Described in press materials as a "sharp, vivacious take on two worlds colliding," the play was inspired by the real-life story of a flamboyant con artist who managed to convince wealthy residents of Manhattan's Upper East Side that he was the son of Sidney Poitier. The play premiered at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 1990, before transferring upstairs to the Vivian Beaumont. It received its U.K. premiere in a production at the Royal Court Theatre in 1992, before transferring to the West End's Comedy Theatre.
The production, which is directed by David Grindley and designed by Jonathan Fensom, has lighting by Jason Taylor and sound by Gregory Clarke. The cast also features Obi Abili, Zoe Boyle, Sarah Goldberg, Michael Goldsmith, Ilan Goodman, Stephen Greif, Kevin Kiely, John Moraitis, Luke Neal, Steven Pacey, Ian Redford, Sara Stewart, Paul Stocker and Kevin Trainor.
Manville, who plays Louisa ("Ouisa") Kittredge, is perhaps best known for her acting collaborations with director Mike Leigh on the films "High Hopes," "Secrets and Lies," "Topsy-Turvy," "All or Nothing" (for which she was awarded the London Film Critics Circle Best Actress Award) and "Vera Drake." Other film appearances include "Dance with a Stranger" and "Sammie and Rosie Get Laid." She was last seen at The Old Vic in the world premiere of the stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother. Other recent theatre includes Her Naked Skin, Pillars of the Community and His Dark Materials (all at the National Theatre). She has also appeared in many new plays at the RSC’s Warehouse and at the Royal Court, including The Mother by Mark Ravenhill, Borderline, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Falkland Sound and Top Girls (winning an Obie Award for the latter when it transferred to New York). TV work includes the BBC series "Cranford," "North and South" and "Law and Order UK."
Head plays John Flanders ("Flan") Kittredge. He made his West End debut in Godspell. His many subsequent London stage appearances include the original production of Chess in 1986 and most recently a revival of Richard E. Grant's Otherwise Engaged at the Criterion Theatre in 2005. His wide:ranging television credits include "Secret Army," "Enemy at the Door," "Love in a Cold Climate," "Howard’s Way," the Fox series "VR.5" as well as the Golden Globe-nominated series of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with Sarah Michelle Gellar, "Spooks," "Manchild" and "Little Britain." He can currently be seen in the second series of the highly successful BBC drama "Merlin."
Abili, who plays Paul, is a recent graduate of RADA. His theatre work to date has included Dido Queen of Carthage at the National Theatre; Brothers Size at The Young Vic and Angels in America (Headlong Theatre). Recent television work includes "Moses Jones" (BBC); "Foyles War" and "Kingdom" with Stephen Fry (ITV). Director David Grindley was last represented on Broadway by his production of Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist at the American Airlines Theatre, under the auspices of Roundabout Theatre Company, for whom he has also previously directed a revival of Pygmalion in 2007, as well as The American Plan for Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2009. His West End production of Journey's End also transferred to Broadway. He has previously directed Kevin Spacey in National Anthems at the Old Vic, and other West End credits include productions of Honour, Some Girls and What the Butler Saw.
To book tickets, contact the box office at 0844 871 7628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com