David Ajala, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Danny Webb in The Witness by Vivienne Franzmann
CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THE WITNESS BY VIVIENNE FRANZMANN
David Ajala, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Danny Webb have been cast in Vivienne Franzmann’s new play The Witness, which opens in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court from 1 – 30 June (press night 8 June).
The production will be directed by Simon Godwin, designed by Lizzie Clachan, lighting by Oliver Fenwick and sound by Carolyn Downing.
‘Sometimes when I think of going back. I feel like I could run there. It’s like I’m being called back. I know it sounds ridiculous. And sometimes I don’t give a shit about any of it and I just want to stack shelves for the rest of my life.’
Captured in an award-winning shot Alex (Pippa Bennett-Warner) was rescued from Rwanda and adopted by the man behind the lens. Back from uni and returning to where she was raised the distance between father and daughter stretches taut. In the dark room of a Hampstead home a long hidden secret is slowly exposed in a flash of revelation.
Vivienne Franzmann’s new play is a piercing and dark thriller of modern morals.
David Ajala plays Simon. His stage credits include Ruined at the Almeida, Nation and Death and The King’s Horseman at the National Theatre and Hamlet, Love’s Labours Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC. On film, he recently appeared in Payback Season.
Pippa Bennett-Warner plays student Alex, rescued from wartime Rwanda as a child. Her recent credits include Richard II and Cordelia in King Lear and the Donmar Warehouse, Double Feature and Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre, Ruined at the Almeida and The Lion King in the West End. On television, her credits include Case Histories.
Danny Webb plays her adoptive father Joseph. He most recently appeared at the Royal Court in Chicken Soup with Barley. Previous credits there include Serious Money, Piano Forte and Trade. His other credits include Blasted at the Lyric Hammersmith, The Philanthropist at the Donmar Warehouse, The Green Man at the Bush Theatre, Richard III at Sheffield Crucible and Art in the West End. On film, he appeared in the feature film The Arbor and BBC drama Land Girls.
The Witness is Vivienne Franzmann’s second play. Her first play Mogadishu opened at the Royal Exchange, Manchester last year to critical acclaim, and won the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, the George Devine Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. Vivienne is Resident Playwright at Clean Break and working on her first commission for the company. The Witness is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
Simon Godwin will direct. Associate Director at the Royal Court, his credits include Luke Norris’ Goodbye to All That, Anya Reiss’ The Acid Test, and Nick Payne’s Wanderlust. His other credits include A Kind of Alaska and Krapp’s Last Tape, Faith Healer and Far Away at Bristol Old Vic, The Winter’s Tale for Headlong and the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Mister Heracles at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. As Associate Director of the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton under Artistic Director Rupert Goold, Simon directed seven main stage shows.
The Witness is at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre from 1 – 30 June. It is now sold out, returns only www.royalcourttheatre.com or 0207 565 5000.
For further information, images or interviews, please contact
Anna Evans on 020 7565 5063 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
David Ajala Simon
Pippa Bennett-Warner Alex
Danny Webb Joseph
Director Simon Godwin
Designer Lizzie Clachan
Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick
Sound Designer Carolyn Downing
By Vivienne Franzmann
Directed by Simon Godwin
Friday 1 June – Saturday 30 June 2012
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Monday – Saturday 7.45pm
Saturday matinees 3.30pm (from 9 June)
Thursday matinees 21 June and 28 June 3.30pm
There will be no performances on the Spring or Jubilee Bank Holidays
Press Night Friday 8 June 7pm
Post-show Talk Tuesday 26 June
Captioned performance Wednesday 27 June
Monday all seats £10 (available on the day of the performance from 9am online) Concessions £15* (available in advance until Saturday 9 June incl, and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)
School and HE Groups of 8+ £10 (avail. Tue-Fri and mats)
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate) *ID required. All discounts are subject to availability.
Coutts is the Principal Sponsor of the Royal Court Theatre
Coutts is the UK private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Coutts has a long history of supporting the arts going back 200 years, having looked after the financial affairs of many famous clients connected with the arts such as Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens and Chopin. In 1816, Thomas Coutts married Harriot Mellon, a popular actress of her day, and together they became partners of a number of London Theatres, including the Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House. Coutts has even featured in a number of artistic works including The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In the new millennium, this tradition has continued not only through managing the finances of many of today’s top writers, actors and musicians, but also through our arts sponsorship programme and we are delighted to support The Royal Court and its diverse range of ground-breaking performances.
The Witness is part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, which aims to discover and support the next generation of world class playwrights, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
The Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting emerging artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of their funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. They work with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit www.jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org
Vivienne Franzmann’s commission was supported by funds from the Olivier Foundation