Oscar Nominee Staunton to Return to London Stage in Entertaining Mr. Sloane

News   Oscar Nominee Staunton to Return to London Stage in Entertaining Mr. Sloane Imelda Staunton, the Oscar-nominated star of Mike Leigh's "Vera Drake," will return to the London stage as Kath in a new production of Joe Orton's classic comedy Entertaining Mr. Sloane, opposite local TV star Mathew Horne as the eponymous Sloane.

The production will begin performances at the West End's Trafalgar Studios Jan. 22, 2009, prior to an official opening Jan. 30 for a run to April 11.

In the play, Sloane (Horne), a handsome and amoral young man charms his way into the household of the middle-aged and emotionally desperate Kath (Staunton) and her prurient brother Ed. The sibling pair compete for the affections of their new lodger in a game of sexual tug-of-war, which leads to dark secrets, blackmail and murder. The play originally premiered in 1964, and is recognized as the most autobiographical of Orton's plays.

Further casting will be announced shortly. The production is directed by Nick Bagnal, designed by Peter McKintosh and Colin Richmond, and is a co-production between Michael Edwards and Carole Winter and English Touring Theatre. Kathy Burke is credited as creative consultant.

Staunton was last seen on the London stage in Frank McGuinness' There Came a Gypsy Riding. Other London stage appearances have earned her two Olivier Awards, first for her roles in A Chorus of Disapproval (at the National) and The Corn in Green (at the Old Vic) in 1985, and as Miss Adelaide in the National's 1996 revival of its production of Guys and Dolls, in which she had been a Hotbox Girl in its original incarnation in 1982. Other productions she has appeared in at the National include Yasmina Reza's Life x3 (subsequently transferring to the Old Vic), The Beggar's Opera and Schweyk in the Second World War. She has also done seasons with the RSC, and appeared at the Donmar Warehouse both in Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus (in 1996) and her own solo cabaret (in 1998).

Horne's television credits include the award-winning BBC-TV comedy series "Gavin and Stacey," "The Catherine Tate Show" and "Roman's Empire." His film credits include "Lesbian Vampire Killers," to be released in March 2009. His new sketch show, "Horne and Corden," is co-written with co-star James Corden and directed by Kathy Burke. It will be broadcast on BBC in 2009. To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 060 6632 or visit www.theambassadors.com/trafalgarstudios.

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