Tony Nominee Con O'Neill Will Star in 35th Anniversary Production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita

News   Tony Nominee Con O'Neill Will Star in 35th Anniversary Production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita
 
Liverpool Playhouse is to open its 2015 spring season with a new, 35th anniversary production of Willy Russell's Educating Rita, beginning performances Feb. 6 prior to an official opening Feb. 10, for a run through March 7.

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz will direct a cast that comprises Liverpool actors Leanne Best and Con O'Neill.

In a press statement, Bodinetz stated, "On a personal note to be directing my first Willy Russell play in his home city with two extraordinary Liverpool actors is both an honor and a joy."

This is the play's first professional outing in Liverpool for 13 years.

In a press statement, Russell commented, "I'm really delighted to be back at the Playhouse, a theatre with which I've had such a long and fulfilling association. I'm equally delighted to be working with Gemma Bodinetz and the great cast she has assembled - both Leanne Best and Con O'Neill are superb actors and it's a real pleasure to have them perform the play here in Liverpool where both their (and my) careers began."

Best has previously appeared at Liverpool's Everyman & Playhouse in The Match Box, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Unprotected as well as A Streetcar Named Desire and The Hypochondriac, both directed by Bodinetz. She is also known for her screen work in "Ripper Street" and "Woman in Black: Angel of Death." O'Neill is a one-time Everyman Youth Theatre member, who has previously won an Olivier Award and Tony nomination for Russell's Blood Brothers and also starred in "Dancin' Thru the Dark," the film adaptation of Russell's Stags and Hens.

The theatre will also also co-produce the previously announced world premiere of The Hudsucker Proxy, adapted for the stage by Simon Dormandy from the Coen Brothers film, with Southampton's Nuffield Theatre, where it plays first before transferring to Liverpool June 3-27, and co-produce the already announced production of Arthur Miller's The Hook with Northampton's Royal & Derngate, where it plays first before transferring to Liverpool July 1-25. In addition, it will produce a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by the theatre's new associate director Nick Bagnal (running March 21-April 18).

Public booking for the season opens Dec. 1. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0151 709 4776 or visit at www.everymanplayhouse.com.

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