Europe After The Rain

Mercury Theatre Colchester today announces the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of the 2017 Mercury Playwrighting Prize winner – Oliver Bennett’s Europe After The Rain.

Cara Nolan directs James Alexandrou (Will), Simon Haines (Max), Natasha Kafka (Marta) and Anna Koval (Yana) and the creative team includes Amelia Jane Hankin (Designer), Kiaran Kesby (Lighting Designer), Nuno Santos (Sound Designer) and Craig Hamblyn (Fight Director). Europe After the Rain opens in the Mercury Studio Theatre on the 31 May with previews from 25 May and runs until 9 June.

Imagine. The USA has pulled out of NATO and refugees from the Ukraine are flocking into Western Europe; while, on a ‘fake beach’ somewhere in Middle England, Will, Max, Yana and Marta are gathered to find out whether the unfolding general election is really going to put a populist party into power and change their lives forever.

Europe After The Rain is a theatrical and funny exploration of what waking up in a post-EU Britain might feel like. Winner of the Mercury Playwriting Prize 2017, Oliver Bennett’s first full-length play is a comedy about immigration, globalisation, love and loss. The Mercury Playwriting Prize was created to support new plays and new playwrights.

Oliver Bennett started writing short pieces for the RADA Festival which include Patronised Horses and Unoriginal Sins. Europe After The Rain is his first full length play. It was shortlisted for the WiT Award, long-listed for the Papatango Playwriting Prize and won the Mercury Theatre Playwriting Prize 2017. He recently received a Peggy Ramsay Bursary to write a play about Soviet director Vsevolod Meyerhold for the Arcola Theatre. In addition, Bennett runs an online comedy sketch group Patronised Horses and is co-director of the art duo ‘V&O’ with acclaimed international director Vladimir Shcherban.

James Alexandrou plays Will. His credits for theatre include The Knowledge (Charing Cross Theatre), Sleuth (Nottingham Playhouse / West Yorkshire Playhouse), All Quiet on The Western Front (Nottingham Playhouse), In My Name (Trafalgar Studios), DNA (Hull Truck), Othello (Leicester Square Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), As You Like It and Henry V (British Shakespeare Company). He played series regular Martin Fowler in EastEnders. Other television credits include Silent Witness, Missing, You, Me and Them; and for film, Semper Fidel, Soror, Life Outside and Fingers.

Simon Haines plays Max. For theatre his work includes The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), The
Rubenstein Kiss (Nottingham Playhouse / Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), Posh (Nottingham Playhouse
/ Salisbury Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Orange Tree Theatre), Told Look Younger
(Jermyn Street), Twelfth Night (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Cambridge Arts
Theatre), Hamlet (Kronburg Castle, Elsinore), Sam Wanamaker Festival (Shakespeare’s Globe) and
Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down (Finborough theatre).

Natasha Kafka plays Marta. Her theatre credits include Santa’s Polka Dot Pirate (Harlow Theatre).
She will shortly commence work on a Research & Development project at the Bush Theatre on The
Lost Ones.

Anna Koval plays Yana. Her Theatre credits include Loyalty (Hampstead Theatre), The Winter’s Tale
(Custom Practice) and The Changeling (English Touring Theatre). Television credits include The A
Word, Houdini and Doyle, Ripper Street, Lucky Man, Critical, The Secrets, Leaving, Misfits, Hunter and
Outnumbered; and for film, The Book of Gabrielle.

Cara Nolan directs. Her recent credits include, She Called Me Mother (Tara Arts, national tour), The
Eumenides and Oedipus Rex (International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, Messini Greece) and
They Know Not What They Do (Arts Depot). She returns to Mercury Theatre Colchester having
previously worked as an Assistant Director alongside Daniel Buckroyd on the UK tour of Clybourne
Park. In addition, Nolan has also worked as an Assistant Director to Kenneth Branagh, Laurence
Boswell at the Ustinov Studio Bath, and Serdar Billis at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.

Catch Europe After The Rain at the Mercury Studio Theatre, Colchester from 25 May – 9 June. For more information or to book visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk.