In Her Naked Skin, Manville will play Lady Celia Cain, who serves time in Holloway Prison when she joins the Suffragette Movement that fights for women to gain the right to vote. She feels trapped both by the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage, but inside the prison she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into an erotic but dangerous chaos. The play is directed by Howard Davies, an associate director of the National Theatre, where his recent productions include Never So Good (currently in rep in the Lyttelton), Present Laughter, Philistines, The Life of Galileo, Paul, The House of Bernarda Alba and Mourning Becomes Electra. Lenkiewicz's previous plays include The Night Season (premiered at the National's Cottesloe) and Shoreditch Madonna (Soho Theatre).
Manville last appeared at the National in Pillars of the Community and The Alchemist in 2006, and His Dark Materials in 2005. More recently, she was seen at another South Bank theatre, the Old Vic, starring in the stage version of Almodovar's All About My Mother with Diana Rigg last year. Though she has also done extensive seasons with the RSC and Royal Court earlier in her career, including the original production of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls in 1982, she is best known now for her collaborations with Mike Leigh, with whom she starred in his 1980 BBC play "Grown-Ups" as well as his feature films "High Hopes," "Secrets and Lies," "Topsy-Turvy" and "All or Nothing."
For tickets contact the box office at 020 7452 3000 or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.