Michael Grandage Company and Headlong announced initial casting for the world premiere of James Graham’s Labour of Love, which will begin previews September 15 at the Noel Coward Theatre with an official opening September 25. Performances are currently scheduled through December 2.
Jeremy Herrin will direct a cast led by Martin Freeman as David Lyons and Sarah Lancashire as Jean Whittaker.
The political comedy reunites playwright Graham and director Herrin following their previous collaboration on Headlong’s This House, which was recently revived at the Garrick Theatre following its earlier acclaimed run at the National Theatre.
“Labour MP David Lyons cares about modernisation and ’electability,’” according to press notes. “His constituency agent, Jean Whittaker cares about principles and her community. Set away from the Westminster bubble in the party's traditional northern heartlands, this is a clash of philosophy, culture, and class against the backdrop of the Labour Party over 25 years, as it moves from Kinnock through Blair into Corbyn... and beyond?”
Grandage said in a statement, “This wonderful new play by James Graham is the start of a body of work that MGC will be producing over the next two years as we continue our commitment to delivering quality theatre at affordable prices in the West End. For this first production, I am delighted Jeremy Herrin and Headlong, a company I have long admired, are joining us.”
Herrin added, “I'm delighted to be working on such a funny and politically insightful play as Labour of Love, and it’s a privilege to continue my creative relationship with James Graham. It’s a real testament to his writing that it has attracted two perfectly matched actors, both at the height of their powers, as Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire.”
The creative team also includes set and costume designer Lee Newby, lighting designer Neil Austin, and sound designer Paul Arditti.
MGC continues its commitment to offer over 20,000 tickets at £10 (including booking fee and restoration levy), which is 25 percent of the tickets for the entire run, across all levels of the auditorium. They will also stage access performances with both captioned and audio described performances.