Full cast announced for The Entertainer

Posted on 30 August 2019

Following the announcement that Shane Richie will star in the forthcoming UK tour of John Osborne’s The Entertainer, full casting has now been revealed for Sean O’Connor’s inventive new production, which heads to the Belgrade Theatre 15-19 October.

Chosen by Michael Billington as one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, this classic drama will be given an updated setting for the first time this autumn, with a new production from Curve, Anthology Theatre and Simon Friend Entertainment relocating the action of the show from 1957 to the brave new world of 1982, when a new style of comedy began to displace an older generation of entertainers around the outset of the Falklands War.

Sara Crowe and Pip Donaghy in rehearsals

Joining Richie as washed-up comic Archie Rice will be Sara Crowe as his wife Phoebe, Diana Vickers as his daughter Jean, Pip Donaghy as his father Billy and Christopher Bonwell as his son Frank.

Director Sean O’Connor said: “I fell in love with Diana’s feisty but vulnerable LV in The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice when I saw it in the West End and am very excited about what she’ll bring to the role of Jean in The Entertainer, a young woman whose political conscience has been awakened by the Falklands War and who struggles in her combative relationship with her feckless father, Archie.”

“And I’ve long been an admirer of Sara’s extraordinary work and am thrilled that she is taking on one of Osborne’s greatest female roles as Phoebe, the hapless, hopeless wife of the washed up showman, Archie Rice.”

Diana Vickers in rehearsals for The Entertainer

Diana Vickers first came to the public eye as a semi-finalist in The X Factor in 2008. Her previous theatre work includes I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, Myth, Son of A Preacher Man, Big, The Rocky Horror Show, The Duck House, Hatched and Dispatched and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the West End. Her film credits include: Awaiting, To Dream and The Perfect Wave and television appearances include: Josh, Top Coppers and Give Out Girls.

Aberdeen born and Olivier Award-winning Sara Crowe most recently appeared as Ruth in the first UK Tour of Calendar Girls the Musical, and was seen on screen in the 2019 Comic Relief reboot of Four Weddings & A Funeral – One Red Nose Day and a Wedding. This Christmas, she can be seen on BBC4 in the ghost story Martins Close written and directed by Mark Gatiss.

Pip Donaghy in rehearsals for The Entertainer

Pip Donaghy’s recent theatre credits include The Remains of the Day and King Lear in Northampton and on tour and Taken at Midnight at the Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End. His TV work includes Foyle’s War, Casualty and This is Personal: the Yorkshire Ripper Story.

Christopher Bonwell’s theatre work includes In Praise of Love in Bath, UK tours of Twelfth Night and Twelfth Night and Bad Jews in the West End. Films include Siffre and Love and Mercy.

Christopher Bonwell in rehearsals for The Entertainer

Shane Richie has balanced a hugely successful forty-year career between theatre, film & TV; and he has been a regular fixture on prime time television hosting such shows as Lucky Numbers (ITV), The Shane Richie Experience (ITV), Win, Lose or Draw (ITV), Don’t Forget the Lyrics! (SKY1), Reflex (BBC) and Win Your Wish List (BBC) to name but a few. Shane is well known for playing Alfie Moon in EastEnders and recently starred in the West End in Everyone’s Talking about Jamie.

The Entertainer shows at the Belgrade Theatre 15-29 October. Tickets are available to book now. Book for two or more participating shows together to claim 20% off tickets in our multi-purchase offer.

Shane Richie in rehearsals for The Entertainer