News: Hampstead Theatre announces cast and creatives for Sleepwalking

Hampstead Theatre, has announced the full cast and creative team for James Tait Black prize-nominated writer Hannah Khalil’s dark new thriller Sleepwalking which will run from 26 March until 2 May 2020, marking her debut at the theatre.

Acclaimed stage and screen actors Eileen Nicholas and Jeany Spark will perform in this world premiere, directed by Audrey Sheffield who is also making her debut at Hampstead Theatre. Sheffield will be joined by designer Anna Reid, with lighting design by Ali Hunter and sound design by Julian Starr.

Eileen Nicholas is known for her role as Renton’s mother in the iconic 90s film Trainspotting and the more recent sequel T2 Trainspotting. Other screen credits include the film You Need Help and roles in the TV dramas, Broken and Midwinter of the Spirit. Recent theatre credits include Richard III with Headlong, Midsummer with National Theatre of Scotland, presented at Edinburgh International Festival and Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s with the Almeida Theatre.

Nicholas will be joined by Jeany Spark, known to television audiences for her portrayal of Linda Wallander in the UK TV detective drama series, Wallander starring alongside Kenneth Branagh. Other screen credits include, Collateral, Born to Kill, Line of Duty 2 and Man Down. Theatre credits include Crooked Dances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Skylight with Theatr Clwyd and Battleface with the Bush Theatre.

Life as a mother is full of challenges: there’s the house to be paid for, a high-pressure full-time job, and a daughter who has started having nightmares. So it’s a relief when grandma steps in to help: dealing with the school run, preparing the daughter’s dinner, reading the bedtime story… everything suddenly becomes easier. But what starts as desperately needed support gradually begins to feel pernicious. Best not to look too closely. Questioning things might lead to the end of this essential arrangement. And then the telephone starts to ring in the middle of the night…

Sleepwalking is a dark thriller that explores motherhood.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, said “I am delighted to be welcoming these brilliant new artists into our Downstairs space, dedicated to bringing audiences the most exciting voices in contemporary theatre. I can’t wait to see Hannah’s visceral play brought to life.

Hannah Khalil, Playwright of Sleepwalking said: “I am so excited to be making my debut at Hampstead’s Downstairs space. I’ve always loved the intimacy of this studio space and think it will be the perfect setting for Sleepwalking. I can’t wait to see it performed by these wonderful actresses whose work I’ve long admired.”

Audrey Sheffield, Director of Sleepwalking said: “When I first started working as a director, I came to see a lot of Hampstead Downstairs work and I always found it a really exciting and inspiring space. I’m especially thrilled to now be making my directorial debut at the theatre and with Hannah’s fascinating, honest and deeply affecting new play. I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with this incredible cast and whole team, to bring this production to life.”

The Haystack is currently playing on the Main Stage at Hampstead Theatre. Roxana Silbert’s critically acclaimed directing debut has been extended until 12 March. The Haystack, a fast-paced, topical play, which delves into the intriguing world of GCHQ and examines the human impact of national surveillance, is Al Blyth’s first full-length play.

Sleepwalking runs at the Hampstead Theatre from 26 March until 2 May 2020.

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