News: Initial casting revealed for Park Theatre’s Time Of Our Lies

Initial casting has been revealed for The Time Of Our Lies, as celebrated television and film actor Daniel Benzali joins the biopic story of the American historian, author and social activist Howard Zinn. Written by Bianca Bagatourian, directed by Ché Walker, movement by Maureen Fleming and music by Gamal Chasten.

The Time Of Our Lies explores Zinn’s personal history, from being a soldier who dropped bombs on Royan, France in WWll. This fateful moment shaped the man who would become a moral compass for the United States in ways that are more relevant today than ever before. The press night will be Thursday 1 August, 7pm at Park Theatre.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival run of The Time Of Our Lies was co-produced by Viggo Mortensen and sponsored by Eddie Vedder, Tom Shadyac, Tim Robbins and Myla Kabat-Zinn and was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award in 2014. The London production is sponsored by Eddie Vedder (Vitalogy Foundation), Susan Sarandon, Diane Lane and Myla Kabat-Zinn, Howard’s daughter.

Daniel Benzali is an internationally renowned actor best known for playing the role of Ted Hoffman in Murder One (20th Century Fox) for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, and W. G. Howe in the James Bond film, A View to a Kill (United International Pictures). Daniel also has a wealth of West End musical theatre credits under his belt. He starred as Juan Peron in Evita (Prince Edward Theatre) and Max von Mayerling in the original production of Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi Theatre), opposite Patti LuPone. Other credits include Holiday (Old Vic); The Grey Zone (Lionsgate); All The Little Animals (BBC); Murder at 1600 (Warner Brothers) and The Agency (CBS Productions).

Additional casting is yet to be confirmed.

Howard Zinn was widely considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. The son of poor Jewish immigrants, Zinn joined the US Army Air Force during WWII. Just before the end of the war, he was involved in the first use of napalm. What he later came to see as an unnecessary and terrible act informed his lifelong anti-war views and lifetime of activism. From the Vietnam war to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Zinn was an outspoken and courageous campaigner for his vision of a just and peaceful America until his death in 2010, at the age of 87. His landmark book, A People’s History of the United States, has sold two million copies and is used as a textbook in schools throughout the US.

The Time Of Our Lies is a battle cry for democracy, transparency, and inclusion. The play brings to life Zinn’s commitment to social justice and his lifelong struggle against false historical narratives written by those in power that poison the well of true democracy. It features songs using some of Howard’s words, combined with first-person accounts of war from other soldiers, all juxtaposed against an incongruously beautiful backdrop of Butoh inspired movement. Howard himself was involved in the inception of the play before his passing in 2010.

The ensemble includes Alvaro Flores (Day of the Living / #WeAreArrested – RSC, The Other Place. Wig Out – Royal Court Theatre), Wayne Gidden (Legacy – Stratford Circus, The 8th – Manchester Festival, Barbican Centre), Lanna Joffrey (Cause – Vault Festival, Fire & Sonnet Walks – The Globe), Claire Lebowitz King (The Donkey Show and Measure for Measure – Living Theatre) and Sophia Mackay (Lead role in Thriller – Lyric Theatre, The Grinning Man – Trafalgar Studios).

To book tickets visit www.parktheatre.co.uk

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