Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has announced full casting for Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, which begins rehearsals today, Monday 11 May. Celebrated as one of the most important plays of the nineteenth century, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have commissioned a new version by Torben Betts to mark the 120th Anniversary of Chekhov’s original play. The Seagull will run at the iconic theatre from 19 June – 11 July.
Janie Dee will star as Irina Arkadina, with Sabrina Bartlett as Nina and Matthew Tennyson as Konstantin. They will be joined by Tara D’Arquian as Natasha, Lisa Diveney as Masha, Tom Greaves as Yakov, Colin Hoult as Simon Medviedenko, Fraser James as Ilia Shamraev, Lisa Palfrey as Paulina Andreevna, Ian Redford as Peter Sorin, Alex Robertson as Boris Trigorin and Danny Webb as Eugene Dorn.
Directed by Matthew Dunster and with set design by Jon Bausor, The Seagull will have Movement Direction by Charlotte Broom, Lighting Design by Philip Gladwell, Sound Design by Christopher Shuttand casting by Julia Horan and Lotte Hines.
As guests assemble at a country house for the staging of an avant-garde open air play, artistic temperaments ignite a more entertaining drama behind the scenes, with romantic jealousies, self-doubt and the ruthless pursuit of happiness confusing lives, loves and literature.
Janie Dee has previously starred in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre productions including Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. Janie won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Actress for Alan Ayckbourn’s Comic Potential which she performed in London and New York, and the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for Carousel, directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre. She appeared alongside Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit, and has just finished a run as Helene Hanff in 84 Charing Cross Road (Salisbury Playhouse). She is currently in Ah, Wilderness!at the Young Vic and, following The Seagull, will play the title role in Mrs Henderson Presents at Theatre Royal Bath.
Sabrina Bartlett has recently been seen as Keren Daniel in BBC1’s drama Poldark and as Katie in BBC1’sPassing Bells. Additional television credits include Midsomer Murders (ITV), Da Vinci’s Demons (FOX),Doctor Who (BBC 1) and Suspects (Channel 5).
Matthew Tennyson won the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards for his role in Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse. Matthew also won Best Newcomer at the Manchester Theatre Awards in 2011 for Beautiful Thing (Royal Exchange). Additional theatre work includes Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe, Flare Path, directed by Trevor Nunn and, most recently, A Breakfast of Eels at the Print Room. Matthew also played the role of Ollie in BAFTA award-winning film Pride.
Tara D’Arquian is a Belgian choreographer, movement director and performer. Tara was awarded the first site-sensitive Compass Commissions supported by Trinity Laban and Greenwich Dance Agency partnership for which she conceived In Situ, the first site-sensitive work of a series on identity. Recently, Tara acted in Mametz for National Theatre Wales, written by Owen Sheers and directed by Matthew Dunster who directs The Seagull.
Lisa Diveney, played Julia Masterson in BBC award winning drama Call the Midwife, and will star in short film Manchego released this year. Recent theatre credits include the critically acclaimed Donkey Heart (Trafalgar Studio 2) and UK tour of Hypochondriac alongside Sir Tony Robinson and Imogen Stubbs.
Tom Greaves who made his theatre debut in Our Boys (Tabard Theatre) in 2009 has theatre credits including Four Nights in Knaresborough (Southwark Playhouse) and Neil LaBute’s This is How it Goes(Kings Head).
Colin Hoult’s television credits include Geoff in Derek (Channel 4), Life’s Too short (BBC2), Being Human (BBC2), Crumb (BBC3) and Benidorm (ITV). Theatre credits include Special Measures (Royal Court Liverpool) and the critical acclaimed trilogy of Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows: Carnival of Monsters; Enemy of the World; and Inferno.
Fraser James has worked with The Seagull director Matthew Dunster on seven previous occasions including Liberian Girl, (Royal Court) and Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith). Fraser played Don inWildefire (Hampstead Theatre) and is known on television for playing Dr. Toby Marsh in Law & Order in the UK from 2010-2014.
Lisa Palfrey, winner of the ‘Best Actress’ Theatre Critics of Wales Award for Before it Rains (Bristol Old Vic/Sherman Cymru) has further theatre credits including A Whole Way of Life* my play (National Theatre Wales), Ingredient X (Royal Court), and Canvas (Chichester Festival Theatre). Lisa recently appeared in feature films Pride playing Maureen Barry and Under Milk Wood playing Mrs. Dai Bread. On television, Lisa played Luba Chadwick in Family Tree (BBC).
Ian Redford received a best actor nomination in the Manchester Evening News awards 2010 for his role as Creon in Antigone (Manchester Royal Exchange) and appeared on stage in David Hare’s The Permanent Way, which the UK in 2004, winning the ‘Best Touring Production’ award from the Theatre Management Association. Other credits include Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good (UK Tour) and on television, New Tricks (BBC) and BBC TV Movie Mary and Martha.
Alex Robertson recently starred as Matthew Thorogood in the film The Suspicious of Mr Whicher: The Tie That Binds and The Village (BBC 1). Theatre credits include critically-acclaimed musical Backbeat (Glasgow’s Citizen Theatre), London Wall (Finborough, transferred to St James’ Theatre) and The Count of Monte Cristo (Webster Theatre).
Danny Webb won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his role as Ian in Blasted at the Lyric Theatre. Theatre credits include The Mistress Contract and The Witness, both at the Royal Court. Television credits include Sgt Dennis Tucker in Land Girls (BBC 1), Sherlock(BBC 1), Henry VIII (ITV) and Doctor Who (BBC 1).
Matthew Dunster’s directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The Love Girl & The Innocent and You Can Still Make a Killing (Southwark Playhouse). As a playwright, his play Children’s Children premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2012 and his re-imagining of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Most Incredible Thing, a collaboration with The Pet Shop Boys and choreographer Javier de Frutos, opened at Sadler’s Wells in 2011.
Torben Betts won Best New Play at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for The Unconqueredand was nominated for TMA Best New Play for A Listening Heaven. Further plays include What Falls Apart (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Invincible (Orange Tree Theatre and St James Theatre, London),Muswell Hill (Orange Tree Theatre and Park Theatre, London), The Company Man (Orange Tree Theatre), The Error of their Ways (HERE Arts Center, New York), Lie of the Land (Arcola Theatre, London/Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh), The Swing of Things (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Her Slightest Touch (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Incarcerator (Battersea Arts Centre, London), The Lunatic Queen(Riverside Studios, London), Five Visions of the Faithful (Edinburgh Festival Theatre); Clockwatching(Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), The Biggleswades(Southwark Playhouse), Silence and Violence (White Bear Theatre, London) and The Last Days of Desire(BBC Radio 4). He is currently under commission from Northern Stages to adapt Get Carter for a production in early 2016. Torben also wrote the screenplay for the British independent feature filmDownhill, which was released in cinemas in May 2014.
Prior to The Seagull, J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan will open Regent’s Park Open Theatre’s 2015 season, running from 15 May – 14 June 2015. From 16 July – 29 August 2015 Seven Brides for Seven Brotherswill see director Rachel Kavanaugh reunite the creative team behind the theatre’s award-winning production of The Sound of Music. Lord of the Flies will bring this year’s season to a close from 3 – 12 September before embarking on a nationwide tour.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 2015 season:
Box Office: 0844 826 4242
Online Bookings: www.openairtheatre.com
Directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel
15 May – 14 June 2015
First Preview: 15 May
Press night: 21 May (7.45pm)
Performances: Tue – Sun (7.45pm); matinees Thurs, Sat & Sun (2.15pm)
No matinee on 16 or 21 May
Recommended for ages 9+. By arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
By Anton Chekhov
In a new version by Torben Betts
Directed by Matthew Dunster
19 June – 11 July 2015
First preview: 19 June
Press night: 24 June (7.45pm)
Performances: Mon – Sat (7.45pm); matinees Thurs & Sat (2.15pm)
No matinee on 20 June
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Book by Lawrence Kasha and David S. Landay
Music by Gene De Paul Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
New songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Based on the MGM Film and The Sobbin’ Women by Stephen Vincent Benét
Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh
16 July – 29 August 2015
First preview: 16 July
Press night: 23 July
Performances: Mon – Sat (7.45pm); matinees Thurs & Sat (2.15pm)
No matinee on 16 July
Lord of the Flies
Adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams
Directed by Timothy Sheader
3 September – 12 September 2015
Performances: Mon – Sun (7.45pm); matinees Weds, Thurs & Sat (2.15pm)
No matinee on 3 September
Peter Pan, The Seagull and Lord of the Flies
£25 – £48.50
(Premium Seats £60, including best seat, programme and glass of wine)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
£25 – £52.50
(Premium Seats £65, including best seat, programme and glass of wine)
A full performance schedule will be available from www.openairtheatre.com