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Photos: Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

April 17, 2013 

Production photos of Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre 

Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre. Photo: Roy Tan

Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre. Photo: Roy Tan

It’s hard to believe that it has been twenty years since Jonathan Harvey’s warm and witty play Beautiful Thing seemed to come out of nowhere and charm everyone who saw it.

This much-deserved revival directed by Nikolai Foster (Arts Theatre until 25 May 2013), stars Suranne Jones as Sandra, Zaraah Abrahams as Leah, Oliver Farnworth as Tony and introduces Jake Davies as Jamie and Danny-Boy Hatchard as Ste.

Set during a heat wave on a rundown Thamesmead council estate, Beautiful Thing is an urban love story following schoolboy Jamie who falls in love with neighbour Ste.

Jonathan Harvey deftly combines comedy with ardent drama in his critically acclaimed award winning play, and truly captures what it is to be sixteen and in the first full flush of love.

Photos by Roy Tan.

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SPECIAL OFFER: Book tickets to Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

Cast Photos: Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

March 4, 2013 

Cast Photos: Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

Suranne Jones in Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre

Suranne Jones in Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary year, Jonathan Harvey’s award-winning and much-loved urban love story Beautiful Thing returns to the West End this Spring starring Suranne Jones.

The show, which runs at the Arts Theatre from 13 April to 25 May 2013, stars Suranne Jones as Sandra, Zaraah Abrahams as Leah, Oliver Farnworth as Tony and introducing Jake Davies as Jamie and Danny-Boy Hatchard as Ste.

The revival will be directed by Nikolai Foster and designed by Colin Richmond.

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Book tickets to Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

SURANNE JONES in Beautiful Thing

January 17, 2013 

Suranne Jones stars in the 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s play Beautiful Thing.

SURANNE JONES in Beautiful ThingNikolai Foster is to direct a new production of Jonathan Harvey’s touching play Beautiful Thing this Spring, to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Playing at the Arts Theatre from 13 April 2013, the play will star Suranne Jones as Sandra, the mother of gay teenager Jamie who falls in love with his neighbour Ste.

Suranne Jones is best known for playing Karen McDonald in Coronation Street and DC Rachel Bailey in Scott & Bailey. Other TV work includes Doctor Who, A Touch of Cloth and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Stage work includes Top Girls, A Few Good Men and  Blithe Spirit.

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Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

January 3, 2013 

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary year, Jonathan Harvey’s award-winning and much-loved urban love story Beautiful Thing returns to the West End starring Suranne Jones.

The show, which runs at the Arts Theatre from 13 April to 25 May 2013, stars Suranne Jones as Sandra, Zaraah Abrahams as Leah, Oliver Farnworth as Tony and introduces Jake Davies as Jamie and Danny-Boy Hatchard as Ste.

The revival will be directed by Nikolai Foster and designed by Colin Richmond.

Set during a heat wave on a rundown Thamesmead council estate, Beautiful Thing is an urban love story full of characters that abound with attitude, energy, frankness and humour.

The story follows Jamie, an introvert, troubled teen whose dislike of football is reason enough for his classmates to bully him at every opportunity. Living with his pre-occupied single mum, Sandra, Jamie finds himself infatuated with his next door neighbour and classmate Ste. Ste, who is living with his abusive, alcoholic father in the flat next door, is one night beaten so badly that Sandra takes pity and lets him sleep over. In the absence of a third bed, Ste has to make do with sleeping ‘top-to-toe’ with Jamie. Much to his delight, Jamie is able to provide Ste with the comfort and reassurance he craves and also a little massage with some peppermint foot lotion.

The boys’ relationship is helped along by Leah, a sassy, Mama Cass-obsessed neighbour and Sandra’s dippy neo-hippy lover, Tony, as they discover themselves, each other and a Beautiful Thing.

Jonathan Harvey deftly combines comedy with ardent drama in his critically acclaimed award winning play, and truly captures what it is to be sixteen and in the first full flush of love.

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Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre starring Suranne Jones

 

Beautiful Thing to get West End revival starring Suranne Jones

November 16, 2012 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jonathan Harvey’s breakout play Beautiful Thing, a new production will be staged in the West End this Spring.

Suranne Jones to play Sandra in Beautiful Thing

Suranne Jones to play Sandra in Beautiful Thing

Running at the Arts Theatre from 13 April 2013 following a short UK tour, the play will star TV and stage actress Suranne Jones as Sandra, Jamie’s mother. The director is Nikolai Foster.

When the play premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1993 it proved to be a turning point in gay drama entering the mainstream, as this tender urban love story between two teenagers on a South London council estate – both of whom happen to be male – transferred into the West End and became a hit Channel 4 film.

Only 24 when Beautiful Thing premiered, Jonathan Harvey has gone on to be a regular writer on Coronation Street and wrote the TV comedy Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, best-selling 2012 novel All She Wants, and the plays include Canary and Corrie!

In recent years Harvey has been quite protective over granting permission for revivals of the play, relenting last year for a successful Royal Exchange Manchester production, and now allowing this 20th anniversary production to go ahead.

Suranne Jones is best known for playing Karen McDonald in Coronation Street and DC Rachel Bailey in Scott & Bailey. Other TV work includes Doctor Who, A Touch of Cloth and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Stage work includes Top Girls, A Few Good Men and  Blithe Spirit.

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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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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.

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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: 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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