The Theatre Royal Bath is delighted to announce its 2014 Summer Season, comprising four productions and starring Clare Higgins, Tim Pigott-Smith, Alison Steadman and Felicity Kendal. Beginning on 18th June with Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, the season continues with KAFKA’S DICK by Alan Bennett, followed by THERESE RAQUIN by Emile Zola, and concludes on 6th September with Noel Coward’s HAY FEVER.
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF by Edward Albee
Wednesday 18th June – Saturday 5th July
Directed by Adrian Noble
Clare Higgins and Tim Pigott-Smith star in Edward Albee’s scintillating masterpiece, in which George, a college professor, and his wife, Martha, invite a young couple back for late-night drinks after a faculty party. As the alcohol flows, the guests are coerced into witnessing and participating in George and Martha’s sadistic game-playing and vitriolic verbal scrapping which reaches its climax in a momentous revelation.
First staged on Broadway in 1962, the impact of the vicious wit, frank language and riveting characters firmly established Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as one of the great plays in post-war American drama, winner of the Tony and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Play.
Olivier award winning actress Clare Higgins is known for her performances in Sweet Bird of Youth and Vincent in Brixton at the National Theatre and for Hecuba at the Donmar Warehouse.
Tim Pigott-Smith’s extensive stage work includes The Tempest in Bath, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance for the Almeida; King Lear, Stroke of Luck and Enron. His recent television credits include The Hour, Downton Abbey, Miranda and 37 Days.
Adrian Noble was the Artistic Director of the RSC from 1990 to 2003. Recent work includes The King’s Speech, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the West End and The Tempest for Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season 2012.
KAFKA’S DICK by Alan Bennett
Wednesday 9th July – Saturday 26th July
Directed by David Grindley
Insurance man Sydney and his wife Linda are leading perfectly ordinary lives in 1980s suburban Leeds, when the esteemed (and long-dead) author Franz Kafka suddenly pitches up. With the great writer is his (also long-dead) friend Max Brod, he who ignored Kafka’s dying wish that all his work should be burned and, as a result, made him one of the best-known writers of the 20th century. Things get even stranger when Kafka’s father, Hermann, arrives – and threatens to reveal some very personal details about his son, details that Kafka would prefer kept private.
First performed at the Royal Court in 1986, this brilliant flight of fantasy shows Alan Bennett at his most overtly comic. Highly entertaining, clever and fast-moving, Kafka’s Dick considers the nature of celebrity and our fascination with the salacious details of artists’ lives.
One of the UK’s best-loved playwrights, Alan Bennett’s work includes The Madness of George III, The History Boys, Enjoy, The Lady in the Van and Talking Heads. He is also the author of the television play The Insurance Man about an extraordinary episode in Kakfa’s life.
David Grindley is one of the most prolific directors in the UK. His recent credits include Daytona, The American Plan and Journey’s End. He is also directing Theatre Royal Bath Productions’s Pygmalion starring Alistair McGowan and A Steady Rain in the Ustinov Studio’s American Season.
THERESE RAQUIN by Emile Zola (a new version by Helen Edmundson)
Wednesday 30th July – Saturday 16th August
Directed by Jonathan Munby
Much loved actress Alison Steadman plays Madame Raquin in Helen Edmundson’s brand new interpretation of Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin. Originally written in 1867, this is a story of lust, madness and destruction set in the backstreets of Paris.
The beautiful but doomed heroine is married off according to her aunt’s wishes, trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. Every Thursday evening she watches her domineering aunt, Madame Raquin, play dominos…until one day her husband brings along an old friend – the alluring and athletic Laurent. As the two embark on an illicit affair, a turbulent passion is unleashed that drives them ultimately to violence and murder.
Alison Steadman is known for her rôle in Gavin &Stacey, and is soon to be seen in the new BBC sitcom Grey Mates. On stage she created the rôle of Beverly in Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and won an Olivier Award for her rôle in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
Director Jonathan Munby has worked extensively in both the UK and the USA. Recent productions include the RSC’s hugely acclaimed Wendy and Peter Pan and Julius Caesar for Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theatre.
Helen Edmundson’s extensive work with Shared Experience includes War and Peace, Mary Shelley, the award-winning adaptations of The Mill on the Floss and Anna Karenina and Coram Boy for the National Theatre.
HAY FEVER by Noel Coward
Wednesday 20th August – Saturday 6th September
Directed by Lindsay Posner
Multi award winning actress Felicity Kendal plays Judith, the once glittering star of the London stage and member of the Bliss family. Together with her husband David, an egocentric novelist; and Sorel and Simon, their two Bohemian adult children – the family are incapable of sharing the spotlight. Unconventional, risqué, and often downright rude, they are everything a respectable English family should not be. When each member of the family invites a guest to their rural retreat, the unassuming visitors are thrown into a living melodrama. Misjudged meetings, secret seductions and scandalous revelations proliferate during one outrageous weekend in Berkshire.
Felicity Kendal is one of the UK’s most popular actresses, known for her rôle in The Good Life on television and having received numerous accolades for her stage work. Her recent visits to Bath have included Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking, Beckett’s Happy Days and Coward’s Fallen Angels and The Vortex.
One of the UK’s greatest directors of comedy, Lindsay Posner directs Coward for the first time with this production. His recent successes have included Noises Off, Abigail’s Party and Relatively Speaking.