That Face, with Lindsay Duncan, Begins West End Run May 1

News   That Face, with Lindsay Duncan, Begins West End Run May 1
Young playwright Polly Stenham's first play, That Face, which has already won her both the Evening Standard's Charles Wintour Award and the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, transfers to the West End with performances commencing May 1 at the Duke of York's Theatre, prior to an official opening on May 9.

It is booking for a ten-week run to July 5.

Lindsay Duncan and Matt Smith, who originated the roles of mother and son in the play's original run at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs in April 2007, are recreating their performances.

Written when the playwright was just 19, Stenham has recently received a substantial grant from the UK Film Council to adapt it for the cinema. The play also won the TMA Award for Best Play earlier this year.

Described as a portrayal of an affluent family in freefall, it revolves around a disturbed mother (Duncan) whose school-age children, Mia (Hannah Murray) and Henry (Smith), have to become parents to her. The production is directed by Jeremy Herrin, who was last represented in London at the Royal Court by his production of David Hare's The Vertical Hour.

Duncan's many theatre credits include starring in the original RSC production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and a West End production of Private Lives, both of which subsequently transferred to Broadway with her, as well as an RSC production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that followed the same route. Other credits include several Pinter plays, including Celebration and The Room for the Almeida; The Homecoming for the National Theatre; and Ashes to Ashes for the Royal Court. On television her credits include "Rome," "Longford," "Spooks," "Oliver Twist" and "Just William." Her many film credits include "Mansfield Park," "Starter For Ten," "An Ideal Husband," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Prick Up Your Ears." Smith was most recently seen in Swimming with Sharks opposite Christian Slater at the Vaudeville Theatre. His other theatre credits include appearances at the National Theatre in The History Boys, Burn, Chatroom, Citizenship and On the Shore of the Wide World (the latter transferred from Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre), as well as Fresh Kills at the Royal Court. His television credits include "The Street," "Party Animals" and "The Ruby in the Smoke" for BBC as well as ITV's "Secret Diary of a Call Girl." On film he made his debut in Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges."

Also in the cast are Hannah Murray, Catherine Steadman and Julian Wadham.

Murray is best known for her role as Cassie in Channel 4's "Skins"; she also appeared in Martin McDonagh's film "In Bruges." She is making her professional stage debut here.

Steadman's theatre credits include Babooshka at the Pleasance Theatre, The Glory of Living at Battersea Arts Centre and The Rubenstein Kiss at Oxford Playhouse. Her film credits include "Hippie Hippie Shake," "Borderline Confusion" and "Dark Room." On television her credits include "Mansfield Park" and "The Bill."

Wadham was last seen as Don Pedro in Nicholas Hytner's production of Much Ado about Nothing at the National Theatre. His extensive theatre credits also include Our Country's Good and Serious Money for the Royal Court, Plenty for the Almeida at the Albery and Another Country and When We are Married in the West End. He has worked extensively for both for the Royal Court and the National Theatre. His film roles include Madox in Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient," William Pitt in Nicholas Hytner's "The Madness of King George" as well as "Keep the Aspidistra Flying," "Maurice," "The Secret Agent" and "Wah Wah." His numerous television credits include "Foyles War" and "My Boy Jack" for ITV as well as "Blind Justice" and "Island at War."

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