Final casting details have been announced for the premiere of Lucinda Coxon’s Alys, Always, directed by Nicholas Hytner and based on the novel by Harriet Lane. The production begins previews at the Bridge Theatre on 25 February 2019 with opening night on 5 March, running to 30 March 2019.
Joining the previously announced Joanne Froggatt (Frances) and Robert Glenister (Lawrence) are Danny Ashok (Sid), Joanna David (Charlotte), Leah Gayer (Polly), Simon Manyonda (Oliver), Sylvestra Le Touzel (Mary/Audrey), Jeff Rawle (Robin/Mr Thorpe), Vineeta Rishi (Julia Price), Sue Wallace (Mrs Thorpe) and Sam Woolf (Teddy).
Set designs are by Bob Crowley with costume designs by Christina Cunningham, lighting by Jon Clark, music by Grant Olding, sound by Gareth Fry and video designs by Luke Halls.
Frances works on the book pages of a Sunday newspaper. She’s quiet and capable, but nobody takes much notice: her face is pressed to the window, on the outside, looking in. One evening, driving back to London after visiting her infuriating parents, she comes across an upturned car crumpled on the side of the road. She waits with the injured driver, Alys Kyte, until the ambulance arrives. Later, when Alys’s famous family gets in touch, Frances finds herself for the first time ushered into the world on the other side of the window. And she begins to wonder: what would it take to become a player?
Alys, Always was Harriet Lane’s debut novel, published in 2012, and was followed in 2014 with Her. Previously Lane wrote for the Guardian and the Observer as well as Vogue and Tatler.
On television, Joanne Froggatt played Anna Smith in all six seasons of Downton Abbey for which she was the recipient of a Golden Globe award as well as three Emmy nominations. She is currently filming the feature film of the same period drama. Her previous theatre credits include The Knowledge and Little Platoons at the Bush Theatre, All About My Mother at the Old Vic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Manchester Royal Exchange, Playhouse Creatures at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Be My Baby for Soho Theatre.
Robert Glenister was last seen in Moonlight and Night School as part of Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season. His many other theatre credits include Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre, Great Britain and Blue Remembered Hills for the National Theatre, Noises Off at the Old Vic and Novello, The Late Middle Classes for the Donmar Warehouse, Hedda Gabler for the Theatre Royal, Bath, The Winterling for the Royal Court and Measure for Measure, The Spanish Tragedy and Little Eyolf for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Danny Ashok’s theatre credits include Guards at the Taj, Zaida and Aadam and Disgraced at the Bush Theatre, The Djinns of Eidgah at the Royal Court, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 for The Peter Hall Company and Blood & Gifts for the National Theatre.
Joanna David was last on stage in Absolute Hell at the National Theatre where she previously appeared in Stages. Her other theatre credits include Hobson’s Choice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The Family Reunion at Vaudeville Theatre, Ring Round the Moon at the Playhouse Theatre, A Voyage Round My Father at the Donmar Warehouse, Breaking the Code and The Cherry Orchard at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Family Reunion, Uncle Vanya and The Importance of Being Earnest for the Manchester Royal Exchange.
Leah Gayer, who trained at RADA, is making her professional stage debut.
Simon Manyonda was last seen in the Barber Shop Chronicles at the National Theatre, where his previous credits also include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, King Lear, Greenland and Welcome to Thebes. His other theatre credits include King Lear at the Old Vic, Giving and Wildefire at Hampstead Theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming and Julius Caesar for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sylvestra Le Touzel was recently seen in Hogarth’s Progress: The Art of Success and The Taste of the Town at the Rose Theatre. Her other theatre credits include The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie, Les Parents Terribles and Ivanov for the Donmar Warehouse, Giving, Imagine Drowning, Fall and The War at Home for Hampstead Theatre, Wild East, My Heart’s a Suitcase, Ourselves Alone, Unity and Glasshouses for the Royal Court as well as multiple productions for the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.
Jeff Rawle was last seen at the Bridge in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Allelujah! His other theatre credits include Saint George and the Dragon, Cocktail Sticks, Fram, The Power of Yes and Noises Off at the National Theatre, High Society at the Old Vic, Handbagged at the Tricycle and Vaudeville Theatre, Bottle Universe at the Bush Theatre and Way to Heaven, The Arbor, The Irish Soldier and Bent at the Royal Court.
Vineeta Rishi’s theatre credits include Who Cares for the Royal Court, Hobson’s Choice for the Young Vic, Beasts and Beauties for the Bristol Old Vic and What We Did to Weinstein for the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Sue Wallace was last seen at the Bridge in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Allelujah! Her previous theatre credits include Husbands and Sons, Emil and the Detectives and Hymn/Cocktail Sticks for the National Theatre, A Cream Cracker Under the Settee for Bolton Octagon, Billy Liar and Everybody Loves a Winner at Royal Exchange Manchester, Hay Fever for Chichester Festival Theatre and The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Sam Woolf can currently be seen in Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre. His other theatre credits include The Winter’s Tale for the Barbican and King Lear for the Rose Theatre.