English Touring Theatre and York Theatre Royal present

Brideshead Revisited

By Evelyn Waugh

Adapted by Bryony Lavery

Director: Damian Cruden; Designer: Sara Perks

Lighting Designer: Richard G. Jones; Composer: Christopher Madin; Sound Designer: Yvonne Gilbert

Press night: 26 April, York Theatre Royal

The full cast is announced today for the first ever large-scale stage production of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited, adapted by Bryony Lavery, touring this spring and summer in the 50th anniversary year of Waugh’s death.

Damian Cruden directs Christopher Simpson as Sebastian, Brian Ferguson as Charles and Rosie Hilal as Julia. Nick Blakeley, Caroline Harker, Samantha Lawson, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Paul Shelley and Shuna Snow complete the company. The play, a co-production between English Touring Theatre and York Theatre Royal, opens at York on 26 April, with previews from 22 April, before touring to Bath, Southampton, Cambridge, Malvern, Brighton, Oxford and Richmond, as well as second run in York.

It’s 1943 and, finding himself in familiar territory within the English countryside, Charles Ryder confronts memories of his first youthful encounter with Brideshead Castle and its assortment of eccentric inhabitants.

In acclaimed playwright Bryony Lavery’s sparkling new reimagining of the classic novel, the past and the present blur as Charles recalls those heady days at Brideshead and Lord and Lady Marchmain, along with their offspring, Julia, Cordelia, Bridey and Sebastian Flyte re-emerge…

Bryony Lavery previously collaborated with English Touring Theatre on her play Thursday in 2013. Her recent work includes an adaptation of Treasure Island for the National Theatre and a new play Queen Coal which ran at the Sheffield Crucible Studio in 2014. Her other plays include Frozen, The Believers, Beautiful Burnout, Last Easter, Stockholm, Yikes, A Wedding Story, Ophelia, Nothing Compares To You and Flight.

Nick Blakeley plays Anthony Blanche, Father Mackay and Samgrass. His theatre credits include A Woman Killed with Kindness, 13 and Damned By Despair (National Theatre), The Sunshine Boys (Savoy Theatre), Hapgood (Hampstead Theatre), I Heart Catherine Pistachio (Soho Theatre), The Last of the De Mullins (Jermyn St Theatre), Happy Never After (Pleasance), Hard Feelings (Finborough Theatre), 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic) and Millennium (Vineyard Theatre, New York, Old Vic New Voices). His television credits includes The Old Bailey.

Brian Ferguson plays Charles Ryder. His theatre credits include The Broken Heart, The Changeling (The Globe), Hamlet (Citizens Theatre), Adler & Gibb (Royal Court). Threeway (The Invisible Dot at Edinburgh Festival Fringe), The Game Show, (Bush Theatre). The Aztec Trilogy, Richard III, Dunsinane, Shakespeare In A Suitcase (RSC), Money (The Arches), Earthquakes In London (National Theatre), The Dark Things, The Guard (Edinburgh Traverse), Fall (Edinburgh Traverse), Black Watch and Rupture (National Theatre Of Scotland) and Snuff (Glasgow Arches/National Theatre Of Scotland). His television credits include Line Of Duty, Our World War, Field Of Blood: The Dead Hour, One Minute Drama: The Prayer and River City, Taggart: Island. His film credits include Imagine That King, Voices, The Woods and Residue.

Caroline Harker plays Lady Marchmain & Nanny. Her theatre credits include The Railway Children (York Theatre Royal at The Kings Cross Theatre), Pride And Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Village Bike (Sheffield Crucible), Tusk Tusk, The Strip, The Editing Process (Royal Court), All Mouth (Menier Chocolate Factory), Entertaining Angels (Chichester Festival Theatre and National Tour), Present Laughter (National Tour), Battle Royal (National Theatre), Falling (Hampstead Theatre), Things We Do For Love (Duchess Theatre). Her television credits include New Tricks, The Commander, Head Cases, Margaret, Murder In Suburbia, Foyle’s War, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Hans Christian Andersen, I Saw You, Armadillo, Keeping Mum, 6 series of A Touch of Frost, Kavanagh QC, , A Dance To The Music Of Time, Holding On, Moll Flanders, Harry Enfield and Chums, Honey For Tea, Middlemarch, Covington Cross, Riders, Growing Rich, and Chancer. Her film credits include Lady Godiva: Back In The Saddle, A Woman Of The North and The Madness Of King George.

Rosie Hilal plays Julia. Her theatre credits include The Oresteia, Measure For Measure, Anthony and Cleopatra, Holy Warriors (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Hypochondriac (Shakespeare’s Globe, The Wannamaker Theatre), The Hard Problem (National Theatre), , All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Hamlet (RSC) and Occupied (Theatre 503). Her film credits include London Road.

Samantha Lawson plays Cara & Celia. Her theatre credits include Julius Caesar (RSC / BAM / Moscow Arts Theatre), Peer Gynt (Nationalteatret, Norway), The Changeling (ETT & Nottingham Playhouse), His Dark Materials (National Theatre), Red Noses (Bristol Old Vic Theatre), Asylum Dialogues (Tricycle Theatre). Her television credits include Occupied and for film, credits include Generation Mars, Julius Caesar, Poverty, The Dark Is Rising, Random Acts, Understanding Slavery, Hong Kong, Ladies Cross Knowledge, Abolition Of Slavery.

Kiran Sonia Sawar plays Cordelia. Her theatre credits include Cyrano De Bergerac (Southwark Playhouse), Aladdin (Oxford Playhouse), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Unicorn Theatre), My Name Is… (Arcola Theatre & UK tour), Unspeakable Crimes (Ice&Fire/Actors For Human Rights), 2050: The Future We Want (United Nations, Geneva) and Defining Moments Of Truth & Deception (Soho Theatre). Her television credits include Legends and Murdered By My Father and for film credits include Forced Marriages.

Christopher Simpson plays Sebastian. His theatre credits include Forests (international tour), The Ramayana (National Theatre), Leaner Faster Stronger (Cultural Olympiad at Sheffield Theatres), The Knowledge and Little Platoons (Bush Theatre), Pericles (RSC/Cardboard Citizens), Fragile Land (Hampstead Theatre). His television credits include Shameless, All about George, State of Play, Second Generation and White Teeth. His film credits include Sixteen, The Day Of The Flowers, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Brick Lane, Mischief Night, Chromophobia and Code 46.

Shuna Snow plays Bridey, Kurt & Rex. Her theatre credits include Twelfth Night (The Rose, Bankside), Aftershakes (Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, Oxford Playhouse), Palindrome (Arcola), Separate Tables (Royal Exchange Theatre), A Shoemaker, A Gentleman (Shakespeare’s Globe), Cymbeline, Kenneth’s First Play, Little Eyolf and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC).

Paul Shelley plays Lord Marchmain & Mr Ryder. His theatre credits include All My Sons (National Tour), The Secret Rapture, The Crucible, Hedda Gabler, Lady in The Dark (National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Winter’s Tale, The Twin Rivals, Dingo, Bingo (RSC), Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe), The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle), King Lear (Royal Theatre, Bath), Medea (National Tour), The School for Scheming and The Conquering Hero (Orange Tree Theatre), Earthquakes in London (National Tour), Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse), Macbeth (Chichester, West End, New York), The Merchant of Venice, Absurd Person Singular, The Invention of Love, A Man For All Seasons (West End). His television credits include Paradise Postponed, Titmus Regained, A Tale of Two Cities, Morse, Secret Army, Revelations, Dr Who, Blake’s 7. His film includes Oh! What a Lovely War, Polanski’s Macbeth, Macbeth, Caught in the Act, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet.

Damian Cruden has been Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal for the past 18 years. He has directed many productions including: The Railway Children, In Fog and Falling Snow, The Restoration of Nell Gwyn, Blithe Spirit, The Legend of King Arthur, The Guinea Pig Club, The York Mystery Plays 2012, Laurel and Hardy, 40 Years On, Peter Pan, My Family and Other Animals, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Wind in the Willows, Up the Duff, The Homecoming, The White Crow (Eichmann in Jerusalem), Death of a Salesman, Patient No. 1, Enjoy, Bouncers 2007 Remix, The Dumb Waiter, The Hare and the Tortoise (in York and Japan), Pygmalion, Broken Glass, East Is East, Hay Fever, Macbeth, A Cloud in Trousers, Brassed Off, Caitlin, A Taste of Honey, Habeas Corpus, Up‘n’Under, Frankenstein, Noises Off, Little Shop of Horrors, Othello, Closer, The Turn of the Screw, Bedevilled, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kafka’s Dick, Man of the Moment, Having a Ball, Romeo and Juliet, Getting On, The Three Musketeers, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, All My Sons, Piaf, Dead Funny, Educating Rita, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Neville’s Island, Multiplex, Abandonment and Private Lives. He has co-directed the last 17 York Theatre Royal pantomimes with Berwick Kaler.

Tour Dates

York Theatre Royal

22 April – 30 April

01904 623568


Theatre Royal Bath

3 – 7 May

01225 448844


Nuffield Theatre

10 – 14 May

023 8067 1771


Cambridge Arts Theatre

17 – 21 May

0844 412 4652


Malvern Theatres

31 May – 4 June

01684 892277


Theatre Royal Brighton

7 June – 11 June

0844 871 7650


Oxford Playhouse

14 – 18 June

0844 871 3020


York Theatre Royal

21 – 25 June

01904 623568


Richmond Theatre

29 June – 2 July

0844 871 7651


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