London Awake and Sing! — with Stockard Channing — Begins Aug. 31

News   London Awake and Sing! — with Stockard Channing — Begins Aug. 31 Stockard Channing portrays Jewish matriarch Bessie in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!, which begins previews at London's Almeida Theatre Aug. 31.
Stockard Channing
Stockard Channing Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The revival, helmed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, officially opens Sept. 6. The cast also includes Trevor Cooper (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, By The Bog of Cats) and Jodie Whittaker, who recently came to the film-going public's attention in Roger Michel's movie "Venus." She made her Almeida debut in 2005 in Attenborough's production of Enemies.

The cast also includes Kieron Jeccinis (The Iron Man); Paul Jesson (The Seagull), Nigel Lindsay (Romance at the Almeida); John Lloyd Fillingham (Measure for Measure); John Rogan (The Iceman Cometh at the Almeida) and Ben Turner (As You Like It in the West End).

Awake and Sing! "tells the story of the Bergers, a lower-middle-class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the 1930s. The family, ruled over by strong-willed matriarch Bessie, long for a better world for themselves. True to life in his depiction of the extreme economic hardships confronted by working-class immigrant families during the 1930s, Odets documents their travails and their hopes, capturing the frenetic, pressured existence in this crowded home."

The classic American play was first staged in the Depression by The Group Theatre and most recently seen on Broadway in 2006 at the Belasco Theatre, where the drama originally opened in 1935. The revival celebrated the playwright's centenary and won the Tony for Best Revival of a Play.

Playwright Odets also penned Waiting for Lefty, Paradise Lost, Golden Boy, Rocket Man to the Moon, Clash by Night and The Big Knife as well as the screenplays for "The General Died at Dawn," "The Sweet Smell of Success" and "Story on Page One." For more on Awake and Sing!, which runs until Oct. 20, call (0)20 7359 4404.

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