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Anthony Neilson (Photo: Ellie Kurttz)

Royal Court announces casting

First Published 2 May 2008, Last Updated 27 April 2020

Julia Davis and Anna Madeley are to star in Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, set to open at the Royal Court on 4 June following previews from 29 May.

Set in the centre of the Royal Court, Contractions is a black comedy about work and play and will be actress Davis’s London theatre debut. With her roots firmly in comedy, Davis has enjoyed success in television after writing and starring in the BBC’s dark comedy Nighty Night, also appearing in popular comedies Nathan Barley, Gavin And Stacey and Big Train. Davis has also spread her wings into the world of drama playing Elizabeth Eliot in Persuasion, Fanny Craddock in Fear Of Fanny and Jenny Easterbrook in The Alan Clark Diaries.

As well as numerous television roles including the title role in the BBC drama The Secret Life Of Mrs Beeton, Davis’s co-star Madeley is no stranger to the London stage having appeared at the National Theatre in Coram Boy and the Donmar Warehouse in The Philanthropist, as well as a three night stint at the Royal Court in Ian Rickson’s production of The Seagull after Carey Mulligan was taken ill. She can currently be seen at the cinema as Denise in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges.

Contractions will be directed by Lyndsey Turner. As a trainee associate director at the Royal Court she has worked on numerous productions for the theatre including The Vertical Hour and current production The City.

After his 2007 success at the Royal Court with The Wonderful World Of Dissocia, Anthony Neilson’s Relocated is due to open on 13 June starring Frances Grey, Stuart, McQuarrie, Jan Pearson and Nicola Walker, and will be directed by Neilson himself.

Scottish actress Grey has appeared on stage in Monks at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, Pyrenees for Paines Plough, and Platonov at the Almeida, but is best known for her role as Kate Beauchamp in the BBC series Messiah. Her co-star Walker is also well known for her TV work, playing Ruth in the successful BBC drama Spooks. This is not her first time at the Royal Court, having previously appeared in both Fresh Kills and Sweetheart.

McQuarrie is currently in the National’s production Happy Now? starring alongside Olivia Williams. He previously worked alongside Neilson’s in his play Realism at the National Theatre of Scotland. Pearson, who also starred in Realism, has stage credits including The Censor at the Royal Court and the RSC’s production of Little Eagle.

Contractions runs from 29 May to 14 June (press night 4 June) in a backstage area of the theatre, and Relocated runs from 6 June to 15 July (press night 13 June) in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.



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