Geoffrey Streatfeild and Irish actor Emmet Byrne star in the first revival of Simon Gray’s Cell Mates, which hasn’t been performed since Stephen Fry famously walked out of the 1995 premiere production, in which he co-starred with Rik Mayall, after three days due to stage fright.
Cell Mates will run at London’s Hampstead Theatre from 30 November 2017 to 20 January 2018, with a press night on 7 December, directed by artistic director Edward Hall.
‘Spies betray people. That’s what we do. It becomes a – a habit. Difficult to break – even when it’s not – not strictly necessary’
Simon Gray‘s absorbing drama, based on true events, explores how personal freedom is an illusion and even friendship must have carefully circumscribed limits in a world where deception is a reflex response.
Geoffrey Streatfeild, seen at Hampstead earlier this year in Wild Honey, returns to play George Blake and will star opposite Emmet Byrne, who makes his London stage debut as Sean Bourke. They will be joined by Philip Bird, Cara Horgan and Danny Lee Wynter.
Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London, 1961. One of Britain’s most notorious double agents, George Blake, is serving a 42-year sentence – that is, until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Irish petty criminal, Sean Bourke. Both men are eccentric outsiders, and each sees the possibility of escape – and not just from prison – through the other. But once on the outside, can their mutual dependence survive the mounting pressures they face from MI5, from the KGB – and indeed from themselves?
The Hampstead revival of Cell Mates is designed by Michael Pavelka, with lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by John Leonard and music by Simon Slater.
Philip Bird plays Sparrow/Stan. His recent theatre credits include Labyrinth (Hampstead Theatre), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter/Hampstead Theatre), The Potsdam Quartet (Jermyn Street Theatre), Wild Oats (Bristol Old Vic) and The Cherry Orchard (Royal Lyceum). For The Globe he has appeared in The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale and Troilus and Cressida. His film and television credits include Midsomer Murders, Emerald City, My Shakespeare, Silent Witness, Blesses, Imagine Me and You, In The Dark and Virtual Sexuality.
Emmet Byrne plays Sean Bourke. His recent theatre credits include Angela’s Ashes (Irish Tour), Breaking Dad, Big Maggie (Gaity Theatre), Enjoy! (Rough Magic), and By The Bog of Cats (Abbey Theatre). His film and television credits include Striking Out I/II, Twice Shy, Red Rock, Adam, Burning Wishes, 1916 Seachtain Na Casca and Gravediggers.
Cara Horgan plays Miranda/Zinaida. Her recent theatre credits include The Mother (Bath Ustinov), Secret Theatre (Lyric Hammersmith), School for Scandal (Barbican), Far Away (Bristol Old Vic) and Pains of Youth (National Theatre). Her television credits include Midsomer Murders, Common People, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Waking The Dead and Peep Show. Her film credits include Death of Stalin, Boat, Disobedience and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
Danny Lee Wynter plays Philip/Viktor. His recent theatre credits include Forty Years On (Chichester Festival Theatre), Comus, Bedlam, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, King Lear, The Frontline (The Globe), Deathwatch (The Print Room), The Glass Menagerie (Nuffield Southampton), Much Ado About Nothing (The Old Vic), St John’s Night (Jermyn Street Theatre),The Miser (Royal Exchange), Karamzoo, Fairytale Heart (Trafalgar Studios), and The Changing Room (Royal Court). His film and television credits include Walliams and Friend, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Partners In Crime, Holby City, Mr Stink, Episodes, Beat Girl, Luther, Joe’s Palace, Capturing Mary, Trial & Retribution XI and Hot Fuzz. He is a founder of the campaigning group The Act For Change Project.
Geoffrey Streatfeild plays George Blake. His theatre credits include Wild Honey (Hampstead Theatre), Young Chekhov: Ivanov and The Seagull, The Beaux Stratagem, Children of the Sun, Earthquakes in London, The Pains of Youth, The History Boys, Bacchae (National Theatre), My Night with Reg (Donmar Warehouse/West End), Macbeth, Copenhagen (Crucible Theatre), Henry V, Henry IV: Part 1, Henry IV: Part 2, Henry VI Part 1, 2 and 3, Richard III (RSC). Merchant of Venice, Nathan the Wise (Chichester Festival Theatre), Journey’s End (Comedy Theatre). Television credits include The Miniaturist, Prime Suspect 1973, The Hollow Crown, New Worlds, Endeavour, The Thick of It, Spooks, Above Suspicion, Ashes to Ashes, Hunter, Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl, Love in a Cold Climate. Film credits include Kursk, Making Noise Quietly, The Lady in the Van, Girls Night Out, Spooks: The Greater Good, Rush, Private Peaceful, City Slacker, Kinky Boots, Angel, Match Point.