Musical theatre star Daniel Crossley and emerging stage and screen actor Tom Bateman will star in the world premiere of Jeremy Green’s new play Lizzie Siddal at the Arcola theatre next month.
The production, which plays from 20 November to 21 December at the east London venue, focuses on the woman depicted in John Everett Millais’ painting Ophelia. Plucked from obscurity to model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Lizzie Siddal threw herself headlong into the artists’ lives and work, almost dying in the creation of Ophelia, falling in love with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and fulfilling her dream of becoming an independent artist.
Crossley, who was last seen on the London stage in Singin’ In The Rain at the Palace theatre, and star of Da Vinci’s Demons Bateman, whose stage work includes the David Tennant and Catherine Tate-led production of Much Ado About Nothing, join the previously announced Emma West (The Other Boleyn Girl) in Green’s play about the renowned 19th century painting that portrays the tragic drowning of Ophelia in Hamlet.
Completing the cast are star of the Young Vic’s Mad About The Boy Simon Darwen, James Northcote, who recently appeared in The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui at the Chichester Festival Theatre prior to its West End transfer, and Jayne Wisener, who is best known for her role in Tim Burton film Sweeney Todd.
Alongside West as the title character, Bateman, Darwen and Northcote will star as the three founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and Millais, with Crossley as art critic and watercolourist John Ruskin and Miller as Pre-Raphaelite model Annie Miller.
Directed by Lotte Wakeham, Lizzie Siddal is the second production based on the life of a well-known English artist to open in London this autumn, as Mrs Lowry And Son, Martyn Hesford’s funny and poetic two-hander about the life of L S Lowry, plays at the Trafalgar Studio 2 from 30 October to 23 November.