The full cast is announced for the Theatr Clwyd and Menier Chocolate Factory co-production of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending. Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director Tamara Harvey directs Catrin Aaron (Beulah Binnings), Michael Geary (Pee Wee Binnings), Valentine Hanson (Uncle Pleasant), Jenny Livsey (Eva Temple / Woman), Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma), Mark Meadows (Jabe Torrance), Ifan Meredith (David Cutrere / Dog Hamma), Hattie Morahan (Lady Torrance), Seth Numrich (Val Xavier), Ian Porter (Sheriff Talbott), Jemima Rooper (Carol Cutrere), Carol Royle (Vee Talbott) and Carrie Quinlan (Sister / Nurse Porter). Public booking for the Menier Chocolate Factory dates opens at 9am today.
Lady is trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by intolerant people, living a boring small-town life. But when a wild-eyed charismatic drifter appears a new life of love and passion suddenly seem possible. Everything will change as certainty, conformity and tradition are ripped apart.
Tennessee William’s Deep South American drama is directed by Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director Tamara Harvey. Orpheus Descending began its life as Battle of Angels in 1940, and was first performed on Broadway in 1957. In 1959, Sidney Lumet directed the film adaptation, The Fugitive Kind, starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani.
Catrin Aaron plays Beulah Binnings. She is an Associate for Theatr Clwyd, where her work includes The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, All My Sons, The Light of Heart, Aristocrats; Salt, Root and Roe; Humbug, God of Carnage, A Doll’s House, Roots, Taking Steps, Gaslight, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Small Family Business, Festen, Mary Stuart, Twilight Tales, Macbeth, A Toy Epic, Tales from Europe, The Timeless Myths of the Mabinogi, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Voyage, The Way It Was, Flights of Fancy, Hobson’s Choice, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Silas Marner. Her other theatre work includes The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Theatres), As You Like, Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Forsythe Sisters (Gaggle Babble), Sex and the Three Day Week (Liverpool Playhouse) and What People Do and London: Let’s Get Visceral (Old Vic Tunnels). For television, her work includes The Indian Doctor, The Bastard Executioner and First Ladies; and for film, Apostle.
Michael Geary plays Pee Wee Binnings. His theatre work includes The Band (UK tour), My People, The Light of Heart, Taking Steps, Rape of the Fair Country, Humbug, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Tall Tales, Thinking Out Loud, Festen, The Suicide, Tales from Small Nations, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, The Ballad of Megan Morgan, Romeo and Juliet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Theatr Clwyd), A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company), Fantastic Mr Fox (Regent’s Park Theatre), and The Boy Who Fell Into a Book (Soho Theatre). For television, his work includes Da Vinci’s Demons; and for film, Soul Reaper, Tulip Fever and The Baker.
Valentine Hanson plays Uncle Pleasant. His theatre work includes Cuming and Going (Bush Theatre), Stop Search (Catford Broadway Studio), Footprints in the Sand/Letting Go/For One Night Only (Pursued by a Bear), Word Peace: A Celebration (Globe Theatre), Festen, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Theatre), The Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre), It’s Not as Simple as Black and White (New Vic Theatre), and Come With Me (Nottingham Playhouse / Sheffield Crucible). For television, his work includes The Friday Night Project, Murder City, and Wall of Silence; and for film, London Voodoo.
Jenny Livsey plays Eva Temple / Woman. Her theatre credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Sheffield Theatres, Torch Theatre), Orange (Richard Burton Theatre), Princess and the Pea (Sherman Cymru and Theatr Lolo), Adventures in the Skintrade (Theatr Lolo and Australian tour), Penblwydd Poenus Pete and Here Be Monsters (Theatr Lolo), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Seasons Greetings, God of Carnage, Dancing at Lughnasa, Drowned Out, Macbeth, Night Must Fall, Troilus and Cressida, Hobson’s Choice, The Crucible, King Lear, Rape of the Fair Country and Song of the Earth (Theatr Clwyd), Wuthering Heights (Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Dangerous Liaisons (Mappa Mundi and Theatr Mwldan) and House of Bernarda Alba (Theatr Genedlaethol).
Laura Jane Matthewson plays Dolly Hamma. Her theatre work includes Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing (Live Theatre), The World Goes 'Round (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Beyond the Fence (Arts Theatre), Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse - winner of 2014 Evening Standard Award for Best Emerging Talent), Daisy Pulls It Off (Hever Festival) and After the Tone (Bridewell Theatre). Her television work includes Vera, Press and Dark Angel.
Mark Meadows plays Jabe Torrance. His theatre credits include Quiz (Noel Coward Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), Flowers for Mrs Harris, Hight Society (Sheffield Theatres), Tartuffe (Tobacco Factory), The Magna Carta Plays, A Man of No Importance, The Spire, The Herbal Bed, Epsom Downs (Salisbury Playhouse), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe), Urinetown (St James Theatre), The Thrill of Love (New Vic, Stoke), Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre), Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), 5/11, King Lear, Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Minerva Theatre, Chichester) and Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre). His television work includes Kiri, Nicholas Nickleby; and for film, Letters from Baghdad, High Heels and Lowlifes.
Ifan Meredith plays David Cutrere / Dog Hamma. His theatre work includes Always Joe, Fall of the Kingdom Rise of the Footsoldier (RSC), Time and the Conways (Nottingham Playhouse), Union, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Edinburgh Lyceum), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre), Small Change (Sherman Theatre), and The English Game (Headlong). For television, his work includes Absentia, Porn Again, Dark Matters, Titanic, Victoria Cross and Murder City; and for film, Metroland.
Hattie Morahan plays Lady Torrance. Her theatre work includes Grief is the Thing With Feathers (Complicité), Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court Theatre), A Doll’s House (Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress, Olivier Award nomination - Young Vic, Duke of York’s Theatre and Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Changeling (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Dark Earth and Light Sky (Almeida Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Theatres), The Real Thing (The Old Vic), Time and the Conways, Some Trace of Her, The Seagull (National Theatre), and The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse). For television her work includes Oblivious, Inside No. 9, The Moher and Other Strangers, The Outcast, Arthur and George, The Bletchley Circle and Outnumbered; and for film, Official Secrets, Beauty and the Beast, Mr Holmes, Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Golden Compass.
Seth Numrich plays Val Xavier. His credits on Broadway include the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Travesties, The Merchant of Venice, Golden Boy and War Horse. Other theatre credits include Sweet Bird of Youth (The Old Vic), The History Boys (Ahmanson Theatre) and The Glass Menagerie (Edinburgh International Festival). For television, his work includes Turn, Homeland, Tiny House Big Living, The Good Wife and Gravity; and for film, Imperium, Macbeth Unhinged, Private Romeo and How To Kill a Mockingbird.
Ian Porter plays Sheriff Talbott. His theatre credits include On Golden Pond (Salisbury Playhouse), Driving Miss Daisy (UK tour), August: Osage County (National Theatre), Of Mice and Men (The Watermill Theatre), Sideman (Apollo Theatre), Burning Blue (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Exonerated (Charing Cross Theatre), The Archbishop’s Ceiling, You Can’t Take It With You (Southwark Playhouse), All My Sons (Bristol Old Vic), The Glass Menagerie (Derby Playhouse), Voices From September 11th (The Old Vic). For television his work includes Patriot, Living the Dream, The Crown, 24, Nixon’s the One, Doctor Who and The Execution of Gary Glitter; and for film, Angel has Fallen, Beirut, Saving Private Ryan, The Bourne Ultimatum, and the forthcoming Dumbo and Kingsman: The Great Game.
Jemima Rooper plays Carol Cutrere. Her theatre work includes Little Shop of Horrors (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic), Hand to God (Vaudeville Theatre), Breeders (St James Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre, UK tour, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Broadway), Me and My Girl (Sheffield Theatres), All My Sons (Apollo Theatre), and The Power of Yes and Her Naked Skin (National Theatre). Her television work includes Gold Digger, Father Brown, Trauma, Death in Paradise, Fearless, Lucky 7, Atlantis, Frankenstein’s Wedding, Reunited, A Bouquet of Barbed Wire, The Third Girl and Lost in Austen; and for film, What If, One Chance, The Black Dahlia and Kinky Boots.
Carol Royle plays Vee Talbott. Her theatre work includes Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Dead Sheep, The Small Hours (UK tours), Hamlet (Theatr Clwyd) and Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse). Her television work includes Father Brown, Casualty (semi-regular), Blackeyes, Blake’s 7, Life Without George, Ladies in Charge and The Cedar Tree.
Carrie Quinlan plays Sister / Nurse Porter. Her theatre work includes Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), Smash! (Menier Chocolate Factory), Diary of a Nobody (Drill Hall), The Nature of Things (The Place), and Immaterial (Edinburgh Festival). For television, her work includes Yonderland, Miranda, New Tricks and The Late Edition.
Tennessee Williams (1911 – 1983) was one of the greatest American playwrights. His principal works include A Streetcar Named Desire (Pulitzer Prize), The Glass Menagerie (New York Critics’ Circle Award), The Rose Tattoo (Tony Award for Best Play), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Pulitzer Prize), Suddenly Last Summer, Sweet Bird of Youth, Orpheus Descending and The Night of the Iguana (New York Critics’ Circle Award).
Tamara Harvey has been Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd since August 2015. Most recently she directed the première of Home I’m Darling by Laura Wade – which has been nominated for UK Theatre and Evening Standard Awards, as well as five Olivier Awards, and is currently running in the West End before returning to Clwyd. Her inaugural production for the company was Much Ado About Nothing, followed by the première of Elinor Cook’s award-winning play, Pilgrims, Skylight by David Hare and the première of Peter Gill’s version of Uncle Vanya (Best Production and Best Director in the English Language at the Wales Theatre Awards). She has directed in the West End, throughout the UK and abroad, working on classic plays, new writing, musical theatre and in film. Her previous credits include the world premières of From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Breeders (St James Theatre), The Kitchen Sink, The Contingency Plan, Sixty-Six Books and tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ! (Bush Theatre), In the Vale of Health (a cycle of four plays by Simon Gray), Elephants and Hello/Goodbye (Hampstead Theatre), and Plague Over England (Finborough Theatre & West End). Other theatre includes Kreutzer vs Kreutzer (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse/Royal Festival Hall), Bash (Trafalgar Studios), Whipping It Up (New Ambassadors), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Gielgud & Garrick Theatres), Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory & Theatre Royal Bath) and Pride and Prejudice (Sheffield Theatres).
Venue: Theatr Clwyd, Anthony Hopkins Theatre
Address: Raikes Lane, Mold CH7 1YA
Dates: 15 – 27 April
Times: For the performance schedule, please see the website
Box Office: 01352 701521
Website: www.theatrclwyd.com/en/ (no fee)
Tickets From £10
Venue: Menier Chocolate Factory
Address: 53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Press performance: 15 May at 8pm
Dates: 9 May – 6 July 2019
Times: For the performance schedule, please see the website
Box Office: 020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)
Website: www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)
Tickets: Prices vary, from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:
A meal deal ticket includes a 2-course meal from the pre-theatre menu in the Menier Restaurant as well as the theatre ticket.