NEWS: Casting for Old Vic’s series of monologues celebrating the NHS includes Art Malik, Meera Syal & Jade Anouka

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The Old Vic has announced casting for The Greatest Wealth, curated by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by Adrian Lester to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.

One Voice, commissioned by the Old Vic and funded by the TS Eliot Estate, represents a set of world premiere monologues which will salute and discuss the past, present and future of the NHS

Jade Anouka, Louise English, Dervla Kirwan, Ruth Madeley, Art Malik, Meera Syal, Sophie Stone and David Threlfall will perform monologues written by Moira Buffini, Lolita Chakrabarti, Seiriol Davies, Matilda Ibini, Courttia Newland, Meera Syal, Jack Thorne and Paul Unwin in response to each decade since Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital, Manchester, on 5 July 1948. Each evening will also include music performed by Gloria Obianyo.

The full line up is as follows:

  • 1940s: Boo, by Jack Thorne, performed by Sophie Stone
  • 1950s: At The Point of Need, by Paul Unwin, performed by David Threlfall
  • 1960s: Rivers, written and performed by Meera Syal
  • 1970s: Sister Susan by Moira Buffini, performed by Dervla Kirwan
  • 1980s: Speedy Gonzales by Lolita Chakrabarti, performed by Art Malik
  • 1990s: Family Room, by Courttia Newland, performed by Jade Anouka
  • 2000s: Choice & Control, by Matilda Ibini, performed by Ruth Madeley
  • 2010s: The Nuchess, by Seiriol Davies, performed by Louise English

Lolita Chakrabarti said:

“I am thrilled to be curating this One Voice for The Old Vic and delighted that so many talented and accomplished actors will be a part of it. To see how inventive but truthful each writer has been and then to realise their work with this calibre of actor is fantastic. This is going to be a very special event.”

The performances will be divided up as follows:

  • The NHS from the 1940s-1970s – Monday 25 June
  • The NHS from the 1980s-present– Tuesday 26 June
  • The NHS from the 1940s-present (double bill)– Friday 29 June

In celebration of 70 years of the NHS, The Old Vic is offering 70 tickets per performance priced at £5 for NHS workers to The Greatest Wealth (£10 for the Friday double bill).


Jade Anouka will perform in Family Room by Courttia Newland. Her theatre credits include The Phlebotomist (Hampstead Downstairs); Cover My Tracks (The Old Vic); Shakespeare Trilogy (Donmar Warehouse/St Ann’s Warehouse, New York); The Vote (Donmar Warehouse); SLUG, (nabokov); Doctor Faustus (West End); So Here We Are (Royal Exchange); Chef (Soho Theatre/Edinburgh Festival); Omeros (Sam Wanamaker); Clean (Traverse/59E59, New York); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe/UAE tour), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre), Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Globe/European tour); Romeo and Juliet (Bolton Octagon); Wild Horses (Theatre503); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe/US tour); Blood Wedding (Southwark Playhouse); Twelfth Night (York Theatre Royal); The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The Penelopiad (Royal Shakespeare Company); UnStoned and Outright Terror Bold & Brilliant (Soho).

Louise English will perform The Nuchess, by Seiriol Davies. Her theatre credits include All the Fun of the Fair (Garrick Theatre/UK Tour); Annie (UK Tour); Hello, Dolly! (National Tour); An Ideal Husband (UK Tour); Gaslight (Devonshire Park Theatre); Tommy Boy (Malvern Festival Theatre); Private Lives (Haymarket Theatre); Absent Friends (Theatre Royal Windsor); Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre); Tom Foolery (UK Tour) and My Dearest Ivor (UK Tour).

Dervla Kirwan will perform Sister Susan by Moira Buffini. Her theatre credits include King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre), Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Hampstead Theatre); Frankie and Johnny (Minerva Theatre); The Weir and Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse); Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre); Aristocrats (National Theatre); Hush (Royal Court Theatre).

Ruth Madeley will perform Choice & Control by Matilda Ibini. Madeley’s television credits include The Rook, Pure, Katy, Cold Feet, 5 x 5, Outnumbered, The Level, Don’t Take My Baby (for which she was nominated for a BAFTA), Fresh Meat, Scrims and Half Moon Investigations.

Art Malik will perform Speedy Gonzales by Lolita Chakrabarti. His theatre credits include A Man For All Seasons and Equus (Liverpool Playhouse); Aliens (Soho Theatre); Art (Wyndham’s Theatre); Cymbeline (Royal Exchange); Destiny and Timon of Athens (Bristol Old Vic); Great Expectations (Royal Exchange, Manchester); Heroes (UK Tour); Indian Ink (Aldwych Theatre); Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company); Romeo and Juliet, The 88 Prospect and The Government Inspector (The Old Vic); The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre / Broadway) and Trial Run (Young Vic/Oxford Playhouse).

Meera Syal has written and will perform in Rivers. As a writer her screenplays include Bhaji On The Beach; Anita And Me and My Sister Wife. Her first novel Anita And Me won the Betty Trask Award and is on the national school’s curriculum.

Sophie Stone will perform Boo by Jack Thorne. Sophie trained at RADA and is co-founder of Deaf & Hearing Ensemble Theatre Company. Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Multiplex, Fen and You Make Me Happy When Skies are Grey (Watermill Theatre); Jubilee (Lyric Hammersmith/Royal Exchange, Manchester); The Government Inspector (Birmingham Rep/UK Tour); Herons (Lyric Hammersmith); Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre); Mine (Shared Experience); Frozen (Birmingham Rep); Two (Southwark Playhouse); The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project (Northern Stage); In Water I’m Weightless (National Theatre of Wales); Pandora (Arcola) and Woman Of Flowers (Forest Forge/UK Tour).

David Threlfall will perform At The Point of Need by Paul Unwin. His recent theatre credits are Don Quixote (Royal Shakespeare Company); Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Ambassadors Theatre); Skellig (Young Vic); The Entertainer (Derby Playhouse); Tartuffe, Richard II (National Theatre); Blue/Orange (Duchess Theatre); Peer Gynt (Manchester Royal Exchange); Odysseus Thump (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Hedda Gabler (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Gloria Obianyo’s theatre credits include Fanny and Alexander (The Old Vic), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Donmar Warehouse), The Wild Party (St James’s Theatre), The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and The Happy Warrior (Bromley Churchill Theatre).

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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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