Posted on 14 September 2017.

Posted in: Announcements


Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Nicholas Wright’s The Slaves of Solitude directed by Jonathan Kent. Adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s much-loved story, this new play weaves a fascinating blend of dark hilarity and melancholy in a story about an improbable heroine in wartime Britain. Fenella Woolgar makes her Hampstead Theatre debut as Miss Roach, and will be joined by Daon Broni, Lucy Cohu, Clive Francis,Tom Milligan, Éimear O’Neill, Susan Porrett, Richard Tate, Gwen Taylor and Amanda Walker.

1943, Henley-on-Thames. Miss Roach is forced by the war to flee London for the Rosamund Tea Rooms boarding house, which is as grey and lonely as its residents. From the safety of these new quarters, her war now consists of a thousand petty humiliations, of which the most burdensome is sharing her daily life with the unbearable Mr. Thwaites. 

But a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of a handsome American Lieutenant and things start to look distinctly brighter...  Until, that is, a seeming friend moves into the room adjacent to Miss Roach’s, upsetting the precariously balanced ecosystem of the house...

Daon Broni plays Lieutenant Dayton Pike. His recent theatre credits Bedlam, Henry IV (The Globe Theatre), The Observer (National Theatre), In Blood, The Bacchae (Arcola), The Wedding Dance (Nitro), The Changeling (English Touring Theatre), The Canterbury Tales (RSC), One Under (Tricycle Theatre). His film and television credits include Now What?, The Lives of Saints, Breaking and Entering, Dead Cool, Doctors, Casualty, and Teachers. His radio credits include Breakfast, Her Contours Defined and Tommies (BBC).

Lucy Cohu plays Vicki Kugelmann. Her recent theatre credits include Once in a Lifetime (Young Vic), Five Finger Exercise (The Print Room), A Delicate Balance (Almeida), Broken Glass (Tricycle Theatre), An Enemy of the People (Crucible, Sheffield) and Speaking in Tongues (Duke of York Theatre). Her television credits include Maigret, Ripper Street, Anais Nin, Broadchurch Series, Citizen Charlie, Atlantis and Forgiven. Her film credits include The Face of an Angel, The Inbetweeners 2, The Queen’s Sister, The Awakening, Becoming Jane and Gosford Park.

Clive Francis plays Mr Thwaites. His recent theatre credits include: Madness of George 111, Enron, The Hypochondriac, Thark, The Gathered Leaves and 84 Charing Cross Road. His work with the National includes: ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, A Small Family Business, Never So Good and Les Blancs. His work with the RSC includes: Three Hours After Marriage, Troilus and Cressida, The Hollow Crown and A Christmas Carol. His recent film and television credits include: The Little Stranger, The Lost City of Z, The Crown, Turner and The Missing. His has also written many adaptations for the stage including: A Christmas Carol, Three Men in a Boat. Our Man in Havana and The Hound of the Baskervilles. He has designed and compiled books including: Laugh Lines, The Many Faces of Gielgud, There’s Nothing Like a Dane! and There’s Nothing Like a Thane!.

Tom Milligan plays Colin Mason. His recent theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Sonia Friedman Productions), Last of the Dragons (The English Touring Theatre Company of Poland) and Our House (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Éimear O’Neill plays Sheila. Her theatre credits include Queens of Daytime (Churchill Theatre, Bromley), Road (Edinburgh Fringe) and Company (Avondale Theatre). Her radio credits include Carelton Hobbs for the BBC.  

Susan Porrett plays Mrs Payne. Her recent theatre credits include The Autumn Garden (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Heresy of Love (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Good Soul of Szechuan (Young Vic). Her work with the RSC includes A Dream Of People, The Art of Success, Macbeth, Worlds Apart and They Shoot Horses Don’t They. Her work with the National Theatre includes Anthony Trollope, Scrape Off The Black, A Month In The Country, Don Juan, Much Ado About Nothing and The Prince of Homburg. Her television credits include Mapp & Lucia, A Short Stay in Switzerland, Holby City, After Thomas, Foyles War and Midsomer Murders. Her film credits include About A Boy, The Parole Officer and The Escort.

Richard Tate plays Mr Prest. Theatre credits include Hobson’s Choice, Disney’s Beauty & The Beast, A Tale of Two Cities, Drake’s Dream (Shaftesbury Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Wimbledon Theatre and UK Tour), Phantom of the Opera (Shaftesbury Theatre), Scrooge (London Palladium) and Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi Theatre). He has recorded over five hundred radio plays for the BBC including Penny Gaffes, Angel Places and The Wedding. He also voiced characters for cartoons including Paddington Bear, Adventures of Mole, The Snow Queen and Pong Wiffy. His television and film credits include the BBC series, Lilies, Eastenders, Doctors, Mersey Beat, Holby City, Perfect Strangers, Chariots of Fire, Poor Little Rich Girl and Nowhere Boy.

Gwen Taylor plays Mrs Barratt/Dr Mills-Piper. Her recent theatre credits include Night Must Fall (UK Tour), Driving Miss Daisy (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and UK Tour), Sunspots (Hampstead Theatre) Before The Party, The Last of the Duty Free (UK Tour). Her television credits include Coronation Street, Heartbeat, A Bit of A Do, Belonging, Conjugal Rites, Duty Free and Class Act. Her film credits include Small Town Killers, Another Mother’s Son, Death, Hope and Charity, The Lady and the Van, Richard’s Things and Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Amanda Walker plays Miss Steele. Her theatre credits include Silver Lining (English Touring Theatre/Rose Theatre Kingston), Superior Donuts (Southwark Playhouse), Waiting in September, The War on Terror (Southbank Centre) and Orpheus Descending (Haymarket Theatre).  Her television credits include Sense8, The Missing, Doctors, Holby City, Murphy’s Law. Her film credits include The Best Officer, Cloud Atlas, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Inside Out and A Room With A View.  

Fenella Woolgar plays Miss Roach. Her recent theatre credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox! (Donmar Warehouse), Handbagged (Tricycle and West End), Circle Mirror Transformation, Motortown (Royal Court), Hedda Gabler, The Real Thing (The Old Vic), The Veil, Time and the Conways (National Theatre), Bronte (Shared Experience) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It and Bring Me Sunshine (Royal Exchange, Manchester). Fenella does lots for Radio 4 including playing Dot in Dot. Her film credits include Victoria and Abdul, Vera Drake and Bright Young Things. TV includes Home Fires, War and Peace, Harlots and Doctor Who.

Nicholas Wright returns to Hampstead Theatre following the sell-out hit The Last of the Duchess (Main Stage, 2011) and A Human Being Died That Night (Downstairs, 2013). His other plays include Treetops and One Fine Day (Riverside Studios), The Gorky Brigade (Royal Court), The Crimes of Vautrin (Joint Stock), The Custom of the Country and The Desert Air (RSC), Cressida (Almeida Theatre at the Albery), Rattigan’s Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), Travelling Light, Mrs. Klein, Vincent in Brixton and The Reporter (National Theatre). He adapted His Dark Materials (National Theatre), and wrote versions of Naked and Lulu (Almeida), John Gabriel Borkman, Three Sisters (National Theatre) and Thérèse Raquin (Chichester Festival Theatre and NT). His adaptation of Pat Barker’s Regeneration was produced in Northampton and on tour in 2014.His opera libretti include The Little Prince (Houston Grand Opera) Man on the Moon (Channel 4) and Marnie (ENO 2017 and New York Metropolitan Opera 2018); television credits include Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City (Channel 4) and three episodes of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (HBO/BBC). He wrote 99 Plays and co-wrote Changing Stages with Richard Eyre.

Jonathan Kent returns to Hampstead Theatre following Good People, starring Imelda Staunton in 2014. He was joint Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre between 1990 and 2002, which he founded as a full-time producing theatre. His productions included Britannicus (also West End/New York), Hamlet (also Broadway), Plenty (West End), King Lear, The Tempest, Platonov, Lulu (also Washington), Coriolanus (also New York /Tokyo), Richard II, Naked (also West End), Phèdre, The Government Inspector, Ivanov (also Moscow), Tartuffe, Hamlet (also Broadway), Gangster No 1, The Life of Galileo, Chatsky, The Showman, The School for Wives, Medea (also West End/Broadway), The Rules of the Game, All for Love, When We Dead Awaken. Other theatre work includes Sweet Bird of Youth (Chichester Festival Theatre), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Broadway), David Hare's Chekhov Trilogy: Ivanov, Platonov & The Seagull (Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre), Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre and the West End), Good People (The Hampstead Theatre and the West End), Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre and the West End), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre and the West End), The Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre), A Month in the Country (Chichester Festival Theatre), Marguerite (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Oedipus (National Theatre), The Sea and The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Faith Healer (Dublin/Broadway), As You Desire Me (West End), King Lear (Sheffield Crucible), Hecuba (Donmar Warehouse), Hamlet (Japan), Man of La Mancha (Broadway), Le Cid, Mother Courage and Her Children and The False Servant (National Theatre).

Patrick Hamilton was born in Hassocks, Sussex in 1904. He and his parents moved a short while later to Hove, where he spent his early years. He published his first novel, Craven House, in 1926 and within a few years had established a wide readership for himself. Despite personal setbacks and an increasing problem with drink, he was still able to write some of his best work. His plays include the thrillers Rope (1929) - on which Alfred Hitchcock's film Rope was based - and Gaslight (1939), also successfully adapted for screen in the same year. There was also an historical drama, The Duke in Darkness (1943). Among his novels are The Midnight Bell (1929), The Siege of Pleasure (1932), The Plains of Cement (1934), a trilogy entitled Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky (1935), Hangover Square (1941) and The Slaves of Solitude (1947). The Gorse Trilogy is made up of The West Pier, Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse and Unknown Assailant, which were first published during the 1950s. He died in 1962.


Back to top


1 Social Distanced 1