The girl who said ‘no’ – she doesn’t exist anymore, she died last summer – suffocated in smoke from something on fire inside her.
In the heat of summer – under the wings of an angel – Alma meets John.
Trapped between desire and fear in a life of obligation, her world turns upside down in the search for salvation.
Joining the previously announced Patsy Ferran are Seb Carrington, Nancy Crane, Eric MacLennan, Forbes Masson, Matthew Needham, Tok Stephen and Anjana Vasan.
The production is designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting design by Lee Curran, composition by Angus MacRae, sound by Carolyn Downing and casting by Julia Horan.
Tennessee Williams, whose plays include The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth, transformed the American stage through his poetic writing and provocative subject matters. Williams was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, three Drama Critic Circle Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Summer and Smoke was first performed on Broadway in 1948, and ran for the first time in the West End in 2006.
Rebecca Frecknall (Director) was previously on the Almeida Resident Director Scheme. She worked as Resident Director on Ink (also Duke of York’s Theatre) and Movement Director on Albion. Prior to the Almeida, she was Resident Director at Northern Stage from 2015-2016 after winning the acclaimed RTYDS bursary. During this time she directed Idomeneus; What Are They Like?, Educating Rita (for Durham Gala) and Julie by Zinnie Harris. Before taking up this role, Rebecca worked as a freelance Director in London and has worked with the National Theatre, RSC and Young Vic. She was the 2012 recipient of the National Theatre Studio’s Resident Director Bursary and was awarded one of the Young Vic’s Jerwood Assistant Director Bursaries in 2011.
Seb Carrington plays Archie Kramer. His theatre work includes Ivanov for the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute. His television work includes Father Brown and The Crown.
Nancy Crane plays Mrs Winemiller/Mrs Bassett. She previously appeared at the Almeida in Against and Chimerica. Other theatre credits include The Sewing Group, Now or Later, The Sweetest Thing in Baseball and The Strip at the Royal Court; Teddy Ferrara at the Donmar Warehouse; Next Fall at Southwark Playhouse; The Children’s Hour in the West End; Design For Living at The Old Vic; Love The Sinner and Angels in America at the National Theatre; Chains of Dew and Trifles at the Orange Tree Theatre. Her television work includes Genius; Doctors; Nixon’s The One; Upstairs Downstairs. For film, her work includes The Current War; Megan Leavey; Florence Foster Jenkins; The Danish Girl; Woman in Gold; and Batman: The Dark Knight.
Patsy Ferran plays Alma. Her theatre credits include Speech and Debate at Trafalgar Studios; As You Like It and Treasure Island at the National Theatre; The Merchant Of Venice at the RSC; The Angry Brigade for Paines Plough and Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre. Patsy’s television credits include Guerrilla and Jamestown (series regular). Film credits include Darkest Hour; God’s Own Country; Tulip Fever; The National Phobia; Association’s Day Out. Patsy won a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2014.
Eric MacLennan plays Papa Gonzales/Vernon. For theatre his work includes 1984 at Creation Theatre; Government Inspector and Anne Get Your Gun at Young Vic; Henry V at Southwark Playhouse and Cyrano de Bergerac at Manchester Royal Exchange. His television credits include The Night Manager and The Borgias. For film, his work includes Rogue One; Mindhorn; Anna Karenina and Tale of Tales.
Forbes Masson plays Rev Winemiller/Dr Buchanan. His recent theatre work includes Big Fish at The Other Palace; Boudica at Shakespeare’s Globe; Terror at Lyric Hammersmith; Travesties at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Apollo Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatre Royal Bath; Doctor Faustus at the Duke of York’s; Mr Foote’s Other Leg at Hampstead Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket and The Ruling Class, Richard III and Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios. His television work includes Catastrophe; Shetland: Dead Water and Monarch of the Glen.
Matthew Needham plays John Buchanan. He is currently appearing in The Twilight Zone at the Almeida and was previously in The Treatment in 2017. His other theatre credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Imogen, The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus and The Knight of the Burning Pestle at Shakespeare’s Globe; Henry IV Parts I and II, Love’s Sacrifice, The Jew of Malta, Candide and Titus Andronicus for the RSC; Our Country’s Good for Out of Joint and There is a War at the National Theatre. For television, his work includes Endeavour; The Hollow Crown: Part Two; Monroe and Sherlock.
Tok Stephen plays Roger Doremus/Dusty. He recently graduated from RADA and his professional theatre work includes Boudica at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Anjana Vasan plays Rosemary/Rosa Gonzales/Nellie. Her theatre work includes King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe; Life of Galileo at the Young Vic; Image of an Unknown Young Woman at the Gate Theatre; Dara at the National Theatre and Macbeth at Manchester International Festival/Broadway. For television, her work includes Hang Ups; Ill Behaviour; Black Mirror; Call the Midwife and Fresh Meat. Her film work includes The Children Act; Cinderella and Jack Ryan.
ALMEIDA LISTINGS INFORMATION
Saturday 24 February – Saturday 7 April 2018
Summer and Smoke
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Rebecca Frecknall
Press night: Wednesday 7 March at 7pm
Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA