Pravda  
Pravda

by Howard Brenton and David Hare

Directed by Louise Bakker

Evenings at 7.30
Tuesday 7th - Saturday 11th November
Matinée at 3.00
Saturday 11th November

The Tower Theatre performing at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street

It's 1985 and Lambert Le Roux is a South African press baron who dominates the British newspaper industry. He headhunts Andrew - a young, inexperienced journalist - to run his most recent acquisition, but it's only a matter of time before Andrew's conscience collides with what Le Roux is asking of him. Will integrity triumph over ambition?

Winner of the 1985 Evening Standard Best Play Award, Brenton and Hare's biting comedy still asks pertinent questions thirty years after it was first performed. Pravda (Russian for "truth") shows us what happens to the news before it reaches us.

Cast List

Andrew May : Oliver Ferriman
Lambert Le Roux : Max Fisher
Eaton Sylvester : Nick Mouton
Michael Quince MP : David Hankinson
Elliot Fruit-Norton : Nigel Campbell
Rebecca Foley : Hannah West
Bill Smiley : Calvin Crawley
Sir Stamford Foley : John Chapman
Harry Morrison : John McSpadyen
Hamish McLennan : Robert Orchard
Cindy : Ciara Robley
Moira Patterson : Samantha Wright
YOP Worker : Catherine Roche
Dennis Payne : Matt Cranfield
Lord Ben Silk : John McSpadyen
Bishop of Putney : Bill Boyd
Cliveden Whicker-Baskett : Robert Orchard
Mack "Whipper" Wellington : John Chapman
Larry Punt : Sam Currie-Smith
Doug Fantom : Matt Cranfield
Leander Scroop : Nigel Oram
"Breaker" Bond : Michael Mayne
Princess Jill : Samantha Wright
Donna Le Roux : Ciara Robley
Ian Ape-Warden : Nigel Oram
Hannon Spot : Michael Mayne
Bert : Sam Currie-Smith
Ensemble : Katey Warran, Louis Allen, Madeleine Gordon

 

Production Team

Director : Louise Bakker
Set Design : Lisa Castle
Lighting Design : Laurence Tuerk
Sound Design : Rob Ellis
Assistant Director : Julia Collier
Voice Coach : Jessica Hammett



Oliver Ferriman
 
Max Fisher is returning to the Tower Theatre Company after an absence of twenty years. At the Tower he played roles from Shakespeare to Ibsen, Osborne to De Filippo and Feydeau to Woody Allen - even actually playing Woody Allen. Away from the Tower, Max has worked with other established theatre companies, scratch companies for one-off productions and in voice-over work. As a dramatist, his plays have been performed in the UK and US and he appeared in his own one-man play at the Pleasance Theatre on the Edinburgh Fringe, to considerable critical acclaim.
This is Nick Mouton's first show with theb Tower Theatre. Nick is a bit of a journeyman of London fringe theatre having performed with a number of companies over the years, including Basement Bodies Theatre (Bouncers); KDC Theatre (Breathing Corpses); Putney Theatre Company (After the Dance); Sedos (Heaven Can Wait); and South London Theatre (The White Devil). He has also written and directed a number of plays that have been performed across the capital. Having been born in South Africa and spent the majority of his life in the Northern hemisphere, Nick is glad to be able to briefly channel himself back to his Southern hemisphere roots, albeit a different country. He's happy to think that all those hours spent watching Neighbours and Home and Away in the 90s have finally come to good use.
 
David Hankinson studied acting at The Oxford School Of Drama, funded by a scholarship from Michael Codron, the legendary West End theatre producer who brought to the stage early productions from the likes of Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter. While David is perhaps a little less well-known than those two great figures in the history of the British stage, he has pursued an enjoyable and occasionally successful career as an actor in theatre, his favourite role being Algernon in a UK tour of The Importance Of Being Earnest. In television and film David has a habit of making small contributions to big projects, having featured prominently in the opening sequence of the feature film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and less prominently (in fact, entirely hidden) as a Dalek Operator in Doctor Who between 2005 and 2008. This is David's first production for the Tower Theatre Company.
Nigel Campbell studied Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway College. This was followed by a five year stint as a professional actor in theatre, radio and film. He also ran drama workshops for the National Theatre's education department. More recently, he has performed the roles of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls and Richard Greatham in Hay Fever with the St George's Players in Paris where he lived for many years. This is Nigel's first production with the Tower Theatre Company.
 
Hannah West recently joined the Tower Theatre Company; Pravda is her first production with them and she is really excited to be cast as Rebecca Foley. She is currently studying an Acting Diploma at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is in the process of setting up her own group, The actorvists, which combines acting with her other passion of human rights. Hannah has been involved in amateur dramatics since she was a child performing with Scottish Youth Theatre, Patchwork Theatre Company and Collusion Youth Theatre. Stage credits include Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Step Sister in Rockerella and Sarah Patch in The Guardian of the Tower. TV and Film credits include Office Girl in Weird Love and The Young Bride in The Castle, a 12-part series for Sky TV. Hannah's background is in human rights and she currently works part time for a disabled charity in London. In her spare time, she is a singer-songwriter, playing guitar and tabla.
Calvin Crawley joined the Tower a year ago, and this is his first production. He trained on the RADA foundation course based in Cambridge, and has performed in a number of short films and theatre productions. He performed in Extremism at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Theatre Royal York, which then transferred to the National Theatre for a performance. He recently filmed his first feature film, Cult, playing the lead.
 
By day John Chapman works as a freelance education consultant and writer recently completing work for the BBC's Bitesize revision website. Prior to this he worked at the "chalkface" for rather longer than he cares to remember.
He has always been interested in the world of drama and in 2004 served as a panellist on the Olivier Awards, seeing a mammoth 70 productions in one year.
Not counting the odd (probably very odd) Nativity play, John first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Latin frog; he has since been involved with over 140 productions. Favourite acting roles have been Hector in The History Boys (an award winner), Norman in The Norman Conquests, Felix in Humble Boy, Mr Micawber in David Copperfield (in London and at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall) and Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream) in the Tower's collaboration with the RSC last year. Best directing jobs have been with The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Lord of The Flies, Glorious! and the eleven works of Alan Ayckbourn which he has steered to a successful conclusion, the most recent of which (Bedroom Farce) was seen earlier this year.
John McSpadyen is now in his 28th year as a Tower member, having been an ASM, SM, technical operator, set designer, actor and director. He has been onstage in (amongst others) Blue Remembered Hills, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Factory Girls, Translations, Dealer's Choice, Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, Farragut North and Hindle Wakes. His productions as director include Copenhagen, Faith Healer, The Constant Wife, Bash, Speaking in Tongues and Farewell to the Theatre. In between shows, he can generally be found wielding a power tool at a Sunday get-in. Away from the Tower, John bakes shortbread and watches TV quiz shows.
 
Robert Orchard is making his Tower debut after too many years 'resting' due to work as a political journalist. Most of his acting has been in South Wales, including parts in Journey's End, Claw, Under Milk Wood, Arsenic and Old Lace, Bingo, The Alchemist and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Bitten by the bug (and the bugs) of outdoor drama, he helped found the pro-am Everyman Open Air Theatre Festival near Cardiff, where roles included the Clown in The Winter's Tale and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, before launching his own company, Moonlight Theatre. More recently, Robert's performing was mainly confined to the BBC's Yesterday in Parliament and occasional character voices for Radio 4 political documentaries. He dimly recalls writing student comic revues with Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, and took his own satirical show, Knockers, to the Edinburgh Fringe where he claims it was laughed off the stage.
Ciara Robley is thrilled to be in her first production with the Tower Theatre. Previous roles include Wynne in Dinner (New London Actors), Orinthia in The Apple Cart, First Girl in Blood Wedding and Hoodie/Despair in What the Dickens (KDC Theatre). She has also previously dabbled behind the scenes as Assistant Director in A Number (KDC Theatre) and as composer in Gormenghast (SEDOS).
 
This is Samantha Wright's third production for the Tower Theatre after being in Mother's Day last year and Our Town earlier this year. She has appeared in KDC's There has possibly been an Incident and at the Lyric Hammersmith and Courtyard theatres in Starfish and First Light. Samantha has trained with City Lit and Identity School of Acting.
Catherine Roche joined the Tower Theatre Company earlier this year after returning to London from University. She has been an amateur actor for over 12 years. Her favourite previous show highlights include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (CS Academy, London/ Edinburgh Fringe), Evelyn in The Shape of Things (The University of Manchester), The Voice in PIT (The University of Manchester) and Atahualpa in The Royal Hunt of the Sun (CS Academy, Theatro Technis). When not acting, producing or assistant directing she is a Speech and Language Therapist working with children. She is very excited to be in her first production with the Tower.
 
This is Matthew Cranfield's third appearence with the Tower, having previously been seen as as Lechery in Doctor Faustus and Henry in Love, Love, Love. Prior to acting with the Tower, Matt has appeared as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Lear in King Lear at the University of Essex, and in a play called Again at the Edinburgh Fringe.
This is Bill Boyd's third show with the Tower - he played Father Yelpidy in Dying For It in 2013 and Horster in earlier this year. Between these shows he has played two other clergymen - Cardinal Wolsey (Anne Boleyn) and Rev. Charles Hare (A Clergyman's Daughter), and also Inspector Michaud (Therese Raquin). Previous roles include Firs (The Cherry Orchard), Arthur Winslow (The Winslow Boy), Chebutikin (Three Sisters), Petey (The Birthday Party) and Scullery (Road).
 
Samuel Currie-Smith is appearing in his fourth role with the Tower Theatre; his first being Leary in Sherlock Holmes, followed by a range of parts in Doctor Faustus and most recently, Harry in The Ladykillers. This followed 3 years of study into Drama and Theatre where he was in productions such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Top Girls, The Accidental Death Of An Anarchist and a play he co-wrote called Beached.
Michael Mayne's most recent apperance was as Constable Macdonald in The Ladykillers. Previous credits include Cornwall in King Lear, Organ in Tartuffe, Julius Caesar, Sidney in Smells of Wee, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Fred in Fred and Madge and Jake in Jake's Women. Michael is a classically trained Actor - a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Drama Art (LAMDA). He worked in the professional theatre for 20 years before family commitment moved him into the commercial world; now those commitments are fulfilled he is working his way back into the Business.
 
Nigel Oram has appeared in five previous Tower productions (Farragut North, Othello, Doctor Faustus, The Importance of Being Earnest and An Enemy of the People). He has also stage managed (Clybourne Park) and operated sound and/or lights (Major Barbara, Travesties, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Mother's Day, Charley's Aunt and The Night Heron).
Katey Warran has been involved with both professional and amateur theatre productions for over 10 years, including training as a Stage Manager at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, working for 3 years at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and producing two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was Lighting Operator for Tower's production Crimes of the Heart (2012) and has acted for numerous other amateur theatre groups, but this will be her first acting role with the Tower. Katey also recently completed the City Lit Intermediate Acting course.
 
Louis Allen recently graduated from University College London, reading History and Spanish, but only started acting a year ago. He spent 3 months studying at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York as part of a short conservatoire program in 2016 and upon returning got his first experience of professional theatre when cast as a Knight in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear. He has been a member of the Tower Theatre since May and Pravda is his first production with the company.
Madeleine Gordon is new to the Tower but has taken part in amateur theatre for the past couple of years. Her recent credits include Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice (Richmond Shakespeare Society, Oct 2016), Anne Brontë in We Are Three Sisters (RSS, March 2016) and Harriet in Teddington Theatre Club's production of Colder Than Here for which she was nominated for a Arts Richmond SWAN Award. She trained in Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths College, London.
 
Louise Bakker has been a member of the Tower Theatre since 2008, largely as an actor but also as a lighting and sound operator, box office volunteer and producer. She has extensive experience in arts administration, working for the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Last year she was Assistant Director for Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense'.