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Matthew Needham and Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

In rehearsal: Almeida Theatre’s Summer And Smoke

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson Published 7 February 2018

There are few play texts better at stirring the emotions than those of Tennessee Williams – and in the Almeida Theatre‘s latest exciting revival, Summer And Smoke, led by not so much rising as soaring star Patsy Ferran, Williams’ provocative writing looks set to capture the imagination of London once again.

Summer And Smoke is set in the oppressive heat of summer where, under the wings of an angel, Alma meets John. But as she seeks salvation in a life of obligation, she finds herself trapped between desire – and fear. Rebecca Frecknall directs this play of love, loneliness and self-destruction.

Joining the previously announced Ferran (Critics’ Circle Theatre Award-winner for Most Promising Newcomer in 2014) as Alma are the likes of Seb Carrington (The Crown) as Archie Kramer, Nancy Crane (Against, Almeida) as Mrs Winemiller/Mrs Bassett, Eric MacLennan (The Night Manager) as Papa Gonzales/Vernon, Forbes Masson (Big Fish, The Other Palace) as Rev Winemiller/Dr Buchanan, Matthew Needham (The Twilight Zone, Almeida) as John Buchanan, Tok Stephen (Boudica, Shakespeare’s Globe) as Roger Doremus/Dustry, and Anjana Vasan (King Lear, Shakespeare’s Globe) as Rosemary/Rosa Gonzales/Nellie.

All look set for another stunning production at the North London venue, from the look of photographer Marc Brenner’s rehearsal snaps below:

Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Seb Carrington in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Seb Carrington in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Williams’ play centres on the explosive ramifications of Alma’s attraction to the young doctor who lives next door, John Buchannan. The show made its London premiere in 2006, nearly six decades after its initial Broadway run, with a cast led by Rosamund Pike and Chris Carmack.

Now in a rare London revival, featuring a stunning ensemble cast and direction from Rebecca Frecknall (Idomeneus; What Are They Like?), Summer And Smoke is a touching and heart-breaking tale of transformation.

Angus MacRae (Composer) and Eric MacLennan in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Angus MacRae (Composer) and Eric MacLennan in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Anjana Vasan in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Anjana Vasan in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Carolyn Downing (Sound Designer), Rebecca Frecknall (Director) and Dervla Toal (Resident Director) in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Carolyn Downing (Sound Designer), Rebecca Frecknall (Director) and Dervla Toal (Resident Director) in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Tok Stephen and Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Tok Stephen and Patsy Ferran in rehearsal for Summer And Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Summer And Smoke plays at the Almeida Theatre from Saturday 24 February.

Tickets can be booked through the Almeida Theatre website.

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