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London stars of ‘Hills of California’ to repeat performances on Broadway

Laura Donnelly and more will lead the cast of the new Jez Butterworth play.

(L-R) Laura Donnelly, Ophelia Lovibond and Leanne Best in promotional shots for “The Hills of California,” 2024 (Credit:Michael Wharley)

The eight principal actors of the spring 2024 West End mounting of Jez Butterworth’s “The Hills of California” will move with the production to Broadway. The previously announced transfer of the Sam Mendes-directed play will begin previews on Sept. 11 and open on Sept. 29 at the John Golden Theatre for a limited engagement through Dec. 8.

Laura Donnelly will reprise her performance as Joan/Veronica, a turn which earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play. Rounding out the principal company will be Leanne Best as Gloria, Ophelia Lovibond as Ruby, Helena Wilson as Jill, Nancy Allsop as Young Gloria, Sophia Ally as Young Ruby, Lara McDonnell as Young Joan and Nicola Turner as Young Jill. 

Donnelly won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Play for her turn as Caitlin Carney in Butterworth’s “The Ferryman”; she received a Tony Award nomination for reprising her performance in its 2018 Broadway transfer. “The Hills of California” will mark Donnelly’s third Main Stem collaboration with Buttworth, having made her Broadway debut in the playwright’s 2014 drama “The River.”

The remainder of the principal cast will make their Broadway debuts in “Hills.”

Best’s U.K. credits include “Sweat” at Donmar Warehouse and “The Human Voice” at the Gate Theatre. 

On the West End, Lovibond appeared in “The Libertine” and “Nightfall.”

Wilson has appeared in several productions at Donmar Warehouse and made her stage debut in the Old Vic production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.”

Allsop performed in West End productions of “God Bless the Child” and “Annie.” She played Young Mia on Netflix’s “Young Wallander.”

Ally has made West End appearances in Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” opposite Donnelly, as well as in “Matilda” at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

McDonnell is also a veteran of the RSC’s “Matilda.” Her film credits include “Belfast” and “Artemis Fowl.”

Turner appeared in U.K. and Ireland tours of “Matilda” and “Billy Elliot.”

Set in a coastal England home, once filled with singing and harmonizing, “The Hills of California” follows four sisters who reconcile how a shot at fame in the 1950s affected the trajectory of their lives, as they return home in the 1970s to care for their dying mother.

Also released today is a new trailer for the production, featuring the Broadway cast.

Additional casting, by Jim Carnahan and JV Mercanti, will be revealed at a later date.

“The Hills of California” is being produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, No Guarantees Productions, Neal Street, Brian Spector, and Sand & Snow Entertainment, with Stephanie P. McClelland.