King’s Head Marks Sartre Centenary with New ClosDate: 12 August 2005
A new production of Nobel Prize winner Jean Paul Sartre’s black comedy Huis Clos (or No Way Out) is being presented at Islington’s Kings Head Theatre for a limited four-week season, running from 5 to 25 September 2005 (previews from 30 August), to mark the centenary of the French playwright and philosopher’s birth.
Written in 1943, Huis Clos is one of Sartre’s most influential plays. His notable other works include The Trojan Women, The Respectable Prostitute and The Novice (which was performed at the Almeida in 2000 in a production directe by Richard Eyre), and Intimacy (the longest running play at a fringe theatre, playing at the Rotunda Café Theatre in Inner London). Sartre received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964.
At the King’s Head, the Huis Clos case will include: Suzy Cooper (Laughter When We’re Dead, TV’s The Booze Cruise), Kristen Milward (The Illustrious Corpse, RSC’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses in London and New York), Emile Faurie and Reuben Henry-Biggs.
Huis Clos is directed by Drew Ackroyd, who directed the European premiere of Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me. The Sartre play is set in a vaudevillian underworld, where Garcin, Inez and Estelle are trapped for eternity as penance for their corrupt lives – a tortuous situation from which the saying “Hell is other people” was coined.
This translation of Huis Clos by Frank Hauser was first presented by 4th Wall Entertainment in 2001 at London’s Cochrane Theatre. The new staging is presented by State of Play Productions. Currently at the King’s Head, Toby Young and Lloyd Evans’ sex farce, Who's the Daddy?, based around disgraced former home secretary David Blunkett’s affair with Spectator publisher Kimberly Quinn, concludes its limited season on 28 August 2005.
- by Caroline Ansdell