2015 Caroline Tomcat
Southwark Playhouse Kate Hewitt
2014 Mary Tyrone Long Day’s Journey
into Night
Royal Lyceum Theatre Tony Cownie
2011 Madre Marguerita The Heresy of Love Royal Shakespeare Co Nancy Meckler
2009 Kate Keller All My Sons Leicester Curve Theatre Walter Meierjohann
2008 Mrs Mullins Carousel Stanhope Productions Lindsay Posner
2008 Eugenia Breaking the Silence Nottingham Playhouse Esther Richardson
2007 Miss Fenway Lovely and Misfit Fishwick Productions Anna Ledwich
2005 Phaedra Phaedra’s Love Bristol Old Vic/ Barbican Anne Tipton
2003 Caesonia Caligula Donmar Warehouse Michael Grandage
2001 Lady Flippant Love in a Wood Royal Shakespeare Co Tim Supple
2001 Floss The Prisoners Dilemma Royal Shakespeare Co Michael Attenborough
2000 Hannah Arcadia Salisbury Playhouse Rupert Goold
1999 Daphne Talk of the City Royal Shakespeare Co Stephen Poliakoff
1998 Elegant Lady Roberto Zucco Royal Shakespeare Co James McDonald
1992 Sheila An Inspector Calls Royal National Theatre Stephen Daldry
1991 M. de Merteuil Les Liaisons Dangereuses Ambassadors Theatre David Leveaux

Diana Kent in Heresy of LoveTHE HERESY OF LOVE by Helen Edmundson

Directed by Nancy Meckler. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company at The Swan Theatre, Stratford On Avon. Opened February, 2012.

Cast included: Catherine McCormack, Stephen Boxer, Raymond Coulthard, Dona Croll, Catherine Hamilton.

Inspired by the story of a 16th cen­tury nun who was also a play­wright. Diana played MADRE MARGUERITA, the Mother Superior of the con­vent.

Diana Kent in All My Sons

ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller

Directed by Walter Meierjohann. Produced by the Leicester Curve Theatre. Opened September 2009.

Cast included: Ian Redford, Phil Cheadle, John Dougall, Lisa Jackson, Emily Houghton.

Meierjohann took a fresh approach to this clas­sic about a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man’s fam­ily haunted by scan­dal and dis­grace. Critical reac­tions to the pro­duc­tion were good, and it made a strong impres­sion on those who saw it, but it was unfor­tu­nately under­pub­li­cised.

Diana played KATE KELLER, one of Miller’s most chal­len­ging roles, a moth­er and wife who is hid­ing from a truth she does­n’t want to face.


Diana Kent

CAROUSEL by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Directed by Lindsay Posner. Opened at the Savoy Theatre, London, December 2008. Classic American  music­al about love and redemp­tion amongst small-time car­ni­val folk at the turn of the cen­tury.

Cast included: Lesley Garrett, Jeremiah James, Alexandra Silber.

Diana played MRS MULLINS, own­er of the carou­sel; a non-singing role and the rival love interest for the cent­ral male prot­ag­on­ist.


BREAKING THE SILENCE by Stephen Poliakoff

Directed by Esther Richardson. Opened at the Nottingham Playhouse in May 2008. Poliakoff’s bio­graph­ic­al play about the Russian Revolution and the devel­op­ment of mov­ing pic­tures. (Rehearsal photo shown)

Cast included: Ilan Goodman, Celia Meiras, Jim Findley, Philip Bretherton

Diana played EUGENIA, the long suf­fer­ing wife of an eccent­ric invent­or, try­ing to hold her fam­ily togeth­er in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

Lovely & Misfit

LOVELY AND MISFIT by Tennessee Williams

Directed by Anna Ledwich. Opened at the Trafalgar Studios in London in March 2007.

Cast included: David Hartley, Jennifer Higham, Edward Hughes and Matt Ryan.

A col­lec­tion of Tennessee Williams short plays. Diana appeared as a neur­ot­ic moth­er, MRS FENWAY in ‘Summer At The Lake’ which fore­shad­ows many of the themes of ‘The Glass Menagerie’.

Diana Kent as PhaedraPHAEDRA’S LOVE by Sarah Kane

Directed by Anne Tipton as part of the Young Genius Season. Produced by the Bristol Old Vic and transfered to the Barbican, London, where it opened November 2005. A rad­ic­al retell­ing of Seneca’s tragedy by a con­tro­ver­sial young play­wright.

Cast included: Laurence Penry-Jones, Alexandra Moen, Daniel Gosling, Nadia Williams

Diana played PHAEDRA, the queen inces­tu­ously obsessed with her stepson.

Diana Kent in Caligula

CALIGULA by Albert Camus

Directed by Michael Grandage. Opened at the Donmar Warehouse in London in April 2003. Camus’ play, in a new trans­la­tion by David Greig, is a med­it­a­tion on the absurd using the life of the dec­ad­ent Roman emper­or to explore philo­soph­ic­al ques­tions.

Cast included: Michael Sheen, Geff Francis, Bernard Gallagher, Raymond Coulthard, Olivia MacDonald

Diana played the role of CAESONIA, the emper­or’s mis­tress and advisor.

Diana Kent

LOVE IN A WOOD by William Wycherley

Directed by Tim Supple. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company at The Swan Theatre, Stratford On Avon. Opened May 2001.

Cast included: Amanda Drew, Paul Bentall, Claire Cox, Louis Hillyer.

An early com­edy by this acerbic res­tor­a­tion play­wright. Diana played LADY FLIPPANT an arch and con­niv­ing man-eat­er des­per­ate to find a hus­band.

Diana Kent in The Prisoner's Dilemma


Directed by Michael Attenborough. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company. Opened July 2001 at The Other Place Theatre, Stratford On Avon.  Transferred to the Pit, Barbican, January 2002.

A chal­len­ging and thought pro­vok­ing play based on real life situ­ations about the dilem­mas of peace nego­ti­ation in a Balkans style con­flict.

Cast included: Penny Downie, Zoe Waites, Robert Bowman, David Wilmot.

Diana played FLOSSIE an ideal­ist­ic act­ress who is forced to make a ter­rible choice and live with its con­sequences.

Diana Kent in Roberto Zucco, RSCROBERTO ZUCCO by Bernhard Marie Koltes

Directed by James MacDonald. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company. Opened  November 1998 at The Other Place Theatre. Transferred to the Pit, Barbican, 1999. A sav­agely nihil­ist­ic mod­ern european play by this con­tro­ver­sial writer which a large com­pany handled with pan­ache.

Cast included: Zubin Varla, Penny Leyden, Jimmy Chisholm.

Diana played RICH LADY, an archetyp­al bourgeious char­ac­ter in the style of Bunuel, who is drawn to the mur­der­ous hero even though he kills her son.

Diana Kent in Talk Of The CityTALK OF THE CITY by Stephen Poliakoff

Directed by Stephen Poliakoff. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company at The Swan. Opened 1998. Transferred to the Young Vic, 1999. Poliakoff’s play is about the hey­days of radio in the 1940’s and the bur­geon­ing power of the media in pub­lic life.

Cast included: David Westhead, John Normington, Polly Martin.

Diana played DAPHNE, a con­ven­tion­al radio pro­du­cer who becomes involved, at first unwill­ingly, in a rad­ic­ally dif­fer­ent light enter­tain­ment show.

Diana Kent in Les Liaisons Dangereuses


Directed by David Leaveaux. Produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company. Opened at The Ambassadors Theatre, London, September 1991.

Cast included: Daniel Travanti, Nicola King, Julie Graham.

This eleg­ant and witty play about 18th cen­tury intrigue had already enjoyed a suc­cess­ful run by the time Diana took over the role of the MARQUISE DE MERTEUIL. It was a chal­lenge to step into  after sev­er­al well-known act­resses but Christopher Hampton per­son­ally recom­men­ded her for the part after see­ing Diana in Figaro Gets Divorced.

Diana Kent in An Inspector Calls


Directed by Stephen Daldry. Designer Ian MacNeil. Produced by The Royal National Theatre. Opened Lyttelton Theatre, 11th Spetember 1992. Cast included: Richard Pasco, Louis Hilyer, Barbara Leigh Hunt, Vivienne Burgess, Robert Bowman, Kenneth Cranham.

Diana KentDiana first played the role of SHEILA BIRLING in Stephen Daldry’s rad­ic­al rein­ter­pret­a­tion of this Priestley clas­sic at the York Theatre Royal in 1989. The play had always been con­sidered some­thing of a the­at­ric­al war­horse; a well craf­ted “cham­ber” piece, beloved of rep­er­tory com­pan­ies because its small cast and one set made it cheap to pro­duce.

Daldry took on the job of dir­ect­ing it as an assign­ment but quickly began to apply his ima­gin­a­tion to the task. Amongst his first dis­cov­er­ies was that Priestley had nev­er liked or approved of the nat­ur­al­ist­ic style in which his play had been pro­duced in front of English speak­ing audi­ences; much pre­fer­ring the heightened “social real­ism” of the ori­gin­al Russian pro­duc­tion.

From this and oth­er sources, Daldry found the means to re-shape the play; open­ing it out and devel­op­ing it into a stun­ning the­at­ric­al tour de force. The cast played a sig­ni­fic­ant part in this pro­cess of explor­a­tion and the res­ult was a pro­duc­tion con­sidered to be a great suc­cess, both on a crit­ic­al and pop­u­list level, although its audi­ence was neces­sar­ily lim­ited by its loc­a­tion.

When approached by the National Theatre to dir­ect a play, Daldry put for­ward AN INSPECTOR CALLS as a pos­sible choice. It puzzled them but they even­tu­ally con­ceded, think­ing it would at least be inex­pens­ive to mount. They were not pre­pared for the large cast of extras or for the size of the set.

Daldry took two act­ors from the ori­gin­al pro­duc­tion, Diana and Robert Bowman, to “seed” his new cast. With the added resources at his dis­pos­al, he recre­ated and exceeded his ori­gin­al vis­ion. The play was hugely suc­cess­ful, both nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally.


Other theatre

1994 Aquilina Venice Preserved Manchester Library Theatre Gregory Hersov
1992 Marguerite The Stick Wife Gate Theatre Nancy Duiguid
1991 Madame De Sade Madame De Sade Almeida Theatre Tal Rubin
1990 Katherine The Secret Rapture Manchester Library Theatre Chris Honer
1989 Susanna Figaro Gets Divorced Gate Theatre Stephen Daldry
1989 May Fool for Love Millstream Theatre Chris Masters
1988 Curly’s Wife Of Mice & Men Manchester Library Stephen Daldry
1988 Karin Panorama King’s Head Theatre Penny Cherns
1986 Tina The Traveller Almeida Keith Boak
1983 Jane Crystal Clear Great Eastern Stage Ian McKeand
1983 Sarah Bitter Milk Temba Theatre Co Barry Phillips
Diana Kent in Of Mice and Men

OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck

Directed by Stephen Daldry. Produced by Manchester Library Theatre, Forum Theatre, Wythenshawe. Opened 8th November 1988.

Cast included: David Fielder, Tony Pritchard, Mark Spalding.

A typ­ic­ally innov­at­ive pro­duc­tion by Stephen Daldry with an atmo­spher­ic set by Bruno Santini.

Diana played CURLY’S WIFE, a naive woman trapped in a life of poverty who dreams of becom­ing a movie star.

Diana Kent in Figaro Gets DivorcedFIGARO GETS DIVORCED by Odon von Horvath.

Directed by Stephen Daldry. Produced by Gate Theatre, Notting Hill Gate, Filthy Lucre.

Cast included: Roger Sloman, Joanna Wake, Mark Spalding.

A “sequel” to The Marriage of Figaro with Horvath’s mord­ant humour and politi­cised per­spect­ive on the story giv­en full rein. Diana played SUSANNA, Figaro’s wife


Diana Kent in The Secret RaptureTHE SECRET RAPTURE by David Hare.

Directed by Christopher Honer. Produced by Manchester Library Theatre. Opened February 1990.

Cast included: Amanda Parfitt, Amanda Boxer, Ronan Vibert.

David Hare’s exam­in­a­tion of grief, fam­il­ies and eighties mater­i­al­ism. Diana played KATHERINE, a self-destruct­ive alcho­hol­ic.

Diana Kent in Venice PreservedVENICE PRESERVED by Thomas Otway.

Directed by Gregory Hersov. Produced by Manchester Royal Exchange. Opened March 1994 at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.

Cast included: Helen McRory, David Ryall, Jonathan Cullen.

A rare reviv­al of this Jacobean play with its sur­pris­ingly con­tem­por­ary themes. Diana played AQUILINA, a Venetian cour­tes­an who spe­cial­ises as a dom­in­atrix.

Diana Kent as Madame De SadeMADAME DE SADE by Yukio Mishima.

Directed by Tal Rubin. Opened 1991 at the Almeida Theatre, London, with cos­tumes designed by Katherine Hammnet. Mishima’s strange poet­ic piece applies japan­ese sens­ib­il­ity to west­ern themes in an ori­gin­al fash­ion. This was the first reviv­al of this play in the UK for many years.

Cast included: Miriam Cyr, Natasha Parry, Julie Legrand

Diana played MADAME DE SADE, the wife of the notori­ous Marquis, a com­plex and demand­ing role with its form­al lan­guage and extreme emo­tions.


Diana Kent in "Fool For Love" by Sam SheperdFOOL FOR LOVE by Sam Shepard

Directed by Christopher Masters. Produced by Millstream Theatre Co. Opened 1988 in Guildford. Sam Shepard’s quirky por­trait of a broth­er and sis­ter rela­tion­ship that may be more than it seems on the sur­face.

Cast included: Derek Hoxby, Tim Earle, Patrick Waldron.

The role of MAY was ideally suited for Diana. She brought a spe­cial qual­ity to this strange, intense love story between a step-broth­er and sis­ter.


bitter1BITTER MILK by David Clough

Directed by Barry Phillips. Produced by Temba Theatre Co. Opened at the Drill Hall, London in November 1983. A play that looks at the polit­ics in a tri­an­gu­lar rela­tion­ship between two women and a man, two black people and a white per­son.

Cast included: Alton Kumalo, Decima Francis.

A con­tem­por­ary play about exiled South Africans. Diana played SARAH, a white South African who agrees to an arranged mar­riage with a black South African to get him a pass­port, unaware that he is invi­ol­ved with anoth­er woman.


3 Responses to Theatre

  • Barney Durrant says:

    Hi Diana,

    Just saw Heavenly Creatures (again) as it was shown on TV over the week­end.

    Great film which looks like a clas­sic now and really enjoyed your per­form­ance. Good cast­ing too, as unlike many films, I could really see you as Kate Winslet’s moth­er in terms of a fam­ily resemb­lance!

    I’ll look out for your forth­com­ing pro­jects with anti­cip­a­tion.


    • Diana says:


      Thanks for your mes­sage. Heavenly Creatures was an inter­est­ing exper­i­ence. Kate was only sev­en­teen when she made it. Melanie Lynskey has also gone on to make some inter­est­ing films since.


  • Tim Sykes says:

    Ahhh, Figaro Gets Divorced I haven’t seen these images for a long time, I remem­ber think­ing you had a very sexy bot­tom in your 30’s dress and wondered if it would have done the same for me! Thank you for shar­ing them.

    PS I thought we were not allowed to men­tion the York ver­sion of Inspector... 😉

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