Guide to the 'Staged' stars on BBC One
When the first lockdown began in England, creatives found a new space to perform — online. Rehearsals, meetings and even productions now often take place virtually, with television quickly catching up. One of 2020's stand-out TV shows is Staged, following two bickering actors working on their latest play.
If you're a Staged fan or not, the cast list really is something to behold. Here's all the acting stars that have taken part in both series.
Staged will also be a part of the 2021 Comic Relief televised event, starring Michael Sheen, David Tennant and Lenny Henry. The 2021 Comic Relief event will be held on 19 March.
The four-time Olivier Award-nominated actor Michael Sheen is one half of the Staged leads. Recently, Sheen fans could see him in Faith Healer at the Old Vic. He's not appeared in a London show for nearly a decade, last playing the eponymous prince in Hamlet at the Young Vic in 2012. Thanks to his career-defining stage performances in Amadeus, Look Back in Anger and Frost/Nixon, as well as portraying Chris Tarrant in the television adaptation of Quiz, audiences can always look forward to a show starring Michael Sheen.
After playing the Doctor in Doctor Who, David Tennant quickly became one of the country's hottest talents; any show with Tennant is guaranteed to pull in viewers. He's a stage veteran too, making his Royal Shakespeare Company debut in 1996, later continuing the Shakespearean theme with Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2011. Throughout his career, he's played a variety of characters, including lothario Don Juan in Don Juan in Soho to the upcoming role as Nazi literary professor John Halder in Good, with Good tickets on sale at the Harold Pinter Theatre now.
No stranger to the stage, Adrian Lester makes a guest appearance in Staged. During his acting career, he's given an Olivier Award-winning performance as Robert in Company, as well as starring in Sweeney Todd, Hamlet and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. In 2013, he was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama.
The Australian actress, director and screenwriter was recently on the London stage, playing Woman in When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other at the National Theatre. But, did you know she made her London theatre debut over 20 years ago? Yep, she starred in Plenty at the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre) in 1999, as well as taking part in readings at the Old Vic. Blanchett made her Broadway debut in 2017, reprising her performance Anna Petrovna in The Present as seen in Sydney. She's a versatile actor, and you can catch her in Staged on BBC One.
You may know him from films like Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge! but Ewan McGregor is an Olivier Award-nominated actor too. Arguably, his biggest stage role came in 2005, playing Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls alongside Jane Krakowski. Theatre luck has benen his lady too, with further West End credits including Little Malcolm and His Struggles Against the Eunuchs at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre) and as Iago in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse. Having been away from the stage for over a decade, seeing him in Staged is a welcome return to the theatre.
Even though Jim Parsons is yet to make his West End debut, The Big Bang Theory star and Broadway performer shouldn't be dismissed. In 2018, Parsons starred in the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, recently adapted for Netflix and available to stream worldwide. During his theatre career, he's starred in An Act of God and Harvey at Studio 54 and over a dozen plays in his birth town Houston, Texas.
He's Olaf in Frozen. He's Lerou in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. He's also a bonafide Broadway star. Josh Gad is perhaps best known for originating the role of Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon, receiving a Tony Award nomination. Prior to that, he played William Barfée in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Looking to the future, we're hoping Josh Gad makes his London debut soon, but his Staged appearance will tide us over for now.
Judi Dench is one of the most recognised actresses worldwide, it's incredulous to have to even explain who she is. Throughout her extensive theatre career of over six decades, Dench has been a London regular, but recent audiences have been treated to performances in Hay Fever, Madame De Sade and Peter and Alice. Dench appeared in an episode of Staged which stunned Sheen and Tennant, which you can watch above.
Nina Sosanya appears in both series of Staged, firstly as a financier and then in a cameo role. She's often in television series, with credits including W1A, Last Tango in Halifax and Marcella. Sosanya was once a West End regular, appearing in world premieres of Privacy and Elegy, both at the Donmar Warehouse.
Is it fair to call Phoebe Waller-Bridge a cultural icon? We think it is. Having created Fleabag, as well as writing scripts for Killing Eve and Drifters, Waller-Bridge is one of the hottest talents around. Her West End run of Fleabag at the Wyndham's Theatre sold out in a matter of hours; anything Waller-Bridge touches turns to gold.
Typically found off-screen, Simon Evans stars in Staged, which he also wrote and directed. Usually, he's a theatre director, with previous credits including A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at Trafalgar Studios, Killer Joe starring Orlando Bloom and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse.
Whoopi Goldberg really has made her mark in the spotlight, with Broadway credits including The Color Purple, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Xanadu. But when you think of Goldberg, you probably think of Sister Act. Famed for her performance as Deloris Van Cartier, she reprised her performance at the London Palladium in 2011, in turn making her West End debut.
Photo credit: Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Staged (Photo courtesy of BBC Press Centre)
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