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Ellen Burstyn to make London debut

November 22, 2010 

Multi-Oscar nominee Ellen Burstyn to join Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in The Children’s Hour

Ellen Burstyn. Photo: Howard Schatz

Ellen Burstyn. Photo: Howard Schatz

Further casting has been announced for The Children’s Hour, previewing at the Comedy Theatre from 22 January 2011.

Joining Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in Ian Rickson’s new production of Lillian Hellman’s classic, controversial play is American actress Ellen Burstyn, who will make her London stage debut in the production.

Other cast will include well-known US stage and screen star Carol Kane, Bryony Hannah, Tobias Menzies, Nancy Crane, Amy Dawson and Isabel Ellison.

Academy, Tony and BAFTA award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn will play Amelia in the drama. Her long and successful movie and stage career includes six Oscar nominations for movies that include The Exorcist, Same Time Next Year and Requiem for a Dream.

Carol Kane will feature as Lily, and is best known for her appearance in US sitcom Taxi and has enjoyed multiple TV and movie roles, along with high-profile stage performances including Madam Morrible in Wicked on Broadway and in Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Elisabeth Moss, who plays ambitious young copywriter Peggy Olson in the hit AMC series Mad Men will play Martha Dobie in the play, alongside Keira Knightley as Karen Wright. Elisabeth Moss has performed on stage in the 2008 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow. Keira Knightley will make a return to the West End after her success in The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre earlier this year.

Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play The Children’s Hour, will see Moss and Knightley play two schoolmistresses who run a girl’s boarding school in the 1930s. When a schoolgirl’s whisper spreads, it triggers a chain of events with extraordinary consequences.

The last London production of The Children’s Hour was at the National Theatre in 1994 starring Clare Higgins and Harriet Walter. Movie director William Wyler produced two films based on the play, the first in 1936 which had to adapt the story into a heterosexual love triangle, and again in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.

Ex-Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson will direct The Children’s Hour, following his huge hit with Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem in 2009. The play will be produced by Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis and is widely tipped to transfer to Broadway following its West End run.

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

CAST CREDITS

Ellen Burstyn

Nominated six times for an Oscar for her roles in The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Same Time Next Year, Resurrection and Requiem for a Dream, Ellen’s many film credits include Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore for which she won the Best Actress BAFTA as well as the Academy Award. Her more recent film credits include Olivier Stone’s W. in which she played Barbara Bush, Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and Neil LaBute’s remake of The Wicker Man. She can be seen on screen in the forthcoming The Mighty Macs and Main Street. Her many US theatre credits include Same Time Next Year for which she won the Tony Award, 84 Charing Cross Road, Shirley Valentine and Long Day’s Journey Into Night, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s production of The Little Flower of East Orange for the Public Theater and LAByrinth Theater Company. Burstyn’s television credits include the title role in The People vs. Jean Harris and Pack of Lies, for both which she was Emmy nominated, That’s Life, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Book of Daniel.

Carol Kane

Carol Kane is best known on television for playing Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas, in the hugely popular US sitcom Taxi for which she won two Emmy awards. Her other television credits include regular roles in the American sitcoms All is Forgiven and American Dreamer as well as guest appearances in Chicago Hope, Seinfeld, Pearl, Two and a Half Men and Ugly Betty. Her film roles include Gitl in Hester Street for which she was Academy award-nominated, Allison Portchnik in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Dog Day Afternoon, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, Addams Family Values, The Pacifier and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. She began her professional theatre career in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and has more recently played Madam Morrible in Wicked on Broadway, on tour in the US and in Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Her other theatre credits include The Tempest and Macbeth at the Lincoln Centre Theater and earlier this year she was seen off Broadway in Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Nancy Crane

Nancy is currently featuring in Design for Living at the Old Vic. Her other theatre credits include Love the Sinner and Angels in America for the National Theatre, Now or Later, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Our Late Night and The Strip for the Royal Court, Chains of Dew and Trifles at the Orange Tree, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl and Six Degrees of Separation for Sheffield Theatres and Habitat for Manchester Royal Exchange. On television her credits include Law & Order, Cambridge Spies, Strike Force, The Last Days of Patton and 92 Grosvenor Street. Her film credits include The Special Relationship, The Dark Knight, The Road to Guantanamo, The Machinist and The Fourth Protocol.

Amy Dawson

Amy’s stage credits include That Face for Sheffield Theatres, Edmond for the Theatre Royal Haymarket, I’ll Leave It To You for Pentameters Theatre and Accidental Heroes and School Journey to the Centre of the Early both for the Lyric Hammersmith.

Isabel Ellison

Isabel trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has recently been seen in Red Bud at the Royal Court Theatre.

Bryony Hannah

Theatre credits for the National Theatre include Earthquakes in London, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Pillowman and War Horse. Her other theatre credits include Breathing Irregular for the Gate Theatre, The Winter’s Tale for Headlong, The Crucible for Sheffield Theatres, The 24 Hour Plays for the Old Vic and The Black Sheep at the Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh. On screen her credits include Cemetery Junction and Reversals.

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley recently starred on stage in Thea Sharrock’s acclaimed production of The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre in 2009. Her many film credits include Never Let Me Go which opened the 2010 London Film Festival, Bend It Like Beckham, Love Actually, The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, King Arthur, The Jacket, Pride and Prejudice, Domino, Silk, Atonement, The Edge of Love, The Duchess, Last Night and the forthcoming London Boulevard and A Dangerous Method. Her television credits include the critically-acclaimed remake of Doctor Zhivago, Oliver and Coming Home.

Tobias Menzies

Tobias is best known for playing Brutus in BBC and HBO’s Rome. On stage his many credits include Edgar in King Lear at the Young Vic, Cloud Nine and Platonov for the Almeida Theatre, The Cherry Orchard for Sheffield Theatres, The History Boys for the National Theatre, the title role in Rupert Goold’s production of Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Northampton and Michael Blakemore’s production of Three Sisters at the Playhouse Theatre. His film credits include Atonement, Pierrepoint, Casino Royale and Anton Chekhov’s The Duel. His further television credits include Spooks, The Deep, Pulling and Persuasion.

Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth is best known for playing the role of Peggy Olson in the ongoing award-winning television series Mad Men, for which she has received both Emmy Award and SAG Award nominations, as well as for the role of Zoe Bartlett in The West Wing. Moss made her Broadway stage debut in David Mamet’s Speed- the-Plow in 2008. Her film credits include Get Him to the Greek, Did you Hear About the Morgans? and Girl, Interrupted, as well as the forthcoming On the Road and Darling Companion.

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

The Children’s Hour tickets at the Comedy Theatre starring Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss

November 19, 2010 

A highlight of the winter season in the West End, Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Ellen Burstyn star in Lillian Hellman’s intense, compelling drama set in the 1930s, directed by Ian Rickson (Jerusalem).

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY in The Children’s Hour

November 3, 2010 

Keira Knightley joins Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss for The Children’s Hour

Keira Knightley in The Children's HourIt seems that Keira Knightley enjoyed her first experience of the West End stage last year, playing Jennifer alongside Damian Lewis’s Alceste in The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre.

So much so that she has agreed to return to theatre next year, to star in a revival of Lillian Hellman’s controversial classic The Children’s Hour. Knightley will be joined in the play by Elisabeth Moss, who plays ambitious young copywriter Peggy Olson in hit US series Mad Men.

The Children’s Hour will open at the end of January in the West End, produced by Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis and directed by ex-Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson (Jerusalem).

Keira Knightley, 25, comes from a theatrical family: her mother is the playwright Sharman Macdonald and her father is the actor Will Knightley. She started acting at seven years old, but her first professional role came in the love story A Village Affair in 1995 when she was 10.

Lots of TV work followed including Coming Home alongside Peter O’Toole, Alan Bleasdale’s Oliver Twist, Princess of Thieves in 2001 – her first title role, and then in 2002 her first break-out movie, Bend It Like Beckham. She was then cast by ITV’s Andy Harries in his big-budget TV adaptation of Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago, playing Larisa, and followed this with Love Actually in 2003.

Later in 2003 came her casting in Jerry Bruckheimer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the start of her starring role in this enormously successful film franchise. 2005 saw her film Pride & Prejudice and enjoy considerable critical acclaim – including her first Academy Award nomination. In 2007 she filmed Atonement playing Cecilia Tallis, followed by films including The Edge Of Love, with a screenplay by her mother Sharman Macdonald, The Duchess, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go alongside Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Movies coming up include London Boulevard with Colin Farrell, new David Cronenberg movie A Dangerous Method and comedy The Emperor’s Children with Richard Gere.

Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play The Children’s Hour, will see Moss and Knightley play two schoolmistresses who run a girl’s boarding school in the 1930s. When a disgruntled student accuses the teachers of having a lesbian affair, a series of dramatic events unfold that destroys both their lives.

The last London production of The Children’s Hour was at the National Theatre in 1994 starring Clare Higgins and Harriet Walter. Movie director William Wyler produced two films based on the play, the first in 1936 which had to adapt the story into a heterosexual love triangle, and again in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

ELISABETH MOSS in The Children’s Hour

November 1, 2010 

As the world goes Mad Men mad, Elisabeth Moss is to make her West End debut

Elisabeth Moss in The Children's HourAMC’s 60’s-set drama Mad Men has proved nothing short of a TV phenomenon. And at its heart is the compelling relationship between ad man Don Draper and his protegee Peggy Olson.

Peggy is played by Elisabeth Moss, who will make her London theatre debut next year alongside Keira Knightley in a starry revival of Lillian Hellman’s controversial classic The Children’s Hour.

Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play The Children’s Hour, will see Moss and Knightley play two schoolmistresses who run a girl’s boarding school in the 1930s. When a disgruntled student accuses the teachers of having a lesbian affair, a series of dramatic events unfold that destroys both their lives.

Elisabeth Moss, 28, is no stranger to theatre having appeared in the 2008 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow. However, like Knightley, it is for her movie and TV work that she is best known. She played President Bartlett’s daughter in The West Wing, and won plaudits in 2003 for her lead role in Virgin about a young girl who believes that she is carrying the child of God. She has also been nominated twice for Emmy awards for her role as Peggy in Mad Men.

Forthcoming projects include a big screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road alongside Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund.

The last London production of The Children’s Hour was at the National Theatre in 1994 starring Clare Higgins and Harriet Walter. Movie director William Wyler produced two films based on the play, the first in 1936 which had to adapt the story into a heterosexual love triangle, and again in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.

The Children’s Hour will open at the end of January in the West End, produced by Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis and directed by ex-Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson (Jerusalem).

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

Mad Men’s Peggy to play West End

October 22, 2010 

The West End is jumping on the worldwide craze for AMC’s hit Sixties-set drama Mad Men.

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy in AMC's Mad Men

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy in AMC's Mad Men

Elisabeth Moss, who plays ambitious young copywriter Peggy Olson in the series, is set to join Keira Knightley in a revival of Lillian Hellman’s controversial classic The Children’s Hour.

Moss and Knightley will start rehearsals in London next month for the play, which will open at the end of January in the West End. Ex-Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson will direct, following his huge hit with Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem in 2009.

Elisabeth Moss has performed on stage in the 2008 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow. Keira Knightley will make a return to the West End after her success in The Misanthrope at the Comedy Theatre earlier this year.

Lillian Hellman’s 1934 play The Children’s Hour, will see Moss and Knightley play two schoolmistresses who run a girl’s boarding school in the 1930s. When a disgruntled student accuses the teachers of having a lesbian affair, a series of dramatic events unfold that destroys both their lives.

The last London production of The Children’s Hour was at the National Theatre in 1994 starring Clare Higgins and Harriet Walter. Movie director William Wyler produced two films based on the play, the first in 1936 which had to adapt the story into a heterosexual love triangle, and again in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner.

Ian Rickson told the Daily Mail yesterday that the play’s relevance for today is less about lesbianism than the culture of suing and litigation, “you go to any school and put your hand on a child’s arm and you’re reported”, he said.

It is predicted that the show, which is being produced by Sonia Friedman and Scott Landis, will transfer to Broadway following its West End run.

Book tickets to The Children’s Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London

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