IF the present incumbent of the Oval Office has given “the art of the deal” a bad name, David Mamet already had a pretty dark view of the salesman’s trade. His modern classic, the 1983 Olivier and 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross, comes to Bath Theatre Royal for the first time, from 18th to 23rd March.
This excoriating view of the cut-throat lives of a bunch of Chicago salesmen stars Nigel Harman as the ruthless Ricky Roma and Mark Benton as Shelley “the Machine” Levene.
Four increasingly desperate employees are engaged in a high-stakes competition against each other. They will do anything, legal or otherwise, to sell the most real estate. As time and luck start to run out, the mantra is simple: close the deal and you’ve won a Cadillac; blow the lead and you’re fired.
Mark Benton has a lengthy television career ranging from Shakespeare and Hathaway to Strictly Come Dancing, Land Girls to Murphy’s Law. His theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Hairspray on UK Tour; As You Like It, Invisible Friends, Accidental Death and Devil’s Disciple at the National Theatre; Hobson’s Choice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; The Railway Children at Waterloo Station; The Front Page at the Donmar and Richard III for the RSC.
Nigel Harman is known to millions as Dennis Rickman in more than 300 episodes of EastEnders. He last performed at Bath’s Theatre Royal in 2012 when he played Charles Surface in The School for Scandal. His West End stage credits include Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical – for which he won the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical; Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, and Pip and Theo in Jamie Lloyd’s Olivier Award nominated production of Three Days of Rain.
The cast is completed by Denis Conway as Dave Moss; Wil Johnson as George Aaronow; Scott Sparrow as John Williamson; James Staddon as James Lingk; and Zephryn Taitte as Baylen.
Director Sam Yates was voted one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2016. His directing credits include Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre, Cymbeline at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, East is East with Jane Horrocks and Ayub Khan Din at Trafalgar Studios, and The El. Train with Ruth Wilson at Hoxton Hall.
Nigel Harman as Ricky Roma and Mark Benton as Shelley Levene. Photograph by Marc Brenner.