Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in association with Naked Productions are delighted to announce casts for three forthcoming Sound Stage plays.
- Tennis Elbow by John Byrne (30 April – 2 May 2021) is directed by Elizabeth Newman and stars Maureen Beattie, Brian Ferguson, Jessica Hardwick, Cherylee Houston, Louise Jameson, Anne Odeke, Sally Reid, Kirsty Stuart, Samuel West and Fiona Wood
- Hindu Times by Jaimini Jethwa (28 – 30 May 2021) is directed by Caitlin Skinner and stars Rehanna McDonald, Adam McNamara and Daniel Portman
- The Mother Load by Lynda Radley (25 – 27 June 2021) is directed by Isobel McArthur and stars Nalini Chetty, Anna Russell-Martin, Wendy Seager and Rosalind Sydney
From 30 April – 2 May Sound Stage will premiere Tennis Elbow, the new comedy from playwright and artist John Byrne, the creator of the BAFTA award-winning BBC television series Tutti Frutti and the critically acclaimed plays The Slab Boys Trilogy. The new play, which will be Byrne’s first for 13 years and is the follow up to his acclaimed 1977 debut play Writer’s Cramp, is a bittersweet comedy about the life and work of a mischievous lost artist trying to make her way in the world.
Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, Tennis Elbow’s exciting cast will feature Maureen Beattie (Deadwater Fell, ITV, Yerma, Young Vic and The Ferryman, Gielgud Theatre); Brian Ferguson (A Number, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Oil, Almeida Theatre); Jessica Hardwick (Barefoot in the Park, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Cyrano De Bergerac, National Theatre of Scotland); Cherylee Houston (Coronation Street, ITV and Little Britain, BBC); Louise Jameson (Dr Who and Bergerac, BBC and Winter Hill, Octagon Theatre Bolton); Anne Odeke (The Winter’s Tale, RSC and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre); Sally Reid (PC Sarah Fletcher in Scot Squad, BBC Scotland and Wendy and Peter Pan, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh); Kirsty Stuart (Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Duchess [Of Malfi], Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Citizens Theatre); Samuel West (All Creatures Great and Small, Channel 5; The Crown, Netflix, Mr Selfridge, ITV and ENRON, Chichester Festival Theatre, Headlong and the Royal Court); and Fiona Wood (The James Plays, National Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland and Blonde Bombshells, Pitlochry Festival Theatre).
Playwright John Byrne said: “I’m thrilled to be working with so many wonderful actors on my play. I’ve worked closely with Elizabeth on the casting of Tennis Elbow. Maureen (Beattie) has very much been in my mind since I first conceived the play so I’m delighted she’s involved. Kirsty (Stuart) playing Pamela Crichton Capers will undoubtedly be a tour de force. She is wonderful. I’m very proud of the entire company. It has some fantastic cameo roles from great actors like Sam (West), as well as an opportunity for me to work with actors like Brian(Ferguson ) and Louise (Jameson) who I’ve admired for some time. What’s also wonderful is the process is introducing me to new actors like Anne (Odeke) and Cherylee (Houston) whilst giving me the opportunity to work with people again like Sally (Reid) and Jessica (Hardwick). It’s a real privilege to have such talent involved and I hope the audience enjoy our work.”
From 28-30 May, Caitlin Skinner will direct the premiere of Jaimini Jethwa’s Hindu Times, which tells the story of Hindu deities Vishnu and Brahma as they come back Dundee, to restore earth, reunite with Lakshmi, and bring back love, but end up getting right on it. The cast will feature Rehanna McDonald (Do You Love Me Yet , Oxford Playhouse and Adam, National Theatre of Scotland); Adam McNamara (Peter Gynt, National Theatre and Black Watch, National Theatre of Scotland) and Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones, HBO and The Last King of Scotland, Sheffield Theatres).
Playwright Jaimini Jethwa said: “I’m excited to work with The Royal Lyceum and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, two leading companies with strong reputations for excellence and commitment to emerging talent. Developing my new play shows their continued dedication to artists especially in these times. I’m excited to showcase Hindu Times, which gives commentary and coincides with events in the world today, bringing the deities to Dundee, in the avatars of Dundee guys affectionately known as ‘minks’, Vishnu aka Vince and Brahma aka Barry, who come to save earth, bring balance, restore essence, spread divinity, and get Vishnu’s chick back, Lakshmi, who’s on her own mission, trapped inside a Dundee lassie Lakhi.”
In June, Isobel McArthur will direct The Mother Load by Lynda Radley. Three first-time mothers confront their expectations of pregnancy and parenthood in this funny and moving play about unlikely friendship and the messy realities of all our lives. Premiering from the 25-27 June, the cast will feature Nalini Chetty (Blessed, Traverse Theatre and Cyrano De Bergerac, National Theatre of Scotland & Traverse Theatre); Anna Russell-Martin (Nora: A Doll’s House, Citizens Theatre and Young Vic and The Panopticon, National Theatre of Scotland); Wendy Seager (Descent, Oran Mor and Rapunzel, Citizens Theatre), and Rosalind Sydney (An Appointment with the Wicker Man, National Theatre and Girl in the Machine, Traverse).
Playwright Lynda Radley said: “It’s always a joy to connect with an audience but in these times this opportunity is especially treasured. The Sound Stage project asks us to listen to plays, not alone but together, in a live setting. That’s exciting, and I’m fascinated to find out how that feels. My hope for The Mother Load is that we’ll laugh together, tell and hear truths together, and be a little less judging of ourselves and each other.”
David Greig, Artistic Director of The Lyceum and director of Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil, and Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre and director of Tennis Elbow, said: “We’re so pleased to share this news about the next three Sound Stage plays. Every one is a new work, each writer has their own unique voice, but all the plays explore big ideas and offer hope, humour, warmth and wit. We think they’re terrific. Were also proud that so many great people are involved in making and developing the plays. Exceptional established artists working alongside exciting new talent; actors, directors, designers, composers, assistant directors and audio experts all coming together to make sure these plays are shown off with the highest production quality. At a time when we all crave the togetherness of performance, we hope these stories will delight audiences in Scotland and beyond.”
Sound Stage is a new audio digital theatre which will premiere eight new audio plays one each month starting in March 2021. The Sound Stage plays are:
Angela by Mark Ravenhill – 26 March to 28 March
Tennis Elbow by John Byrne – 30 April to 2 May
Hindu Times by Jaimini Jethwa – 28 May to 30 May
The Mother Load by Lynda Radley – 25 June to 27 June
Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil by Gary McNair – 23 July to 25 July
Sophia by Francis Poet – 27 August to 29 August
A New Play (Title TBC) by Timberlake Wertenbaker – 24 September to 26 September
A New Play (Title TBC) by Roy Williams – 29 October to 31 October
Every Sound Stage performance will be accompanied by a post-show event, hosted on Sound Stage, inviting audiences to engage further with these exciting new plays.
Further announcements for the second half of the Sound Stage opening season will be made in the coming months.
Tickets for Sound Stage productions are currently on sale and can be purchased through Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh websites priced from £10 per play across the season.