Cast announced for GENTLEMEN - Arcola Theatre

The full casting has been announced today for the world première of Matt Parvin’s new drama Gentlemen, directed by Richard Speir, which opens at Arcola Theatre on 24 March, with previews from 18 March. 

Testing the limits of retribution and the power of social status at university, Gentlemen examines what happens when culture turns toxic, and how a fear of not fitting in risks everyone losing out.

Will Merrick returns to Arcola to play Greg. Known for his role as Alo Creevey in the E4 drama Skins, for which he won the RTS Award for Best Actor, Will has since starred as snooker player Steve Davis in the BBC’s The Rack Pack and as Nicky in the E4 sitcom Dead Pixels. He previously starred in Ella Hickson’s Boys, which transferred to Arcola in 2013 following an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Danny Kirrane makes his Arcola debut as Timby. Danny’s extensive stage career includes roles at the National Theatre, Royal Court and Almeida Theatre. He has also starred in Jed Mercurio’s Critical, the E4 sitcom Wasted and the musical film Walking on Sunshine.

Ralph Prosser plays Kasper, in his professional theatre debut.

The creative team includes Cecilia Trono (Designer), Geoff Hense (Lighting Designer) and Beth Duke (Sound Designer).

Previews begin on 18 March, and the run ends on 18 April. Press night is Tuesday 24 March at 7pm.

Matt Parvin previously trained as part of the Arcola Theatre Writer’s Programme in 2015. His adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, with the Oxford University Dramatic Society, was presented at Arcola Theatre in 2013 as part of the E8Eh programme of Edinburgh Festival Fringe transfers. 

Gentlemen is a part of Arcola Theatre’s 20th anniversary season, a year-long programme which includes new work by Barney Norris, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Leyla Nazli, David Farr and Tena Štivičić, and from a new generation of writers. Tickets for the 2020 Season start from £12, with over 27,000 tickets available for £20 or less across the year, plus Pay What You Can continues every Tuesday.

Gentlemen writer Matt Parvin said: 

“I am delighted to be working at Arcola and honoured to be one of the first shows in their 20th anniversary season. The first play of mine to be staged in London was on in Studio 2, which remains one of my favourite theatre spaces. I can’t wait to see Gentlemen in there, brought to life by the fantastic Danny Kirrane, Will Merrick and Ralph Prosser, and directed by the brilliant Richard Speir.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Arcola Theatre

Arcola Theatre was founded by Mehmet Ergen and Leyla Nazli in September 2000. Originally located in a former textile factory on Arcola Street in Dalston, in January 2011 the theatre moved to its current location in a former paint-manufacturing workshop on Ashwin Street. Arcola has won awards including the UK Theatre Award for Promotion of Diversity, The Stage Award for Sustainability and the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.

Arcola Theatre produces daring, high-quality theatre in the heart of East London and beyond. We commission and premiere exciting, original works alongside rare gems of world drama and bold new productions of classics. Our socially-engaged, international programme champions diversity, challenges the status quo, and attracts over 65,000 people to our building each year. Ticket prices are some of the most affordable in London, and our long-running Pay What You Can scheme ensures there is no financial barrier to accessing the theatre. Every year, we offer 26 weeks of free rehearsal space to BAME and refugee artists; our Grimeborn Festival opens up opera with contemporary stagings at affordable prices; and our Participation department creates over 13,500 creative opportunities for the people of Hackney and beyond. Our pioneering environmental initiatives are award-winning, and aim to make Arcola the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.

Gentlemen

Matt Parvin’s blistering new drama tests the limits of retribution and the power of social status at university.

You’ve got to throw yourself in, yeah? Do you see? Have to throw yourself right in, whatever that entails.”

Freshers’ term. Greg has taken to university life like a duck to water. Kasper is struggling to fit in.

Summoned to a mediation session with Kasper and the college welfare officer to discuss an accusation of plagiarism, Greg deftly argues his way out of trouble. But when the allegations evolve into something altogether more damaging, how long can Greg remain untouchable?

Gentlemen examines what happens when culture turns toxic, and how a fear of not fitting in risks everyone losing out.

Matt Parvin is a playwright and screenwriter. He trained as part of the Arcola Theatre Writer’s Programme in 2015. His theatre credits include The Noble Nine, Two Roads (VAULT Festival); Jam (Finborough Theatre); Cousins (Soho Theatre); Alice in Wonderland (Arcola Theatre). He was the recipient of the Oxford New Writing Festival 2013 Best Script Prize, was shortlisted for the Marlowe Society’s Other Prize 2018 and has been twice longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize.

Richard Speir directs. His theatre credits as a director include Byron: Angel & Outcast (Cadogan Hall and Kazakhstan tour); Claw Hammer (SparkHaus); Spun (Arcola Theatre); Moments (Hen and Chickens); Stevie (SLAM); DEADLOCK, The Nine O’Clock Service (Theatre503); Play 2, Breakneck (Old Red Lion), The Inevitable Disappearance of Edward J. Neverwhere (STAR). As Assistant Director, his theatre credits include Witness For The Prosecution (London County Hall); Kenny Morgan, New Nigerians, Gariné (Arcola Theatre).

Will Merrick plays Greg. His theatre credits include Death of a Salesman, The Ghost Train (Manchester Royal Exchange); All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Libertine (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Merlin (Royal & Derngate); Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC); Boys (Arcola Theatre). His television credits include Poldark, Fail, The Rack Pack, Count Arthur Strong, Atlantis, Doctor Who, In With The Flynns (BBC); Dead Pixels, Coming Up: Burger Van Champion, Skins (Channel 4); Brief Encounters (ITV). His film credits include Modern Life is Rubbish, 7.2, About Time

Danny Kirrane plays Timby. His theatre credits include Vassa, The Hunt (Almeida Theatre); We’re Staying Right Here (Park Theatre); As You Like It (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); A Little Hotel On The Side (Theatre Royal Bath); Three Sisters (Young Vic); Boys, Romeo and Juliet (Headlong); Jerusalem (Royal Court, Apollo Theatre & Broadway); Tarantula in Petrol Blue (Aldeburgh Music); The History Boys (National Theatre & West End). His television credits include Don’t Forget The Driver, Poldark, New Blood, Hustle, Casualty, Doctors, Young, Unemployed and Lazy, The Site (BBC); Britannia, Critical, Trollied (Sky); Game of Thrones (HBO); Wasted, Utopia, The Inbetweeners, Skins (Channel 4); Doctor Thorne, Trinity (ITV); I Shouldn’t Be Alive: Ocean Disaster (Discovery Channel). His film credits include Ravers, Peterloo, Game Over, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Hatching, Walking on Sunshine, Automata.

Ralph Prosser plays Kasper. His television credits include the upcoming Alex Rider (Sony). His film credits include Where Is Anne Frank, How To Build A Girl. Gentlemen is his professional theatre debut.

Cecilia Trono is Designer. Her theatre credits as Designer include The Paradise Circus (Playground Theatre); The Blue Hour of Natalie Barney (Arcola Theatre); Mites (Tristan Bates Theatre); The Ice Cream Boys, The Last Ones (Jermyn Street Theatre). Her theatre credits as Costume Designer include The Rubenstein Kiss, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Southwark Playhouse). Cecilia was nominated for the 2017 Off-West End Award for Best Set Design for her work on The Last Ones.

Geoff Hense is Lighting Designer. His theatre credits include Hoard, Sitting, Keith?, The Daughter-in-Law, Spun (Arcola Theatre); Secret Life of Humans (New Diorama / Edinburgh Festival Fringe); Testosterone (Edinburgh Festival Fringe / International Tour); 64 Squares (New Diorama / International Tour); Richard II (Arcola Theatre / UK Parliament).

Beth Duke is Sound Designer. Her theatre credits include Scenes with Girls (Royal Court); Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon (Old Red Lion); Head of State, Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her), Alice, Lovely & Jason, Boots, Split (VAULT Festival); One Under (Graeae & UK tour); Superstar (Southwark Playhouse); Fox (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); Together, Not the Same (Sadler’s Wells); New Views (National Theatre); Queen Margaret, 5, 11, Emilia (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts); Great Expectations (Geffrye Museum); Silence (Mercury Theatre & UK tour); Around the Block (Etcetera Theatre); Eros (White Bear Theatre); Breathe (Tristan Bates Theatre); A Fantastic Bohemian, Lovesick (Arcola Theatre); Boxman (UK Tour); Little Did I Know (Bread & Roses Theatre); The State of Things (Brockley Jack Studio). As Associate Sound Designer, her theatre credits include War of the Worlds Immersive Experience (56 Leadenhall Street); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tobacco Factory); Goodbear, Do Our Best (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); Dust (NYTW). Her film credits include Gaixia, Hydrangea. Beth is resident Sound Designer at the Almeida Theatre.

Danièle Lydon is Voice and Dialect Coach. Her theatre credits include All My Sons, Mood Music (The Old Vic); Jude, Big Fish, Sex With Strangers, Dry Powder, You and I (Hampstead Theatre); Rutherford And Son, The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Medea, The Motherfu**er With The Hat, Man And Superman, Treasure Island (National Theatre); White Teeth, Wife (Kiln Theatre); Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (West End / Broadway / Melbourne); School of Rock, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Bat Out of Hell (West End); The Twilight Zone (Almeida Theatre); Carousel (ENO). Her television credits include Baptiste, Poldark, The Paradise, Boy Meets Girl, Inspector George Gently, An Inspector Calls (BBC); Victoria, Vera (ITV); Dark Angel (Fox). Her film credits include Shipbreakers, Where is Anne Frank?, Mercy, Life, Rogue One (A Stars War Story), A United Kingdom, Werner Herzog: Salt and Fire.

Keith Wallis is Fight Director. His recent theatre credits include Vassa (Almeida Theatre); Beautiful Thing (Tobacco Factory / New Vic Theatre / The Dukes); Dishoom! (Watford Palace Theatre / Oldham Coliseum); Jump Out Of Skin (Pleasance Theatre); The Albatross 3rd & Main (Park Theatre); Orphans (Southwark Playhouse); Arcadia (English Touring Theatre); The Whipping Man (Theatre Royal Plymouth). His film credits include Lady Macbeth, The Innocent.

Lucy Waterhouse is Assistant Director. Her recent theatre credits include Schiele (Royal Academy of Arts / Katzspace / UK tour); Accrete (The Edge). As Assistant Director, her theatre credits include Witness for the Prosecution (London County Hall); Rights to Move (The Station). As Movement Director, her theatre credits include La Cenerentola (Peacock Theatre); Things We Do Not Know (Curve Theatre Leicester).

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