Bristol Old Vic and Lyceum Edinburgh announce two casts for double co-productions this Autumn

24 Jul 2018

Double casting announcement: 

  • Two of modern theatre’s greatest storytellers - Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh’s Artistic Director David Greig - work together for the first time on world premiere Touching the Void
  • In September, Twelfth Night, opens The Lyceum’s 2018/19 season before transferring to Bristol Old Vic as the second autumn co-production between the two theatres.  
  • Also in September, Touching the Void opens Bristol Old Vic’s 2018/19 season, heralding the completion of its 10-year, multi-million pound redevelopment project.   
  • Full cast of both productions announced today.

Casting for both Touching the Void and Twelfth Night was announced today, heralding the first two-production partnership between leading regional theatrical powerhouses, Bristol Old Vic and The Lyceum, Edinburgh.

In September, Tom Morris (The Grinning Man, Swallows & Amazons, War Horse) will direct the first stage version of Touching the Void, adapted by David Greig (The Events, The Suppliant Women, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). This production marks the first time the two Artistic Directors have creatively collaborated and will run at Bristol Old Vic from 8 Sep – 6 Octbefore going onto Royal & Derngate, Northampton (9–20 Oct), reaching The Lyceum (24 Jan until 16 Feb 2019) and subsequent national and international tour dates.

This production marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his battle back from the brink of death on the treacherous Siula Grande Mountain. Alongside this struggle is the appalling dilemma of his climbing partner Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the rope tying him to the severely injured Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the void, Simon is faced with the agonising decision to cut the rope that binds them…

Tom Morris said: “After 12 years of dreaming, I’m thrilled to finally be able to direct this quintessential story of survival which has become a classic in its own lifetime. This next chapter in Bristol Old Vic’s Year of Change season looks at the life-changing decisions of two extraordinary men whose story has transcended mountaineering history. They are individuals who faced agonising choices and triumphed in a battle for life itself.”

Touching the Void Cast:

Rising stars Josh Williams and Edward Hayter will play climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates respectively in this world premiere. Josh Williams has been taking the UK theatre by storm since his professional debut aged 17 in Our Private Life (Royal Court Theatre), closely followed by Lord of the Flies (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). He has gone on to star in Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information (Royal Court Theatre), New Views: Is there a WIFI in heaven? (National Theatre),  Shivered (Southwark Playhouseand RSC’s Wendy and Peter Pan. He recently appeared in the Olivier-nominated new play One Night in Miami (Donmar) directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Edward Hayter makes his professional stage debut in Touching the Void. He trained at The Poor School before taking the lead role in films Burning Men and To Dream (both due for release later this year) as well as playing the role of Walsingham in the 2017 TV series Will.

They are joined by Fiona Hampton in the role of ‘Sarah’. Fiona works extensively in theatre, television and film. Recent stage work includes the role of 'Beatrice' in Shakespeare’s Globe’s Much Ado About Nothing, 'Amanda' inPrivate Lives (Octagon Theatre/Young Vic) and 'Titania/Hippolyta' in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre). She is best-known on screen for playing 'Amelia' in Kingsman: The Secret Service.

The Touching the Void cast is completed by recent LAMDA graduate Patrick McNamee as Richard. He is currently series regular ‘Ruby’ in the latest series of Our Girl on BBC1.

Touching the Void is a co-production from Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fuel. 

Twelfth Night Cast:

The second co-production between the award-winning theatres will be Shakespeare’s perfect comedy Twelfth Nightwill be directed by The Lyceum’s Associate Artist Wils Wilson (The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland; Scuttlers, Manchester Royal Exchange).  It will run at the Lyceum from 14 Sep – 6 Oct before transferring to Bristol Old Vic from 17 Oct – 17 Nov.   This gender-bending interpretation, widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, stars award-winning comedy and cabaret performance artist Christopher Green as ‘Malvolio’. Christopher is best-known for his enduring and endearing characters Tina C and Ida Barr, and experimental theatre works such asOffice Party, VIP, The Razzle and This Show Has No Name.   He is joined by Jade Ogugua as ‘Viola’ (How to Act, National Theatre of Scotland; The Barnbow Canaries, West Yorkshire Playhouse; The Tempest, Northern Stage and Oxford Playhouse) and Colette Dalal Tchantcho as ‘Orsino’ (Eddie and the Slumber Sisters, National Theatre of Scotland and Catherine Wheels; In My Own Words, Complicité).

The cast also includes Dawn Sievewright as ‘Toby’ (Pinocchio, National Theatre; Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre; Glasgow Girls, National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Guy Hughes as ‘Andrew Aguecheek’ (The Little Matchgirl, Bristol Old Vic and Shakespeare’s Globe; The Winter’s Tale, Cheek By Jowl), Sophia Kolinas as ‘Maria’ (Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Grey Bruce Arts Collective; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Canadian Stage).   They are joined by Brian James O’Sullivan as ‘Antonio’ (The Arabian Nights and The Winter’s Tale, The Lyceum;The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Dundee Rep; The James Plays, National Theatre of Scotland) and Dylan Read as ‘Feste’ (Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Letter, Bouffon Scratchings).   Speaking of the production, Wils Wilson said: I'm very excited and a little humbled to be directing this wonderful play. It’s Shakespeare's play of celebration and revelry - and like all good parties there are moments of joyful abandon, friendship, flirtation, and great live music - but also, confusion, thoughtless cruelty and embarrassment.  I love the play for its warmth and wit, and also for its brilliant and fearless exploration of human frailty.”

The creative team includes Musical Director Alasdair Macrae, (Cockpit and The Winter’s Tale, The Lyceum; The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil, Dundee Rep; The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland; and The James Plays, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre) and award-winning composer Meilyr Jones, whose original compositions for the production will be performed live on stage. Previously of the band Race Horses, Meilyr’s debut solo album ‘2013’ was met with huge critical acclaim and he has worked with Gruff Rhys, Stealing Sheep, Aldeburgh Festival and Tate Britain.    Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett Elwood said: “Collaborating with other organisations is one of the joys of making work at Bristol Old Vic and we are thrilled to be working for the first time with our friends in Edinburgh - not only on the glorious comedy Twelfth Night, but the boundary-breaking new work Touching the Void. We can’t wait to welcome the Lyceum team to Bristol and our brand-new building and are looking forward to the adventures and opportunities this ‘theatrical exchange programme’ will bring.”

Speaking today, David Greig said: “It is a real pleasure to be working with Bristol Old Vic on these two very different plays, and a joy to be in partnership with a theatre that absolutely shares both our delight in adventure and our love of classic theatre.”

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Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

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On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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