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Joanne Froggatt stars with Robert Glenister in Alys, Always at the Bridge Theatre

Joanne Froggatt. Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair.

Casting news

JOANNE Froggatt will play the central role, Frances, in the premiere of Lucinda Coxon’s Alys, Always based on the novel by Harriet Lane.

The production, with a cast also featuring Robert Glenister and directed by Nicholas Hytner, runs at the Bridge Theatre from March 5 (previews from February 25) to March 30, 2019.

Frances works on the books pages of a Sunday newspaper. She’s quiet and capable, but nobody takes much notice: her face is pressed to the window, on the outside, looking in.

One evening, driving back to London after visiting her infuriating parents, she comes across an upturned car crumpled on the side of the road. She waits with the injured driver, Alys Kyte, until the ambulance arrives. Later, when Alys’s famous family gets in touch, Frances finds herself for the first time ushered into the world on the other side of the window. And she begins to wonder: what would it take to become a player?

Alys, Always is a gripping psychological thriller that excavates the fault line that separates the entitled from the unentitled.

On television, Joanne Froggatt played Anna Smith in all six seasons of Downton Abbey for which she was the recipient of a Golden Globe award as well as three Emmy nominations. She is currently filming the feature film of the same period drama. Last year, she was seen in Sundance TV and ITV’s Liar which has now been commissioned for a second series.

Froggatt’s previous theatre credits include The Knowledge and Little Platoons (Bush Theatre), All About My Mother (Old Vic), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Manchester Royal Exchange), Playhouse Creatures (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Be My Baby (Soho Theatre).

On film, Froggatt recently played alongside Ed Harris and Rich Sommer in the independent feature A Crooked Somebody. Her other film credits include Mary Shelley, One Last Thing, Starfish, A Street Cat Named Bob and Filth. For her film debut in In Our Name she won Best Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards.

Robert Glenister

Robert Glenister can soon be seen in the forthcoming Moonlight and Night School as part of Jamie Lloyd’s Pinter at the Pinter season. His many other theatre credits include Glengarry Glen Ross (Playhouse Theatre), Great Britain and Blue Remembered Hills (National Theatre), Noises Off (Old Vic and Novello Theatre), The Late Middle Classes (Donmar Warehouse), Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Winterling (Royal Court) and Measure for Measure, The Spanish Tragedy and Little Eyolf (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Glenister’s many television credits include Curfew, Paranoid, The Musketeers, Cold Feet, Close to the Enemy, Vera, The Great Train Robbery, The Café, We’ll Take Manhattan, Hustle and Spooks. He has also appeared in the films The Aeronauts, Journey’s End, Live by Night, Cryptic, Creation, Laissez Passer, The Visitors, All Forgotten, Secret Rapture and Quadrophenia.

Further casting for Alys, Always will be announced in due course.

Nicholas Hytner co-founded the London Theatre Company with Nick Starr. He was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, where the productions he directed included The History Boys, Hamlet, One Man, Two Guvnors and Othello. His films include The Madness of George III, The Lady in the Van and The History Boys. His book Balancing Acts was published by Jonathan Cape last year. For the Bridge Theatre, Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar and Allelujah!

Read more about Alys, Always.

Image (top): Joanne Froggatt. Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair.

Image (bottom): Robert Glenister.