The full cast of Rita, Sue and Bob Too

Cast announced for major new production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too, directed by Max Stafford-Clark

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Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and the Royal Court Theatre are delighted to announce the cast of Rita, Sue and Bob Too, the seminal 1982 play about two teenage friends who embark on an affair with a married man.

Rita will be played by Taj Atwal, who was widely acclaimed for her performance in _ East is East_ at Trafalgar Studios in the West End, and who starred as Rita in Educating Rita for Hull Truck. She is also known from Stella on Sky, and Kay Mellors’ In The Club on BBC1. Atwal’s co-star from In The Club, Gemma Dobson, will make her professional stage debut as Sue.

Bob will be played by James Atherton, who played Will Savage in Hollyoaks for five years, as well as Jamie Bowman in Coronation Street. He has taken theatre roles at Manchester Royal Exchange, Chichester Festival Theatre and Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

Sally Bankes (Mother) has appeared in four productions for the RSC and worked with Taj Atwal in the West End production of East is East. She has extensive comedy and drama television credits. Samantha Robinson (Michelle) played Rita in Educating Rita at Colchester Mercury, and has performed for Northern Broadsides, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Bush and Bristol Old Vic. Her many TV credits include Cilla. David Walker (Father) has appeared in Emmerdale, The Royal and Coronation Street, and on stage most recently in Hangmen in the West End.

In the play, best friends Rita and Sue get a lift home from married Bob after babysitting his kids. When he takes the scenic route and offers them a bit of fun, the three start a fling they each think they control.

Andrea Dunbar wrote her second, semi-autobiographical play for the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 when she was just 19. It’s a vivid portrait of girls caught between brutal childhood and an unpromising future, hungry for adult adventure. Told with wicked humour, startling insight and a great ear for dialogue, Rita Sue and Bob Too also became a much-loved cult film, which was restored and re-released this year by the BFI.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too will be directed by Max Stafford-Clark, who directed both the play’s premiere and Dunbar’s first play, The Arbor, which she wrote when she was just fifteen.

Commenting, Max Stafford-Clark said: “When Andrea wrote her first two plays, she was a teenager from a rough council estate who’d never been to the theatre. Now, thirty five years after its premiere, Rita Sue and Bob Too takes its place in the Octagon and Royal Court’s seasons in the role of Classic Play. It’s one of the privileges of my career that Andrea’s astute, fresh and funny writing reached my desk, and it is exciting to bring her vivid, albeit alarming world to life again with these fine actors.”

Rita, Sue and Bob Too appears at Warwick Arts Centre on Tue 17 – Sat 21 Oct 2017 in The Goose Nest Theatre (our temporary theatre space for 2017-2018)

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