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Lead casting announced for 2018 UK tour of The Winslow Boy

Tessa Peake-Jones
Tessa Peake-Jones

Lead casting is today announced for a 2018 UK tour of Terence Rattigan’s classic drama, The Winslow Boy – directed by Olivier Award-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh. Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Grantchester) stars as Grace Winslow wife of Arthur Winslow, played by Aden Gillett (House of Eliott, Holby City), the father who embarks on an extraordinary campaign for justice for his son.

The tour opens at Chichester Festival Theatre on February 8th 2018 and sees Mark Goucher once again present a classic drama straight from seasons at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Rep. The Winslow Boy follows acclaimed productions of The Kings Speech and Single Spies (the latter also directed by Kavanaugh). The production is set to visit other leading UK drama houses including Bath Theatre Royal, Oxford Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Salford Lowry, Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Brighton Theatre Royal, Belfast Grand Opera House, Richmond Theatre and Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.

Having been expelled from the Royal Navy College for stealing a five-shilling postal order, young cadet Ronnie Winslow’s entire family are pulled apart by the repercussions of this charge. Set against the values of 1910 Edwardian London, the Winslow family fight to clear his name or face social ostracism as the case becomes a national scandal. Based on a real-life event, The Winslow Boy is a courageous and often delicately humorous window into the class and political hypocrisy of the time.

The 1946 play became one of Rattigan’s best known and most loved works. The Winslow Boy has enjoyed several high-profile revivals, both in the West End and on Broadway. It was turned into a feature film in 1948, directed by Anthony Asquith, and again in 1999 by David Mamet. The play won the Ellen Terry Award for Best New Play and, on its US premiere at the Empire Theatre in October 1947, received the New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.

Tessa Peake-Jones appears as Grace Winslow. Now well-known as ‘Mrs Maguire’ in ITV1’s Grantchester, and has had a long, varied career including: Unforgotten (ITV), Marchlands (ITV), Doctor Who (BBC), Legacy (BBC) and, of course famously, ‘Raquel’ in Only Fools and Horses – a role she delighted the nation in for 15 years.

Tessa’s extensive theatre credits include: Beacons (Park Theatre), Home, Brimstone and Treacle (Arcola Theatre), Park Avenue Cat (Arts Theatre London), The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (National Theatre), Shirley Valentine (Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke), The Park, Hamlet, A Comedy Of Errors (RSC), Pride and Prejudice (Leicester Haymarket/Old Vic), The Misanthrope, The Vortex, The Beaux’ Stratagem (Cambridge Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Birmingham Rep), Quartermaine’s Terms (Bristol Old Vic/Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Thorndike Theatre), Ring Around The Moon (Bristol Old Vic).

Aden Gillet
Aden Gillet

Aden Gillett plays Arthur Winslow in the new touring production, having appeared in the 1999 David Mamet’s directed big screen version as John Waterstone. Other film roles include The Borrowers, Collusion, Under the Lighthouse Dancing, Shadow of the Vampire and Tula, The Revolt. Forthcoming films include The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan and Piers Brosnan and A Caribbean Dream where he plays Theseus in a beautiful modern reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Gillett is best-known for his depiction of Jack Maddock in The House of Eliott, alongside starring performances in Silks, Pollyanna, Vera, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Father Brown, Innocents, The Queen’s Sister, Ivanhoe, Holby, The Harry Enfield Show, The Impressionists and The Tenth Kingdom.

Theatre credits include: R and D (Hampstead Theatre), ORCA (Southwark Playhouse), The Doctor’s Dilemma, Noises Off (National Theatre), Accolade (Finborough Theatre), An Inspector Calls (Royale Theatre, Broadway). West End performances include Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), Blithe Spirt (Savoy Theatre), Betrayal (Duchess Theatre).

Rachel Kavanaugh directs. Her recent work includes A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company), Wind in the Willows (London Palladium), Oklahoma! (BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall), Half a Sixpence (Noel Coward Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (The Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park – Best Musical Revival Olivier Award Nomination).

As Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep, credits include: Arthur and George, His Dark Materials, Hapgood, Peter Pan – a Musical Adventure, Uncle Vanya, The Wizard of Oz, Racing Demon, The Madness of George III (with West Yorkshire Playhouse), A Doll’s House (and UK Tour), Arcadia (with Bristol Old Vic).
For Chichester Festival Theatre: An Ideal Husband, Love Story (also at the Duchess Theatre and Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; Best New Musical, Olivier Awards nomination), The Way of the World, The Music Man, A Small Family Business.

Other theatre includes: Alan Bennett’s Single Spies (Chichester Festival Theatre/Birmingham Rep/UK Tour), Oklahoma! (UK Tour), Hope Place (Liverpool Playhouse), Alice in Wonderland, The Merry Wives of Windsor (both RSC), Guys and Dolls (Sheffield Crucible), A View from the Bridge (Greenwich), Saigon Rose (Orange Tree).

Further casting to be announced.


8 – 17 Feb 01243 781 312
Chichester Festival Theatre

21 Feb – 3 March 0121 236 4455
Birmingham Rep Theatre

5 – 10 March 01225 448 844
Bath Theatre Royal

12 – 17 March 01865 305305
Oxford Playhouse

26 – 31 March 01223 503 333
Cambridge Arts Theatre

9 – 14 April 0843 208 6000
Salford The Lowry

16 – 21 April 01242 572573
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre

23 – 28 April 0844 871 7650
Brighton Theatre Royal

1- 5 May 028 9024 1919
Belfast Grand Opera House

Tues 8 – 12 May 0844 871 7651
Richmond, Richmond Theatre

14 – 19 May 01227 787 787
Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

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