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New casting was announced today for the upcoming tour of John Osborne’s funny and heartbreaking play The Entertainer starring Shane Richie as Archie Rice. Sara Crowe joins the cast to play Phoebe Rice and Diana Vickers to play Jean Rice.
Director Sean O’Connor, who has changed the setting of Osborne’s play for the very first time from 1957 to 1982, said: “I fell in love with Diana’s feisty but vulnerable LV in The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice when I saw it in the West End and am very excited about what she’ll bring to the role of Jean in The Entertainer, a young woman whose political conscience has been awakened by the Falklands war and who struggles in her combative relationship with her feckless father, Archie.”
“And I’ve long been an admirer of Sara’s extraordinary work and am thrilled that she is taking on one of Osborne’s greatest female roles as Phoebe, the hapless, hopeless wife of the washed up showman, Archie Rice.”
Diana Vickers first came to the public eye as a semi-finalist in The X Factor in 2008. Her previous theatre work includes I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, Myth, Son of A Preacher Man, Big, The Rocky Horror Show, The Duck House, Hatched and Dispatched and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the West End. Her film credits include: Awaiting, To Dream and The Perfect Wave and television appearances include: Josh, Top Coppers and Give out Girls.
Aberdeen born and Olivier Award-winning Sara Crowe most recently appeared as Ruth in the first UK Tour of Calendar Girls, the Musical, and was seen on screen in the 2019 Comic Relief reboot of Four Weddings & A Funeral – One Red Nose Day and a Wedding. This Christmas she can be seen on BBC4 in the ghost story Martin’s Close written and directed by Mark Gatiss.
This new adaptation of The Entertainer will open at Curve on 27 Aug and then tour the UK until 23 November, to Milton Keynes, Malvern, Plymouth, Woking, Eastbourne, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Brighton, Manchester, Bromley, Cheltenham and Shrewsbury.
Osborne’s play was chosen by Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington as one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.
1982: Archie Rice is a washed-up entertainer playing a summer season. As his soldier son sails with the Task Force to liberate the Falklands, his daughter Jean returns from campaigning against the war, and Archie’s professional and personal lives collide with devastating consequences.
Shane Richie has balanced a hugely successful forty year career between theatre, film & TV; and he has been a regular fixture on prime time television hosting such shows as Lucky Numbers (ITV), The Shane Richie Experience (ITV), Win, Lose or Draw (ITV), Don’t Forget the Lyrics! (SKY1), Reflex (BBC) and Win Your Wish List (BBC) to name but a few.
The Entertainer is a co-production between Curve, Anthology Theatre, and Simon Friend Entertainment.
Further casting and creative team to be announced.