Royal & Derngate presents its next Made in Northampton production, Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage. A riotous comedy of frayed nerves and bloated egos and one of the most successful plays of recent years, the show runs from 19 October to 10 November.
After two eleven year olds, Ferdinand and Bruno, are involved in a playground punch up, their well-meaning parents call a meeting to discuss the matter in a civilisEd Manner. However, as the meeting progresses and the wine starts to flow, all good intentions evaporate and chaos ensues. Boys will be boys…but the adults are usually worse – much worse!
Translated by Christopher Hampton, this razor-sharp look at middle class values, written by Yasmina Reza (Art and Life x 3), ran in London in 2008 starring Ralph Fiennes and Tamsin Greig; and scooped an Olivier for best new play before transferring to Broadway in 2009, where it won a Tony and became the third longest running production of the decade. In 2011 a film adaptation by Roman Polanski called Carnage was released starring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet.
In this Made in Northampton production, an ensemble cast includes Sian Reeves and James Doherty as Veronica and Michael, the first of the warring couples. Sian, perhaps best known as Sydney Henshall in BBC's hairdressing drama "Cutting It" and as "Emmerdale" villain Sally Spode, began her career in the original Les Miserables cast; her theatre highlights include playing Maria in the UK tour of West Side Story, Sheila Franklin in the UK tour of Hair and Nerissa in the RSC tour of Merchant of Venice. She can currently be seen as Bianca in Sky Living's "Mount Pleasant" and as Hannah in "Hope Springs." Mr. Doherty was most recently seen in The National Theatre's acclaimed production of London Road and as Amos Hart in Chicago (2011). He is best known for appearances in TV comedies including "Thick of It," "Rev" and "Miranda."
The other couple, Annette and Alan, are played by Melanie Gutteridge and Simon Wilson. Best known as PC Emma Keane in "The Bill," from 2005 – 2008, Melanie's theatre credits include a 2009 tour of Spider's Web and the original productions of Ayckbourn's Private Fears in Public Places (Scarborough and New York) and Drowning on Dry Land (2004–2005). Simon Wilson was most recently seen in Sheffield Crucible's production of Benefactors.
Director Kate Saxon is an associate director of Shared Experience Theatre Company and a Voice and Performance Capture Director at Side, specialising in character performances for videogames. Her last Royal & Derngate production was The Years Between (Theatre Awards UK Best Actress nomination for Marianne Oldham) and she returns on the back of an English Touring Theatre's UK tour of The Real Thing (2012).
This production also sees a return for her winning partnership with designer Libby Watson, with whom she has previously worked on a touring production of Secret Garden for Salisbury Studio, on productions of Hysteria (2007), Far from the Madding Crowd, and Romeo and Juliet (2008), all at Exeter's Northcott Theatre, and on the hugely successful touring production of Bubbles for the Watermill Theatre (2009). Last year they combined forces for The Marriage of Figaro, also at the Watermill Theatre and on Persuasion at Salisbury Playhouse.
Lighting design is by Philip Gladwell, a Royal & Derngate regular, with productions there including The Bacchae, Blood Wedding, Hedda Gabler and The Duchess of Malfi. The latter earned him a nomination for Best Design in the Theatre Awards UK (TMA). Further awards include this year's Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) for best design for his lighting of Further than the Furthest Thing at Dundee Rep. Additional highlights include Design for Living at Salisbury Playhouse, a Royal Exchange and touring production of Mogadishu and the Lyric Theatre touring production of Punk Rock. In 2010 he lit a major revival of Five Guys Named Moe, which won Best Musical Production at the MTM Awards.