Flawed faith & temptation. Theatre Royal Bath christens summer season with Racing Demon

Jonathan Church’s inaugural season at Theatre Royal, Bath, opens with Racing Demon, starring David Haig which began rehearsals today ahead of its opening on June 21.

Olivier Award-winner David Haig stars as Lionel Espy in David Hare’s multi-award winning play. He is joined by Sam Alexander, Michelle Bonnard, Anthony Calf, William Chubb, Paapa Essiedu, Ian Gelder, Andrew Fraser, Rebecca Night, Amanda Root and Ashley Russell.

Four clergymen seek to make sense of their mission in inner-city London while facing their own personal crises.

There’s Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle; tabloid-hounded gay vicar Harry Henderson; ‘Streaky’ Bacon, a genial reverend with a taste for tequila, and a charismatic young curate, Tony Ferris whose arrival is set to fan the flames, whilst his sexual relationship with his lover turns to ash.

The day of judgement is at hand for all.

Racing Demon is the first production in Jonathan Church’s inaugural season as artistic director of Theatre Royal Bath’s annual summer season.

The programme of five plays will also include Hugh Whitemore’s Sand in the Sandwiches, (Stage Review’s verdict here) July 11-15; the UK Premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, July 21 – August 12; Looking at Lucian by Alan Franks, August 3 – September 2 and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van, running from August 16 – September 2.

Jonathan Church succeeds Peter Hall as artistic director, who established the Theatre Royal Bath summer season in 2003 with his company’s annual residencies.

Church was previously artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre, overseeing over 100 productions. Following his departure in 2016 he set up his own independent production company which he will continue to lead alongside his work at Theatre Royal Bath.

Racing Demon runs on the main stage at Theatre Royal Bath from June 21 – July 8.

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