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Salome goes Headlong into Hampstead

Published 10 March 2010

Con O’Neill, Zawe Ashton and Jaye Griffiths are to star in Headlong Theatre’s new production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at Hampstead theatre from 22 June to 17 July (press night 24 June).

Headlong’s version of Salome, a co-production with the Curve Leicester where it premieres in May, promises to be a “vividly contemporary” production of Wilde’s verse tragedy. Under Artistic Director Rupert Goold the company has previously created imaginative productions of Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Faustus, The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot and the current hit West End play Enron.

Wilde’s Salome, directed by Jamie Lloyd, centres on the title character, the step-daughter of King Herod, who agrees to perform the mysterious dance of the seven veils but in return demands the head of the King’s most infamous prisoner, John the Baptist.

O’Neill, who plays Herod, is a regular face on the London stage, with recent credits including Prick Up Your Ears at the Comedy theatre, The Caretaker at the Tricycle, Faces In The Crowd at the Royal Court and The Female Of The Species at the Vaudeville. He was recently seen on screen in Telstar, reprising the role he originated on stage.

Salome is played by Ashton, whose stage credits include The Frontline and Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe and several productions for the Royal Court including the Laurence Olivier Award-winning Gone Too Far!

Griffiths, who joins them as Herodias, is well known for her screen work which includes The Bill, Silent Witness, Criminal Justice, Doctors and Bugs. She has recently been seen on stage in Category B and Seize The Day at the Tricycle theatre.

The cast of Salome also includes Tom Byam Shaw, Vyelle Croom, Sam Donovan and Seun Shote.

Director Lloyd is fast becoming one of London’s most sought after directors, with recent credits including the Donmar Warehouse production of Piaf, The Little Dog Laughed, Three Days Of Rain and The Lover and The Collection in the West End, and The Pride at the Royal Court. He previously directed O’Neill in The Caretaker.

Salome will embark on a UK tour before coming to the Hampstead theatre in June.

CB

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