Actress Sue Johnston, best known for her television roles which include Barbara in The Royle Family, makes her theatre return in Peter Gill’s Small Change at the Donmar Warehouse. The production, which is also directed by playwright Gill, is the first time the play has been revived in the capital for 25 years. Johnston is joined in the cast by Lindsey Coulson, Luke Evans and Matt Ryan.
Johnston is one of television’s most bankable actresses. The Warrington-born performer spent eight years playing Sheila Grant in Brookside, leaving the Liverpool-set soap in 1990. More recently she has spent seven years playing psychologist Grace Foley in BBC crime drama Waking The Dead. Johnston’s most recent London stage appearance came in 2003, when she appeared opposite Patrick Stewart and Lisa Dillon in The Master Builder.
The Cardiff-set Small Change premiered at the Royal Court in 1976. A tale of two boys, their friendship and their relationships with their mothers, it explores the tragedy of things that go unsaid and are forever unresolved.
Coulson, like Johnston, is known by many for a television soap role; she played Carol Jackson in the BBC’s EastEnders. Her stage credits include Blame (Arcola), Snakes (Hampstead) and Hamlet (Shaw).
Evans has recently finished playing Roger in Rent Remixed, and has also appeared in Avenue Q and Taboo, while Ryan worked on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Gunpowder season and Lovely And Misfit at the Trafalgar Studios.
Prolific playwright and director Gill has directed over 80 productions across the UK, Europe and North America, and is now returning to the Donmar for the first time since 2005’s Days Of Wine And Roses. The founding director of both Riverside Studios and the National Theatre Studios, Gill’s other plays include Cardiff East, Certain Young Men and The York Realist.
Small Change, which features design by Anthony Ward and lighting by Hugh Vanstone, runs between 10 April and 31 May.