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Casting announced for Orpheus Descending at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for Orpheus Descending, which runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory from May 9 to July 6, 2019.

The line up includes Catin Aaron (as Beulah Binnings), Michael Geary (Pee Wee Binnings), Valentine Hanson (Uncle Pleasant), Jenny Livsey (Eva Temple/Woman), Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma), Mark Meadows (Jabe Torrance), Ifan Meredith (David Cutrere/Dog Hamma), Hattie Morahan (Lady Torrance), Seth Numrich (Val Xavier), Ian Porter (Sheriff Talbott), Jemima Rooper (Carol Cutrere), Carol Royle (Vee Talbott) and Carrie Quinlan (Sister/Nurse Porter).

Previously Posted: A Menier Chocolate Factory and Theatre Clwyd co-production, Tennessee Williams’ Deep South American drama, Orpheus Descending, runs at the Southwark venue from May 9 to July 6, 2019.

Lady is trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by intolerant people, living a boring small-town life. But when a wild-eyed charismatic drifter appears, a new life of love and passion suddenly seem possible. Everything will change as certainty, conformity and tradition are ripped apart.

Orpheus Descending began life as Battle of Angels in 1940, and was first performed on Broadway in 1957. In 1959, Sidney Lumet directed the film adaptation, The Fugitive Kind, starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani.

Orpheus Descending will be directed by Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director Tamara Harvey, whose most recent directing credits include Pride and Prejudice at the Sheffield Crucible, the world premiere of Tim Rice’s musical From Here To Eternity in the West End and the award-winning The Kitchen Sink at the Bush Theatre.

Her other West End productions include Bash (Trafalgar Studios) and Whipping it Up (New Ambassadors Theatre). She returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory where she directed Educating Rita and Smash (also at Theatre Royal Bath and on tour).

Tennessee Williams, whose classics include Summer and Smoke, The Glass Menagerie, The Night of the Iguana and A Streetcar Named Desire, transformed the American stage through his poetic writing and provocative subject matters. Awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, three Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Williams’ success is unequivocal and he is arguably one of the best playwrights of the 20th century.

Orpheus Descending will have set and costume design by Jonathan Fensom, lighting design by Tim Mascall and sound design by Gregory Clarke. Casting has not yet been announced.

Also at the Menier Chocolate Factory: a new revival of David Hare’s The Bay at Nice, starring Penelope Wilton and Ophelia Lovibond (March 14 to May 4, 2019).