Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is to open at Leicester’s Curve theatre in September ahead of a tour of England and Wales
Full casting has been announced for a new production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which will go on tour after starting at Curve in Leicester.
In the role of Maggie, it will feature Siena Kelly, who was nominated for a best supporting actress award for her role in Channel 4’s Adult Material at this year’s Baftas.
She will be joined by Oliver Johnstone as her distant and troubled husband Brick Pollitt, Teresa Banham as Big Mama and Peter Forbes as Big Daddy, the Pollitt family’s patriarch.
Sam Alexander and Shanaya Rafaat will play Gooper and his wife Mae while Suzette Llewellyn has been cast as Doctor Baugh and Minal Patel as Reverend Tooker.
The Pollitt children’s roles will be played by local young people across the tour.
The production will run at Curve from 3 to 18 September 2021 before touring to Liverpool Playhouse from 22 September to 2 October, Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury from 6 to 9 October, The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich from 12 to 16 October, Theatr Clwyd in Mold from 19 to 23 October and finally Mast Mayflower Studios Southampton from 26 to 30 October.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is directed by Anthony Almeida, winner of the 2019 Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) Sir Peter Hall Director Award. The production is also supported by grant funding from the RTST.
Almeida said: “Medea, Hamlet, Hedda Gabler – throughout stage history, a singular heavyweight part headlines our greatest plays. But in his typical swagger, Tennessee Williams tore up the rules: he wrote not just one but four colossal, enigmatic roles.
“It’s going to be dynamite to witness these talented actors go head-to-head onstage. This entire cast are electric. I’m excited for us to begin rehearsals.”
Rosanna Vize will design the set for the production, with associate designs and costume designs from Sarah Mercadé. Joshua Gadsby will provide lighting design, Giles Thomas will compose new music and create the sound design, and movement direction will come from Gemma Payne.
The show is cast by Ginner Schiller and the production team is completed by Curve’s Birkbeck trainee director Jennifer Lane Baker as assistant director, production manager Sam Paterson, company stage manager Helen Gaynor, deputy stage manager Robyn Clogg and assistant stage manager Zoe Leonard.
It is presented by Curve and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse with English Touring Theatre (ETT).
On a sweltering Mississippi night, the lies are as stifling as the heat. Maggie has fought up from poverty, only to find herself in a passionless, burning marriage. Her husband Brick Pollitt, a former pro footballer, drinks to drown out the hurt he has bottled up inside.
When the entire Pollitt family meet for Big Daddy’s 65th birthday, the claws are out. As shattering truths threaten to spiral out of control, the family set out to protect themselves, and each other, from falling apart.
Williams’ lyrical Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a blazing portrayal of what it takes to survive in a society where we’re all desperate to feel free.
Curve’s chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said in a joint statement: “We are thrilled our co-production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will finally make it onto stages this autumn. Anthony Almeida is a director of outstanding talent and we are excited to welcome him to Leicester. Anthony has assembled an astonishing creative team and acting company, who we’re certain will thrill audiences across the tour.
“These are challenging times to produce theatre and we are indebted to our partners at English Touring Theatre, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, and Mark Hawes and Sir Geoffrey Cass at the Royal Theatrical Support Trust for their unyielding support and collaborative spirit, ensuring this ambitious production can go and can be shared with audiences across the country.”
Mark Da Vanzo, chief executive at Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust, added: “We’re delighted to be working with our friends at the Curve and English Touring Theatre to bring this wonderful, bold new revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to the Liverpool Playhouse. A particular highlight is that local young people will have the chance to be cast and act alongside a very distinguished and talented cast.”
ETT’s artistic director Richard Twyman and executive producer Sophie Scull said in a statement: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with Leicester Curve and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse on this RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award-winning production. This award provides a vital opportunity for an early career artist to make work for audiences nationally, in some of the UK’s most significant and dynamic theatre spaces, and never has that felt so essential.
“The RTST 2019 winner, Anthony Almeida, is a remarkably talented director and we’re so excited by the outstanding cast and creative team he’ll be working with. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is the first show ETT will be touring to (indoor) theatres since the pandemic began, and we can’t wait to share this beautiful piece with audiences in Leicester, Liverpool, Canterbury, Ipswich, north Wales and Southampton.”