Out of Joint's Stoops & Laughing Come to NationalDate: 9 September 2002
Max Stafford-Clark's acclaimed production company Out of Joint will mount a double bill of new work - combining a classic 18th-century comedy of manners and a world premiere - at the National Theatre this winter as part of an extensive seven-month UK-wide tour.
Out of Joint's productions of Oliver Goldsmith's 1773 She Stoops to Conquer and April De Angelis' new spin-off, A Laughing Matter, will run in repertory at the NT Lyttelton from 30 November 2002 to 11 January 2003 and will then return for a further seven weeks from 6 February to 29 March 2003.
Both pieces are co-produced by the National, building on past collaborations with Out of Joint including the award-winning Our Lady of Sligo and this year's Hinterland. In advance of the NT debuts, the double bill this week launches a national tour on 12 September 2002 at the Oxford Playhouse before continuing until 19 April 2003 to 12 further venues.
Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer is a celebrated story of class, courtship and dysfunctional families. Tongue-tied, uptight Charles Marlow needs a lesson in the art of love. He longs for a wife, but finds it easier to have a bit on the side. The barmaid seems fair game - but there's more to her than meets the eye.
De Angelis' A Laughing Matter goes behind the scenes of this past era. It's 1773 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The crowd is getting restless. The leading man's unconscious. But the show must go on. Do you give the audience what they want? Or what they need? This irreverent version of real-life events tells the story of Oliver Goldsmith as well as David Garrick, Dr Johnson and a risky new play they're mounting called She Stoops to Conquer...
The cast for the Out of Joint double bill includes Stephen Beresford, Nigel Cooke, Monica Dolan, Fritha Goodey, Bella Merlin, Ian Redford, Owen Sharpe, Matthew Sim, Christopher Staines, Jason Watkins and Jane Wood. Both productions are directed by Stafford-Clark and designed by Julian McGowan, with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Paddy Cuneen and sound by Neil Alexander.
Under Stafford-Clark's leadership over the past decade, Out of Joint has premiered plays by some of the theatre's leading writers, including Sue Townsend, Jim Cartwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Sebastian Barry and Mark Ravenhill. The company's many acclaimed productions have included Shopping and Fucking, Feelgood and Our Country's Good.
Following Oxford, the new double bill will visit Huddersfield, Bexhill-on-Sea, Guildford, Salisbury, Bury St Edmunds, Cheltenham, Birmingham, Exeter, Cambridge, Liverpool, Bath and Northampton in addition to London.
- by Terri Paddock