Casting announced for 'The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales'

With rehearsals starting next week, Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce full casting for its Christmas show, Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales, adapted and directed by Emma Rice. Inspired by Andersen's spellbinding tale, the show also weaves The Princess and the PeaThe Emperor's New Clothes and Thumbelina with the Little Matchgirl's devastating story. This "exquisite" (Daily Telegraph) production comes to Bristol this Christmas following its critically acclaimed premiere at Shakespeare's Globe last year.

Continuing in Bristol Old Vic's tradition for presenting brilliantly original and wonderfully inventive shows at Christmas, The Little Matchgirl... is suitable for adults and brave children alike. It promises to be a truly breathtaking experience, full of music, puppetry and magic in Emma Rice's inimitable style.

The cast includes: Niall Ashdown, recognisable to Bristol audiences from Kneehigh's recent Tristan & Yseult. Theatre credits include Never Try This At Home (Birmingham Rep/Told By An Idiot), Public Enemy and Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic), as well as Outnumbered and Whose Line Is It Anyway? on television. He is a regular guest with The Comedy Store Players, Paul Merton's Impro Chums and Ross Noble and Friends.

Edie Edmundson is the Puppeteer for the Little Matchgirl. Edie's recent theatre credits include The Old Woman Made of Stardust (Theatre N16), Houseplay (Edinburgh Fringe 2015), Wondering Hands presents Sex and Puppets (Pleasance Theatre/Brainchild Festival) and Brer Rabbit Meets Brer Santa (Movingstage Marionette Theatre).

Kezrena James returns to Bristol Old Vic following memorable performances in George Mann's Medea and Sally Cookson's Sleeping Beauty. Her credits include The Borrowers (nominated for Best Show for Children and Young People at the Wales Theatre Awards 2017), Primetime (Royal Court Theatre). Kezrena plays Ruth in the second series of BBC drama Ordinary Lies.

Guy Hughes is an actor, musician and composer who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe and Cheek by Jowl. Karl Queensborough most recently appeared in Conor McPherson's Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic.

Katy Owen trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is best known for appearing as Lily Tregenza in 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps (Kneehigh, UK and USA tour); as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Malvolio in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe) and in Rebecca (David Pugh/Kneehigh).

Elizabeth Westcott is an actor, composer, instrumentalist and musical director who specialises in creating music from the stimulus of the devised theatre process. She is a founder member of Twisted Theatre and an Associate Artist of The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter. She will make her stage acting debut in The Little Matchgirl...

The company will be completed by musicians Dave Johnsy, Alex Heane and Jon Gingell.

The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales will open at Bristol Old Vic this November, running from 30 Nov 2017 - 14 Jan 2018, before embarking upon a UK tour (see Notes to Editors for further details).