Keeley Hawes will join Lee Evans and Shelia Hancock in Clive Exton’s comedy Barking In Essex when it opens at the Wyndham’s theatre later this year.
Best known for her on screen roles in hit BBC series Spooks, Ashes To Ashes and Upstairs Downstairs, Hawes made her professional stage debut only two years ago in the National Theatre’s production of Clifford Odet’s Rocket To The Moon.
Joining the British actress, comedian and Over The Rainbow judge in the production will be Karl Johnson and Montserrat Lombard.
Last seen on the London stage in Lindsay Posner’s production of Noises Off at the Old Vic theatre and later at the Novello theatre, National Theatre regular Johnson has appeared in numerous productions at the Southbank venue, including The Seafarer, The Rivals and The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, as well as boasting credits at the Royal Court theatre in productions including The Weir, Been So Long and The Night Heron.
Lombard, who starred alongside Hawes in BBC crime drama Ashes To Ashes, is, like Hawes, more well known for her on screen roles, having appeared in comedy-drama Love Soup and BBC2’s Roman’s Empire.
Playing from 6 September (press night 16 September), Barking In Essex tells the story of the English county’s most notorious gangster Algie Packer who, after seven years banged up inside, returns home to collect his £3.5 million booty in untraceable notes. But unfortunately there’s something his family has forgotten to mention… the Packers are Essex’s lovable, but most dysfunctional family.
Barking In Essex will follow a string of productions into the Wyndham’s theatre, with Doktor Glas playing from 18 April to 11 May and Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking playing from 14 May to 31 August, following Rowan Atkinson’s recent return to the stage in Simon Gray’s Quartermaine’s Terms, which plays until 13 April.