August Originals Dunagan, Reed, Murphy, Perry, Morton, Mayberry and More Are London-Bound

News   August Originals Dunagan, Reed, Murphy, Perry, Morton, Mayberry and More Are London-Bound The London bow of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, which brings Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company back to the National Theatre where they were last seen in The Grapes of Wrath in 1989, will feature most of the original Broadway company, including Tony winners Deanna Dunagan as Violet Weston and Rondi Reed as Mattie Fae Aitken.
Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County
Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County Joan Marcus

The London run, which begins performances on Nov. 21 (prior to an official opening Nov. 26) for a run to Jan. 21, 2009, will also feature Broadway originals Ian Barford as Little Charles, Kimberly Guerrero as Johnna Longwell, Mariann Mayberry as Karen Weston, Amy Morton as Barbara Fordham, Sally Murphy as Ivy Weston, Jeff Perry as Bill Fordham and Troy West as Sheriff Deon Gilbeau. New to the London company are Michael McGuire as Beverly Weston (succeeding the late Dennis Letts), Paul Vincent O'Connor as Charlie Aiken (succeeding Francis Guinan), and Molly Ranson as Jean Fordham (succeeding Madeleine Martin). One role, that of Steve Heidebrecht (originally played on Broadway by Brian Kerwin), is still to be announced.

Amy Morton in August: Osage County
photo by Joan Marcus

Anna D. Shapiro, 2008 Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Play, again directs the acclaimed three-act, three-and-a-half hour family soap opera on American themes. The play "tells the explosively funny tale of the Weston clan, triggered by the recent disappearance of the family patriarch. With rich insight and brilliant humor, Letts' critically-acclaimed play paints a vivid portrait of a Midwestern family at a critical turning point." The original production is still playing Broadway's Music Box, where it transferred to in April after officially opening at the Imperial Theatre in December 2007. Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre said, "The National Theatre is thrilled to renew its association with Steppenwolf, and to host the company that represents for London audiences the American theatre at its most exciting. August: Osage County is a tremendous play; the Steppenwolf production of it lifted me out of my seat. I could not be happier to be presenting it to the British public and to be continuing the relationship between the great theatre cities of London and Chicago."

Martha Lavey, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where the play premiered in 2007 prior to being plucked up by Broadway producers, added, "It's an honor to return to the National Theatre where 20 years ago, we brought our production of The Grapes of Wrath. Like Grapes, August: Osage County is a large American story animated by the artistry of the Steppenwolf ensemble. We are thrilled to bring this work to the National, a theatre we deeply respect and admire."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7452 3000, or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.

<i>August: Osage County</i> co-stars Rondi Reed and Mariann Mayberry.
August: Osage County co-stars Rondi Reed and Mariann Mayberry. Photo by Aubrey Reuben