Sister, sister! One's an uptight WASP and the other an eccentric recovering alcoholic, but they're very much related. Sinéad Cusack and Clare Higgins have signed on to play sisters Polly Wyeth and Silda Grauman in the U.K. premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s Tony-nominated play Other Desert Cities. Set to kick off a season of productions to be presented in-the-round at The Old Vic and directed by Olivier award winner Lindsay Posner, the production will begin previews March 13, with opening night set for March 24.
Other Desert Cities follows Brooke Wyeth as she returns to the family home in Palm Springs for the first time in six years with some incendiary news for her Republican parents (Cusack as the mother), her upbeat brother and her recovering alcoholic aunt (Higgins). She is about to publish a memoir about her family, exposing a pivotal moment in their painful and explosive past, her actions threatening to push fractured family relations to a point beyond repair.
Two-time Tony nominee and Olivier nominee Cusack marks her return to The Old Vic stage, having last appeared in The Bridge Project (The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale). Other stage work includes Juno and the Paycock, Rock ’n’ Roll (Royal Court, West End and Broadway; 2008 Tony nomination for Featured Actress), Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing (Tony nomination for Best Actress) and Our Lady of Sligo. On screen, Cusack has starred in The Wrath of the Titans, Eastern Promises, V for Vendetta and I Capture the Castle and will soon appear in the film Eliza Graves, alongside Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Kate Beckinsale.
Tony nominee Higgins is the recipient of three Olivier Awards; for Hecuba at the Donmar, Sweet Bird of Youth at the National and Vincent in Brixton (Tony nominated). Other notable theatre roles include Jocasta in Jonathan Kent’s Oedipus opposite Ralph Fiennes, Gertrude in Hamlet with Rory Kinnear, Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman (Lyric), The Night of the Iguana, The Fever, Phaedra and Mrs Klein. Film work includes the cult films Hellraiser and Hellraiser II, as well as I Give It A Year, The Golden Compass and The Libertine. She can be seen as Mrs. Barlett in the third series of Downton Abbey.
The show was first seen in 2010 at New York’s Lincoln Center, before transferring to Broadway where it garnered five Tony nominations. Other Desert Cities was also a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.