FULL CASTS ANNOUNCED AS HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS CONTINUES TO BE A HOME FOR NEW WRITING
Posted on 16 February 2023.
Posted in: Announcements
Hampstead Theatre today announces the casts for its Downstairs season of new writing featuring plays by Cordelia Lynn, Gareth Farr and Shomit Dutta.
The world premiere of Sea Creatures by Cordelia Lynn, directed by James Macdonald, will feature Geraldine Alexander, Pearl Chanda, Thusitha Jayasundera, Tom Mothersdale, Grace Saif, Tony Turner and June Watson. Sea Creatures runs from 24 March to 29 April.
A second world premiere, Biscuits for Breakfast by Gareth Farr and directed by Tessa Walker will feature Boadicea Ricketts and Ben Castle-Gibb. Biscuits for Breakfast runs from 5 May to 10 June.
Stumped by Shomit Dutta, directed by Guy Unsworth, will feature Stephen Tompkinson and Andrew Lancel. Presented by Original Theatre, the stage premiere production of Stumped plays from 16 June – 22 July.
Sea Creatures is Cordelia Lynn’s first play at Hampstead Theatre. Set in a cottage by the sea, four women live in a house made for five. Meals are prepared, stories are shared and the tide breaks on the shore. When only one of their two guests arrive for the summer, it isn’t quite the reunion they were all hoping for. Cordelia Lynn is an award-winning playwright whose other work includes Love and Other Acts of Violence (Donmar Warehouse), Three Sisters (Almeida) and One for Sorrow (Royal Court).
Gareth Farr’s new play Biscuits for Breakfast is a tender story of dreams and survival. Joanne and Paul aren’t an obvious match – she is spikey, defensive and a survivor, while he is quiet, considered and hiding profound grief for his father. The pleasure Paul takes in cooking - and the astonishing food he prepares – creates a bond between them. When the hotel where they both work closes and they start to spiral into poverty, it throws everything up in the air – first the dreams of a cookbook and a restaurant, and, eventually, even the dreams of a future together. Gareth Farr is an award-winning writer whose play Britannia Waves the Rules (Royal Exchange Manchester) won the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting in 2011.
A game of cricket and two of the greatest playwrights are at the heart of Stumped – a brilliantly witty new play by Shomit Dutta. Before Samuel Beckett became the playwright universally known for Waiting for Godot, he was a cricketer. He is still the only Nobel prize-winner to feature in the pages of Wisden as a first-class player. His friend and fellow Nobel prize-winner, Harold Pinter, whose best-known works include The Birthday Party and Betrayal, described cricket as ‘the greatest thing that God created on earth’. Exploring what the friendship between these two playwrights may have looked like, Stumped, was first streamed online as a digital only production in 2022. Now, Dutta has extended it into a full-length play and its stage premiere production at Hampstead Theatre coincides with the Ashes test match at Lord’s, a stone’s throw from the theatre.
Hampstead Theatre’s spring programme also includes two other new plays - Linck & Mülhahn by Ruby Thomas is currently playing on the main stage until 4 March and Blackout Songs by Joe White transfers to the main stage from 8 April following its sell-out run Downstairs last autumn. Additionally, in an extraordinary gesture of support for Hampstead Theatre, David Suchet is to return to the stage with his show, Poirot and More, A Retrospective from 11 – 29 March.