Nigel Lindsay will join Francesca Annis, Lisa Dillon, Chris O'Dowd, Dominic Rowan and Catherine Tate in the West End premiere of David Eldridge's Under The Blue Sky. Rehearsals begin today and the production will open at the Duke of York's Theatre on 25 July, with previews from 15 July. Under The Blue Sky is currently booking until 20 September 2008. Directed by Anna Mackmin, Under The Blue Sky is designed by Lez Brotherston with lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Arditti, and is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions and Robert G. Bartner.
Under The Blue Sky is a funny and touching play - three subtly connected love stories that reveal in turn the roller-coaster ride of lust in its prime, the sacrifices of a life in public service and unrequited passions. In the long shadow of the twentieth century, Eldridge's play gives us an all too recognisable portrayal of the way in which uncertainties, misunderstanding and the unsaid lead to unexpected results for three couples who seem destined never to say the right thing.
Francesca Annis (Anne) has most recently been seen on television as Lady Ludlow in the BBC's award-winning Cranford, a role she will reprise in a two part Christmas Special in 2009. Her last stage appearance in the West End was opposite Joseph Fiennes in Epitaph for George Dillon at the Comedy Theatre. Her other theatre credits include The Glass Menagerie for the Gate Theatre Dublin, Henry IV and The Vortex for the Donmar Warehouse, Ibsen's Ghosts, the title role in Hedda Gabler for Chichester Festival Theatre, Mrs Klein for the National Theatre and Rosmersholm for the Young Vic. Her many film credits include Revolver, The Libertine, Onegin and Lady Macbeth in Roman Polanski's Macbeth. On television her credits include the critically acclaimed Wives and Daughters for the BBC, Jane Eyre, Miss Marple, Copenhagen, Madame Bovary and Onassis: The Richest Man in the World in which she played Jacqueline Kennedy.
Lisa Dillon's (Helen) theatre credits include Present Laughter and The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other for the National Theatre, Period of Adjustment and Hedda Gabler for the Almeida Theatre, she played Desdemona in Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company and for her performance as Hilda Wangel in The Master Builder at the Albery Theatre she won the Ian Charleson Award and the Critics' Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award. Her other theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard, As You Like It and Iphigenia, which was directed by Anna Mackmin, for Sheffield Theatres. Her film credits include Bright Young Things. On television she has recently been seen in the BBC's award-winning Cranford as Mary Smith. Also for the BBC she has been seen in Hawking and Cambridge Spies.
Nigel Lindsay has recently played Lenny in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming and Moe Axelrod in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!, both directed by Michael Attenborough for the Almeida Theatre. His other theatre credits include Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, The Woman Before and Push Up for the Royal Court, The Pillowman, Blue Remembered Hills and Dealers Choice for the National Theatre and The Real Thing for the Donmar Warehouse which later transferred to the West End and Broadway. His television credits include Jam and Jerusalem, All About George, New Tricks, My Family, Harbour Lights and Murphy's Law and the 2008 BAFTA nominated Relief of Belsen for Channel 4 in which he starred with Iain Glen and Jemma Redgrave. His film credits include Scoop, On A Clear Day, Mike Bassett England Manager and Rogue Trader. Chris O'Dowd (Nick), best known for his performance as Roy in Channel 4's hit comedy series The IT Crowd, is making his West End stage debut in Under The Blue Sky. Previously his television credits include the hugely popular BBC comedy series Roman's Empire and The Clinic for the RTE as well as Doc Martin, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The Year London Blew Up, Red Cap and Showbands. On film his credits include Vera Drake, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Hippie Hippie Shake, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People and Festival for which he won a Scottish BAFTA for his role as stand-up comedian Tommy O'Dwyer.
Dominic Rowan's (Graham) stage credits include A Voyage Round My Father and Lobby Hero for the Donmar Warehouse, Way to Heaven for the Royal Court, Happy Now?, A Dream Play, Mourning Becomes Electra, Talking Cure, Three Sisters, Private Lives and Iphigenia at Aulis for the National Theatre and The Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Talk of the City for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His television credits include Catwalk Dogs, Trial and Retribution, The Lavender List, Silent Witness, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Lost World, Swallow, Emma and North Square. On film his credits include Peter Greenaway's Tulse Luper's Suitcases.
Multi award-winning Catherine Tate (Michelle) returns to the West End in Under The Blue Sky. Her theatre credits include Neil LaBute's Some Girls at The Gielgud Theatre, The 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic and on Broadway, The Exonerated at Riverside Studios, A Servant to Two Masters for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Prince's Play and The Way of the World for the National Theatre. After playing Donna Noble opposite David Tennant in the BBC's Doctor Who Christmas Special, Tate has reprised the role of the Doctor's Companion for the fourth series which can currently be seen on BBC1. Her acclaimed television sketch show The Catherine Tate Show has seen three hugely successful series on the BBC. Her film credits include Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, Starter for Ten, Sixty Six and Scenes of a Sexual Nature.
David Eldridge's work includes Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, M.A.D. and Serving It Up for the Bush Theatre, Fighting for Breath and A Week with Tony for the Finborough Theatre, and Market Boy for the National Theatre. In 2004 Eldridge's multi award-winning stage adaptation of Festen opened at the Almeida Theatre and later transferred to the West End and then to Broadway. He has also written new versions of Ibsen's The Wild Duck and John Gabriel Borkman both of which were produced by the Donmar Warehouse. His radio plays include Salford, Ilford, Romford and all Stations to Southend and Michael and Me.
Anna Mackmin returns to the West End where she most recently directed David Storey's In Celebration. She made her National Theatre directorial debut with Burn, Citizenship and Chatroom. For the Almeida she has directed the critically acclaimed production of Dying For It and Charlotte Jones' The Lightning Play. Her other theatre productions include Ghosts for the Gate Theatre, Breathing Corpses and Food Chain for the Royal Court, The Dark for the Donmar Warehouse, Auntie and Me at Wyndham's Theatre, In Flame for the Bush and the New Ambassadors and Cloud Nine, The Crucible and Iphigenia all for Sheffield Crucible.