Ambassadors Brings New Work to West EndDate: 16 April 1999
What is being billed as a 'new kind of theatre' is being unveiled in the West End next month with the launch of the New Ambassadors. The venue, under newly appointed producer Sonia Friedman, will be a commercial theatre but with an emphasis on producing new work and presenting strictly limited seasons throughout the year.
The Ambassadors has been home to the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs over the past 18 months as the Court's Sloane Square home has undergone refurbishment. The Royal Court returns home at the end of this month at which time the house, owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group, will be reconfigured and the seating capacity increased to 400.
The inaugural season for the rebadged New Ambassadors will run May to December 1999 and will include two new plays co-produced by the Ambassador Group and the Royal Court, a season from fringe favourites Frantic Assembly and residencies for renowned touring companies Shared Experience and Out of Joint.
The season starts 24 May with Werner Schwab's Holy Mothers, in a new version by Meredith Oakes, directed by Richard Jones, which will be followed each night by a late showing of Frantic Assembly's Time Out award-winning production, Sell Out. These productions finish 3 July and 4 July, respectively, and are followed by Last Dance at Dum Dum, a new play by Ayub Khan-Din directed by Stuart Burge, which runs 8 July to 28 August.
The Out of Joint residency runs 30 August to 20 November and will include two new plays, yet to be announced. The season will conclude with a month-long run of Shared Experience's acclaimed adaptation of Jane Eyre, adapted and directed by Polly Teale.
Friedman will be responsible for all producing and programming at the New Ambassadors. With Max Stafford-Clark, Friedman co-founded Out of Joint, one of Britain's leading touring companies. Recent multi award-winning new plays from Out of Joint have included Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking, Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart and Sebastian Barry's Our Lady of Sligo.