The full cast and creative team have been confirmed for the world première of The Lovely Bones, one of the best-selling novels of the 21st century. Adapted for the stage by Bryony Lavery from Alice Sebold’s story and directed by Melly Still, it will open here at Royal & Derngate, Northampton on 1 September 2018 before transferring to partner theatres Everyman Liverpool, Northern Stage, Newcastle and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The show will also tour to The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
Alice Sebold’s coming-of-age tale captured the hearts of readers throughout the world when it was first published in 2002. An unforgettable story about life after loss, The Lovely Bones achieved critical acclaim and became an international best-seller. It won the Indies Choice Book Award for Adult Fiction 2003.
The Lovely Bones tells the story of young Susie Salmon, who is just like any other girl. She wants to be beautiful, adores her charm bracelet and has a crush on a boy from school. There’s one big difference though – Susie is dead. Susie can only observe while her family cope with their grief in their different ways. Her father, Jack, is obsessed with identifying the killer. Her mother, Abigail, is desperate to create a different life for herself. And her sister, Lindsay, is discovering the opposite sex with experiences that Susie will never know. Susie is desperate to help them and there might be a way of reaching them.
In the 10-strong ensemble cast, the part of Susie Salmon will be played by Charlotte Beaumont, well known for her role as Chloe Latimer in TV series Broadchurch, with recent theatre credits including Three Winters at the National Theatre. Jack Salmon will be played by Jack Sandle (War Horse, National Theatre; Running Wild, UK tour), Emily Bevan (The Haunting of Hill House, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse) as Abigail Salmon, with Ayoola Smart (Othello, Unicorn Theatre; The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s Globe) as sister Lindsay. Keith Dunphy (The Rivals, Bristol Old Vic) takes the role of Mr Harvey. The cast is completed by Pete Ashmore as Len Fenerman/Samuel, Bhawna Bhawsar as Ruana Singh/Franny, Susan Bovell as Lynn/Cop/Mrs Flanagan, Natasha Cottriall as Ruth Connors/Buckley Salmon and Karan Gill as Ray Singh/Principal Caden.
Playwright Bryony Lavery’s acclaimed work includes the Tony Award-nominated Frozen (revived in the West End in spring this year), Stockholm (Frantic Assembly), Kursk (Young Vic) and Beautiful Burnout (National Theatre of Scotland and Frantic Assembly). Her other adaptations include A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Repertory Company), Treasure Island (National Theatre), Brideshead Revisited (York Theatre Royal/ETT) and most recently Brighton Rock (Pilot Theatre).
Bringing The Lovely Bones to life on stage is director Melly Still, whose credits include the acclaimed Olivier and Tony Award-nominated production of Coram Boy (National Theatre and Broadway), My Beautiful Friend (Rose Theatre Kingston) and several recent productions for Glyndebourne, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The production is designed by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita whose credits include Wish List (Royal Exchange and Royal Court) and The Driver’s Seat (National Theatre of Scotland), with lighting design by Matt Haskins (Death of a Salesman, Royal & Derngate UK tour; Turn of the Screw, Opera North), sound design by Helen Skiera (Instructions for Correct Assembly, Bodies, Royal Court) and movement direction by Mike Ashcroft (The Christmas Truce, Henry IV parts 1 & 2, RSC). Music will be composed by Dave Price whose original scores include From Morning to Midnight (National Theatre) and Cymbeline (RSC).