March 13, 2009
Here’s a round-up of announcements at Off-West End Theatres this week:
Joe Di Pietro’s critically acclaimed Fucking Men returns from 19 March – 6 June following its recent sold-out extended run. The comedy about sexual manners is directed by Phil Wilmott and features a cast including Morgan James, Nicholas Keith, James Kristian, Timothy Lone, Chris Polick, Patrick Poletti and Adam Unze.
Warehouse Theatre Croydon
Unexpected Opera presents its premiere production, The Barber of Savile Row (1 – 15 April). Adapted by Tim Riley and John Lovat from Rossini’s classic opera, the play jumps from the 17th century to 1950s London and includes a bit of Elvis. Director Lynn Binstock and Unexpected Opera aim to make the show accessible to everyone, not just those already familiar with opera.
The Maria Studio will feature Matthew Dunster’s You Can See the Hills (23 April – 9 May) in its Spring 2009 Season. This one-man show features a performance by Doctor Who’s William Ash as protagonist Adam. Following a sell-out run in the Clare last autumn, Dunster’s play returns to the stage shedding light on the life of a young man as he comes of age in the ‘80s.
Michael Craig stars in Trying (17 March – 11 April), a play written by Joanna McClelland Glass about Judge Francis Biddle, the US Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chief American Judge at the Nuremberg Trials. Based on Glass’s own experience as personal secretary to Judge Biddle, Trying follows protagonist Sarah as she attempts to reorder her new boss’s hectic life while simultaneously dealing with her own personal woes.
The Lilian Baylis Theatre presents two productions written by Jimmy Durante as part of Ian Marshall Fisher’s Lost Musicals performances. Both shows have not been onstage since their Broadway runs in 1930. The first, The New Yorkers (Sundays 29 March and 5, 12, 19 April), follows the romance between an heiress and a gangster in 1920s New York. Following The New Yorkers is the satire Johnny Johnson (Sundays 14, 21, 28 June and 5, 12 July), which is an anti-war comedy bringing together cowboy ballads, French music-hall and American vaudeville.
The Troy Bar
The Hoxton Street venue, the Troy Bar, will host the four-month mini festival, Missfit Mondays (Mondays 16 February – 25 May). Arranged as a festival fundraiser for DYS(THE)LEXI 2009, which features works by dyslexic writers, Missfit Mondays combines innovative theatre with inventive new writing to produce their unique blend of “innoventive” shows. Co-produced by missfit productions and Touchwaves, the festival will show works by Nicholas McInerny, Gerard Logan and Rachel Rose Reid.
The travelling Welsh circus troupe, NoFit State, will grace the London stage with their production of Tabu (28 March – 19 April), following a sell-out European tour. Directed by Firenza Giudi, Tabu incorporates a mixture of live music and video to accompany the 12-person ensemble during the performance.
Director Matthew Lenton joins forces with Scotland touring company, Vanishing Point, to bring their newest production, Interiors (21 April – 9 May), to London. Adapted from Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1891 play Interior , this brand new show focuses on the idea of isolation by contrasting the inside and outside worlds. Interiors commences as a stranger peers through a window upon a group of friends as they talk around the dinner table.
Mike Batistick’s play BOdEGA lung fat (11 – 28 March) is currently receiving its world premiere. Starring Mitzi Thaddeus, George Georgiou, Pierre Mascolo, Daniel Frost and Stephen Hoo, the show focuses on a diverse group of Brooklyn-ites as they discuss everything from drugs to racism to poverty. BOdEGA lung fat is directed by Sam Neophytou and presented by Inner City Productions.
The Vagina Monologues (2 – 4 April) will make a return to the Empire starring Sharon D. Clarke, Jessie Wallace and Jocelyn Jee. The show has drawn audiences from London to L.A., and everywhere in between, and included performances by Kate Winslet, Whoopi Goldberg, Sophie Dahl and Jerry Hall.
Meanwhile, the Studio will host the world premiere of Alex Martinez’s Private Thoughts (6 – 25 April). Directed by Kevin Hely, the play features performances by Kevin McGowan and Clara Onyemere as Eric and Dr. Chase, respectively. Worried by an increasing fear that he may be a potential child abuser, Private Thoughts follows Eric into his therapy sessions as he discusses these concerns with his therapist.
Soho Theatre & Southbank Centre
The world premiere of Forced Entertainment’s Void Story (21- 25 April) will take place next month as part of SPILL Festival at the Soho Theatre. The play is set in an urban wasteland and follows a couple as they are undergo a mugging, insect bites, haunted hotels and more.
The six-member theatre company, who this year celebrate their 25th anniversary, will also showcase a second play for SPILL Festival. Branching away from the rest of Forced Entertainment’s creative team, artistic director Tim Etchells presents his solo project That Night Follows Day (7 – 8 April) for a two-day run at London’s Southbank Centre. The production features a cast of 17 children between the ages of 8 and 14 in a play “with children, but for adults.”
New End Theatre
Anita Harris stars in Anton Burge’s musical comedy G&I: Going Into Battle with Gertrude Lawrence (8 April – 3 May). Based on the life of actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence, the production is set in spring of 1944 and focuses on her experience as she gears up for a performance for British and American troops during World War II. G&I is directed by Ninon Jerome and co-stars Brenda Longman and Ben Stock.
Orlando Wells’s new dark comedy The Tin Horizon (15 April – 9 May) sheds light on protagonist Vladimir as his personal problems become overwhelming—he is plagued by uncooperative servants, a visit from his ex, unwanted Police attention on his taxidermy shop and a potential visit from the Messiah during breakfast. The Tin Horizon is directed by Phoebe Barran and presented by Theatre503 and Bird & Be Productions.
- by Katie Blemler
March 13, 2009
Camden People’s Theatre
11-29 March 2009.
A plague of flies has been inflicted on the inhabitants of Argos by the Gods to torment them and constantly remind them of the heinous crime of Regicide committed in their city. Queen Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus have murdered her husband Agamemnon and usurped the throne. Read more
March 13, 2009
Rosemary Branch Theatre
11 March – 9 April 2009
The Emma of the title is not the Jane Austen one, but Madame Bovary as invented by Gustave Flaubert – which Faye Weldon has fashioned into a domestic confrontation between Emma and her husband. Charles is a poor unsuccessful doctor who had been completely under the domination of his mother until he married a convent educated, beautiful butterfly of a wife. Read more
March 12, 2009
Whiter Than Snow is the story of the Frantz family travelling players, all persons of restricted growth, or as Frieda, the daughter of the piece points out, ‘short’. Accompanied by Vera, the family Sign Language Interpreter and Sam, their loyal stage manager, they move from place to place with their show, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Except that in their version it is Snow White and the four dwarfs, because “the other three got a better offer”. Read more
March 11, 2009
3 to 29 March 2009
Enda Walsh has been in the news lately for his screenplay (co-written with Steve McQueen) for Hunger, the highly acclaimed film about the Maze prison hunger strikes of 1981. But The New Electric Ballroom, seen at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, finds him back in his more theatrical helter-skelter groove; this is a powerful, poetic play for three sisters in a remote Irish fishing village who are unlikely to get as far as Cork City, let alone Dublin or Moscow. Read more
March 9, 2009
4 – 28 March 2009
Austen purists should probably avoid – if they haven’t left by the interval, then Elizabeth Bennet’s climactic, New York-based tap-off with her Pirate Queen sister Lydia, will surely send them running back to their texts to double-check the footnotes. Read more
March 6, 2009
Hen and Chickens Theatre
Waking up with Obama on your mind? Me neither actually. Since the almighty election fuss and the much hyped inauguration, the superhero of American politics has disappeared rapidly from the British tabloids. But never fear, Teddy Hayes is here, with his comedy musical homage to the people behind the scenes: the weird and wonderful characters on the Obama campaign trail. Having been workshoped at the Baron’s Court Theatre Obama on My Mind now arrives in North London for its world premiere where it goes clunkety, clunkety, clunk with some poor directorial decisions and a worrying lack of storyline. Read more
March 5, 2009
3 to 22 March 2009
It’s a brave choice to stage Oliver Twist when you have the highly publicised Cameron Mackintosh production playing just down the road. And if high kicks and good ol’ cockney spirit is what you’re after then you’d best stick with the Drury Lane production as you won’t find much of that down at Riverside Studios. Read more
March 5, 2009
New End Theatre
3 March – 14 April
From the opening notes played on the violin we are hooked by Paolo Levi’s story of how he borrowed the violin that his mother had shown him, had it repaired, and, with the aid of a street performer, whose playing had captivated him, learns about his parents’ secret past and why he must never play Mozart in his father’s presence whilst he is still alive. Read more
March 2, 2009
After resting unused for over three decades, St. Stephen’s will reopen its doors next month with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (17 March – 19 April). Presented by Antic Disposition, this performance will be the first to grace the stages of St. Stephens following its recent £4 refurbishment.
Co-directors Ben Horslen and John Risebero—who also co-founded Antic Disposition in 2005—bring to life a new staging of the classic CS Lewis tale. The play stars Alice Fernbank, Jayne Dickinson, and James Pellow as the White Witch, Lucy, and Professor Kirk/Father Christmas, respectively.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows four young children as they seek safety from the London Blitz. Upon reaching their country house, the children travel through a mysterious wardrobe which leads them to the winter wonderland of Narnia. Here they help Aslan the lion as he tries to break the evil White Witch’s spell, restoring Narnia from its one hundred year winter.
The theatre space has been designed by Risebero to match the frosty surroundings of Narnia, transporting viewers to the fantasy world of the play.
Celebrity patron Helena Bonham Carter calls attention to the staging of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by stating, “I’m delighted that St. Stephens is finally being brought back to life – it will make a unique and brilliantly atmospheric venue for live performances.”