Casting for Rattigan’s First Episode at Jermyn Street

First Episode

Caroline Langrishe is set to play movie star Margot Gresham at Jermyn Street Theatre in the first ever revival of Terence Rattigan’s debut play First Episode.

Best known for her role opposite Martin Shaw in TV’s Judge John Deed, Caroline’s stage work has included Olivia in Twelfth Night directed by Kenneth Brannagh, Hayfever at The Chichester Theatre, The Way of The World at Manchester Royal Exchange, The West End run of Present Laughter and seasons at The National Theatre.

Her other numerous television roles include Lady Carnarvon in Egypt and Charlotte Cavendish in Lovejoy.

Gavin Fowler plays Tony. Fowler was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award this year for his performances as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company) and Florizel in A Winter’s Tale (RSC).

He won the Times Best Actor Award at the National Student Drama Festival, and the Laurence Olivier Bursary at RADA.

His screen work includes Penny Dreadful (HBO) and the feature films The Vintage and Delight.

Philip Labey plays David. Labey’s recent roles include Wilfred Owen in Not About Heroes (Theatre by the Lake), Posner in The History Boys (Mercury Colchester), and Peter in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (RSC).

Alex Hope plays Philip. Hope has just graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he won the English Speaking Union Bursary.

Other cast announced are Adam Buchanan as Bertie; Molly Hanson plays Joan and Harry Gostelow plays James, the butler.

First Episode is the story of a movie star’s appearance in a student play and is inspired by events from Rattigan’s own time in 1930s Oxford.

Set in the university at that time, the story charts the relationship of best friends Tony and David when Tony becomes besotted with the beautiful star Margot Gresham and a triangle of rival affections is created.

Both touching and uproariously funny, First Episode is one of the earliest plays to deal explicitly with homosexuality, and for lovers of Rattigan’s work it marks the start of Rattigan’s glittering career.

Written with fellow undergraduate, Philip Heiman and originally staged at a small experimental theatre in Kew in 1933, First Episode transferred to the West End and then to Broadway in 1934.

First Episode runs at Jermyn Street Theatre from October 28-November 22 and Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, on November 28/29.

Leave a Reply