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Stars line-up for Hampstead’s autumn season

First Published 8 June 2012, Last Updated 13 June 2012

Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox will star in a rare revival of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss as part of the newly announced autumn season at Hampstead theatre.

The season will also see world premieres of Howard Brenton’s drama 55 Days and Sarah Wooley’s new comedy Old Money, which will star Maureen Lipman and Tracy Ann Oberman.

The Judas Kiss will play from 6 September (press night 12 September) until 13 October. Telling the story of legendary author Oscar Wilde’s fall from grace, the drama focuses on two critical moments – the eve of Wilde’s arrest and one night after his release from two years imprisonment.

Australian director Neil Armfield will direct Everett and Fox in the production. Fittingly, Everett is best known for his film roles in two screen adaptations of Wilde’s stories, The Importance Of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband. His co-star Fox was most recently seen on stage in Hay Fever at the Noël Coward theatre and has also appeared at the Old Vic theatre in A Flea In Her Ear and Cause Célèbre.

Casting is yet to be announced for Brenton’s 55 Days, which will be directed by Olivier Award-winner Howard Davies. Running from 18 October (press night 24 October), 55 Days is set during one of the most tumultuous periods of English history, the mid-17th century. In a country exhausted by Civil War, the great men of the day were trying to think the unthinkable – to create a country without a king. Oliver Cromwell struggled to invent a political future for his beloved country as he presided over the death of medieval England and the birth of the modern state. 

Old Money will follow the historical drama from 29 November (press night 5 December). Directed by Hampstead theatre regular Robin Lefevre (Bodies, Translations), Wooley’s tender comedy centres on a woman released from a life of conformity.

For 30 years Joyce has done her domestic duty, playing the part her husband, mother, father and daughter felt appropriate. But now she is free and a chance meeting with a stripper opens her eyes to a whole world of possibilities.

Acclaimed comic actress Lipman’s most recent stage credits include When We Are Married and A Little Night Music, which earned her an Olivier Award for her performance. Her co-star Oberman is still arguably best known for her long-running role in EastEnders, but is also a regular face on the Hampstead theatre stage, starring in productions On The Rocks and Three Sisters On Hope Street, which the multi-talented actress also co-wrote.

Speaking about the season, the venue’s Artistic Director Edward Hall said: “After a sell-out summer it is a delight to be able to announce three major events here at Hampstead as part of our new autumn season. These productions will give our audiences a powerful mix of the new and the known produced by some of our greatest writers, actors and directors. An exhilarating programme, once again making use of our versatile and unique auditorium.”

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