History set to be made at Cheltenham theatre

By Nigel Slater 25/05 Updated: 08/06 16:53

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Buy photos » Julia Hills plays the lead role in The Glass Menagerie which will be the Everyman Theatre's first professional in-house production for more than 15 years. (s)

CHELTENHAM'S Everyman Theatre is set to host its first professional in-house production for more than 15 years next month.

Tennessee Williams' classic play The Glass Menagerie will be shown at the Regent Street venue between Wednesday, June 13 and Saturday, June 16.

A repertory theatre for more than 30 years, the Everyman stopped producing its own shows in the 1990s but staff are now hoping this will be the first of regular in-house productions.

Julia Hills, who has just finished a successful run as Goneril in King Lear, stars as the Wingfield family matriarch Amanda. Abandoned by her husband, the story focuses on Amanda's struggles as she tries to raise her two children under harsh financial conditions.

Directed by Everyman's Creative Director Paul Milton, the story is set in St Louis, Missouri during the depression era of the 1930s. The play centres around the gradual disintegration of the Wingfield family, told through the recollections and memories of Tom Wingfield.

The story was Williams' first popular success and remains one of the 20th Century's greatest plays.

Main star Hills is also remembered for playing Rona in the 1990s TV comedy series 2Point4 Children and recently starred in the UK tour of Calendar Girls. The cast also includes Hasan Dixon as Tom, Emma Sainsbury as Laura and Robert Fawsitt as Jim.

Geoffrey Rowe, Everyman Theatre chief executive, said: “The highlight of the Summer season for me has to be The Glass Menagerie. Not only is it a fine play but it is the first time in at least 15 years that the theatre has mounted its own production and if it is successful we will do it again. It’s an exciting venture and a marvellous play.”

Shows start at 7.45pm each night with afternoon performances on Thursday (June 14) and Saturday (June 16) at 2pm. Tickets are now on sale costing between £10 and £25 and are available by visiting www.everymantheatre.org.uk or calling the Box Office on 01242 572573.

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