Rose Theatre Kingston, The Original Theatre Company and Karl Sydow today announce the full cast and creative team for the first major revival of Stephen Jeffreys’ Valued Friends. Michael Fentiman directs Natalie Casey (Sherry), Ralph Davis (Scott), Sam Frenchum (Paul), Michael Marcus (Howard), Catrin Stewart (Marion) and Nicolas Tennant (Stewart). The production opens at Rose Theatre Kingston on 26 September, with previews from 20 September, and runs until 12 October.
It’s 1980 London and change is happening. The city is ablaze with social, political and cultural upheaval and, in a basement flat in Earls Court, four friends in their mid-thirties are scrabbling to keep their heads above water.
Housemates for more than 10 years, Sherry is a hapless, quirky comedian; Paul, a keen music journalist; Marion, a straight-talking realist; and Howard, an earnest academic writing about the corruption of capitalism. The friends are thrown unexpectedly into a battle of nerves when a young, confident property developer offers them a substantial fee to vacate their home in West London.
Spurred on by the revolutions of their time, they quickly realise that they hold all the cards in this real-life game of Monopoly and over the course of three years, they manipulate a burgeoning property market one cup of tea at a time.
Jerry Gunn, Executive Producer of Rose Theatre Kingston, said today, “It is a joy to welcome such a magnificent, energetic company and we look forward to working with them on bringing Stephen Jeffreys’ breakthrough play back to the stage for the first time in 30 years. Jeffreys’ legacy to British theatre is remarkable, and his influence has been felt by so many new writers, we can’t wait to share Valued Friends with our audiences.”
Valued Friends is a compelling comedy drama set to the soundtrack of 1980s London and against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain. Stephen Jeffreys’ play was an instant classic when first performed at Hampstead Theatre in 1989. It won the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.
Natalie Casey plays Sherry. Her previous theatre credits include Stepping Out (Vaudeville Theatre), Things I Know to be True (Lyric Hammersmith, UK tour), Sex and the Three Day Week(Liverpool Playhouse), Albion (Bush Theatre), 9 To 5 (UK tour), Abigail’s Party, The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Well (Apollo Theatre, Trafalgar Studios), The Flint Street Nativity (Playhouse Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (The Watermill Theatre) and Vagina Monologues (Palace Theatre). Her television credits as series regular include Donna in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Carol Groves in Hollyoaks. Other television credits include Kerry, Chopratown and Dave Shakespeare.
Ralph Davis plays Scott. His previous theatre credits include The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), Tamburlaine/ Timon of Athens (RSC), The Open House (Theatre Royal Bath, Print Room), and King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Sam Frenchum plays Paul. His theatre credits include There is a Field (Theatre503), The Outsider (Print Room), Love From A Stranger (Royal & Derngate Northampton), and Loot (Park Theatre). For film, his credits include Private Peaceful.
Michael Marcus plays Howard. His theatre credits include The Inheritance (Noël Coward Theatre, Young Vic), Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC), Richard II (Donmar Warehouse), Jumpy (Royal Court Theatre) and Measure for Measure (Shakespeare’s Globe). His television credits include War of the Worlds, Siblings, Lucan, Ripper Street, The White Queen and Misfits. For film his credits include Their Finest, The Theory of Everything, The Physician and The Invisible Woman.
Catrin Stewart plays Marion. Her theatre credits include 1984 (Almeida Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clwyd), The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic), Mametz, The Devil Inside Him (National Theatre Wales), Longing (Hampstead Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Headlong), Buried Child (Curve, Leicester), The Lady from the Sea (Royal Exchange Theatre) and The Duchess of Malfi (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include Bang, Doctor Who, Stella, Misfits, Satisfaction and Heart of Gold. For film, her credits include The Library Suicides, A Last Christmas for the Ant, Frail and Crusade in Jeans.
Nicolas Tennant plays Stewart. His theatre credits include Hamlet, As You Like It, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Duchess of Malfi (RSC), The Seagull (Lyric Hammersmith), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime (Apollo Theatre), The Alchemist (Liverpool Playhouse), Twelfth Night (UK tour), Three Kingdoms (Lyric Hammersmith), After Troy (Shaw Theatre, UK tour), Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Liverpool Everyman, Chichester Festival Theatre), The Power of Yes (National Theatre), Roaring Trade, Pirhana Nights (Soho Theatre) and People at Sea (Salisbury Playhouse). His television credits include Peaky Blinders, Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather and Residents; and for film, Denial, Breaking the Bank, What You Will, Sex Lives of the Potato Men, Oscar & Lucinda, Backbeat, The Fool, The Gift, and A Dangerous Man.
Michael Fentiman directs. His revious theatre credits include Amelie: The Musical (UK tour), The Taming of the Shrew (Sherman Theatre, Tron Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), The Last Days of Anne Boleyn (Historic Royal Palaces, Tower of London), Loot (Park Theatre, Watermill Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Ahasverus(RSC), Babe, the Sheep-Pig (Polka Theatre, UK tour), The War Has Not Yet Started (Drum Theatre Plymouth), Minotaur (Theatr Clwyd, Polka Theatre), Raising Martha (Park Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Kensington Palace Gardens, as Co-director with Rupert Goold), Crackers (Belgrade Coventry), Spoonface Steinberg (Theatr Clwyd, Glasgow Citizens, UK tour),East (UK tour), Ajax (Cyprus tour), The Comedy of Errors, Robin Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Sweeney Todd (RAM, Theatre Royal Stratford East), and Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre – as Associate Director to Rupert Goold).