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The Actor's Nightmare

By Christopher Durang

At the Park Theatre

A co-production of 3 Hearts Canvas and Over Here Theatre Company

Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang explores the entertainment industry through biting satire and surreal comedy. At once a celebration of show business and a touching reflection on what it means to be an artist, we are offered snapshots of the eccentric and absurd.


From Tennessee Williams to Euripides, tossing in a bit of Beckett, no renowned playwright is safe. Classic plays are warped and distorted - the outcome is both shocking and hilarious.


With a female-led creative team and an ensemble cast featuring: Meaghan Martin (Camp Rock), Kate Sumpter (The Little Drummer Girl), and Stefan Menaul (Dirty Dancing, West End), Layo -Christina Akinlude (Rocks, The End of the F**cking World) and Adrian Richards (Noises Off! West End, Macbeth and Winter’s Tale, National Theatre), we journey through the ludicrous and lonely world of New York theatre, culminating in Durang’s iconic finale: The Actor’s Nightmare.


Curated by 3 hearts canvas into a cohesive, stand-alone piece, the production includes the UK Premiere of some of Durang’s finest works: Mrs Sorken; Desire, Desire, Desire; Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room; Woman Stand-Up; Medea and The Actor’s Nightmare.


“Director Lydia Parker throws in plenty of busy movement and nonverbal gags to make the most of the humour. Meaghan Martin – best known for film work, with roles in Camp Rock and Mean Girls 2 – makes a strong stage debut.”

The Stage


“A talented cast of versatile comic actors, with particularly stand-out performances from Kate Sumpter and Adrian Richards.“

Time Out


“Lydia Parker’s breezy production…is a potent piece in that it taps into the universal nightmare that in life we all find ourselves in inexplicable situations where everyone but us knows the lines. Even more chilling is a sketch in which Meaghan Martin plays, with a marvellous mix of ingratiation and panic, panic, a collapsing stand-up who pleadingly asks: “Do you find me funny or disturbing?”

Michael Billington, The Guardian


“Stefan Menaul is beautifully bewildered as George… The cast and direction (with movement input from Meaghan Martin and Adrian Richards) add energy and some rollicking choreography that takes it to a different level… fluid flow of Lydia Parker’s direction”

British Theatre Guide


“Six short plays, five stunning actors, magical lighting from Jai Morjaria and sharp direction from Lydia Parker, The Actor’s Nightmare is a well-observed romp through the insanity of the theatrical profession.”

Camden New Journal


Meaghan Martin, Stefan Menaul, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Adrian Richards and Kate Sumpter. 


Director: Lydia Parker

Set and Costume Design: Anna Driftmier 

Lighting Design: Jai Morjaria

Sound Design: Odinn Ornn Hilmarsson 

Co-Producer: 3 Hearts Canvas

Stage Manager: Josh York​

Photos: Ali Wright

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