Friday, 10 October 2014

Casting announced for GOD BLESS THE CHILD at The Royal Court

"When he was small and his parents told him if he was good he would get a sweet, the boy knew it was not true. Getting the sweet had nothing to do with being good."

Casting is announced today for God Bless the Child, a new play at the Royal Court Theatre written by Molly Davies and directed by Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone, premiering on 12 November at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

The cast includes Amanda Abbington who returns to the stage after roles as Miss Mardle in Mr Selfridge and Mary Morstan in the BBC’s Sherlock; Ian Charleson Award-nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird whose credits include Birdland (Royal Court) Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic) and the BBC’s Small Island; Julie Hesmondhalgh, best known as Hayley Patterson in Coronation Street and Ony Uhiara, known for her work at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic and Bush TheatreSet in the classroom of 4N, the cast will be joined by two groups of eight year old actors who will perform on alternate evenings, with a girl and a boy alternating the lead role each night.

Amanda Abbington has appeared in numerous television and stage productions. In May 2013, Abbington reprised her role as DC Louise Munroe in the second series of the detective drama series Case Histories. She is also well known for her roles as Miss Mardle in ITV’s Mr Selfridge and Mary Morstan in BBC One’s Sherlock.
Nikki Amuka-Bird has previously appeared at the Royal Court in Birdland and Love and Information. Amuka-Bird’s other theatre credits include The Trial of Ubu (Hampstead Theatre), Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre), World Music(Donmar Warehouse) and Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic) for which she was nominated for an Ian Charleston Award. She has worked extensively in television and is perhaps best known for her appearance in BBC One’s Small Island, as well asLuther, House of Fools, Sinbad, Survivors, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, Torchwood, Robin Hood, The Line of Beauty and Death in Paradise.
Julie Hesmondhalgh has worked extensively on screen and stage. Best known as Hayley Patterson in ITV’s Coronation Street, her theatre credits include Blindsided, Black Roses (both Royal Exchange Theatre) and frequent work with Arts Threshold including Bar and Ger, The Lizzie Play, The Tempest, The Immorality Act and The Taming of the Shrew. As well as the much loved Hayley, Julie’s screen credits include Daziel & Pascoe, The Bill, The Dwelling Place and Pat and Margaret.
Ony Uhiara most recently appeared on stage in Eye of A Needle (Southwark Playhouse) and Idomeneus (Gate Theatre). Her other extensive theatre work includes Cannibals (Manchester Royal Exhange), Sixty Six Books (Bush Theatre), How To Be An Other Woman (Bush Theatre), In the Red and Brown Water and Eurydice (both Young Vic), she has also worked regularly with the RSC. Uhiara’s television credits include Law & Order, Stolen, White Van Man, Criminal Justice andBarclay.
Child actors include: Nancy Allsop, Lahaina Asumang, Darwin Brokenbro, Lara Decaro, Cedric Essumang, David Evans, Colby Mulgrew, Bobby Smalldridge, Grace Taylor, Lizzie Wells, Joseph West, Tyla Wilson and Rocco Wright

After years working in the schools system as a Teaching Assistant writer Molly Davies imagines a mutiny of eight year olds in this new play about government schemes and their place in the education system. Through the new ‘Badger Do Best’ behavioural initiative the production examines what educational tools we use to teach our children and who takes ultimate responsibility in a bureaucratic education system.
The production is directed by Vicky Featherstone, designed by Chloe Lamford, with lighting by Philip Gladwell, music and sound design by Mark Melville and movement by Imogen Knight.

Molly Davies’ first play A Miracle was produced in 2009 at the Royal Court Theatre as part of the 2009 Young Writers Festival. Her other credits include Shooting Truth for  National Theatre Connections and Orpheus & Eurydice for National Youth Theatre and Old Vic Tunnels.

Artistic Director of the Royal Court Vicky Featherstone directs. Since she started at the Royal Court, her credits have included Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromas and Abi Morgan’s The Mistress Contract.  She opened her first season at the Royal Court with Open Court – a festival of plays, ideas and events, chosen by over 140 writers. At National Theatre of Scotland, her credits included Enquirer (co-directed with John Tiffany), Appointment With The Wicker Man and 27 and prior to Scotland, Vicky was Artistic Director of Paines Plough. She will also direct Zinnie Harris’ play How to Hold Your Breath this season.

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