Full cast announced for London Cat

Reporter: Caroline Bishop, first published Fri 24 Jul 2009 11:55
The cast of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: (l-r) Phylicia Rashad, Adrian Lester, Sanaa Lathan, James Earl Jones/servlet/file/store5/item106638/version1/fileservice770/106638_770_preview.jpg

Comedian and DJ Richard Blackwood is among those joining the cast of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, which opens at the Novello theatre on 1 December (previews from 21 November).

Blackwood appears in this UK transfer of the recent Broadway production alongside the previously announced Sanaa Lathan, Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. They are also now joined by stage regulars Derek Griffiths, Nina Sosanya, Joseph Mydell and Peter De Jersey, along with Guy Burgess, Claudia Cadette, Susan Lawson-Reynolds and Yvonne Gidden.

Blackwood’s career began with guest spots on various sketch shows before he was given his own television series on C4, The Richard Blackwood Show, in 1999. Since then he has worked for MTV, appeared at the Comedy Store, released a hit single, acted on television (Holby City, Little Miss Jocelyn) and on stage (including The Brothers at Hackney Empire). He currently presents a Sunday afternoon show on Choice FM. 

Griffiths is remembered for his extensive work as presenter and singer/musician on children’s television during the 1970s, including Play School, SuperTed and Bod. His hugely varied career has included several productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, numerous film and television credits and West End stage appearances in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miss Saigon, Beauty And the Beast, Run For Your Wife and Noises Off.

Sosanya came into the public eye as Jenny in hit C4 series Teachers. Since then her career has encompassed screen credits including Love Actually, Cape Wrath and Sorted, and stage appearances at the National Theatre (Fix Up, House And Garden, Anthony & Cleopatra) and the Donmar Warehouse (The Vortex).

Mydell and De Jersey have both worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on the West End stage. Mydell’s recent credits in the capital include Breakfast With Mugabe and As You Like It with the RSC and The Tempest in this year’s season at the Open Air theatre. De Jersey’s work includes Rough Crossings at the Lyric Hammersmith, Believe What You Will at Trafalgar Studios and recent film The Bank Job.

Tennessee Williams’s Cat On A Hot Tin Roof centres on a powerful Southern family which gathers at a birthday celebration for Big Daddy, who is unaware he is dying. During the gathering, tensions mount, relationships become fraught and a shockwave of secrets is finally revealed. 

Directed by Debbie Allen, this was the first all-black production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, where Earl Jones and Rashad led the cast when it opened last year. Williams’s play was last seen in the West End in 2001, directed by Anthony Page.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof opens at the Novello following An Inspector Calls, which plays from 22 September to 14 November.

CB