The producers of the brand new 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey's classic play, Beautiful Thing, are thrilled to announced full casting for the show, which will open at the Arts Theatre in the West End from 13 April - 25 May, followed by a short UK tour visiting Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton. Directed by Nikolai Foster, and designed by Colin Richmond, the production will star Suranne Jones as 'Sandra', Zaraah Abrahams as 'Leah', Oliver Farnworth as 'Tony and introducing Jake Davies as 'Jamie' and Danny-Boy Hatchard, making his professional debut as 'Ste'. Nancy Sullivan and Luke Baker will also join the company as understudy covers.
Zaraah Abrahams is best known for playing 'Michaela White' in BBC1's Waterloo Road and for her role as 'Joanne Jackson' in Coronation Street. She was a finalist on Dancing on Ice and subsequently travelled the UK with Torvill and Dean on the Dancing on Ice UK tour. She also appeared alongside SurAnne Jones in Scott and Bailey in 2012.
Oliver Farnworth is best known as series regular 'Will Hackett' in Channel 4's Hollyoaks. His theatre credits include 'Holding the Man' at the Trafalgar Studios and 'Kes' at The Liverpool Playhouse, directed by Nikolai Foster.
Jake Davies recently appeared in the ITV drama 'A Mother's Son' with Hermione Norris and Martin Clunes. He has also played alongside Miranda Hart in BBC1's 'Call the Midwife' and Jack Whitehall in BBC Three's 'Bad Education'.
Danny-Boy Hatchard has just graduated from ArtsEducational, and will be making his professional debut in Beautiful Thing
Suranne Jones will star as Sandra, Jamie's mother. Her recent television includes two series of the very popular Scott & Bailey as Rachel Bailey for ITV1 and the thriller The Secret of Crickley Hall, a three parter for BBC 1. She played Idris the human incarnation of the Tardis in Dr. Who also for the BBC. She has filmed three series of the spoof detective series A Touch of Cloth for Sky 1 with John Hannah. Suranne is also well known for playing the unforgettable Karen McDonald in Coronation Street where she worked closely with Jonathan Harvey. Her stage work includes Top Girls at Chichester Festival Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, A Few Good Men with Jon Barrowman and Rob Lowe at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Manchester Royal Exchange.
Beautiful Thing is a glorious urban love story between two young men set on an inner city housing estate. It tells the story of teenager Jamie's relationship with classmate and neighbour Ste. Together the two boys find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass through their loud-mouthed next door neighbour Leah. The play exquisitely depicts what it is to be sixteen, in the first flush of love, and full of optimism.
Jonathan Harvey wrote Beautiful Thing when he was just 24. It premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1993 and sold out its five-week run before transferring to the Donmar Warehouse, and then the Duke of York's, eventually winning its author an Olivier Award nomination and the John Whiting Award. A screen adaptation of the play was released in 1996 by Channel 4 films, which went on to be a cult hit. Jonathan is a regular writer for Coronation Street and wrote the TV hit series Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, as well as the best-selling 2012 novel All She Wants. His plays include Canary and Corrie!
Nikolai Foster is an Associate Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. His work has been seen in most of the UK's leading regional theatres, touring houses and internationally, and recent productions include Flashdance (West End), Hayfever (CFT), Merrily We Roll Along (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal & The Touring Consortium), and Annie (WYP, Leeds).