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OL 05 – Clare Higgins

Best Actress winner Clare Higgins at the Olivier Awards 2005

Higgins leads Almeida autumn

First Published 13 July 2009, Last Updated 13 July 2009

The Almeida theatre has revealed the casts for its autumn productions of Judgment Day and Mrs Klein, with multi-award winner Clare Higgins taking the eponymous lead in the latter.

Higgins, who appears at the Almeida theatre for the first time in the production directed by Thea Sharrock, is joined by Nicola Walker and Kate Ashfield.

The James Macdonald-directed production of Judgment Day will feature a cast including Suzanne Burden, Alan David, Laura Donnelly, Ben Fox, Tom Georgeson, Daniel Hawksford, Jack James, Joseph Millson, Jake Nightingale, Julie Riley, Andy Williams, Sarah Woodward, Lewis Lempereur-Palmer and Thomas Patten.

Higgins, who stars in Mrs Klein (22 October to 5 December), is a three-time Laurence Olivier Award winner who has most recently been seen starring in The Fever at the Royal Court and All’s Well That Ends Well and Oedipus at the National Theatre.

Walker is also a regular performer at the National Theatre and Royal Court, and last worked with Sharrock on the Almeida theatre production of Cloud Nine. Ashfield, who has worked across the London stage, won the RTS Best Actor Award for her performance in This Little Life and the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Late Night Shopping.

Nicholas Wright’s Mrs Klein is set in the London of 1934, where an unexpected message brings bitter confrontation to the relationship between leading psycho-analyst Melanie Klein – renowned for her unique insight into childhood – and her daughter Melitta.

Among the cast of Judgment Day (3 September to 17 October), Millson may be the most easily recognisable performer, having played Sam Morgan in Peak Practice and Jason James in EastEnders in addition to numerous productions across London and for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Burden, David, Georgeson, James, Nightingale and Woodward are all regulars in the capital’s most prestigious theatres, while Donnelly last appeared in London in Romeo And Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Open Air theatre.

Odon von Horvath’s Judgment Day is set in 1937 Austria, where diligent station master Thomas is a well respected member of the local community. But when the flirtatious Anna distracts him from the operation of the signals, disaster strikes and the town seeks a culprit. The Almeida theatre’s production of Judgment Day will be the world premiere of Christopher Hampton’s new version of the play.

Judgment Day and Mrs Klein are followed in December by a revival of Patrick Hamilton’s thriller Rope, which runs at the Islington venue until February 2010.

MA

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