Casting Update: Written on the Heart

oliver-ford-davies-243x317 Written on the Heart - casting update for David Edgard's new play about the creation of the King James Bible

Award-winning playwright David Edgar's play Written on the Heart makes its world premiere in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, and runs from 27 October 2011 – 10 March 2012.

A powerful examination of the story behind the King James Bible, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year, the play explores the legacy of the earliest translators who died for their wish to see a ploughboy read the word of God, and the dilemma of Lancelot Andrewes, King James's leading translator, as he confronts the betrayal of his youthful religious ideals for the sake of preferment and peace in a divided society.

RSC Chief Associate, Gregory Doran, directs, following his production of Cardenio, Shakespeare's 'lost play' re-imagined, which reopened the Swan Theatre this spring.

Written on the Heart plays in repertoire with Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and The Heresy of Love until March 2011.

David Edgar says of his play: “Three years ago the RSC held a conference on the King James Bible which revealed its extraordinary story: not just that of the 54 clerics who worked on the translation in the 1600s but of the men who fled the country, lived in poverty and exile and – and in two cases - died at the stake, so that English men and women could read the Bible in their own language. It was clear to me that telling the story of the Bible was a way of telling the story of the reformation, one of the most momentous events of the last millennium”.

The cast includes: Bruce Alexander (George Abbot, Bishop of London), Jamie Ballard (Young Lancelot Andrewes/Henry's Chamberlain), Stephen Boxer (William Tyndale), Paul Chahidi (Richard Thompson/William Laud), Oliver Ford Davies (Lancelot Andrewes), James Hayes (Laurence Chaderton/Archdeacon), Jim Hooper (John Overall), Youssef Kerkour (Painter/Prison Keeper), Joseph Kloska (Samuel Ward),Sam Marks (Henry, Prince of Wales), Ian Midlane (Churchwarden/Workman), Mark Quartley (Catholic Priest/Harington), Daniel Stewart (Clerk), Simon Thorp (Sir Henry Saville/Squire), Annette McLaughlin (Lady Alletta Carey/Squire's Wife) and Jodie McNee (Mary Culler).

The production is designed by Francis O'Connor with lighting by Tim Mitchell and Music by Paul Englishby. Sound is by Jonathan Ruddick.

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The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST

Rehearsal and production photographs will be available from the EPO on

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Notes to editors

David Edgar Biography

David Edgar has been writing professionally for the theatre since 1972. He began his long-term relationship with the RSC in 1976 with his award-winning play about the rise of the National Front, Destiny, which transferred from The Other Place to the Aldwych. His other work for the Company includes The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs, Maydays, Pentecost and The Prisoner's Dilemma. His multi-award winning adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby was performed at the Aldwych in 1980 and on Broadway in 1981, and was televised by Channel Four.
He has also written extensively for the National Theatre (Entertaining Strangers, The Shape of the Table, Albert Speer and Playing with Fire) and for many repertory theatres, as well as for television, radio and film. He founded Britain's first postgraduate course in playwriting studies and is President of the Writers' Guild. He is an honorary associate artist of the RSC.

Issued: Wednesday 10 August 2011

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