By Mark Shenton
17 Feb 2014
The productions will be directed by Adrian Noble, Jonathan Munby and Lindsay Posner, respectively, with David Grindley directing a rare revival of Alan Bennett's Kafka's Dick to complete the slate of four productions.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will begin performances June 18 prior to an official opening June 24, for a run through July 5. Higgins, who will play Martha, was a 2003 Tony nominee for Best Actress in a Play for reprising her Olivier Award-winning London role in the Broadway transfer of Vincent in Brixton. She is soon to star in the London premiere of Other Desert Cities, which runs at the Old Vic from March 13 to May 24, in the role originated in New York by Linda Lavin. Higgins has also won Olivier Awards for Sweet Bird of Youth and Hecuba. Other theatre includes Jocasta in Jonathan Kent's production of Oedipus opposite Ralph Fiennes (National), Gertrude in Hamlet with Rory Kinnear (National), Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman (Lyric), The Night of the Iguana (Lyric), The Fever (Royal Court), Phaedra (Donmar) and Mrs. Klein (Almeida).
Pigott-Smith's recent stage credits includes playing Prospero The Tempest, also directed by Adrian Noble, as part of Bath's 2012 season, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance for the Almeida and Enron (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award nomination) at the Royal Court and Noel Coward Theatres.
Noble was artistic director of the RSC from 1990 to 2003. Theatre credits include The King’s Speech and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (both West End, with the latter also reprised on Broadway).
Kafka's Dick will begin performances July 9 prior to an official opening July 15, for a run through July 26. In the play, originally premiered at the Royal Court in 1986, insurance man Sydney and his wife Linda are leading perfectly ordinary lives in 1980s suburban Leeds, when the esteemed (and long-dead) author Franz Kafka suddenly pitches up. With the great writer is his (also long-dead) friend Max Brod, he who ignored Kafka's dying wish that all his work should be burned and, as a result, made him one of the best-known writers of the 20th century. Things get even stranger when Kafka's father, Hermann, arrives – and threatens to reveal some very personal details about his son, details that Kafka would prefer kept private.
Director David Grindley was most recently represented in London by directing the British premiere of Richard Greenberg's The American Plan at the St James Theatre (also seen on Broadway). Other West End credits include Our Boys, Journey's End (also Broadway, where it won the 2007 Tony for Best Revival of a Play), The Philanthropist (Donmar Warehouse, subsequently also on Broadway for Roundabout Theatre Company), Honour, What the Butler Saw and Abigail's Party (both of which transferred from Hampstead to the West End), Loot (transferred from Chichester's Minerva) and Some Girls.
Thérèse Raquin will begin performances July 30 prior to an official opening Aug. 7, for a run through Aug. 16. This story of lust, madness and destruction set in the backstreets of Paris will be presented in a new version by Helen Edmundson.
Alison Steadman, who was seen at Bath Theatre Royal in Alan Bennett's Enjoy that subsequently transferred to the West End's Gielgud Theatre in 2008, is best known for creating the role of Beverly in Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party onstage (which she reprised in the subsequently TV version), and starring in the original National Theatre production of Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, for which she won an Olivier Award. Other TV credits include "Gavin and Stacey," and she is soon to be seen in the BBC's "Grey Mates."
Director Jonathan Munby has recently directed Wendy and Peter Pan for the RSC and Julius Caesar for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Noel Coward's Hay Fever will begin performances Aug. 20 prior to an official opening Aug. 27 for a run through Sept. 6. Felicity Kendal was most recently seen in the West End in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking that originated at Bath Theatre Royal, also directed by Lindsay Posner. Her extensive stage credits also include Happy Days, Coward's Fallen Angels and The Vortex. Kendal's extensive TV credits include "The Good Life".
To book tickets, contact the box office on 01225 448844 or visit theatreroyal.org.uk.