The production will begin performances May 13, 2009, for a run to June 13. The play is described in press materials as poetic and emotional, and tells the story of Mr. Berry, his wife and his passion for a young lover.
Blethyn received Oscar nominations for her performances in "Little Voice" and "Secrets and Lies" (winning the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Actress for the latter), and has also starred in the films "Saving Grace" and "Pride and Prejudice." She has previously appeared at the Royal Exchange in Born Yesterday, A Doll's House and An Ideal Husband. On the London stage, credits include Habeas Corpus (Donmar Warehouse) and Mrs Warren's Profession (Strand Theatre, now the Novello). She also recently starred in an Australian production of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. She made her Broadway debut in the 2004 revival of 'night, Mother.
The Royal Exchange's 2009 season will kick off with new productions of Macbeth, directed by guest director Matthew Dunster (running from Feb. 25, 2009-April 11), and George Bernard Shaw’s Widowers' Houses, directed by Greg Hersov (running April 15-May 9). Following Haunted, the Royal Exchange will give Manchester audiences a second chance to see Neil Bartlett's production of The Pianist — from an original concept by award-winning concert pianist Mikhail Rudy — that is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was first made famous in an Oscar-winning film directed by Roman Polanski. It first premiered as part of the inaugural Manchester International Festival in 2007. The production will once again feature Rudy at the piano, with Peter Guinness as narrator.
Bartlett will then take the helm for the final show of the season, a Royal Exchange/Manchester International Festival co-production, Everybody Loves a Winner, that he is devising and directing. Telling a story set in the vivid world of North West Bingo halls, it will run July 1-Aug. 1. The director is proposing to re-design the Exchange's famous in-the-round auditorium, removing some of the seats and replacing them with Bingo hall tables and chairs to allow some of the audience to play along as part of the action. Casting is yet to be announced.
For tickets contact the box office at 0161 833 9833. For more information visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.