Cast announced for West End transfer of The Moderate Soprano

Posted on 12 March 2018.

Posted in: Announcements

Cast announced for West End transfer of The Moderate Soprano

David Hare’s critically acclaimed play The Moderate Soprano will make its West End premiere next spring at the Duke of York’s Theatre, following a sold out run at Hampstead Theatre in 2015, with performances from 5 April to 30 June 2018.

Jeremy Herrin will return to direct the play with brand new set and costume designs by the multi award-winning theatre and opera designer, Bob Crowley.

Olivier Award winners Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll will reprise the roles of Glyndebourne founder John Christie and soprano Audrey Mildmay. The cast is completed by Paul Jesson as conductor and music director Dr Fritz Busch, Anthony Calf as Professor Carl Ebert, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as opera impresario Rudolf Bing and Jade Williams as maid Jane Smith.

Joining the creative team are the lauded Paule Constable (Olivier and Tony award winner for Lighting Design), Simon Baker (Olivier award winner and Tony nominee for Sound Design), Paul Englishby (Emmy award winning Composer) and Luke Halls (Knight of Illumination Award for Video Design).

The two great passions in John Christie’s life were opera and a beautiful young soprano, Audrey Mildmay, with whom he was completely smitten. Together with his formidable drive, they fuelled what many first saw as a monumental folly in the South Downs. Glyndebourne was triumphantly born amidst stiff manhattans, rolling lawns and the sound of sheep from across the HaHa. It was to become revered the world over.

David Hare’s new play, first seen at Hampstead Theatre, is the story of an intense love affair and the unrelenting search for artistic excellence in the face of searing scrutiny, sacrifice and the impending Second World War.

David Hare said: “Few people know the extraordinary story of how an eccentric English schoolmaster bumped accidentally into three refugees from Hitler’s Germany, and formed one of the world’s great opera houses in the 1930s in the middle of the English countryside. But even fewer know that Glyndebourne’s true founder was John Christie’s adored wife, Audrey Mildmay, whom he called ‘the moderate soprano.'”

Gus Christie said: "I am delighted that David Hare's play about the origins of Glyndebourne, which sheds light on my grandparents’ extraordinary vision and the creative tensions that existed in pulling it off, is coming to the West End in the Spring".


David Hare – Writer
David Hare is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty stage plays which include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War, The Judas Kiss and The Red Barn. For film and television, he has written over twenty-five screenplays which include CollateralLicking Hitler, Wetherby, Damage, The Hours, The Reader, Denial, and the Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. His play I’m Not Running opens at the National Theatre next October, and his screenplay about Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West, The White Crow, has just finished filming. In a millennial poll of the greatest plays of the 20th century, five of the top 100 were his.

Bob Crowley – Set and Costume Design
Theatre includes Collaborators, Travelling Light, The Habit of Art, The Power of Yes, Phèdre, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Gethsemane, Fram (also co-directed), The History Boys (also Broadway, Tony Award) and Mourning Becomes Electra (National Theatre); more than twenty-five productions including Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Plantagenets (Olivier Award) for the Royal Shakespeare Company; Carousel (Tony Award), The Capeman, Sweet Smell of Success, Aida (Tony Award), Tarzan (also directed), Mary Poppins (Tony Award), Coast of Utopia (Tony Award) and The Year of Magical Thinking (Broadway); The Glass Menagerie, Once (Tony Award), The Audience, Skylight, and Disney’s Aladdin (Broadway and West End); An American in Paris (Broadway, West End and Paris – Tony Award).

Opera includes Great Scott (Dallas Opera), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale and Strapless (Royal Ballet); The Cunning Little Vixen (Le Châtelet); Don Carlo and La Traviata (Royal Opera House).

Film includes Othello, Tales from Hollywood, Suddenly Last Summer and The Crucible (costumes).

He received The Royal Designer for Industry Award and the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design.

Jeremy Herrin - Director
Jeremy Herrin is Artistic Director of Headlong, for which he has directed Labour of Love (Noël Coward Theatre), People, Places & Things (National Theatre/West End/UK Tour/New York), The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre), Common (National Theatre), Junkyard (Bristol Old Vic/Theatr Clwyd/Rose Theatre Kingston), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (UK Tour), The Absence of War (UK Tour) and The Nether (at the Royal Court and in the West End).

For the National Theatre his directing credits include This House (Olivier nomination for Best Director), which transferred to Chichester Festival Theatre and the West End in a co-production with Headlong, The Plough and The Stars (co-directed with Howard Davies), and Statement of Regret.

For the RSC, he directed the world premiere of Wolf Hall (Evening Standard Award for Best Director; Olivier and Tony award nominations) and Bring Up the Bodies, which transferred to the West End in May 2014 and to Broadway in 2015.
For the Royal Court, where he was Deputy Artistic Director from 2009 to 2012, his productions include No Quarter, Hero, Haunted Child, The Heretic, Kin, Spur of the Moment, Off the Endz, The Priory (Olivier Award for Best Comedy), Tusk Tusk (Evening Standard Best Director nomination), The Vertical Hour and That Face (also West End). At Chichester he directed South Downs (also West End) and Uncle Vanya.

Other theatre includes Noises Off at the American Airlines Theatre, Broadway (Tony nomination for Best Revival); The Moderate Soprano at Hampstead; Children’s Children at the Almeida; Absent Friends and Death and the Maiden at the Harold Pinter; Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Globe; Marble at the Abbey, Dublin; The Family Reunion at the Donmar Warehouse; Blackbird at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg; and Gathered Dust and Dead Skin, The Lovers, Dirty Nets, Our Kind of Fun, Sudden Collapses in Public Places, Toast, Smack Family Robinson, Attachments, From the Underworld, The Last Post, Personal Belongings, NE1 and Knives in Hens at Live Theatre Newcastle.

Jeremy Herrin is Co-Chair of Stage Directors UK.

Roger Allam – John Christie
Roger was born in London and educated at Manchester University. He is an associate artist of the RSC.

Theatre work includes Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Seagull, Les Miserables (RSC); Limehouse and Privates on Parade (Donmar Warehouse – Olivier Award 2002 for Best Actor); The Moderate Soprano, Seminar and The Giant (Hampstead Theatre); The Tempest and Henry IV parts 1 and 2 (Globe Theatre – Olivier Award 2011 for best Actor); Uncle Vanya and Pravda (Chichester Festival Theatre); La Cage Aux Folles (Duke of York’s Theatre); God of Carnage (Theatre Royal Bath and UK Tour); The Way of the World, Democracy, Afterlife, Lear, The Cherry Orchard, Summerfolk, Troilus and Cressida (Clarence Derwent Award), Money (Olivier Award 2000 for best Supporting Actor) and Albert Speer (National Theatre); City of Angels (Prince of Wales Theatre); Arcadia (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Boeing Boeing (Comedy Theatre); Aladdin (Old Vic Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham Rep); Art (Wyndham’s Theatre); What the Night is for (Comedy Theatre) and Columbus (Brighton Festival).

Film work includes The Hippopotamus, The Truth Commissioner, The Book Thief, Royal Night Out, Tamara Drewe, The Queen, The Angels Share, Speed Racer and V for Vendetta.

Television work includes Endeavour, The Missing, The Jury, Parades End, The Thick of It, Sarah and Duck and Game of Thrones.

Radio work includes Cabin Pressure and How Does That Make You Feel?

Nancy Carroll – Audrey Mildmay
Nancy trained at LAMDA.

Theatre work includes Young Marx (Bridge Theatre); Woyzeck (The Old Vic); The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead Theatre) Closer and The Recruiting Officer (The Donmar); The Magistrate, After the Dance (Olivier Award 2011 for best Actress, Natasha Richardson Award at 2010 Evening Standard Awards), The Enchantment, The Man of Mode, The Voysey Inheritance, The False Servant and The Talking Cure (National Theatre); House of Games, Waste and King Lear (Ian Charleson Awards Commendation) (Almeida); Twelfth NightHenry IV parts 1 and 2 (Ian Charleson Awards Commendation), As You Like It, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and A Winter’s Tale (Royal Shakespeare Company); Arcadia (Duke of York’s); Coward, Cocktails and Cabaret and The Lady’s Not for Burning (Chichester Festival Theatre); See How They Run (Duchess); You Never Can Tell (Garrick); Mammals (Bath); Still Life and Astonished Heart (Liverpool Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ian Charleson Awards Commendation) and Hamlet (Bristol Old Vic).

Film work includes Iris, An Ideal Husband and The Gathering Storm.

Television work includes Father Brown (Series 1-6), Will (Season 1), The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Call the Midwife, Silent Witness, Lewis, Words of the Titanic, Dalziel & Pascoe, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, In Search of Shakespeare and Cambridge Spies.

Paul Jesson – Dr Fritz Busch
Theatre work includes: Goose Pimples and The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead Theatre), Cock and The Normal Heart (Royal Court – Olivier Award 1986 for Supporting Role), Gooper in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Lovberg in Hedda Gabler, Lord Burleigh in Mary Stuart, Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida (National Theatre), Prospero in The Tempest, Henry VIII in Henry VIII, Camillo in The Winter’s Tale and Menenius in Coriolanous (RSC), Cardinal Wolsey in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (RSC and Aldwych Theatre) Gloucester in King Lear and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.

Film work includes: Vera Drake, All or Nothing, Coriolanus, Mr. Turner, The Ploughman’s Lunch, Humphrey in The Children’s Act and the Doctor in Marrowbone.

Television work includes: Chewing Gum, Vera, The Trials of Jimmy Rose, Margaret: Her Downfall, The Devil’s Whore, Rome.

Anthony Calf - Professor Carl Ebert
Theatre includes Racing Demons (Theatre Royal Bath), Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange), For Services Rendered and Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), Private Lives (Chichester and West End), King Charles III (Broadway), The Hard Problem, The White Guard, The Power of Yes, Gesthemane, Never So Good, The False Servant, Betrayal and The Madness of George III (National Theatre), Fathers and Sons, Les Parents Terribles and The Hotel in Amsterdam (Donmar Warehouse), Cressida (Almeida), My Night with Reg and Rock n Roll (Royal Court and West End), Neverland (Royal Court), My Fair Lady (Crucible Theatre Sheffield), Stephen Ward (Gielgud) and Death and the Maiden (Harold Pinter Theatre).

Film includes The Children Act opposite Emma Thomson and Stanley Tucci, The Man Who Knew Infinity and Anna Karenina.

Television includes Riviera, Restless, Call the Midwife with regular roles in Power Monkeys, Home Fires, Dracula, Upstairs, Downstairs and ten series of New Tricks.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd - Rudolf Bing
Jacob trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Theatre work includes Macduff in Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Merchant of Venice and Othello (RSC), and Henry V (Trafalgar Studios and Rustaveli Theatre, Tbillsi).

Television work includes Medici, Endeavour, The Collection, The Living and the Dead and Wolf Hall.

Film work includes Crooked House.

Jade Williams - Jane Smith
Theatre work includes The Lower Depths/The Cherry Orchard (Arcola Theatre), Platonov and The Seagull - Young Chekhov Trilogy (National Theatre and Chichester),The Father (Duke of York's, Tricycle and Theatre Royal Bath), In Basildon (Royal Court), Sons Without Fathers (Arcola Theatre), Doctor Faustus, Henry IV Parts 1& 2, As You Like It, Thomas Paine - A New World, God of Soho and Bedlam (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre), Chatroom/Citizenship and Market Boy (National Theatre), Piranha Heights and Shraddha (Soho Theatre), Moon Tiger (Rose Theatre, Kingston), The Girls Guide to Saving The World (Hightide Festival), I Like Mine With a Kiss (Bush Theatre) Hedda Gabler (Edinburgh Lyceum) and ‘Low Dat (Birmingham Rep Theatre).

Television work includes DCI Banks, Eastenders, Holby City, Judge John Deed, The Canterbury Tales, William & Mary, Bad Girls, Being April, Serious & Organised, The Bill, Lloyd & Hill, Casualty, Plotlands, and Blackhearts in Battersea.

Film work includes Anne Frank – The Whole Story and Life and Lyrics.

Radio work includes Arcadia, Marnie, Five Wedding Dresses – The Rescue, The Gate of Angels, Needle, Secrets, The Mother of…, The Family Man, The Birds, What is She Doing Here?, The Day the Planes Came, Westway, The Chronicles of Narnia, Under Drakes, Captain Bailey’s Heir, The Basket of Flowers and The Trials of Saint Patrick.

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