NEWS: Keith Allen & Bryan Dick share title role in Hogarth’s Progress double bill, Full casting

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Keith Allen and Bryan Dick will star as William Hogarth, older and younger, in the double bill of Nick Dear’s Hogarth’s Progress at Rose Theatre, Kingston. Full casting is now announced.

Anthony Banks directs Bryan Dick as the younger William Hogarth in the first major UK revival of NEar Dear’s acclaimed comedy The Art of Success, which follows Hogarth through a bawdy night in 1730 and Keith Allen as the older William Hogarth in the world premiere of The Taste of the Town, which rejoins the now hugely successful artist 30 years later towards the end of his career.

As part of the Rose Theatre, Kingston’s tenth anniversary season, the productions run in rep at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, from 13 September to 21 October 2018, with a press day on 29 September. Each can be seen as a standalone performance or together over different days or as one all-day theatrical experience.

Also in the stellar, cross-cast company are: Ruby Bentall (Jane Hogarth and Nancy/Mrs Ryott), Emma Cunniffe (Louisa and Mrs Colquhoun/Mrs Bascombe), Ben Deery (Frank and Zachariah Blunt), Jack Derges (Henry Fielding and Parson Venables), Ian Hallard (Oliver and Horace Walpole), Susannah Harker (Queen Caroline and Jane Hogarth), Jasmine Jones (Sarah Sprackling and Bridget), Sylvestra Le Touzel (Mrs Needham and Lady Thornhill) and Mark Umbers (Robert Walpole and David Garrick).

Hogarth’s Progress is a riotous double-bill of comedies by BAFTA Award winner Nick Dear, following one of Britain’s most celebrated artists on two monumental pub crawls. The plays explore the extraordinary lives of William and Jane Hogarth at a time when culture escaped from the grasp of the powerful into the hands of the many.

The Olivier Award-nominated comedy The Art of Success, in its first major revival, compresses the newlywed William¹s rise to fame into a dizzying and hilarious night out through 18th century London¹s high society and debauched underworld.

A world premiere, The Taste of the Town catches up with the Hogarths in Chiswick some 30 years later. Now hugely successful, William and Jane are still at odds with the world and with each other. Facing public ridicule for what he considers his finest painting, William sets out to confront his fiercest critic, but there¹s always time for one more pint on the way.

Running alongside Hogarth’s Progress will be an exhibition of work from Kingston School of Art’s Illustration Animation course critiquing contemporary Britain, as well as a series of post-show conversations, in collaboration with Kingston University, which will explore Hogarth’s world and his influence today. Full details of the programme will be announced shortly.



Nick Dear is a playwright and screenwriter, best known for his adaptation of Frankenstein (National Theatre and broadcast globally via NT Live) and his BAFTA Award-winning adaptation of Persuasion (BBC). His writing for theatre includes Dedication (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Food of Love (Almeida Theatre), Power,The Villains¹ Opera (National Theatre), Zenobia, Pure Science, Temptation (RSC) and In the Ruins (Bristol Old Vic). His adaptations include The Promise (Tricycle Theatre), Summerfolk, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (National Theatre), The Last Days of Don Juan (RSC) and A Family Affair (Cheek by Jowl). His other screenplays include The Turn of the Screw, Cinderella, The Gambler, Byron, Eroica and Agatha Christie¹s Poirot. He has also written extensively for BBC Radio.

Keith Allen returns to Rose Theatre Kingston to play William Hogarth in The Taste of the Town. He previously starred in the company¹s revival of Smack Family Robinson. Later this year he will be appearing in Landscape and A Kind of Alaska as part of the Pinter at the Pinter season. Other theatre credits include Gaslight (UK tour), The Homecoming (National Theatre/Trafalgar Studios), Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith), Treasure Island (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Celebration & The Room (Almeida Theatre), Murmuring Judges (National Theatre), and Illuminatus and Macbeth (Citizen¹s Theatre, Glasgow). His television credits include Marcella, My Mad Fat Teenage Diary, The Body Farm, Treasure Island, The Runaway, Robin Hood, Bodies, Roger Roger, Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years, Martin Chuzzlewit, Faith and Making Out; and for film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Eddie the Eagle, A Film with Me in It, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, De-Lovely, 24 Hour Party People, The Others, Twin Town, Trainspotting, Blue Juice, Shallow Grave, Beyond Bedlam, Second Best, Young Americans, Carry On Columbus, Scandal, Comrades and The Supergrass.

Ruby Bentall plays Jane Hogarth in The Art of Success and Nancy/Mrs Ryott in The Taste of the Town. Her theatre credits include Ramona Tells Jim (Bush Theatre), Peter and Alice (Noël Coward Theatre), Hansel and Gretel, Grief, The Miracle (National Theatre), Blue Heart Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre), Remembrance Day (Royal Court Theatre), and Alice (Sheffield Theatres). Her television credits include Verity in Poldark and roles in Absentia, Jekyll and Hyde, Larkrise to Candleford, Lost in Austen and You Can Chose Your Friends; and for film, Interlude in Prague, Bikini Blue, Mr Turner, Robin Hood and Tormented. 

Emma Cunniffe returns to Rose Theatre Kingston toplay Louisa in The Art of Success andMrs Colquhoun/Mrs Bascombe in The Taste of the Town. Her credits for the company include Dumb Show. Her other theatre credits include the title role in Queen Anne (Swan Theatre/Theatre Royal Haymarket), Proof (Menier Chocolate Factory), Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola Theatre), Amongst Friends, The Glass Room (Hampstead Theatre), The Entertainer (The Old Vic), Losing Louis (Hampstead Theatre/Trafalgar Studios), A Buyer¹s Market, Caravan (Bush Theatre), Tales From Hollywood (Donmar Warehouse), and The Master Builder (UK tour ­ winner of UK Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actress). Her television credits include Unforgotten, Inspector Lewis, Southcliffe, Place of Execution, The Lakes and Life After Birth; and for film, Rabbit on the Moon, Dreaming of Joseph Lees and Among Giants.

Ben Deery plays Frank in The Art of Success and Zachariah Blunt in The Taste of the Town. His theatre credits include Death of a Salesman (Royal & Derngate Northampton/UK tour), Insignificance (Theatre Clwyd), Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), A Mad World My Masters, Titus Andronicus, King Lear (RSC), The Woman In Black (Fortune Theatre), Anne Boleyn, All¹s Well That End¹s Well, Henry VIII (Shakespeare¹s Globe), and La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre). His television credits include And Then There Were None; and for film, A Street Cat Named Bob.

Jack Derges plays Henry Fielding in The Art of Success and Parson Venables in The Taste of the Town. His theatre credits include Queers (The Old Vic), The Boys in the Band (Vaudeville Theatre), The Sweethearts (Finborough Theatre), and Territory (Pleasance, London). His television credits as series regular include Andy Flynn in EastEnders, ŒSynth¹ Simon in Humans and Bill Pearson in WPC56, as well as roles in Crims, The Royals, Cucumber and Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness; and for film, Freak of Nurture, and AUX.

Bryan Dick plays William Hogarth in The Art of Success and Samuel in The Taste of the Town. His theatre credits include The Two Noble Kinsmen (Shakespeare Globe), Great Apes (Arcola Theatre), Fatherland (Royal Exchange Theatre), Years of Sunlight (Theatre503), Hobson¹s Choice (Theatre Royal Bath), Seminar (Hampstead Theatre), School Play (Soho Theatre), Sliding with Suzanne, Plasticine, Bone (Royal Court Theatre), Lear (Sheffield Theatres), The Life of Galileo, The Alchemist (National Theatre), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), and Kursk and Public Enemy (Young Vic). His television credits The Split, Capital, Wolf Hall, Silent Witness, TheIce Cream Girls, All The Small Things, Survival Code, Lewis, Being Human, Ashes to Ashes, Excluded, Eric and Ernie and Haven; and for film, Colour Me Kubrick, Dream, Master and Commander, Brothers of the Head, Blood and Chocolate, Day of the Flowers, I, Anna and The Numbers Station.

Ian Hallard plays Oliver in The Art of Success and Horace Walpole in The Taste of the Town. His theatre credits include The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre/Vaudeville Theatre), Outings (Lyric Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clywd), Lovesong of the Electric Bear (Arts Theatre/Hope Theatre), The Vote (Donmar Warehouse), Great Britain (National Theatre/ Theatre Royal Haymarket), and Scenes from an Execution (National Theatre). His television credits include The Crown, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Poirot, An Adventure in Space and Time, Crooked House, Where the Heart Is; and for film, The Dark Room. 

Susannah Harker plays Queen Caroline in The Art of Success and Jane Hogarth in The Taste of the Town. Her theatre credits include Abigail’s Party (Menier Chocolate Factory/Wyndham’s Theatre), A Good Death (National Theatre), Lucky Seven (Hampstead Theatre), On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Manchester/National Theatre), Three Sisters (Playhouse Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Gate Theatre, Dublin/La Guardia Drama Theater), and Tartuffe (Almeida Theatre). For television recurring roles include Jane Bennett in BBC¹s Pride and Prejudice and Mattie Storin in House Of Cards ­ for which she received a Best Actress BAFTA nomination. Other television credits include Doctor Who: Shada, Waking the Dead, Ultra-Violet, Faith, Chancer and The Fear; and for film, A Carribean Dream, Burke and Wills, A Dry White Season and White Mischief.

Jasmine Jones plays Sarah Sprackling in The Art of Success and Bridget in The Taste of the Town. Her theatre credits include Buggy Baby (The Yard Theatre), The Phantom Seahorse (Soho Theatre), Philippa and Will are Now in a Relationship (New Diorama Theatre), Fewer Emergencies (Royal Court Theatre), Porno Girl, Sense, This Child (Southwark Playhouse), Blue Funk (Old Red Lion), and Arden of Faversham (White Bear).

Sylvestra Le Touzel plays Mrs Needham in The Art of Success and Lady Thornhill in The Taste of the Town. Her theatre credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Donmar), Giving, Imagine Drowning (Hampstead Theatre), Waste (National Theatre), Les Parent Terribles, Ivanov (Donmar West End), Topless Mum (Tricycle Theatre), Wild East, Ourselves Alone, Unity, Glasshouses (Royal Court Theatre), A Midsummer¹s Night Dream (Almeida Theatre), Inspector Calls (Aldwych Theatre), The Illusion, Marya (The Old Vic), and Harvest (Ambassadors Theatre). Her television credits include The Crown, Endeavour, Utopia, The Thick of It, Secret State, Titanic, The Appropriate Adult, Bonkers, Beast and Vanity Fair; and for film, The Death of Stalin, Mr Turner, Cloud Atlas, The Iron Lady, Happy-Go-Lucky and Amazing Grace.

Mark Umbers plays Robert Walpole in The Art of Success and David Garrick in The Taste of the Town. His theatre work includes Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory/Harold Pinter Theatre/Huntington Avenue Theatre), She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Browning Version (Chichester Festival Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre), Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory/Theatre Royal Haymarket), Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Apollo Theatre), The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse), and The Merchant of Venice, Candide and My Fair Lady (National Theatre). His television work includes Collateral, Home Fires, Eternal Law, Mistresses, The Turn of the Screw, Princes in the Tower, Harley Street, Blackbeard, The Merchant of Venice, Berkeley Square, Silent Witness, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Student Prince; and for film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, A Good Woman, Che (Part Two), These Foolish Things, Cassandra’s Dream, Colour Me Kubrick and Love Is The Devil.

Anthony Banks directs. His theatre credits include Strangers On A Train, Gaslight, DNA (UK tour), Twilight Song (Park Theatre), After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath/UK tour), Raz (Trafalgar Studios/Assembly Edinburgh/UK tour), Cesario, More Light, The Eternal Not, Prince Of Denmark (National Theatre), Pignight (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Experiment (Soho Theatre/Berliner Ensemble), Herding Cats (Theatre Royal Bath/Hampstead Theatre), Bassett (Bristol Old Vic), ReWrite (Westminster Hall/National Theatre) and The Hotel Plays (Grange & Langham Hotels, London). He was also Associate Director at the National Theatre 2004 ­ 2014 where he commissioned and developed a hundred new plays for NT Connections.

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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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