Late summer casting news

Vivienne Acheampong, Adelayo Adedayo, Ray Emmet Brown, Ernest Kingsley Jnr, Tamara Lawrance, Rudolphe Mdlongwa, Mark Monero and Cecilia Noble have been cast in the UK premiere of Is God Is written by Aleshea Harris and directed by Royal Court Associate Director Ola Ince. 

Is God Is by Aleshea Harris will run in the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Friday 10 September 2021 – Saturday 23 October 2021 with press night on Thursday 16 September 2021, 7.30pm.

With set design by Chloe Lamford, costume design by Natalie Pryce, lighting design by Simisola Lucia Majekodumni, composition by Renell Shaw, sound design by Max Perryment, movement direction from Imogen Knight, choreography by Jordan ‘JFunk’ Franklin and special effects design by Susanna Peretz. The associate designer is Shankho Chaudhuri, the assistant director is Leian John-Baptiste, the dialect coach is Dawn-Elin Fraser and the fight director is Philip D’Orléans.


The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre have announced full casting forThe Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, writer of the award-winning blockbuster films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruges. Orla Fitzgerald, star of The Young Offenders, and Adam Best as seen in Giri/Haji will join Ingrid Craigie and Kwaku Fortune in the highly anticipated major revival of McDonagh’s darkly comic debut play which opens at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from 03 September to 02 October before transferring to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 09 October to 06 November, directed by the Lyric’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan.


Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has announce that the first show of its autumn 2021 season will be a revival of the National Theatre’s 2017 production of Beginning by David EldridgeAmanda Ryan will play Laura and Simon Darwen will be playing Danny.  

Every story starts somewhere… It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny from Upminster is the last straggler at Laura’s party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. One more drink? 

Beginning takes a touching look at the first fragile moments of risking your heart and taking a chance. 

This will be the second play of David Eldridge’s produced by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, with 2019’s homecoming revival of In Basildon playing to national critical acclaim. Beginning will play at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 3 – 18 September 2021.  


Full casting has also been announced for the 25th anniversary production of East Is East, the classic comic family drama of the British-Asian experience. The cast will include Amy-Leigh Hickman as Meenah;  Irvine Iqbal as Mr Shah/Dr; Tony Jayawardena as George; Adonis Jenieco as Saleem; Rachel Lumberg as Annie; Noah Manzoor as Sajit; Joeravar Sangha as Maneer; Gurjeet Singh as Tariq; Sophie Stanton as Ella and Assad Zaman as Abdul. East Is East will play at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 3-25 September. 

The full creative team has also been announced today, with the previously announced Director Iqbal Khan being joined by Bretta Gerecke (Set, Projection and Lighting Design), Susan Kulkarni (Costume Design), Felix Dubs (Composer), Jon Nicholls (Sound Design), Stuart Burt CDG (Casting), Natasha Kathi-Chandra (Associate Director), Max White (Video Associate) and RC-Annie (Fight Director).

East Is East is a Birmingham Repertory Theatre and National Theatre co-production. The production will then reopen the Lyttelton at the National Theatre 7 – 30 October (on sale 30 July) before playing at Chichester Festival Theatre 1 – 6 November (on sale 11 September).


Leicester’s Curve theatre, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and English Touring Theatre (ETT) have revealed the full company for the upcoming co-production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Anthony Almeida, which will open at Curve on 3 September.

Siena Kelly, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Channel 4’s Adult Material at this year’s BAFTAs, will play the role of Maggie, with Oliver Johnstone (All My Sons, Old Vic; SkyFall, Eon Productions) as her distant and troubled husband Brick. Teresa Banham (The Crown, Netflix; Robin Hood, BBC) will appear as Big Mama and Peter Forbes (Follies, National Theatre; Judy, Pathé) will play Big Daddy, the Pollitt family’s vivid patriarch.

Joining the cast as Gooper and his wife Mae are Sam Alexander (The Watsons, Chichester Festival Theatre) and Shanaya Rafaat (Jude, Hampstead Theatre). Suzette Llewellyn (EastEnders, BBC) will play Doctor Baugh, with Minal Patel (A Christmas Carol, Dominion Theatre) as Reverend Tooker.

The drama will open at Curve 3 – 18 September, before touring to Liverpool Playhouse 22 September – 2 OctoberMarlowe Theatre 6 – 9 OctoberThe New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich 12 – 16 OctoberTheatr Clwyd 19 – 23 October, concluding at Mast Mayflower Studios Southampton 26 – 30 October.


The Coronet Theatre in West London has also revealed its plans for the autumn season. which includes an “enlightening, cathartic and acerbic new play about identity, maturity and reconciliation” from Robert Holman (Making Noise Quietly) titled The Lodger, which runs from 10 September to 9 October.

Directed by Geraldine Alexander and starring Penny Downie, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Matthew Tennyson and Iniki Mariano, it centres on two sisters who must learn to reconcile the past in order to make a new future.

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