Anna Mackmin returns to The Old Vic to direct a stellar cast led by Toby Stephens in Tom Stoppard's multi-award winning modern classic, The Real Thing, opening on Wednesday 21 April 2010, with previews from 10 April.
Henry (Toby Stephens) is a successful and talented playwright married to Charlotte (Fenella Woolgar), an actress playing the lead in his current play about adultery. Her co-star and friend Max (BarnabyKay), is married to Annie (Hattie Morahan), also an actor. Henry and Annie have fallen in love but is it any more real than the subjects in Henry's play? As the story unravels, Henry discovers that love - ‘the real thing' - can be unpredictable and painful.Deeply moving and startlingly funny, this razor sharp drama brilliantly examines the complex nature of love, art and reality.
The Real Thing was last staged in the West End in 2000 after transferring from the Donmar Warehouse. The production starred Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle as Henry and Annie, both of whom won Tony awards when the play subsequently transferred to Broadway.
Tom Stoppard's first stage play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which was produced at The Old Vic in 1967, made the playwright an overnight sensation, followed in London and New York by Jumpers, The Real Inspector Hound, Travesties, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Dirty Linen,Night and Day, The Real Thing, Artist Descending a Staircase, Hapgood, Arcadia, The Invention of Love, his trilogy The Coast of Utopia (which won seven Tony Awards) and Rock ‘n' Roll (Tony Award nomination for Best Play). His translations and adaptations include The Seagull, Undiscovered Country, On the Razzle, Rough Crossing, Henry IV, Heroes and The House of Bernarda Alba. Film scripts as writer and co-writer include Shakespeare in Love (which won him Academy and BAFTA awards), Enigma, Brazil, and Empire of the Sun. Stoppard directed his own screenplay of Rosencrantzand Guildenstern Are Dead, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He is the recipient of four Tony Awards, four Critics' Circle Awards, seven Evening Standard Awards, and an Olivier, Academy and BAFTA Award. Sir Tom Stoppard was knighted for Services to the Arts in 1997 and in 2000 was bestowed with the Royal Order of Merit, the most prestigious British accolade of all for a writer.
Tom Austen has recently finished filming the remake of Graeme Greene's Brighton Rock for cinema release. He has also appeared in Jane Campion's acclaimed movie Bright Star. His stage credits include Damn Yankees, The Man Who, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Festen and Romeo and Juliet at the Guildhall. On television he is best known for his role as ‘Anto' in Channel 4's Shameless.
Louise Calf has recently graduated from LAMDA where her credits included On the Boost, The Permanent Way, Epsom, the ‘Duchess' in The Duchess of Malfi, ‘Fabian' in Twelfth Night and The Cherry Orchard. The Real Thing will mark her London stage debut.
Barnaby Kay's television credits include the recent ITV production of Wuthering Heights, Peter Kosminsky's The Government Inspector on Channel 4, The Fixer (ITV), The Passion (BBC) and Spooks(BBC). His stage credits include A Streetcar Named Desire with Rachel Weisz (Donmar), Blues For Mr Charlie (Tricycle Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Broadway), Mouth To Mouth (Royal Court) and Patrick Marber's Closer (National) as well as Twelfth Night, As You Like It and The Changeling for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Hattie Morahan's extensive television, film and theatre credits include the award-winning BBC comedy Outnumbered, Lark Rise To Candleford, Marple and Sense And Sensibility for which she won Best Actress Award at the Shanghai TV Festival. Film work includes The Bank Job, The Golden Compass and The Visit. On stage she has appeared in Time And The Conways (National), Family Reunion (Donmar), Some Trace Of Her,The Seagull (National) and The City (Royal Court).
Toby Stephens was most recently seen on stage in A Doll's House (Donmar) and The Country Wifedirected by Jonathan Kent (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Other stage credits include Peter Hall's production of Tartuffe at The Playhouse Theatre, Phedre (Almeida and Brooklyn Academy Of Music), Betrayal (Donmar) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Work at the RSC includes Hamlet, Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Wallenstein, All's Well That Ends Well and Coriolanus (for which he was awarded the Sir John Gielgud prize for Best Actor and the Ian Charleson Award). Toby is also a versatile television and film actor. His television credits include the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, Cambridge Spies, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wired, Vexed and The Camomile Lawn. Film work includes Severance, Orlando, Die Another Day and The Great Gatsby.