News: Cast announced for Talking Gods digital festival

The cast has been announced for Talking Gods, a digital season of five reimagined Greek myths by Arrows & Traps. Nicolle Smartt (Good Omens and Doctor Who, BBC; Upon the Edge, DeCantillon) will star in tale of sisterhood Persephone, the first play in the Talking Gods series.

Appearing in Orpheus, the second play which delves into control and toxicity, will be Christopher Neels (They Built It. No One Came, Fledgling Theatre; Crooks, Colab Theatre; Bazaar, Arcola) and Charlie Ryall (The Toys That Built America, History Channel; The Biograph Girl, Finborough Theatre; NewsRevue, Canal Café). Richard Baker (The Pirates of Penzance, Palace Theatre; Secret Garden, Ambassadors Theatre; Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre) and Gabrielle Nellis-Pain (The Strange Case of Jekyll & Hyde, UK tour; You & I, York Theatre Royal; The Unspoken Project, Soho Theatre) will lend their voices to Pygmalion, which will see Edward Spence (The Signal-Man, Arena Theatre; The Frontline, Curve Theatre; Equus, Attenborough Arts Centre) star in this intriguing tale, which looks at the role of artificial intelligence in an ever-more isolating world.

Aphrodite, which explores gender identity and acceptance, will see Buck Braithwaite (Nefarious; Ash Mountain Films; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Phoenix Theatre; Tender Red, Daedalus Pictures) and Benjamin Garrison (The Elder Brother and Every Man Out of his Humour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; The Recruiting Officer, Old Red Lion) perform.

The final play in the digital series will be Icarus, starring Adam Elliott (Anna Karenina and Othello, Arrows & Traps; The Hound of the Baskervilles, Jack Studio Theatre) and Lucy Ioannou (Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp and Gentleman Jack, Arrows & Traps; Julius Caesar, Fourth Monkey).

These moving reworkings of classic Greek tales will examine vital contemporary issues, some of which have become heightened during the pandemic. During the week-long digital festival, one play will premiere every night, and each play will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom and then remain online for free. Talking Gods will be rehearsed and recorded at Jack Studio Theatre, where the award-winning Arrows & Traps are the associate company.

Artistic Director Ross McGregor said: “After almost an entire year since Arrows & Traps last performed on stage, it gives me great pleasure to be able to announce our Talking Gods cast. We’ve assembled an exceptional group of talented performers for the season, and working with them on these pieces continues to be a delight. As the artistic director of a repertory company, I’m so pleased that we are drawing from our current core contingent of actors, as well as welcoming back some members from previous seasons, and introducing you to some new faces. We were honoured to receive so many thousands of applications from all over the UK, Europe and USA, the interest in this project was overwhelming. We look forward to releasing the final pieces, as a testament and showcase of all the hard work that this incredible group of people are putting into the Talking Gods online season.’

Talking Gods will run online from Monday 5 – Friday 9 April 2021.

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