Leading Ladies announced for Leopards and The Seven Pomegranate Seeds

Christopher Haydon is delighted to announce initial casting for Leopards and The Seven Pomegranate Seeds, the first two Rose Original productions in his inaugural season as artistic director. In Leopards, by rising playwright Alys Metcalf, Niala will be played by Saffron CoomberNiamh Cusack will be reuniting with director Melly Still in the world premiere of Colin Teevan’s The Seven Pomegranate Seeds.

Saffron Coomber’s recent theatre credits include Emilia (West End), for which she was nominated for ‘Best West-End Debut’ at The Stage Debut Awards 2019, Sonnet Sunday (Globe) and A New and Better You (Yard Theatre).  Her television credits include: Small Axe (BBC/Amazon), The Deceived (Channel 5), Strike: Lethal White (BBC), EastEnders (BBC), Holby City (BBC) and as Sapphire Fox in Tracy Beaker: Series 1 – 3 (BBC).  Films include Electricity (Stone City Films) and Dustbin Baby (BBC).  Most recently, Saffron appeared in the live-streamed production of A Cold Supper Behind Harrods, alongside David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser.

Niamh Cusack is an Associate Artist at the Rose. She starred as Lenu in the premiere of My Brilliant Friend - Parts 1 & 2 at the Rose and when it transferred to the National Theatre. Other work at the National Theatre includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (also in London's West End), The Enchantment and His Dark Materials.  Her other theatre include Macbeth, As You Like It, The Art of SuccessRomeo and JulietOthello and Mary After the Queen for the RSC; Playboy of the Western WorldCause Célèbre and Dancing at Lughnasa at the Old Vic; The Winter’s Tale at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; The Rehearsal and The Merchant of Venice at the Chichester Festival Theatre; Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court. Her many television credits include Death in ParadiseThe VirtuesState of MindAlways and EveryoneRhinocerosColour Blind and Heartbeat.  Films include The GhoulDepartureTestament of YouthIn Love with Alma CoganHereafterFive Minutes of HeavenThe Closer You GetPlayboysParis by Night and Fools of Fortune.

Leopards will premiere at the Rose from 2 to 25 September. It is produced by the Rose and the Olivier Award-winning Francesca Moody Productions (FleabagBaby Reindeer, Shedinburgh) in association with Emmy Award winner Kater Gordon. Christopher Haydon makes his Rose directorial debut.

Sex, power and consent – can we ever atone for the sins of our distant past? When Niala arranges to meet celebrated charity leader Ben in the bar of a London hotel for career advice, their evening unfolds into something far less professional. As the weather closes in and secrets start to surface, the consequences of their choices leave them nowhere to hide. Leopards is a new play about the image we construct of ourselves and explores what it truly means to be good.  

Leopards is directed by Christopher Haydon, designed by Lily Arnold, with sound design by Gareth Fry and lighting design by Colin Grenfell. Asha Jennings-Grant is the intimacy director and Amber Sinclair-Case the assistant director.

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds runs from 4 to 20 November. Colin Teevan’s world premiere is directed and designed by Rose Associate Artist Melly Still (Captain Corelli’s MandolinMy Brilliant Friend).

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds takes seven contemporary stories grounded in prominent, mythical origins.  Persephone, Hypsipyle, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, Creusa and Demeter, the women of Euripides' plays, are reimagined as people of today in an unexpected fusion of celebrity, inappropriate desires, historical police investigations and missing children.  A severed maternal bond threads each story together, charting a journey through rage and redemption, towards a compelling conclusion.

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds is directed and designed by Melly Still.  Original music and sound design is by Jon Nicholls and lighting design by Malcolm Rippeth while Amanda Ramasawmy is associate designer. Layla Madanat is assistant director. This is Madanat’s first placement as Rose Theatre’s 2021/2022 Peter Hall Emerging Artists Fellow.


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