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West End Transfer For Max Stafford-Clark’s Critically Acclaimed New Production Of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls

July 12, 2011 

SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS OUT OF JOINT & CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE PRODUCTION AT THE TRAFALGAR STUDIOS

Max Stafford-Clark’s new production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls is to transfer to the Trafalgar Studios following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester. Top Girls, produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, will run at the Trafalgar Studios from 5 August – 15 October 2011 with press night on 16 August 2011. Designs are by Tim Shortall with lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Ian Dickinson and video design by Finn Ross. Stafford-Clark’s Out of Joint/ Chichester Festival Theatre co-production reunites him with producer Sonia Friedman, with whom he co-founded Out of Joint Theatre Company in 1993.

The cast is Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.
It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed, go-getting businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – make for an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of success, and what happens to those who get left behind.

Stella Gonet plays Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs Kidd. Her television credits include the drama series The House of Eliott and Holby City as well as Mo Mowlam, and Persuasion. Her theatre credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy and Women, Power and Politics for the Tricycle Theatre.

Suranne Jones plays businesswoman Marlene. She has most recently been seen on television as DC Bailey in the new ITV1 detective series Scott and Bailey, playing opposite Lesley Sharp. Her other television credits include Vincent, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father as well as the role of Karen McDonald in Coronation Street which she played for over four years. Her stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, the touring production of Terms of Endearment and Blithe Spirit at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Catherine McCormack plays Lady Nijo/Win. McCormack’s screen credits include Braveheart, Dangerous Beauty, Spy Game and 28 Weeks Later. Her theatre credits include an Olivier Award nominated performance in All My Sons, Honor and Dinner all for the National Theatre, the West End production of The 39 Steps, The Lady from Dubuque at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and A Doll’s House and The Portrait of a Lady for the Theatre Royal Bath and the Rose Theatre Kingston.

Lucy Briers plays Pope Joan/Louise. Her theatre credits include Behud for Soho Theatre, Bedroom Farce and Miss Julie for the Rose Theatre, Kingston, Ivanov at the Donmar and Wyndham’s Theatres, Some Kind of Bliss at the Trafalgar Studios, The Voysey Inheritance for the National Theatre and Cloud Nine, Teeth ‘n’ Smiles and Don Juan for Sheffield Theatres. Her many television credits include the role of Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as well as The Night Watch, Einstein and Eddington and Silent Witness.

Laura Elphinstone plays Patient Griselda/Nell. Elphinstone’s credits include A Month in the Country for Chichester Festival Theatre, Tom and Viv at the Almeida Theatre, Pains of Youth for the National Theatre, Breathing Corpses and Country Music for the Royal Court. Her film and television credits include The History Boys and Tess of the D’Urbevilles.

Lisa Kerr plays the Waitress/Kit/Shona. Her credits include the Out of Joint productions of The Big Fellah for the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour, Andersen’s English for Hampstead Theatre and Mixed Up North for the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Wilton’s Music Hall and on tour.

Olivia Poulet plays Dull Gret/Angie/Jeanine. Her credits include recent roles in the television comedy The Thick of It, as well as the film In The Loop.

As well as Top Girls, Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls having directed its world premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint (with Sonia Friedman) in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart.

Top Girls opened at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester last month, where it runs until 16 July 2011 before its West End transfer.
Out of Joint is a theatre company acclaimed for producing and touring new writing. Under the directorship of Max Stafford-Clark it has premiered plays by David Hare, Caryl Churchill, Sebastian Barry, Timberlake Wertenbaker and many more, and launched the careers of such talents as Mark Ravenhill and Stella Feehily. The Out of Joint production of A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson will transfer to the West End in September.

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of this country’s leading producing theatres with a strong track record in commissioning and producing new plays and adaptations. Over the past five years, playwrights whose work has been premiered at Chichester include David Edgar, David Hare, Ronald Harwood, Mike Poulton, Ben Power, Lucy Prebble, Martin Sherman and Nicholas Wright.

Release issued by: Premier PR

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Suranne Jones a Top Girl at Chichester

March 10, 2011 

Former Coronation Street actress Suranne Jones has been cast in Max Stafford-Clark’s revival of Top Girls in Chichester this summer. Playing hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene, she joins a cast that also includes Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet.

Suranne Jones to star in Top Girls

Suranne Jones to star in Top Girls

Caryl Churchill’s ground-breaking play first premiered at the Royal Court in 1982, also directed by Stafford-Clark. The play is a co-production between the director’s Out of Joint theatre company and Chichester. It will play in the Minerva Theatre from 23 June to 16 July.

The play is set during Thatcher’s reign, and tough businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Top Girls forms part of a strong new season for Chichester, which will include three major musical revivals – She Loves Me, Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, plus a season of work by Terence Rattigan, and  Ian McKellen and Michael Pennington in The Syndicate.

LINKS

More Chichester news

Chichester Festival Theatre website

Chichester Festival Theatre: Top Girls casting announcement

March 10, 2011 

Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet have been confirmed to appear in the Festival 2011 and Out of Joint co-production of Top Girls at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

Suranne Jones will play businesswoman Marlene. Jones is best known for her performance as Karen McDonald in Coronation Street. Since then she has featured in numerous television dramas including Vincent, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father. Her stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, and the touring production of Terms of Endearment.

Catherine McCormack will play Lady Nijo/Win. McCormack’s notable screen credits include Braveheart, Spy Game and 28 Weeks Later. Her theatre credits include an Olivier Award nominated performance in All My Sons, Dinner (both at the National Theatre) and the West End production of The 39 Steps.

Stella Gonet will play Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs Kidd. Her television credits include the drama series’ The House of Eliott and Holby City. Theatre credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre), and RSC productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Lucy Briers will play Pope Joan/Louise. Her theatre credits include West End productions of Some Kind of Bliss and Ivanov. Television appearances include the role of Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which also featured Oscar Award winner Colin Firth.

Olivia Poulet will play Dull Gret/Angie/Jeanine. Her credits include recent roles in the television comedy The Thick of It, as well as the film In The Loop.

One of the boldest and most original plays of the 1980s, Top Girls remains equally relevant today. It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, for which she received the Evening Standard Award for Best New Comedy and the Olivier Award for Best New Play, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls, having directed its premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart.

Top Girls is a co-production with Out of Joint.

Contains adult themes and strong language.

Top Girls is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, from 23 June – 16 July, 7.45pm, (except Press Night, Thursday 30 June at 7pm), matinees 2.30pm.

Top Girls is sponsored by Graylingwell Park.

Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre

LINKS

Chichester Festival Theatre website

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