Casting has been announced for the world premiere of Andrew Keatley’s THE GATHERED LEAVES, directed by Antony Eden, at Park Theatre from Wednesday 15 July – Saturday 15 August, with a press night on Thursday 16 July.
Clive Francis will star as patriarch ‘William Pennington’ opposite Jane Asher as his wife ‘Olivia’. Nick Sampson, Alexander Hanson and Katie Scarfe will star as their children, ‘Samuel’, ‘Giles’ and ‘Alice. The third generation will be played by Amber James as ‘Aurelia’, Georgina Beedle as ‘Emily’ and Tom Hanson as ‘Simon’.
The Pennington family have not been in the same room for over 17 years. But on the eve of William’s 75th birthday, all three generations gather with the aim of putting the past well and truly behind them.
If only it were that simple.
The Gathered Leaves is a family drama that sees the weight of family history, of reputation, and of expectation, all descend on one family over Easter weekend in 1997.
Clive Francis said, “”It’s not often that one is lucky enough to read a script as gripping as The Gathered Leaves. It’s an exemplary piece of writing. Wittily bitter sweet and very disturbing. It is also an added pleasure to be returning to the Park Theatre.”
Alexander Hanson said, “Park Theatre is an exciting venue that is really embracing new writing, and this is an exceptionally well-written play. It’s a beautiful family drama, and a genuine ensemble piece, which I hope will resonate with audiences as much as it has with me.”
“THE GATHERED LEAVES is a quite terrific play, one of the best I’ve read for a long time. A family saga up there with APOLOGIA and THE LAST OF THE HAUSSMANS – and even maybe AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.” Nick Hern, Nick Hern Books
Jane Asher said, “I’ve always believed that theatre should be all about the writer: the actor’s job is to put across the work to its full potential, and to be doing that for the very first time with a brand new play has always been my favourite kind of stage work. So I’m particularly excited about ‘The Gathered Leaves’, not only a brilliant and wonderfully written new play, but being staged in a new, beautiful London theatre. And – I’ve wanted to work with Katie for many years, so when I heard she had been cast as my stage daughter in the play the whole project became even more special. I can’t wait!
Katie Scarfe said, “I’m thrilled to be working on this exciting new piece of writing at such a vibrant and fresh London venue. It will be fascinating to have the opportunity to use a real relationship to inform an on-stage one, and I can’t wait to start rehearsals.”
Writer Andrew Keatley trained as an actor at Webber Douglas. His first play COLOURINGS was produced at the Old Red Lion, Islington, and he was chosen as one of Time Out’s “Tips For The Top” in their annual culture review. Other plays include GO TO YOUR GOD LIKE A SOLDIER and ALLIGATORS – which was written on attachment at the Royal Court Theatre. He has recently written his first feature film, FOR GRACE, which was filmed in March and April of this year.
Director Antony Eden is currently starring in The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, although his acting career started when he was 9 years old when he became The Milkybar Kid. He trained at LAMDA and has spent the past 15 years working as an actor in regional theatres, touring and in the West End. His directing and assistant directing credits include: EFFIE’S BURNING (Soho Theatre); TRUMPETS AND RASPBERRIES (Lyceum, Edinburgh); SWEENEY TODD, KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN (C Venues, Edinburgh); THE VICE, A STATE OF AFFAIRS, BIRDMEN (Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks)