Three-time Olivier award-winning Alex Jennings will lead the cast in the world premiere of The Southbury Child, the new play by BAFTA winner Stephen Beresford directed by Nicholas Hytner, which opens at Chichester Festival Theatre next year before transferring directly to London’s Bridge Theatre from 1 July to 27 August 2022.
Raffish, urbane and frequently drunk, David Highland has kept a grip on his remote coastal parish through a combination of disordered charm and high-handed determination. But when his faith impels him to take a hard line with a bereaved parishioner, he finds himself dangerously isolated from public opinion. As his own family begins to fracture and his marriage falls apart, David must face a future that threatens to extinguish not only his position in the town, but everything he stands for.
Stephen Beresford’s darkly comic new play, The Southbury Child, is an exploration of family and community, the savage divisions of contemporary society and the rituals that punctuate our lives. Beresford’s writing credits include The Last of the Haussmans for the National Theatre, an adaptation of Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander for The Old Vic and the BAFTA-winning film Pride.
Alex Jennings will make his Bridge Theatre debut in The Southbury Child, reuniting him with Nicholas Hytner, who has previously directed him in Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, Collaborators, The Habit of Art, The Alchemist, The Winter’s Tale and The Importance of Being Earnest amongst others at the National Theatre and elsewhere.
Set designs are by Mark Thompson with costume by Yvonne Milnes, sound by George Dennis and lighting by Max Narula.