performances include 24, Silk, Episodes, The Armstrong & Miller Show, Outnumbered, Love Soup and Desmonds.
David Walmsley’s theatre credits include War Horse (West End) and The London Merchant (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds). David has also appeared on television in The Smoke, The Ark, Doctors and BAFTA winning mini-series In The Flesh.
THE ALMEIDA THEATRE
The Almeida Theatre is a small room with an international reputation founded by Pierre Audi in 1980; his successors were Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid in 1990, and Michael Attenborough in 2002. Productions including Hamlet, with Ralph Fiennes in 2005, Rufus Norris’ Festen, Ruined by Lynn Nottage and Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood have given the theatre international renown. In summer 2013, Rupert Goold joined as Artistic Director. Under his helm, productions have included American Psycho: A new musical thriller, a new adaptation of Orwell’s 1984, created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, the World Premiere of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III and the European Premiere of Anne Washburn’s Mr Burns. King Charles III will transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre in September. Other West End transfers include Chimerica, Ibsen’s Ghosts directed by Richard Eyre and 1984 directed by Robert Icke. In 2014 the Almeida won eight of the 11 Olivier Awards for which it was nominated – five for Chimerica and three for Ghosts. For more information, please visit www.almeida.co.uk
Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold recently directed American Psycho: A new musical thriller and the world premiere of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III at the Almeida. Goold was Artistic Director of Headlong from 2005 until 2013 where his work included The Effect, ENRON, Earthquakes in London and Decade. His other theatre credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida, Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, The Merchant of Venice at the RSC and No Man’s Land at The Gate and in the West End. He is soon to direct Made in Dagenham in the West End. Goold was Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2009 to 2012 and was Artistic Director of Northampton Theatres from 2002 to 2005. He has twice been the recipient of the Laurence Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director. For television he has directed Macbeth and Richard II for the BBC and Neal Street Productions, the latter of which was nominated for a BAFTA. His first feature film True Story, for Plan B and Fox Searchlight in New York, stars James Franco and Jonah Hill.