Director Peter Snee has announced the full cast of HOUDINI, the UK production set to debut September 9, 2013 at the Stoke on Trent Repertory Theatre. Joining the already announced Stuart Brennan as Theo and Evanna Lynch as Bess is Mark Lyminster as Martin Beck, Ion Patrick Ridge as Douglas Geoffrey, and Jamie Nichols as Houdini.
Says Snee: "After many weeks of hard work and careful deliberation, we are absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve found the perfect cast for the UK touring production of Houdini. We actually held auditions at the Hippodrome in London which was particularly fitting because Harry Houdini himself performed at the Hippodrome more than 100 years ago with a thrilling handcuff escape performance. Jamie Nichols amazed us all with his own handcuff escape and it was swiftly clear that Jamie possessed the charm, charisma and physical prowess required to undertake the immense task of playing the greatest magician who ever lived."
"In casting the other principal roles – Theo, Bess, Martin, Douglas – it became clear that the actors expertly captured with incredible delicacy the light and dark tones of the script, making us want to laugh and cry in the same scene. I’m very excited that we have a truly talented ensemble and I can’t wait to start rehearsals and open at my home town of Stoke on Trent on September 9th."
I'm intrigued to see that Douglas Geoffrey is a character in this production. Geoffrey was an assistant to Hardeen in his later years and took over the Houdini-Hardeen show as "Hardeen Jr." in 1945. (Read my profile of Hardeen Jr. here.) I'm curious to know how Geoffrey figures into the plot of the play, which is said to be about the early careers of The Brothers Houdini.