News: Casting annouced for Oleanna at Theatre Royal Bath

Casting has been announced for David Mamet’s Oleanna, the final play in Theatre Royal Bath’s Welcome Back Season this Autumn. The provocative drama will play in the theatre’s main house from Wednesday 25 November to Saturday 12 December with press night on Wednesday 2 December 2020.

John Heffernan will play John and Rosie Sheehy will play Carol in the highly anticipated production which, in a change to original billing, will be directed by Lucy Bailey.

When David Mamet’s Oleanna opened nearly thirty years ago, it caused uproar amongst audiences from New York to London. Set on an American campus, a seemingly innocuous conversation between a college professor and his female student warps into a nightmare which threatens to destroy them both, when she files a claim of sexual harassment against him. With its take on the corrosive excesses of political correctness and exploration of the use and abuse of language, this is the ultimate drama of pupil power and student revenge.

Addressing issues which are strikingly current, this will be a fascinating opportunity to see this landmark play from the perspective of our #MeToo era.

John Heffernan (John) has theatre credits including Oppenheimer (RSC/West End) Edward II (NT), for which he was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor), and Macbeth (Young Vic), Pinter 7: A Slight Ache (Harold Pinter Theatre), and The Hothouse (Trafalgar Studios). Other productions at the National Theatre include Saint George & The Dragon, She Stoops To Conquer, Emperor & Galilean, The Habit of Art and After The Dance. Screen credits include Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (BBC), The Crown (Netflix), Dickensian (BBC), Brexit (Channel 4) and Luther (BBC)

Rosie Sheehy (Carol) has theatre credits including King John (RSC), Uncle Vanya (Theatre Clwyd/Sheffield Theatres) for which she won the ‘Best Female Performance in the English Language’ award at the Wales Theatre Awards 2018, The Whale (Theatre Royal Bath), Strife (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Hairy Ape (The Old Vic) and Chicken (Paines Plough). Screen credits include IRE (Ascendant Films), Call The Midwife (BBC1, Neal Street Productions), and Chernobyl (HBO/Sky).

Lucy Bailey (Director) has theatre credits including Gaslight (UK Tour), Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall, London), Love From A Stranger (Royal & Derngate / UK tour), The Graduate (Leeds Playhouse), Comus, A Masque In Honour of Chastity (Wanamaker Playhouse), Kenny Morgan (Arcola) and King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath). Bailey has also directed work at the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Leeds Playhouse, Old Viv, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Crucible, Sheffield, Lyric Hammersmith, Hampstead Theatre and with the RSC and ENO. She was co-founder and co-artistic director of The Print Room, Notting Hill (2009 to 2012).

David Mamet is one of the most distinctive voices in stage and film writing today. His multi award-winning plays include Glengarry Glen Ross, Speed-the-Plow and American Buffalo.

Oleanna is the final production in Theatre Royal Bath’s Welcome Back Season of plays which also includes:

Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, currently playing until Saturday 31 October, stars Nancy Carroll, Joseph Millson, Edward Bennett, and Christopher Bianchi and is directed by Jonathan Church.

Michael Frayn’s multi award-winning Copenhagen will run from Wednesday 4 – Saturday 21 November with Haydn Gwynne, Michael Gould and Philip Arditti, directed by Polly Findlay.

Following all government guidance and in consultation with health and safety advisors, covid-secure measures in place include reduced capacity to allow for socially distanced seating, mandatory face coverings (unless exempt), hand sanitiser units, thermal temperature checks, dedicated entry points, staggered arrivals and audience flow, fresh air circulation and enhanced cleaning.

Full details and ticket information can be found at www.theatreroyal.org.uk

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