Shepherd and McCormack to Star in U.K. Tour of Goold's Production of Six Characters

News   Shepherd and McCormack to Star in U.K. Tour of Goold's Production of Six Characters
Jack Shepherd and Catherine McCormack will head the cast of Rupert Goold's production of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of An Author, presented in a version by Goold and Power, that will begin performances at Bristol Old Vic Sept. 26.

It will continue there to Oct. 10, before going on to visit Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (Oct. 13-17), Cambridge Arts Theatre (Oct. 20-24), Plymouth Theatre Royal (Oct. 27-31), Malvern Festival Theatre (Nov. 3-7) and Cardiff's New Theatre (Nov. 10-14). Six Characters is presented by Headlong Theatre in a co-production with Bristol Old Vic. Originally staged at Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva in summer 2008, it subsequently transferred to the West End's Gielgud Theatre, where it opened officially Sept. 15, 2008.

Presented in what the published edition of the text calls a "vertiginous new version" by Goold and Ben Power (Headlong's literary associate), the play has been updated and recontextualised, becoming "a dark parable for a media-obsessed age and an exhilarating exploration of how we define art, ourselves and 'reality' in the 21st-century." In this version of the Pirandello classic, six strangers arrive unannounced during the editing of a documentary film. Abandoned fictional characters in search of an author and with an appalling narrative, the documentary maker agrees to film their story.

Goold and Power previously collaborated on Faustus, a re-working of Christopher Marlowe's play. Six Characters originally premiered in Rome in 1921, and is heralded for changing theatre's perception of itself, as it blurs the borders between fiction and life, and between the stage and the world outside.

Jack Shepherd plays the Father. Recent theatre work includes Through a Cloud (Birmingham Rep), Racing Demon (Birmingham), Andorra (Young Vic) and The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe). For television his credits include "Peter Ackroyd's London" (BBC), "Silent Witness" (BBC), "Man and Boy" (BBC) and the title role in the long-running series "Wycliffe" (HTV). For film his credits include "His Dark Materials - The Golden Compass," "Charlotte Grey," "Churchill at War" and "Boudica." Catherine McCormack plays the Producer. Best known for starring opposite Mel Gibson in the film "Braveheart," other film credits include "Loaded," "Northstar," "Dangerous Beauty," "Spy Game" and "28 Weeks Later." Theatre work includes A Dolls House and Portrait of a Lady (both at the Theatre Royal Bath), The Lady from Dubuque (Haymarket), the original production of The 39 Steps (Tricycle) and All My Sons (National Theatre).

The cast also includes Russell Bentley, Sarah Belcher, Gina Bramhill, Andrew Frame, Jeremy Joyce and Dominic Rouse. Further casting is to announced. The production is designed by Miriam Buether with sound and music by Adam Cork, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth and projection design by Lorna Heavey. Director Goold, who is artistic director of Headlong, is currently represented by his West End staging of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the world premiere of Lucy Prebble's Enron, currently running at Chichester's Minerva Theatre through Aug. 29, prior to transferring to the Royal Court, where it runs Sept. 17 to Nov. 7. He made his National Theatre debut this year directing J.B. Priestley's Time and the Conways. Other West End credits include Macbeth (subsequently seen on Broadway) and No Man's Land.

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