Sunday, 19 October 2014

ACCOLADE announces full cast for run at the St James Theatre

Full casting is announced for Emlyn Williams’ masterpiece Accolade directed by award-winning director Blanche McIntyre. Alexander Hanson and Abigail Cruttenden lead the company as Will and Rona Trenting, with Bruce Alexander (Daker), Sam Clemmett (Ian Trenting), Claire Cox (Marion Tillyard), Daniel Crossley (Albert), Olivia Darnley (Phyllis), Jay Taylor (Harold) and Jay Villiers (Thane Lampeter). Accolade – produced by Nicola Seed - is the final production in Stage One's One Stage season at the St James Theatre. The production opens on 17 November, with previews from the 12 November, and has a limited 5 week run until 13 December.

London, 1950.

Private and public worlds collide when author Will Trenting’s knighthood attracts the glare of the British press. Will is forced to battle against the exposure of his secret life and the double standards of a society bent on destroying him.

Blanche McIntyre (Best Director 2013, UK Theatre Awards) directs Emlyn Williams’ tale of sex, scandal and blackmail. As relevant now as when it first shocked audiences in 1950, this gripping thriller was awarded Time Out’s Best Off West End Production and three Off West End Awards including Best Production when it was presented at the Finborough Theatre in 2011- the first revival of the play since it premièred. This new production reunites Nicola Seed and Blanche McIntyre.

Playwright Emlyn Williams, ‘the Welsh Noël Coward’, was one of the most popular writers of the 1930s and 1940s.  Williams (1905-1987) combined a dazzling commercial instinct with daring, edgy writing that pushed the boundaries of acceptable theatre. From the time of his definitive success in 1935 in his own play Night Must Fall, Emlyn Williams was an outstanding figure in the British and American theatre as actor, playwright and director. His other plays include The Light Of Heart, Spring 1600, The Wind Of Heaven, Someone Waiting, Trespass and The Corn Is Green, in which he starred with Sybil Thorndike in London. The American production starred Ethel Barrymore and the play was filmed with Bette Davis and - later - Katherine Hepburn. He also worked with Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed as a screenwriter. Productions of his work starred Ethel Barrymore and Gregory Peck, and more recently Ian McKellen, Deborah Kerr and Mathew Broderick. A lifelong bisexual who came ‘out’ ahead of most of his contemporaries, Williams balanced his marriage and family life with a series of flings. The stresses of leading a double life are explored in this semi-autobiographical work Accolade

Alexander Hanson plays Will Trenting. His recent theatre credits include Single Spies (currently at Rose Theatre Kingston), Stephen Ward (Aldwych Theatre), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK arena tour), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), Marguerite (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Candide, Copenhagen, The Merchant of Venice (National Theatre), Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi Theatre), Talking to Terrorists (Royal Court) and Hay Fever and Translations (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, his work includes The Man Who Crossed Hitler, Party Animals, The Fugitives, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and The Last Detective; and for film, Kidulthood.

Abigail Cruttenden plays Rona Trenting. Her theatre credits include Drawing the Line, 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre), The Seagull (Headlong), Benefactors (Sheffield Crucible), The Knot of the Heart (Almeida Theatre), Afterlife, Fight (National Theatre) and Twelfth Night (RSC). For television, her work includes The Outcast, Not Going Out, The Royal Bodyguard, Benidorm (series regular Kate Weedon), Teenage Kicks, The Commander and Sharpe; and for film, The Theory of Everything, Charlotte Gray and Hideous Kinky.

Bruce Alexander plays Daker. His theatre work includes A View from the Bridge (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse), Ciphers (Out of Joint), The White House Murder Case (Orange Tree Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Crucible), Waste, The Tempest (Almeida Theatre), Life After Scandal (Hampstead Theatre), The Reporter, The History Boys, The Mandate (National Theatre), Pravda (Chichester Festival Theatre/Birmingham Rep), The Permanent Way (UK tour and Sydney), as well as extensive work for the RSC. Perhaps best known for his regular role as Inspector Mullett in A Touch of Frost, his other television work includes Love and Marriage, Coming Home, A Short Stay in Switzerland, New Tricks and The Innocents; and for film, Churchill at War, Dead, A Christmas Carol, Ladybird Ladybird, Nostradamus and Century.

Sam Clemmett plays Ian Trenting. His theatre credits include Nivelli’s War (The Mac Theatre, Belfast), Lord of the Flies (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), DNA, Private Peaceful, and Blood Brothers (Norwich Theatre Royal). For television, his work includes Diary of a Snob, Our World War, Foyle’s War; and for film, Survivor.

Claire Cox plays Marion Tillyard. Her theatre work Women Power and Politics (Tricycle Theatre), Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Winslow Boy (Rose Kingston and tour) and The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory). For television, her work includes Wallander, Foyle’s War, Gil Mayo, Your Mother Should Know and Wren; and for film, Between Us, The Killing, Luther and Shooting Fish.

Daniel Crossley plays Albert. His theatre credits include Tonight at 8.30 (ETT), Putting It Together (St James Theatre), Lizzie Siddal (Arcola Theatre), Singin’ in the Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre and Palace Theatre), Me and My Girl, A Chorus Line (Sheffield Crucible), Hello Dolly, As You Like It and Oh! What a Lovely War (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). His television work includes The Royals and The Last Enemy.

Olivia Darnley plays Phyllis – recreating the role from the Finborough production. Her theatre work includes Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies (RSC and Aldwych Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), A Marvelous Year for Plums (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Glasgow Citz) and All My Sons (Apollo Theatre). For television, her work includes Titanic, Hughie Green: Most Sincerely and Hear the Silence; and for film, Death Defying Acts.

Jay Taylor plays Harold. His theatre work includes Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies (RSC and Aldwych Theatre), I Heart Peterborough (Soho Theatre), A Clockwork Orange (Glasgow Citz), and Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe). For television, his work includes Silk, Tea Boys, Misfits, Sirens, Consuming Passions and The Fixer; and A Fantastic Fear of Everything, Red Tails and Donkey Punch.

Jay Villiers plays Thane Lampeter. His theatre work includes The Winslow Boy (Old Vic) Hedda Gabler, In Praise of Love (Northampton Theatre Royal), Titanic (MAC Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet (Tobacco Factory), and Gone to Earth (Shared Experience). For television, his credits include Mr Selfridge, Bonekickers, The Secret Pyramid of Tucume, Spooks, Extras, The Government Inspector and The Sculptress; and for film, The Sea, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Lady, The International, Before the Rain and Henry V.

Blanche McIntyre directs. She was named Best Director at the 2013 TMA UK Theatre Awards (for The Seagull), was the winner of the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Director in 2012, and the inaugural winner of the Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Theatre Directors in 2009.  She is currently Associate Director at Nuffield and was previously Associate Director at Out of Joint in 2010, and Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio and the Finborough Theatre in 2009. Directing credits include The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tonight at 8.30 (ETT UK Tour), The Nutcracker (Nuffield), Ciphers (Out Of Joint UK Tour), The Birthday Party (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Seagull (Headlong UK Tour/Nuffield), Liar Liar (Unicorn Theatre), The Only True History of Lizzie Finn (Southwark Playhouse), The Seven Year Itch (Salisbury Playhouse), Repentance/Behind The Lines (ANGLE at the Bush Theatre), Foxfinder, Accolade, Molière or the League of Hypocrites (Finborough Theatre), and When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios). Next year she will direct Arcadia for ETT and ATG.

Set and costume design is by James Cotterill, with lighting design by Peter Mumford, sound design by Emma Laxton, and casting by Gemma Hancock CDG and Sam Stevenson CDG.

Nicola Seed formed Nicola Seed Productions Ltd in 2011, to work on independent productions and freelance projects. Productions include, Drama At Inish by Lennox Robinson, starring Celia Imrie and Paul O'Grady, and Too True To Be Good by Bernard Shaw, as well as the original production of Accolade all at the Finborough Theatre. Co-Productions include A Life by Hugh Leonard, The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey.

Prior to this Seed worked as Production Assistant for Nimax Theatres from 2007 to 2011, assisting on productions including Swimming With Sharks starring Christian Slater (Vaudeville Theatre) and Rain Man starring Josh Hartnett (Apollo Theatre).  She attended the Stage One Workshop for New Producers in 2010 and was awarded a Stage One Bursary for New Producers 2010-2011 for her production of Accolade at the Finborough. 

She has been a Production Associate of Paul Elliott / Triumph Entertainment and Karl Sydow since 2012. Current and recent projects include the 2014 World Tour of The Last Confession directed by Jonathan Church and starring David Suchet; the transfer of Our Country’s Good from St. James Theatre to Toronto in September 2014; and the upcoming international productions of Dirty Dancing in Italy, Australia and France.  Her freelance projects include roles as the Central Coordinator of the Victory Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Associate General Manager of the Olivier Awards in 2013 and Project Manager of TheatreCraft 2013. 
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