The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Naked Productions and BBC Radio 3, have announced the cast for Sound Stage’s first production: Angela, a brand new autobiographical play by Mark Ravenhill which airs from 26-28 March 2021.
Angela centres on the playwright’s mother, at the age of 84 and suffering with dementia, as she looks back across her life. Intercutting between Angela in her old age, her memories and mind failing her, and in her youth; growing up, moving away from her roots as the world of drama welcomed her. The Play depicts her struggle with depression and the challenges of her own aspirations, and becoming a mother, poignantly set against Mark’s experience of beginning to learn ballet, his lifelong passion, in his fifties.
The production stars Pam Ferris (Matilda, The Darling Buds of May, Rosemary and Thyme, Call The Midwife, Little Dorrit) and Matti Houghton (Call the Midwife, Manhunt, Law & Order, Luther) as Angela; BAFTA winner Toby Jones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Hunger Games trilogy, Marvellous, Detectorists) as Ted; and Jackson Laing (The Boy in the Dress, Matilda; The Royal Shakespeare Company) and Joseph Millson (Angel Has Fallen, Dragonheart Vengeance, The Last Kingdom, Grantchester, Betrayal, Bath Theatre Royal; Mary Poppins, Cameron Mackintosh/Disney) as Mark.
The cast is completed by Nadia Albina (Emilia, Shakespeare’s Globe; The Madness of King George III, Nottingham Playhouse; Macbeth, National Theatre, Schreber, Radio 3/Naked Productions), Dermot Daly (Accidental Therapists, Naked Productions and BBC; Faith, Hope and Glory: Faith and Trevor, The Beatboxer, BBC Radio 4; ), Raj Ghatak (Christopher Robin, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie, Sheffield Crucible; The Kite Runner, UK Productions; Life of Pi, Sheffield Crucible and Simon Friend Productions, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, Radio 4/Naked Productions), Olivier Huband (Barefoot in the Park, The Lyceum and Pitlochry Festival Theatre; MI:6, A Discovery of Witches, I Hate Suzie, Adventures with the Painted People, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Radio 3/Naked Productions), Alexandra Mathie (Cockpit, The Lyceum; Macbeth, Manchester Royal Exchange; Amadeus, National Theatre; All I Want is One Night, Hope Street Mill, Wild Duck, Radio 3/BBC Radio Drama), and Kirsty Stuart (The Duchess [Of Malfi], The Lyceum; Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre; Gut, National Theatre of Scotland and Traverse; Oresteia: This Restless House, Citizens Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland, Adventures with the Painted People, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Radio 3/Naked Productions), and will be directed by Naked Productions’ Polly Thomas (Relativity, BBC Radio 4; Lorenzaccio, BBC Radio 3; Amy Dorrit, Graeae and BBC Radio 4; One Story, Manchester International Festival).
Playwright Mark Ravenhill said:
“With the death of my mum in 2019, I was drawn for the first time to write an autobiographical play. I was particularly interested to explore the way culture high and low had impacted on Mum’s life and our lives as a family. The play is constructed around a series of encounters with children’s literature, classical ballet, amateur theatre, and popular song – encounters that shaped my mum’s sense of self and her relationship with me.
“Both my parents are from working class backgrounds which gives a specific turn to their relationship to culture and to me. As I thought about a form that could move swiftly in time and location and between inner thought and outer action, I realised that this was best written as a radio play. I feel it’s the most ‘radio’ of the radio plays that I’ve written…”
Sound Stage is a new audio digital theatre which will premiere eight new audio plays in its first season. The Sound Stage plays are:
- Angela by Mark Ravenhill – 26 March to 28 March 2021
- Tennis Elbow by John Byrne – 30 April to 2 May 2021
- Hindu Times by Jamini Jethwa – 28 May to 30 May 2021
- The Mother Land by Lynda Radley – 25 June to 27 June 2021
- Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil by Gary McNair – 23 July to 25 July 2021
- Sophia by Francis Poet – 27 August to 29 August 2021
- TBC by Timberlake Wertenbaker – 24 September to 26 September 2021
- TBC by Roy Williams – 29 October to 31 October 2021
Every Sound Stage performance will be accompanied by a post-show event, hosted on Sound Stage, inviting audiences to engage further with these exciting new plays.