Fringe First Harry Inaugurates Pleasance SpaceDate: 23 October 2002
The Pleasance Stage Space, a newly created 54-seat venue in Islington, north London, officially opens tonight (23 October 2002) with the launch party of its debut production, the London premiere of this year's Fringe First-winning Edinburgh Festival hit Who's Harry. The play, written by Henry Fleet and directed by 19-year-old Pip Pickering, continues to 9 November (following previews from 17 October).
Who's Harry - Fleet's first full-length play, which has been nurtured and workshopped at the Pleasance under the guidance of artistic director Christopher Richardson - is billed as a "comedy-drama about lies and liars, front and reality, laced with the sounds of smooth swing jazz and syncopation".
Icarus, a salesman and a young single man, has become lost in the surreal world of stationery sales. His obsession with 'being who the customer wants you to be' has turned him into a compulsive liar. Then he meets Harry, a woman he wins her over with his lies, only to discover he's been won over by hers. Hope, their hopelessly confused therapist, tries to distinguish just who is Harry?
The cast of Who's Harry includes Kevin Bishop, Henrietta Clemett, Sarah Paul, Will Norris, Alastair Sims and Ben Watson. It's choreographed by Christopher Dennis and features original swing jazz composition by Symeon Cosburn.
The Pleasance Stage Space, created from former offices at the Pleasance in London, will be run by Pip Pickering, who's also the Pleasance Dramaturg as well as the director of this debut production. The new space will provide a platform specifically for short runs, play readings and showcases.
- by Terri Paddock