Published on Mon 27 Oct 2014
The cast includes Rudi Dharmalingam, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jo Eastwood, Christine Entwisle, Tom Georgeson, Stella Gonet, Paul Higgins, Tommy Knight and Nisha Nayar

“We live in an age of cuts. We are a working class town, that’s our strength – and in the current climate, our weakness.”

How do you save 22 million pounds? Mark and Hilary, the leaders of the Council are about to find out.

Casting is announced today for Hope, BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne’s first original play to be staged at the Royal Court. Hope follows Thorne’s success with Glue and This is England ’86 and reunites him with director John Tiffany after their celebrated production Let the Right One In, which transferred to the West End earlier this year.

The cast includes Rudi Dharmalingam, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Jo Eastwood, Christine Entwisle, Tom Georgeson, Stella Gonet, Paul Higgins, Tommy Knight and Nisha Nayar.

Hope is an urgent, responsive play about where we are right now politically. Thorne’s funny, heartfelt and scathing fable attacks the squeeze on local government, examines our disillusionment with the current political parties and asks where we go from here.

The production is directed by John Tiffany, designed by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Chahine Yavroyan and sound by Carolyn Downing. Martin Lowe composes and is musical supervisor.

Jack Thorne

…made his Royal Court debut last year with his adaptation of Let the Right One In. His recent theatre credits include Stuart: A Life Backwards at the Edinburgh Fringe, Mydidae, The Physicists (adapt.) 2 May 1997, When you Cure Me and Bunny, for which he won a Fringe First Award. On television, his work includes Glue (currently running on Channel 4), The Fades (Best Drama Series – BAFTA 2012), This Is England 88 (Best Mini-Series – BAFTA 2012) and This Is England 86, with Shane Meadows. On screen, his credits include a screen adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down, The Scouting Book for Boys and War Book.

John Tiffany

Associate Director of the Royal Court, directs. His most recent credits at the Royal Court include The Pass by John Donnelly and Let the Right One In (a National Theatre of Scotland production, which transferred to the Apollo in the West End), and he will direct The Twits there next April. His production of The Glass Menagerie at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Broadway was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Director, and Once (New York Theater Workshop, Broadway, Melbourne Australia and the West End) won John a Tony, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and an Obie Award. His work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Macbeth (also on Broadway), Enquirer (co-directed with Vicky Featherstone), The Missing, Peter Pan, The House of Bernarda Alba, Transform Caithness: Hunter, Be Near Me, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us, The Bacchae and Black Watch, for which he won an Olivier and Critics’ Circle Award.

The Big Idea: Hope

The Big Idea is a strand of work at the Royal Court launched during last year’s Open Court festival, offering audiences radical thinking and provocative discussion inspired by the work on stage.

In Conversation with Jack Thorne on Apathy and Austerity
Friday 5 December, post-show

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs Free with a ticket to this performance

The New Order:
Friday 12 December, 6.15pm

Three playwrights are commissioned to each write their own political broadcast on behalf of their own political party

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs £5 or free with a ticket to Hope

Political Playwright @ Your Table
Saturday 13 December, 10am

Playwright @ Your Table returns, following its success at Open Court, allowing audiences a rare opportunity to hear writers read aloud their own plays in a secret location around the building and

Cast Biographies:

Christine Entwisle’s previous credits at the Royal Court include Primetime, Narrative and The Wonderful World of Dissocia (also National Tour & Edinburgh International Festival). Her extensive credits for the RSC include As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, The Drunks, Morte d’Arthur and Romeo and Juliet. At the Young Vic she has performed in Ubu Kunst, Missing Jesus and Fine. Elsewhere her credits include Six Characters In Search of an Author (Headlong/ Chichester/ West End), Half Life (National Theatre of Scotland), C’est Vauxhall! (Barbican), The Wedding and Scarlet Theatre (Southwark Playhouse), Billy The Girl (Clean Break/ Soho), Genetics for Blondes (Soho Theatre), Vassa (Almeida at the Albery). Television includes Holby City, Dalziel & Pascoe, Where the Heart Is and Attachments.

Rudi Dharmalingam most recently appeared in Worst Wedding Ever at the Salisbury Playhouse. His theatre credits include The Events (Young Vic/ Edinburgh Fringe/ UK Tour), The Seagull and The English Game (both Headlong/ UK Tour) and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC/ West End). Rudi’s numerous National Theatre credits include England People Very Nice, Playing with Fire and Rafta Rafta (both National Theatre/ UK Tour), The History Boys (National/ Broadhurst Theatre, New York), You Can Still Make a Killing and Tiger at the Gates (National Theatre Studio). He will next appear in Dara at the National Theatre. Rudi has appeared on television in Hollyoaks, Doctor Who and Coronation Street. His radio credits include The Events, Tommies and The Shape of Things.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster is known for her roles as Lisa in Top Boy (Channel 4) and Crystal in Bad Girls (ITV). Her extensive theatre credits include A Season in the Congo (Young Vic), The El Train (Hoxton Hall), The Swan and There is War (both National Theatre), The Bacchae (National Theatre of Scotland), Dirty Butterfly (Soho Theatre), Peepshow (Frantic Assembly/ Plymouth/ Lyric Theatre) and Yard Gal and Babies (both Royal Court). Sharon has appeared in numerous productions at the Tricycle Theatre including Category B, Detaining Justice and Seize The Day (all Black & White Season), Let There Be Love, Fabulation, Playboy of the West Indies and Blues For Mr Charlie (Talawa/ Tricycle/ New Wolsey). Her other television credits include Cucumber, Doctor Who and Holby City.

Jo Eastwood’s film and television credits include Hellboy (feature film), Casualty, Eastenders, Frankie and Kingdom (all BBC) and The Spastic King (Channel 4). Her theatre credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, Notre Dame de Paris and Frankie & Johnnie (all UK Tours for Strathcona Theatre Company).

Tom Georgeson last appeared at the Royal Court in Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness. His theatre credits include Judgement Day and Lulu (both Almeida Theatre), Longing and Glass Eels (both Hampstead Theatre), Frozen (National Theatre/ Birmingham Rep) for which he was nominated for an Evening Standard Best Actor award, The Good Hope (National Theatre), Dealer’s Choice (National Theatre/ Vaudeville Theatre) and Kindness Of Strangers (Liverpool Everyman). Tom’s numerous television credits include The Hollow Crown, Law & Order, The Suspicions of Mr Wicher, Shameless, Ashes to Ashes, Inspector Lynley, Poirot and Between the Lines. His film credits include Notes on a Scandal, Land Girls and A Fish Called Wanda.

Stella Gonet is best known for her roles as Jayne Grayson in Holby City and Casualty, and Beatrice Eliott in The House of Eliott. She has appeared in numerous RSC productions including Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Divine Gossip, Three Sisters, The Revengers Tragedy and Heresies. Her National Theatre credits include Skylight, Racing Demon, The Shaughraun, The Voysey Inheritance and Hamlet. Stella’s other film and television credits include Nicholas Nickelby, Siblings, Silk, Outnumbered, Lewis, Dalziel and Pascoe, Taggart and Foyle’s War.

Paul Higgins was previously directed by John Tiffany in Black Watch at National Theatre of Scotland. His National Theatre credits include Children of the Sun, The White Guard, Paul and An Enemy of the People. Other theatre credits include King Lear (Citizens Theatre), Luise Miller (Donmar Warehouse), Damascus (Traverse / Tricycle / Tour), Macbeth and Conversations After a Burial (both Almeida Theatre), Measure for Measure (RSC), The Golden Ass and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (both Shakespeare’s Globe) and Night Songs (Royal Court). Paul’s television and film credits include Utopia, The Thick Of It, In The Loop and Line of Duty.

Tommy Knight is currently starring as Caleb Bray in Jack Thorne’s Glue on E4. He is also known for his previous roles as Kevin in Waterloo Road and Luke in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Tommy’s other television credits include Dr Who, The Bill , Sorted, The Impressionists and Casualty.

Nisha Nayar’s television credits include Law and Order, Count Arthur Strong, Doctor Who, Casualty, Rose and Maloney and Cracker. She is well known for her role as Elaine in Tracy Beaker. Nisha’s theatre credits include Sisters (Sheffield Crucible), Our Own Kind (Bush Theatre), The Optimist’s Daughter (Finborough Theatre) and Sanctuary (Riverside Studios). Her extensive Radio Four credits include Have Your Cake, Midnight Musing, Orland and Grease Monkeys.