Almeida Season Lines Up Atkins, Staunton, Marsh and David

News   Almeida Season Lines Up Atkins, Staunton, Marsh and David Matthew Marsh and Eleanor David have been confirmed for Charlotte Jones’ The Lightning Play, the first of two world premiers at London's Almeida.

Eileen Atkins and Imelda Staunton will star in the second, Frank McGuiness’ There Came A Gypsy Riding.

In Jones’ The Lightning play, which officially opens Nov. 17 following previews from Nov. 9, Eleanor David and Mathew Marsh take on the lead roles of Harriet and Max Villiers who host a Halloween party at their North London home.

According to production notes Max is a “celebrity ghost writer”. After installing his new plasma television the evening is “hijacked by interference from the past”.

Marsh was last seen at the Almeida in Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and Reza’s Conversations After A Burial. More recently he appeared in JT Rogers’ The Overwhelming at the National. Other stage credits include The Little Foxes at the Donmar.

David’s stage credits include Three Women and a Piano Tuner, Arcadia at the National and Nine for the Donmar. The cast for Anna Mackmin’s production of The Lightning Play includes Adie Allen, Christina Cole, Lloyd Hutchinson, Simon Kassianides, Katherine Parkinson and Orlando Seale.

Mackmin recently made her National directorial debut with Gearing’s Burn, Ravenhill’s Citizenship and Walsh’s Chatroom. Other credits include Auntie and Me at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre.

Almeida Artistic Director Michael Attenborough will direct McGuiness’ There Came A Gypsy Riding, which officially opens Jan. 18, 2007, following previews from Jan. 11.

According to production notes “The McKenna family convenes at their remote West of Ireland holiday home to mark the 21st birthday of their late son Gene.  Eccentric cousin Bridget (Atkins) appears along the causeway, inviting herself for birthday cake and conversation, and ready to expose a family secret”.

Previous work by the multi award-winning Atkins includes Honour and The Unexpected man which transferred from the West End to Off Broadway’s Promenade Theatre in 2000. Other West End credits include The Birthday Party and A Delicate Balance.

Staunton, who plays the deceased son’s mother Margaret, starred in Life x 3, The Beggar’s Opera, A Chorus of Disapproval and Guys and Dolls at the National.

McGuinness (Someone To Watch Over Me, Speaking Like Magpies, Observe the Son’s of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme) is currently working on a new translation of Ibsen’s Rosmersholm, to be directed by Anthony Page at the Almeida in 2007.

For more on the Almeida’s season call (0)020 7359 4404