Lucy Cohu (Julia), Diana Hardcastle (Edna), Ian McElhinney (Harry), Imelda Staunton (Claire) and Tim Pigott-Smith (Tobias) will join the previously announced Penelope Wilton (Agnes) in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, directed by James Macdonald which will run at the Almeida Theatre from 5 May – 2 July, with press night on 12 May 2011. A Delicate Balance will be designed by Laura Hopkins with lighting by Guy Hoare and sound by Ian Dickinson.
Urban socialites Agnes and Tobias appear to inhabit a glamorous world of drinks parties and social clubs. The return home of their recently divorced daughter, the constant presence of Agnes’ alcoholic sister and the impromptu late-night arrival of some close friends, begin to peel away this veneer. As their lives become increasingly claustrophobic, the characters battle with their fear of stepping into the real world, opting instead for the undemanding familiarity of their own drawing room.
Lucy Cohu’s most recent stage performance was as Sylvia Gellburg in Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass at the Tricycle Theatre. Her other stage credits include An Enemy of the People at the Sheffield Crucible, Speaking in Tongues at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Macbeth and Way of the World for Birmingham Rep, Blood Wedding for the Lyric Hammersmith and Mad Forest for the Royal Court Theatre. On television she is best known for her roles including Alice Carter in Torchwood, Evelyn in Cape Wrath, Margaret in The Queen’s Sister and Liz in Forgiven – for which she won an International Emmy Award for Best Actress. On film her notable credits include Eliza in Becoming Jane and Lottie in Gosford Park.
Diana Hardcastle was last seen at the Almeida in Jonathan Miller’s production of Camera Obscura. Previously her theatre credits include An English Tragedy and The Glass Menagerie for Watford Palace Theatre, A Kind of Alaska and A Slight Ache for the Gate, Remembrance of Things of the Past for the National Theatre, A Woman of No Importance for the Royal Exchange Theatre as well a many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company including New England, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and A Doll’s House. She has recently completed filming The Best Exotic Marigold. Her other film credits include Chromophobia and A Good Woman. On television her credits include Rose Kennedy inThe Kennedy’s, Fortunes of War, Doctors, Rosemary and Thyme, First Among Equals and That’s Love.
Ian McElhinney has previously been seen at the Almeida in Michael Attenborough’s productions Through A Glass Darkly and There Came a Gypsy Riding. His extensive theatre work in Ireland includes many performances at the Gate and the Abbey Theatres in Dublin and the Lyric in Belfast. His London theatre work includes Amphibians for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme for Hampstead Theatre, Pygmies in the Ruins for the Royal Court and The Cure at Troy for the Tricycle. His film credits include Three Wise Men, Cup Cake, Closing the Ring, The Front Line, Omagh, The Boxer and The Michael Collins Story. On television his more recent credits include Game of Thrones, New Tricks, Scapegoat, The Tudors, Little Dorritt and Murphy’s Law.
Imelda Staunton was also last at the Almeida in There Came A Gypsy Riding. Her other more recent stage credits include Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios, Life x 3 for the National Theatre, The Corn Is Green for the Old Vic – for which she won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress, The Wizard of Oz for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville Theatre and Into The Woods at the Phoenix Theatre. Staunton’s film credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Taking Woodstock, A Bunch of Amateurs, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, Shakespeare in Love. For playing the title role in Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake Staunton won many accolades including the BAFTA, Evening Standard and Venice Film Festival Best Actress Awards. On television her many credits include Psychoville, Cranford Chronicles, My Family and Other Animals and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Tim Pigott-Smith has most recently been seen on stage as Frank in Educating Rita at the Trafalgar Studios and Ken Lay in Enron at the Noel Coward Theatre. In 1999 he played opposite Kevin Spacey in the Almeida’s production of The Iceman Cometh. His extensive theatre credits include Pygmalion at the Old Vic, Little Nell for the Bath Theatre Royal, Hecuba for the Donmar Warehouse and Mourning Becomes Electra for the National Theatre as well as many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic. On film his credits include My Piece of the Pie, Alice in Wonderland, Quantum of Solace, V for Vendetta and Bloody Sunday. His more recent television credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, The Queen, Midsomer Murders, On Expenses and The Last Flight to Kuwait as well The Jewel in the Crown for which he won the BAFTA for Best Actor.
Penelope Wilton was most recently on stage as Gertrude opposite Jude Law in the Donmar Warehouse production of Hamlet. She was previously at the Almeida in Karel Reisz’s production of The Deep Blue Sea. Her extensive theatre credits include The Family Reunion, John Gabriel Borkman and Little Foxes all for the Donmar Warehouse, Women Beware Women, The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The House of Bernarda Alba, Piano, The Secret Rapture, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, Man and Superman, Sisterly Feeling and Betrayal for the National Theatre. Her film credits includes The History Boys, Match Point, Pride and Prejudice, Calendar Girls and Shaun of the Dead, and on television Half Broken Things, Five Days, Celebration, Falling, Doctor Who, Talking Heads, Ever Decreasing Circles, Bob and Rose and The Deep Blue Sea. She has recently been seen on ITV in Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey.
James Macdonald returns to the Almeida where he has previously directed Judgment Day and The Triumph of Love. Recently he has directed John Gabriel Borkman at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. For the Royal Court his credits include Cock, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, A Number, Dying City and Blasted. For the National Theatre he has directed Dido Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other and Exiles and for the Royal Shakespeare Company The Tempest and Roberto Zucco. In the West End his productions include Glengarry Glen Ross and on Broadway The Book of Grace.
Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance received its world premiere on Broadway in 1966, directed by Alan Schneider with a cast led by Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy. In 1973 it was released as a film, directed by Tony Richardson, with a cast including Katherine Hepburn, Paul Scofield, Lee Remick, Kate Reid, Joseph Cotton and Betsy Blair. The Almeida Theatre has previously presented Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, The Play About The Baby and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which transferred to the West End after a sell-out Almeida run. As well as A Delicate Balance, Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning Albee’s other works include The Zoo Story, Seascape, The Lady From Dubuque, Finding the Sun, Three Tall Women, Fragments and Me, Myself & I. Albee was awarded the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1980.
The Almeida Theatre is grateful to its Principal Sponsor Coutts & Co., who is currently in their eighth consecutive year of support. The relationship between Coutts and the Almeida, first established when the newly refurbished theatre reopened in 2003, is a unique collaboration which has developed and flourished over the past eight years. www.coutts.com
ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
The Almeida Theatre is supported by Arts Council England
Release issued by: Premier PR