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Handbagged star Marion Bailey its Cannes for Turner film premiere

May 16, 2014 

Marion Bailey, one of the leading ladies of Handbagged at the Vaudeville Theatre, attended the premiere of her new film Mr. Turner in Cannes yesterday.

Marion Bailey as The Queen in Handbagged

Marion Bailey as The Queen in Handbagged

The actress is currently playing the Queen in the comedy Handbagged in the West End alongside Stella Gonet as Margaret Thatcher.

Moira Buffini’s acclaimed comedy Handbagged, which enjoyed a sell-out run at the Tricycle Theatre before moving into the West End, speculates on what the two most powerful women in the world, The Queen and Margarat Thatcher, talked about behind closed palace doors and features actresses playing both the younger and old Queen and Thatcher.

Marion is also starring in Mike Leigh’s new movie Mr Turner, a biopic about the British painter JMW Turner starring Timothy Spall. Bailey plays twice-widowed seaside landlady Sophia Booth (Marion Bailey), who eventually becomes Turner’s last mistress.

Bailey has worked with Leigh before, including his movie Vera Drake and Mike Leigh’s Grief at the National Theatre in 2011 and 2012. Her extensive stage credits include working at Chichester, the Bristol Old Vic, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Royal Court, the Old Vic and Hampstead Theatre.

Handbagged is booking until 2 August 2014 at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh is set for release in UK cinemas on 31 October 2014.

The Cannes Film Festival runs until the 25 May 2014.

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Variety review – Mr Turner

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Marion Bailey at the Cannes premiere of Mr Turner

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Handbagged at the Vaudeville Theatre

February 4, 2014 

The Tricycle Theatre’s sell-out production of Handbagged transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre starring Stella Gonet.

Moira Buffini’s wickedly funny new comedy throws open the handbag on the relationship between two giants of modern British history: Margaret Thatcher and Her Majesty The Queen.

These two extraordinary icons, born just six months apart, are the protagonists of Buffini’s riotous comedy that speculates on what the world’s two most powerful women talked about behind closed doors and what did they really think of each other.

Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, an acclaimed cast includes Stella Gonet, Marion Bailey, Neet Mohan, Jeff Rawle, Lucy Robinson and Fenella Woolgar.

Designs are by Richard Kent, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick and sound by Carolyn Downing.

“Irresistibly mischievous” (The Independent)

“A clever, mischievous pleasure with the sharp teeth of a kicked corgi” Metro

Casting Announced For Matthew Dunster’s Production Of Rodney Ackland’s Before The Party

January 11, 2013 

Matthew Dunster will direct Rodney Ackland’s Before The Party at the Almeida Theatre from 21 March – 11 May 2013, with press night on 28 March. Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, Before The Party has designs by Anna Fleischle with lighting by Philip Gladwell and sound by Ian Dickinson. Dunster’s production of Before The Party will be the first in over 25 years.

The cast comprises Stella Gonet (Blanche), Katherine Parkinson (Laura Skinner), Alex Price (David), Michelle Terry (Kathleen Skinner), Michael Thomas (Aubrey) and June Watson (Nanny). They are joined by Polly Dartford, Anna Devlin and Emily Lane who will alternate the role of Susan Skinner.

The war is over and the Skinner family are trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government weren’t such a nuisance about the rations and Cook could get some more of those delicious delicacies. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering. Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success.

Stella Gonet was last seen on stage in Top Girls at Trafalgar Studios. Amongst her extensive theatre credits are Women, Power and Politics for the Tricycle Theatre, Skylight, Racing Demon and Hamlet for the National Theatre, Memory of Water at the Vaudeville Theatre and Three Sisters, Divine Gossip and The Revenger’s Tragedy for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She won the RTS Best Actress Award for her role in the BBC drama Trip Trap. Further television appearances include Father Brown, Lewis, Mo, Foyle’s War, House of Elliott and Where The Heart Is. Her film credits include How I Live Now, Dirty Bomb and For Queen and Country.

Katherine Parkinson was last on stage in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre. She is best known on television for playing Jen in the Channel 4 series The IT Crowd, a role for which she won the British Comedy Best Actress Award. Parkinson has previously appeared at the Almeida Theatre in The Lightning Play. Her other theatre credits include Pattie in Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings for the National Theatre, Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal at the Barbican as well as roles in Cock and The Seagull for the Royal Court and Other Hand and Flush for Soho Theatre. Her other television credits include The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, Whites, Doc Martin, The Old Guys, The Great Outdoors, Psychoville and Sherlock. Her film credits include St Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, The Boat that Rocked, Easy Virtue and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

Alex Price has most recently appeared on stage in Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Previously his theatre credits include Electra for the Gate Theatre and Bingo for Chichester Festival Theatre. His television credits include Aphrodite Fry, Father Brown, Vera, Above Suspicion, Doctor Who, Merlin, Being Human and Lewis. Amongst his film credits are Storage 24, A Passionate Woman and A Horse With No Name.

Michelle Terry can currently be seen in In the Republic of Happiness at the Royal Court. Her previous theatre credits include A Comedy of Errors, All’s Well That Ends Well and London Assurance all for the National Theatre, Love’s Labour Lost at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Man Who Had All The Luck for the Donmar Warehouse and The Winter’s Tale and Pericles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Amongst her television credits are The Cafe, Reunited, Law and Order and Extras.

Michael Thomas previously appeared in the Almeida’s production of Waste and Festen. His other theatre credits include As You Like It and The Tempest for the Bridge Project, All’s Well That End’s Well, St Joan and Pillars of the Community for The National Theatre, King Lear andIn Praise of Love for Chichester Festival Theatre, Women Beware Women and The Roman Actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His television credits include Holby Blue, Trial and Retribution, Rosemary and Thyme and Wing and a Prayer.

June Watson can currently be seen on stage at the Vaudeville Theatre in Uncle Vanya. Previously she has been seen in the touring production Calendar Girls, Aristo for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Children’s Hour for The Royal Exchange Theatre, Kosher Harry for the Royal Court and Blue Hart and Our Lady of Sligo for Out of Joint. For the National Theatre her many credits include The Good Hope, Cardiff East and Billy Liar. On television her credits include The Cafe, Wallander, Hancock and Joan, William and Mary and New Tricks. Her film credits include Wreckers, Ghost Hunter and The Knowledge.

Polly Dartford’s theatre credits include Oedipus Rex at the National Theatre, Shadowmaster and A Christmas Carol for The King’s Head Theatre. Her television credits Casualty and Primeval. She will soon be seen in the film Effie.
Anna Devlin has been a member of the Young Actors Theatre for just over a year, Before the Party will be her theatrical debut. Earlier this year she took part in the 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

Emily Lane attends the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. She has previously appeared on stage as Marta in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium and in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre playing the role Cosette.

Director, playwright and actor Matthew Dunster’s directing credits include Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Mogadishu for the Royal Exchange and Lyric Hammersmith and Love The Sinner for the National Theatre. His play Children’s Children received its World Premiere at the Almeida earlier this year directed by Jeremy Herrin. Dunster’s other writing credits include an adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning for the Royal Exchange Theatre, an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and You Can See The Hills also for the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Young Vic.

Playwright Rodney Ackland (1908 – 1991) wrote over 40 plays. Before The Party, based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, will be his first to be performed at the Almeida. His other plays include Improper People, Birthday and The Dark River. In 1966 Anthony Page directed Judi Dench in Ackland’s Absolute Hell. Ackland also adapted novels for the stage including Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1938) and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1946).

PRINCIPAL PARTNER

The Almeida Theatre is grateful to its Principal Partner Aspen whose three year sponsorship started in July 2011, building on the long-term relationship between the two companies. Aspen’s support of the Almeida Theatre ensures continued bold programming and artistic endeavour. Aspen was established in 2002 and is a leading global insurance and reinsurance company. www.aspen.co

The Almeida Theatre is supported by Arts Council England.

Press release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Almeida Theatre website

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios – Save Half Price

August 8, 2011 

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy HALF PRICE on tickets to see Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios in London

Suranne Jones in Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios

Suranne Jones in Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios

Max Stafford-Clark’s new production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls has transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

The play features a hugely talented cast including Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.

Caryl Churchill’s modern classic is set in Thatcher’s England where 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 in this provocative study of success, and what happens to those who get left behind.

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BOOK NOW: SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy HALF PRICE on tickets to see Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios in London

Top Girls tickets at the Trafalgar Studios starring Suranne Jones

August 1, 2011 

Max Stafford-Clark directs Caryl Churchill’s powerful modern classic set in Thatcher’s Britain, starring Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones and Catherine McCormack.

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.

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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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