Nikolai Foster’s celebrated anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing will return to the West End later this year, playing a limited season at the Arts Theatre where it originally enjoyed sell-out success. This London season will be part of an 18 week UK tour, opening in Canterbury in March, then visiting Birmingham, Manchester, Guildford, Nottingham, Northampton, Leicester, Cardiff and Brighton.
Beautiful Thing is a glorious urban love story between two young men set on an inner city housing estate. It tells the story of teenager Jamie’s relationship with classmate and neighbour, Ste. Together the two boys find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass through their loud-mouthed next door neighbour Leah. Jonathan Harvey combines comedy with drama in his critically acclaimed award winning play. Beautiful Thing truly captures what it is to be a teenager and to fall in love.
Multi-award winning actress Charlie Brooks, best known for her role as ‘Janine Butcher’ in EastEnders, will lead the cast as ‘Sandra’. Other notable credits include ‘Jenny’ in Bleak House, winner of Strictly Come Dancing, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, and a critically acclaimed stage performance in Our Country’s Good (Liverpool Playhouse). Thomas Law, whose roles include ‘Peter Beale’ in EastEnders, ‘Matt Haddon’ in Casualty and most recently as a young Simon Pegg in blockbuster film The World’s End will star as ‘Ste’. Sam Jackson, whose roles include ‘Alex Henley’ in Skins (E4), ‘Jack’ in Drifters (E4) and a critically acclaimed performance as ‘Billy Casper’ in Kes (Derby Theatre), will star as ‘Jamie’.
Best known as series regular ‘Kris Fisher’ in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks most recently seen on screen in BBC2’s The Fall, and on Netflix’ epic Titanic: Blood and Steel, Gerard McCarthy will star as ‘Tony’. Other theatrical credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe, and Blue/Orange for ATG. Vanessa Babirye, recently seen on screen in BBC 2’s Our Girl, and at the National Theatre in Romeo and Juliet will star as ‘Leah’. Also joining the company will be Rob Ellis and Natalie Law.
The producers of Beautiful Thing have partnered with Stonewall, and will raise money for the charity’s No Bystanders campaign with bucket collections in every venue, including the Arts.
Photos: Anton Belmonte
2015 tour dates:
Canterbury– Marlowe Theatre, 23 – 24 March
Birmingham – Hippodrome Studio, 30 March – 11 April
Manchester – Quays Studio, Lowry, Salford, 13 – 18 April
Nottingham – Nottingham Playhouse, 21 April – 9 May
Guildford – Yvonne Arnaud, 11 – 16 May
Northampton – Royal and Derngate, 18 – 23 May
Leicester – Curve Studio, 25 – 30 May
West End – Arts Theatre, 3 June – 11 July
Cardiff– New Theatre, 14 – 18 July
Brighton– Theatre Royal, 20 – 25 July