News: Final casting announced for the London premiere of comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Final casting is announced for the London premiere of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning Best Play comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, directed by Walter Bobbie (Tony award winner for ‘Chicago’).

Joimning the previously announced two time Olivier award-winner Janie Dee are Vincent Franklin, Rebecca Lacey, Michelle Asante, Charlie Maher and Lukwesa Mwamba.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will play an 8-week season at Charing Cross Theatre (Thom Southerland, Artistic Director, Steven M. Levy, Managing Director) from Saturday 21 March – Saturday 16 May.

Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star. Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something toy boy, Spike, and so begins a And so begins a very particular weekend.

Christopher Durang’s irresistible comedy is one of the most lauded Broadway plays of recent years. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike blends Chekhov’s famous ennui with the modern-day concerns of celebrity, social networking, planetary upheaval and the troubling onset of middle age, into a beloved comedy.

Janie Dee is one of the UK’s most versatile actors. She won the three most prestigious awards in British Theatre; the Olivier Award, the Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Play, as well as the Obie and Theatre World Best Newcomer Award in New York, for her hilarious and heartbreaking performance as Jacie Triplethree in Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Comic Potential’. She also received the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel’ at the National Theatre and the TMA UK Theatre Award 2013 for Best Performance in a Musical for her performance as Dolly Levi in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ at Curve, Leicester. Janie recently completed a critically acclaimed run playing the title role in Linda by Penelope Skinner at Manhattan Theatre Club, NYC, for which she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, and has just starred as Phyllis Rogers Stone in Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s ‘Follies’ at the National Theatre opposite Imelda Staunton as Sally Durant Plummer and Philip Quast as Benjamin Stone. Janie has been nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in ‘Follies’. She is currently playing Mme Dubonnet in ‘The Boyfriend’ at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Vincent Franklin’s stage roles include Burleigh in ‘Mary Stuart’ at Almeida Theatre and Michael Cocks in ‘This House’ at the National Theatre. On TV he was series regular Christopher Rawson in ‘Gentleman Jack’, Mike Travis in ‘Bodyguard’, eco-friendly, media-savvy, new-school spin man for the opposition Dr Stewart Pearson in ‘The Thick of It’ and Henry in ‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’ by Russell T Davies.

Rebecca Lacey is best known for her TV roles as Irene Stuart in ‘Monarch of the Glen’, the feisty Dr. George Woodman in ‘Casualty’, and ditzy but kind-hearted Hilary in ‘May to December’. She has appeared in a number of theatre productions including playing Siobhan in ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ at the National Theatre and West End transfer, a season with Alan Ayckbourn, in Terry Johnson’s ‘Dead Funny’ in the West End and ‘Amy’s View’ by David Hare.

Michelle Asante recently finished playing a lead role in ‘Our Lady of Kibheo’ at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. She is best known for ‘London Boulevard’, ‘Brand New-U’ and ‘Stan Lee’s Lucky Man’. On stage she has appeared at the Royal Court, Young Vic, Donmar and Gate theatres anmd was TigerLilly in ‘Wendy & Peter Pan’ at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Charlie Maher was last seen on stage in ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at The Arcola. He appeared in Landmark’s highly succesful production of ‘Asking for It’ at the Everyman in Cork, and in its remount at the Abbey Theatre. Other recent theatre appearances include Rough Magic’s production of ‘Melt’ as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Lukwesa Mwamba was Callie in the Amazon TV series ‘Carnival Row’.

Director: Walter Bobbie. Set Designer: David Korins. Costume Designer: Emily Rebholz. Sound Designer/Original Music: Mark Bennett. Casting: Gilly Poole.

Producers: Steven M. Levy and Vaughan Williams for Charing Cross Theatre Productions Limited and Joey Parnes.

Christopher Durang (playwright)

To book tickets visit


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