A Major new production of Things We Do For Love embarks on a National Tour this Spring with Natalie Imbruglia, Claire Price, Edward Bennett and Simon Gregor in Alan Ayckbourn’s hit play

Theatre Royal Nottingham
Monday 28 April – Saturday 3 May 2014

A new staging of Alan Ayckbourn’s Things We Do For Love opens at the Theatre Royal Bath this Easter prior to an eight-week tour which includes a week at the Theatre Royal Nottingham from Monday 28 April – Saturday 3 May. Natalie Imbruglia makes her UK drama debut as she stars alongside Claire Price, Edward Bennett and Simon Gregor in a long-awaited revival of one of the most popular plays of the nineties, directed by Laurence Boswell.

Making hilarity and ingenuity from the things we do for love, this sharp and insightful drama about love’s trials and tribulations sees the UK’s greatest living playwright at the peak of his art.

In South West London, Nikki and her fiancé Hamish move in with Nikki’s old school-friend Barbara, who lives in immaculate order on the middle floor of her converted house. Unfortunately Hamish is everything that Barbara despises. But their mutual, instant distaste for each other is a hostility which hides deeper feelings; feelings that could destroy an engagement and a friendship, creating repercussions for everyone – including the downstairs lodger, lovelorn postman and part-time plumber Gilbert, who has a secret fixation with his landlady.

In an intriguing set – cleverly revealing a limited view of the rooms above and below Barbara’s flat – bedroom farce develops into something more complex as the two adversaries fall head over heels in lust.

Award-winning actress Claire Price plays the role of Barbara. Her many stage credits
include The Winter’s Tale and The Daughter in Law at Sheffield Crucible, The Power of Yes at the National Theatre, Way of the World at Chichester Festival Theatre and Private Lives at Hampstead Theatre. She last performed in the Theatre Royal’s Main House in Hard Times in 1997. On television, she played DS Siobhan Clarke in two series of Rebus and Alison in two series of The Knock, as well as appearances in Dalziel & Pascoe, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Midsomer Murders and Doctors.

Playing the role of Nikki is world famous actress and singer Natalie Imbruglia, who began her career in the globally successful Australian soap-opera Neighbours, where she played Beth Brennan. She went on to become one of the biggest pop sensations in Europe. Her smash hit single Torn, and the subsequent album, Left of the Middle, sold seven million copies worldwide and won her three Grammy nominations and two Brit Awards. She co-starred in the 2003 film Johnny English with Rowan Atkinson and made her leading actress debut in the 2009 film Closed for Winter. Things We Do For Love marks her UK drama debut.

Edward Bennett plays the role of Hamish. His previous performances include Measure for Measure and Habeas Corpus with The Peter Hall Company in 2006; Little Nell and Pygmalion with The Peter Hall Company in 2007; and in 2012, The School for Scandal, directed by Jamie Lloyd, in the Theatre Royal’s Summer Season. His West End credits include Hamlet with David Tennant in 2008, in which he played Laertes and covered the title role for a month during the run. In 2013, he performed in One Man, Two Guvnors on UK tour and abroad. His film and television credits include War Horse, Above Suspicion, Miranda and Silent Witness.

Playing the role of Gilbert is Simon Gregor, whose previous roles include the Fool in King Lear alongside David Haig, and Grumio in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew with Lisa Dillon and David Caves. Amongst his numerous stage credits, he recently starred in American Psycho with Matt Smith at the Almeida Theatre and in To Kill A Mockingbird at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. His television credits include The Borgias, Da Vinci’s Demons, Ripper Street, New Tricks, The Bill, Mine All Mine and Drop the Dead Donkey.

Director Laurence Boswell has been the Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio since 2011, where his seasons of UK premieres have received huge national acclaim. He is also an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His West End credits include Ben Elton’s Popcorn; Up For Grabs starring Madonna in her London stage debut; A Day in the Death of Joe Egg starring Eddie Izzard, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Director following its Broadway transfer; and This Is Our Youth starring Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal. This summer, he will direct the UK premiere of Intimate Apparel at the Ustinov Studio as part of the 2014 American Season.

2014 marks Alan Ayckbourn’s 55th year as a playwright. He has written 78 plays and directed more than 300 productions. Things We Do for Love, his 52nd play, received its world premiere at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in April 1997 followed by its London premiere in the West End in March 1998. Recent hit revivals of Ayckbourn’s work include Matthew Warchus’ Old Vic staging of The Norman Conquests; the National Theatre’s 2010 production of Season’s Greetings; and in the West End, Absent Friends directed by Jeremy Herrin, A Chorus of Disapproval directed by Trevor Nunn, and in 2013, Relatively Speaking, starring Felicity Kendal and directed by Lindsay Posner. In recent years, Alan Ayckbourn was inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame; he received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts, and he became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to theatre.