Acclaimed Tennessee Williams play at Bath

AN acclaimed West End production of Tennessee Williams’ great play, The Glass Menagerie, starring Geraldine Somerville, comes to Bath Theatre Royal from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th May, following a week at Bristol Old Vic, until Saturday 11th.

Geraldine Somerville, whose distinguished career includes leading roles in Cracker, Gosford Park and the Harry Potter films, reprises her praised portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in this production which is directed by Atri Banerjee, and also features Kasper Hilton-Hille as Tom Wingfield, Zacchaeus Kayode as Jim O’Connor and Natalie Kimmerling as Laura Wingfield.

Tom, the play’s narrator, escapes a suffocating home life through cigarettes and long visits to the movies while his sister, Laura, withdraws into her records and collection of glass animals. But their mother, Amanda, harbours dreams for them far beyond their shabby apartment. When Tom brings home a potential suitor for Laura, Amanda seizes the opportunity to try and change their fortunes forever.

Atri Banerjee’s acclaimed production reimagines Tennessee Williams’ semi-autobiographical masterpiece, exploring the intimacy and intensity of the complex web of love and loyalty that binds families together. The director says: “Theatre provides opportunities to explore time and memory in exciting and challenging ways. It’s a gift to revisit Williams’ classic and discover the new things it says about a world that’s dramatically changed in just the 18 months since we first opened in Manchester. I’m delighted to be reunited with Geraldine and to work with our new cast members to bring this story to life.”

Geraldine Somerville’s many stage credits include Power and Remember This at the National Theatre, and Serenading Louie at the Donmar. Natalie Kimmerling’s theatre credits include The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company, War Horse for the National Theatre on tour in the UK and internationally. Kasper Hilton-Hille made his professional debut in That Face at the Orange Tree Theatre, for which he was nominated as Best Newcomer in the 2024 Off-West End Awards. Zacchaeus Kayode’s stage credits include The 14th Tale for Fuel Theatre, On The Line for Camden’s People Theatre and VAULTS and Three Sisters and Two Gentlemen of Verona for The Embassy at Royal Central.

Director Banerjee is one of two recipients of the 2022-24 Peter Hall Bursary at the National Theatre, and was named as one of The Stage 25 in January 2022: “theatre makers to watch out for in 2022 and beyond”. In 2019, Atri won The Stage Debut Award and was nominated for the UK Theatre Award for Best Director for his production of Hobson’s Choice at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Tennessee Williams (1911 – 1983) was born in Columbus, Mississippi. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company, spending the evenings writing. In 1938 he entered the University of Iowa, completing his course while holding a number of part-time jobs. In 1940 he received a Rockefeller fellowship for his play Battle Of Angels. He won the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1948 for A Streetcar Named Desire and in 1955 for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. His other plays include Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Baby Doll, The Glass Menagerie, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Two-Character Play.

Photographs by Marc Brenner