Articles for October, 2015


Full cast announced for The Mother

Thursday, October 29th, 2015 by Tricycle

Tricycle Theatre presents the Theatre Royal Bath Production of
The Mother
By Florian Zeller, in a new translation by Christopher Hampton

21 January – 5 March
Press Night: Tue 26 Jan, 7pm

Directed by Laurence Boswell


Cast: Richard Clothier, Gina McKee, Frances McNamee and William Postlethwaite

The full cast is announced today for The Mother, transferring to the Tricycle Theatre from Ustinov Studio in Bath. Gina McKee, Richard Clothier and William Posthelwaite reprise their original roles and are joined by new cast member Frances McNamee. The production opens on 26 January, with previews from 21 January, and runs until 5 March.

Anne loved that time in her life when she prepared breakfast each morning for her two young children, Sara and Nicholas. Now her children are grown and have lives and loves of their own. Spending hours alone, Anne broods upon the actions of her husband and longs for the return of her favoured son.

Molière Award-winning playwright Florian Zeller returns to the Tricycle following 2015’s critically-acclaimed sell-out run of The Father which has now transferred to the Wyndham’s Theatre.

Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. His work has been translated into several languages, including English. He won the prestigious Prix Interallié in 2004 for his novel Fascination of Evil (La Fascination du Pire) and several Molière Awards for his plays. The Molières are considered France’s highest theatrical honour. Florian Zeller wrote his first novel Artificial Snow when he was twenty-two years old. His second novel, Lovers or Something Like It was well received but it was his third novel, Fascination of Evil (the 2004 Prix Interallié winner) which made him a household name in France. The book was selected for the Prix Goncourt. Theatre credits include L’Autre, Le Manège, Si tu mourais (Prix Jeune Théâtre of the Académie Française), Elle t’attend, La Mère, La Vérité, Le Père, Une Heure de tranquillité and Le Mensonge. His novels include (and UK/US translations) Neiges artificielles (Artificial Snow); Les Amants du n’importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It); La Fascination du pire (The Fascination of Evil); Julien Parme (Julien Parme) and La Jouissance.

Christopher Hampton has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov and Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3). He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaptation of his own play, Dangerous Liaisons. He was nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac.

Richard Clothier plays The Father, Peter. For theatre his credits include Play Strindberg (Ustinov Studio; Theatre Royal Bath), King Lear (National Theatre), Fifty Words (Ustinov Studio; Theatre Royal Bath, Arcola Theatre), Richard III (awarded the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Performance), The Comedy of Errors (Best Touring Production, Theatre Awards UK 2011), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice (Propeller, UK and international tour), Enlightenment (Hampstead Theatre), The Promise (Orange Tree Theatre), Rose Rage (Duke’s Theatre, New York), The Tempest (Sheffield Crucible), The Browning Version (UK national tour/Theatre Royal Bath), Salome (US tour, New York), King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, The Dybbuk, The Tempest (RSC, Stratford), Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Virtuoso, The Alchemist (RSC, Barbican) and Tango at the End of Winter (Piccadilly Theatre). For television his credits include New Tricks, Henry V, Above Suspicion, Law & Order: UK, Spooks, Kingdom, City of Vice, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders and The Brontës; and for film, Singularity, Hippie Hippie Shake, So This Is Romance? and Bye Bye Columbus.

Gina McKee plays The Mother, Anne. Her theatre credits include Richard III (Trafalgar Studios), King Lear (nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2011 Olivier Awards, Donmar Warehouse/UK tour/ Brooklyn Academy), Di and Viv and Rose (Hampstead Theatre), Ivanov, Old Times (Donmar Warehouse), Aristocrats (National Theatre), Five Kinds of Silence (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hammett’s Apprentice (Royal Court Theatre). For television her credits include By Any Means, Hebburn, Care, The Borgias, Secret State, Line of Duty, Missing, Vera, The Silence, Dive, Fiona’s Story, The Street The Old Curiosity Shop, Lewis, Tsunami Aftermath, The Lavender List, The Baby War, The Lost Prince, The Forsyte Saga, Dice, The Passion, Mothertime, Beyond Fear, The Treasure Seekers, Element of Doubt, Chest, Brass Eye and Our Friends in the North (Best Actress BAFTA 1996); and for film, Taj Mahal, Jimmy P, In the Loop, Atonement, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Mirror Mask, The Blackwater Lightship, The Reckoning, The Zookeeper, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble, Wonderland, Notting Hill, The Loss of Sexual Innocence, Croupier and Naked.

Frances McNamee plays The Girl, Élodie. Her theatre credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won (RSC), Punishment without Revenge (Arcola/Theatre Royal   Bath/Belgrade   Coventry), Pride   and   Prejudice (Regent’s   Park), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal and Derngate), The Borrowers (Northern Stage), Epsom   Downs (Salisbury   Playhouse), The   Phoenix   of   Madrid, The Surprise of Love (Theatre Royal Bath) and Les Misérables 20th Anniversary Gala Performance (West End). Her film credits include Love in Fifteen Minutes.

William Postlethwaite plays The Son, Nicholas. His theatre credits include Brave New World (Royal and Derngate), Journey’s End (Watermill Theatre), Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse), King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath), Longing (Hampstead Theatre), Cinderella – the Midnight Princess (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Fireface (Young Vic Theatre), Collaborators (National Theatre) and As You Like It (Royal Exchange). For television his credits include Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and for film, Containment and Tea for Two.

Laurence Boswell was appointed as Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath in 2011. Laurence has directed the following plays for the Ustinov Studio: Exit the King, Intimate Apparel, Punishment Without Revenge, A Lady of Little Sense, Fifty Words, The Double, In the Next Room, The Surprise of Love, Iphigenia, and The Phoenix of Madrid. Laurence is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. For Gate Theatre, London, Laurence directed a number of productions including the Spanish Golden Age Season, which won the 1992 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement. Other theatre credits include Popcorn (Apollo), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Comedy), This Is Our Youth and Treats (Garrick) and Up for Grabs (Wyndham’s). For the RSC his credits include Beauty and the Beast (RSC) and Women Beware Women, The Dog in the Manger and Bartholomew Fair (the Swan).

The Mother runs at the Tricycle Theatre from 21 Jan – 5 Mar 2016. Find out more and book tickets.


Lucian Msamati talks about Toof, Iago and the RSC

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 by Tricycle

Lucian Msamati stars as Archbishop Tardimus Toof in our current World Premiere production of Marcus Gardley’s A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes, before which he made headlines with an ‘outstanding’ performance (The Guardian) as the first Black actor to play Othello’s nemesis Iago at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Left to right: Michelle Bonnard, Ayesha Antoine, Lucian Msamati, Wil Johnson and Karl Queensborough. Photo: Mark Douet

We spoke to Lucian about his time at the RSC, and how he made the transition from playing the villain in a Shakespeare tragedy to playing a villain in an adapted Molière comedy. This is what he had to say…

What is it like working at the RSC? This is, in all honesty a very frustrating question to try and answer — and that is not to pooh-pooh the question! — it’s frustrating because I don’t know whether there is ever a satisfying or insightful way to put another at the heart of that experience. It would be like me asking Cristiano Ronaldo, ‘What’s it like playing for Real Madrid?’ What does he say, ‘It’s cool!’ ‘It’s fantastic!’. It is not as if those answers are ‘wrong’. But for me? Not entirely satisfactory (And just to be clear, I am not comparing myself to Ronaldo; we are the same height and that’s it.) For one thing this is my job as well as my passion so I don’t ‘change’ or ‘adapt’ who I am or what I do to suit the company I happen to be employed by at any given time. On the other hand, of course there is obvious excitement when you’re playing for one of the ‘Big Un’s’. But when it comes down to it? The really noticeable and notable contrast is always practical. The bigger companies seem to have more of the two things most of us perhaps crave: time and money. There is a certain security in that; there is a big difference in having four weeks to mount a production and having twelve weeks; a massive difference. But it doesn’t lessen the pressure! It is the difference between reading a book by a renowned scholar and being able to fly the author over to speak to you in person. That is fantastic! And cool! But either way you still have to get down and do the work: rehearse, learn lines, adapt, absorb, finesse, create and repeat.

Transitioning from ‘Iago’ to ‘Toof’ was quite straightforward. I was incredibly privileged and proud to have had a director and fellow cast at the RSC full of trust, respect, intelligence, fun, grit and camaraderie. It made it easier to shake off the darkness and intensity of that particular character. I have been blessed to walk into a very similar situation with ‘Wolf’: many fine folk that I have had the privilege of playing alongside before. Other than Karl, I have worked with everyone else before; that really is a blessing to be treasured and allows us all to take the material much further.

But actually? Iago and Toof are not that dissimilar: they’re both frustrated by their position in life; they both feel they’re worth much, much more; they both have marital issues; they’re both witty, insightful and resourceful but turn their ire in the wrong direction; they both see the audience as their confidante/accomplice. But the biggest split (other than the fact that Iago is very good at killing his way through certain problems) for me is that when faced with their moment of reckoning, Toof confesses his full, dark and ugly truth to the world. Does it absolve him? Not necessarily. But we perhaps understand his motivation a tiny bit more. But in the same moment, in a parallel universe, Iago keeps quiet; we see and perceive glimpses of what that mania is, but in the end, it is possible to understand why people don’t entirely ‘get’ him. Maybe they ought to share a cell — but not in my head, thank you very much!

A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes by Marcus Gardley is on stage at the Tricycle Theatre until Saturday 14 November. Book your ticket today!


Red Velvet to form part of Kenneth Branagh’s Garrick season

Friday, October 16th, 2015 by Tricycle
  • Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti is to be third production in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s year-long plays at the Garrick season
  • Olivier Award–winning actor Adrian Lester will reprise his critically acclaimed role as Ira Aldridge
  • The Tricycle Theatre production of Red Velvet will play at the Garrick from 23 January until 27 February with press night on 1 February 2016


The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company has announced that Red Velvet starring Adrian Lester will be the third play in the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. The production, which originally premiered at the Tricycle Theatre in 2012 before transferring to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York in 2014, will play at the Garrick Theatre from 23 January until 27 February 2016. Red Velvet is written by Lolita Chakrabarti with direction by Indhu Rubasingham.

Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has collapsed on stage whilst playing Othello. A young black American actor has been asked to take over the role. But as the public riot in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will the cast, critics and audience react to the revolution taking place in the theatre?

Kenneth Branagh said, “Writing, direction and performance are exceptional in Red Velvet. I’m immensely proud to be presenting this work. I was aware of its development from its inception and believe Lolita Chakrabarti has written an important and exhilarating play which in its discussion of performance, politics, and race is as entertaining as it is illuminating.”

Lolita Chakrabarti said, “I am delighted that Red Velvet is continuing its extraordinary journey.  From its beginnings at The Tricycle Theatre to its transfer to New York, it’s been a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to bring Ira Aldridge back to London’s West End.”

Adrian Lester said, “Getting Ira’s story to the stage has been a labour of love for us. The fact that we now get to tell that story in the West End and in such illustrious company is fantastic.”

Indhu Rubasingham said, “Red Velvet was my first production as Artistic Director at the Tricycle. It has a very special place in my heart as it had been a long time in the making with the playwright Lolita Chakrabarti and Adrian Lester. It has been an honour to celebrate Ira Aldridge and it is a great privilege and a real joy to be able to bring this production back and to be part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season.”

Lolita Chakrabarti is an award-winning playwright and actress. Red Velvet earned her the Charles Wintour Evening Standard Award and the Critics Circle Award in 2012 after it opened at the Tricycle Theatre. Lolita’s previous stage credits include Last Seen – Joy (Almeida Theatre).  Lolita trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and has carved out an innovative, long running career. Her work as an actress for the past twenty five years spans both stage and screen. She has appeared in a string of recent television dramas including J K Rowling’s A Casual VacancyMy Mad Fat Diary 3, and she can be seen later this year guest starring in the forthcoming Jekyll and Hyde.  January will also see Lolita as blacksmith Lila in the epic new ITV drama Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands.  Lolita co-founded Lesata Productions with Rosa Maggiora. ( Together they produced Of Mary, a twenty-minute short film, directed by Adrian Lester. It was selected for numerous international short film festivals and was awarded Best Short Film at PAFF, Los Angeles 2012. Lolita and Rosa were nominated for Best Producers at Underwire, London 2011.  She is currently writing a new play, a first feature film and developing original television.  

Award winning actor and director Adrian Lester OBE started his career with a string of successful West End productions including Fences, Six Degrees Of Separation, As You Like It and Company before landing the lead role in Mike Nichol’s movie Primary Colors.  Other movie credits since include The Day After Tomorrow, Maybe Baby, Born Romantic, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Dust, Final Curtain, Doomsday, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Starting Out in the Evening, As You Like It and Case 39.  Adrian is also well known for his TV work including playing ‘Mickey Bricks’ in the long running BBC1 series Hustle, with other TV credits including When Romeo Met Juliet, Merlin, Sleep with Me, Ghost Squad, Being Human, Bonekickers and the US series Red Band Society and Girlfriends.  He has appeared on stage as Henry V and Othello at the National Theatre, played Peter Brook’s Hamlet at the Bouffes Du Nord and starred in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in London’s West End.  Awards include the Evening Standard Theatre Award 2013 for Best Actor for Othello, the Critics Circle Award 2012 for Best Actor for Red Velvet and an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Company. After directing his first short film Of Mary in 2011, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and was awarded best short at PAFF in Los Angeles in the same year, Adrian directed (Ep2) of the final series of Hustle (BBC1).  Adrian has recently completed filming movies Grey Lady and Breakable You. He is currently filming the lead role in Undercover, a new 6 part drama for BBC1 and AMC, due for transmission spring 2016 and will guest star in the forthcoming BBC drama London Spy.

Indhu Rubasingham has been the Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre since 2012. Productions as Artistic Director include: Red Velvet (Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Award), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Handbagged (Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, West End transfer 2014, UK tour 2015) and Paper Dolls.

Indhu also recently directed The Motherf**cker with the Hat (National Theatre). Other selected directing credits include: Women, Power and Politics, Stones in His Pockets, Detaining Justice, The Great Game: Afghanistan, Fabulation and Starstruck (Tricycle); Belong, Disconnect, Free Outgoing, the Evening Standard Award-winning Lift Off, Clubland, The Crutch and Sugar Mummies (Royal Court); Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined (Almeida); Yellowman and Pulitzer Prizewinning Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre); The Waiting Room (National Theatre); The Ramayana (National Theatre/Birmingham Rep); Secret Rapture and The Misanthrope (Minerva, Chichester), Romeo and Juliet (Festival Theatre, Chichester), Pure Gold (Soho Theatre); The No Boys Cricket Club and Party Girls (Stratford East); Wuthering Heights (Birmingham Rep); Heartbreak House (Watford Palace); Sugar Dollies, Shakuntala (Gate); A River Sutra (Three Mill Island Studios); Rhinoceros (UC Davis, California) and A Doll’s House (Young Vic).

The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade/All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the inaugural seven play season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. 

For more information about Red Velvet and the rest of the Plays at the Garrick season, and to book tickets, visit


Spring at the Tricycle Theatre

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 by Tricycle


Highlights of the season include:

 With her world premiere production of Marcus Gardley’s A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes in previews from this week, Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, today announces the company’s 2016 spring/summer season. 

The season opens with the transfer of Florian Zeller’s The Mother, starring Gina McKee, from Theatre Royal Bath, following the critically acclaimed run of Zeller’s The Father at the Tricycle earlier this year and subsequent West End transfer.

March sees the return of the Tricycle Takeover, back for its third year, when Tricycle Young Company take control of every corner of the Tricycle, packing it with performances of theatre, film, music, poetry and more. 

This is followed by Mikel Murfi’s one-man show The Man in the Woman’s Shoes and the return of Tricycle regular Mark Thomas with his brand new comedy Trespass.

Completing the programme is the centrepiece of the new season, Pulitzer Prize-winning Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand, directed by Rubasingham

Indhu Rubasingham said today, ‘I’m thrilled to be presenting a new season of untold stories at the Tricycle, from the depths of rural Pakistan to the streets of Ireland; from the joys of urban playgrounds to the loneliness of empty family homes. Not to mention an 11 day extravaganza by the Tricycle Young Company! I am especially excited to be directing the UK premiere of The Invisible Hand by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar.’

Ayad Akhtar, writer of The Invisible Hand, said, ‘The Invisible Hand is a play I wrote hoping it would feel equally at home in Karachi, New York, or London and I feel terrifically lucky that it found its way to Indhu, and to a premiere at the Tricycle in 2016. I am very excited to be working with a director I have long admired from afar, and feel honoured to be part — in whatever humble way — of the Tricycle’s long tradition of politically engaged, culturally rich work.”

The season runs from 21 January to the 2 July.


Take a look a the season brochure here: