Simon Slater and Jemma Redgrave to stage rehearsed reading of witty Hansard at SJT

Simon Slater and Jemma Redgrave: Rehearsed reading of Simon Woods’ “witty and devastating” new play, Hansard, at the SJT

STEPHEN Joseph Theatre artistic associate Simon Slater is teaming up with theatrical dynasty luminary Jemma Redgrave to present a rehearsed reading of Simon Woods’ Hansard.

Directed by SJT artistic director Paul Robinson, the reading will take place in the Round at the Scarborough theatre on Tuesday, October 20 at 7.30pm.

A witty and devastating new play, Hansard premiered at the National Theatre, London, in August 2019.

On a summer’s morning in 1988, Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana, but all is not as blissful as it first seems.

Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital sparring quickly turns to blood-sport.

Robinson enthuses: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have attracted two actors of the stature of Jemma and Simon to bring a reading of Simon Woods’ brutally funny, but ultimately moving, political satire to the SJT.”

Paul Robinson: SJT artistic director, directing Hansard

Jemma Redgrave played the title character in four series of Bramwell from 1995 to 1998 and has a recurring role in Doctor Who as Kate Stewart, head of scientific research at UNIT. Her wide and varied theatre and film career has included the role of Evie Wilcox in the Bafta Award-winning Merchant Ivory adaptation of Howards End in 1992.

Simon Slater was born and grew up in Scarborough. He played Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia! in the West End for five years, had a regular role as Inspector Kite in the ITV series The Bill and narrates audiobooks, such as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.

He is in demand too as a musical director, latterly for the National Theatre’s Amadeus, and he has composed more than 300 original scores for theatre, film, television, radio and theatre, not least for the past four Christmas shows at the SJT. He will be doing likewise for The Snow Queen this December.

After Hansard, Slater will perform Bloodshot, Douglas Post’s one-man thriller, in the Round from October 21 to 24 at 7.30pm plus a 2.30pm Saturday matinee.

In a story of vaudeville, murder, magic and jazz set in London in 1957, Derek Eveleigh is a skilled photographer, very down on his luck.

Down on his luck: Simon Slater as photographer Derek Eveleigh in Bloodshot. Picture: Marc Brenner

A mysterious envelope arrives from a stranger, asking him to take secret pictures of an elegant young woman as she walks in Holland Park. The reward is handsome, but the irresistible assignment takes a sudden, shocking turn.

Entangled and compelled to understand, Derek is led into a seedy Soho nightlife populated by dubious characters.  What do an Irish comedian, an American saxophone player and a Russian magician have to do with the bloody event he has witnessed?  And how are these men connected to the woman in Holland Park?

In seeking the truth, Derek finds his whole life turned upside down as Post’s thriller examines the turbulent human heart and keeps you on the edge of your seat in Patrick Sandford’s surprise-laden production.

The SJT has introduced comprehensive Covid-secure measures for the safety and comfort of its audiences and has been awarded both the VisitEngland We’re Good To Go industry standard mark, signifying its adherence to Government and public health guidance, and UK Theatre’s See It Safely standard mark. Full details can be found at

Bookings for Hansard go on sale from £10 from 10am tomorrow (October 2), and please note that under social-distancing restrictions, numbers are extremely limited for this one-off event.

To book for Hansard or Bloodshot (tickets already available), visit or call  the box office on 01723 370541, open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 4pm, for both phone calls and in-person bookings.