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Accolade & Filumena directed by Sean Mathias, Richmond Theatre

ACCOLADE and FILUMENA will take to the stage at Richmond Theatre, under the directorship of award-winning director Sean Mathias.

AccoladeOriginally written and performed in 1950, Emlyn Williams’s ACCOLADE is a dark and chilling look at the price of success, the power of trial-by-media, and remains a remarkably relevant play in the current age of ‘cancel culture’. Initial casting includes (in alphabetical order) Alasdair Buchan (The Da Vinci Code, An Inspector Calls), Kayleigh Cooper (A Christmas Carol, Wonka), Sara Crowe (Fallen Angels, The Constant Wife), Gavin Fowler (Merchant of Venice 1936, A Picture of Dorian Gray), Jamie Hogarth (Dom – The Play, MAMMA MIA!), David Phelan (Mission Impossible, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Narinder Samra (Passenger, Happy Birthday Sunita), Sarah Twomey (Paddington in Peru, The Sandman), with further casting to be announced. ACCOLADE examines the fine line between truth and lies, good and evil, and one man’s past, present and future.

In the autumn, Felicity Kendal stars in FILUMENA, Eduardo de Filippo’s classic comedy (with English version by Keith Waterhouse & Willis Hall) set in the balmy heat of Naples that questions the family ties that bind us and whether we can ever escape our past. Often cited as the writer’s best work, the show is a sparkling comedy-drama full of entanglement and intrigue. In a battle of wills between all involved, FILUMENA mixes de Filippo’s charm and optimism with acerbic wit and a moral examination of how where we come from can define who we become. Further casting is to be announced.

Director Sean Mathias said of staging the two plays, “These two plays are not what they first appear to be. Accolade is atypical of Emlyn Williams, examining success as approved by the establishment, it quickly deconstructs that success and then looks to smash it. The central character, Will Trenting, was written by the author for himself to play in the world premiere – a character lionized by an order he despised, Will contains shades and shadows of the Welshman himself, who refused to fit into any boxes. Williams had a deep fascination with the psychology of the criminal or alternative mind, and Accolade is a riveting theatrical reflection of his interests.

“Filumena poses as a colourful comedy that soon turns into a dark, probing examination of family and the law. A fascinating study of manipulation and the human psyche in extremis. Full of trickery and deceit, it is a wonderful mockery of the flawed constraints of traditional values. I am thrilled and excited to be working with Felicity Kendal; she is an actress I have long admired and her unique brand of comedy and sensuality will be a perfect blend for her portrayal of Filumena.

“Both Williams and De Fillipo were actors and writers as well as great individuals. These two plays are shining examples of their original talents.

ACCOLADE will feature set and costume design by Julie Godfrey, lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by David Gregory. Principal casting is by Jill Green CDG.

Book Tickets for Accolade
at Richmond Theatre
Little Green
9-13 July

Book Tickets for Filumena
at Richmond Theatre
Little Green
19-23 November

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