Political drama at the Citizens Theatre

Headlong, Rose Theatre Kingston and Sheffield Theatres present


By David Hare
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Tuesday 31 March – Saturday 4 April 2015, Citizens Theatre

Headlong, Sheffield Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston bring their new production of David Hare’s The Absence of War, directed by Headlong Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, to the Citizens Theatre from 31 March – 4 April. This new staging of Hare’s funny, stinging political drama focusing on the fortunes of the Labour Party arrives at the Citizens Theatre in the build up to the 2015 general election.

It’s now or never for George Jones. The heavy-smoking, Shakespeare-loving Labour leader needs to get out of opposition and into Number Ten. Plagued by a hostile media, beset by divisions in his party and haunted by his own demons, George has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that he’s their man. But how much compromise is he prepared to make? How can you truly appeal to the man in the street from the Palace of Westminster? And which tie should he wear for Prime Minister’s Questions?

The cast is led by Reece Dinsdale as George Jones, whose film appearances include Guildenstern in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. His TV appearances include Joe McIntyre in Coronation Street and guest roles in Spooks, Life on Mars, Silent Witness and Waterloo Road amongst others.

Also in the cast is Gorbals-born young actor James Harkness. James is returning to the Citizens Theatre having been a member of the Citizens Young Co. from 2007 – 2009. James performed with Citizens Young Co. as part of the Theatre of Debate season at National Theatre’s New Connections Festival in 2008.  It was during this performance that James was spotted by Anthony Banks, Associate Director NT Learning who offered to mentor James in his preparation for his auditions for drama school. Through this connection with the National Theatre, an anonymous donor came forward and offered to support James financially throughout the duration of his training. 

David Hare is one of the UK’s foremost playwrights and screenwriters. His plays include Plenty, Skylight, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has received two Academy Award nominations for his screenplays for The Hours and The Reader.  The production marks the third collaboration between Hare and Headlong’s Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin, winner of the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, and director of the company’s most recent transfer to London’s West End, The Nether. 

Headlong is a regular visitor to the Gorbals theatre, most recently bringing its West End smash-hit version of George Orwell’s 1984 to Glasgow audiences. Previous productions at the Citizens Theatre include Chekov’s The Seagull, Medea, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Absence of War opened in Sheffield on Friday 6 February and tours to Norwich, Watford, Bristol, Cheltenham, Liverpool, before arriving at the Citizens Theatre. The Absence of War also tours to Oxford, Kingston, Cambridge and ends at Theatre Royal Bath on 9 May.

Tickets are available by calling the box office on 0141 429 0022 or at citz.co.uk


Citizens Theatre Press Night Tue 31 March, 7.30pm

For more information, interviews and images please contact:
Cliona Roberts, The Absence of War Press Manager
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 020 7704 6224 / 07754 756504
Keren Nicol, Citizens Theatre Marketing & Communications Manager
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  / 0141 418 6233.

Headlong, Rose Theatre Kingston and Sheffield Theatres present
By David Hare
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Designed by Mike Britton
Lighting Design by Lucy Carter
Sound Design by Tom Gibbons
Video Design by Ian William Galloway

Cast: Theo Cowan, Amiera Darwish, Reece Dinsdale, Don Gallagher, James Harkness, Charlotte Lucas, Barry McCarthy, Maggie McCarthy, Cyril Nri, Ekow Quartey, Helen Ryan and Gyuri Sarossy

Dates: Tuesday 31 March – Sat 4 April, 7.30pm
Matinee: Saturday 4 April, 2.30pm

Tickets: £8.50 - £20.50 (concessions available)

Box Office
0141 429 0022 / citz.co.uk
119 Gorbals Street, Glasgow, G5 9DS. Open Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm


The Citizens Young Co. was launched in 2005 and provides opportunities in acting, writing and devising for 18 – 22 year olds. Young Co. offers a unique insight into the world of professional theatre-making and the privilege of being part of the world-renowned Citizens Theatre. Young Co. members have the chance to see world-class productions on the Citizens Theatre main stage and are regularly offered a range of opportunities to be part of the wider creative life of the theatre.

The Citizens Young Co.’s next production will be Southside Stories in the theatre’s Circle Studio from 6 – 9 May. Southside Stories will be a response piece to Douglas Maxwell’s new play Fever Dream: Southside, created by the Young Co. from interviews with young adults in Govanhill, the setting for Maxwell’s play. Fever Dream: Southside plays at the Citizens Theatre 23 April – 9 May.

Headlong is one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, dedicated to making exhilarating, risk-taking and provocative new work and collaborating with the most exciting and adventurous theatre artists in the country.
Productions include The Nether (Royal Court), 1984, currently on its second UK tour and one of Headlong’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful shows in recent history. Nominated for an Olivier award in the Best New Play category, the show transferred to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre, following a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre where it continued to receive critical acclaim whilst also being a commercial success with the West End run recouping after 10 weeks. Other productions include Spring Awakening (UK Tour), Chimerica (Almeida/West End) which won five Olivier Awards including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Sound Design and Best Lighting Design Award. It also triumphed at the Critics Circle Awards picking up three awards for Best New Play, Best Director and Best Design. Other recent successes include American Psycho (Almeida), The Seagull (UK Tour), The Effect (NT), Medea (UK Tour), Earthquakes in London (NT), Decade at St Katharine Docks and the multi award-winning ENRON (Royal Court/West End/Broadway). In September 2013 Jeremy Herrin was appointed Artistic Director of Headlong.

Sheffield Theatres is the largest producing theatre complex outside of London. Over the last four years it has won 8 UK Theatre Awards including Best Musical Production (This Is My Family), Best New Play (Bull) and Best Touring Production (The Full Monty) in 2013. Its track record for creating ambitious and exciting work on its three stages was recognised in 2013 and 2014 when Sheffield Theatres was titled ‘Regional Theatre of the Year’ for an unprecedented two consecutive years in the Stage Awards.
Across its three theatres: the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Studio, the company produces and presents a diverse programme of work including the best of drama, dance, comedy, musicals, opera, ballet and children’s theatre. Sheffield Theatres has attracted widespread national and international acclaim for its productions. Following a £15m refurbishment in 2010, the Crucible re-opened with a revival of An Enemy of the People starring Antony Sher. Since then, Sheffield Theatres has gone on to produce four of Shakespeare’s greatest plays: Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale; three writer’s seasons – celebrating the work of David Hare (2011), Michael Frayn (2012) and Brian Friel (2014), and major musical productions of Me & My Girl, Company, My Fair Lady and Lionel Bart’s Oliver! Its production of The Full Monty enjoyed a three week, sell-out run at the Lyceum in 2013 before touring the UK and then transferring into the West End. Sheffield Theatres also enjoyed international success at the beginning of 2013 when it transferred its production of Mike Bartlett’s Bull to the 59E59 Theaters in New York as part of the Brits Off-Broadway Festival.
This season, Sheffield Theatres is producing Twelfth Night (in collaboration with English Touring Theatre), re-staging its award-winning production of This Is My Family in the newly refurbished Lyceum Theatre and staging Anything Goes (in association with Stage Entertainment) in December 2014. Each of these productions will go on to tour across the UK.

Now in its sixth year, the Rose Theatre Kingston enjoys artistic success from its own productions and co-productions as well as from hosting the work of renowned theatre companies including Shakespeare’s Globe, English Touring Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Propeller, Headlong and Northern Broadsides.
The Rose works with a range of directors, playwrights and producing partners to create interesting varied and engaging productions. Recent works include Alan Bennett’s Single Spies, Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather, Michael Frayn’s Donkeys’ Years, Richard Beans Smack Family Robinson, Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea.
This season, Rose Theatre Kingston is producing a new production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet directed by Sally Cookson. Previous Rose Productions have toured nationally and internationally, transferred to London’s West End and been nominated for awards.
With a beautiful 900 seat circular auditorium, Rose Theatre Kingston brings world class theatre to your doorstep.

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