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Freema Agyeman stars in 'dark' theatre comedy

Former Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman returns to the London stage this September in an award-winning 'dark' comedy.

Freema Agyeman
Freema Agyeman © Joseph Sinclair

'God of Carnage' is an Olivier and Tony award-winning play by French playwright Yasmina Reza.

Yasmina Reza © Pascal Victor

The play comes to Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 1 – 30 September and charts how a civil discussion between two sets of parents to resolve an altercation between their respective 11-year-old boys descends into chaos.

"God of Carnage made me gasp and guffaw in equal measure" - says Freema

When 11-year-old Ferdinand knocked 11-year-old Bruno’s two front teeth out, their respective parents met up to have a civil, calm and rational conversation about the misdemeanours of their children, a spokesperson from Lyric Hammersmith writes.

What can go wrong? As night falls chaos ensues with explosive tantrums, name-calling and tears.

Freema makes her debut at the theatre as Veronique Vallon – one of the parents. But she is better known for her role as the companion Martha Jones in 'Doctor Who' (BBC) as well as Trish in 'Dreamland' (Sky).

“'God of Carnage' made me gasp and guffaw in equal measure,” said Freema, who said she was happy to be staying in the genre of dark comedy post-Dreamland.

The play also stars actors Ariyon Bakare who previously appeared in BBC hit-series 'His Dark Materials', playing Alain Reille; Dinita Gohil, recently seen in the 'Father and the Assassin' (National Theatre) takes on the role of Annette Reille; and Martin Hutson, seen in 'Small Island' (National Theatre), plays Michel Vallon.

picture caption: Ariyon Bakare, Dinita Gohi (image copyright Philip Sharp) and Martin Hutson.

Nicholai said: “'God of Carnage' pokes fun at wealth, power and money. It lifts the lid on civility which is immensely funny to watch. I couldn’t be luckier to be joined by some of the UK’s most phenomenal actors, including Freema Agyeman, Ariyon Bakare, Dinita Gohil and Martin Hutson.

"I can’t wait to see this stellar cast breathe new meaning and relevance into these already iconic roles. From the moment I read this play, I imagined it to be a reflection of the cosmopolitan cities that we live in.

"We’re obsessed with the idea of social respectability, good manners and behaving in a civilised way. But what happens when those people who declare themselves as respectable, act in the very opposite way? 'God of Carnage' will feel like sweet revenge for audiences. You’ll recognise these characters, and you’ll revel in their carnage.”

The play has been translated from French into English by Christopher Hampton, a British playwright, screenwriter, translator and film director.

picture caption: Nicholai La Barrie © Dan Patrick and Christopher Hampton © Gerrad Philippe Mabillard

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