NEWS: Cast announced for the European premiere of The Gulf at Tristan Bates

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Casting has been announced for the European premiere of Audrey Cefaly’s award-winning American two-hander THE GULF, which runs for three weeks at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 17 April 2018, including a post-show Q&A hosted by Mates co-founder Terri Paddock.

THE GULF by Audrey Cefaly is an honest representation of the challenges all relationships can endure, no matter the sexuality. It looks at two women on a small fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico and what makes their relationship tick.

The divide between Kendra (played by Louisa Lytton), and Betty (Anna Acton) mimics the very world that devours them: a vast and polarizing abyss. Stranded on a boat together, they are forced to confront their differences and untangle the issues they’re faced with.

The message in society that a ‘significant other’, preferably of the opposite sex, is the answer to feeling complete and happy, is always present. Through bickering, insults, self-help books and physical and emotional game playing the audience discover, along with Betty and Kendra, the substance to their relationship and their future together.

Director Matthew Gould comments:

THE GULF is an exploration of relationships but it happens to be between two women in a boat on a fishing trip in Alabama and that is the importance of The Gulf… it’s characters are women. The presence of drama that has women, let alone lesbians, as their leading characters is minimal.

“As the shifting sands of the rights of LGBTQ+ people fluctuate from country to country, to then have such a strong drama featuring lesbian characters and set in the deep south of America is a testament to the talent of the writer Audrey Cefaly and her understanding of the need for Kendra and Betty’s voices to be heard. I hope that whoever comes to the play will see that whatever sexes a relationship is made up of the issues are the same the world over.”

Originally a short play, THE GULF was first presented in August 2010 as part of the Silver Spring Stage One-Act Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland under the direction of Chris Curtis. This production won the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival Award.

Cefaly subsequently developed THE GULF into a full-length play which premiered at Signature Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia in October 2016 under the direction of Joe Calarco.  This production won the 2016 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and was nominated for The Charles McArthur Award for Outstanding New Play (Helen Hayes Award).

At Tristan Bates, THE GULF is directed by Matthew Gould, with lighting design by Mitchell Reeve, sound by Will Thompson and casting by Kate Plantin. It’s presented by M Green Productions.

THE GULF runs at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 17 April to 5 May 2018, with performances (90 minutes) Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2.30pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm and a special Friday matinee on 4 May at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £17.50, concessions £15. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

The Gulf runs 17 April-5 May 2018


Hailing from the Deep South in America, Audrey Cefaly is a multi-award-winning writer whose work draws inspiration from her home state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast region. Her work is “finely tuned to the colourful voices and stories of working-class people and seeks to explore the human condition through intimate character‐driven vignettes expressly designed and edited to effect a cathartic release for the viewer”. Her other plays include Love is a Blue Tick Hound, Maytag Virgin and Alabaster.

Matthew Gould has been directing plays and musicals for a number of years. Most recently he adapted comedienne Janice Day’s book about getting over breast cancer for her one-woman show, which premiered at the Epsom Playhouse. He also directed the radio recording of Adolf Killed my Sweetheart for ALL FM radio and explored at the King’s Head Shakespeare’s hidden messages of love in the new play Pricked Out by Nicholas de Jongh. Other recent theatre credits include: The Secondary Victim (Park Theatre), I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road (Jermyn Street) The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre), The Secret Garden, The Anorak and A Body to Diet For. After a successful collaboration with Mitchell Green on the musical Pete n’ Keely, Matthew is looking forward to directing the UK premiere of the play The Gulf for him.

Anna Acton and Louisa Lytton

Since a young age, Louisa Lytton (Kendra) has had a love of performing, having been a pupil at Sylvia Young Theatre School. It was this platform that led to Louisa securing her first professional role, as the innocent schoolgirl Ruby Allen, in EastEnders. Louisa most recently played Rizzo in David Ian’s UK Number One Tour of GREASE, also appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, on BBC1. Recent TV credits include Murdoch Mysteries, CBC; Edge of Heaven, ITV; Casualty, BBC1 and The Bill, ITV. Film credits include The Knot; Payback Season; Young; High & Dead and American Pie. Stage credits include The Broken Rose, Cockpit Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the British Shakespeare Company; Much Ado About Nothing, the British Shakespeare Company. Louisa is currently part of the LA BAFTA Newcomers program.

Anna Acton has a degree in acting from Middlesex University. TV credits include: Doctors, BBC; Casualty, BBC; Eastenders, BBC. Film credits include: The Killers, Sugar Spun Pictures; Silver Birches, True Film; Degenerates, Cineglobe. Noises Off, Liverpool Playhouse; Cor Blimey!, Watford Palace Theatre; Relatively Speaking, The English Theatre of Hamburg; Chez le Boucher, The Crucible, Simmonds Theatre; Daisy Pulls It Off, The Wycombe Swan; The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Gillotts Theatre; Emmanuelle & Dick, Royal National Theatre.

Post-show Q&A

Mates co-founder Terri Paddock chairs a Q&A following the matinee of The Gulf on Saturday 21 April 2018.

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
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.