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Rigg and Manville lead Almodóvar adaptation

Published April 17, 2008

Lesley Manville and Diana Rigg have been cast in All About My Mother, the new play by Samuel Adamson based on Pedro Almodóvar’s film, which runs at the Old Vic from 25 August-24 November. Joining them are Joanne Froggatt, Colin Morgan and Charlotte Randle.

Tom Cairns directs the cast in this stage adaptation of All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre), the 1999 Spanish language Oscar and BAFTA-winning film written and directed by Almodóvar, whose other films include Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and the recent Volver. It is the first time that the Spanish filmmaker has agreed to his work being produced in English on the stage.

Following the death of her son Esteban, Manuela (Manville) goes to Barcelona to find Esteban’s father, whom he never knew. There, she gets caught up in the lives of three women – a long-lost transvestite friend, a young nun in search of love and Huma Rojo (Rigg), the famous actress Esteban so admired. Just as Manuela’s life begins to have meaning again, her son’s father returns and her journey of discovery and forgiveness comes full circle.

Manville is best known for her collaborations with Mike Leigh on the films High Hopes, Secrets And Lies, Topsy-Turvy, All Or Nothing and Vera Drake. Her stage work includes The Marriage Of Figaro at the Old Vic, The Cherry Orchard, Top Girls at the Royal Court and, for the National, His Dark Materials and a version of Ibsen’s Pillars Of The Community, also written by Adamson.

Rigg, made a Dame in 1994, has enjoyed a long, high-profile career in theatre and on screen, starting from her appearance as Emma Peel in 1960s television series The Avengers. She was first on the Old Vic stage in the 1970s as part of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company, starring in many productions. Elsewhere her credits include Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at the Almeida, Mother Courage and Humble Boy at the National, Suddenly Last Summer at the Albery and last year’s Honour at the Wyndham’s.

Commenting on the casting, Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey said: “I’ve always been a huge admirer of Lesley Manville’s work and her remarkable ability to access truth and humanity in the roles she plays. Her extensive experience of working on new writing with Mike Leigh, at the Royal Court and elsewhere, makes her a wonderful asset to this production. And I couldn’t be more pleased that Diana Rigg, one of the UK’s best-loved actresses, will be playing the role of Huma. Diana’s played an extraordinary range of roles in a distinguished career and I can’t wait to see her on The Old Vic stage.”

Almodóvar also commented: “I have been a fan of Diana’s for all these years and I am thrilled that she is playing Huma.”

Froggatt plays Sister Rosa. Since playing Zoe Tattersall in Coronation Street Froggatt has appeared in the TV dramas Murder In The Outback, See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Life On Mars and Bad Girls.

Charlotte Randle, who plays Nina, appeared in Nina Raine’s Rabbit at Trafalgar Studios last year. She is currently performing in the same play for the Brits On Broadway Festival in New York. Her other stage credits include Don Carlos, The Man Who Had All The Luck, Lobby Hero and Romeo And Juliet at the National.

Colin Morgan makes his West End debut in the role of Esteban. He recently played the lead role in Vernon God Little at the Young Vic, directed by Rufus Norris.

CB

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