An actor from Harrow has been cast in his first major role in the West End.

Ashley Gayle will star as Mandras in the first major stage production of Louis de Bernières’ best-selling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The show transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End in July and is booking until August 31.

Ashley’s parents are from Jamaica but he grew up in Harrow and trained professionally at Guildford School of Acting. He has performed in Shakespeare in Love (UK Tour), The Duchess of Malfi (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Othello (The Globe Theatre).

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an epic love story set on the Greek island of Cephalonia. It follows the lives of Dr Iannis, his beautiful, strong-willed daughter Pelagia and the Italian Captain Antonio Corelli, during the Italian and German occupation of the island in World War II.

Harrow Times:

For his novel Louis de Bernières won the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, the 1995 Lannan Literary Award for Fiction and the 1994 Sunday Express Book of the Year. In 2001, the novel was adapted into a film starring Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz.

Louis said: “I am delighted that this production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is moving to the West End. The play is faithful to my story, movingly told, and the direction and acting are superb. It deserves a long run.”

The show transferred to the West End following a tour which took in the cities of Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is directed by Olivier and Tony Award nominee Melly Still and has been adapted by Evening Standard Award-winner and Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominee Rona Munro. 2019 marks 25 years since the book was first published.

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