Fri 14 – Sat 22 Oct at 7.45pm (not Sun 16)

Cause Célèbre

Cause Célèbre

by Terence Rattigan

Directed by Mike Savill

Cause Célèbre refers to the sensational Rattenbury murder of 1935. It took 40 years to reach the stage, but is an example of Rattigan’s immense skills. Thea Sharrock’s revival at the Old Vic in 2011 played to great acclaim.

Trapped in a sterile, sexless marriage, middle-class Alma Rattenbury embarks on an affair with her 17-year-old gardener. Shortly after, Alma’s husband is discovered dead from head injuries. The lovers were charged with murder and the subsequent Old Bailey trial caused a sensation – with women across the country less appalled about the murder than Alma’s adultery with her young lover.

Terence Rattigan’s final play, Cause Célèbre initially started life as a radio piece, ultimately finding its way to the stage just months before his death in 1977. Part social drama, part courtroom epic, the events, seen largely through the eyes of the emotionally repressed Edith Davenport, are based on the infamous 1930s trial of the fun loving Alma Rattenbury and her teenage lover, for the murder of Alma’s  third  husband, Francis.

Mixing gripping entertainment with compassion, suspense and humour, this is theatre on a grand scale!


Alma Rattenbury : Emma Sweeney
Francis Rattenbury : Michael Baker
Christopher : Barnie Tisdall
Irene Riggs : Emma Kerby-Evans
George ‘Percy’ Wood : Joe Dominic
Edith Davenport : Sue Williams
John Davenport : Steve Williams
Tony Davenport : Tony Bigg
Stella Morrison : Roxana Graves
Randolf Brown : Harrison North
Joan Webster : Fleur Buckley
Sergeant Bagwell : Mark Dempsey
O’Connor : Bruce Wallace
Montagu : James Mercer
Casswell : Jonathan Evans
Croom-Johnson : Patrick Neylan
The Judge : Arthur Rochester
Clerk of the Court/Coroner : David Howkins


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