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Accolade, playing at the St James Theatre

Accolade, playing at the St James Theatre

Alexander Hanson leads Accolade

First Published 8 October 2014, Last Updated 8 October 2014

Stephen Ward star Alexander Hanson and Abigail Cruttenden will star in Blanche McIntyre’s forthcoming revival of Emlyn Williams’ masterpiece Accolade at the St James Theatre.

The pair will play husband and wife Will and Rona Trenting in the thrilling tale of sex, scandal and blackmail at the Victoria venue from 12 November (press night 17 November) until 13 December.

Last seen at the Finborough Theatre in 2011, when McIntyre’s rediscovering of the rarely performed drama earned multiple awards and critical acclaim, Accolade tells the story of author Will. When his knighthood attracts the glare of the British press, private and public worlds collide as he battles against the exposure of his secret life and the double standards of a society bent on destroying him.

Hanson returns to the stage to take the leading role following stage appearances in plays including Copenhagen (National Theatre) and Talking To Terrorists (Royal Court). He is better known, however, for his extensive musical theatre credits that include starring turns in West End productions Stephen Ward, A Little Night Music, We Will Rock You, The Sound Of Music and Sunset Boulevard.

His forthcoming co-star Cruttenden is similarly a familiar face on the London stage, with her many credits including Drawing The Line and 55 Days at the Hampstead Theatre, The Knot Of The Heart at the Almeida Theatre, and Afterlife and Flight at the National Theatre.

The pair are joined in the production by A Touch Of Frost’s Bruce Alexander (Ciphers, Bush Theatre), Sam Clemmett (Lord Of The Flies, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Claire Cox (Women, Power And Politics, Tricycle Theatre), Singin’ In The Rain star Daniel Crossley, Jay Taylor (Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, West End) and Jay Villiers (The Winslow Boy, Old Vic).

Completing the cast is Olivia Darnley, the only member of the company to recreate the role she first played in the original Finborough production. The actor will return to the role of Phyllis following her recent appearance in the RSC’s hit double bill Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

Accolade is the final production to play as part of the One Stage Season at the St James Theatre, an initiative set up by theatrical charity Stage One, which is committed to supporting producers for the commercial theatre industry.

Producer Nicola Seed’s offering will follow September’s comedy Breeders and the John Hannah-led Uncle Vanya, which begins previews today.

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