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Baxendale and Smith go Swimming with Slater

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 18 April 2008

Helen Baxendale and Matt Smith have joined Christian Slater in the cast of Swimming With Sharks, which opens at the Vaudeville on 16 October (previews from 5 October).

Baxendale is well known for her many television roles, including Rachel in the long-running series Cold Feet, acerbic doctor Claire in Cardiac Arrest and Emily in US sitcom Friends. Her London stage credits include The Woman Before at the Royal Court in 2005 and Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie at the Donmar Warehouse in 2003.

Smith recently played Danny in the political television drama Party Animals. He has previously been on stage in London in the Laurence Olivier Award-winning play On The Shore Of The Wide World at the National in 2005, Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship back at the National last year, the touring production of The History Boys, and That Face at the Royal Court earlier this year.

The rest of the cast includes Elizabeth Croft, Arthur Darvill, Mark Edel-Hunt, Jonathan Newth and Fanos Xenofos.

Swimming With Sharks, Michael Lesslie’s stage adaptation of George Huang’s cult 1994 film, is set in the cut-throat world of Hollywood. Movie producer Buddy Ackerman (Slater) is one of Hollywood’s most powerful men and the boss from hell. Guy (Smith), his eager and idealistic new assistant and would-be screenwriter, soon finds himself serving as Buddy’s personal slave, doggedly enduring tantrums and relentless abuse in the hope that he will be given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move up the Hollywood ladder. When such an opportunity arises, Guy attempts to play the Hollywood system and preserve his integrity by drawing his high-powered producer girlfriend Dawn (Baxendale) into a key deal with Buddy.

Wilson Milam directs this premiere production, which runs for a limited 15-week season at the Vaudeville.

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