NEWS: Natalie Dew returns to plays with Human Animals premiere at Royal Court

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Natalie Dew – following her #AlsoRecognised Award and Olivier nomination for Bend It Like Beckham, in which she made her musical debut – Ian Gelder, Stella Gonet, Lisa McGrillis, Sargon Yelda and Ashley Zhangazha have been cast in Stef Smith’s new play Human Animals, which runs from 18 May 2016 to 18 June 2016 in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. Press night is on Monday 23 May, 7pm.

Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie directs Stef Smith’s Royal Court debut. With design by Linbury Prize finalist Camilla Clarke, lighting by Lizzie Powell, composition and sound by Mark Melville and movement by Frauke Requardt.

“Don’t go burying wild animals in my garden… or at least ask for permission first.”

In the overcrowded city, nature is getting out of control.
The mice are scratching between walls, the pigeons are diseased and the foxes are beginning to rule the streets.
The problem is growing. It’s contagious. It has to be stopped, before it’s too late.

“People can get used to terrible things. Very quickly. If they have to. It doesn’t take much for things to start to fall apart”

Human Animals will be accompanied by a Big Idea event on 1 June, post-show. Playwright Stef Smith will be in conversation with Royal Court Deputy Literary Manager Louise Stephens.

There will also be insight workshops available for schools attending this production. Human Animals is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, which aims to discover and support the next generation of world class playwrights, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


Stef Smith was a member of the inaugural Royal Court national writers group. Her work includes Swallow (Traverse Theatre); Remote (NT Connections); And the Beat Goes On (Random Accomplice/Perth Horsecross Theatres); Cured (The Arches, Glasgow); Woman of the Year (Òran Mór); Grey Matter (Lemon Tree); Falling/Flying (Tron, Glasgow) and Roadkill (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). She was awarded an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, Best New Production – The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, Amnesty International Expression of Freedom Award, Herald Angel, Total Theatre Award and Fringe First Award for Roadkill; and the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award and Fringe First Award for Swallow. She has also been awarded the New Playwright Award by Playwrights Studio Scotland. Stef is an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre.

Hamish Pirie is Associate Director at the Royal Court where his work includes Violence and Son, Who Cares and Teh Internet is Serious Business. Other work includes Shibboleth (Abbey), I’m With the Band, Quiz Show, Love With A Capital ‘L’, 3 Seconds, Most Favoured, Demos,Bravo Figaro, The Last Bloom and 50 Plays for Edinburgh (Traverse), Salt Root and Roe (Donmar/Trafalgar); Purgatory, Stacy (Arcola & Trafalgar Studios) and Pennies (Nabokov). Hamish was Resident Assistant Director at Paines Plough and at the Donmar Warehouse.

Natalie Dew’s credits for the Royal Court include Teh Internet is Serious Business and Rough Cuts. Other theatre credits include Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix), Twelfth Night (Liverpool Everyman/Regent’s Park Open Air), Fault Lines (Hampstead), Romeo & Juliet (The National), Arab Nights (Soho), Hamlet (Northern Broadsides), Arabian Nights (RSC), As You Like It (Leicester Curve) and Hansel & Gretel (Barbican). Her film credits include Toilets. Her television credits include Lewis and Gavin & Stacey.

Ian Gelder’s credits for the Royal Court include The Low Road and Fireface. Other theatre credits include Gods and Monsters (Southwark Playhouse), Titus Andronicus (Globe), Roots, Good, The Front Page (Donmar), King Lear (Almeida), Definitely the Bahamas (Orange Tree), Company, Racing Demon (Sheffield Crucible), Precious Little Talent (Trafalgar Studios), Lingua Franca (Finborough/New York), Serious Money, Divine Right (Birmingham Rep), The Sound of Music (Palladium), The Crucible (RSC/Gielgud), Henry IV Part 1 and 2, His Dark Materials, Stuff Happens, The Power of Yes (National), Taming the Shrew, Richard III, Titus Andronicus (RSC), The Merchant of Venice (RSC/World Tour), A Passage to India, Anna Karenina, Heartbreak House (Shared Experience), Three Sisters (Chichester Festival), Mouth to Mouth (Albery), Martin Yesterday (Royal Exchange Manchester), Apocalyptica (Hampstead), Poor Superman (Traverse/Hampstead), Mrs Warren’s Profession (Lyric), Two Lips Indifferent Red (Bush) and Richard II (Bristol Old Vic). His film credits include Little Dorritt, The Fool and King Ralph. His television credits include EastEnders, Ripper Street, Game of Thrones, Mr Selfridge, Endeavour, Psychoville, Silent Witness, Torchwood, Robin Hood, Fallen Angel, Casualty, The Bill, Absolutely Fabulous, Blackeyes and The Day Today.

Stella Gonet’s credits for the Royal Court include Hope and Slab Boy Trilogy (Traverse/Royal Court). Other theatre credits include A Further Education, Hilda (Hampstead), Handbagged (Tricylce/West End), Women, Power and Politics (Tricycle), Before the Party (Almeida), Top Girls (Sonia Friedman Productions), Memory of Water (Vaudeville), Skylight (National/West End), Measure for Measure, After Easter, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Devine Gossip, Three Sisters, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Jew of Malta, Fashion, Heresies, The Archbishop’s Ceiling (RSC), Racing Demon, The Shaughraun, The Voycey Inheritance, Hamlet, True Dare Kiss, Command Or Promise (National), Cyrano De Bergerac (Haymarket), Points Of Departure (Traverse/Tour), Trafford Tanzi (Mermaid) and Tonight We Celebrate (Dundee Rep). Her film credits include How I Live Now, Dirty Bomb, Nicholas Nickleby, Stalin and For Queen and Country. Her television credits include Humans, Siblings 1 + 2, Father Brown, Hacks, Lewis, Mo Mowlam, Holby City, Rebus, Roman Mysteries, Persuasion, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, The Bill and Casualty. Awards include the RTS Best Actress Award for Trip Trap.

Lisa McGrillis’ credits for the Royal Court include The Pass. Other theatre credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, The Globe Mysteries (Globe), The Pitmen Painters (Broadway/National), The Awkward Squad (Arts), A Sock in the Wash, Nicole (Live), Hansel and Gretel, Tattercoats (Northern Stage). Her film credits include The Pass, Much Ado about Nothing and The Other Possibility. Her television credits include Mum, George Gently, Fungus the Bogey Man, Musketeers, Hebburn, Rocket Man and Spit Game.

Sargon Yelda’s credits for the Royal Court include Teh Internet Is Serious Business. Other theatre credits include Forget Me Not (Bush), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Dara, Emperor and Galilean, Mother Courage and Her Children (National), Incognito (Hightide/Bush), Moby Dick, The Cabinet of Dr Caligaria (Arcola/Simple 8), Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, The Tempest (RSC), When the Rain Stops Falling (Almeida), Stovepipe (National/Bush/Hightide) and Salt Meets Wound (Theatre 503). His film credits include Spectre and Dead Cat. His television credits include Zen: Vendetta, Cabal, Ratking, Compulsion, Midnight Man and Saddam’s Tribe.

Ashley Zhangazha’s credits for the Royal Court include Belong and Truth and Reconciliation. Other theatre credits include A Raisin in the Sun (Sheffield Crucible/Eclipse Theatre Company), Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible), Image of an Unknown Young Woman (Gate), Ah Wilderness (Young Vic), Hamlet (Manchester Royal Exchange), Venice Preserved (The Spectators Guild), Henry V (Michael Grandage Company), Fences (Duchess/Theatre Royal Bath), Richard II, King Lear (Donmar), Danton’s Death (National). Television includes Humans and Ordinary Lies. Awards include an Ian Charleson Award for Macbeth.

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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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Press Releases on Twitter
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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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