Dark drama at Theatre Royal Windsor

Round & About

Theatre Royal Windsor

Trial by media examined in Accolade starring Ayden Callaghan and Honeysuckle Weeks

Theatre Royal Windsor is delighted to be staging two plays directed by award-winning director Sean Mathias this year starting with Accolade this month.

Ayden Callaghan and Honeysuckle Weeks are to lead the cast in Emlyn Williams’ gripping drama Accolade, the first play in this year’s Sean Mathias season.

Ayden Callaghan is best known for his roles as Joe Roscoe (Hollyoaks), Miles De Souza (Emmerdale) and as Frank Farmer in last year’s UK tour of The Bodyguard The Musical.

Honeysuckle Weeks became a popular face on television playing Sam Stewart (Foyle’s War). She has just finished touring the UK in the role of Cora in Calendar Girls the Musical.

In Accolade, Ayden will play the protagonist Will Trenting, with Honeysuckle, his socially ambitious wife, Rona. Whilst William’s dark and sinister play originally stems back to 1950, the underlying tensions, couped with the fragility of one’s personal reputation, make this play as relevant today as when it was first written.

Completing the cast are Jamie Hogarth (Albert), David Phelan (Thane Lampeter), Sarah Crowe (Marian Tillyard), Louis Holand (Ian), Gavin Fowler (Harold), Sarah Twomey (Phyllis), Nardiner Samra (Daker) and Kayleigh Cooper (Parlour Maid).

Accolade opens at the Theatre Royal Windsor on Friday, 31st May and will run until Saturday, 15th June before embarking on a tour within the UK over the summer.

Accolade will be followed this autumn with Felicity Kendal in the title role of Eduardo de Filippo’s Filumena, the second play to be directed by Sean Mathias this season.

Director Sean Mathias said of staging the two plays: “These two plays are not what they first appear to be. Accolade is atypical of Emlyn Williams, examining success as approved by the establishment, it quickly deconstructs that success and then looks to smash it. The central character, Will Trenting, was written by the author for himself to play in the world premiere – a character lionized by an order he despised, Will contains shades and shadows of the Welshman himself, who refused to fit into any boxes. Williams had a deep fascination with the psychology of the criminal or alternative mind, and Accolade is a riveting theatrical reflection of his interests.”

Colourful Capers

Round & About

Theatre Royal Windsor

The colourful comic book world of 1930s America lands in Windsor as Le Navet Bete brings Dick Tracy to the stage in their own style, writes Peter Anderson

Will Dick Tracy be able to save the day, get the girl and get to the bottom of who’s causing all the mayhem? Or perhaps the truth is closer than he thinks… With its theatre work rooted in the ridiculous, Le Navet Bete’s Dick Tracy is a physical comedy influenced by the world-famous detective incorporating fooling, original live music, plenty of audience interaction, lightning quick character changes, incredibly authentic accents spattered with mystery, malice and mischief.

I asked Al Dunn, one of the Exeter team, how he got into comedy, and Le Navet Bete? “I loved the slapstick side of comedy,” he says, “and can remember when I was 12 or 13 I really enjoyed watching programmes like Bottom with Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson. Then I met up with the other guys when we were at college. We worked out a show and took it to the Edinburgh Fringe. It went down well and ten years later we are still touring, in our 30s and married, so we don’t do as many foreign trips! But I am pleased to say our Dracula script has been published in Canada, America and Greece as well as other countries.”

So, I wonder, is he looking forward to performing in Windsor, and what can the audience look forward to? “I love the Theatre at Windsor it is really old and beautiful, as to what the audiences can look forward to, well… With Dick Tracy, we aim to recreate the colourful cartoon strips of 1930s America with loads of set pieces and great music. It is so much fun to connect with the audiences; they seem to love to watch something build and build only for it to come crashing down. I guess you could say slick but slapstick.”

This team promise you a show where the villains end up in handcuffs and the audience in stitches.

Dick Tracy is at The Theatre Royal, Windsor, 13th-15th September. To book, please visit www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk.