The production is supporting Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. Director Matt Beresford says, "In the richest city in Europe, people still live in extreme poverty and cope with appalling housing. Gorky's play remains all too relevant today and we are proud that we will be raising awareness and funds to help Shelter improve people's lives".
The play explores the lives, hopes and fears of the tenants, forcing us to look at those living in poverty, and ourselves, to ask whether it is better to face the truth, or make life easier with consoling lies.
Beresford says, "The way they cope is what makes the play so engaging. In many ways his extraordinary characters are more alive than people with far more money. They laugh, sing, fantasise and philosophise, but also argue, bicker and fight to protect their space and dreams."
The design team are recent RADA graduates Katie Lias and Catherine Webb. Lias says, "We are keen for the audience to feel immersed in the world of this play from the moment they enter the theatre. As well as being inspired by the wonderful imagery, we are keen to stress the universality of the play's themes and utilise this theatre's special atmosphere."
"Gorky's play isn't realism. He uses the play's themes and imagery to show, theatrically, how we treat people in society; these people, stripped of hope and possessions are de-humanised by their poverty."
Barons Court Theatre
The Curtain's Up
28A Comeragh Road
Box Office: 0208 9324747
August 31st – September 19th. (Charity Performances – Thursday 2nd and 16th September)
Tue – Sun 7.45pm
Matinee: Sat 18th (2.30pm)
Adults : £12
In support of SHELTER
Registered Charity number 263710