Tate, Annis, Dillon, O'Dowd and Rowan to Meet Under the Blue Sky in London

News   Tate, Annis, Dillon, O'Dowd and Rowan to Meet Under the Blue Sky in London
Catherine Tate, Francesca Annis, Lisa Dillon, Chris O'Dowd, Dominic Rowan and Catherine Tate will star in the West End premiere of David Eldridge's Under the Blue Sky, which will officially open at the Duke of York's Theatre July 25. Previews begin July 15.

David Eldridge's play revolves around three subtly connected love stories that, press notes state, "reveal in turn the roller-coaster ride of lust in its prime, the sacrifices of a life in public service and unrequited passions."

Under the Blue Sky originally premiered at the Royal Court in 2000 staged by Rufus Norris. Now it will be directed by Anna Mackmin.

Tate is best known for three series of her BBC-TV sketch show "The Catherine Tate Show" and has also played the Doctor's Companion Donna Noble in the "Doctor Who Christmas Special" and reprised that role in the fourth series. She was last seen onstage in the West End in Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) in May 2005; other theatre appearances include The 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic and in New York, The Exonerated at Riverside Studios, A Servant to Two Masters for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Prince's Play and The Way of the World for the National Theatre.

Annis was recently seen on television as Lady Ludlow in the BBC's award-winning "Cranford," a role she will reprise in a two-part Christmas special in 2009. Her last stage appearance in the West End was opposite Joseph Fiennes in Epitaph for George Dillon (Comedy Theatre). Other theatre appearances include playing Gertrude in Hamlet (Almeida at Hackney Empire, then Broadway), The Glass Menagerie (Gate Theatre Dublin), Henry IV and The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse), the title role in Hedda Gabler for Chichester Festival Theatre, Mrs. Klein for the National Theatre and Rosmersholm for the Young Vic. Her many film credits include "Revolver," "The Libertine," "Onegin" and Lady Macbeth in Roman Polanski's "Macbeth."

Dillon was most recently seen in Present Laughter and The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other at the National Theatre. Other theatre credits include Period of Adjustment and Hedda Gabler for the Almeida Theatre. She played Desdemona in Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and for her performance as Hilda Wangel in The Master Builder at the Albery Theatre she won the Ian Charleson Award and the Critics' Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award. Her film credits include "Bright Young Things," and on TV she played Mary Smith in the BBC's "Cranford." O'Dowd, best known for his performance as Roy in Channel 4's hit comedy series "The IT Crowd," is making his West End stage debut in Under the Blue Sky. Other TV credits include the BBC series "Roman's Empire" and "The Clinic."

Rowan's extensive stage credits include A Voyage Round My Father and Lobby Hero for the Donmar Warehouse, Happy Now?, A Dream Play, Mourning Becomes Electra, Talking Cure, Three Sisters, Private Lives and Iphigenia at Aulis for the National Theatre and The Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Talk of the City for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Playwright David Eldridge's other original plays include Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness, which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, M.A.D. and Serving It Up for the Bush Theatre, Fighting for Breath and A Week with Tony for the Finborough Theatre, and Market Boy for the National Theatre. He adapted Festen for the Almeida for a production that subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway. His new versions of Ibsen's The Wild Duck and John Gabriel Borkman were both produced by the Donmar Warehouse.

Director Anna Mackmin most recent West End credit was directing David Storey's In Celebration with Orlando Bloom last year. She has worked regularly with playwright Charlotte Jones, staging In Flame at the Bush (which subsequently transferred to the West End's New Ambassadors), The Lightning Play (Almeida) and The Dark (Donmar Warehouse). Other credits include Auntie and Me (Wyndham's), the triple bill of Burn, Citizenship and Chatroom (National Theatre) and Dying for It (Almeida).

For tickets contact the box office at 0870 060 1483 or visit www.underthebluesky.co.uk.

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