War, carnage & all star casts for new Jonathan Church summer at Theatre Royal Bath

Theatre Royal Bath artistic director, Jonathan Church, has announced his second summer season at the venue and it includes some of the country’s most prolific actors in a selection of both UK premieres and renowned classics.

Opening the season in the Main House will be Church’s production of Oscar Wilde’s witty drama An Ideal Husband, which transfers from a critically acclaimed West End run (Stage Review ★★★★ verdict HERE).

It is followed by Arthur Miller’s The Price and a 10th anniversary production of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, directed by Lindsay Posner.

The summer season in the Ustinov Studio will open with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s new production of Henry V, directed by Elizabeth Freestone.

As a hub for new writing, the studio will then host the UK Premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith’s thriller Switzerland, which premiered in Australia.

The final production in the season will be Terence Rattigan’s compelling drama In Praise of Love, directed by Jonathan Church who makes his Ustinov Studio debut.

Introducing his new season, Jonathan Church said: “It’s a great pleasure to announce such a diverse and rich season of drama this summer and in particular to welcome this exceptional group of actors, directors and writers to the beautiful Theatre Royal Bath and Ustinov Studio.

“Alongside the well known work in the Main House there is an adventure to be had in the Ustinov with the rarely performed Rattigan play, the UK premiere of Switzerland and the extraordinary Bristol based company Shakespeare at The Tobacco Factory tackling Henry V in their own unique style.

“My memories of the summer in Bath are powerfully linked to the work that Peter Hall created here so it’s a real treat to welcome his grandson Ben Hall to the season playing Henry V.”


AN IDEAL HUSBAND (July 18 – Aug 4). Oscar Wilde’s sharp and witty drama explores corruption, blackmail and honour and stars real-life father and son duo, Edward and Freddie Fox. They are joined by Susan Hampshire, Nathaniel Parker, Frances Barber and Sally Bretton.

THE PRICE (Aug 9 – 25) Jonathan Church will direct the 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s riveting drama which will star one of Britain’s most celebrated actors, David Suchet.

The play tells the story of two long-estranged brothers, meeting in their former childhood home following the death of their father.

When Gregory Solomon, a silver-tongued used furniture dealer, arrives to close a deal he hasn’t counted on the brothers being there to confront each other.

GOD OF CARNAGE (Aug 29 – Sept 15) Starring two much-loved actors from hit television series, Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) and Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), the play is a ruthlessly comic study of middle-class parenting.


HENRY V (June 21 – July 21). Shakespeare’s play is a thrilling examination of the nature of power, the burden of leadership and the myth of heroism.

Ben Hall (The Durrells, Coriolanus) will star in the title role. He will be joined by Rosie Armstrong, Alice Barclay, Melody Brown, Alan Coveney, Chris Donnelly, Luke Grant, Heledd Gwynn, Joanne Howarth, David Osmond, Zachary Powell, Amy Rockson and Corey Montague-Sholay.

SWITZERLAND (Aug 1 – Sept 1) This award-winning, psychological, thriller paints a portrait of one of the great writers of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith. When a mysterious man visits Patricia to persuade her to pen one final instalment of the bestselling Tom Ripley series it soon becomes clear the stranger has a far more sinister mission.

IN PRAISE OF LOVE (Oct 3 – Nov 3). Terence Rattigan’s final play will star Olivier Award and Tony Award winner Robert Lindsay and Tara Fitzgerald. It is a perceptive and powerful drama about the concealed truths and veiled emotions in a marriage.

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