Rose Theatre Kingston have announced the full cast for Nick Dear’s double-bill Hogarth’s Progress. Anthony Banks directs Bryan Dick as the younger William Hogarth in the first major UK revival of Dear’s acclaimed comedy The Art of Success, which follows Hogarth through a bawdy night in 1730 and Keith Allen as the older William Hogarth in the world première of The Taste of the Town which rejoins the now hugely successful artist 30 years later towards the end of his career. Ruby Bentall (Jane Hogarth and Nancy/Mrs Ryott), Emma Cunniffe (Louisa and Mrs Colquhoun/Mrs Bascombe), Ben Deery (Frank and Zachariah Blunt), Jack Derges (Henry Fielding and Parson Venables), Ian Hallard (Oliver and Horace Walpole), Susannah Harker (Queen Caroline and Jane Hogarth), Jasmine Jones (Sarah Sprackling and Bridget), Sylvestra Le Touzel (Mrs Needham and Lady Thornhill) and Mark Umbers (Robert Walpole and David Garrick) complete the company.
The plays will run in rep as part of Rose Theatre Kingston’s 10th anniversary season; opening Sat 29 Sep, with previews from Thu 13 Sep, and running until Sun 21 Oct. Each play can be seen as a single performance or enjoyed together, either over different days or as a thrilling all-day theatrical experience.
Hogarth’s Progress is a riotous double-bill of comedies by BAFTA Award winner Nick Dear, following one of Britain’s most celebrated artists on two monumental pub crawls. The plays explore the extraordinary lives of William and Jane Hogarth at a time when culture escaped from the grasp of the powerful into the hands of the many.
The Olivier Award nominated comedy The Art of Success, in its first major revival, compresses the newlywed William’s rise to fame into a dizzying and hilarious night out through 18th century London’s high society and debauched underworld.
A world première, The Taste of the Town catches up with the Hogarths in Chiswick some 30 years later. Now hugely successful, William and Jane are still at odds with the world and with each other. Facing public ridicule for what he considers his finest painting, William sets out to confront his fiercest critic, but there’s always time for one more pint on the way.
Running alongside Hogarth’s Progress will be an exhibition of work from Kingston School of Art’s Illustration Animation course critiquing contemporary Britain, as well as a series of post-show conversations, in collaboration with Kingston University, which will explore Hogarth’s world and his influence today. Full details of the programme will be announced shortly.