‘All things pass – is this your philosophy? Is there no room for love in your philosophy of life?’

Tamsin Greig and John Sessions will lead the cast in William Boyd’s debut play, directed by Nina Raine, which opens at Hampstead Theatre at the end of February. Other members of this outstanding cast include Jonathan Bailey, Natasha Little, Eve Ponsonby and Catrin Stewart.

From two short stories by the Russian master Anton Chekhov, award-winning novelist William Boyd (An Ice-Cream War, Brazzaville Beach, Any Human Heart, Restless, Waiting for Sunrise) spins a tale of nineteenth century Russian life both familiar and unfamiliar.

When Kolia is invited to visit his oldest friends on their Estate in the country he anticipates a pleasant break from Moscow life. But as the comedy of provincial life plays out around him, he finds himself adrift in a sea of false expectations, missed opportunities and unspoken passions.

Longing is designed by Lizzie Clachan, 
with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Gareth Fry.

Nina Raine returns to Hampstead following her 2010 sell-out play Tiger Country, which she both wrote and directed. She directed Tamsin Greig in April de Angelis’ critically acclaimed Jumpy (Royal Court and West End), and also directed Shades (Royal Court), Unprotected (Liverpool Everyman) for which she won the TMA Best Director Award and her own debut play Rabbit (Old Red Lion, Trafalgar Studios, 59E59 New York) which won the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Most Promising Playwright. Other writing credits include Tribes (Royal Court ).

Award-winning Tamsin Greig has just finished the West End transfer of Jumpy directed by Nina Raine. Previous stage plays include Little Dog Laughed (Garrick), Gethsemene (NT), God of Carnage (Geilgud) and Much Ado About Nothing and King John (RSC). TV includes Episodes and White Heat (BBC) Black Books, Green Wing and Friday Night Dinner (Ch 4). She has played Debbie Aldridge in The Archers since 1991.

A prolific actor, writer and comedian, John Sessions’ theatre appearances include My Night With Reg (Royal Court/Criterion), Waiting for Godot (Young Vic) and The Orton Diaries (NT). TV includes Stella Street, Gormenghast, Breaking the Mold and The History of Tom Jones (BBC), Porterhouse Blue (Ch 4) and The New Statesman (Ytv/New York TV). Amongst many film appearances he has played two Prime Ministers – Edward Heath in The Iron Lady and Harold Wilson in Made In Dagenham.

From 28 February – 6 April.  Tickets avaliable online at The Hampstead Theatre website.

The Hampstead Theatre
Eton Ave,
Swiss Cottage,
London NW3 3EU
United Kingdom



  • Emily Healey-Lynham

    Emily has been involved in the media industry for well over 10 years from working on film sets to journalism and PR. Emily is a strategic, energetic Editor who has been with Bespoke since the start heading up the Culture department. Being a fan of all art forms from the theatre to films, literature to exhibitions Emily is usually found in the stalls of a theatre telling you where the cast have been seen before without looking in the programme or fact finding in an art gallery, failing that she will be sipping champagne at the bar regaling stories of "glory days" of the West End!

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