INITIAL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR
MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY’S PRODUCTION OF
ALAN BENNETT’S HABEAS CORPUS
With their critically acclaimed production of Paula Vogel’s Indecent running at the theatre, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announces initial casting for their production of Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus. Patrick Marber’s directs Kirsty Besterman (Constance Wicksteed), Jasper Britton (Arthur Wicksteed), Matthew Cottle (Canon Throbbing), Ria Jones (Mrs Swabb), Thomas Josling (Dennis Wicksteed), Caroline Langrishe (Lady Rumpers), Catherine Russell (Muriel Wicksteed) and Abdul Salis (Mr Shanks). The production opens on 13 December, with previews from 3 December, running until 26 February 2022. Full casting will be announced shortly.
The Menier Chocolate Factory presents
By Alan Bennett
Director: Patrick Marber; Set and Costume Design: Richard Hudson
Lighting Design: Richard Howell; Music and Sound Design: Adam Cork
3 December 2021 – 26 February 2022
The antics of the Wicksteed home are a darkly satirical merry-go-round in Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus. Family, friends and the quest for sexual pleasures of the body (“corpus”) are the ruling passions in this farcical comedy of ill-manners. Through an escapade of mistaken identities and carnal encounters, one motto holds fast: “He whose lust lasts, lasts longest.”
Multi-award-winning playwright Alan Bennett is also a screenwriter, actor and author. His other works for the stage include The History Boys, The Habit of Art, The Lady in the Van, Talking Heads, The Madness of George III, Kafka’s Dick, Enjoy, The Old County and A Cuckoo in the Nest.
Kirsty Besterman plays Constance Wicksteed. Her theatre work includes Macbeth (National Theatre tour), Genesis Inc, Experience (Hampstead Theatre), Winter Solstice (ATC), Betrayal, Separate Tables (Salisbury Playhouse), They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida Theatre), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith), Arcadia, Tonight at 8.30 (ETT), Private Lives (Royal Lyceum Theatre), The School for Scandal (Park Theatre) and Playhouse Creatures (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, her work includes Doctor Who, His Dark Materials, Father Brown and Peter Ackroyd’s London; and for film Chicken and An American Nobody in London.
Jasper Britton returns to the Menier to play Arthur Wicksteed – he previously appeared in Pack of Lies and Little Shop of Horrors. His other theatre work includes The Sunset Limited (Boulevard Theatre), Murder at the Cathedral (Scena Mundi Theatre Company), Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall), Jerusalem (The Watermill Theatre), Scrooge, What the Butler Saw (Curve, Leicester), The Blinding Light (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath and Theatre Royal Haymarket), Richard II, Henry IV, The Jew of Malta, Marat/Sade (RSC), Race, Private Lives (Hampstead Theatre), The Last Cigarette (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End), Oedipus (National Theatre), Plague Over England (Finborough Theatre) and Rhinoceros (Royal Court Theatre). His television work includes Garrow’s Law, The Royal, Semi Detached, My Dad’s the Prime Minister and Murder in Mind; and for film, Rise of the Foot Soldiers 2, Blood, Anonymous, Morris: A Life with Bells On, Black Beard, Nostradamus and The New World.
Matthew Cottle returns to the Menier to play Canon Throbbing – he previously appeared in Communicating Doors. His other theatre credits include The Windsors: Endgame (Prince of Wales Theatre), A Small Family Business (National Theatre), What Women Did (Southwark Playhouse), Quartermaine’s Terms (Wyndham’s Theatre), A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter Theatre), Dear Uncle (Stephen Joseph Theatre) and Racing Demon (Sheffield Crucible). For television, his work includes The Dresser, Man Down, Fried, Hoff the Record, Citizen Khan, The Job Lot, Pram Face, Life Begins and Game On; and for film, The Personal Blessed and Bright Young Things.
Making her straight play debut, Ria Jones plays Mrs Swabb. Her musical theatre include Sunset Boulevard (London Coliseum, Curve, Leicester, and European tour), Gypsy (Royal Exchange Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Marigny Theatre, Paris), 42nd Street (Curve, Leicester/Theater du Chatelet, Paris), Les Misérables (UK tour/ Palace Theatre), Chess (Prince Edward Theatre), Cats (New London Theatre), Evita (Opera House, Manchester), Nine (Donmar Warehouse), High Society (UK tour/ Shaftesbury Theatre), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK tour/Hammersmith Apollo), Anything Goes, The Witches of Eastwick, Acorn Antiques (UK tours), Into The Woods (Esplanade Theatre, Singapore), Romance Romance, Victor Victoria (Bridewell Theatre), Personals (New End Theatre), A Twist of Fate (Jubilee Theatre, Singapore), Honk! (Victoria Theatre, Singapore), Jerry’s Girls (St James’s Theatre/ Jermyn Street Theatre), Closer Than Ever (Landor Theatre) and A Little Night Music (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester).
Thomas Josling plays Dennis Wicksteed, marking his professional stage debut. For television, his work includes Masters of the Air.
Caroline Langrishe plays Lady Rumpers. Her theatre work includes How the Other Half Loves (UK tour), Bang Bang (Mercury Theatre Colchester), Much Ado About Nothing (Found 111), Lady Anna: All at Sea (Park Theatre), First Episode (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Nightmare of Carlos Fuentes (Arcola Theatre), The Memory of Water (New Vic Theatre/Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Handyman (Yvonne Arnaud), Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre) and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Young Vic). For television, her work includes Tremors, Agatha Raisin, A Confession, Death in Paradise, The Case, Our Numbered, Pete versus Life, Doctors (as semi regular Judith Leicester), Casualty (as semi regular Marilyn Fox), Judge John Deed, Tripping Over and Lovejoy (as Charlotte Cavendish); and for film, Boxing Day, Tremors: Island Fury, Plastic, A Second Son, Love’s Kitchen, Christmas Carol and Rogue Trader.
Catherine Russell plays Muriel Wicksteed. Her theatre work includes What the Butler Saw (Curve Leicester and Theatre Royal Bath), Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre), Dreams of Violence (Soho Theatre and Out of Joint tour), The Convict’s Opera (Sydney Theatre and Out of Joint UK tour), The Waltz of the Toreadors (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre), Talking to Terrorists, The Break of Day, Three Sisters (Royal Court Theatre and Out of Joint tours), and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida Theatre). Her television work includes as series regular Serena Campbell in Holby City, Pete vs Life. The Cazalets, Inspector Lynley (as series regular Helen Lynley), Chandler and Co (as series regular Elly Chandler), Single (as series regular Veronica) and Always and Everyone; and for film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Clockwork Mice, Solitaire for 2 and Soft Top, Hard Shoulder.
Abdul Salis plays Mr Shanks. For theatre his work includes Present Laughter and The American Clock (the Old Vic), The Barbershop Chronicles (National Theatre), A Bit of Light and Birth! (Royal Exchange Theatre), Distance (Park Theatre), Henry V (Unicorn Theatre), War Horse (New London Theatre, National Theatre), Joe Guy (New Wolsey Theatre and Soho Theatre), Don Juan in Soho (Donmar Warehouse) and The Exonerated (Riverside Studios). For television, his work includes Power Monkeys, Hacks, Strike Back, Outnumbered, Gifted, Roger Roger and The Hidden City; and for film, Trendy, Flyboys, Animal, Sahara, Welcome Home and Love Actually.
As a director, Patrick Marber’s work includes Leopoldstadt (Wyndham’s Theatre), Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory, Apollo Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre), Steve Coogan/John Thompson in Characters (Edinburgh/Purcell Room/Touring), and his own plays Dealer’s Choice (National Theatre/Vaudeville Theatre), Closer (National Theatre/Lyric Theatre/Broadway), Howard Katz and Three Days In the Country (both National Theatre). Other productions include ‘1953′ (Almeida Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills (National Theatre), The Old Neighborhood (Royal Court at Duke of York’s Theatre), The Caretaker (Comedy Theatre) and I Remember (devised piece at Royal Court). For television, he directed After Miss Julie and The Curator (both for the BBC). As a writer, his other work includes The Musicians (NT Connections) After Miss Julie, Don Juan in Soho (Donmar Warehouse and Wyndham’s) and The Red Lion (National Theatre). For television, his work includes: co-writer of The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, Paul Calf Video Diaries, The Curator, Natural Born Quizzers (all BBC); for film, Closer (dir. Mike Nichols), Notes on a Scandal (dir. Richard Eyre) and Love You More (dir. Sam Taylor-Wood); and for radio, Hoop Lane (BBC Radio 3) and Bunk Bed with Peter Curran (BBC Radio 4).
MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY
53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Until 27 November
BRIAN & ROGER
22 October – 18 December
3 December 2021 – 26 February 2022
Box Office: 020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)
Website: www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)
Tickets: Prices vary, as below from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:
Please note at this time the restaurant is unable to open due to circumstances beyond the company’s control.