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19/10/2009Press Release


On Monday 19 October, the cast of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof began rehearsals for the show’s West End run at the Novello Theatre from 21 November to 10 April 2010.

Debbie Allen’s sell-out Broadway production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof hasset designsby Morgan Large with costume designs by Fay Fullerton, lighting by David Holmes, sound by Richard Brooker and original music by Andrew “Tex” Allen. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is produced by Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones forFront Row Productions.

The cast is Richard Blackwood (Brightie), Guy Burgess (Lacey), Claudia Cadette (Nanny), Peter De Jersey (Gooper), Derek Griffiths (Reverend Tooker), James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), Sanaa Lathan (Maggie), Susan Lawson-Reynolds (Sookey), Adrian Lester (Brick), Joseph Mydell (Doctor Baugh), Phylicia Rashad (Big Mama) and Nina Sosanya (Mae). They are joined by Yvonne Gidden who will understudy Big Mama.

A powerful Southern family gathers at a birthday celebration for patriarch Big Daddy who is unaware he is dying. In a scramble to secure their part of his estate, family members hide the truth about his diagnosis from him and Big Mama. Tensions mount between alcoholic former football hero Brick and his beautiful but sexually frustrated wife Maggie ‘the Cat’. As their troubled relationship comes to a stormy and steamy climax, a shockwave of secrets is finally revealed.

Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof was last seen in the West End in 2001directed by Anthony Page with a cast including Frances O’Connor, Brendan Fraser, Ned Beatty and Gemma Jones. In1988 Howard Davies directed a National Theatre production with a cast including Ian Charleson, Lindsay Duncan, Barbara Leigh-Hunt and Eric Porter.

Richard Blackwood’s stage credits include Roy Williams’ Angel House and The Unexpected Guest, which both toured nationally and The Brothers at the Hackney Empire. As well as his own show for Channel 4, Blackwood’s television credits include Britannia High, Dani’s House, Shoot The Messenger, Little Miss Jocelyn and Holby. He is a regular at the Comedy Store in the West End and presents his own radio programme on Choice FM.

James Earl Jones won Best Actor Tony Award for his performances in August Wilson’s Fences and The Great White Hope and was also nominated for a Tony for his role in the revival of On Golden Pond. His other Broadway credits include Master Harold and the Boys, Of Mice and Men and The Iceman Cometh. Multi award-winning James Earl Jones made his film debut in 1964 in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Stangelove. As well as being the voice of Darth Vader, he has since been seen on screen in Field of Dreams, The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games. James Earl Jones made his London stage debut in 1978 in the Broadway transfer of Paul Robeson.

Derek Griffiths’extensive theatre credits include The Miser, The Odd Couple, The Government Inspector, Nude with Violin and Loot, all for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Run for Your Wife and Noises Off all in the West End and Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On television his credits include Doctors, Holby City, Casualty, Queen’s Park Story and Insect Antics. His film credits Gallowwalker and Fierce Creatures.

Tony award-winning Sanaa Lathan will be reunited on stage with Phylicia Rashad following her 2004 Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed production of Raisin In The Sun. She is best known on television in the UK for playing Michelle Landau in Nip/Tuck. Lathan’s film credits include Wonderful World opposite Matthew Broderick, The Family That Preys alongside Kathy Bates and Something New, Alien vs. Predator and Out of Time.

Adrian Lester played the title roles in Henry V for the National Theatre and Hamlet at the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord. As well as Cheek By Jowl’s As You Like It, his many theatre credits include Six Degrees of Separation for the Royal Court and Company for the Donmar Warehouse. He is best known on television for playing con-artist ‘Mickey Bricks’ in Hustle. His has also been seen on screen in Merlin, Ballet Shoes, Being Human and Afterlife. On film his credits include Primary Colors, Born Romantic, Day After Tomorrow and Doomsday.

Phylicia Rashad starred in the Broadway production of August: Osage County and won the Tony for Best Actress for her role in A Raisin in the Sun. Her other recent Broadway credits include Gem of the Ocean, Jelly’s Last Jam, Into the Woods and Dreamgirls. Rashad has performed
extensively off Broadway at the Lincoln Centre, the Manhattan Theatre Club and the New York Shakespeare Festival as well as regionally throughout the US. A two-time Emmy Award nominee, Phylicia Rashad is most well known on television for her role as Clair Huxtable in The Cosby Show. Her film credits include Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, Free of Eden, Loving Jezebel and The Visit.

Nina Sosanya’s theatre credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost for the Royal Shakespeare Company in which she played Rosalind and Fix Up for the National Theatre. Previously she was seen in The Vortex at the Donmar Warehouse and House and Garden for the National Theatre. Her television credits include Framed, Cape Wrath and Doctor Who. On film her credits include Manderlay, Code 46 and Love Actually.

Debbie Allen made her Broadway directorial debut with Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, having previously, for over a decade, annually written, choreographed and directed commissioned theatre productions for The Kennedy Center. Allen’s directing credits on screen include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air featuring Will Smith, A Different World, Girlfriends, The Jamie Foxx Show and Family Ties. Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning Allen is best known on screen for playing Lydia Grant in the original film and television series of Fame. She made her Broadway acting debut in the 1970 production of Purlie.

James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

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