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45North and Ellie Keel Productions today announce the cast for the brand-new audio project – Written on the Waves. Comprising 9 world premières, the casting across the pieces includes Rebecca Banatvala, Seraphina Beh, Hannah Bristow, Jonathan Case, Sharon D. Clarke,Nicola CoughlanMary Higgins, Amber James, Liam Jeavons, Daisy Lewis, Olivia Marcus, Ken Nwosu,Katherine ParkinsonEll Potter, and Boadicea Ricketts. Also announced today, Adjoa Andoh will direct Lettie Precious Nina Simone’s Four Negro Women, as part of the project.

The second in the series to be released, on Thursday 24 September, will be Rafaella Marcus’ debut play for audio, The You Play: small acts with Rebecca Banatvala, Jonathan Case, Amber James, Daisy Lewis, Ken NwosuKatherine Parkinson and Boadicea Ricketts.

The season will continue throughout the remainder of 2020 with Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos released on 5 October. Writers and directors of the piece, Ell Potter and Mary Higgins will also star in this four-part feminist, queer, comedy-quest narrative, alongside Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke.

A Passion Play by Margaret Perry sees Hannah Bristow and Nicola Coughlan take to the airwaves. Directed by Jessica Lazar, it will be available from 26 October.

The first in the series, and currently live, is Loss and Hope -a trilogy by Luke BarnesTife Kusoro and Rafaella Marcus.Starring Liam Jeavons in This is a Man, Olivia Marcus in The Gift and We Have Sinned starring Seraphina Beh.

These can be accessed via Further casting for the first season will be announced shortly.

Listeners are invited to lose themselves in the intimacy of these audio worlds, in these nine thrilling, newly commissioned stories which will spark listeners’ imaginative worlds, and enable audiences to connect with each other while we are forced to remain apart. 

Embracing the opportunities lockdown has presented with enhanced technology and communication, the first season will also include a special international commission – encouraging a more global way of working through finding new ways of collaborating transatlantically. This project and a final commission to complete the first season will be announced shortly.

The You Play: small acts

By Rafaella Marcus

Cast: Rebecca BanatvalaJonathan CaseAmber JamesDaisy LewisKen NwosuKatherine ParkinsonBoadicea Ricketts

Director: Jessica Lazar; sound design and editing: Dinah Mullen

A narrative journey loosely based on Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale which puts the listener in an active role at the heart of the play, encouraging them not only to listen, but to dynamically participate in the creation of a unique piece based on their reactions to a set of instructions given throughout. 

Amber James’s recent credits include Snowflake (Kiln Theatre), Vassa (Almeida Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Troilus And CressidaTitus AndronicusAntony And Cleopatra (RSC) and A Streetcar Named Desire (English Touring Theatre). Her television credits include Ransom.

Boadicea Ricketts’ theatre credits include Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Thor And Loki (Assembly Roxy) Tonight at 8.30 (Jermyn Street Theatre)and East (The King’s Head).

Daisy Lewis’ theatre credits include The Way of The World (Sheffield Theatres), Seven Jewish Children, The Westbridge, The Good Family (Royal Court Theatre), Playlist (Arcola Theatre) and Three Sisters On Hope Street (Hampstead Theatre). For television, her credits include Downton AbbeyChurchill’s Secret and The Lady Vanishes.

Jonathan Case is a recent graduate of LAMDA. His professional theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre).

Katherine Parkinson’s recent theatre credits include Shoe Lady, Cock, The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Theatre Royal Bath), Home I’m Darling (Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre, Duke Of York’s Theatre, UK tour), Dead Funny (Vaudeville Theatre), Before The Party, The Lightning Play (Almeida Theatre), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), The School For Scandal (Barbican Theatre), and Frame 312 (Donmar Warehouse). For television, her credits include The IT Crowd, HumansDefending The Guilty and Inside Number 9.

Ken Nwosu has recently starred as the lead in the ITV drama, Sticks and Stones. For theatre, his credits include Three Sisters, An Octoroon, As You Like It (National Theatre), Boundless as The Sea, The Alchemist, Othello, The Merchant Of Venice, The White Devil, The Roaring Girl (RSC), True Or False (Arcola Theatre) and Magenta Clouds (Theatre503). Further television credits include The Letter For The KingKilling EveUpstart Crow and Catastrophe.

Rebecca Banatvala’s theatre credits includeHorrible Christmas (Birmingham Stage Company), My Mother Said I Never Should (London Classic Theatre), The Secret Seven, The Beggar’s Opera (Storyhouse, Chester), Alice In Wonderland (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre), Relative Values (Harold Pinter Theatre) and Variation On A Theme (Finborough Theatre). For television, her credits include Long Forgotten Fieldsand D-Effects.

Jessica Lazar directs. Credits include Corre (Cervantes Theatre) Anna Bella Eema (Arcola Theatre), This Is A Love Story & Unicorn (North Wall) and Outlying Islands, For Reasons That Remain Unclear, East (King’s Head Theatre).

A Passion Play

By Margaret Perry

Cast:Hannah BristowNicola Coughlan

Director: Jessica Lazar; sound design and editing: Annie May Fletcher.

The story of two teenage girls taking part in their local passion play in a church in Cork, examining their changing relationship with the play and each other.

Hannah Bristow’s theatre credits include Kindertransport (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Jane Eyre (National Theatre), Who Cares (The Lowry), The Trojan Women (Bristol Old Vic), Romeo and Juliet (Southwark Playhouse), The Alchemist, Alice In Wonderland (Arcola Theatre) and A Little Night Music, The Producers, The Lesson (Oxford Playhouse).

Nicola Coughlan recent theatre credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Donmar Warehouse) and Jess and Joe Forever (The Old Vic). She will appear in the forthcoming Netflix series Bridgerton. Further television credits include Derry Girls and Harlots.

Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos

By Mary Higgins and Ell Potter

Cast: Sharon D. Clarke, Mary Higgins, Ell Potter

Directors: Mary Higgins and Ell Potter; sound design, composition and editing: Tom Foskett-Barnes

A four-part, all-singing all-dancing queer feminist fairytale which turns the typical quest narrative on its head. Two out-of-work actors set out to find a princess’ lost voice, and in the process save the young women of Kakos.

Ell Potter devised and stars in Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos. She graduated from LAMDA and while studying, she was named Audible’s ‘Breakout Star’ of 2019, recording their bestselling Thriller of the Year, Winter Dark; and was shortlisted for the Alan Bates Award. She is also a prizewinner in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award. Her credits include HOTTER and FITTER (Soho Theatre), The Unwelcome and The Country Girls (BBC Radio Drama).

Mary Higgins devised and stars in Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos. Her previous theatre credits include HOTTER and FITTER (Soho Theatre), Callisto: A Queer Epic (Arcola Theatre) and Suddenly Last Summer (Oxford Playhouse). Her screen credits include Misbehaviour (Left Bank Pictures), Traitors (Channel 4), and The English Game for Netflix. 

Sharon D Clarke’s theatre work includes her Olivier Award-winning performance in Caroline, or Change at Chichester Festival Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and Playhouse Theatre. Further theatre credits include Death of a Salesman (Piccadilly Theatre and Young Vic), Blues in the Night Sky (Kiln Theatre) The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, An Oak Tree, Everyman, Amen Corner, Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre Kingston), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theate). Her television work includes Holby City – as series regular Lola Griffin, Informer, Doctor Who, The Forge, Unforgotten, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Psychobitches and The Shadow Line. For film her credits include, Untitled Girls Film, Rocketman, Tau, Sugarhouse, Secret Society, Beautiful People, Broken Glass and Tumble Down.

Loss and Hope

A trilogy by Luke BarnesTife Kusoro and Rafaella Marcus

Directed by Madeleine KludjeGrace Cordell and Jessica Lazar respectively.

A trio of short plays first developed with The North Wall.

This is a Man stars Liam Jeavons. His credits include The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre), The 39 Steps (Lyric Theatre Belfast) and Primetime (Royal Court Theatre).

The Gift stars Olivia Marcus. Her credits include Lord of The Flies (Theatr Clwyd) and Nobody (The Other Room).

We Have Sinned stars Seraphina Beh. Her theatre credits include Cosmic Jives (Albany Theatre), Black Attack, Leave Taking and Parliament Square (Bush Theatre), My Beautiful City (Arcola Theatre), Jack and The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith) and Romeo & Juliet Et AlSkeen (Ovalhouse Theatre).

Grace Cordell directs The Gift. Credits include Blackpool What a Shit Place to Die (Theatre503).

Madeleine Kludje directs This is a Man. Her recent credits include a devised piece for the new entrance opening of the Victoria and Albert Museum with young people from Emergency Exit Arts, Check the Label (Bristol Old Vic) and Fable (Young Vic).

The full line-up for Written on the Waves Season 1 includes:

  • Loss and Hope

A trilogy of short audio pieces by Luke Barnes, Tife Kusoro and Rafaella Marcus, co-produced with Atticist Productions Ltd.

Directed by Madeleine Kludje, Grace Cordell and Jessica Lazar respectively.

  • Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos

By Mary Higgins and Ell Potter: a four-part feminist, queer, comedy-quest narrative.

Directed by Mary Higgins and Ell Potter, with sound design, composition and editing by Tom Foskett-Barnes.

  • The You Play: small acts

Rafaella Marcus’ debut play for audio, which makes the listener an active participant in their own play.

Directed by Jessica Lazar, with sound design and editing by Dinah Mullen.

  • A Passion Play

By Margaret Perry, originally a Paines Plough seed commission and now co-produced with Atticist Productions Ltd, which tells the story of two teenage girls taking part in their local passion play in a small church in Cork.

Directed by Jessica Lazar, with sound design and editing by Annie May Fletcher.

  • Nina Simone’s Four Negro Women

Short plays linking four women exploring colourism, mental health, and relationships through the experience of four Black women. Based on Nina Simone’s ‘Four Women’.

  • recognition

By Amanda Wilkin, based on the life and music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Directed by Rachel Nanyonjo.

  • The You Play Vol. 2

By Rafaella Marcus, expanding on the form of The You Play: small acts.

Directed by Jessica Lazar.