Starry casts and thrilling premieres. Theatre Royal Bath summer season finalised.

Jonathan Church’s summer 2019 season at Theatre Royal Bath has added four additional productions to complete its programme.

Vienna 1934-Munich 1938, The Life I Lead, Trying It On and The Man in the White Suit, join the already announced Blithe Spirit, Uncle Vanya and The Argument.

The Summer Season runs from June through to September and will open with the UK premiere of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (June 6-July 6) in the Ustinov Studio, starring Janie Dee, Michelle Asante, Aysha Kala and Lewis Reeves.

Tony Award-winning Walter Bobbie directs Christopher Durang’s comedy.

Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star.

When Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something toyboy, Spike, so begins a rollicking weekend of rivalry, regret and all-too true premonitions.

The production is followed by Blithe Spirit, in the Main House (June 14-July 6) directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders, Lisa Dillon, Emma Naomi, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Simon Coates, Lucy Robinson and Rose Wardlaw.

Jennifer Saunders plays clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, in Noël Coward’s classic comedy.

Novelist Charles Condomine, and his second wife, Ruth, are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira.

When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – gets complicated.

Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938, A Family Album, is written, directed by and starring Vanessa Redgrave in the Ustinov Studio, (July 11-August 3). She will be joined on stage by Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton.

In the late 1930s, the illustrious actor – and Vanessa Redgrave’s father – Michael Redgrave became close friends with the celebrated poet Stephen Spender.

Through their families’ notebooks, journals and memoirs, and Stephen’s poems, Vanessa Redgrave discovers the love affairs they remembered, and the hopes and fears of a generation that confronted the rise of fascism in Europe.

Uncle Vanya (Main House from July 18-August 3). Rupert Everett will direct his first stage play, and lead the cast, in Anton Chekhov’s theatrical masterpiece.

This playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, is a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare.

Everett is joined by Katherine Parkinson, Clémence Poésy, Ann Mitchell, John Light, John Standing and Marty Cruickshank.

The Argument (Main House, August 7-24), delves into what it is to dispute with those we love and offers a biting take on human dynamics. This is an often hilarious, darkly comic and compelling exploration of how it is the tone in which words are said which has such potency.

Pip and Meredith are having a disagreement about a film they’ve just seen when Pip’s phone rings and a full-scale row about their marriage breaks out.

In the course of ten arguments, we follow the repercussions, as Meredith’s parents, Chloe and Frank, her best-friend Jane, and Pip’s best-friend Tony, take sides and end up embroiled in arguments of their own.

Vitriolic, razor-sharp and veracious, the arguments rake over past prejudices, expose unjust judgements and reveal difficult truths. Starring Felicity Kendal.

The Life I Lead (Main House, July 18-Aug 3) starring Miles Jupp (Stage Review’s ★★★★★ verdict HERE), coming to Bath following a hit UK tour.

Trying It On (Ustinov Studio, September 3-7). After 50 years of writing, Trying It On marks playwright and contemporary political commentator, David Edgar’s, professional debut as a performer in this fascinating deliberation on how, why and whether our opinions change in the course of time.

1968. David Edgar is 20 and in his second year at university. It is the height of the world-wide student revolt. The Vietnam war rages, Enoch Powell delivers his “rivers of blood” speech, Martin Luther King is assassinated.

It’s 50 years on. The 70-year-old is confronted by the 20-year-old. Do they share the same beliefs?

If not, is it the world that’s changed, or him? Why did his generation vote Brexit? Has he sold in or sold out?

The season ends with The Man in the White Suit, (Main House, September 6-21).

Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon will star in the world premiere of the classic Ealing comedy, adapted by Sean Foley, which previews in Bath prior to a West End transfer.

When Sidney Stratton invents a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out, manufacturers and trades unions are terrified by the threat it poses to their industry and their jobs.

Only Daphne, the mill owner’s daughter, shows Sidney any support as his world gradually falls apart before he finds love.

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