News: Jemma Redgrave and Ewan Miller cast in Octopolis

Jemma Redgrave and Ewan Miller are to star in the world première of Marek Horn’s Octopolis at Hampstead Theatre. Directed by Ed Madden, Octopolis will play Hampstead Downstairs from 15 September to 28 October 2023.

Director Ed Madden said:
“I’m so pleased that Jemma Redgrave and Ewan Miller will star in Marek’s fiercely smart and soulful play, as scientists from differing disciplines who form an intense bond as they study the same octopus. Octopolis is a proper theatrical workout for the heart and mind and needs two stage animals at its centre; the whole team feel very lucky to have Jemma and Ewan on board, and to be the opening play in the new Downstairs season at Hampstead Theatre this autumn.”

“There were three people in my marriage. Dr Giscard… Three people and twelve legs.”

Professor George Grey is a brilliant behavioural biologist who, alongside her recently deceased husband, became world-renowned for her pioneering research into octopus intelligence. Mainly the intelligence of one particular octopus, in fact: Frances, who still resides in a large, purpose-built tank in George’s campus accommodation.

Into this house of grief walks Harry – an ambitious anthropologist, despatched by the university with permission to test his breath-taking new theory on Frances. The nature of his assignment is shocking to George, and threatens to tear her world apart in more ways than one. 

Jemma Redgrave plays Professor George Grey. Previous theatre credits include Farewell To The Theatre (Hampstead Theatre); Mood Music (Old Vic); An Ideal Husband and The Cherry Orchard (Chichester Festival Theatre). Her extensive TV credits include Silent Witness; Granchester; Holby City; Doctor Who and her film credits include Howard’s End and Love and Friendship.

Ewan Miller plays Harry. Ewan made his London stage debut in 2022 in Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre) and other theatre credits include The Comedy of Errors and A Christmas Carol (Citizens Theatre). Recent screen credits include Irvine Welsh’s Crime.

Marek Horn’s plays include Wild Swimming (Edinburgh Fringe and Bristol Old Vic) and Yellowfin (Southwark Playhouse). Octopolis is directed by Ed Madden and is his second collaboration with Marek. Ed’s credits include Yellowfin (Southwark Playhouse), A Table Tennis Play (Edinburgh Fringe) and the original production of Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Design will be by Anisha Fields with lighting design by Jamie Platt, sound design by Esther Kehinde Ajayi and movement and intimacy direction by Angela Gasparetto.

Tickets for Octopolis are available from £10 and are on sale now via Hampstead Theatre’s website. For further information please visit

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