Soho's Connect Season Presents Five Touring PlaysDate: 3 April 2002
London's Soho Theatre hosts a two-month season of work by some of the UK's most innovative young touring companies. The Connect Five season - which runs from today, 3 April, to 1 June 2002 - features work from Graeae, Frantic Assembly, Unlimited Theatre, Actors Touring Company and Paines Plough.
Graeae kicks off the schedule tonight with Kaite O'Reilly's Peeling, which is directed by Jenny Sealey and continues to 13 April. In it, three actresses from the chorus of The Trojan Women swap comic tales of wars and secrets as battle unfolds around them. Audio description and sign language are woven into the storytelling.
It's followed by Frantic Assembly's Heavenly, based on a story by Gary Owen, which plays from 15 to 20 April. Heavenly Follows a trio of friends as struggle with the road to enlightenment, not to mention the slippery West Wales coastal path that claims their lives one drunken New Year's Eve.
Unlimited Theatre's Neutrino, devised by the company in collaboration with Chris Goode, runs from 22 to 27. An investigation of the nature of coincidence, Neutrino addresses both the restless search for love and recent advances in technology in two intercut narratives. The show is presented in association with producer Matthew Byam-Shaw.
Actors Touring Company present Arabian Night (pictured), written by German playwright Roland Schimmelpfenning (whose Push Up recently premiered at the Royal Court Theatre), translated by David Tushingham and directed by Gordon Anderson. Set in a magical tower block where the water has gone missing, five individuals from the East and the West cross paths on a hot and enchanted evening ending in a moonlit kiss and a homicide. Arabian Night was nominated "play of the year" last year by six of Germany's leading theatre critics. It runs at Soho from 29 April to 11 May.
The season concludes with Paines Plough's Helmet, a co-production with Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre where it premiered last month. Based on the format of a Playstation game, the play charts a fight for survival between two joystick jockeys. Scottish playwright Helmet is written by Douglas Maxwell, who also penned the award-winning Decky Does a Bronco, and directed by John Tiffany, whose production of Gregory Burke's Gagarin Way is currently playing at the West End's Arts Theatre. At Soho, Helmet runs from 15 May to 1 June.
The Connect Five season is followed by the premiere of Tim Fountain's of Julie Burchill Is Away in which comedienne Jackie Clune portrays the famously acid-tongued British journalist.
- by Terri Paddock