Talking Heads’ stars to reprise their roles on stage

File photo dated 01/02/18 of Imelda Staunton, who has said she would like to see young female stars on the red carpet wear di
File photo dated 01/02/18 of Imelda Staunton, who has said she would like to see young female stars on the red carpet wear dinner jackets and refuse to spin around for photographers.

Stars from Alan Bennett’s TV series Talking Heads will reprise their roles on stage.

The Bridge Theatre will reopen next month if the Government gives the go-ahead for indoor performances with socially distanced audiences.

Eight of the actresses from the BBC hit Talking Heads – including Tamsin Greig, Lesley Manville, Maxine Peake, Kristin Scott Thomas and Imelda Staunton –  will perform their monologues on stage.

The theatre also confirmed that Ralph Fiennes will perform Sir David Hare’s play Beat The Devil, about the playwright’s own experience with the virus and the politics of its handling.

Ralph Fiennes will appear in a play by Sir David Hare
Ralph Fiennes will appear in a play by Sir David Hare (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The playwright “recalls the delirium of his illness, which mix with fear, dream, honest medicine and dishonest politics to create a monologue (performed by Fiennes) of furious urgency and power”.

The Talking Heads monologues were first broadcast on the BBC in 1988 and 1998 and returned with a new cast and critical acclaim this year.

Three other monologues – An Evening With An Immigrant by Inua Ellams, Quarter Life Crisis by Yolanda Mercy and Nine Lives by Zodwa Nyoni – will run alongside them.

The first two will be played by their authors and the third by Lladel Bryant.

The theatre, in London, is hoping to reopen with a reduced capacity of 250 seats and stringent safety measures.

Seats can be booked now “with the assurance that, if the season is delayed, there will be automatic refunds for any performances that can’t go ahead,” the theatre said.

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