Cast announced for premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s anthropology at Hampstead Theatre

Hampstead Theatre has revealed the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of anthropology.

The gripping thriller about Artificial Intelligence written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Anna Ledwich will run from 7 September – 14 October 2023.

The cast includes MyAnna Buring (Twilight: Breaking Dawn, The Witcher, Downton Abbey), Dakota Blue Richards (The Golden Compass, Skins, and Arcadia), Yolanda Kettle (Patriots and Deep Blue Sea) and Abigail Thaw (Endeavour and The Strange Death of John Doe).

The play follows Merril, a leading software engineer in Silicon Valley, who faces the disintegration of her life when her younger sister Angie goes missing. A year later, Merril creates a digital simulation of her sister using all the digital material Angie left behind, providing her some solace. However, the virtual Angie starts revealing new details about the real Angie’s disappearance, leading to further mysteries.

Anna Ledwich directs with a creative team that includes Georgia Lowe as the designer, James Whiteside as the lighting designer, Max Pappenheim as the sound designer and Daniel Denton as the video designer.

Lauren Gunderson, playwright said: “I can’t quite express how meaningful it is that Hampstead Theatre is welcoming me back and trusting me for the world premiere of anthropology. I began this play in 2022 a full year before the launch of ChatGPT and the rapid growth of AI that we see all around us now. Hampstead was the very first theatre I shared it with, and its truly exhilarating to meet this moment and bring this play to life with Anna Ledwich and our phenomenal cast and creative team.

“While anthropology is a roller coaster of the contrasting tensions between technology and its creators, this play is truly a very human story of family, grief, resilience, love and sisterhood. The grounding thesis of this play is that all new technology – like all art – is first and foremost a method of expressing and coming to understand ourselves. Our tech tells us who we are long before we tell it what we want it to be.”

For more information and tickets, visit hampsteadtheatre.com

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.