NEWS: Michael Pennington joins Lenny Henry in Arturo Ui, Full cast announced

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The Donmar Warehouse today announces full casting for Bruce Norris’ new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s satirical masterpiece The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Simon Evans with design by Peter McKintosh. The production, led by Lenny Henry who makes his Donmar debut playing the title role, runs 21 April to 17 June 2017, with a press night on 2 May.

Henry is joined in the cast by Michael Pennington, who recently played the title role in King Lear at the Royal & Derngate Northampton, as Dogsborough. Other casting includes Philip Cumbus, Lucy Eaton, Tom Edden, Lucy Ellinson, Simon Holland Roberts, Louis Martin, Justine Mitchell, Gloria Obianyo, Guy Rhys and Giles Terera.

Chicago!  A city of jazz and gangsters, prohibition and poverty.  Amongst the murk of the Great Depression, there’s room for a small time crook like Arturo Ui to make a name for himself. 

Ui and his henchmen just want to look after you, to offer protection for workers, for jobs, for businesses.  Nothing to fear.  But a little bribery here, some harmless corruption there, and soon something much more dangerous takes hold. 

Brecht’s satirical masterpiece about the rise of a demagogue will be given a new translation by Pulitzer, Olivier and Tony Award-winning American playwright, Bruce Norris.  Lenny Henry makes his Donmar debut as Arturo Ui.  

Lenny Henry as Arturo Ui

Bios

Philip Cumbus (Clark/Prosecutor) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Philip has made multiple appearances in productions at Shakespeare’s Globe including Comus, The Inn and Lydda, The Lightning Child, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo & Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Other theatre credits include First Light (Festival Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (UK Tour and Vaudeville Theatre), Moon Tiger (Theatre Royal Bath and Tour), The Norman Conquests (Liverpool Playhouse), The Master Builder (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Crucible (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Philip’s television credits include The Rebel.

Lucy Eaton (Dockdaisy) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Lucy’s theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southwark Playhouse), Almost Maine (Park Theatre), Win Lose Draw (Waterloo East) and The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic).

Tom Edden (Announcer/Ragg/Sheet/Actor/Butler) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Tom’s extensive theatre credits include Amadeus (National Theatre), Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s), Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre), Measure For Measure (Young Vic), Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), Oliver! (Sheffield Crucible) and One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre) for which he won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor, and was nominated for a Tony Award and Outer Critics’ Circle Award. Tom’s television credits include Upstart Crow, The Woman in Red and Dr Who. Film credits include Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Cinderella, The Wolf Man and Mr Turner.

Lucy Ellinson (Giri) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Lucy’s theatre credits include Grounded (Gate Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Mad Man (Plymouth Theatre Royal), Money: The Game Show (Bush Theatre), Trojan Women (Gate Theatre), Oh The Humanity! (and other good intentions) (Northern Stage/Soho Theatre) and Fib (National Theatre). Television and film credits include New Tricks, Underworld: Dublin Gangland and Really.

Lenny Henry (Arturo Ui) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. He made his West End acting debut in the role of Othello in the Northern Broadsides production at the Trafalgar Studios. His portrayal won him critical acclaim and the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Newcomer. Other theatre includes Fences (on tour and West End), Rudy’s Rare Records (Birmingham Rep and Hackney Empire) and The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre). Lenny has been a comedian since the age of 16, finding fame as a comedy impressionist on 70’s TV talent show, New Faces. Other television work includes TISWAS, Three of a Kind, The Lenny Henry Show, Hope & Glory, Lenny Henry in Pieces, Chef! and the Saturday night BBC1 show, The Magicians. He has completed many sell-out live stand-up tours in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. On radio, Lenny worked for three years as a DJ on BBC Radio 1. He has also worked extensively for Radio 4, starring in the comedy Rudy’s Rare Records, he wrote the Radio 4 play Corinne Come Back and Gone and presented the series Lenny and Will. 

Simon Holland Roberts (Butcher/Judge) has previously appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s production of Saint Joan. Theatre includes Cyrano, All My Sons, Hamlet, Arms and the Man, Aristocrats, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Taming of the Shrew and Arden of Faversham (Theatr Clwyd), Of Mice and Men (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Assembly 13 (National Theatre Wales), Love’s Labour’s Lost, Othello, Sex Strike, Edward IV, Henry VI, The School for ScandalThe Comedy of Errors and Sweet William (Northern Broadsides), Sheepish (Manchester 24:7), The Tempest (Northern Broadsides, New Vic Stoke, UK and China tour), The Man with Two Gaffers (Northern Broadsides, Theatre Royal York and UK tour), Richard III (Northern Broadsides, West Yorkshire Playhouse and UK tour), Sea of Silence (Quicksilver), Man is Man (Steam Industry). Television credits include All at Sea, Da Vinci’s Demons, Stepping Up, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Shameless, Eric & Ernie, Accused, The Street.

Louis Martin (Bodyguard/Caruther) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Louis’ stage credits include Future Conditional (Old Vic), Love’s Labour’s Lost, Last Days of Troy (Shakespeare’s Globe) and A Witness For The Prosecution (The Agatha Christie Theatre Company).

Justine Mitchell (Public Defender/Betty Dullfeet) has previously appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in Michael Grandage’s production of King Lear. Justine’s extensive theatre credits include The Plough and the Stars (National Theatre), For Services Rendered (Chichester Festival Theatre), Love For Love (RSC), Man – Three Plays By Tennessee Williams (Young Vic), The Rivals (Arcola Theatre), Mr Burns (Almeida Theatre), Gastronauts (Royal Court) Detroit and Children of the Sun (National Theatre). Television credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II, Harry and Paul, Doctors, New Tricks and Wild At Heart. Justine has also appeared on film in The Stag, Imagine Me and You, Citizen Verdict, The Honeymooners, Goldfish Memory and Conspiracy of Silence.

Gloria Obianyo (Flake/Hook) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Gloria’s stage credits include The Wild Party (St James Theatre), The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). 

Michael Pennington (Dogsborough) has previously appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in The Cosmonauts Last Message to the Woman He Loved. Michael’s most recent theatre credits include King Lear (UK Tour), She Stoops to Conquer (Theatre Royal Bath), A Winter’s Tale (Garrick Theatre), Richard II (RSC), Dances of Death (Gate Theatre), Judgement Day (The Print Room), Sweet William (Michael has also appeared in numerous productions at Chichester Festival Theatre, including Anthony and Cleopatra, The Syndicate, The Master Builder, Collaboration and Taking Sides). Michael has appeared on television in Endeavour, Father Brown, Silent Witness, Holby City, The Tudors, Lewis, Walking the Dead and The Bill, and on film in The Iron Lady and Return of the Jedi. Together with director Michael Bogdanov, Michael founded the English Shakespeare Company in 1986 and is an honorary Associate Artist.

Guy Rhys (Givola) has previously appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s production of Saint Joan. Most recent theatre appearances include Pomona originating at the Orange Tree Theatre, and subsequent National Theatre/Manchester Royal Exchange revival.  Other theatre credits include Jason and the Argonauts (Unicorn), Bird (Sherman Cymru and Manchester Royal Exchange), Wendy & Peter (RSC), Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon) and Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre).

Giles Terera (Roma) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Giles’ stage credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Hamlet, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, Honk!, The Darker Face of the Earth, Mind the Gap and Walk in the Light (National Theatre), The Tempest (RSC). Other theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Pure Imagination (St James’ Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Globe Theatre, International Tour) King John (Globe Theatre & UK tour), Don’t You Leave Me Here (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Up on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre), Six Degrees of Separation (Sheffield Crucible) and Generations of the Dead (Young Vic). Giles has appeared on television in Horrible Histories and Doctors, and on film in The Current War, Muse of Fire and London Boulevard.

Bruce Norris (Translator) is the author of Clybourne Park, which won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards (London) for Best Play, 2010, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2011, and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2012.  Other plays include The Infidel (2000), Purple Heart (2002), We All Went Down to Amsterdam (2003), The Pain and the Itch (2004), The Unmentionables (2006) and The Qualms (2014), all of which had their premieres at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago.  Recent productions include The Low Road (2013 at the Royal Court Theatre (London), Domesticated (2013 at Lincoln Center Theatre), and The Qualms at Playwrights Horizons in 2015.  He lives in New York. 

Simon Evans (Director) was Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse working on Richard II, Inadmissible Evidence, Anna Christie, Luise Miller, Moonlight and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He directed Silence of the Sea in the Donmar at Trafalgar Studios Season. He was Staff Director at the Royal National Theatre, Creative Associate at the Bush Theatre and Associate Director at the White Bear Theatre. He is Creative Director of Myriad & Co. As Director, his work includes The Dazzle, Bug and Fool for Love (Found111), Alligators (Hampstead), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Go People/Southwark Playhouse), Almost Mine (Park Theatre), The Vanishing Man (Vaults and UK Tour), Hannah (Unicorn), Speed Twins, Apple Pie and Hours Till Autumn (Riverside Studio), Rubber Room (Old Vic), Madness in Valencia (Trafalgar Studios) and Skyscraper (Public, New York). As Associate Director his work includes The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic) and Finding Neverland (Weinstein Live Entertainment).

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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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