Oxford Stage Tours Circle & Wexford TrilogyDate: 4 August 2000
The Oxford Stage Company, the respected touring company which last year mounted a successful West End residency at the Whitehall Theatre, has announced its autumn programme. From October, the company will launch touring productions of Somerset Maugham's comedy The Circle and Billy Roche's modern Irish classic, The Wexford Trilogy.
The Circle was recently voted one of the top 100 plays of the 20th century in the National Theatre's NT2000 poll. The comedy of manners captures the poise of high society in the 1920s with its exposé of emotional double standards of a family prominent in the public eye.
What are the consequences of choosing between an uncertain future governed by passion, or a secure life of cold domesticity? This is the dilemma faced by two generations who are forced to reveal their past misdemeanours and to decide how much should be sacrificed for the sake of love. A co-production with the Salisbury Playhouse, The Circle kicks off in Salisbury on 5 October 2000 and continues until 18 November 2000 to Exeter, Coventry, Barnstaple and Bury St Edmunds.
Roche's three plays - A Handful of Stars, Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry - received great acclaim in the early 1990s when they played at the Abbey Theatre Dublin and were later broadcast on BBC television. They were also a big hit at the London fringe Bush Theatre, then under the direction of Dominic Dromgoole, now artistic director of Oxford Stage. The company has teamed up with the Tricycle Theatre and Chester Gateway Theatre in association with The Lowry to present this first ever revival of the critically acclaimed trilogy, which won ten awards and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The three tales of lost dreams and thwarted ambitions take place in a small-town world of snooker clubs, betting shops and the local church. The Irish cast includes Peter McDonald, soon to be seen in the new Roddy Doyle film When Brendan Met Trudy and The Opportunists, with Christopher Walken.
The trilogy is directed by American director Wilson Milam who directed Killer Joe (at the Bush and in the West End) and Hurlyburly (at the Old Vic). The trilogy tour begins in Chester on 24 October 2000 and continues to The Lowry in Salford before being installed at London's Tricycle Theatre for two months from 6 December 2000 to 4 February 2001.