NEWS: Full cast announced for world premiere production of Wise Children at the Old Vic & touring

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The Old Vic has announces the cast of Angela Carter’s Wise Children – adapted and directed by Emma Rice – which will have its world premiere at The Old Vic on 17 October 2018, with previews from 8 October, ahead of its UK tour.

The cast includes Sam Archer, Ankur Bahl, Stu Barker, Omari Douglas, Mirabelle Gremaud, Alex Heane, Paul Hunter, Melissa James, Bettrys Jones, Patrycja Kujawska, Etta Murfitt, Katy Owen, Ian Ross, Gareth Snook and Mike Shepherd.

It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday. In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous, Tristan & Yseult, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and Brief Encounter) brings her vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name and its London residency at The Old Vic.

Also in the creative team are designer Vicki Mortimer, musical director and composer Ian Ross, Simon Baker (sound and video), lighting designer Malcolm Rippeth, choreographer Etta Murfitt, Beth Carter and Stuart Mitchell (animation), puppetry designer Lyndie Wright and fight directors Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.

The production is co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal.


Sam Archer (Young Peregrine). Theatre credits include An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre/Oscar Wilde Season); Wonderland (National Theatre, London and Châtelet Theatre, Paris); The Soldier’s Tale (Metropolitan Theatre, Tokyo); La Bohème (Royal Albert Hall); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); The Red Shoes, Lord Of The Flies, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Edward Scissorhands (Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company).

Ankur Bahl (Young Melchior). Theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); This Beach (Broken Talkers, Ireland); Volpone, The Empress, The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, Twelfth Night (RSC); Can We Talk About This (DV8 International Tour); Miranda (Assembly Rooms Edinburgh/Tara Arts); Britain’s Got Bhangra, Where’s My Desi Soulmate (Rifco Arts); To Be Straight With You (National Theatre/DV8); Just Add Water (Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company); Seven Deadly Sins (Welsh National Opera); Shades of Passion (National Dance Company of Wales).

Stu Barker (The Band). Barker has worked extensively as composer/musical director with Kneehigh Theatre over the last 25 years. Credits as a composer and musical director include A Matter Of Life And Death, Tristan And Yseult (National Theatre); Brief Encounter (Broadway/West End); Cymbeline, Don John, The Empress (RSC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Winter’s Tale, Romeo And Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); 946-The Amazing Story Of Adolphous Tips (Kneehigh); Hansel And Gretel (Bristol Old Vic); The Bacchae, The Wooden Frock (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Nights At The Circus, The Red Shoes (Lyric Hammersmith); The Wild Bride, Rapunzel, Midnight Pumpkin (BAC) and Pandora’s Box (Northern Stage).

Omari Douglas (Showgirl Nora). Theatre credits include High Society (The Old Vic); Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch Theatre); Elegies For Angels, Punks And Racing Queens (Criterion Theatre); Rush (King’s Head Theatre); Peter Pan, Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Tristan And Yseult (Kneehigh/Shakespeare’s Globe); The Life (Southwark Playhouse); Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Crucible); When The Waters Recede (Theatre by the Lake) and Hairspray (Leicester Curve/UK Tour).

Alex Heane (The Band). Theatre credits include The Tallest Horse on Earth (Silly Boys Theatre); Jane Eyre (National Theatre); The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales (Shakespeare’s Globe); Cinderella: A Fairytale (Travelling Light /Tobacco Factory Theatres); Hetty Feather (KW&NB) and 100: The Day Our World Changed (Wildworks Theatre).

Paul Hunter (Melchior). Theatre credits include Life of Galileo (Young Vic); The Little Match Girl, The Mystery Plays, Much Ado About Nothing, Troilus and Cressida, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Under the Black Flag (Shakespeare’s Globe); Gaslight (Northampton); Tartuffe (Birmingham Rep); The Fantasticks (West End); Napoleon Disrobed, The Farenheit Twins, Don’t Laugh – It’s My Life, You Haven’t Embraced Me Yet, I’m So Big, On The Verge of Exploding (Told By An Idiot Tour); Nocturnal (The Gate); Rapunzel, The Red Shoes (Kneehigh); Beauty and the Beast (Belgrade Theatre); The Water Engine (Young Vic/Theatre 503); Oliver Twist, Aladdin, Pinocchio (Lyric Hammersmith); Playing the Victim (Traverse/Royal Court); The Play What I Wrote (Wyndham’s Theatre/Liverpool Playhouse) and The Firework Maker’s Daughter (Sheffield Crucible).

Mirabelle Gremaud (Young Nora). Gremaud has worked with Acrojou (circus/theatre), Urban Conceptz Theatre (Dance/theatre) and with performance artist Georgina Starr. Other work under her label ‘Le Mirabellier’, includes a solo dance piece at the Resolution Festival 2018 (The Place) and the Fun Fatale Festival 2018, Prague.

Melissa James (Showgirl Dora). Theatre credits include The Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare’s Globe); Eugenius! (The Other Palace); One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep); Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Crucible); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Royal Bath); The Bodyguard (UK Tour); Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre); Cats (UK Tour).

Bettrys Jones (Young Dora). Theatre credits include War Horse (National Theatre/West End); Wait Until Dark (West End); Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Globe); As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Tin Drum (Kneehigh); Life Of Galileo (Young Vic); The Little Match Girl (Shakespeare’s Globe); We Want You To Watch (National Theatre); Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Of Wales/Berliner Festspiele); Sleeping Beauties (Sherman Theatre Cymru); Edward II (National Theatre); The Mouse And His Child (RSC); Manchester Lines (Manchester Library Theatre); The Adventure (High Tide Festival); The Snow Queen (The Rose Theatre, Kingston); Sixty Six Books (Bush Theatre); The Dar Philosphers (Told By An Idiot – Edinburgh Traverse); And The Horse You Rode In On (Told By An Idiot – Drum Theatre Plymouth/Barbican); The Crucible (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Measure For Measure (Theatre Clwyd; Cariad (Theatre Clwyd); Box (Birmingham Rep); To Kill A Mockingbird (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Birmingham Rep/UK Tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC/West End); Comedy Of Errors (RSC/West End); Quinto Quarto (Union Theatre); The Little Years (The Orange Tree Theatre) and Party Time/One For The Road (Battersea Arts Centre).

Patrycja Kujawska (Lady Atalanta/Wheelchair).Theatre credits include Drop Dead Gorgeous, Let The Mountains Lead You To Love, Punch Drunk, Broken Chords, Fairy Tale, Test Run, If We Go On, Motherland, Underworld (Vincent Dance Theatre); Don John (Kneehigh/Royal Shakespeare Company); Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Red Shows, The Wild Bride, Tristan and Yseult, Dead Dog In A Suitcase, 946, The Tin Drum (Kneehigh) and The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic).

Etta Murfitt (Nora). Etta is associate artistic director for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Stage credits as associate director and performer for Adventures in Motion Pictures and New Adventures include Cinderella (Sadler’s Wells 2010 & Original London and LA productions); Swan Lake (Sadler’s Wells, West End, LA & Broadway); Dorian Gray, Sleeping Beauty, Edward Scissorhands, Nutcracker!, The Car Man, The Infernal Galon, The Percy’s of Fitzrovia, Deadly Serious and Town & Country.

Katy Owen (Grandma Chance). Theatre credits include UBU Karaoke! (Kneehigh); The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales (Bristol Old Vic Theatre/Shakespeare’s Globe/Tour); Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe); 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps (Kneehigh/Shakespeare’s Globe/UK Tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Rebecca (David Pugh/Kneehigh); The World of Work (Difficult Stage at Chapter Arts Centre); Apparitions of Spirits with the Forsythe Sisters (Gaggle Babble); Maudie’s Rooms (Sherman Cymru); Ill Met by Moonlight (Hijinx Theatre); The Little Matchgirl (Theatr Iolo); Plum – And Me, Will (Sherman Cymru); The Tempest (Theatr Iolo); Cinders (Sherman Cymru); The Moon Dragon & The Wounded Angel (Theatr Gwent); The Exquisite Corpse (Fiction Theatre Co); The Night Before Christmas (Chapter Arts Centre) and Face The Wall (Charged).

Ian Ross (Band Leader). Theatre credits include The Red Shoes, Don John, The Wild Bride, Tristan and Yseult, Dead Dog in a suitcase, The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh) and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Gareth Snook (Dora). Recent theatre credits include Romantics Anonymous, Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre); A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre) and Casa Valentia (Southwark Playhouse). Other West End theatre credits include Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre and 25th Anniversary production at Royal Albert Hall); Assassins, Company (Donmar Warehouse/Albery Theatre); Aspects of Love (Prince of Wales); My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi Theatre), The Rink (Cambridge Theatre); Les Misérables (Palace Theatre); The Hired Man (Astoria); Guys and Dolls (Prince of Wales); Cats (New London); Girlfriends (Playhouse); Closer Than Ever (Jermyn Street, Criterion & Vaudeville); Show Boat (Royal Albert Hall) and Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre).

Mike Shepherd (Peregrine). Mike is artistic director of Kneehigh theatre company which he founded in 1980. He is a pioneer of Kneehigh’s transportable venue, the Asylum, and actively involved in the Kneehigh Rambles. Theatre credits as an actor include Tristan and Yseult, Steptoe and Son, Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Red Shoes, The Bacchae, Cymbeline, The Wooden Frock, A Matter of Life and Death and Don John (Kneehigh).

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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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