"Very Big for Theatre": Judi Dench Leads All-Star Cast of The Vote in Live Election Night Event | Playbill

News "Very Big for Theatre": Judi Dench Leads All-Star Cast of The Vote in Live Election Night Event An all-star cast including Judi Dench, her daughter Finty Williams, Timothy West, Mark Gatiss, Bill Paterson Hadley Fraser and Rosalie Craig have been announced for the premiere of James Graham's The Vote that will begin performances at London's Donmar Warehouse April 24-May 6 before giving an unprecedented live television broadcast on May 7, the night of the U.K's next general election.

Set in a fictional London polling station, The Vote dramatises the final ninety minutes before the polls close in this year’s General Election. on that exact day May 7, and at that precise time (8:30 to 10 PM) that the play will be broadcast on TV.

An ensemble cast of actors will represent the team of polling station volunteers, polling officers, and the diverse array of characters that are the voting public, with initial casting that includes Fisayo Akinade, Jade Anouka, Madalena Alberto, Nicholas Burns, Paul Chahidi, Jackie Clune, Pandora Colin, Rosalie Craig, Heather Craney, Judi Dench, Rachel Denning, Hadley Fraser, Mark Gatiss, Llewella Gideon, Alice Hewkin, Kadiff Kirwan, Aïcha Kossoko, Wanda Opalinska, Bill Paterson, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Nina Sosanya, Catherine Tate, Yusra Warsama, Timothy West and Finty Williams.

In a press statement, the play's director Josie Rourke (who is also artistic director of the Donmar) commented, "Broadcast live to the nation on the night of the General Election, this is a unique opportunity for the Donmar to make a small theatre feel very big. Some of the nation’s greatest actors are coming together this election night to give theatre a seat at the table of a national event. Everyone involved is approaching this experiment with a sense of adventure. To work with a playwright and company of this calibre and significance on such a bold project is a dream come true.

"When James Graham and I collaborated on Privacy, we were attempting something no-one had tried before. This is our next step in pushing the boundaries of how theatre speaks to audiences in a brave, new and popular language about the times in which we live. This huge acting company will be portraying a 90-minute slice of our nation as it goes to the polls. The scale and scope of this incredible company of actors is going to make this a very special event. This is the first time Judi Dench has been back on the Donmar stage since 1976. To have her at the heart of this incredible company of actors makes this great event a total joy."

The production is designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, sound by Nick Lidster for Autograph, movement by Stephen Mear and music by Michael Bruce. Tickets for the Donmar run will be available by ballot only, beginning 10 AM March 30 via the Donmar's website, www.donmarwarehouse.com.

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