"History Boy" Barnett Will Star in Premiere of The Whisky Taster at London's Bush Theatre

News   "History Boy" Barnett Will Star in Premiere of The Whisky Taster at London's Bush Theatre
Samuel Barnett, Tony Award-nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play for the Broadway transfer of Alan Bennett's The History Boys in 2006, is to star in the premiere of James Graham's The Whisky Taster. It begins performances at London's Bush Theatre Jan. 20, prior to an official opening Jan. 26, for a run through Feb. 20.

According to press materials, the play revolves around Barney and Nicola, who are advertising wonder kids. They win accounts with wit, charm and a secret weapon — Barney's synaesthesia — an amazing ability to feel, smell and taste colors, and to translate these sensations into words. Lately Barney has been finding things way too colorful and wishes his full throttle London life was more black and white, but Nicola is hell bent on winning accounts at all costs. When the two hire an old Scottish Whisky Taster to help them with a new campaign, his strange wisdom slows the Londoners to a stop, just as the deadline looms.

The production is directed by James Grieve, with designs by Lucy Osborne, lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Emma Laxton.

In addition to the National Theatre's The History Boys (which he also reprised in the film version), Barnett has also appeared in the West End in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Patrick Marber's Dealer's Choice that transferred to the Trafalgar Studios. On film, he has also appeared in "Bright Star" and "Mrs. Henderson Presents."

The Whisky Taster cast also includes Chris Larkin (The Lady from Dubuque at the West End's Haymarket, and the films "Valkyrie," "Master and Commander" and "Tea with Mussolini"), Kate O'Flynn (winner of the 2008 TMA Award for Beet Supporting Performance for The Women's Hour at Manchester's Roayl Exchange), Simon Merrells (last seen in the West End in Steven Berkoff's stage production of On the Waterfront) and John Stahl (seen at Shakespeare's Globe in The Frontline and Othello).

Plawyright Graham's previous plays include Eden's Empire, Little Madam, Tory Boyz and suddenlossofdignity.com. Director Grieve has recently been appointed as joint artistic director of Paines Plough theatre company, taking up the post in February 2010. He is currently associate director of the Bush Theatre and artistic director of nabokov. His directing credits include St. Petersburg by Declan Feenan and Psychogeography by Lucy Kirkwood (Bush) and Artefacts by Mike Bartlett (Bush, national tour and Off-Broadway).

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 8743 5050, or visit www.bushtheatre.co.uk

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