I used to be scared of them. They seemed so different. They don’t scare me anymore. They’re just children, aren’t they? Just children.’
Full casting is announced for Stephen Unwin’s, All Our Children, his gripping new play which probes one of the darkest episodes in recent history.
The cast is Edward Franklin (Doctor Thorne, Shakespeare in Love, Hay Fever) plays Eric, Rebecca Johnson (The Trip (Series 1,2,3), The Carrier, Casualty 1900s) plays Martha, Lucy Speed (Jamie Johnson, Cradle To Grave and National Treasure) plays Elisabetta, Colin Tierney (The Odyssey and The Iliad, The Father) plays Victor and David Yelland (The Winter’s Tale, Taken at Midnight, Henry IV) plays Bishop Von Galen.
Unwin’s elegant debut work shows a world caught in a spiral of horror and examines a brutal system which sanctioned mass murder for those who led, what the Nazis called ‘lives unworthy of life’.
An astonishing and chilling story of courage, betrayal and humanity, Unwin unfolds a rich dramatic narrative, and explores cultural, moral and social arguments which still rage today.
Stephen Unwin said “All Our Children comes from a deep place. I am the father of a profoundly disabled young man, but also the son of a German-Jewish refugee and was brought up as Catholic. The story of the conservative Bishop von Galen’s campaign against euthanasia and murder fascinated and moved me. And I was shocked by the pseudo science and rationality that the Nazis offered in defence.
How do we value those who are not productive; how do we support those who can’t support themselves; how do we protect the most vulnerable? The challenges that the disabled face today are, thankfully, a long way from the horrors of Nazi Germany, but some of the philosophical and social questions that it raises are fiercely relevant today.”
Stephen Unwin is one of the UK’s leading theatre directors. He founded the English Touring Theatre in 1993 and opened the Rose Theatre Kingston in 2008 becoming Artistic Director until 2014. His many credits include King Lear with Timothy West (Old Vic), Hedda Gabler (Donmar), Hamlet with Alan Cumming (Donmar), Man to Man (with Tilda Swinton), The Conquest of the South Pole (with Alan Cumming) – both seen at the Royal Court – and Sandra/Manon (with Simon Russell Beale) – seen at the Donmar Warehouse.
All Our Children is Unwin’s first original play although he has written eight books on theatre and drama and translated several plays.
Stephen is a campaigner for the rights and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and was appointed the Chair of Kids in November 2016, the national charity providing services to disabled children, young people and their families.
Rebecca Johnson – Martha
Theatre credits include: Present Laughter, This Happy Breed (Bath Theatre Royal); A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Liverpool Playhouse / Rose Theatre Kingston); The Way of the World, Importance of Being Earnest (Chichester Festival Theatre); Wendy & Peter Pan, The Dog in the Manger, Tamar’s Revenge, The House of Desires, Pedro the Great Pretender (RSC); Coram Boy, Mourning Becomes Electra, Edmond,Peter Pan (National Theatre); Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, What the Butler Saw, Macbeth (Sheffield Theatres); As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida(Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Front Page (Donmar Warehouse).
Television includes: The Trip to Spain, Anna Mann’s Valentine, Suspects, The Trip to Italy, The Trip, Dark Matters, Holby City, Five Daughters, Casualty 1909, Casualty 1907, Casualty 1906, Beau Brummell,Midsummer Murders, Foyle’s War, The Royal, Spooks, Gentlemen’s Relish, Poirot, Frank Stubbs Promotes, Just William, Jonathan Creek.
Film: Harbour, The Listener, The Carrier, Hedda, Shackleton, Two Seconds to Midnight.
Lucy Speed – Elizabetta
Theatre credits include: Rosie Blitz (Polka Theatre), Twelfth Night (Royal and Derngate), Vagina Monologues (Wyndhams Theatre), Be My Baby (Soho Theatre), Twelfth Night /See How they Run (UK Tour),Girls Night (UK Tour), Price Of Meat (Nuffield Southampton Theatres ), Amateur Girl (St James’s & Nottingham Playhouse), Neaptide (National Theatre)
Television includes: Jamie Johnson, Cradle To Grave; National Treasure, Call the Midwife., Love Soup, Men Behaving Badly, The Bill, Dangerfield, Unsuitable Job for A Woman, Jericho, The Prince and the Pauper; Saracen; Lewis, Law and Order, Eastenders, Holby City and The Dumping Ground
Film Credits include: Impromtu, Scoop, England my England, Metroland, Keep The Aspidistra Flying and Shakespeare in Love.
Colin Tierney – Victor
Theatre credits include: The Odyssey ( Liverpool Everyman and Globe Theatre), The Father (Bath Theatre Royal and Tricycle Theatre), Paul, Othello, Guiding Star and The Machine Wreckers (National Theatre), Duchess of Malfi and Henry VI (RSC), The Last Days of Troy,The Seagull, Cold Meat Party and Britannia Waves The Rules (Royal Exchange Manchester), The Misanthrope and Tartuffe (Liverpool Playhouse and ETT), Betrayal and Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible), Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Bath and Tour), How Love is Spelt (Bush Theatre), Death of Cool (Hampstead Theatre), Ivanov and The Life Of Galileo (Almeida Theatre), Hamlet (Bristol Old Vic).
Television includes: Lucky Man, Vera, Silent Witness, DCI Banks, Garrow’s Law, New Tricks, Inspector Lynley, The Walk, Island At War, The Vice, Tough Love and Midsomer Murders.
Films include: Nowhere Boy, Splintered and Bye Bye Baby.
Edward Franklin – Eric
Theatre includes: The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham Rep), Hay Fever (Bath Theatre Royal / UK & Australian Tour, Duke of Yorks Theatre), Shakespeare In Love (Noel Coward Theatre), Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham Rep / Garrick Theatre), Dances of Death, Wittenberg (Gate Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Creation Theatre Company) How To Think The Unthinkable (Unicorn Theatre), Punk Rock (UK Tour)
Television includes: Doctor Throne, Doctors, Being Human and Married, Single, Other
Film includes: Denial, Home and The Brain Hack
David Yelland – Bishop Von Galen
Theatre credits include: Winter’s Tale (Globe Theatre), Taken at Midnight (Haymarket); An Ideal Husband, Mrs Warren’s Profession (Gate Theatre Dublin), A Marvellous Year for Plum, The Circle (Chichester),Uncle Vanya (Print Room); Henry IV (Peter Hall Company, Theatre Royal, Bath), Mrs Warren’s Profession (Comedy) and Nicholas Nickleby (Gielgud and Toronto).
Film credits include: Happy End, Private Peaceful, Coriolanus and Chariots of Fire.
Television credits include: Endeavour, Midsomer Murders, Father Brown, The Crown, Reg, Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Foyle’s War, Bones, Waking the Dead and Law and Order UK.