Theatre in Wales

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CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHERMAN CYMRU’S FULL-BLOODED NEW PRODUCTION OF HENRIK IBSEN’S A DOLLS HOUSE     

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHERMAN CYMRU’S FULL-BLOODED NEW PRODUCTION OF HENRIK IBSEN’S A DOLLS HOUSE

CAST FROM STAGE AND SCREEN INCLUDES HOME GROWN TALENT IN LEAD AND SUPPORTING ROLES

UNIQUE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY OFFERED TO EMERGING YOUNG ACTORS FROM SOUTH WALES, INCLUDING BROTHERS AGED 9 AND 13 YRS, TO PERFORM AS MEMBERS OF PROFESSIONAL CAST

Following the recent announcement of its autumn season and fresh from Iphigenia in Splott’s huge success in Edinburgh and triumphant return to Cardiff this week, Sherman Cymru can now reveal the cast of its headline autumn production, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen (9-24 October).

An exceptional group of actors from stage and screen will form the cast of Rachel O’Riordan’s bold new staging of playwright Simon Stephen’s version of the Ibsen masterpiece.

A Doll’s House tells the story of Nora, loving wife and doting mother, seemingly content in her middle-class household. That is, until a figure from her past unlocks a chain of events to unearth Nora’s secret, unravelling her relationships and revealing the reality of her life and situation. Originally produced in Norway in 1879, A Doll’s House shocked audiences with its provocative challenge to the accepted view of a woman’s role within marriage. The play continues to tell a timeless and relevant story that explores women’s sacrifices, and one woman’s realisation of the constraints of money, marriage and motherhood to her own identity and purpose.

Director Rachel O’Riordan said: “This play originally shocked audiences, depicting a woman who realises she is deeply constrained and unhappy in her role as wife and mother. Nora heralded a new female agency in modern theatre. This discourse around accepted female roles in society remains relevant now.”

Welsh actor Leila Crerar will play the lead role of Nora, largely viewed as one of the most intense and pivotal roles for a female actor to perform. Originally from Mid Wales, Leila trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, going on to play a host of acclaimed stage roles - most recently Emilia in Frantic Assembly’s acclaimed production of Othello – as well as number of television roles including BBC Wales’ popular TV drama Belonging. Leila has worked with Rachel O’Riordan before, playing Lady Macbeth in her production of Macbeth for Perth Theatre in 2013.

Speaking about her forthcoming role, Leila said “I'm thrilled to be working with Rachel O’Riordan again, exploring another of theatre’s fascinating female character. It’s an exciting time for Welsh theatre and I am very much looking forward to returning home to Wales to perform at the Sherman.”

Two other Welsh actors make up the home-grown cohort in the production’s cast. Port Talbot born and bred Francine Morgan (Stella, The Passion National Theatre Wales) will play Anna, while the shady character of Krogstad will be played by Robert Vernon. Originally from Pontnewynydd, Pontypool, Robert trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and A Doll’s House will mark his first return to the Sherman stage since playing The Beast in Sherman Cymru’s 2007 Christmas production of Beauty & the Beast.

Nora’s husband Torvald will be played by Alex Blake (BBC’s The Crimson Road), Kristine by Kelly Williams (From Morning to Midnight, National Theatre & Rats’ Tales, Manchester Royal Exchange) and Dr Rank by Paul McEwan (BBC’s Peaky Blinders).

In a mark of Sherman Cymru’s ongoing commitment to the development of emerging welsh talent, A Doll’s House is also offering a unique skills development opportunity for budding welsh actors. The role of Helene will be played by an apprentice actor, while the roles of Nora’s young sons Ivar and Jon will be played by a split cast of four young South Wales based actors; brothers Celt and Cynyr Llewelyn-Jones (ages 13 and 9) from Llanelli, Charlie Fowler (aged 9) from Morganstown, Cardiff and Adam Mulligan (age 13) from Cwmbran.

The production also reunites Rachel O’Riordan with Sherman Artistic Associate, Designer Kenny Miller following their successful partnership last autumn with Romeo & Juliet, O’Riordan’s first production for Sherman Cymru following her taking up the position of Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre in spring 2014.

A Doll’s House plays at Sherman Theatre from Friday 9 October to Sunday 24 October 2015.
 
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