RSC Transfers New Work for Six Weeks at SohoDate: 13 December 2005
For the second year running, the Royal Shakespeare Company is bringing productions from its New Work Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon to London’s Soho Theatre, for a limited repertory season from 14 March to 22 April 2006 (See News, 18 Oct 2005).
The programme - which was staged at Stratford’s Swan theatre and Cox’s Yard Studio this past October - includes Yasmin Alibhai Brown’s Nowhere to Belong, Debbie Tucker Green’s Trade (subtitled Sex Tourism: A Collage of Voices from Home and Abroad), Dominic Cooke’s double bill of plays by young US playwrights entitled Postcards from America, and Fraser Grace’s controversial play Breakfast with Mugabe (pictured), directed by Antony Sher. In addition, there will be another chance to see David Greig’s new play The American Pilot, which premiered at The Other Place in Stratford in May.
In spring 2005, following Stratford’s inaugural New Work Festival in autumn 2004, the company performed two new plays by Joanna Laurens and Zinnie Harris in Soho, as well as giving Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Debbie Tucker Green’s work initial showcases whilst they were still in development.
RSC literary manager Jeanie O’Hare said: “This is the most important time for new plays. The emerging generation of new writers are staring at a profound and distinct challenge. They have everything to prove in times that could not be more interesting. They are writing political plays that embrace global themes and taking on the subjects that improve their mettle. With the New Work Festival, the RSC is reinvesting in the understanding of these writers and hoping to nurture and stimulate them for the future.”
Jo Cottrell, Soho Theatre’s marketing and development director, said: “We are delighted to welcome the RSC’s second season of new work into Soho’s rich and varied programme. Through hosting the RSC’s work with new writers, Soho continues to reach out to new audiences, whilst offering both companies’ regular audiences the very best in new writing.”
The New Work transfer will be the third London residency for the RSC this winter. It follows the transfer of the Gunpowder season for ten weeks, until 25 February 2006, at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios (See News, 26 Aug 2005), and the transfer of the Comedies season, until 25 March 2006 (See News, 7 Jun 2005), to the West End’s newly refurbished and renamed Novello Theatre.
At Soho, Trade will be performed from 15 March to 25 March 2006 (preview 14 March), alongside Nowhere to Belong from 21 March to 25 March (previews from 18 March). The American Pilot will run from 29 March to 8 April (preview 28 March), and Postcards from America will run from 5 April to 22 April (preview 4 April) with Breakfast with Mugabe from 12 April to 22 April 2006 (preview 11 April.)
- by Caroline Ansdell