This Autumn, Caroline Langrishe will play movie star Margot Gresham at Jermyn Street Theatre in the first ever revival of Terence Rattigan’s debut play First Episode. Best known for her role opposite Martin Shaw in the television series Judge John Deed, Caroline’s stage work has included Olivia in Twelfth Night directed by Kenneth Brannagh, Hayfever at The Chichester Theatre, The Way of The World at Manchester Royal Exchange, The West End run of Present Laughter and seasons at The National Theatre. Her other numerous television roles include Lady Carnarvon in Egypt and Charlotte Cavendish in Lovejoy.
Gavin Fowler plays Tony. Fowler was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award this year for his performances as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Michael Grandage Company) and Florizel in A Winter’s Tale (RSC). He won the Times Best Actor Award at the National Student Drama Festival, and the Laurence Olivier Bursary at RADA. His screen work includes Penny Dreadful (HBO) and the feature films The Vintage and Delight.
Philip Labey plays David. Labey’s recent roles include Wilfred Owen in Not About Heroes (Theatre by the Lake), Posner in The History Boys (Mercury Colchester), and Peter in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (RSC). Labey won the Film and Television Award at Guildford School of Acting. Alex Hope plays Philip. Hope has just graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he won the English Speaking Union Bursary. Adam Buchanan plays Bertie. Buchanan won the Alan Bates Bursary at Guildford School of Acting. Since graduating last year, he has played lead roles in The Butterfly Lion (National Tour) and The Mystae (Hampstead Theatre). Molly Hanson plays Joan. Hanson has just graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Harry Gostelow plays James, the butler. Gostelow’s extensive stage career includes many seasons with the Globe Theatre.
First Episode is the story of a movie star’s appearance in a student play and is inspired by events from Rattigan’s own time in 1930s Oxford. Set in the university at that time, the story charts the relationship of best friends Tony and David when Tony becomes besotted with the beautiful star Margot Gresham and a triangle of rival affections is created.
Both touching and uproariously funny, First Episode is one of the earliest plays to deal explicitly with homosexuality, and for lovers of Rattigan’s work it marks the start of Rattigan’s glittering career. Written with fellow undergraduate, Philip Heiman and originally staged at a small experimental theatre in Kew in 1933, First Episode transferred to the West End and then to Broadway in 1934. Rattigan was twenty-two years old.
Terence Rattigan was born in 1911. After the success of First Episode, he went on to become one of the foremost playwrights and screenwriters of the 20th century, with work including Flare Path, The Browning Version, The Deep Blue Sea, French Without Tears, Separate Tables, The Winslow Boy, Cause Celebre, and After the Dance. Many of his plays have been revived to great acclaim in recent years at the National Theatre, Old Vic, and in the West End. He was knighted in 1971 and died in 1977.
FIRST EPISODE by Terence Rattigan (co-authored with Philip Heimann), Director Tom Littler
28 October – 22 November 2014
Jermyn Street Theatre
Press Night 31 October 7.30pm
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm,
Saturday/Sunday matinees 3.30pm
Tickets £22.00, £18.00 concessions.
Box office: 0207 287 2875
online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk
Monday 6th October 2014