Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch announces world premiere of Rebus: A Game Called Malice

Last Updated on 9th January 2023

Cast and creatives have been announced for the world premiere of Ian Rankin and Simon Reade’s Rebus: A Game Called Malice at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

Queen's Theatre Hornchurch

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch will open its Spring 2023 season with the world premiere of Ian Rankin and Simon Reade’s Rebus: A Game Called Malice. This exciting on-stage exclusive is produced by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in association with Daniel Schumann and Lee Dean. It plays from 2 – 25 February 2023.  Book tickets now!

Playing the lead role of John Rebus is John Michie, best known for his roles as DI Robbie Ross in STV’sTaggart, as Karl Munro in ITV’s Coronation Street and as Guy Self in BBC One’s Holby City

Michie will be joined by Rebecca Charles (The Dresser, Theatre Royal Bath and The Father, Duke of York Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre); Billy Hartman (best known for playing the part of Terry Woods on ITV’sEmmerdale); Emily Joyce (best known for playing Janet Dawkins in BBC One’s My Hero); Forbes Masson (best known for his classical theatre roles and comedy partnership with Alan Cumming – The High Life, BBC Two); and Emma Noakes (best known for BBC One’sCall The Midwife and leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company). 

A splendid dinner party concludes with a game created by the hostess. A murder in a stately home needs to be solved. Suspects, clues and red herrings await… but the dinner-party guests have secrets of their own, threatened by the very game they are playing. And among them is Inspector John Rebus. True crime is his calling – is he playing an alternative game, one to which only he knows the rules? There is danger with every twist and turn – and a shocking discovery will send this game called Malice hurtling towards a gasp-inducing conclusion. 

Rebus: A Game Called Malice will be directed by the award-winning Robin Lefevre (who has worked extensively in the UK, Ireland and the United States); designed by Terry Parsons (who has designed 37 productions in London’s West End including Grease, Dominion Theatre and Singin’ In The Rain, The London Palladium); with lighting design by Matthew Eagland (The Life I Lead, Park Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre); and joining them is composer and sound designer Garth McConaghie (Derry Girls, Channel 4). 

Ian Rankin is the internationally bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus novels and a global storytelling phenomenon. Rankin’s books are bestsellers on several continents, and he’s won multiple awards, received an OBE for services to literature and was knighted in the 2022 Birthday Honours. Rankin released his 24th novel in the series, A Heart Full of Headstones, in October 2022. The new release has recently celebrated 11 consecutive weeks in the UK top 10 crime novels, and The Guardian listed it as ‘Best Crime & Thriller Books of 2022.’ Rebus was also turned into a TV detective drama series and ran for four series. It initially starred John Hannah as DI John Rebus and then Ken Stott took on the role. There’s a new TV adaptation set to start filming this Spring. 

Simon Reade is a renowned adaptor. His extensive stage adaptations include Pride & Prejudice (Regent’s Park/Guthrie Minneapolis), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (TMA Award winner), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and Ted Hughes’s Tales From Ovid – both for the Royal Shakespeare Company where he was Literary Manager. Reade has also been Literary Manager for London’s Gate Theatre, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, and has worked as a development producer for Tiger Aspect Productions and BBC Drama. \

Writer Ian Rankin says: “I’m thrilled that audiences can experience an all-new Rebus story at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. This is as twisty and fun a tale as I’ve ever spun. With a cracking cast, it promises to be a dynamite night at the theatre!” 

John Michie, playing Rebus says: “This play dives into an Edinburgh social scene that I know well and doesn’t come up for air for two hours of intrigue, tension and drama. I cannot wait to get stuck into the mind of John Rebus and the effortless, electric writing of Ian Rankin and Simon Reade.” 

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