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Marcelo Dos Santos to make West End playwriting debut with BACKSTAIRS BILLY

Luke Evans is to return to the stage for the first time in more than 15 years in Marcelo Dos Santos’ new play BACKSTAIRS BILLY, which will also star Penelope Wilton.

Directed by Michael Grandage, the play will run at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre from October 27 to January 27, with press night on November 7. 

The play explores a “pivotal moment” in the 50-year relationship between the Queen Mother and her servant William “Billy” Tallon.

Evans, who previously appeared on stage at the Donmar Warehouse in Piaf and Small Change under Grandage’s tenure as artistic director, will play Billy. Wilton, who previously collaborated with Grandage on productions of The Chalk Garden, John Gabriel Borkman and Hamlet, will star as the Queen Mother. 

Further casting is to be announced. 

Speaking to the Guardian about the play, Penelope Wilton said “This is a new comedy voice. [Dos Santos] has a mixture of Alan Bennett, Alan Ayckbourn and – dare I say – Noël Coward.”

Grandage said: “It is always a great moment to celebrate the birth of a new comedy in the West End and particularly from an important new voice such as Marcelo Dos Santos.”

Marcelo was a recipient of a bursary from MGCfutures, a charity that utilises the skills of those working for the Michael Grandage Company to support theatremakers. Following this, MGC commissioned Dos Santos to write BACKSTAIRS BILLY. (Source: The Stage)

FEELING AFRAID AS IF SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN, also written by Marcelo Dos Santos, was recently announced for a November run at The Bush Theatre. The show will star Samuel Bailey and is directed by Tickets are available here.

Marcelo Dos Santos is represented by Simon Blakey at The Agency.