David Hare’s Racing Demon puts clergy under the microscope at Theatre Royal Bath

PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 July 2017

David Haig in Racing Demon. (Picture: Nobby Clark).

David Haig in Racing Demon. (Picture: Nobby Clark).

Sub with credit Nobby Clark

David Hare’s multi-award-winning play Racing Demon will be at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday.

Paapa Essiedu as Reverend Tony Ferris (Picture: Nobby Clark).Paapa Essiedu as Reverend Tony Ferris (Picture: Nobby Clark).

Racing Demon scooped four best play awards when it first opened at the National Theatre in 1990 and it has gone on to be a hit with theatre audiences all over the world.

The show was last performed at the Theatre Royal in 1991.

It features four clergymen who are seeking to make sense of their mission in London while also facing up to their own personal crises.

David Haig, who has starred in numerous films and TV shows, will play Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle.

Amanda Root as Heather Espy and David Haig as Reverend Lionel Espy. Picture: Nobby ClarkAmanda Root as Heather Espy and David Haig as Reverend Lionel Espy. Picture: Nobby Clark

There is also a gay vicar who is hounded by the tabloids, a reverend with a taste for tequila and a charismatic young curate whose arrival will surely fan the flames.

Sir David is one of the UK’s foremost playwrights, and his work includes The Judas Kiss and Amy’s View.

He has also received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hours and The Reader.

Racing Demon is part of his celebrated trilogy which examines British institutions, including the judiciary, the Labour Party and the church.

Andrew Fraser as Ewan Gilmour and Ian Gelder as Reverend Harry Henderson. Picture: Nobby ClarkAndrew Fraser as Ewan Gilmour and Ian Gelder as Reverend Harry Henderson. Picture: Nobby Clark

Haig is making a welcome return to the Theatre Royal, following performances in The Madness Of King George in 2011 and King Lear in 2013.

On screen, his credits include Florence Foster Jenkins, Four Weddings And A Funeral and The Thin Blue Line.

Broadway World said ‘David Haig underlines his status as one of our great stage actors’ with his star turn in Racing Demon.

He will be joined in Bath by Paapa Essiedu, who recently played Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and for which he has been given the Ian Charleson Award.

The prize recognises actors under the age of 30 who are performing classical roles.

Anthony Calf, who recently appeared in King Charles III, and Rebecca Night of Fanny Hill fame will also appear in Racing Demon.

Racing Demon will be at the Theatre Royal Bath from today (Thursday) to Saturday at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday.

Tickets, priced £19.50-35.50, are available from the Theatre Royal Bath website or on 01225 448844.

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