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Full casting announced for The York Realist

Ben Batt in The York Realist at the Donmar Warehouse
Ben Batt in The York Realist at the Donmar Warehouse

The Donmar Warehouse and Sheffield Theatres today announce full casting for Donmar Associate Director and Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie’s new revival of Peter Gill’s modern masterpiece The York Realist.

Jonathan Bailey joins the cast as John, opposite the previously announced Ben Batt who will play George. Full casting also includes Lucy Black, Brian Fletcher, Lesley Nicol, Katie West and Matthew Wilson.

‘I live here. I live here. You can’t see that, though. You can’t see it. This is where I live. Here.’

A cottage, 1960s Yorkshire. The York Mystery plays are in rehearsal.
Farmhand George strains against his roots as a new world opens up to him.

Peter Gill’s influential play about two young men in love is a touching reflection on the rival forces of family, class and longing.

Donmar Associate Robert Hastie returns for this timely revival from one of our greatest living playwrights, following his previous productions My Night with Reg and Splendour.

Making theatre accessible to as many people as possible remains at the heart of the Donmar’s mission. The York Realist has KLAXON tickets available throughout the run: an allocation of tickets, starting from £10, put on sale every Monday for performances in the following three weeks. Tickets will be available across the auditorium at every price band.

Jonathan Bailey (John) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The York Realist. His theatre credits include King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Last Five Years (The Other Palace), American Psycho (Almeida Theatre), Othello (National Theatre), South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre/West End), The Girl with the Pearl Earring (West End), Beautiful Thing (Sound Theatre), and King John (RSC). Television credits include Jack Ryan, W1A, Chewing Gum, Hooten and the Lady, Crashing, Broadchurch, Doctor Who, Some Girls, Me & Mrs Jones and Leonardo. Jonathan’s film credits include The Mercy, Testament of Youth, St. Trinians and Five Children and It.

Ben Batt (George) returns to the Donmar Warehouse following his role in Making Noise Quietly. Theatre credits include Woyzeck (Old Vic), A Streetcar Named Desire, As You Like It (Royal Exchange, Manchester), and The Funfair (HOME, Manchester). Ben’s recent television credits include Prey, Barbarians Rising, From Darkness, The Go-Between, The Village (Series 2), From There to Here, Scott & Bailey, Prisoners Wives, Death in Paradise, and he will soon be seen in the BBC’s In The Dark. Film credits include The Windmill, Slapper and Me, Despite The Falling Snow, Coach, Electricity and A Running Jump.

Lucy Black (Barbara) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The York Realist. Lucy’s theatre credits include Strife (Chichester Festival Theatre), 3 Winters, Children of the Sun (National Theatre), Drawing the Line (Hampstead Theatre), A Taste of Honey (Edinburgh Lyceum), The Only True History Of Lizzie Fynn (Southwark Playhouse), Epsom Downs (Salisbury Playhouse), Cause Celebre (Old Vic), The Misanthrope, A Tender Player, How The Other Half Loves and Seed Of The Bauhinia (Bristol Old Vic), Three Sisters and Mary Barton (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Antony And Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Titus Andronicus and Three Sisters (Tobacco Factory), One Minute (Bush Theatre), The Blind Bird and The Lesson (Gate Theatre). Television credits include The Durrells, The Level, Casualty, Jericho, Call the Midwife, Grantchester, EastEnders, Vera, Doctors, Holby City, The Bill, Waterloo Road, Wire In The Blood, The Royal, Bombshell and Murder In Mind.

Brian Fletcher (Jack) makes his Donmar Warehouse and professional theatre debut in The York Realist. For television his credits include Three Girls, Moving On, In the Dark, National Treasure, Vera, Cradle to Grave, Ordinary Lives, Home Fires, and The Passing Bells.

Lesley Nicol (Mother) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The York Realist. Further theatre credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Palace Theatre), MAMMA MIA! (Prince Edward Theatre), Our House (Cambridge Theatre) and East is East (Royal Court), for which Lesley also reprised her role in the BAFTA Award-winning adaptation of the play. Lesley is well known on television for her role as Beryl Patmore in Downton Abbey. Further television credits include The Catch, Shameless, Blackadder, Dinnerladies, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Inspector George Gently.

Katie West (Doreen) makes her Donmar Warehouse debut in The York Realist. Theatre credits include Uncle Vanya, Chamaco (HOME, Manchester), Lela & Co (Royal Court), Carmen Disruption (Almeida Theatre), Hamlet, Blind-Sided, Blithe Spirit (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Macbeth (Manchester International Festival/Park Avenue Armory, New York), The Thrill of Love (New Vic Theatre), A Taste of Honey (Sheffield Crucible), 65 Miles (Hull Truck Theatre), Vote of Confidence (Theatre 503), Punk Rock (Hammersmith Lyric/Royal Exchange, Manchester) and Sense (Southwark Playhouse). Television credits include Inspector George Gently, Doctors, Without You and United. Katie has also appeared on film in Peterloo directed by Mike Leigh and Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Matthew Wilson (Arthur) makes his Donmar Warehouse debut in The York Realist. Theatre credits include Snack Family Robinson (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd (New Vic Theatre), The God’s Weep and Othello (RSC), Home (Theatre Royal Bath), Psychogeography (Southwark Playhouse), Enemies (Almeida Theatre), The Romans in Britain (Sheffield Crucible), Fair (Finborough Theatre), and Rampage Season: There (Royal Court). His numerous TV credits include Broken, Call the Midwife, Unforgotten, Vera, Poldark, Arthur & George, Endeavour, Sherlock, and Mr Selfridge. For film, his credits include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Inbetweeners.

Peter Gill (Writer) is a hugely influential and radical figure in British theatre; he is a renowned playwright and one of the most important directors of the last thirty years. Previous Donmar credits include Versailles, 2014 (writer and director), Making Noise Quietly, 2012 (director), Small Change, 2009 (writer) and Days of Wine and Roses, 2005 (director). Peter has directed over eighty productions in the UK, Europe and North America, and held a variety of established positions within the industry, including the post of Associate Director at the National Theatre (1980 – 1997) and Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company (1964/1965 & 1970/1972).

Robert Hastie (Director) is Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse and the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres. For the Donmar he directed My Night with Reg, which transferred to the West End’s Apollo Theatre and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Revival; conceived and directed My Mark with writer Michelle Terry, a project dramatising interviews with primary school children across the country and coinciding with the 2015 and 2017 General Elections; and directed Splendour by Abi Morgan. As Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, his credits include Julius Caesar (UK Theatre Awards nomination for Best Director), Of Kith and Kin, and the forthcoming The Wizard of Oz. His other theatre credits include Henry V at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Theatr Clwyd, A Breakfast of Eels by Robert Holman at the Print Room; Carthage by Chris Thompson and Events While Guarding the Bofors Gun by John McGrath at the Finborough Theatre; and The Hotel Plays by Tennessee Williams for Defibrillator at the Holborn Grange Hotel. As Associate Director for Sixty-Six Books, which opened the new Bush Theatre, Hastie directed the world premieres of In the Land of Uz by Neil LaBute, The Middle Man by Anthony Weigh, David and Goliath by Andrew Motion, Snow in Sheffield by Helen Mort and A Lost Expression by Luke Kennard. He was nominated for the Emerging Talent Award at the 2014 Evening Standard Awards.

Director Robert Hastie
Designer Peter McKintosh
Lighting Designer Paul Pyant
Sound Designer Emma Laxton
Composer Richard Taylor

A Donmar Warehouse and Sheffield Theatres co-production
By Peter Gill

Donmar Warehouse: Thursday 8 February – Saturday 24 March 2018
PRESS NIGHT: Tuesday 13 February 2018

Sheffield Theatres: Tuesday 27 March – Saturday 7 April


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