First look at the cast rehearsing the world stage premiere of The Knowledge by Jack Rosenthal, adapted for the stage by Simon Block and directed by Maureen Lipman.
The Knowledge will preview at Charing Cross Theatre from Monday 4 September and run 10 weeks to Saturday 11 November. Press night is Monday 11 September at 7.30pm.
The Knowledge is based on the iconic 1979 TV lm comedy. Maureen not only played a leading role in the film, but is also Jack Rosenthal’s widow.
The cast are: Steven Pacey as Mr. Burgess, Celine Abrahams, James Alexandrou, Jenna Augen, Louise Callaghan, Ben Caplan, Michael Chance, Alice Felgate, Fabien Frankel.
Set against the backdrop of the harsh economic times of 1979, the play follows the hilarious struggles of four Londoners as they attempt to better themselves by attempting the fearsome “Knowledge” – the process of becoming a London black cab taxi driver. Standing between them and the coveted Green Badge is the eccentric Mr. Burgess, the examiner. Also known as “The Vampire”, he is on an obsessive mission to maintain standards.
Steven Pacey (Mr. Burgess) was nominated for an Olivier Award as Bertie Wooster in the musical By Jeeves and among his many other West End appearances include Peter in Relative Values, King Arthur in Spamalot, Larkin in Six Degrees of Separation, George in La Cage Aux Folles.
Celine Abrahams (Brenda) played Roxanne in McMafia (BBC), Olga in Three Sisters (Union Theatre), 5 Kinds of Silence (Arcola).
James Alexandrou (Gordon) is best known for playing Martin Fowler in EastEnders from 1996 – 2007. As part of the Shakespeare 450 celebrations, he played Iago in Grassroots Shakespeare London’s production of Othello at Leicester Square Theatre and also performed sonnets at the Guildhall with Damian Lewis. His recent stage roles include Romeo in Romeo & Juliet at The Globe, Milo in Sleuth, Paul Baumer in All Quiet on the Western Front.
Jenna Augen (Val) won Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the UK Theatre Awards for her portrayal of Daphna in Bad Jews (St James Theatre/Arts Theatre). Her other roles include Foible in The Way of the World (Chichester Festival Theatre) Ada Kahn in Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court).
Louise Callaghan (MIss Staveley) played Sarah Box in Foxfinder (Theatre 503), Lynette in Noughts and Crosses (Royal Shakespeare Company) Lizzie Bains in Holding Fire! (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Ben Caplan (Ted) was series regular PC Peter Noakes in Call the Midwife and Walter “Smokey” Gordon in the 6-part HBO series Band of Brothers. In the West End he played Eddie Kassner in Sunny Afternoon.
Michael Chance (Arab tourist) was most recently in Lettice and Lovage (Menier Chocolate Factory).
Alice Felgate (Janet) was series regular Ellie Mason in You, Me & Them (Gold) and Lila in Plaques & Tangles (Royal Court Theatre).
Fabien Frankel (Chris) recently graduated from LAMDA. He is making his professional debut.
Creative team: Director Maureen Lipman. Set Design Nicolai Hart-Hansen. Costume Design Jonathan Lipman. Sound Design Andrew Johnson.
The Knowledge is produced by Vaughan Williams and Steven M. Levy.
Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NL
Monday – 7.30pm
Tuesday – 7.30pm
Wednesday – 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Thursday – 7.30pm
Friday – 7.30pm
Saturday – 3.00pm & 7.30pm