Casting announced for the premiere of new adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s The Card

Casting has been announced for the premiere of Deborah McAndrew’s new adaptation of Arnold Bennett’s novel The Card.

The piece opens at Fenton Town Hall from 29 June – 9 July 2022.

The Card cast will feature Gareth Cassidy (The 39 Steps, New Vic Theatre) as Denry Machin; David Ahmad (The Kite Runner, West End and Hamlet, National Theatre) as Harold Etches; Howard Chadwick (Pride and Prejudice, Grosvenor Open Air Theatre) as Mr Duncalf; Jessica Dyas (Babe, The Sheep Pig, Mercury Theatre) as Ruth Earp; Darren Kuppan (Hamlet, Leeds Playhouse) as Jock ; Jenny Murphy (Pride and Prejudice, Grosvenor Open Air Theatre) as Nellie Cotterill; and Molly Roberts (Private Peaceful, Nottingham Playhouse and Pressure, Chichester Festival Theatre and West End) as the Countess of Chell. The cast will play all other roles.

Directed by Conrad Nelson (Pride and Prejudice, Grosvenor Open Air Theatre), The Card follows the adventures of the loveable rogue Denry Machin, as he makes his way up from humble beginnings to become the most celebrated ‘card’ in The Five Towns!

The Five Towns make up Bennett’s fictional Stoke-on Trent – each identifiable with one of the real towns. However, he was missing one – Fenton. Bennett had nothing against Fenton – he just felt that from a literary point of view, Five Towns just sounded better than six.

Fenton has never quite forgiven him. Ironically, performances of The Card will take place in the newly refurbished Ballroom at Fenton Town Hall.

In the comical novel, the character of Denry Machin is identified with ‘the great cause of cheering us all up’ – and this is the inspiration for the new production.

For more information and tickets, visit

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.


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