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Full casting announced for Aristocrats at The Donmar Warehouse

AristocratsPaul Higgins and James Laurenson join the previously announced Elaine Cassidy, David Dawson, David Ganly, Emmet Kirwan, Aisling Loftus, Ciaran McIntyre and Eileen Walsh.

The Donmar announces full casting for Brian Friel’s haunting play Aristocrats. Directed by Lyndsey Turner who returns to the Donmar following Faith Healer, Fathers and Sons and Philadephia, Here I Come!, Aristocrats starts previews from 2 August.

Ballybeg Hall once played host to grand balls, musical evenings, tennis parties: its rooms busy, bursting with painters, poets and politicians. And presiding over all of it, the imposing figure of Judge O’Donnell. Now, on the eve of a wedding, the O’Donnell children return to their ancestral home to find that the rot has set in.

Brian Friel (Writer, 9 January 1929 – 2 October 2015) is considered one of the greatest Irish dramatists, having written over 30 plays across six decades. His plays have won numerous Awards including the 1979 Evening Standard Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play for Aristocrats, and Tony, New York Drama Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Play for Dancing at Lughnasa. His other plays include Faith Healer, Fathers and Sons, and Philadelphia, Here I Come! staged at the Donmar Warehouse in 2016, 2014 and 2012 respectively, and Hedda Gabler (after Ibsen), The Home Place, Performances, Three Plays After (Afterplay, The Bear, The Yalta Game), Uncle Vanya (after Chekhov), Give Me Your Answer Do!, Molly Sweeney, Wonderful Tennessee, A Month in the Country (after Turgenev), The London Vertigo (after Charles Macklin), Making History, The Communication Cord, American Welcome, Three Sisters (after Chekhov), Translations, Living Quarters, Volunteers, The Freedom of the City, The Gentle Island, The Mundy Scheme, Crystal and Fox, Lovers: Winners and Losers and The Loves of Cass Maguire. Brian Friel was a member of Aosdana, the society of Irish Artists, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Companion of Literature, Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters. He was awarded the Ulysses Medal by University College, Dublin.

Lyndsey Turner’s (Director) previous work at the Donmar includes Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Fathers and Sons, and Faith Healer. Her other theatre credits include Girls and Boys (Royal Court), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith), Hamlet (Barbican), Chimerica (Almeida & West End), Saint George and the Dragon, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Edgar and Annabel, There is a War (National Theatre).

Elaine Cassidy (Alice) returns to the Donmar after her performances in Les Liaisons Dangereuses directed by Artistic Director Josie Rourke, which was also broadcast live in cinemas around the world in partnership with NT Live; Lyndsey Turner’s critically-acclaimed production of Brian Friel’s Fathers and Sons in 2014; and Les Parents Terribles at Trafalgar Studios alongside Frances Barber and Tom Byam Shaw in 2010. Other theatre credits include Deluge (Hampstead Theatre), There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida Theatre), The Crucible (RSC), Scenes from the Big Picture (National Theatre) and The Lieutenant of Inishmore (RSC). Film includes Strangeways: Here We Come, Mum’s List, Property Of The State, The Program, The Loft, Just Henry, When Did You Last See Your Father?, The Truth, The Bay of Love and Sorrow, The Others, Disco Pigs, Felicia’s Journey and The Sun, the Moon and the Stars. Television credits include No Offence I, II & III, Acceptable Risk, The Paradise I & II, The Miraculous Year, The Garden, Harper’s Island, Dr Hoo, Little White Lie, A Room with a View, The Ghost Squad, Fingersmith, Uncle Adolf, Watermelon, The Lost World, Mission Top Secret II and Glenroe.

David Dawson (Casimir) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Luise Miller directed by Michael Grandage. Theatre credits include The Dazzle (Found 111), The Duchess of Malfi (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Vortex (Rose Theatre), Posh (Royal Court), Comedians, for which he received a WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Lyric Hammersmith), Romeo & Juliet (RSC), Nicholas Nickleby, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Newcomer (West End, UK Tour & Chichester Festival Theatre), The Entertainer, Richard II (Old Vic) and The Long and the Short and the Tall (Sheffield Theatres). Television includes The Last Kingdom Banished, Maigret Sets a Trap, The Secret Agent, Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2: The Hollow Crown, Dancing on the Edge, The Borgias, Parade’s End, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Luther, Road to Coronation Street, Gracie!, The Thick of It, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Doc Martin.

David Ganly (Willie Driver) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in Aristocrats. His theatre credits include Girl from the North Country (West End), On Blueberry Hill (Dublin Theatre Festival), Once (Olympia Theatre, Dublin), Lonesome West (Tron Theatre), The Plough and the Stars (Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Irish & US Tour), Shakespeare in Love (West End), Threepenny Opera (Gate), King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith) Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible), The Lonesome West (Druid Theatre, Royal Court, Sydney Festival and Lyceum, Broadway), Of Mice and Men (The Watermill), The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre London), The Weir (Gate Theatre), Translations (National Theatre) and The Full Monty (Prince of Wales Theatre). His film and television credits include Citizen Charlie, Sunset Song, Body of Lies, Hippie Hippie Shake, Dorothy Mills, Widow’s Peak and Space Truckers.

Paul Higgins (Tom Huffnung) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Temple, Luise Miller and The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman he once Loved in the Former Soviet Union. Theatre credits include The Seagull (Lyric Hammersmith), Twilight Song (Park Theatre), Blackbird, King Lear (Citizens Theatre), Hope, Night Songs (Royal Court), Children of the Sun, The White Guard, Paul, An Enemy of the People (National Theatre), Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland), Damascus (Traverse/ Tricycle/ Middle East Tour), The Tempest (Tron Theatre), Macbeth, Conversations After A Burial (Almeida Theatre), Measure For Measure (RSC), The Golden Ass, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Globe Theatre), Buried Alive, The Maidenstone (Hampstead Theatre), Macbeth (English Touring Co/ Lyric Hammersmith), Slab Boys Trilogy (Young Vic). Television credits include Line of Duty, Raised By Wolves, Utopia, Case Histories, The Sunny, Vera, The Last Enemy, Low Winter Sun, The Thick Of It, Murder, Staying Alive, Dr Finlay, Tumbledown, A Very Peculiar Practice and The Negotiator. Film credits include Apostle, The Party’s Just Beginning, Victoria & Abdul, Couple In A Hole, In The Loop, Complicity, The Red Road and Bedrooms and Hallways.

Emmet Kirwan (Eamon) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in Aristocrats. His theatre credits include Riot (Skirball Centre, Vicar Street), Juno and the Paycock and The Threepenny Opera (Gate), The Train and Assassins (Rough Magic), The Good Father (Axis Theatre), Dublin Oldschool (Project Arts, National Theatre), Major Barbara, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Alice in Funderland (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle (Soho Theatre), Chicane (Gana Nua), Where he Lies and Lovers (Island Theatre Co). He will soon appear in the feature film adaptation of his play Dublin Oldschool.

James Laurenson (Father) returns to the Donmar Warehouse after appearing in Othello and Passion Play. Theatre credits include Henry V (West End), The Master Builder (The Old Vic), The Comedy of Errors (The Globe Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath), Hamlet, Three Winters, The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre), The Road to Mecca (Arcola), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), The Apple Cart, The Browning Version and Swansong (Theatre Royal, Bath/ Tour), Pygmalion (Theatre Royal, Bath/ The Old Vic), Waiting for Godot (Theatre Royal, Bath/New Ambassadors), Measure for Measure (Theatre Royal, Bath/Stratford Upon Avon), The Crucible (RSC/Gielgud), As You Like It (Theatre Royal, Bath/Rose Theatre/USA Tour), Don Juan, Galileo’s Daughter and Man and Superman (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Prince of Hamburg, The General From America, Julius Caesar, Othello, Saratoga, The Changeling and As You Like It (RSC) and A Delicate Balance (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). Film includes: Posh, Private Peaceful, One Day, Churchill At War, Afterlife, Three Blind Mice, The Cat’s Meow, Dead Bolt Dead, The Dead Light of Day, A House on the Hills and The Man Inside. Television includes: Father Brown, The Crown, Wolf Hall, Song of Liberty, The Hollow Crown, The Widower, Isaac Newton Documentary, Henry IV, Holy Flying Circus, The Long Walk to Finchley and Spooks.

Aisling Loftus (Claire) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Aristocrats. Her theatre credits include The Treatment (Almeida), Touched (Nottingham Playhouse), Noises Off (Old Vic), Spur of the Moment (Royal Court), and Hotel Plays (Langham Hotel). Television credits include A Discovery of Witches, Broken, War and Peace, Mr Selfridge, Dive, Public Enemies, Good Cop, The Borrowers, Page Eight and Five Daughters.

Ciaran McIntyre (Uncle George) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in Aristocrats. His theatre credits include Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Sheffield Theatres), All That Fall (Happy Days Beckett Festival, Enniskillen/Wilton’s Music Hall/Arts Theatre, London), John Ferguson (Finborough Theatre), The Big Yum Yum (Corcadorca, Cork Opera House), Uncle Vanya (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), How the World Began (Arcola), Translations (Curve, Leicester), Dreams Of Violence (Soho Theatre/Tour), Absence of Women (Lyric Theatre, Belfast/Tricycle Theatre), Shoot the Crow (Waterfront Theatre, Belfast/Tour), The Chairs (Theatre Royal, Bath), Deep Cut for which he won a Best Actor award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Traverse Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, Sherman Theatre, UK Tour), Endgame and Port Authority (Liverpool Everyman), The Comedy of Errors, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, Coriolanus, The Seagull, A Jovial Crew and All’s Well That Ends Well (RSC), In Celebration (Duke Of York’s Theatre), Coriolanus and Under The Black Flag (Shakespeare’s Globe), Richard II (Old Vic), The Quare Fellow (Oxford Stage Company/Tricycle Theatre/UK Tour), A Whistle in the Dark and Shadow of a Gunman (Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (National Tour), Waiting For Godot (Contact Theatre) and The Hairy Ape (Bristol Old Vic). Television credits include Still Life, Hemingways, The Time of Your Life, Holby City, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Doctors, Absolutely Fabulous and Birds of a Feather.

Eileen Walsh (Judith) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in Aristocrats. Theatre credits include Absolute Hell, Broad Shadow and Liolà (National Theatre), The Same, Phaedra’s Love, Request Programme, and The Merchant of Venice (Corcadorca Theatre Company), Little Eylof (Almeida), The Unknown, The Internet Is Serious Business, Sand and Crave (Royal Court), Image of an Unknown Woman, Crestfall (Gate), The Plough and the Stars, Macbeth, The Playboy of the Western World, Saved, Portia Coughlan and Ariel (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), The Tempest (Improbable Theatre Company), Lippy (Dead Center, Abbey Theatre, Young Vic), The Believers (Frantic Assembly, Theatre Royal, Plymouth), Quizshow and The Drowned World (Traverse Theatre), Conversations, Whistle in the Dark, Famine and The Gigli Concert (Druid Theatre Company), Hamlet (Young Vic), Medea (Siren Productions), Terminus (Abbey Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Public Theatre), Mary Stuart (National Theatre of Scotland/Royal Lyceum Theatre), Crestfall (Gate), The Entertainer (Liverpool Everyman); Splendour (Paines Plough, Traverse Theatre), Troilus and Cressida (Oxford Stage Company), Boomtown (Rough Magic Theatre Company), Phaedra’s Love (Corcadorca Theatre Company), Disco Pigs (Bush Theatre/Arts Theatre) and Danti-Dan (Rough Magic Theatre Co, Hampstead Theatre). Television credits includeMelrose, Delicious, Catastrophe and Pure Mule. Her film credits include The Children Act, Gold, Snap, The Ballad of Kid Kanturk, Triage, The Maid of Farce, Eden, 33x Around the Sun, Nicholas Nickelby, The Magdalene Sisters, When Brendan met Trudy, Miss Julie, Janie Beard, The Last Bus Home, Spaghetti Show and The Van.

Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9LX
By Brian Friel
Thursday 2 August – Saturday 22 September 2018


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