Owen Teale, Samantha Bond, Oliver Cotton and More Join Cast of West End Production of Peter Nichols' Passion Play

News   Owen Teale, Samantha Bond, Oliver Cotton and More Join Cast of West End Production of Peter Nichols' Passion Play
Owen Teale, Samantha Bond, Oliver Cotton, Annabel Scholey and Sian Thomas will join the previously announced Zoë Wanamaker in a new West End production of Peter Nichols' Passion Play, beginning performances at the Duke of York's Theatre May 1, prior to an official opening May 7.

Characterized in press materials as a "provocative comedy about sex, love and infidelity," it will also play two prior regional dates at Richmond Theatre in Surrey from April 12-20 and Brighton's Theatre Royal from April 23-27.

The production re-unites Wanamaker with director David Leveaux, after previously working together on Electra at the Donmar Warehouse that subsequently transferred to Broadway, for which she won an Olivier Award in London and was Tony-nominated on Broadway.

Passion Play was originally premiered by the RSC in 1981, and subsequently revived in a Donmar Warehouse production in 2000 directed by Michael Grandage that then transferred to the West End's Albery Theatre (now the Noel Coward). It was seen on Broadway in 1983, where it was re-titled Passion. It revolves around a married couple James and Eleanor, who after 25 years of coupledom, have their world upended when James agrees to a secret rendezvous with their recently widowed friend, Kate. As the lies mount up, the affair strips the marriage bare and reveals the illicit desires and hidden passions that lie beneath the everyday facade.

Wanamaker, who plays Eleanor, has worked extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, including regular appearances at the RSC (where she won an Olivier for Once in a Lifetime in 1979) and the National (most recently in Much Ado About Nothing opposite Simon Russell Beale). In the West End, she was most recently seen in All My Sons at the Apollo Theatre in 2010, and on Broadway she was most recently seen in Lincoln Center Theatre's production of Awake and Sing! in 2006. She has appeared extensively in film and TV, including the "Harry Potter" film series and BBC TV's "My Family."

Teale, who plays James, won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for reprising his West End performance in A Doll's House on Broadway. He is currently on the London stage in A Time to Reap at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. Other theatre credits include The Country (Royal Court), Creditors (Donmar Warehouse, transferring to New York's BAM), The Dance of Death (West End and Sydney Festival) and Ivanov and Berenice (both National Theatre). He has also worked extensively for the RSC, including appearances in Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Julius Caesar and Henry IV Part I. Bond, who plays Nell (Eleanor’s alter-ego), has appeared extensively in the West End, including What The Butler Saw and An Ideal Husband (both Vaudeville), Michael Frayn's Donkey's Years (Comedy), Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (Duke of York's). At the National Theatre she starred in the original production of David Hare's Amy's View opposite Judi Dench, subsequently transferring to Broadway where she was Tony-nominated. Screen credits include playing Lady Rosamund in TV's "Downton Abbey" and Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan. 

Cotton, who plays Jim (James’ alter-ego), has appeared extensively onstage, including An Ideal Husband (Lyric), Benefactors (Vaudeville), The Homecoming (Garrick), Butterfly Kiss (Almeida) and Richard II, A Flea in Her Ear and The Philadelphia Story (The Old Vic). Regular appearances at the National Theatre have included The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Summerfolk, Money, The Crucible and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and for the RSC have included Richard III, Edward IV and Henry VI.

Scholey, who plays Kate, has appeared in Antigone at the National, as Lady Anne in Richard III with Kevin Spacey in the title role at the Old Vic and New York's BAM, and world tour, and The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket and UK tour). Regionally, she has appeared at Manchester's Royal Exchange, Chichester Festival Theatre, Bristol Tobacco Factory and Sheffield's Crucible.

Thomas, who plays Agnes, has been seen recently onstage in London in Blue Heart Afternoon and The Glass Room (both Hampstead Theatre), Richard II (Donmar), Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith and West End), Macbeth and Hamlet (for the RSC at the Albery), The Price (Tricycle Theatre and Apollo) and Feelgood (Hampstead and Garrick). Extensive credits at the National include Fram, The Way Of The World, Mountain Giants, Sleep With Me and House And Garden.

Director David Leveaux's Broadway credits include Arcadia (which transferred from London's Duke of York's), Jumpers (transferred from the National), revivals of Maury Yeston's Nine and Fiddler of the Roof, Kevin Kline in Cyrano de Bergerac and Juliette Binoche in Betrayal. Off-Broadway he has directed Carey Mulligan in Through a Glass Darkly for the Altantic Theatre Company.

Passion Play, which is produced by Tali Pelman Productions for the Ambassador Theatre Group and Old Vic Productions, marks the inaugural production in Tali Pelman Productions and the Ambassador Theatre Group's producing partnership. Pelman's previous productions as in-house producer at ATG include Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, Moliere's The Misanthrope, Neil LaBute's Fat Pig and Harold Pinter's The Lover/The Collection.

The production will be designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with costumes by Laura Hopkins, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Fergus O'Hare.

To book tickets for the West End run, contact the box office on 0844 871 7623, or visit www.passionplaylondon.com for more details and regional booking details.

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