Cast announced for Echo's End
Salisbury Playhouse presents its Original Drama commission Echo’s End, written by Barney Norris (Most Promising Playwright Award winner at The Critics’ Circle and Off West End Theatre Awards for his play Visitors) and directed by Alice Hamilton.
Set on the edge of Salisbury Plain in 1915, Echo’s End is a story about two Wiltshire families and the seismic changes which altered their lives and the identity of their county forever.
As the shadow of war falls over the Wiltshire landscape, a young couple finds itself caught up in the turmoil of troubled times. For generations, John and Anna’s families have made a living by working the land. Growing up in back-to-back cottages, everyone expects them to marry. Now, however, with nearly half a million young soldiers pouring into the country, the world seems so much bigger than they had ever imagined and the future feels far from certain.
Both raised in Salisbury, Barney and Alice now jointly run Up In Arms theatre company. They met through Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage 65 Youth Theatre and formed Up in Arms, which they jointly run, whilst studying at Oxford University.
Barney Norris, playwright, says: “I started my career at Salisbury Playhouse – with its youth theatre, as an extra in shows and behind the bar – so am thrilled to be here now with my play on the main stage. I root my work in Wiltshire and its lives and concerns, which are so rarely represented on stage. Echo’s End is a story about what happened to Wiltshire in the First World War and a moment in history when working people were finally finding a voice.”
The play reunites Barney and Alice with actor Robin Soans, nominated for the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Actor for Visitors. The cast also includes David Beames (The Nether, Headlong and Royal Court and Happy Days, Young Vic), Tom Byrne, Oliver Hembrough (A Further Education and Seminar, Hampstead Theatre), Katie Moore (Sheppey and German Skerries, Orange Tree Theatre) and Sadie Shimmin (Coronation Street and Mr Selfridge).
Echo’s End is designed by Tom Rogers (Ragtime, Charing Cross Theatre and The Rivals, Bristol Old Vic, Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse) with lighting by Howard Hudson (Romeo and Juliet, Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and Hedda Gabler, Salisbury Playhouse).
Gareth Machin, Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse, says: “Salisbury Playhouse’s Original Drama programme promotes and gives a voice to the south west region. We are really proud to work with Barney and Alice, who both started their theatrical training through our Youth Theatre, and to see them bring their work to the main stage for the first time. Echo’s End is a beautiful story set in the heart of Wiltshire and marks a key period in the recent history of the county.”
Echo’s End opens prior to the premiere of While We’re Here, also written by Barney and directed by Alice, (produced by Up in Arms at The Bush Theatre, 26 April – 27 May followed by a national tour). His second novel will be published in January 2018, following wide acclaim for his debut novel Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain, which became a Guardian, Daily Mail and Evening Standard Book of the Year.
Echo's End is supported by Frank and Elizabeth Brenan and runs in the Main House from 29 March to 15 April 2017. For tickets or more information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page.