Edward Hall’s Hampstead Theatre production of CHARIOTS OF FIRE will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre from 22 June 2012


Edward Hall’s Hampstead Theatre production of Chariots of Fire will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre from 22 June 2012, following its run at the North London venue.   Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett’s new adaptation, inspired by Colin Welland’s original screenplay, is now booking in the West End until 10 November 2012. 

Based on the extraordinary true story of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, this inspirational tale of hope, honour and belief has designs by Miriam Buether who will transform both the Hampstead and Gielgud Theatres into immersive stadia experiences, evoking the spirit of the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. 

1924. The Paris Olympic Games.  A devout Scottish Christian runs for the glory of God. The son of an immigrant Lithuanian Jew runs to overcome predjudice. Two young track athletes who live for the beautiful purity of running and who prevail in the face of overwhelming odds.

James McArdle
The cast, led by Jack Lowden as Eric Liddell and James McArdle as Harold Abrahams comprises Sam Archer (Athlete), Joe Bannister (Frank), Antonia Bernath (Florence Mackenzie), Natasha Broomfield (Jennie Liddell), Gareth Charlton (Athlete), Henry Davis (Athlete), Mark Edel-Hunt (Aubrey Montague), Lloyd Everitt (Athlete), Daniel Fraser (Athlete), Nickolas Grace (Master Of Trinity), Leemore Marrett Jr (Athlete), David Newman (Prince of Wales), Matthew Pearson (Sandy McGrath), Simon Slater (Mr Liddell/Foster), Savannah Stevenson (Sybil Gordon), Paul Tinto (Secretary of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society), Simon Williams (Master of Caius), Tam Williams (Lord Andrew Lindsay) and Nicholas Woodeson (Sam Mussabini).

Costumes are by Michael Howells with lighting by Rick Fisher, choreography by Scott Ambler and sound by Paul Groothuis.  The production will feature the legendary music of Vangelis with additional live music and arrangements by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Carr.

West End producers Hugh Hudson, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson and Michael Rose Limited will transfer the Hampstead Theatre production of Chariots of Fire to the Gielgud Theatre.  "We are delighted to be working with the Hampstead Theatre on Edward Hall's production of Chariots of Fire.  We look forward to bringing this powerful production to the West End at a time when London will be united in celebrating the spirit of the Olympics"

Jack Lowden’s previous roles include Cammy in the Laurence Olivier award-winning Black Watch for the National Theatre of Scotland which was also seen at the Barbican and on tour worldwide.  On television his credits include Blue Haven and Being Victor. 

James McArdle has previously been seen on stage in The Heart of Robin Hood for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Emperor and Galilean for the National Theatre, A Month in The Country for Chichester Festival Theatre, Spur of The Moment for the Royal Court and Macbeth at the Globe Theatre. His television appearances include The Best Possible Taste, Appropriate Adult and Page Eight. McArdle has also appeared in the film Private Peaceful.

Nickolas Grace’s stage appearances include Mahler’s Conversion at the Aldwych Theatre and The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre.  His television roles include Brideshead Revisited, Robin of Sherwood, Shellseekers, The Commander and Daniel Deronda.  On film his credits include The Golden Bowl, Tom and Viv, Two Deaths, The Hardest Part and These Foolish Things.

Simon Williams stage roles include Yes, Prime Minister at the Apollo Theatre and on tour nationally, The Power of Yes for the National Theatre, Hay Fever for Chichester Festival Theatre and The Deep Blue Sea at the Vaudeville Theatre.  His television credits include Murdoch Mysteries, Merlin, The Queen and Above Suspicion: Red Dahlia.

Mike Bartlett’s plays include Love, Love, Love  for Paines Plough which opens at The Royal Court later this month directed by James Grieve, Earthquakes in London for Headlong and National Theatre, 13 for the National Theatre, and Cock, Contractions and My Child for the Royal Court.  Bartlett is Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre.  His play Cock won the 2010 Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement and Bartlett also won the Writer’s Guild Tinniswood and Imison prizes for Not Talking, a radio play for BBC.

Edward Hall was appointed the Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre in 2010 where he has subsequently directed No Naughty Bits, Loyalty and Enlightenment.  He is also Artistic Director of Propeller, the all male Shakespeare company who recently toured the hugely successful Richard III and The Comedy of Errors, and is currently touring Henry V and The Winter’s Tale. His many theatre credits in London and New York include The Deep Blue Seat at the Vaudeville Theatre, Once In A Lifetime, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Edmond for the National Theatre, A Streetcar Named Desire for the Roundabout Theatre, New York, The Taming of the Shrew for the Old Vic and Rose Rage  for the Haymarket Theatre, in the US and on tour internationally. 

Award-winning designer Miriam Buether’s theatre credits include Earthquakes in London for Headlong and the National Theatre, Sucker Punch for the Royal Court, Judgement Day for the Almeida Theatre, In the Red and Brown Water for the Young Vic andThe Wonderful World of Dissocia.

Greek composer Vangelis is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, and scores for the films Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander

Additional music is by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Carr whose credits include orchestrations of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music and La Cage Aux Folles.

Colin Welland’s 1981 Academy Award® winning film of the same name, starred Ian Charleson and Ben Cross as athletes Liddell and Abrahams, was directed by Hugh Hudson.   Produced by David Puttnam, Chariots of Fire also won the BAFTA award for Best Film and a further two awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

Listings Information                     CHARIOTS OF FIRE
Dates:                                       22 June – 10 November 2012
Address:                                     Gielgud Theatre, 35 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
Performances:                             Monday – Saturday at 7.45pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 3pm
Box Office:                                 0844 4825130
Ticket prices:                              £26 - £55 plus concessions, all prices include a £1 theatre restoration levy