The New Wolsey is delighted to reveal casting news from its digital co-production of What A Carve Up! The theatre has teamed up with The Barn and Lawrence Batley Theatres to bring a new adaptation of Jonathan Coe’s acclaimed novel to a virtual ‘stage’. The novel has been adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett (CEO of the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield) especially for this digital production, to be directed by Theatre Clwyd Artistic Director Tamara Harvey.
New Wolsey Theatre Artistic Director Peter Rowe has been working closely with Henry Filloux-Bennett and Iwan Lewis (Artistic Director of The Barn Theatre in Cirencester) to develop the production and to find the right cast for this groundbreaking new show. This is the first time the three theatres have collaborated and it’s a great example of the ways in which theatres are innovating to bring new work to the ‘stage’ in these challenges times. The extraordinary cast that we’re announcing today shows the willingness of the sector to pull together to keep theatre alive. The show ‘opens’ on 31st October 2020 and is available online until 29th November 2020.
Initial casting announced today for the production are Fiona Button as Josephine Winshaw-Eaves, Sharon D. Clarke as Kim Bolton, Rebecca Front as Hilary Winshaw, Stephen Fry as Patrick Mills, Sir Derek Jacobi as Findlay Onyx, Griff Rhys Jones as John Stephens, and Tamzin Outhwaite as The Journalist.
Update as of 30 September 2020: Alfred Enoch has joined the cast and will play the role of Raymond Owen, son of acclaimed writer and murder suspect Michael Owen. He said on joining the cast, “I’m delighted to be joining such an illustrious cast for Henry’s online adaptation of What a Carve Up! and happier still to be able to contribute to such a good cause.”
The digital production, directed by Tamara Harvey (Home, I’m Darling), chronicles the events leading up to the ‘Winshaw Murders’. Filled with murder, mayhem and madness, the murder mystery turns a satirical eye on what it is like to be a member of one of the most corrupt, powerful and toxic families in the country.
Tamara Harvey said of the announced casting, “There are some casts so dazzling that my job, as a director, is to not get in the way. This is one of them. My only sadness, of course, is that we don’t get to be in the rehearsal room together. But the fact that these brilliant actors have all agreed to create this piece to raise money for regional theatres is one of the ways we’re all still fighting to ensure that there will still be rehearsals rooms across the country, somewhere, somehow, in our future.”
The play, which will be available internationally, will run from 31 October – 29 November 2020. Tickets can be purchased at whatacarveup.com with audience members receiving a screening link which will activate at their booked performance time for a 48-hour period. A premium option, consisting of a physical programme and pre-theatre dining recipe card, will be available for UK residents.
The recipe card included in the premium option will be curated by world-renowned chef Asma Khan. Owner of the prestigious Darjeeling Express in London’s Soho, Asma Khan was the first British chef to be profiled on Netflix’s award-winning documentary series Chef’s Table and in 2019 was named number one on Business Insider’s “100 Coolest People in Food and Drink” list.
Jonathan Coe said of the new adaptation, “I’m thrilled that What a Carve Up! is being brought to the stage by such a talented and experienced team. It’s twenty-five years since I wrote the book but unfortunately its political satire seems as relevant as ever – I’m sure the new adaptation will capture that, as well as the novel’s sense of fun and irreverence. I’m looking forward to getting to know it again!”
A portion of the proceeds raised by What A Carve Up! will be donated to a freelance fund to support the creative workforce that the theatres would not be able to survive without.
Further casting and creative announcements will be released at a later date.
The show has an age guidance of 16+ and features strong language and graphic descriptions of murder.