Wolverhampton Grand today made the first cast announcement for their forthcoming in-house production, Ladies’ Day.
The theatre announced that Deena Payne, best known for playing Viv Hope in Emmerdale and being one of the longest-serving cast members in the show’s history having starred for 18 years, will play Pearl – one of the four leading ladies.
Payne’s previous theatre credits include appearances in three tours of Calendar Girls, and a UK tour playing Kath in the award-winning musical, Our House.
As news of Payne’s casting spreads, Producer and Programme Manager at the Grand Theatre Tim Colegate says; “We are delighted to have somebody of Deena’s talent in the role of Pearl in Ladies’ Day and I’m sure our audiences will love her too. Deena is a wonderful actress and will undoubtedly add something special to our second in-house production”.
Despite the theatre being better known in more recent years for attracting large-scale touring productions, Ladies’ Day will be the theatre’s second foray into in-house productions following the success of last year’s, Brassed Off.
Ladies’ Day, Directed by Alasdair Harvey, whose previous directing credits include The Blue Room by David Hare, Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell and Two by Jim Cartwright, and written by widely-performed playwright, Amanda Whittington, is described as an exuberant comedy telling the tale of four friends who would love nothing more than to leave their fish-filleting days behind them and decide to chance their fortunes on Ladies’ Day at Wolverhampton Racecourse.
“I’m very excited to be a part of Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s journey into producing theatre in-house. I look forward to working with Amanda Whittington once again and the team at the Grand Theatre and I’m particularly thrilled at the prospect of working on a newly revised version of Amanda’s wonderful play relocated to Wolverhampton”, Harvey comments.
On the announcement of Harvey’s directorship, Adrian Jackson, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre said, “I’m delighted Alasdair will be joining the team at the Grand for our production of Ladies Day. Alasdair and I have worked together for many years and I know he will create a very special production for Wolverhampton which will build on the accolades we have achieved during the last few years, particularly our recent production of Brassed Off”.
Ladies’ Day is being produced in association with Wolverhampton Racecourse, the new setting bringing this revised version even closer to home. Welcoming over 120,000 visitors each year, the racecourse itself is steeped in history having first welcomed visitors to its current location in 1888.
With a combination of strong cast, direction, and local associations and holding open auditions to give the theatre’s surrounding community the chance to be a part of the ensemble, The Grand is pulling out all the stops to try and replicate their previous in-house success.
Ladies’ Day is on at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Friday 13 – Saturday 28 July 2018 and tickets are now on sale at the Grand Theatre Box Office in person, by calling 01902 42 92 12 or online at grandtheatre.co.uk.
by Nicole Craft | Image: Contributed