News: Casting announced for Soho Theatre’s Boys on the Verge of Tears

Soho Theatre has announced the cast for Boys on the Verge of Tears which has its world premiere at Soho Theatre next month. The play, written by Sam Grabiner, is winner of Soho Theatre’s prestigious Verity Bargate Award, and is brutal, tender exploration of what it is to be a man.

Featuring five actors in fifty roles the cast is: Matthew Beard, David Carlyle, Calvin Demba, Tom Espiner and Maanuv Thiara.

Matthew Beard can currently be seen in Scott Frank’s Monsieur Spade (AMC) opposite Clive Owen, and has just wrapped the second season of Funny Woman (Sky). His performance in And When Did You Last See Your Father? gained him nominations for a British Independent Film Award and an Evening Standard British Film Award. Other film credits include: The Imitation Game, An Education, and Johnny English Strikes Again.

On stage, Matthew received a Tony nomination for his performance in Skylight, directed by Stephen Daldry. He played Edmund in the West End in the Young Vic’s critically acclaimed production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night opposite Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, which was followed by sell out runs in New York and Los Angeles.

David Carlyle is a BAFTA-nominated Scottish actor. His extensive theatre credits include You Stupid Darkness! (Paines Pough), The Telltale Heart directed by Anthony Neilsen and Carpe Diem directed by Jo McInnes both at the National. Television credits include Lip Service (BBC Three), The Bodyguard (BBC), and Russell T. Davies’ acclaimed It’s A Sin, which saw David nominated for the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. He has recently been seen in the second series of Iain Stirling’s Buffering (ITV) and series two of Screw for Channel 4. He will next appear in Dinosaur (BBC/Hulu).

Calvin Demba was nominated for Emerging Talent at the Evening Standard Awards for his leading role in Patrick Marber’s play The Red Lion directed by Ian Rickson at the National Theatre. He has worked with James Macdonald, director of The Wolf From The Door, and Simon Godwin who directed Routes, at the Royal Court. Calvin Demba’s big screen credits include: Idris Elba’s Yardie and Annabelle Attanasio’s Mickey And The Bear, which made a splash at Cannes in 2019. On the small screen Calvin can be seen in Amazon’s The Rig. He starred in Mike Bartlett’s highly praised BBC1 drama Life and Sky Art’s drama Madonna and Basquiat. He was nominated for Young Shooting Star at the Screen Nation Awards, and Best Emerging Talent at Movie Video & Screen Awards for his role in E4’s Youngers.

Tom Espiner’s theatre includes: Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall, London), Life of Pi (Sheffield Crucible/ West End – Wyndham’s Theatre) and Berberian Sound Studio (Donmar Warehouse). His film credits include Stoned and his television includes: Chloe, The Crown, and Ancient Rome. Tom is co-founder of Sound&Fury Theatre Company and has co-created and performed in all its productions.

Maanuv Thiara most recently wrapped on Ben Wheatley’s Generation Z for Channel 4 and Apple’s series Prime Target, directed by Brady Hood. He currently features in the second series of ITV’s Trigger Point. Prior to this he starred in Jed Mercurio’s ITV crime drama DI Ray alongside Parminder Nagra. In theatre, Maanuv most recently starred in Vinay Patel’s adaptation of The Cherry Orchard at the Yard, after taking the stage in Indhu Rubasingham’s production of The Father And The Assassin at the National Theatre. He featured alongside Andrew Scott in the West End transfer of Hamlet, directed by Robert Icke and featured in A Passage To India at the Park Theatre, directed by Sebastian Armesto.

Boys on the Verge of Tears

A father waits for his son. Kids hang around skipping school. Fights break out after nights of drinking. Boys on the Verge of Tears is a bold, kaleidoscopic tale of violence and vulnerability, set entirely in the confines of a public toilet.

Boys on the Verge of Tears is directed by James Macdonald, whose highly acclaimed productions include premieres by Caryl Churchill, Annie Baker and Sarah Kane. It is produced by Soho Theatre.

Boys on the Verge of Tears was selected from 1,500 entries to the Verity Bargate Award, which is sponsored by Character 7, the producers of The Night Manager and Culprits.

Boys on the Verge of Tears is Sam’s professional debut. He is a graduate of École Philippe Gaulier, and holds an MFA in playwrighting from Columbia School of the Arts, where he studied with the playwrights Lynn Nottage and David Henry Hwang. He is a MacDowell fellow, and his plays are published by Faber & Faber.

The creative team are:

Sam Grabiner – Writer
James Macdonald – Director
Ashley Martin-Davis – Set & Costume Designer
Peter Mumford – Lighting Designer
Ian Dickinson – Sound Designer
Zoë Thomas-Webb – Costume Supervisor
Alex Kampfner – Assistant Director
Claire Gerrens – Lighting Associate
Enric Ortuño – Intimacy & Fight Co-ordinator
Amy Ball CDG – Casting Director
Tom Nickson – Production Manager
Eve Allin – Associate Producer

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