Casting is complete for Mark Ravenhill's new autobiographical play Angela, the first in the Sound Stage audio series from The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Naked Productions and BBC Radio 3.
Airing March 26–28, the presentation will be led by Pam Ferris (Matilda) and Matti Houghton (Call the Midwife) as Angela, BAFTA winner Toby Jones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) as Ted, and Jackson Laing (The Boy in the Dress) and Joseph Millson (Angel Has Fallen) as Mark with Nadia Albina (Emilia), Dermot Daly (Accidental Therapists), Raj Ghatak (Christopher Robin), Olivier Huband (Barefoot in the Park), Alexandra Mathie (Cockpit), and Kirsty Stuart. Naked Productions’ Polly Thomas directs.
Angela centers on the playwright’s mother, at the age of 84 and suffering with dementia, as she looks back across her life. Cutting between Angela in her old age and in her youth, the play depicts her struggle with depression and the challenges of her own aspirations, set against Mark’s experience of beginning to learn ballet in his fifties.
Playwright Ravenhill says, “With the death of my mum in 2019, I was drawn for the first time to write an autobiographical play. I was particularly interested to explore the way culture high and low had impacted on Mum's life and our lives as a family. The play is constructed around a series of encounters with children's literature, classical ballet, amateur theatre, and popular song— encounters that shaped my mum's sense of self and her relationship with me. Both my parents are from working class backgrounds which gives a specific turn to their relationship to culture and to me. As I thought about a form that could move swiftly in time and location and between inner thought and outer action, I realized that this was best written as a radio play. I feel it's the most 'radio' of the radio plays that I've written…”
The Sound Stage series, which continues through October 31, will also include Tennis Elbow by John Byrne, Hindu Times by Jamini Jethwa, The Mother Load by Lynda Radley, Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil by Gary McNair, Sophia by Francis Poet, and new works by Timberlake Wertenbaker and Roy Williams.