Full cast announced for Rice at Orange Tree Theatre

Orange Tree Theatre have announced the full cast for the UK première of Michele Lee’s Rice, a co-production with Actors Touring Company.

Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company, Matthew Xia, directs Zainab Hasan (Nisha) and Sarah Lam (Yvette). Completing the creative team is Hyemi Shin (Designer), Bethany Gupwell (Lighting Designer) and Lex Kosanke (Sound Designer), Asha Jennings-Grant (Movement Director) and Sophie Parrott (Casting Consultant CDG).

Rice is the story of Nisha, a young hotshot executive working for Golden Fields, Australia’s largest producer of rice, and Yvette, an older Chinese migrant cleaner.

The production opens on 13 October, with previews from 9 October, and runs until 13 November at Orange Tree Theatre, with livestreamed performances via OT on screen on 4 and 5 November.  Rice will then tour across the UK from Feb - April 2022. Before Rice arrives at the Orange Tree Theatre, Athol Fugard’s Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act runs from 2 September, with previews from 28 August, until 2 October.

Michele Lee is an Asian-Australian writer working across television, film, stage, books, audio and live art. She has won numerous awards for Rice, including the Australian Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Stage Play. Her other theatre credits include Security (finalist for 2021 Patrick White Award), Single Ladies, Going Down (shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Nick Enright Prize, an Australian Writer’s Guild Award and five Green Room Awards), An Assistant’s Notes for a Pandemic, The Naked Self, and Off Centre. For television, her credits include Hungry Ghosts, and Secret Threads.

Zainab Hasan plays Nisha. Her theatre credits include The Motherhood Project (Battersea Arts Centre), Living Newspaper (Royal Court Theatre), The Welkin (National Theatre), The Shakespeare Trilogy and Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), The Tempest, Henry IV (St Ann’s Warehouse, NY), Tamburlaine, Tartuffe and Timon of Athens (RSC), My White Best Friend (Bunker Theatre), Hijabi Monologues (Bush Theatre) and Boy (Almeida Theatre).

Sarah Lam returns to the Orange Tree Theatre to play Yvette, having previously appeared in Factors Unforeseen. Other theatre credits include Paradise, World of Extreme Happiness, Magic Olympical Games and Lost Worlds (National Theatre), Snow in Midsummer and Poppy (RSC), La Cage aux Folles (Park Theatre), Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Country Wife (Southwark Playhouse), The Golden Hours, Top Girls, Sergeant Ola and his Followers and Cries from the Mammal House (Royal Court Theatre), Chimerica (Almeida Theatre) and Penny Whistle (Hampstead Theatre).

Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company Matthew Xia returns to the Orange Tree Theatre to direct Rice – he previously directed Amsterdam (ATC co-production) and Blood Knot at the OT. Other directing credits include Eden (Hampstead Theatre), One Night in Miami (Nottingham Playhouse, HOME, Bristol Old Vic), Into the Woods, Frankenstein, Wish List (Royal Exchange as Associate Artistic Director), Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse, Stratford East), and Blue/Orange, The Sound of the Yellow, Sizwe Banzi is Dead – for which he won the 2013 Genesis Future Director Award (Young Vic). Xia is an Associate Artist at the Nottingham Playhouse.

Orange Tree Theatre are retaining socially distanced seating and COVID safety measures until January 2022.

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