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South Downs / The Browning Version

Posted: 03 February 2012
South Downs / The Browning Version


Approved by ATG's PR & Communications Officer, David Bradbury

Playful Productions, Neal Street and Robert Fox Ltd present
The Chichester Festival Theatre Production of
South Downs
By David Hare
Director Jeremy Herrin
The Browning Version
By Terence Rattigan
Director Angus Jackson

•    The hit Chichester Festival Theatre production transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre from 19 April  2012
•    Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell reprise their roles in this double bill
•    Tickets go on sale today, Friday 3 February

Following a critically acclaimed and sold out run as part of Chichester's Festival 2011, the double bill of Terence Rattigan's one-act masterpiece and David Hare's specially commissioned companion piece will transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre from April 19 with a press night on April 24.

Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell will once again lead the casts in these plays which examine life in boarding public schools. Rattigan's own Harrow School and Hare's own Lancing College provide the backdrop for two moving and resounding stories, one told through the eyes of a master and one told through the eyes of a boy. Both revolve around unexpected acts of kindness which place the harsh and at times cruel worlds of these schools into stark contrast.

South Downs is set at Lancing College in Sussex where a pin sharp young pupil (a role reprised by young actor Alex Lawther, celebrated for this professional debut) is cut off from the rest of the school by virtue of his own intellect, background and questioning spirit. The school in response presents an unyielding and rigid outlook on life that leaves the boy isolated and confused. In an unlikely meeting with the mother of another pupil, her generosity of spirit and sound advice present the boy with a world of kindness and possibility.

Rattigan's The Browning Version presents the retiring Classics master Mr Crocker-Harris, tired, dried up and an abhorred tyrant over his pupils. Stuck in a broken marriage and facing the prospect of a retirement with no money, a simple act of generosity by one of Crocker-Harris' pupils brings out the deep-rooted dignity and heartbreaking sadness that give this play its power.

South Downs is directed by Jeremy Herrin whose work in 2011 included Joe Penhall's Haunted Child (Royal Court), Death and the Maiden (Harold Pinter Theatre) and the critically acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe). In 2007 Herrin directed the UK premiere of another play by David Hare: The Vertical Hour (Royal Court) as well as Polly Stenham's That Face (also Royal Court), which later transferred to the West End.

The Browning Version is directed by Chichester Festival Theatre Associate Angus Jackson whose credits at Chichester include Wallenstein, Funny Girl, The Waltz of the Toreadors and Carousel. At the National Theatre Jackson has directed Elmina's Kitchen, Fix Up, Rocket to the Moon and The Power of Yes (by David Hare). His production of Bingo, starring Patrick Stewart, and originally part of Chichester's Festival 2010, transfers to the Young Vic this month.

Anna Chancellor plays Belinda Duffield in South Downs and Millie Crocker-Harris in The Browning Version. She has recently been seen on screen as Lix in BBC 2's drama The Hour and onstage as Lady Caroline Blackman in The Last Duchess (Hampstead Theatre). Her theatre credits include Creditors (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway), The Observer, Never So Good and Stanley (National Theatre and Broadway), for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. Previous television credits include Suburban Shootout, Spooks, Tipping the Velvet, Kavanagh QC and the role of Caroline Bingley in the popular BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which also featured Colin Firth. Film credits include the role of Duckface, Hugh Grant's jilted fiancée, in Four Weddings and a Funeral.  

Nicholas Farrell plays Reverend Eric Dewley in South Downs and Andrew Crocker-Harris in The Browning Version. His theatre credits include West End productions of Birdsong, Kean and The Cherry Orchard. Other theatre credits include Stuff Happens and Dinner (National Theatre) and The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and Hamlet (all for the RSC). His film credits include Airey Neave in The Iron Lady, Bloody Sunday (directed by Paul Greengrass), Chariots of Fire, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and Hamlet. Television credits include the acclaimed production The Jewel in the Crown.

Joining Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell in the company are Andrew Woodall, Mark Umbers, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Bradley Hall, Rob Heaps, Alex Lawther and Liam Morton.

Listings:

The Chichester Festival Theatre Production of
South Downs
By David Hare
The Browning Version
By Terence Rattigan

Theatre:
The Harold Pinter Theatre,
Panton Street,
London,
SW1Y 4DN
19 April – 22 July 2012

Previews from:
19 April 2012, 7.30pm

Press Night:
24 April 2012, 7.00pm

Performance Times:
Mon Sat at 7.30pm;
Thurs and Sat at 2.30pm

Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. The year’s programme of 11 productions in the venue’s two theatres will, as ever, be a diverse mix of re-imagined classic plays and musicals alongside explorations in new writing. Simultaneously, triumphant Chichester Festival Theatre productions of Singin’ in the Rain, Sweeney Todd, South Downs and The Browning Version and Bingo are playing in London’s West End, allowing the venue’s work to be seen by thousands of people beyond the Sussex region. The year also marks the start of an ambitious campaign to raise the £22 million required to save the Festival Theatre building which has already outlived its expected life span. Planning permission for the major restructure of the Grade II listed building has been granted and local authorities and businesses are rallying to support the plans which will safeguard the Theatre, and maintain its positive regional economic impact, for many years to come. Accompanying events which will celebrate the extraordinary history and optimistic future of this regional producing powerhouse will include art exhibitions, a commemorative book by local author Kate Mosse, local free public events, and the creation of a temporary structure Theatre on the Fly which will house new work from the CFT team of graduate directors during Festival 2012.   

Cast

Bradley Hall
Colin Jenkins (South Downs)
Theatre credits include Ade in First Person Shooter (Birmingham Rep) and He in Elevator (New Diorama Theatre). Television includes The Bill and Doc Martin. Films include Rite, Where the Monsters Go, Mercy and Spider.

Rob Heaps
Peter Gilbert (The Browning Version)
Theatre credits include title role in Wittgenstein (The Crooked Roads) (Riverside Studios), Narrator in Ivan the Terrible (LSO at the Barbican), Francis in Unrestless (The Old Vic Tunnels), Dan in ‘Dexterity’ in Coalition (Theatre 503), Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Neuss Globe Theatre), Constantine in The Notebook of Trigorin (Finborough Theatre), Second Man in Warm (Vinterlys Festival at Nordland Theatre, Norway), Jaden Latimer in Elder Latimer is in Love (Arcola Theatre), Soldier in The Odyssey in Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (National Theatre) and title role in Dracula and MacHeath in The Threepenny Opera (Edinburgh Fringe). Readings include Danton’s Death and The White Guard (National Theatre). Television includes Law and Order UK - Dawn Till Dusk. Films include Bright Star, Matches and Zen and Beyond. Radio includes Life Begins at Crawley, Skin and Cruickshank on New Zealand. Trained at LAMDA and St Petersburg State Academy of Theatrical Arts Russia.

Liam Morton
Roger Sprule (South Downs)
John Taplow (The Browning Version)

Liam is making his professional debut.

Mark Umbers
Frank Hunter (The Browning Version)
Previously at Chichester Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl (Minerva Theatre). Theatre credits include Charlie/Vittorio Vidal/Oscar Lindquist in Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory and Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie (Apollo Theatre), Tom Veryan in The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse), Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), King of Eldorado in Candide, Solanio in The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida (National Theatre) and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance (WYP, Theatre Royal Bath and Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park). Television includes Eternal Law, The Turn of the Screw, Mistresses, Harley Street, Blackbeard, Princes in the Tower, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders, The Merchant of Venice, Casualty, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Berkeley Square, The Bill, Silent Witness, Trust and The Student Prince. Films include Che - Part Two, Cassandra’s Dream, A Good Woman, Colour Me Kubrick, These Foolish Things and Love is the Devil.

Andrew Woodall
Basil Spear (South Downs)
Dr Frobisher (The Browning Version)

Theatre credits include Harry in The Knowledge and Nick in Little Platoons (Bush
Theatre), Guardiano in Women Beware Women, Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, Booth Voysey in The Voysey Inheritance, Pope Barberini in The Life of Galileo, Knight in Luther, Andrei Zeitek in The Shape of the Table, Ewan Gilmour in Racing Demon, Al Randall in Murmuring Judges and Glazier in Abingdon Square (National Theatre), Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler (Gate Theatre Dublin), Jack Manningham in Gaslight, Edmund in King Lear, Constant in The Provok’d Wife, Harry/Martin in Cloud Nine and George Farrant in Waste (The Old Vic), Oliver in As You Like It (Wyndham’s Theatre), Silvio Masperi in As You Desire Me (Playhouse Theatre), Tim in The Sugar Syndrome, Ted Mitchell in Disappeared, Kim Feston in Search and Destroy and Marcel in Weldon Rising (Royal Court Theatre), Hazeldine in Burning Issues (Hampstead Theatre), Christopher in Certain Young Men and Jackson Trouver in Butterfly Kiss (Almeida Theatre), Ian Ritchie in A Letter of Resignation (Savoy Theatre), Grant in Our Late Night (Ambassadors Theatre), Marquis of Posa in Don Carlos (Citizens Theatre) and Fielding in Art of Success (Paines Plough). Television includes New Tricks, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Above Suspicion, Men Are Wonderful, Personal Affairs, Place of Execution, Heartbeat, Lawless, Hear the Silence, Charles II, Starhunter, Ultimate Force, Dalziel and Pascoe, Murder Rooms, Hearts and Bones, Harbour Lights, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Nature Boy, Kavanagh QC, Degrees of Error, Seaforth, Headhunters, Prime Suspect, Between the Lines, Underbelly, Wish  Me Luck and Hannay.  Films include Johnny English Reborn, Hypnotic and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Amanda Fairbank-Hynes
Mrs Gilbert (The Browning Version)

Theatre credits include Irina in Three Sisters, Lucy in Redundant, Elinor in Henry VI Parts I&II, Theresa in The Last Hurrah and Rose in The Sea (LAMDA). Television includes Shelfstackers, E20, Doctors, Casualty, Merlin, Holby Blue, Player, Empathy, Dogface, Princess Daffodil and Big Kids. Films include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, One Day, Monte Carlo, An Education and The Boat that Rocked. Trained at LAMDA.

Creative Team

David Hare
Writer (South Downs)

David Hare was born in Sussex in 1947. He is the author of 28 plays for the stage, sixteen of which have been presented at the National Theatre. They are Slag, The Great Exhibition, Brassneck (with Howard Brenton), Knuckle, Fanshen, Teeth ’n ’Smiles, Plenty, A Map Of The World, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Bay At Nice, The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, The Absence Of War (the last three as a trilogy playing in the Olivier Theatre in 1993), Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room (from Schnitzler), The Judas Kiss, Via Dolorosa, My Zinc Bed, The Breath Of Life, The Permanent Way, Stuff Happens, The Vertical Hour, Gethsemane, Berlin/Wall, The Power Of Yes and South Downs. He has also written English adaptations of plays by Brecht, Gorky, Chekhov, Pirandello and Lorca. He has written and directed four original films for television: Licking Hitler, Dreams of Leaving, Heading Home and Page Eight. He has directed three feature films from his own screenplays: Wetherby, Paris by Night and Strapless, and one by Wallace Shawn, The Designated Mourner. His other screenplays include Saigon: Year of the Cat, directed by Stephen Frears, Plenty (Fred Schepisi), Damage (Louis Malle), The Secret Rapture (Howard Davies), The Hours and The Reader (both Stephen Daldry).

Terence Rattigan
Writer (The Browning Version)

Born in London on the 10th June 1911, Terence Rattigan was educated at Harrow from 1925 to 1930 and Trinity College, Oxford BA to 1933. He served as a flight Lieutenant in the Central Command, RAF from 1940 to 1945. In 1934 he had become a full-time playwright. His many successful plays include French Without Tears, After The Dance, Flare Path, Love In Idleness, While The Sun Shines, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Harlequinade, Adventure Story, Who Is Sylvia?, The Deep Blue Sea, The Sleeping Prince, Separate Tables, Variation On A Theme, Ross, Man And Boy, A Bequest To The Nation, In Praise Of Love and Cause Célèbre. Terence Rattigan still holds the record of being the only playwright to have notched more than 1000 performances for two separate plays, namely, French Without Tears and While The Sun Shines. During the war years, he had 3 plays running on Shaftesbury Avenue:  Flare Path at the Apollo, While The Sun Shines at the Globe and Love In Idleness at the Lyric. He wrote screenplays of French Without Tears, The Way To The Stars, Journey Together, While the Sun Shines, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, The Prince And The Showgirl, Separate Tables, The Sound Barrier, The Man Who Loved Redheads, The Deep Blue Sea, The Final Test, The VIPs, The Yellow Rolls Royce, Goodbye Mr Chips, Conduct Unbecoming, A Bequest to the Nation – and collaborated on The Quiet Wedding, The Day Will Dawn, English Without Tears, Uncensored, Brighton Rock and Bond Street. His television plays include:  Heart To Heart, Adventure Story and High Summer.  After The Dance was shown in the performance series on BBC 2 in 1993 and The Deep Blue Sea was recorded for the same series. In 1958 he was awarded a CBE, and in 1971 he became Knight Bachelor.  Sir Terence Rattigan died in 1977.

Tom Scutt
Designer

Tom studied Theatre Design at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Theatre credits include 13 (National Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (RSC), Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park), King Lear (Almeida Theatre), Realism (Soho Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (RSC and transfer to Theatre Royal Newcastle, The Roundhouse and New York), Remembrance Day (Royal Court Theatre), Through a Glass Darkly (Almeida Theatre), Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible), Mogadishu (Manchester Royal Exchange and Lyric Hammersmith), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Headlong Theatre and Nuffield Theatre Southampton tour), Dick Whittington and Jack and the Beanstalk  (Lyric Hammersmith), and After Miss Julie (Salisbury Playhouse). Other theatre designs include The Contingency Plan, On the Beach/Resilience (The Bush Theatre), Bay (Young Vic), The Merchant of Venice (Octagon Theatre Bolton - Manchester Evening News Award for Best Design nomination) and The Comedy of Errors (RSC Swan Theatre). Awards include the 2007 Jocelyn Herbert Award and the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize for Theatre Design for his work with Headlong Theatre.

Bruno Poet
Lighting Designer

Most recent theatre includes Frankenstein and London Road (National Theatre), Cause Célèbre (The Old Vic), Rinaldo (Lyric Opera Chicago), Macbeth (Opera National du Rhin and Opera Monte Carlo), From the House of the Dead (Opera North), Jonsi World Tour (Live Music Concerts), Season’s Greetings and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (National Theatre), Chekhov in Hell, Grand Guignol and The Horse Marines (Theatre Royal Plymouth), The Human Comedy (Young Vic), Sunset Boulevard (Götesborgs Operan Sweden), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Romeo and Juliet (RSC). Other theatre includes The Enchantment and Aristocrats (National Theatre), A Prayer for My Daughter, (Young Vic), Volpone, (Manchester Royal Exchange), All About My Mother (The Old Vic), Phaedra (Donmar Warehouse), Dumb Show (Royal Court Theatre), The Birthday Party (Sheffield Crucible), Hansel and Gretel (Lyric Hammersmith), Midnight’s Children (RSC at the Barbican, New York and UK tour), and King Lear (ETT at The Old Vic and tour).

Paul Englishby
Composer

Paul is a prolific and versatile composer who has written award-winning and critically acclaimed scores for film, television, dance, theatre and the concert hall. He was awarded back-to-back ASCAP awards for his scores to the feature films Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day and the Oscar nominated An Education, for which he also received a Ritzy Award. Theatre includes Twelfth Night, Love's Labour’ Lost, Cardenio and A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC), Les Grandes Bals de Legende and Pleasure's Progress (Royal Opera House). Film and television includes Page 8 (by David Hare), Hamlet, a movie adaptation of the RSC's hugely successful stage production for which Paul also wrote the score, The BBC's Luther, An Englishman in New York, The Peep Show team's Magicians Brit comedy Confetti, and the film Ten Minutes Older featuring works from award winning directors Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, Bernardo Bertolucci, Claire Denis, Mike Figgis, Jean Luc-Goddard and more. Forthcoming work includes scoring productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Tom Stoppard's Travesties.

Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Sound Designer
Most recent designs are Betrayal (Comedy Theatre), A Delicate Balance (Almeida), Jerusalem (Broadway - Tony Award nomination), Cause Célèbre (The Old Vic), Mogadishu (Royal Exchange and Lyric), Season’s Greetings, After the Dance and Women Beware Women (National Theatre), John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey Theatre and BAM - Drama Desk Award nomination), Don Giovanni (ENO), Spur of the Moment and Jerusalem (Royal Court Theatre and West End - Olivier Award nomination), Misanthrope (Comedy Theatre) and The Rise And Fall of Little Voice (Vaudeville). Ian spent many years at the Royal Court where his credits included Wig Out!, Now or Later, Rhinoceros, The Seagull (also Broadway), Rock 'n' Roll, (also Duke of York's and Broadway - Olivier and Tony Award nominations), Motortown, Shining City (also Gate Theatre Dublin), and Hitchcock Blonde (also The Lyric West End). Other credits include Our Class and Pillars of the Community (National Theatre), Othello and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC) and Testing the Echo, (Out of Joint).

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