Under The Blue Sky

Play by David Eldridge. Under The Blue Sky is a darkly comic yet tender play about three relationships, six lives and the nature of love and friendship, both true and unrequited.

Original London Production 2000 - Royal Court Theatre

Original West End London Production 2008 - Duke of York's Theatre

David Eldridge's other plays include Beginning see at the National Theatre's Dorfman Theatre in 2017, and transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre in 2018; and the English language stage adaptation from the original Dogme film and play of Festen at the Almeida Thatre and transfer to the Lyric Theatre in 2004.


Original London Production 2000 - Royal Court Theatre

Previewed 14 September 2000, Opened 19 September 2000, Closed 7 October 2000 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs

The cast featured Justin Sallinger as 'Nick', Samantha Edmonds as 'Helen', Lisa Palfrey as 'Michelle', Jonathan Cullen as 'Graham', Sheila Hancock as 'Anne', and Stanley Townsend as 'Robert'.

Directed by Rufus Norris with designs by Katrina Lindsay, lighting by Johanna Town, and sound by Rich Walsh.


Original West End London Production 2008 - Duke of York's Theatre

Previewed 16 July 2008, Opened 25 July 2008, Closed 20 September 2008 at the Duke of York's Theatre

Revival of David Eldridge's play Under The Blue Sky in London starring Francesca Annis, Lisa Dillon, Chris O'Dowd, Dominic Rowan, Catherine Tate

The cast featured Chris O'Dowd as 'Nick', Lisa Dillon as 'Helen', Catherine Tate as 'Michelle', Dominic Rowan as 'Graham', Francesca Annis as 'Anne', and Nigel Lindsay as 'Robert'.

Directed by Anna Mackmin with movement by Scarlett Mackmin, designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Mark Henderson, and sound by Paul Arditti.

Please Note: Under 14s will not be admitted.

Catherine Tate's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Sam' in David Grindley's production of Neil LaBute's Some Girls at the Gielgud Theatre in 2005.

Lisa Dillon's London stage credits include the roles of 'Joanna Lyppiatt' in Howard Davies' revival of Noel Coward's Present Laughter at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 2007; 'Desdemona' in Gregory Doran's revival of William Shakespeare's Othello at the Trafalgar Studios in 2004; and 'Hilde Wangel' in Anthony Page's revival of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder at the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre) in 2003.

Dominic Rowan's West End stage credits include the roles of 'Son' in Thea Sharrock's revival of John Mortimer's A Voyage Round My Father at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2006; and 'Bill' in Mark Brokaw's production of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero at the Donmar Warehouse in 2002, and transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre.

Francesca Annis' London theatre credits include the roles of 'Ruth' in Peter Gill's revival of John Osborne and Anthony Creighton's Epitaph for George Dillon at the Comedy Theatre in 2006; 'Florence Lancaster' in Michael Grandage's revival of Noel Coward's The Vortex at the Donmar Warehouse in 2002; 'Mrs Alving' in Robin Phillips' revival of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts at the Albery Theatre in 2001; 'Mrs. Erlynne' in Philip Prowse's revival of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan at the Albery Theatre in 1994; 'Rebekka West' in Annie Castledine's revival of Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm at the Young Vic Theatre in 1992; 'Masha' in Elijah Moshinsky's revival of Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters at the Albery Theatre in 1987; 'Cressida' in Barry Kyle's revival of William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida at the Aldwych Theatre in 1977; and 'Juliet' in Trevor Nunn's revival of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Aldwych Theatre in 1977.

Nigel Lindsay's London stage credits include the roles of 'Nick' in Loveday Ingram's revival of Alan Ayckborn's Bedroom Farce at the Aldwych Theatre in 2002; 'Max in David Leveaux's revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing at the Donmar Warehouse in 1999, and transfer to the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre) in 2000; and 'John' in Patrick Marber's production of Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 1996.

"It's about three pairs of teachers embroiled in vaguely connected love stories. Catherine Tate's pairing is the lewdest of the three as she attempts drunken sex with Dominic Rowan's besotted but virginal history teacher who runs the school's military training sessions. Chris O'Dowd covers the failed love angle as a spineless young man who is useful in the kitchen but hopeless in the bedroom when it comes to his tragically infatuated 'friend' played by Lisa Dillon. The soft-focused ending, though, falls to Francesca Annis as a headmistressy older woman who moves away to the country to give her younger lover a chance to start a new life. If she is coolly detached, Nigel Lindsay, as the man she left behind, is a big-hearted Essex geezer who keeps you emotionally involved. It's Catherine Tate, however, who rocks the show as a reckless, middle-aged sex-predator. What comes out of her mouth is pure slurry, but Tate provides a visceral and tragic centre to Anna Mackmin's alternately dreamy and nightmarish production." The Mail on Sunday

"This play, premiered in 2000, starts with a bang as the reverberations of the IRA bombing at Canary Wharf in London are felt in a nearby flat. But it is quickly apparent that the focus of David Eldridge's funny, moving and, at times, uncomfortable work is politics of a sexual nature. The play examines the love lives of six teachers as they flail around in various degrees of requitedness... All three parts are subtly inter-connected and provide an effective meditation on the nature of relationships. The fact that all the characters are teachers almost seems incidental and we are left grasping for a reason why their profession has been seized on. There is an independent-versus-state school debate and a cursory glance towards the increasing difficulties encountered in what was once a respected profession - but classroom concerns are presented as infinitely secondary to private lives." The Daily Express

"Composed of three successive duologues, Under the Blue Sky is essentially a two-parter: a farcical build-up, hysterical in all senses of the word, as Helen tries to woo Nick and Michelle rejects Graham; then a cathartic release, as Anne and Robert tackle their own problematic relationship... In other words, this is about love, even if all the characters are teachers... There is a pattern: the women storm and the men try to weather them, each in their own way. In the midst of all this passion, we get the odd reference to secondary education, which seems a little spurious." The Sunday Times

Under The Blue Sky in London at the Duke of York's Theatre previewed from 16 July 2008, opened on 25 July 2008 and closed on 20 September 2008.