Theatre Royal Bath Productions today announces a new production of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller My Cousin Rachel, starring Helen George (BBC One’s Call The Midwife) in the titular role. Adapted by Joseph O’Connor and directed by Anthony Banks, the production will run in Theatre Royal Bath’s Main House from 13 to 23 November with opening night for press on 20 November.
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca and Don’t Look Now, enthralled readers when it was first published in 1951 and went on to become an international bestseller. This acclaimed stage adaptation by Joseph O’Connor premiered at Dublin’s Gate Theatre in 2012 and now returns to the stage in a brand new production. The novel was also adapted for film in 2017.
Helen George said: “My Cousin Rachel was one of my favourite books when I was growing up, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be playing the wonderfully exotic and complex Rachel. I can’t wait to get my wig on!”
Ambrose Ashley, a wealthy landowner, is wintering in Italy when he meets a distant relation, Rachel. Everything changes as his young ward, Philip, receives news that Ambrose has married Rachel and then goes on to find that Ambrose has died suddenly, and his widow has gone. Philip, convinced that Rachel was responsible for Ambrose’s death, travels to meet her in Cornwall, only to become seduced by her charms. Philip is torn between believing that Rachel is a murderess and a gold-digger, or on the other hand that she is a maligned victim of rumour and suspicion.
Helen George is best known for starring in the lead role of Trixie Franklin in the BAFTA-winning BBC One series Call the Midwife. Further credits include Paul W S Anderson’s The Three Musketeersand 7 Lives. On radio, Helen appeared alongside Toby Jones in BBC Radio 4’s dramatisation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s Human Voices and in Colin Bytheway’s drama Departure. Helen has received critical acclaim for her varied stage credits, including Trevor Nunn’s revival of Terrance Rattigan’s Love in Idleness and in the title role of Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie, also directed by Anthony Banks. Helen also appeared on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 where she reached the semi-finals.
Anthony Bank’s was Associate Director at the National Theatre from 2004 – 2014. His many directing credits include The Girl on the Train (National Tour), Hogarth’s Progress (Rose Kingston), Strangers On A Train (ATG/Smith&Brant), Twilight Song (Park Theatre), Gaslight (ATG/Smith&Brant), After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath & National Tour), Raz (Trafalgar Studios, Assembly Edinburgh & National Tour), More Light, The Eternal Not and Prince Of Denmark (National Theatre), Pignight (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Experiment (Soho Theatre & Berliner Ensemble); Herding Cats (Theatre Royal Bath & Hampstead Theatre), Bassett (Bristol Old Vic), DNA (National Tour).
Joseph O’Connor is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and broadcaster. His novels include the international number one best-seller Star of the Sea, Ghost Light and Shadowplay. He has received the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, an American Library Association Award and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been translated into 40 languages across the world.