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The role played by Harley Granville Barker in the development of modern British Theatre is impossible to overestimate. It is three years since Agnes, an artist, left her unfaithful husband Henry. Now he writes to her in her Kensington studio begging to reunite, but Agnes married young; her innocence has gone and her ambition and independence is growing. As she travels from London to France, Agnes finds herself torn between Otho, a worldly Danish artist and Alec, an infatuated younger suitor between a longing to paint and be an independent woman and a yearning to be loved. This witty and compelling exploration of love, sexual attraction and independence was written in 1900 and unearthed among Granville Barker's papers in the British Library a century later.
Yasmina Reza's play is essentially about the concepts of friendship and value, and the way in which the two can cause conflict. One friend tries to appease a quarrel between two others over the purchase of a work of art, but in doing so only makes things worse, forcing all three of them to re-examine their friendship and the direction in which it is going.1997 - Olivier Award Best Comedy. 1998 - Tony Award Best Play
A play about Jaywick, the former seaside gem of the Essex coast which is currently ranked as Britain's most deprived town. This play tells the real stories of the people who call Jaywick home, in their own words. Through 18 months of research trips and interviews with Jaywick residents, writer Dan Murphy has created a new piece of theatre which tells a pertinent and often surprising story about inequality in the UK today. Carry on Jaywick is about home, identity, and not letting life grind you down.
A secluded island hotel just off the English coast becomes a crime scene, as a scandal-inducing femme-fatale is felled. All the guests on the island re suspects, but are they alone and is this the first crime this idyllic island has witnessed?
A hilarious honest and brutal show about loneliness, with film. 5 years ago in the middle of a shitstorm of life events, artist, single mother and proud Londoner Annie Siddons found herself living in suburbia by accident. This hilarious, brutal and poignant show - combining live performance with films made by Annie and live artist Richard deDomenici, is about her gauche and wrongfooted attempts to fit in, the loneliness that ensued, and her quest to cure it.
Classic turn-of-the-century comedy of social manners. A very complicated plot that includes the famous "A Handbag!" line .. Jack Worthing is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, daughter of the redoubtable Lady Bracknell, and cousin of his friend Algernon. They cannot wed until the mystery of his parentage (he was found in a handbag on Victoria Station) is resolved. Algy discovers that Jack has a pretty young ward, Cecily, living at the Manor and visits her pretending to be Jack's fictitious (and wicked) brother Ernest.
The heart-warming tale of Ingo the dog and his journey of bravery, hope and finding courage where you thought you had none. A unique amalgamation of storytelling, puppetry and movement that combines historical truth with imaginative new writing.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed... Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. A donkey, a camel and a new born lamb. A tiny baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a makeshift bed in a dilapidated farmyard outbuilding. But enough about what Stu's bought Howard for Christmas. With the usual mix of silly songs, pitiful puppetry and more Biblical befuddlement than you can shake a figgy pudding at, Living Spit's Nativity promises to be a cornucopia of Christmassy comedy that you'll never forget!
After their triumphant take on Frankenstein and A Christmas Carol, Howard and Stu are back to tackle the second greatest Christmas story ever told. Yes, that's right folks, Living Spit are doing the NATIVITY!
Condemned to death, Mary Queen of Scots has been held prisoner for nineteen years. Can her cousin Elizabeth 1st be seen to carry out the sentence? Dare she not carry it out? In the crisp air of the park around Fotheringay Castle the two women meet...
'This is a story about a boy, and a girl. Some of the story is true. Some of it isn't. And I'm not going to tell you which is which...' What happens to us as the red mist descends? Everyone has felt the prickle of anger, so why do some men lash out while others stay in control? Monster is a thrilling new performance about violence and masculinity
It begins with a phone call and some shocking news. A young man sets off on an extraordinary, surreal journey back to where it all began: the dark and bloody heart of the north. There monsters lurk and a reckoning waits. In this acclaimed solo show about Britain, highly physical storytelling and animation combine in a grotesque road trip through a world bent out of shape.
The Open House is Will Eno's wildly subversive and darkly hilarious take on the archetypal family drama. Son and Daughter have come home to celebrate their Mother and Father's wedding anniversary but the atmosphere is strained and the dog is nowhere to be seen. Just as they hit stalemate, things start to take a very unexpected turn...
UK Premiere (Bath)
The inept and accident prone Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society embark on bringing an ambitious 1920's murder mystery (Murder at Haversham Manor) to The Edinburgh Festival. Chris the arrogant head of the drama society has directed the piece and cast himself as the dynamic Inspector. Desperate wannabe actress Sandra and the genuinely doting Max struggle opposite each other as the romantic interest while hapless Dennis still can't pronounce 'facade'. An hour of hilarious disaster ensues; actors get knocked out, the play gets stuck on a loop and the set falls down before the final denouement. The production ends with an uproarious, totally improvised Q&A session with the cast, where the audience can put their own questions to the unfortunate troupe.
Wartime letters between the actress Celia Johnson and her husband Peter Fleming are read by their daughter, Lucy Fleming, together with Simon Williams. These letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war - from coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, occasional holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while acting for David Lean, Noel Coward and starring in the classic film Brief Encounter in 1945. Not only are the letters highly engaging, but they also provide a fascinating historical insight into that time of true austerity and fearfulness.
June 1944. One man's decision is about to change the course of history. An intense real-life thriller centred around the most important weather forecast in the history of warfare. Scottish meteorologist, Group Captain James Stagg, is ordered to Southwick House, Portsmouth, to advise General Eisenhower on when to give the order to send thousands of waiting troops across the Channel in Operation Overlord. In what was the most volatile June in the British Isles for over 100 years, the future of Britain, Europe and our relationship with our greatest ally, the United States, rested on the shoulders of one reluctant Scotsman. This is the extraordinary and little known story of Stagg, one great Scot who changed the course of war and our lives forever.
In a home for retired musicians, ageing opera singers, Wilfred, Cissy and Reggie are all preoccupied - Wilfred with lusting after Cissy, Cissy with getting to grips with her failing memory, and Reggie with trying to keep the tenor of his days as harmonious as possible. But then the famous soprano, their former colleague, Jean Horton moves in. Highly-strung and prone to meanness, her presence is felt by everyone, particularly Reggie. Then the four are asked to perform the Quartet from Rigoletto - for which they were so celebrate in their heyday in the homes annual gala concert. Can Wilfred, Cissy and Reggie persuade Jean to join them? More to the point, will any of them be able to raise their voices in song?
An Everyman Theatre Cheltenham production
Sherlock Holmes lives in retirement on the South Coast. He keeps bees, occasionally casts his fly fishing rod even plays his Stradivarius when the rheumatism allows. All too aware that he's older and slower, he's concerned that he might have lost touch, paranoid that he is an easy target for his enemies: there have been so many over the years. He never truly believed Moriarty - his arch nemesis - died at the Reichenbach Falls. So when Mary Watson (wife of his former associate Dr John Watson) tracks hi down to tell him she has seen her long-dead son, James, through the window of 221B Baker Street, apparently alive and well, Holmes is determined to solve the mystery and confront his own demons at the same time.
So Many Reasons is about the unique influence our mothers have on how we understand the world, from the perspective of a first generation British Ghanaian woman. Exploring cultural and generational shifts in how women see themselves and each other, this sassy and soulful show asks what happens when we realise mums don't always know best.
1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it's a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. Let those on the continent cooperate and hug and kiss each other on the ruddy cheek. Here in Britain, one party governs and we get things done. It's a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions. A minority government? No one with any sense or gumption gives you more than a matter of weeks. You're gonna fall, and fast, and hard. So start finding things to land on. Now. Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, James Graham's This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
The National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre production.
Taking its inspiration from The Tower, by WB Yeats, the play tells the story of an old man who loses his wife to cancer. After she passes away, William escapes to a paradise of fantasy and past memories, a place far from the reality of his grief. Returning from beyond the grave, Rose revisits her widowed companion to perform one last act of love: to help him let go. The unfolding drama is told entirely without words, in their place movement, a gestural language, haunting accordion music and a use of masks that Lecoq-trained Theatre Ad Infinitum have entirely re-thought for this production.
In a small town on the outskirts of Mormon Country, Idaho, Charlie, a reclusive online writing instructor, lives marooned on a couch. Weighing in at six hundred pounds, he is slowly eating himself to death. But redemption may be within reach as he tries to reconnect with his sharp-tongued daughter, estranged from him for 15 years. A conveyor belt of visitors - welcome and otherwise - move through his living room, from his friend and nurse Liz, the sister of his deceased boyfriend, to Elder Thomas, a hopeful young missionary and Mary, his ex-wife. Can any of them help him to see a future?
Drama about a family's moral legal case that creates national interest. Fourteen year old Ronnie Winslow is expelled from Osborne Naval College accused of stealing a postal order. Ronnie swears he did not do it, and so his father Arthur begins a fight to prove his son's innocence. The whole Winslow family is drawn into the consequences of the court action. First performed in London in 1946.
Christmas Eve. Bettina and her husband Albert aren't happy. Bettina's mother is staying for the holidays. Which is awkward. Not least because Bettina's mother met a man on the train. And now she's invited him around for drinks...