Cast announced for Masque Theatre’s Defying Gravity

Jane Anderson’s play, based on the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster, takes place at The Playhouse Theatre from 16-20 October 2018.


Proving to be one of the most popular auditions of the year for Northamptonshire community theatre, director Megan Lucas has whittled down the potentials to the final cast of 7.

A mix of monologues, projections and clever staging take the audience through time, revealing the ways in which the disaster, which saw all 7 crew perish within minutes of the shuttle’s launch on January 28, 1986, affected a range of people – from the couple who’ve come to witness the launch, a member of the ground crew, the woman who runs the bar frequented by the astronauts, the teacher on the crew (loosely based on real-life Teacher In Space Christa McAuliffe) and her 5 year old daughter, and even French Impressionist Claude Monet.

The play, which has some surreal elements, features Bex Fey (Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, Bazaar and Rummage) as Teacher, Julia Langley (Madame Bovary, The Rover) as Elizabeth, Lou Chawner (Madame Bovary, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol) as Monet, Jof Davies (Brief Encounter, A Wonderful Life) as C.B., Lisa Wright (The Rover, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Donna, April Pardoe (The Bacchae, Brief Encounter) as Betty and John Myhill (Ying Tong, Woman In Mind) as Ed.

Defying Gravity also stars the vocal talents of Beverley Webster, Chris East, Mark Farey, David Pardoe, Jen Kenny, Ian Bradley, Fraser Haines, Bernie Wood, Mairead Kearins, and Victoria Miles.

Behind the scenes, Defying Gravity reunites members of the team behind Masque’s Madame Bovary and last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Megan Lucas (Director) and Alex Rex (Directing Consultant), Rebecca Francis-Edwards (Stage Manager), Ella Drake (Sound and Lighting), Production Assistants Rebecca Cockcroft, Mairead Kearins, Elizabeth Palmer and Tamsyn Payne. With Costume/Hair & Make-up by Victoria Lucas and accent consultant Mindy Robinson.

Megan Lucas is writing a blog chronicling the process of bringing such an emotional production to the stage – Countdown To Launch (you can read Part I here).


Defying Gravity takes place at The Playhouse Theatre from 16-20 October. Tickets will be on sale soon – visit Masque Theatre’s website for further details, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.