Sheridan Smith to Star in Hedda Gabler at London's Old Vic; Rob Ashford Joins Theatre as Associate Director | Playbill

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News Sheridan Smith to Star in Hedda Gabler at London's Old Vic; Rob Ashford Joins Theatre as Associate Director Double Olivier Award winner Sheridan Smith will play the title role in a new production of Hedda Gabler at London's Old Vic in September, to be followed by the transfer of the new Trevor Nunn production of Kiss Me, Kate from Chichester Festival Theatre in November.

Sheridan Smith
Sheridan Smith

It has also been announced that Rob Ashford, who has previously been an associate director at the Donmar Warehouse, is to continue his formal London associations, as he has now been appointed associate director at the Old Vic.

In a press statement Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey commented, "It’s going to be an incredible summer in London and I am delighted to announce these new productions. Trevor Nunn is a much-loved member of The Old Vic family and I'm thrilled to welcome him back with Kiss Me, Kate, a wonderful production which I know London audiences will embrace warmly. I am particularly pleased to unveil our production of Hedda Gabler, such an iconic and impactful play, with Sheridan Smith in the lead. Sheridan is a wonderful actress who has rightly received acclaim for her recent work and I am sure audiences will be intrigued to see her tackle this role."

Of Ashford's new role, Spacey added, "Our associate directors are an important and influential group who contribute greatly to the development of our programmes and provide valuable insight and experience. I have long admired Rob Ashford's work and am looking forward to working with him at The Old Vic."

Ashford's previous London credits include originating A Streetcar Named Desire, Parade and Anna Christie (all at the Donmar Warehouse), Guys and Dolls and Evita in the West End (with the latter transferring to Broadway, where it is now playing at the Marquis Theatre). Other Broadway credits include How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Promises, Promises; Cry-Baby; and Curtains. He has previously worked with Kevin Spacey when he provided choreography for the film "Beyond The Sea," directed by and starring Spacey. Other Old Vic associates are Edward Hall, David Liddiment, Anthony Page, Thea Sharrock and Matthew Warchus.

Hedda Gabler will begin performances Sept. 5 prior to an official opening Sept. 12, for a run that is booking through Nov. 12. Anna Mackmin will direct Ibsen's play in a version by Brian Friel. In addition to Sheridan Smith, who has won Oliviers for both appearances in a musical Legally Blonde and a play (Terrence Rattigan's Flare Path), the cast will also include Buffy Davis as Bertha, Anne Reid as Juliana Tesman, Adrian Scarborough as George Tesman and Fenella Woolgar as Thea Elvsted. Kiss Me, Kate will follow its imminent run at Chichester's Festival Theatre (where it begins performances June 18 prior to an official opening June 27), by transferring to the Old Vic, where it will begin performances Nov. 20 prior to an official opening Dec. 3. Trevor Nunn directs a cast that includes Alex Bourne, David Burt, Adam Garcia, Clive Rowe and Hannah Waddingham. This co-production reunites The Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre to celebrate the historic partnership initiated by Laurence Olivier between the two theatres in this, Chichester's 50th anniversary year.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628, or visit for more details.

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