Stoppard’s comedy classic returns to dock in Leeds

Rough Crossing

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 2:58 pm

Grand Theatre, Leeds. April 1-6

Bill Kenwright presents the long-awaited return of Tom Stoppard’s 1984 comedy classic.

Written by Academy, Tony and Olivier award-winning writer Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Thing) and directed by acclaimed director Rachel Kavanaugh (The Wind in the Willows, Half a Sixpence), Rough Crossing tells the tale of two famous but desperate playwrights stuck in an ocean liner headed for New York.

Feverishly trying to rehearse their latest show before reaching land (and opening night), they are constantly distracted by their delicate composer’s attempts to end it all, having overheard his lover confess her feelings to the leading man.

Add an absurdly unorthodox waiter, a mistimed lifeboat drill and a vanishing glass of brandy and soon the sharp Atlantic winds turn to world-class gales of laughter as these colourful characters become tangled up in a typically Stoppardian string of absurd events.

The star cast is led by John Partridge; winner of this year’s Celebrity Masterchef, charismatic Christian Clarke in EastEnders and one of musical theatre’s most prolific leading men having played in major West End musical hits, including Chorus Line, Chicago and La Cage Aux Folles.

Joining Partridge is one of musical theatre’s brightest stars, Olivier-award nominee Charlie Stemp.

Fresh from Snow White at the London Palladium, Stemp has triumphed in both London and Broadway, starring opposite Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! and in the West End in Half a Sixpence.

He will play Bert in the 2019 revival of Mary Poppins. Rough Crossing will also feature West End star Issy van Randwyck (Fascinating Aïda), comedy TV favourite Matthew Cottle (Game On, The Windsors), Holby City’s Rob Ostlere and Simon Dutton who portrayed Simon Templar in The Saint.

Book online at or call the theatre Box Office on 0844 848 2700.