The full cast has been announced for the Theatr Clwyd and Menier Chocolate Factory’s co-production of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending. Theatr Clwyd’s artistic director Tamara Harvey directs Catrin Aaron (Beulah Binnings), Michael Geary (Pee Wee Binnings), Valentine Hanson (Uncle Pleasant), Jenny Livsey (Eva Temple/Woman), Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma), Mark Meadows (Jabe Torrance), Ifan Meredith (David Cutrere/Dog Hamma), Hattie Morahan (Lady Torrance), Seth Numrich(Val Xavier), Ian Porter (Sheriff Talbott), Jemima Rooper (Carol Cutrere), Carol Royle (Vee Talbott) and Carrie Quinlan (Sister/Nurse Porter).
The production runs at Theatr Clwyd from 15-27 April 2019 and at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 9 May-6 July (press night is 15 May). Harvey is joined in the creative team by designer Jonathan Fensom, lighting Designer Tim Mascall, sound designer Gregory Clarkeand composer Simon Slater.
Lady is trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by intolerant people, living a boring small-town life. But when a wild-eyed charismatic drifter appears a new life of love and passion suddenly seem possible. Everything will change as certainty, conformity and tradition are ripped apart.
Orpheus Descending began its life as Battle of Angels in 1940, and was first performed on Broadway in 1957. In 1959, Sidney Lumet directed the film adaptation, The Fugitive Kind, starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani.
Catrin Aaron plays Beulah Binnings. She is an associate for Theatr Clwyd, where her work includes The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, All My Sons, The Light of Heart, Aristocrats; Salt, Root and Roe; Humbug, God of Carnage, A Doll’s House, Roots, Taking Steps, Gaslight, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Small Family Business, Festen, Mary Stuart, Twilight Tales, Macbeth, A Toy Epic, Tales from Europe, The Timeless Myths of the Mabinogi, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Voyage, The Way It Was, Flights of Fancy, Hobson’s Choice, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Silas Marner.
Michael Geary plays Pee Wee Binnings. His theatre work includes The Band (UK tour), My People, The Light of Heart, Taking Steps, Rape of the Fair Country, Humbug, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Tall Tales, Thinking Out Loud, Festen, The Suicide, Tales from Small Nations, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, The Ballad of Megan Morgan, Romeo and Juliet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Theatr Clwyd), A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company), Fantastic Mr Fox (Regent’s Park Theatre), and The Boy Who Fell Into a Book (Soho Theatre).
Valentine Hanson plays Uncle Pleasant. His theatre work includes Cuming and Going (Bush Theatre), Stop Search (Catford Broadway Studio), Footprints in the Sand/Letting Go/For One Night Only (Pursued by a Bear), Word Peace: A Celebration (Globe Theatre), Festen, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Lyric Theatre), The Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre), It’s Not as Simple as Black and White(New Vic Theatre), and Come With Me (Nottingham Playhouse/Sheffield Crucible).
Jenny Livsey plays Eva Temple/Woman. Her theatre credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Sheffield Theatres, Torch Theatre), Orange (Richard Burton Theatre), Princess and the Pea (Sherman Cymru and Theatr Lolo), Adventures in the Skintrade (Theatr Lolo and Australian tour), Penblwydd Poenus Pete and Here Be Monsters (Theatr Lolo), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Seasons Greetings, God of Carnage, Dancing at Lughnasa, Drowned Out, Macbeth, Night Must Fall, Troilus and Cressida, Hobson’s Choice, The Crucible, King Lear, Rape of the Fair Country and Song of the Earth (Theatr Clwyd), Wuthering Heights(Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Dangerous Liaisons (Mappa Mundi and Theatr Mwldan) and House of Bernarda Alba (Theatr Genedlaethol).
Laura Jane Matthewson plays Dolly Hamma. Her theatre work includes Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing (Live Theatre), The World Goes ‘Round (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Beyond the Fence (Arts Theatre), Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse – winner of 2014 Evening Standard Award for Best Emerging Talent), Daisy Pulls It Off (Hever Festival) and After the Tone (Bridewell Theatre).
Mark Meadows plays Jabe Torrance. His theatre credits include Quiz (Noel Coward Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), Flowers for Mrs Harris, Hight Society (Sheffield Theatres), Tartuffe (Tobacco Factory), The Magna Carta Plays, A Man of No Importance, The Spire, The Herbal Bed, Epsom Downs (Salisbury Playhouse), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe), Urinetown (St James Theatre), The Thrill of Love (New Vic, Stoke), Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre), Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), 5/11, King Lear, Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Minerva Theatre, Chichester) and Mary Poppins(Prince Edward Theatre).
Ifan Meredith plays David Cutrere / Dog Hamma. His theatre work includes Always Joe, Fall of the Kingdom Rise of the Footsoldier (RSC), Time and the Conways (Nottingham Playhouse), Union, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Edinburgh Lyceum), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre), Small Change (Sherman Theatre), and The English Game (Headlong).
Hattie Morahan plays Lady Torrance. Her theatre work includes Grief is the Thing With Feathers (Complicité), Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court Theatre), A Doll’s House (Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actress, Olivier Award nomination – Young Vic, Duke of York’s Theatre and Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Changeling (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Dark Earth and Light Sky (Almeida Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Theatres), The Real Thing (The Old Vic), Time and the Conways,Some Trace of Her, The Seagull (National Theatre), and The Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse).
Seth Numrich plays Val Xavier. His credits on Broadway include the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Travesties, The Merchant of Venice, Golden Boy and War Horse. Other theatre credits include Sweet Bird of Youth (The Old Vic), The History Boys(Ahmanson Theatre) and The Glass Menagerie (Edinburgh International Festival).
Ian Porter plays Sheriff Talbott. His theatre credits include On Golden Pond (Salisbury Playhouse), Driving Miss Daisy (UK tour), August: Osage County (National Theatre), Of Mice and Men (The Watermill Theatre), Sideman (Apollo Theatre), Burning Blue (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Exonerated (Charing Cross Theatre), The Archbishop’s Ceiling, You Can’t Take It With You (Southwark Playhouse), All My Sons (Bristol Old Vic), The Glass Menagerie (Derby Playhouse), Voices From September 11 (The Old Vic).
Jemima Rooper plays Carol Cutrere. Her theatre work includes Little Shop of Horrors (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic), Hand to God (Vaudeville Theatre),Breeders (St James Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre, UK tour, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Broadway), Me and My Girl (Sheffield Theatres), All My Sons (Apollo Theatre), and The Power of Yes and Her Naked Skin (National Theatre).
Carol Royle plays Vee Talbott. Her theatre work includes Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Dead Sheep, The Small Hours (UK tours), Hamlet (Theatr Clwyd) and Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse).
Carrie Quinlan plays Sister/Nurse Porter. Her theatre work includes Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre), Smash! (Menier Chocolate Factory), Diary of a Nobody (Drill Hall), The Nature of Things (The Place), and Immaterial (Edinburgh Festival).