Cast announced for the world premiere of THE SWELL

We’re delighted to announce the full cast for the world premiere of Isley Lynn’s The Swell

Hannah Hauer-King directs Jessica Clark, Ruby Crepin-Glyne, Viss Elliot Safavi, Saroja-Lily Ratnavel, Shuna Snow, and Sophie Ward. This OT co-production with Damsel Productions and The Women’s Prize for Playwriting is a thrilling romantic drama, featuring a live vocal score, spanning decades of love, sacrifice, and betrayal, opening on 29 June, with previews from the 24 June and runs until 29 July.

“When Isley and I developed this play with Hightide back in 2017, we couldn't have hoped for a better home than the Orange Tree. The in-the-round intimacy of the space is perfect for a play that manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny, and filled with tragedy and loss. And though it is a play that puts six queer female characters centre stage, it really is a play for everyone. The questions it asks about relationships, fidelity and trust, will resonate for anyone who has been in love.” Director Hannah Hauer-King

Counting down the days to their wedding, Annie and her fiancé Bel are visited by an unexpected guest. An old friend of Annie’s: free spirit and troublemaker Flo, who announces she’ll be staying with them until their big day. This surprise reunion evolves into a complicated love triangle with dangerous consequences that threaten to destroy Annie and Bel’s happily ever after…

Isley Lynn is a multi-award-nominated playwright, best known for her 2016 breakout hit Skin A Cat. Her most recent work includes a sold-out adaptation of The War of The Worlds (New Diorama Theatre and international tour), and a critically acclaimed contribution to 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Albatross (Playground Theatre).

Jessica Clark’s theatre credits include Sap (Soho Theatre), The Wife of Willesden (Kiln Theatre), Passengers (Vacuum Theatre), The Funeral Director, The Hear, And This, And Now (Southwark Playhouse), Ninas Got News (Pleasance Dome), Rotterdam (Trafalgar Studios and Theatre503), Skin A Cat (Theatre503), and Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Wind in The Willows, The Secret Garden, Macbeth, and The Comedy of Errors (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre). For television her credits include, Call the Midwife, All Creatures Great and Small, Death in Paradise, and Versailles. 

Ruby Crepin-Glyne’s theatre credits include The Tempest (Pleasance), Road (Northern Stage), Measure for Measure (The Sam Wanamaker Festival), Pool (No Water) (Royal Court Theatre) and Winter Wonderland (Soho Theatre).

Viss Elliot Safavi’s theatre credits include For Services Rendered (Jermyn Street Theatre), Bitched (Kali Theatre), The Taming of The Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), How He Lied to her Husband (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Gift (Criterion Theatre), Love from a Stranger (Jubilee Hall), Smother (Clink Hostel), and Invasion! (Soho Theatre). For television her credits include Tehran, The Split, D.I Ray, Suspicion, Not Going Out, and The Buccaneers.

Saroja-Lily Ratnavel’s theatre credits include, Chasing Hares (Young Vic Theatre), Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange Theatre), and The Key Workers Cycle: The Social Care Workers Play, and Name, Place, Animal, Thing (Almeida Theatre). For television, Bravo Two Charlies.

Shuna Snow returns to the OT having previously appeared in The Charity That Began at Home. Her theatre credits include The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs (Soho Theatre), Decisions Decisions (Pleasance Science Fiction Theatre Festival), Whisky Galore (UK tour), Brideshead Revisited (York Theatre Royal), Twelfth Night (The Rose Playhouse), Palindrome, Welcome to Ramallah (Arcola Theatre), Little Stitches (Theatre503), Iron (Old Red Lion), Hamlet (US tour), Top Girls, The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Julius Cesar, Death of a Salesman, Betrayal, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Ion, Road, The Triumph of Love, All My Sons, Oh! What a Lovely War, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Macbeth (Mercury Theatre), Engaging Shaw (Vienna’s English Theatre), Separate Tables (Royal Exchange Theatre) A Shoemaker, A Gentleman (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing, Little Eyolf, Kenneth’s First Play, Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company). Her television credits include Big Mood and Clink; and for film, The Boy in The Woods.

Sophie Ward’s theatre credits include The Mirror Crack’d (Salisbury Playhouse), Cancelling Socrates, Flowers of The Forest (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Exorcist, A Judgement in Stone, The Grass is Greener (UK tours), Dark Sublime (Trafalgar Studios), Paradise Circus (Playground Theatre), But It Still Goes On (Finborough Theatre), Mount Vernon (Hudson Guild Theatre, Kings Head Theatre), Brave New World (Royal and Derngate) and Go Back for Murder (Theatre Royal Windsor / UK tour). Her television credits include Troubled Blood, This Sceptred Isle, Agatha Raisin, A Very British Scandal, Picture Perfect Royal Christmas, The Moonstone and Secret State. For film her credits include, Swiperight, Jane Eyre, Book of Blood, Out of Bounds, Nobody Knows Anything!, Crime and Punishment, Bella Donna, Taking Liberty, Wuthering Heights, Waxwork II: Lost In Time, and Young Sherlock Holmes.

Hannah Hauer-King directs. Hannah is Artistic Director of Damsel Productions. Her directing credits include The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs (Soho Theatre), The Funeral Director (English Touring Theatre), Fabric and Fury (Soho Theatre).

Completing the creating team are Amy Jane Cook (Designer), Elliot Griggs (Lighting Designer), Nicola T Chang (Sound Designer & Composer), Sam Woof (Assistant Director), Polly Jerrold (Casting Consultant), Sussan Sanii (Deputy Stage Manager) and Laura Dewhirst (Assistant Stage Manager).

A co-production with The Women's Prize for Playwriting and Damsel Productions.


The play will also be available to watch online from home via OT On Screen, anytime between 7.30pm BST on 1 August 2023 and 11.59pm BST on 4 August. 

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