The Maltings Theatre in St Albans announces casting for The Roman Theatre Open Air Festival from May 28th to July 11th. With a mouth-watering programme of shows designed to appeal to the widest audiences. This year’s festival will be headlined by productions created and performed by The Maltings Theatre’s in-house company OVO: the swash-buckling Peter Pan, which opens the festival on May 28th and features music, song and acrobatic surprises; The Comedy Of Errors set in a beachfront karaoke bar; and The Winter’s Tale which stars none other than The Maltings Theatre’s Artistic Director Adam Nichols as Leontes.
The Peter Pan cast features many of the original cast who performed in the show at the Alban Arena last December before the theatre was closed in the last lockdown. Felipe Pacheco is the eponymous hero, Emma Wright plays Mary Darling and Tiger Lily, Flora Squires is Wendy Darling and Marcus Churchill is George Darling and the swash-buckling Captain Hook. The show features at least two directors: Matthew Parker, who plays the lovable Nana and Smee, will be directing ‘The Comedy of Errors’ while Luke Adamson, who’s cast as Urchin/Tootles, recently directed ‘The Removal Service’ for The Maltings Theatre. ‘The Removal Service’ was co-written by Will Pattle – who plays Michael Darling.
The Comedy Of Errors will be directed by award-winning director Matthew Parker who says: “Think Brighton beach and end of pier style for our production of The Comedy of Errors. I love this play; it’s really funny and has all the zip and pace of a classic farce but with really funny characters and lots of room for physical comedy. I’ve decided that two of the characters in our production run a beachfront karaoke bar which means that the show will be liberally peppered with karaoke classics throughout…as well as hipsters, drag queens, fortune tellers and…nuns!”
The multi-talented cast of The Comedy Of Errors features Clare Bloomer, Sam Denia, Oliver Lynes, Sheetal Kapoor, Reece Pantry in multiple roles, Maltings Theatre favourite David Widdowson and newcomers William Donaldson, Gabriel Fogerty-Graveson, Lewis Jenkins, Rosie Edwards, and Phoebe Marshall.
The Winter’s Tale is co-directed by The Maltings Theatre Artistic Director Adam Nichols – who also performs as King Leontes – and Janet Podd. “This is such a wonderful play,” says Janet. “Like so much Shakespeare it encompasses the human experience: devastating jealousy, redemption, joy and while there are highly comic scenes there are scenes of tragedy too. And there are two distinct worlds – those of Sicilia and Bohemia which will be specifically distinguished in our production through set design, costume and performance. Adam and I have co-directed before and I also directed him in The Crucible. It really works for us; there’s collaborative process and we trust each other’s instincts.”
The Winter’s Tale cast is led by Adam Nichols as Leontes – Adam’s real-life son Finn Nichols plays Leontes’ son Mamillius – with Matt Betteridge as Polixenes, Guido Garcia Lueches as Antigonus/Autolycus, Sam Claridge and Emilia Harrild as Florizel and Perdita and The Maltings Theatre’s regular company members Will Pattle, Emma Wright, Lucy Crick and Anna Franklin. Fans of the Maltings will know that Anne Franklin recently directed The Regina Monologues which featured Lucy Crick as Jane Seymour.