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In rehearsal: Roots

Published 20 September 2013

Recent newspaper reports might have illuminated the broodiness of Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine, but there’s not a nappy in sight in the rehearsal room for her latest stage production Roots.

Arnold Wesker’s play sees the actress, best known for playing Jenny Lee in the BBC drama about baby delivery in 1950s Poplar, once again stepping back into that decade, but moving north to a family farm in Norfolk to play Beatie Bryant, a young woman who has been transformed by a trip to the capital and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of new socialist boyfriend Ronnie.

She’s joined in the Donmar Warehouse production by stage regular Linda Bassett, who for years was seen in the Sunday evening slot now taken by Call The Midwife, playing Queenie Turrill in Lark Rise To Candleford, alongside Ian Gelder, David Burke and Michael Jibson.

Though previews don’t begin until 3 October, photographer Stephen Cummiskey was allowed into the rehearsal room to see how preparations are going.


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