Joining Ralph Fiennes (Robert Moses) in the world premiere of David Hare’s Straight Line Crazy are Alisha Bailey (Mariah Heller), Samuel Barnett (Ariel Porter), David Bromley (Stamford Fergus), Al Coppola (Walter McQuade), Siobhán Cullen (Finnuala Connell), Ian Kirkby (Lewis Mumford), Alana Maria (Shirley Hayes), Dani Moseley (Carol Ames), Guy Paul (Henry Vanderbilt), Helen Schlesinger (Jane Jacobs), Mary Stillwaggon Stewart (Nicole Sawyer) and Danny Webb (Governor Al Smith).
Directed by Nicholas Hytner at The Bridge, performances are from 16 March – 18 June 2022 with opening night on 23 March 2022. Designs are by Bob Crowley with lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound by George Dennis and music by George Fenton. Straight Line Crazy reunites Fiennes, Hare and Hytner who previously collaborated on Beat the Devil at The Bridge in Autumn 2020.
Ralph Fiennes stars in David Hare’s blazing account of the life of a man whose iron will exposed the weakness of democracy in the face of charismatic conviction. For forty uninterrupted years, Robert Moses was the most powerful man in New York. Though never elected to office, he manipulated those who were through a mix of guile, charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created new parks, new bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. But in the 1950s, groups of citizens at grass roots began to organize against his schemes and against the motor car, campaigning for a very different idea of what a city was and for what it should be.
Ralph Fiennes has enjoyed an extensive career in theatre, film and television as well as producing and directing film. He was last on stage at The Bridge in David Hare’s Beat the Devil, directed by Nicholas Hytner, and recently toured in The Four Quartets which also had a West End run. Fiennes was previously directed by Hytner as Edmund in King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His many other theatre credits include Hamlet, Ivanov, Richard II and Coriolanus for the Almeida, Antony and Cleopatra, The Master Builder, God of Carnage and Faith Healer. His many film credits include Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The Grand Budapest Hotel and the roles of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and M in Skyfall and Spectre. He has also directed three feature films – Coriolanus, The Invisible Woman and The White Crow. Fiennes’ most recent films include The King’s Man, The Dig and The Forgiven.
Alisha Bailey was last on stage in The Twilight Zone for Almeida Theatre and West End. Her previous credits include 4 Women for Loud Talkin’, A Raisin in the Sun for Sheffield Theatres, Paradise Street for the Tricycle Theatre, Mouthful at the Trafalgar Studios, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl for the National Theatre, The Serpent’s Tooth for the Almeida Theatre and Powder Monkey for Manchester Royal Exchange. On television her credits include Park Bench Plays, Grace, I Am…Victoria, Chewing Gum, Save Me, Save Me Too and Call the Midwife. On film her credits include Backdraft 2 and I Give It a Year.
Samuel Barnett was last at The Bridge in Allelujah! directed by Nicholas Hytner who has also directed him in His Dark Materials and The History Boys for the National Theatre and Broadway as well as the feature films The Lady in the Van and The History Boys. His other theatre credits include Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Dealer’s Choice for the Menier Chocolate Factory, An Oak Tree, The Beaux Stratagem and Women Beware Women for the National Theatre, Richard III and Twelfth Night for The Globe Theatre and Broadway, The Way of the World for Sheffield Theatres, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and The Accrington Pals for Chichester Festival Theatre and The Marriage of Figaro for Manchester Royal Exchange. His television credits include Four Lives, The Amazing Mr Blunden, The Prince, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Penny Dreadful, Endeavour, Not Safe For Work, Twenty Twelve, Beautiful People, Desperate Romantics and John Adams. His other film credits include Jupiter Ascending, Bright Star and Mrs Henderson Presents.
David Bromley’s theatre credits include No Villain for the Old Red Lion and Trafalgar Studios and 1938 – Hitler Takes Vienna, Without Reluctance and Without Relief and Boris Godunov, all for the Ballast Theatre Company. His television credits include Harlots, Doctors and The Tunnel, and his film credits include Tolkien, How to Stop a Recurring Dream, Poor Thing and Holmes and Watson.
Al Coppola was previously seen at The Bridge in Bach & Sons. His other theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest for the Barn Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Split Second Productions, and Sonnet Walk, Journey’s End and Macbeth for Guildford Shakespeare Company. His television credits include Holby City.
Siobhán Cullen’s theatre credits include Once Upon a Bridge, The Cherry Orchard, Richard III, Crestfall and the one woman play Boland: Journey of a Poet, all for the Druid Theatre Company, Galway. On television, her credits include The Dry, Origin, The Long Call and Paula. Her film credits include The Bright Side.
Ian Kirkby’s theatre credits include Touched for Nottingham Playhouse, Two Gentlemen of Verona for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Peaches for the Royal Court and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Arsenic & Old Lace, Dancing at Lunaghsa, The Caretaker, The Recruiting Officer and The Crucible, all for the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. On television his credits include Swashbuckle, Crackerjack, Diddy TV, Hoopla, Pete Versus Life and The Slammer. His film credits include My Last Five Girlfriends and National Treasure 2 – Book of Secrets.
Alana Maria moved to England from Detroit in the late ’90s and began performing in various tours and West End productions including The Blues Brothers, 125th Street and Dancing in the Streets. Her other theatre credits include Golden Boy for Greenwich Theatre, Little Fish for the Finborough Theatre and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea for the The Watermill. As well as acting for the stage and screen, her voice can be heard on audio books and in many video games. She most recently filmed new series, Mechanical for a major streaming platform, as well as Avenue 5 and Doctor Who.
Dani Moseley’s theatre credits include Somebody for Power Play Theatre at the Pleasance for the Edinburgh Fringe, Secret Cinema’s Casino Royale in London and Shanghai, Freefall for The Bunker Theatre, A View of Her Own Beauty for Writers Avenue, Rivers of London for Look Left Look Right/City Read, Nice Jumper and Three Women in a Music Box both for Waterloo East Theatre, The Bird Woman of Lewisham for The Arcola Theatre and The Forty Elephants for The Albany Theatre. Her television credits include Dreaming Whilst Black, Brothers with No Game Series 1-3, Which is Witch, Gates, EastEnders and Doctors. On film her credits include The Devil Went Down to Islington and Finish Line.
Guy Paul’s London theatre credits include Death of a Salesman with Anthony Sher for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Boa for the Trafalgar Studios. His US theatre credits include Mary Stuart, King Lear, The Invention of Love, The King and I, Twelve Angry Men and 1776, all on Broadway; Stuff Happens for The Public Theatre, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol for the Geva Theatre Company and How the Grinch Stole Christmas for The Globe Theatre, San Diego. On television his credits include Patrick Melrose, Father Brown, Black Sails, Life on Mars, The Sopranos and Law and Order. His film credits include The Sense of an Ending, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Fifth Estate, Hyde Park on Hudson and the upcoming Indiana Jones 5.
Helen Schlesinger’s more recent theatre credits include Henry V, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Hamlet all for Shakespeare’s Globe, Albion for the Almeida Theatre, Boys Will be Boys for the Bush, Frozen for the Park Theatre, Single Spies for the Rose Theatre, Coriolanus for the Donmar Warehouse, Bracken Moor for the Tricycle Theatre and Fireface for the Young Vic. Her television credits include Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Merlin, The Hour and Nativity. On film her credits include Dirty War, Persuasion and 24 Hour Party People.
Mary Stillwaggon Stewart’s UK theatre credits include An Enemy of the People for the Union Theatre, The Glass Protégé for the Park Theatre, The Remains for the Canal Cafe Theatre, The Fat Man’s Wife for the Albany Theatre, Don Loco for Tristan Bates Theatre and Sleeping Beauty for Kenton Theatre. Her New York theatre credits include Machinal for Lincoln Center Lab, Ivanov and Love’s Labour’s Lost for Circle in the Square, Bender Gender Straight and Neutered for the Transport Group, Alcestis and Five Women Waiting for Manhattan Theatre Source and Dear Brutus for Wings Theatre. Her television and film credits include The Crown, Berlin Station, The Amazing World of Gumball and Boardwalk Empire.
Danny Webb’s theatre credits include King Lear alongside Ian McKellen at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Welcome Home, Captain Fox! for the Donmar Warehouse and The Seagull, directed by Matthew Dunster, for Regent’s Park Open Air. Webb is reprising the role of John Ripper in the second series of Pennyworth. His other television credits include The City & The City, SS-GB, Liar, The Halcyon and Humans. His film credits include The Dig and A Little Chaos.
David Hare is one of the UK’s most prolific and acclaimed writers having written extensively for stage, television and film. He is the author of over 30 full length plays, his first, Slag, was produced in 1970. Hare is the winner of multiple international awards including a BAFTA for Licking Hitler, an Olivier award and a Critics’ Circle award for Racing Demon, an Evening Standard Drama award for Pravda and a Tony award for Skylight. He is also a two-time Academy award nominee for The Hours and The Reader and was knighted in 1998.
For the Bridge Theatre Nicholas Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, The Shrine, Bed Among the Lentils, A Christmas Carol, Bach & Sons and The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage. In June he will direct Alex Jennings in Stephen Beresford’s The Southbury Child at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Bridge. Previously he was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015.
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