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Cast revealed for James McAvoy’s Class

Published 28 November 2014

James McAvoy will be joined by Ron Cook, Kathryn Drysdale, Joshua McGuire and Anthony O’Donnell in the upcoming production of The Ruling Class.

The satirical comedy, which plays at the Trafalgar Studios from January as part of director Jamie Lloyd’s second Trafalgar Transformed season, will also star Michael Cronin, Serena Evans, Paul Leonard, Elliot Levey, Forbes Masson, Rosy Benjamin, Andrew Bloomer and Oliver Lavery.

This first revival of a play that won the Evening Standard Award for Best Drama in 1969 stars McAvoy as a possible paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex who inherits the title of the 14th Earl of Gurney. Distinctly unsuitable for life at the top of polite society, he finds himself caught up in a ruthless power struggle as his family schemes to hold onto its reputation.

Cook, who plays Sir Charles Gurney, is regularly on television screens in hit dramas including Mr Selfridge and Mrs Biggs, and has twice been nominated for an Olivier Award for performances in Henry V and Juno And The Paycock.

Drysdale, who may be best known for long-running TV comedy Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, boasts stage credits including The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

McGuire is a young performer whose star is rising thanks to performances in The Magistrate at the National Theatre and Privacy at the Donmar. He will also be seen on the big screen in festive film Get Santa from 5 December.

This gives him something in common with Anthony O’Donnell who, though boasting reams of credits at the National and RSC, will be bringing more joy to countless children this festive season when Santa Claus: The Movie, in which he plays elf Puffy, will undoubtedly be screened on television.

The Ruling Class marks Leonard and Masson’s return to Lloyd’s Trafalgar Transformed season having both appeared alongside Martin Freeman in Richard III. Masson also starred opposite McAvoy in 2013’s Macbeth.

Evans was last seen on the London stage in the Angela Lansbury-led Blithe Spirit, while Levey’s last stage outing in the capital saw him star opposite Hiddleston in Coriolanus at the Donmar.

Lloyd’s production of The Ruling Class will open at the Trafalgar Studio 1 on 27 January following previews from 16 January. The Jane Horrocks-led East Is East, which is currently playing at the Whitehall venue, will come to the end of its critically acclaimed run on 3 January.

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