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Sky Arts Playhouse Presents… sees all-star line-up


Sky Arts Playhouse Presents… returns in May with a new series of the popular comedy and drama strand, showcasing a number of acting, writing and directing talent.

The new series of 30 minute one-off comedies and dramas will see Friends star Matthew Perry in his first UK TV role, and Cara Delevingne make her TV acting debut.
An all-star cast will appear including: Jo Brand, Simon Callow, Cara Delevingne, Lindsay Duncan, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Matthew Perry, Billie Piper, Mark Strong, Sylvia Syms, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins, Ben Whishaw and Richard Wilson.

James Hunt, Director, Sky Arts notes: “What a phenomenal line-up for this year’s Playhouse Presents… Sky Arts has built on its huge success in comedy and drama over the past two years, we’re delighted that such outstanding writers, directors and actors, all at the very top of their game want to come and ‘play’ with us. “

Full details of the episodes:

The Dog Thrower (1 May)

Written and directed by Jon Ronson.

Jonah (Tim Key) is a nervous young man and a big dog lover. One day in the park he sees A Charismatic Man (Matthew Perry) throwing his dog in the air to the crowd’s enchantment. So Jonah, wanting to be popular, starts to throw his dog in the air too. Disastrous consequences ensue. Also starring Kimberley Nixon and with an exclusive score by Belle and Sebastian.
Nosferatu In Love (8 May)

Written and directed by Peter Straughan (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

In a fit of rebellion against his director which masks his own dark demons, a tormented movie actor (Mark Strong) starring as Nosferatu runs away to a nearby small Czech town when his young wife leaves him, teaming up with a local petty crook with unexpected, absurdist consequences. Loss and failure find their way to a redemption of sorts for both of them.
The Cruise (15 May)

Written and directed by Stewart Sugg.

Mobile hairdresser Jacky (Jane Horrocks) has been dreaming of going on an ocean cruise with her mobile mechanic husband Andy (Jason Watkins) for years. Now, just a week away from their holiday, Andy is getting cold feet. Is this down to Jacky’s desire to enter the cruise ship talent contest, or is there something more peculiar behind Andy’s resistance to this trip of a lifetime?
Nightshift (22 May)

Written by Jimmy Gardner (whose script is the last thing he wrote before his premature death in June 2010), directed by Bruce Goodison.

Starring Daniel Mays, Ashley Walters and Scarlett Alice Johnson, Nightshift follows two coppers as they cruise the streets of South East London in the small hours discussing life, the universe and everything else amidst the surreal world of the night.
Foxtrot (29 May)

Written and directed by Polly Stenham.

Starring Billie Piper, Ben Whishaw, Lindsay Duncan and Alice Sanders, the critically-lauded playwright brings her unique voice and vision to a contemporary ill-fated girl gang heist.

Space Age (5 June)

Written by Nick Moran and Ralf Little. Directed by Lawrence Gough.

Richard Wilson and Simon Callow star as two ageing astronauts on a perilous mission to a faraway planet, battling with loneliness, isolation, and occasionally each other. It is the distant future, and mankind is in need of desperate measures to ease the swelling overpopulation of earth. The solution; send elderly volunteers – men and women who would rather die alone on a distant planet than live out their last years in nursing homes – to prepare new worlds for human settlement. On board the star-ship, our intrepid space travellers contemplate the enormity of their mission, the importance of purpose, and even the definition of life itself.
Damned (12 June)

Written by Morwenna Banks and Jo Brand. Directed by Natalie Bailey.

Starring Kevin Eldon and Jo Brand in a comedy set in a social services department. Social Worker and Single parent Rose (Brand) is having a bad day. At work the heating is broken, there’s a patronising new temp, and her three kids are off school sick. The chaos of the office is matched only by the chaos of her home life when Rose discovers her mum has misplaced her children.   Could her day get any worse? Yes, indeed it could and it does when Rose is confronted with a crisis that even an experienced professional like her could not have anticipated…
Timeless (19 June)

Written by Tim Firth. Directed by Tony Smith.

Alice and Chloe may be generations apart but both share the pain of having been separated from their partners by war. Chloe’s soldier fiancé is serving a term of duty in Afghanistan when an army official arrives at Alice’s door.  The two women are shocked by the news but the generation gap is finally closing. Sylvia Syms and Cara Delevingne star in this engaging tale of love, loss and hope.