There’s a change of leadership (now why does that sound familiar?) for James Graham’s blistering critically acclaimed political drama, This House, which takes to the floor of Chichester’s Minerva Theatre this September before transferring to the West End.
Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the cast for This House will be led by Phil Daniels, Kevin Doyle, David Hounslow, Ed Hughes, Lauren O’Neil, Nathaniel Parker, Steffan Rhodri, Malcolm Sinclair and Sarah Woodward.
It also includes Christopher Godwin, Peter Landi, Matthew Pidgeon, Giles Taylor, Tony Turner and Orlando Wells.
This House originally played two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre. After its run in the Minerva the production, which reunites the original NT creative team, will transfer to the Garrick Theatre in London.
Designer Rae Smith is installing the House of Commons into the Minerva, with a limited number of audience members allocated a front bench view on the famous Commons-style seating.
The drama is set in 1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote.
It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions.
Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
Nathaniel Parker plays Jack Weatherill. On television he is best known for playing Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley in the BBC crime drama series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
His theatre credits include the RSC productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Aldwych Theatre) and The Audience (Gielgud Theatre).
Phil Daniels returns to the role of Bob Mellish. He has just finished a run in the West End production of Les Miserables. On television he is known for playing Kevin Wicks in EastEnders and on film for Quadrophenia. Phil recorded and tours with Blur, providing a vocal for their huge hit Park Life; he has also sung with The Stranglers and The Who.
Happy Valley’s Kevin Doyle will play Michael Cocks with David Hounslow returning to the role of Joe Harper and Ed Hughes to the role of Fred Silvester. Lauren O’Neil returns to the role of Ann Taylor.
Steffan Rhodri plays Walter Harrison and Malcolm Sinclair plays Humphrey Atkins. Sarah Woodward plays Lady Batley.
This House runs in the Minerva from September 23 – October 29.
Other casting news at Chichester – Full casting has been announced for John Galsworthy’s mining drama, Strife, playing in Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from August 12 – September 10.
The cast for Bertie Carvel’s production is led by William Gaunt who replaces Julian Glover, who has had to withdraw because of a bout of pneumonia.
He is joined by Lucy Black, Antony Bunsee, Jason Cheater, Louise Collins, Alan David, Tomos Eames, Julian Firth, Michael Hodgson, Simon Holland Roberts, Ian Hughes, Trudi Jackson, Rhys Meredith, Mark Quartley, Madhav Sharma, Rosie Sheehy, Nicola Sloane, Cameron Sutherland and Lizzy Watts.
Casting has also been announced for the much acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, coming to Chichester Festival Theatre from September 24 before visiting Manchester and then transferring to London’s West End.
Edward Bennett recreates his performance as Berowne and Benedick, and Lisa Dillon co-stars as Rosaline and Beatrice, in director Christopher Luscombe’s elegant, effervescent productions (read Stage Review’s verdict of the original RSC production bit.ly/1vauiMX).
The full 22-strong ensemble company, including many actors returning from the original productions, is: Sam Alexander, John Arthur, William Belchambers, Edward Bennett, Paige Carter, Rebecca Collingwood, Lisa Dillon, Nick Harris, Nick Haverson, John Hodgkinson, Tunji Kasim, Emma Manton, Chris McCalphy, Peter McGovern, Chris Nayak, Jamie Newall, Steven Pacey, Roderick Smith, Jamie Tyler, Harry Waller, Anna Wheatley and Leah Whitaker.