TWILIGHT SONG, the final play by Kevin Elyot, writer of the classic comedy My Night with Reg, will receive its world premiere at Park Theatre from 12 July – 12 August. Adam Garcia, Bryony Hannah and Paul Higgins will lead the cast in this new Park200 production, which is set on summer evenings in the 1960s and the present day.
In their sitting room in leafy north London, Isabella and Basil are getting ready to take Uncle Charles out to dinner. It’s the summer of 1967 and their secrets are starting to crack as the world around them undergoes a revolution.
Tracing one family’s hidden liaisons over half a century to the present day, Kevin Elyot’s evocative final play conjures a heartbreakingly funny tale of fathers and sons, desire and denial, and lives half-lived.
Directed by Anthony Banks, Twilight Song will star Adam Garcia as ‘Skinner/Gardener’, Bryony Hannah as ‘Isabella’, Paul Higgins as ‘Barry/Basil’, Philip Bretherton as ‘Harry’, and Hugh Ross as ‘Charles’. Kevin Elyot was an acclaimed and award-winning writer for stage and screen, winning the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Best Comedy Awards for My Night with Reg. One of Britain’s most esteemed playwrights, he finished Twilight Song shortly before he passed away in 2014. The premiere coincides with the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised private homosexual acts between men over 21 in England and Wales.
Adam Garcia is a two-time Olivier Award nominee, last seen on the London stage in Kenneth Branagh’s The Winter’s Tale as Lord Amadis opposite Dame Judi Dench (Garrick). Garcia starred in Kevin Elyot’s BBC drama Riot at the Rite with Alex Jennings. Other stage credits include Kiss Me Kate, directed by Trevor Nunn (Chichester/Old Vic); Fiyero in the original London cast of Wicked with Idina Menzel (Apollo Victoria), having helped develop the role in early workshops in New York, and On The Town, directed by Jude Kelly (Théâtre du Châtelet/London Coliseum). He gained international recognition for leading roles in films including Coyote Ugly and Riding in Cars with Boys with Drew Barrymore, and appears in Branagh’s forthcoming film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
Bryony Hannah is best known for her lead role as Cynthia Miller in the BBC’s blockbuster drama Call the Midwife. Bryony was Olivier Award nominated for her role as Mary Tilford in The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre) opposite Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss. Other stage credits include originating the role of Emilie in War Horse, directed by Tom Morris and Marianne Elliot and Blurred Lines, directed by Carrie Cracknell (National Theatre), and Earthquakes in London, directed by Rupert Goold (National Theatre/Headlong). On television, she recently featured as Cath in season two of Unforgotten with Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Paul Higgins has recently been seen on television in the BBC’s hugely popular, award-winning police drama Line of Duty as CS Derek Hilton, co-starring Thandie Newton and Vicky McClure. He appears in Stephen Frears’ forthcoming film Victoria & Abdul with Judi Dench. Earlier key screen roles include those in Armando Iannucci’s political satires The Thick of It and In the Loop for the BBC, and Utopia and Raised by Wolves for Channel 4. His extensive stage credits include Temple, directed by Howard Davies and Luise Miller, directed by Michael Grandage (Donmar Warehouse); Hope, directed by John Tiffany (Royal Court), and for the National Theatre, The White Guard, Children of the Sun and Paul, all directed by Howard Davies, An Enemy of the People, directed by Trevor Nunn and The Hare Trilogy, directed by Richard Eyre.
Philip Bretherton is best known for playing Alistair Deacon in the BBC’s classic sitcom As Time Goes By, with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. Recent stage credits include: Before the Party (Salisbury Playhouse); The National Joke (Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); Educating Rita (Library Theatre, Manchester); The League of Youth, Tony’s Last Tape and Breaking the Silence (Nottingham Playhouse); Hayfever (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Somewhere in England, God of Carnage, As You Like It, Pygmalion and Noises Off (Theatre Clywd); Life After Scandal (Hampstead), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Royal Exchange, Manchester).
Hugh Ross has had a long and distinguished career as an actor and director. He has worked for the RSC, the National Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, and frequently in the West End. He won a Time Out Performer Award for his performance in Cheek by Jowl’s Twelfth Night, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in Stephen Sondheim’s Passion (Queens). Other recent theatre includes Macbeth, directed by Jamie Lloyd (Trafalgar Studios), and Waste (Almeida). Film credits include Sunset Song, The Iron Lady, Patriot Games, Trainspotting and Bronson. He directed the first revival of J.B. Priestley’s The Roundabout (Park Theatre) which recently transferred to New York.
Kevin Elyot’s other plays include The Day I Stood Still at the National Theatre, and Mouth to Mouth starring Lindsay Duncan at the Royal Court which transferred to the West End. A prolific writer for the screen, Elyot’s work includes Killing Time, which won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV Play or Film, Clapham Junction, Christopher and His Kind, and many episodes of Poirot and Marple.
Anthony Banks was an Associate Director at the National Theatre for ten years where he commissioned and developed a hundred new plays for NT Connections. Directing credits include Gaslight starring Kara Tointon and Keith Allen (national tour); Jim Cartwright’s Raz (Trafalgar Studios, Assembly Festival, and national tour); Bryony Lavery’s More Light, Lucinda Coxon’s The Eternal Not and Michael Lesslie’s Prince Of Denmark (all at the National Theatre), and Mark Ravenhill’s The Experiment (Soho Theatre and Berliner Ensemble).
Twilight Song is directed by Anthony Banks, with Set and Costume design by James Cotterill, Lighting Design by Tim Lutkin, and Composition and Sound Design by Ben and Max Ringham.
Photo: Alex Brenner