Published on Fri 11 Sep 2015

The cast has been announced today for Nicola Wilson’s play Plaques and Tangles at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre in London (14 October to 21 November). The full cast is Vanessa Babirye, Bríd Brennan, Monica Dolan, Rosalind Eleazar, Alice Felgate, Robert Lonsdale, Ted Reilly and Ferdy Roberts.

Nicola Wilson’s Royal Court debut Plaques and Tangles explores one woman’s life with early onset Alzheimer’s. Royal Court Associate Director Lucy Morrison directs.

“I do not accept there is anything wrong with me”

Days before her wedding Megan discovers she has a 50-50 chance of developing early onset Alzheimer’s. Years later she’s offered a genetic test. But if she’s got the gene does she really want to know?

Megan, 21. Megan, 47. Megan, 32. Megan, 27.

One woman lurches through time on a wild memory trip while her young family deal with the consequences.

“I can’t think. But I still feel. And most of the time I feel scared. Scared because it’s too soon. I haven’t finished yet.”

The production is designed by Andrew D. Edwards, with lighting design by Anna Watson, sound design by Emily Legg, music by Daniel Elms and movement by Polly Bennett.

Vanessa Babirye will play Gwen/Nurse, Bríd Brennan will play Eva/Barbara, Monica Dolan will play Megan, Rosalind Eleazar will play Young Megan, Alice Felgate will play Lila, Robert Lonsdale will play Young Jez, Ted Reilly will play Ned and Ferdy Roberts will play Jez.

Plaques and Tangles will be accompanied by three Big Idea events. Playwright and performer Rob Drummond will perform his play The Hole of My Heart which premiered in The Beehive pub as part of the Royal Court’s summer of events in Tottenham (27 October); Nicola Wilson in conversation (28 October); and Genetic Inheritance and Alzheimer’s Disease with consultant neurologist Professor Nick Fox who will hold a talk on familial Alzheimer’s disease (18 November).

Nicola Wilson’s previous theatre includes Moonwalking (Oran Mor). Her radio credits include Cut to the Heart and Life on the Edges.

Lucy Morrison is Associate Director at the Royal Court where her credits include Hidden (Live Lunch), Who Cares, Pests and Product (Traverse Theatre and European tour). Pests was a Royal Court co-production with Clean Break for whom Lucy has worked as Head of Artistic Programme and directed Billy the Girl (Soho Theatre), Little on the Inside (Almeida Festival and Latitude), it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now (Arcola Theatre) and This Wide Night (Soho). Morrison also originated and commissioned the Charged and Re-Charged seasons at Soho Theatre in which she directed Fatal Light and Doris Day.

Plaques and Tangles 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.


Notes to Editors:
For more information or images please contact Anoushka Hay on 0207 565 5063 / [email protected]

Press Night
Tuesday 20 October, 7pm | Plaques and Tangles by Nicola Wilson | Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
RSC), Rutherford & Son (Royal National), Smelling a Rat (Hampstead), Dancing at Lughnasa (Abbey Dublin, National, West End & Broadway), Edward II (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Playboy of the Western World (Druid). Brid’s television credits includes HG Wells – A Devotee of Art, The Escape Artist, Quirke, Upstairs Downstairs, Little Crackers, South Riding, Dr Who, Father and Son, Trial & Retribution XVIII, Any Time Now, The Hidden City, Cracker III, Tell Tale Hearts, The Daily Women, Four Days in July, The Billy Plays, Ballroom of Romance and Sunday. Her film credits includes Florence Foster Jenkins, The Truth Commissioner, Brooklyn, Shadow Dancer, OCCI Vs. The World, Sunday, Felicia’s Journey, Topsy Turvy, Dancing at Lughnasa, Trojan Eddie, Guinevere and Anne Devlin.

Monica Dolan’s previous work for the Royal Court Theatre includes The Twits, Birth of a Nation, Sliding with Suzanne and The Glory of Living. Her other theatre includes The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar), Chalet Lines (Bush), King Lear, The Seagull, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Jane Eyre (Shared Experience Tour & West End), Macbeth, Mary Stuart (Southampton Nuffield), She Stoops to Conquer, A Laughing Matter (Royal National/Out of Joint), The Walls (Royal National), Hayfever (Triumph Proscenium) and The Glass Menagerie (Royal Lyceum). Monica’s television credits include W1A, The Casual Vacancy, Wolf Hall, The Escape Artist, Complicit, Call the Midwife, Coming Up, Spoof or Die, Appropriate Adult, U Be Dead, Excluded, Inspector Banks, Occupation, Midsommer Murders, The History of Mr Polly, Poirot, The Commander, Tipping the Velvet, Judge John Deed and The Gift. Her film credits include Eye in the Sky, Pride, The Falling, Alpha Papa, Kick Ass 2, Sightseers, The Arbor, Never Let Me Go, Within the Whirlwind, King Lear, Topsy Turvy and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Rosalind Eleazar makes her theatrical debut in Plaques and Tangles.

Alice Felgate’s television includes You, Me & Them and Some Girls. Her film credits include Side By Side and The Cabin.

Robert Lonsdale’s theatre includes Another Place (Theatre Royal, Plymouth), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury), Brilliant Adventures (Manchester Royal Exchange), A Life (Finborough), Anna Christie (Donmar), La Bete (Music Box) and The Indian Wants the Bronx (Young Vic). His television credits includes The Interceptor, Silent Witness, Doctors, Plus One, Heartbeat, Ben’s Patient and Coronation Street. His film credits include Lost Christmas, A Passionate Woman and The Glass House.

Ted Reilly’s previous work for the Royal Court Theatre includes Vera, Vera, Vera. His other theatre credits include Morning (Traverse/Lyric Hammersmith), Grandfathers (Ovalhouse), Theatre Uncut (Red Ladder) and Entertaining Mr Sloane (South London). His television credits include Call the Midwife, Hetty Feather, Grantchester, Law & Order, Suspects, Unknown Heart, Nightshift and Casualty.

Ferdy Roberts’ previous work for the Royal Court Theatre includes Pigeons, Talk Show, The President Has Come to See You (Open Court), If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep and Playing the Victim. His other theatre credits includes Shakespeare in Love (Noel Coward), Water (Filter, Tour), Three Kingdoms, Three Sisters (Lyric, Hammersmith), The Silence, Twelfth Night (Filter/RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Faster (Filter), Wallenstein, A Christmas Carol (Chichester), Caucasian Chalk Circle (National), Birthday Party, The Dumb Waiter, Aladdin (Bristol Old Vic), The Fixer (Almeida), Girl in a Goldfish Bowl (Sheffield Crucible), Frankenstein (Derby Playhouse), Switchback (Glasgow Tron), The Contractor (Oxford Stage Company), Another Country (West End), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Beautiful Thing, The Changeling (Salisbury Playhouse), The Sea (Chichester Minerva Theatre) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Filter Theatre & Lyric Hammersmith). Ferdy’s television includes Foyles War, MI High, The Whistleblowers, Goldplated, Your Mother Should Know, Holby City and Doctors. His film credits include What You Will, Mr Nice, Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll and Honest.

The Big Idea: Plaques and Tangles

The Hole of My Heart
written and performed by Rob Drummond
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Tuesday 27 October, 6.15pm
When Rob was eight years old doctors found a hole in his heart and advised his parents he had only a few months to live.
Join him now in his thirty fourth year as he investigates his past medical health and examines the possibility of knowing his future with the help of human genome scientists in America, who, for three thousand dollars, will tell him how he is likely to die.
Tickets: £5 (or free with a ticket to the show)

Nicola Wilson in conversation
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Wednesday 28 October, Post-show
The playwright talks to Royal Court Associate Director Lucy Morrison.
Tickets: £5 (or free with a ticket to the show)

Genetic Inheritance and Alzheimer’s Disease
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Wednesday 18 November, 6.15pm
A talk by consultant neurologist Professor Nick Fox on what we have learnt from familial Alzheimer’s disease.
Tickets: £5 (or free with a ticket to the show)

The Big Ideas event partner is Time Out.

Listing Information

Plaques and Tangles
By Nicola Wilson
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Wednesday 14 October – Saturday 21 November 2015
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Monday – Saturday 7.45pm
Saturday matinees (from 24 October) 3pm
Thursday matinees (from 22 October) 3pm
Captioned Performance Friday 6 November 7.45pm
Press Night Tuesday 20 October 7pm
Age Guidance 14+
Tickets £20. Mondays all seats £10 (available on day of performance from 9am online).
Concessions £15 (available in advance until 24 October, and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)*
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate)
ID required. All discounts subject to availability.

Plaques and Tangles by Nicola Wilson is supported by Jerwood New Playwrights.

Jerwood New Playwrights is a longstanding partnership between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Royal Court. Each year, Jerwood New Playwrights supports the production of three new works by emerging writers, all of whom are in the first 10 years of their career. The Royal Court carefully identifies playwrights whose careers would benefit from the challenge and profile of being fully produced either in the Jerwood Downstairs or Jerwood Upstairs Theatres at the Royal Court.

Jerwood Charitable Foundation supports the Jerwood New Playwrights programme and 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 its funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit

Coutts is the Royal Court Theatre Innovation Partner

Coutts is the wealth division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. 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 Coutts managing the finances of many of today’s top writers, actors and musicians, but also through our arts sponsorship programme. We are delighted to support The Royal Court and it’s diverse range of ground-breaking performances. For further information please visit