By Mark Shenton
18 Feb 2011
The production, which begins performances May 5 prior to an official opening May 12 for a run through July 2, will also feature Diana Hardcastle and Ian McElhinney under the direction of James Macdonald. The production will be designed by Laura Hopkins with lighting by Guy Hoare and sound by Ian Dickinson.
According to press materials, urban socialites Agnes (Wilton) and Tobias (Pigott-Smith) appear to inhabit a glamorous world of drinks parties and social clubs. The return home of their recently divorced daughter Julia (Cohu), the constant presence of Agnes' alcoholic sister Claire (Staunton) and the impromptu late-night arrival of some close friends Edna and Harry (Hardcastle and McElhinney), begin to peel away this veneer. As their lives become increasingly claustrophobic, the characters battle with their fear of stepping into the real world, opting instead for the undemanding familiarity of their own drawing room.
Staunton, an Oscar nominee for Best Actress for "Vera Drake," was last seen at the Almeida in There Came a Gypsy Riding; she was most recently seen on the London stage in Entertaining Mr. Sloane at Trafalgar Studios. After her Almeida season, she will play Mrs. Lovett in this summer's Chichester Festival Theatre production of Sweeney Todd opposite Michael Ball.
Pigott-Smith was most recently seen on stage as Frank in Educating Rita at the Trafalgar Studios and Ken Lay in Enron at the Noel Coward Theatre. Other credits include The Iceman Cometh opposite Kevin Spacey at the Almeida, which subsequently transferred to the Old Vic and Broadway, and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion (also Old Vic). He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his role in TV's "The Jewel in the Crown."
Hardcastle was last seen at the Almeida in Jonathan Miller's production of Camera Obscura. She has also appeared at the National and extensively for the RSC.
McElhinney has previously been seen at the Almeida in Michael Attenborough's productions of Through A Glass Darkly and There Came a Gypsy Riding. His extensive theatre work in Ireland includes many performances at the Gate and the Abbey Theatres in Dublin and the Lyric in Belfast.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7359 4404, or visit www.almeida.co.uk.