Pinter, Shepard & Cinderella Lead Bristol AutumnDate: 21 May 2003
David Farr and Simon Reade have announced the programme for the second half of their first year as joint artistic directors of Bristol Old Vic. The 2003 autumn season will feature revivals of two modern classic dramas - Harold Pinter's The Caretaker and Sam Shepard's True West - as well as a new production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors and a Rodgers and Hammerstein Christmas musical.
The autumn opens with The Caretaker, running from 4 to 27 September 2003. In Pinter's 1959 tragicomedy, a bad-tempered tramp disrupts the down-at-heel household of two grown brothers. Director Lindsay Posner is currently represented in the West End with David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago, featuring Hollywood's Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver, while his premiere production of Nick Dear's Power opens at the National in June. The Caretaker is designed by Christopher Oram.
It's followed - from 3 to 25 October 2003 - by The Comedy of Errors, which is directed by Farr and designed by Ti Kemp. Farr's production of another Shakespeare comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream is currently at the Old Vic until 7 June.
The theme of feuding brothers continues with the revival of the 1981 play True West by Pulitzer Prize winning American writer-director-actor Sam Shepard. The new production will be directed by Wilson Milam, whose recent credits include Olivier winner The Lieutenant of Inishmore and, currently at the Royal Court, Flesh Wound. True West, running from 31 October to 22 November 2003, will be designed by Dick Bird.
Finally, in place of a pantomime, the Old Vic will mount the rarely performed, 1957 Broadway musical version of Cinderella. Originally written as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, Cinderella has music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The new production will be directed by Timothy Sheader and will run from 28 November 2003 to 24 January 2004.
Playwright and director David Farr and dramaturg Simon Reade took over from Gareth Machin as joint artistic directors of Bristol Old Vic in March 2003 (See Features, 17 Feb 2003). Casting details for the autumn productions have not yet been announced.
- by Terri Paddock