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Casting announced for James Graham’s Sketching

James Graham - Wilton's Music HallNav Sidhu (How I Live Now, The Kumars, Gangs of Tooting Broadway), Penny Layden (RSC, National Theatre, Call the Midwife), Samuel James (Birds of a Feather, National Theatre’s Twelfth Night, Bryony Lavery’s Stockholm), Sean Michael Verey (Pramface, Radiant Vermin, Tonight with Donny Styxx) and Sophie Wu (Fresh Meat, Kick Ass, Black Mirror) will star in James Graham’s Sketching, playing at Wilton’s Music Hall from Wednesday 26 September – Saturday 27 October, with a press night on Tuesday 2 October.

24 hours in the life of London. Drag queens, squatters, jewellers and thieves overlap in a tale of one city.

The rebellious daughter of a keycutter is about to unlock some of the capital’s most forbidden doors, a physicist’s faith in facts is shaken by a stranger on the tube, and a surprise discovery in the Victorian sewers will unravel the life of a refugee forgotten by the city.

This uniquely multi-authored play has been written by Olivier award-winning playwright James Graham, in collaboration with eight emerging writers.

Graham and director Thomas Hescott sought new voices from an open application process, where emerging talents – particularly those currently underrepresented in the industry – could submit exciting and innovative story and character ideas. Writers Aaron Douglas, Chloe Mi Lin Ewart, Alan Gordon, Adam Hughes, Ella Langley, Himanshu Ojha, Sumerah Srivastav and Naomi Westerman were picked and have been collaborating with Graham and Hescott on the final script, in which the cast members will play multiple characters each night.

James Graham said, “To be able to find eight emerging voices from across the UK and work together, alongside my own stories, to create a brand-new show for this gorgeous old Victorian Music Hall has been such a creative joy. I look forward to taking an audience on a real journey into hidden parts of this city…

Sketches by Boz (1836) was Charles Dickens’ first novel (published under the pen-name ‘Boz’). The book is a richly varied collection of observations and fantasies about London and the people who inhabited it in the 19th Century, in honest and visionary descriptions of everyday life and people. The title of Graham’s play pays homage to the Dickens novel.

James Graham has enjoyed huge critical success as a playwright and writer for TV and film. Following a sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, his most recent play, QUIZ, a provocative new play about Charles Ingram, the man convicted of cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is now running at the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre. In 2017, his play Ink opened to critical acclaim at the Almeida and transferred to the West End in September 2017, where it played in the theatre next door to another of his plays Labour of Love – creating theatre history.

Director Thomas Hescott has previously collaborated with James Graham on Tory Boyz in the West End. He is the co-author of Outings, which toured nationally. He co-wrote and directed The Act for Ovalhouse, which subsequently transferred to the West End. His production of Wolves at the Window transferred from the Arcola Theatre, to 59E59, Off Broadway, and he was named on the BBC’s Hot List of New Talent. He is Executive Director of Stage Directors UK.

James Graham’s Sketching is supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts.


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