Actors Mount New Productions at RSC FringeDate: 10 September 1999
Thirty Royal Shakespeare Company actors from the 1999 Summer Festival season are to produce, direct and perform in over 20 new productions as part of the RSC's Fringe Festival in Stratford. Held this year at The Other Place theatre from 18 September to 2 October 1999, the annual event enables actors from the company to raise funds, produce, publicise, direct and perform in productions entirely by themselves.
The 1999 Fringe will feature productions and play-readings of work by RSC writer in residence Lee Hall, Carol-Ann Duffy, Conor McPherson, John West, John Patrick Stanley and Elizabeth Cook; poetry readings; cabaret; comedy; music; children's theatre and a guest appearance by soul singer Sarah Jane Morris. Events are timed to take place around a regular RSC production so theatre-goers will be able to enjoy a late night cabaret slot or an afternoon poetry reading session before or after seeing the same actors in their more usual roles in the Summer Festival season.
Two major productions of the Fringe will be directed by the RSC's recently appointed assistant directors, Timothy Sheader and Helen Raynor. Shearer directs La Maison Suspendue by leading French Canadian writer Michel Tremblay and Raynor directs Bollocks by Lee Hall, whose recent theatre work includes the hugely successful adaptation of Brecht's Mr Puntila and his Man Matti for the Almeida and the Right Size.
Hall's explicit and cruelly funny new play was originally produced for BBC Radio. A soldier, wounded by a sniper in Northern Ireland, finds himself an invalid back on the streets where he grew up. Bollocks is performed by a cast of six actors from the current company - Kemi Baruwa, Nick Cavaliere, Andrew Dennis, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Owen Oakeshott and Nicholas Tigg. The production is designed by Rupert Tebb with lighting by Simon Kemp. Performances will be at 11.15pm on Monday 13 September and Thursday 16 September and at 1.30pm on Friday 24 September.
Written in 1990, La Maison Suspendue tells the story of three generations of one family throughout this century. Translated by John Van Burek, it is performed in English by a cast which includes Andrew Bone, Antony Byrne, Susannah Elliott-Knight, Ben Elliot, Greg Hicks, Colin Mace, Jennifer McEvoy and Zoe Waites. The production is designed by Peter Lindley with lighting by Simon Kemp and music by Philip Bateman. Performances will be at 11.15pm on Monday 27 September and Friday 1 October and at 1.30pm on Wednesday 6 October.