Tours: National Hero, Earnest & Men Should WeepDate: 31 August 2005
Amongst the major touring productions launching their schedules this week are:
Following acclaim at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, where it received its world premiere, Terry Mackay’s new play National Hero will open on 5 September 2005 at The Lowry, Salford Quays, before visiting Malvern and Guildford, where it concludes on 24 September. The prescient piece concerns an ageing bomb who is catapulted back into the limelight after sudden news of a terrorist attack Timothy West and Nichola McAuliffe star in Guy Retallack’s production.
Oxford Stage Company revives Scottish playwright Ena Lamont’s 1947 working class drama, Men Should Weep, which opens on 2 September 2005 at Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre before continuing, until 5 November, to Exeter, Stirling, Eastbourne, Chelmsford, Dundee and Oldham (See News, 1 Mar 2005). The production, directed by Charlotte Gwinner, will also have a week at east London’s Hackney Empire from 27 September to 1 October 2005.
In the East End of Glasgow in the 1930s, while her unemployed husband spends his days in the local library, searching for work and latching on to political causes, mother of seven Maggie Morrison battles to hold her extended family together in their damp, squalid tenement house. This is the first national production of Men Should Weep in more than 20 years.
Ridiculusmus’ two-man version of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 classic satire The Importance of Being Earnest, which had its UK premiere at the Barbican Centre this summer (See News, 2 Jun 2005), launches its regional dates at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre before taking in 17 further venues until 12 November 2005.
In the “trivial comedy performed by two serious people”, the Ridiculusmus double act, aka David Woods and Jon Haynes, divide all of the play’s nine roles between them. Jack Worthington is in love with the Gwendoline Fairfax. His friend Algernon Moncrieff is in love with Cecily Cardew. But both Gwendolyn and Cecily are in love with Ernest. A happy outcome depends upon the formidable Lady Bracknell’s investigations into the whereabouts of a handbag and the question of who is really being earnest. Jude Kelly directs.
- by Terri Paddock