Durham’s Gala Theatre has revealed the cast for its upcoming adaptation of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, with three lead roles going to actors based in the north east.

Originally broadcast by the BBC, Talking Heads is a series of monologues delivered by eccentric characters living in and around Leeds.

The Gala Theatre’s adaptation of Talking Heads will include the monologues A Chip in the Sugar, Soldiering on and Bed among the Lentils. The show is being produced by the Gala, following the success of its production of Educating Rita last year.

A Chip in the Sugar is narrated by Graham, a middle-aged man – still living at home – who becomes disturbed when his mother gets involved in a romantic relationship.

Graham – played by Alan Bennett in the original TV series – will be played by Ross Waiton in the Gala production. Ross has starred in the award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

Bed among the Lentils will see Zoe Lambert taking on the role of Susan. Susan – a nervous, alcoholic vicar’s wife – finds herself having an affair with an Indian grocer.

Zoe Lambert
Zoe Lambert

Newcastle-born Judi Earl – who has appeared in Vera, Our Friends in the North and BBC One’s Hospital People – will play the part of Muriel in Soldiering On.

Muriel has to cope with her husband’s death, her son’s ineptitude with money and the discovery of a disturbing secret linked to her daughter’s mental illness.

Judi Earl
Judi Earl

Durham County Council’s manager for the Gala Theatre, Robin Byers, said, “Talking Heads is a modern classic and we are delighted to be bringing it to the Gala as part of our drive to create more of our own work and to develop the venue into an admired producing house.”

“We are very pleased that local actors are going to take on these seminal roles and are confident their versions of these monologues will captivate our audiences.”

Talking Heads will be directed by Charlie Westenra – who recently worked on Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet Strapless for the Royal Opera house – and designed by Simon Wells.

Talking Heads will be on at the Gala from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th March. To purchase tickets or find out more information, please go to www.galadurham.co.uk or telephone 03000 266 600.

To learn more about the Durham Gala Theatre’s Spring Programme, click here.

(The featured image shows Ross Waiton, who will take on the role of Graham in A Chip in the Sugar.)

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