Casting and full creative team announced for Dance to the Bone


Neon Candle, independent producer Ceriann Williams and Sherman Theatre have announced the cast and full creative team for their co-production Dance to the Bone (25 March – 2 April) by Oliver Hoare and Eleanor Yates, co-directed by Joe Murphy and Matthew Holmquist.

The casting for Dance to the Bone brings together an exceptional group of actor musicians. Yasemin Özdemir (Angel, Torch Theatre; Living Newspaper, Royal Court; We Need to Talk About Grief, Donmar Warehouse; Romeo & Juliet, Frantic Assembly/National Youth Theatre Wales; A Spy Among Friends, ITV; Vandullz, BBC) leads the cast as Joanne Bevan.

Neon Candle’s co-founders Oliver Hoare (Sunny Afternoon, West End; Anthony and Cleopatra, Chichester Festival Theatre; People Just Do Nothing, BBC) and Eleanor Yates (Versailles, Donmar Warehouse; Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner; Harlots and The Crimson Petal and the White, BBC) also join the cast. Jack Beale (The Lorax, The Old Vic; Once, West End, Troilus & Cressida, RSC; Brief Encounter, Kneehigh Theatre), playing John, is an Associate Artist with Neon Candle and has been involved with the development of Dance to the Bone since its inception.

They will be joined by Tesni Kujore (Mission Control, National Theatre Wales; Craith/Hidden, S4C/BBC), Alex Murdoch (Curtain Up, Theatr Clwyd; Life of Galileo, Young Vic; commissioned writer for National Theatre Wales and the RSC; 2018 Writer in Residence at Theatr Clwyd), Gavin Swift (War Horse, National Theatre; Rocket Post, National Theatre of Scotland; The Last Mermaid, Wales Millennium Centre), and Sarah Workman (Sugar Coat, VAULT Festival; Girls Don’t Play Guitars, Liverpool Royal Court).

Co-directing the production are Sherman Theatre Artistic Director Joe Murphy (A Christmas Carol, Sherman Theatre; Woyzeck, The Old Vic; Blink, Soho Theatre, Off-Broadway & nabokov) and Matthew Holmquist (Co-Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre Company in Residence Red Oak Theatre; Associate Director for A Christmas Carol and Assistant Director for The Snow Queen, The Taming of The Shrew and Tremor, Sherman Theatre).

The creative team includes Choreographer Krystal S. Lowe (Good Things to Come, National Dance Company Wales and Literature Wales; Somehow, Music Theatre Wales; Complexity of Skin, BBC’s Culture in Quarantine), a Bermuda-born, Wales-based dancer, choreographer, writer, and director creating dance theatre works for stage, public space, and film that explore themes of intersectional identity, mental health and wellbeing, and empowerment. Simin Ma (Radical Reinventions, Sherman Theatre) returns to the Sherman as Designer alongside Lighting Designer & Videographer Andy Pike (A Christmas Carol, The Merthyr Stigmatist and Lose Yourself, Sherman Theatre; Strictly Come Dancing, BBC) and Sound Engineer Josh Bowles. Tafsila Khan (Creative Associate at Wales Millennium Centre; access consultant specialising in integrated audio description; sits on the boards of the Arts Council of Wales, National Theatre Wales, Taking Flight and Ffio) is Trainee Director.

Dance to the Bone is inspired by the true story of a mysterious fever that broke out in Strasbourg in 1518. Five hundred years later in South Wales, the fever has returned. Creators and co-founders of Neon Candle, Oliver Hoare and Eleanor Yates, have been writing the play for the past 18 months, supported by Artistic Director Joe Murphy, Matthew Holmquist and the production’s lead producer Ceriann Williams.

Combining an eclectic mix of theatre, live music and physical performance, the play revolves around Joanne Bevan, a lonely and frustrated call centre worker who finds herself disconnected from her family, her community and her own body, until one day she is visited by St Vitus, the Patron Saint of dancing. Unnerving and uplifting in equal measure, Dance to the Bone prompts a conversation about the impact of human connections and celebrates the wildness within ourselves.

Joe Murphy said “I am thrilled to be announcing such an exciting cast for and to be working alongside a brilliant creative team and with Neon Candle and Ceriann Williams on Dance to the Bone. After all of our experiences over the past two years, Oliver and Eleanor’s beautiful and joyous play will offer us all a much needed communal, cathartic experience and we can’t wait to share it with our audiences.”

Oliver Hoare and Eleanor Yates said “We are delighted to be staging Dance to the Bone at Sherman Theatre, our debut production as Neon Candle. This show has been developed over the past two years with incredible support from the fantastic team here. Dance to the Bone is the story of a young woman needing to reconnect with her family, her roots and her own body. It’s a celebration of everything we’ve missed about live theatre over the past two years, an explosive evening combining honest storytelling, original music and dance.”

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