Don't Look Away - casting announced

Thursday 4 April 2019


Casting is announced for NOVAE theatre's production of Grace Chapman's 'Don't Look Away' due at the Pleasance, Islington, and on a short UK tour from 16 April.
Don't Look Away at Pleasance - Islington

Image: Pleasance - Islington

Inspired by her family becoming involved in hosting asylum seekers in their homes and Rob Lawrie, the former soldier arrested at the Calais border trying to smuggle a child refugee in his van, writer Grace Chapman started developing Don't Look Away in 2017, the same year it was longlisted for the Papatango playwriting award.

Through further development, the play now makes its production debut in a small UK tour, culminating in a run as part of the Pleasance Islington's flagship new writing season.

Casting has now been announced.

Cast of Don't Look Away at the Pleasance Islington

(From left) Brian Fletcher, Julia Barrie, Robert Hannouch

Julia Barrie plays Cath.

Julia has worked extensively in Theatre, TV and as a voice artist.

Theatre work includes productions at The Bristol Old Vic, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Salisbury Playhouse, York Theatre Royal, Birmingham Rep, BAC, The Old Vic, The King's Head, and in the West End at The Duke of York's and the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Recent TV includes Prisoners Wives, The Commander and George Gently.

The role of refugee Adnan is played by Robert Hannouch.

Robert trained at The Royal Academy of Music.

He recently appeared in the two-hander När Vi Träffade Varann for The National Theatre of Sweden and Broken Wings at The Theatre Royal Haymarket.

His Theatre Credits include: Hidden (Hidden Project); Children of Eden (Original Swedish Production); One Man, Two Guv'nors (Theatre Royal, Windsor); Twelfth Night (Gulf Tour); The Odd Couple (Sidmouth Rep); Godspell (UK Tour); Miracle on 34th Street (UK Tour); Ruddigore (Tabard Theatre); The Cat in the Hat (Tour, Greenwich Theatre & The Pleasance) and Privates on Parade (Manor Pavilion Theatre).

Robert's Television work includes: Le Hold Up and Mattemorden (both for Swedish National Television).

Film credits include; Weevils, April, A Missing Beat, Maskoun and Letter to Obama. In Concert, Robert has performed at The Royal Albert Hall and The Roundhouse with Sir Elton John, and for The Brit Awards at The London Palladium.

Brian Fletcher completes the cast as Jamie.

Brian has worked extensively in TV and Film.

His latest credits include PeterLoo (Mike Leigh, Peterloo Productions), Three Girls (Philippa Lowthorpe, BBC), National Treasure (Mike Munden, Channel 4) and Vera (Jill Robertson, ITV1).

He made his stage debut last year as JACK in The Donmar Warehouse's The York Realist, directed by Robert Hastie.

Don't Look Away shifts focus away from the government's response to the international refugee crisis to our individual power to make a difference; a powerful, timely production exploring the impact of the UK's 'hostile environment' on those who witness it.

Playwright Grace Chapman said ...

"This play is incredibly pertinent to me both on a personal and political level.

Having witnessed first-hand the vacuum of support created by the UK's 'hostile environment', I was inspired to tell the story of those individuals, including my family, striving to rectify this."

Here are the tour dates:

16 - 17 April 2019

Cornerstone Arts Centre

25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7NE

24 - 26 April

Harrogate Theatre

6 Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1QF

7 - 18 May

Pleasance, London

Carpenters Mews, North Rd, London N7 9EF

About the company

NOVAE theatre is the sister company of internationally successful Idle Motion, resident ensemble at the New Diorama Theatre and Artistic Associates at The Lowry and Oxford Playhouse.

Previous shows under Idle Motion include Shooting With Light, Borges and I and Voyager.

NOVAE theatre launched in 2018 with It's Not A Sprint at the Edinburgh Fringe (also appearing at Vault festival 2019).

They produce female led new work inventive in its form and astonishing in its delivery.

About the playwright

Grace Chapman is Co-Artistic Director of NOVAE theatre and Idle Motion.

Nominated for the Adopt A Playwright Award 2018, her short plays include Beneath The Weeds (The Lion & Unicorn Theatre, 2017) The Barricade (Theatre503 Rapid Write Response, 2017), It's Not A Sprint (The One Festival at the Space, 2018) and Fixture (VAULTS Theatre, 2018).

Full length plays include The Acceptance Speech (Longlisted for the Bread & Roses Playwriting Award, 2016) and Don't Look Away.

Grace is currently the Theatre Manager at the Space, supporting artists and engaging audiences, whilst carving her career as a professional playwright.

About the director

Nicholas Pitt is a director and theatre maker based in London.

He works with writers, theatre makers and musicians to produce work that celebrates live performance, and probes the social and political moment we find ourselves in.

Nicholas was a creative associate with Idle Motion and with them produced several shows performed at the New Diorama (The Vanishing Horizon, That is All You Need to Know, Borges & I, Shooting with Light and Voyager).

In 2018 he directed Dario Fo's Mistero Buffo for Rhum and Clay at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (where it won a Stage award) and Arcola Theatre.


'This is like throwing a punch at a tidal wave.

It's not going to make it stop or slow down.

It's just going to engulf you, and me.

Until there's nothing left.'


A young man enters a community centre, covered in flour and looking for help.

He finds Cath, a cleaner, who reluctantly lets him stay in her son's room.

A split second decision which will change her life forever.


Julia Barrie - Cath

Brian Fletcher - Jamie

Robert Hannouch - Adnan


Author: Grace Chapman
Director: Nicholas Pitt
Set designer: James Donnelley
Lighting: Greg Cebula
Sound: Jon Ouin
Movement: Dan Canham
Production: Ellie Simpson, NOVAE theatre


Pleasance - Islington - Downstairs
Carpenters Mews
North Rd
N7 9EF


From: Tuesday 7 May 2019

Closed: Saturday 18 May 2019


Standard: £16

Concessions: £14


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Don't Look Away
Novae Theatre website

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