News: All-star cast unite for digital revival of Steven Carl McCasland’s Little Wars

Multi award-winning stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply; The Doctor, Almeida; Blindness, Donmar Warehouse) leads an all-star female cast in the online revival of Steven Carl McCasland’s dinner party drama, Little Wars. Joining Stevenson will be Linda Bassett (Call The Midwife; East is East), Debbie Chazen (The Smoking Room; The Girls, West End), Natasha Karp (Rags, Park Theatre; The Kite Runner, West End), Catherine Russell (Holby City; What The Butler Saw, Curve Theatre), Sarah Solemani (Him & Her; Bad Education), and Sophie Thompson (Feel Good; Present Laughter, Old Vic).

Bringing together six exceptional women, Little Wars unites literary figureheads Gertrude Stein (Bassett), her girlfriend Alice Toklas (Russell), Dorothy Parker (Chazen), Lillian Hellman (Stevenson) and Agatha Christie (Thompson), with anti-fascist freedom fighter Muriel Gardiner (Solemani), in the most fantastical what-if dinner party imaginable. Tensions are high and secrecy lingers in the air, but with libations flowing and the threat of World War II looming the guests are close to boiling point.

Directed by Hannah Chissick (Flashdance, UK & International tour; Pack of Lies, Menier Chocolate Factory) the new production will be filmed and made available to download and stream online, in collaboration with Southwark’s The Union Theatre. The entire cast and creative team are raising money in aid of Women For Refugee Women, a cause that remains close to their values, and the underlying message of the play. Notwithstanding the challenges of 2020, the producers believe that it is vital, now more than ever, to support causes such as this.

Previously workshopped Off-Off Broadway, this acclaimed play makes its digital premiere, celebrating historical women of the 20th century, through an intimate, hilarious, and witty fly-on-the-wall glimpse into a nostalgic fiction based on truths. Set in 1940s France, on the evening the country crumbled to Hitler’s tyrannical rule, the play acts as a brutal reminder of the mistreatment of the Jewish people. At a time when antisemitism is rife, gender politics are divisive, and LGBTQ+ hate crime has increased, it is a stark reminder that not much has changed.

Director Hannah Chissick commented: “It is such an honour to work on this wonderful play about exceptional women, with such an extraordinary cast all coming together in support of other brave and courageous women.”

McCasland added: “I am thrilled to see Little Wars find its way across the pond, and with such an extraordinary team of actresses. I hope the play’s message resonates with all during this unprecedented time.”

Alongside the streaming, GingerQuiff Media will be collaborating with Drink the iNK for a new pre-show conversation series, Open Creative Process, allowing audiences full-access into the creative process of making digital theatre – from start to finish.

Little Wars will stream worldwide from Tuesday 3 – Sunday November 2020.

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