The Girl from the North Country casting announcement at The Alex 7 to 11 Feb 23



Full casting is today announced for the award-winning smash-hit production of Girl From The North Country, written and directed by celebrated playwright Conor McPherson (The Weir, The Seafarer) with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan. The production embarks on its first UK tour arriving at The Alexandra, Birmingham on 7 to 11 February 2023.

The full cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mrs Neilsen), Ross Carswell (Elias Burke), Colin Connor (Nick Laine), Frankie Hart (Ensemble), Joshua C Jackson (Joe Scott), Eli James (Reverend Marlowe), Justina Kehinde (Marianne), Teddy Kempner (Mr Perry), Graham Kent (Ensemble), Owen Lloyd (Ensemble), Nichola MacEvilly (Ensemble), Chris McHallem (Dr Walker), Frances McNamee (Elizabeth Laine), Gregor Milne (Gene Laine), Eve Norris (Katherine Draper), Daniel Reid-Walters (Ensemble), James Staddon (Mr Burke), Neil Stewart (Ensemble) and Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Burke).

The Broadway production of Girl From The North Country, currently playing at the Belasco Theatre, has received seven Tony Award nominations including, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical – Conor McPherson, Best Orchestrations – Simon Hale, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – Mare Winningham, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical – Jeannette Bayardelle and Best Sound Design of a Musical. The production was also nominated in the Best Musical Theatre Album category at the 2022 Grammy Awards. 

Girl From The North Country is an uplifting and universal story about family and love which boldly reimagines the legendary songs of Bob Dylan, like you’ve never heard them before.

It’s 1934 in the heartland of America and we meet a group of wayward souls who cross paths in a time-weathered guesthouse. Standing at a turning point in their lives, they realize nothing is what it seems. But as they search for a future, and hide from the past, they find themselves facing unspoken truths about the present.

Writer and Director Conor McPherson said of the Dublin and UK Tour cast “It’s a joy to be working with our supremely talented new cast. Each of them brings a terrific range of experience and energy to the show. it’s an absolute delight to embark on this new adventure together.”

Bob Dylan said at the opening of the Broadway production: “To be associated with Conor is one of the highlights of my professional life. It goes without saying the man is a genius for putting this thing together and I’m thrilled to be a part of the experience. My songs couldn’t be in better hands.

Girl From The North Country first opened at The Old Vic in July 2017 to huge critical acclaim and playing to sold out audiences. It transferred to the Noël Coward Theatre in December 2017 and won the 2018 Olivier Awards for Best Actress in a Musical and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical as well as being nominated in the Best New Musical, Outstanding Achievement in Music and Best Actor in a Musical categories. The production went on to have a sold out run at the Public Theater, New York in 2018. Following a run at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, in Autumn 2019, the production had a second run in the West End opening December 2019 at the Gielgud Theatre. The Broadway production is currently playing at the Belasco Theatre, the Australian and New Zealand production opened in Sydney in January 2022 and a North American tour of the show will commence in Minneapolis in Autumn 2023.

Girl From The North Country features scenic and costume design by Rae Smith; orchestrations, arrangements, and music supervision by Simon Hale, with additional arrangements by Simon Hale and Conor McPherson, lighting design by Mark Henderson; sound design by Simon Baker; movement direction by Lucy Hind and casting by Jessica Ronane CDG.

Girl From The North Country is produced by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment UK, Playing Field, David Mirvish, Dianne Roberts and The Old Vic. 

Conor McPherson is an acclaimed writer and director. He was born in Dublin in 1971 and attended University College Dublin where he began to write and direct. Stage plays include Rum & Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Circle Awards); Dublin Carol, Port Authority, Shining City (Tony Award nominated); The Seafarer (Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard Award nominated); The Veil, and The Night Alive (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Olivier, Evening Standard and Lucille Lortel Award nominated).Adaptations include Franz Xaver Kroetz’s The Nest, August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death and most recently, Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

Bob Dylan is one of our culture’s most influential and ground-breaking artists. Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941; self-taught on piano, guitar and harmonica, he travelled to New York City in 1961, quickly establishing himself as an explosive performer in the Greenwich Village music scene. More than half a century later, Dylan continues to perform almost 100 concerts each year. He has released more than 50 albums and written over 600 songs. He’s sold more than 125 million records and is the holder of 11 Grammy Awards. His songs have been covered more than 6000 times by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Adele. He is also an accomplished visual artist and author, and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.

Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mrs Neilsen). Theatre credits include: The Magician’s Elephant (world premiere, RSC), School of Rock (Gillian Lynne Theatre); Caroline, or Change (Chichester & Playhouse Theatre); Matilda (RSC,Cambridge Theatre); Motown the Musical, The Pajama Game, From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre); City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse); The Lion King (UK & Ireland tour); Knight Crew (Glynebourne Opera House) and Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory UK tour). Television credits include The Sound of Music Live! and I’d Do Anything.

Ross Carswell (Elias Burke). Ross trained at RADA and The Dance School of Scotland and makes his professional debut in Girl From The North Country. Theatre credits whilst training: Consent; Red Velvet; Spring Awakening; Plaques and Tangles.

Colin Connor (Nick Laine). Theatre credits include: War Horse (National Theatre tour); Our Country’s Good (Nottingham Playhouse); Waiting for Godot (Tobacco Factory); The Man, The Father (Oldham Coliseum); The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Ashes, The Winter’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, A View From The Bridge, Journey’s End, Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire (Octagon Theatre); and The Cruel Sea and Two Pence to Cross the Mersey (Liverpool Empire).Television credits include: Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Hope Street, Hollyoaks, Peaky Blinders and Doctors. Film credits include: The End of the World Man.

Frankie Hart (Ensemble), Frankie trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and makes her professional debut in Girl From The North Country. Theatre credits whilst training include: Emilia and Urinetown.

Joshua C Jackson (Joe Scott). Theatre credits include: Caliban (Orange Tree Theatre); The Motherf**ker with the HatIcarus’s Wife (Andrew Lloyd Webber Theatre); Keeping It Real (Edinburgh Festival); Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (UK tour & West End) and The Biograph Girl (Finborough Theatre). Television credits include: Black Mirror, Avenue 5 and Station 11. Film credits include: You Should Have Left.

Eli James (Reverend Marlowe). Theatre Credits include: One Man, Two Guvnors (Music Box Theatre, Broadway); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Broadway); Rutherford & Son (The Mint Theater); Becky Shaw (Huntington Theater); The Four of Us (Manhattan Theatre Club); Maria/Stuart (World Premiere, Woolly Mammoth Theater); Gross Indecency (Philadelphia Theatre Company) and The Invention of Love (The Wilma Theater). Television credits include: Gossip GirlUnforgettableLights Out. Eli was a house-team performer at New York’s legendary comedy venue the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Eli’s podcast, Strong Reception with Eli James, is available everywhere. 

Justina Kehinde (Marianne). Justina Kehinde is a storyteller working across writing, acting, directing and poetry. Theatre credits include: Best of Enemies (Young Vic); NHS The Musical (Theatre Royal Plymouth); Hot In Here (Pigfoot Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre); This Little Earth, Passengers (Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Vaults Festival) and Around The World in 80s Days (Grand Theatre Blackpool). Television credits include: Holby City.

Teddy Kempner (Mr Perry). Theatre credits include: Witness for The Prosecution (County Hall); Bitter Wheat (Garrick Theatre); Caroline or Change (Chichester Festival Theatre & Hampstead Theatre); Driving Miss Daisy (Theatre Royal Bath); 42nd Street (Theatre Musical de Paris-Chatelet); Vincent and Flavia: The Last Tango (Phoenix Theatre); Dance ‘Til Dawn (UK tour & Aldwych Theatre); High Society (UK tour); Midnight Tango (UK tour & Aldwych Theatre); Never Forget (Savoy Theatre); The Solid Gold Cadillac (Garrick Theatre); Cymbeline, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Three Sisters, The Suicide, Nicholas Nickleby (RSC); Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, The Trial (National Theatre); Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace Theatre); The Cabinet Minister (Albery); Snoopy (Olivier Award Nomination, Duchess Theatre); The Kitchen, Mary Barnes (Royal Court Theatre); City of Angels (Prince of Wales Theatre); Trilby (Shared Experience); Company (Donmar Warehouse & Albery); Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, The Swaggerer (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Les Miserables (Palace Theatre); 3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down (Donmar Warehouse); John Curry Theatre of Skating (London Palladium); Spin of the Wheel (Comedy Theatre); Measure for Measure, Habeus Corpus, Where There’s a Will (Peter Hall Company); The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory); A Month in the Country, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Acorn Antiques – The Musical (UK tour). Television credits include: Birds of a Feather, Hustle, Sir Gadabout, Love Hurts, Liquid Television: Dog-Boy, The Three Sisters, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Tragedy of Coriolanus, Freud, What a Way to Run a Revolution, Bad Girls and The Murder Room. Film credits include: The World’s End; It’s All About Love; Dear Wendy; Manderlay; De-lovely; Yentl; Truly Madly Deeply; Arch of Triumph and 9/11: The Twin Towers. Teddy is co-writer and producer of several animation series: Foxy Fables; Tales of a Wise King; Insektors; Witchworld. He also co-wrote: Three Friends and Jerry; Something Else; Preston and Clarence.

Graham Kent (Ensemble). Theatre credits include: Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre); Made in Dagenham (UK tour); Spend,Spend,Spend, Moll Flanders (Watermill Theatre); Tin Tin (Barbican); Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, Merry Wives of Windsor (Stafford Shakespeare Festival); Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mixed Doubles, Rookery Nook (Kent Rep); A Word From Our Sponsor (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Animal Farm (Theatr Clywd); A View From the Bridge (Greenwich Theatre); Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manchester Library); Man of La Mancha, The Wizard of Oz (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); Aladdin (Bristol Hippodrome); Happy End (Nottingham Playhouse); Strindberg Chamber Plays (The Gate); Popcorn (Catford Broadway); Chicago, The Rivals, Company, Barnstormers, Framed, Great Expectations (UK tours); The Beggars Opera (Bridewell Theatre/Buxton Opera Festival); Something Wicked This Way Comes (National Theatre of Scotland); The Sword in the Stone, Sinbad, The Good Companions, And then the Dark (New Wolsey Theatre); (Blitz (Newcastle Opera House); Journey (Brighton Festival), My One and Only (London Palladium); Sleeping Beauty (Aylesbury); Dusty, the Musical (Charing Cross Theatre); Romeo & Juliet, The Hobbit (Dukes, Lancaster) and Young Dick Barton (Croydon Warehouse). Television credits include: Belgravia, Call the Midwife, Doctors, EastEnders, Grange Hill, Bramwell, Thief Takers, Trial & Retribution, In the Red, The Knock, The Bill, Bad Girls, Bugs and Second Generation. Film credits Include: From Hell and Who Can I Turn To?

Owen Lloyd (Ensemble). Owen trained at Arts Educational Schools and makes is professional debut in Girl From The North Country. Theatre credits while training include: Bandstand and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Nichola MacEvilly (Ensemble). Theatre credits include: Philo (Peter Sheridan), The Odd Couple (The Everyman); The Wake (Abbey Theatre); Constance, Snapshot (Hawks Well Theatre); The Only Jealousy of Emer, The Poor Mouth, Rhinoceros (Blue Raincoat Theatre Company); The Way of Water (English Theatre Berlin); Macbeth, Othello (Mill Theatre) and Besieged, Five Minutes Later, Ethica, All Hell Lay Beneath (Marc Bourell Atkinson). Television credits include: Seven Women and Talk to Me. As a singer, Nichola has performed with the great Ennio Morricone and recorded with artists including Indian, Kieran Quinn, Bedlam Suitcase and Those Nervous Animals

Chris McHallem (Dr Walker). Theatre credits include: Nora (Corn Exchange); Strutting & Fretting (Bewley’s Café Theatre); Burial at ThebesThe Wild DuckTranslationsMaking HistoryThe CrucibleBig LoveIphigenia at Aulis (Abbey Theatre Dublin); The Tempest (Salisbury Playhouse); Macbeth (English Touring Theatre); A Clockwork Orange(RSC) and King Lear (Sheffield Theatres). Television credits include:Modern LoveCharlieStriking OutPenny DreadfulVikingsNormal PeopleDublin MurdersResistanceBlasts from the PastLoving Miss HattoThe TudorsMy Boy JackMurphy’s LawThe Mystery of Men,Black Velvet Band and as series regular Rod in EastEnders. Film credits include: FrankStayBecoming JaneGirl with the Pearl EarringEdward II and When Brendan Met Trudy

Frances McNamee (Elizabeth Laine). Theatre credits include: A Lady of Little Sense (Theatre Royal Bath/Arcola Theatre – Ian Charleson Award nomination); The Last Ship (UK tour/ Toronto/ US tour – UK Theatre Award nomination); A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic); Big Fish The Musical (The Other Palace) and several seasons with the RSC.  

Gregor Milne (Gene Laine). Gregor trained at ArtsEd and makes his professional stage debut in Girl from the North Country. Theatre credits whilst training include: Bandstand, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sondheim on Sondheim and The Vote.

Eve Norris (Katherine Draper). Theatre credits include: Be More Chill (The Other Palace); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (UK tour) and Bat Out of Hell (Dominion Theatre).

Daniel Reid-Walters (Ensemble). Trained at royal central school of speech and drama. Theatre credits include: The Railway Children (Hull Truck Theatre) Much Ado About Nothing (Dubai Opera House) and The Secret Love Life of Ophelia (Greenwich Theatre online). Television credits include: Doctors.

James Staddon (Mr Burke). Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol, King Lear (The Old Vic); Goodnight Mr. Tom (Duke Of York’s Theatre); The Crucible (RSC/Gielgud Theatre); Birdsong (Harld Pinter Theatre); Journey’s End (Duke Of York’s Theatre); Cyrano De Bergerac (Haymarket Theatre); Les Miserables (Palace Theatre); Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); King (Piccadilly Theatre); Cymbeline, As You Like It, The Tamer Tamed, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Pericles (RSC); Glengarry Glen Ross (UK tour); Macbeth, The Go Between (Leeds Playhouse); Gone To Earth (Shared Experience/Lyric Hammersmith); The Three Musketeers (Denmark/tour); Moonshadow (Royal Albert Hall/tour); Lock up Your Daughters (Chichester Festival Theatre); Sweeney Todd (The Drum, Plymouth/Bristol Old Vic); The Beggar’s Opera (Bridewell Theatre). Television credits include: Bodyguard, Upstairs Downstairs, The Cut, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Doctors, Midsomer Murders, Eastenders, Casualty, Screen One (Bambino Mio) My Family, Between the Lines, Screen One and The Tripods. Film credits include: I Came By, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Hamlet.

Neil Stewart (Ensemble). Theatre credits include: Mrs Henderson Presents (Theatre Royal Bath & West End); Oresteia (West End); Jersey Boys (International tour); Spring Awakening (Hope Mill Theatre); NHS The Musical (Theatre Royal Plymouth); The Comedy of Errors (Hamburg); Caucasian Chalk Circle (New Rep Company); Chess, Love Story (Union Theatre); Oh, What A Lovely War (UK tour) and The Wind in the Willows (Theatr Clwyd). Neil worked in rep at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff, the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Perth Rep and the Old Fire Station, Oxford where credits include: Taking Steps, A Small Family Business, Spider’s Web, Witness For The Prosecution, Funny Money, Out Of Order, Amadeus, Noises Off and The Wizard Of Oz. His US theatre credits include: The Real Thing, Private Lives, Iago in Florida, The Molly Maguires, The Apple Cart, Macbeth and Butley. Film credits include: U Want Me 2 Kill Him? and Pokémon: The Movie 2000.

Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Burke). Theatre credits include: Matilda (West End/UK tour); Hairspray (UK tour); From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre); Chicago (Adelphi Theatre); Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre); The Full Monty, Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales Theatre); Les Miserables (Palace Theatre); Oklahoma! (National Theatre/Lyceum Theatre); Show Boat (Royal Albert Hall); Showstopper! (Jermyn Street Theatre & Tour); Beauty and the Beast (Dominion Theatre); CATS (Gilliam Lynne Theatre); Sophisticated Ladies (Shakespeare’s Globe); She Loves Me (Savoy Theatre); Top Hat, South Pacific, and Mary Poppins (US tour); Me and My Girl (Adelphi). Film credits include: From Here To Eternity.