Cast announced for Utility by Emily Schwend

A blindfolded girl with a stick and a paper maché unicorn

Robyn Addison, Jackie Clune, Robert Lonsdale and Matt Sutton will appear in the European premiere of Emily Schwend’s Yale Drama Prize-winning play Utility, directed by Caitlin McLeod.

In Utility, Amber is juggling two nearly full-time jobs and three kids. Her on-again, off-again husband Chris is eternally optimistic and charming as hell, but rarely employed. The house is falling apart and Amber has an eight-year old’s birthday party to plan.

As Amber struggles to keep things from boiling over, she is forced to confront reality – she is a stranger to the person she once was and the person she thought she might be.

Emily Schwend won the Yale Drama Prize 2016 for Utility with judge, playwright Nicholas Wright saying “Utility is a remarkable play: beautifully written and effortlessly powerful”.

This is the European premiere of the work of one of America’s most exciting emerging playwrights. Emily Schwend. Her plays include The Other Thing, Take Me Back, South of Settling, Splinters, Route One, Carthage and Behind the Motel. Utility was first produced in New York in 2016. She is a 2016-2017 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University.

Caitlin McLeod is Artistic Director of new writing company The Coterie (originally funded by a Sky Academy Scholarship) and was one of the original Old Vic 12. She has directed Returning to Haifa (Finborough); A Further Education by Will Mortimer (Hampstead); Brenda by EV Crowe (HighTide Festival/The Yard); Polar Bears by Amy Rosenthal (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Malcontent (Shakespeare’s Globe); CommonWealth (Almeida); One Flea Spare and And I And Silence by Naomi Wallace in New York; and the European premiere of Facts by Arthur Miller (Finborough).

Robyn Addison plays Amber. Her theatre credits include Signs/Wonders (Young Vic); Reasons to be Happy (Hampstead); Black Comedy (Chichester); Chalet Lines (Bush); Mongrel Island/Realism (Soho); The Rivals (Theatre Royal Bath/Theatre Royal Haymarket); Singin’ in the Rain (Cambridge Arts Theatre). TV includes Doc Martin, Great Night Out, More Than Words, Starlings, Waterloo Road, Survivors, George Gently, Casualty, and Dalziel and Pascoe. Films include Lightning Strikes.

Jackie Clune plays Amber's mum Laura. Her theatre credits include: the Donmar Warehouse's all female Shakespeare trilogy of The Tempest, Henry IV and Julius Caesar in London and New York; Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse); The Vote (Donmar Warehouse); Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory); 9 to 5 (UK tour); Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith); Mamma Mia! (UK tour); Billy Elliot: The Musical (West End); and Julie Burchill Is Away (Soho). TV includes Good Omens, Borderline, Motherland, Three Girls, Breathtaking, EastEnders and Waking the Dead. Films include Jawbone and Denial.

Robert Lonsdale plays Amber's husband Chris. His theatre credits include All’s Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing (Lamb Players); A Lie of the Mind (Defibrillator/Southwark Playhouse); Plaques and Tangles (Royal Court); Another Place (Theatre Royal Plymouth); From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre, WhatsOnStage Award nomination for Best Actor); Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange/Live Theatre Newcastle, Manchester Theatre Award for Best Actor); A Life (Finborough); Anna Christie (Donmar); La Bete (West End); and The Indian Wants the Bronx (Young Vic). TV includes George Gently, Vera, Chewing Gum, Lovesick, The Interceptor, Silent Witness, Plus One, Ben’s Patient and Coronation Street. Films include Lost Christmas, A Passionate Woman and The Glass House.

Matt Sutton plays Jim, Chris' brother. His theatre credits include The Culture: A Farce in Two Acts (Hull Truck/UK City of Culture); The House They Grew Up In (Headlong/Chichester); The Hypocrite (RSC/Hull Truck); Toast (Snapdragon/Park Theatre/UK tour); Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith); The Ladykillers (Hull Truck/New Vic); Jumpers for Goalposts (Paines Plough/UK tour/Bush Theatre); Steve and Then It Ended (Theatre503); King Lear (RSC/UK tour/New York); The Game and Romeo and Juliet (Northern Broadsides/UK tours); Up on Roof (Hull Truck); The Magic Paintbrush (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Me & My Friend (King’s Head); and Night Cellar (BAC). TV includes Guerilla, Emmerdale, BBC: The Secret Files, No Offence, Hoff the Record, Our Zoo, FC Dave, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, 55 Degrees North, Distant Shores, The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing. Films include Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, A Royal Night Out, and Goal! 2 – Living the Dream.

£15 previews of Utility start 1 June 

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