Jermyn Premieres New NF Simpson Play, 9 SepDate: 20 July 2010
The first new play in over 30 years by absurdist playwright NF Simpson will premiere at Jermyn Street Theatre this September. The four week run, opening 9 September 2010 (previews from 7 September), will be directed by Simon Usher of Presence Theatre following a series of workshops and readings at the Royal Court.
Simpson, now 91, has had a career has spanning theatre, film and television, but the English playwright has not written a new play in over three decades until If So, Then Yes. He is well known for his surreal comedies, the first of which, A Resounding Tinkle won a playwriting competition headed by critic Kenneth Tynan in the Observer in 1957.
If So, Then Yes is a play charting a day in the life of Simpson's comic protagonist, octogenarian writer Geoffrey Wythenshaw, who sits down to dictate his autobiography from the comfort of a retirement home for the upper crust. Unfortunately, he finds himself constantly interrupted by his fellow residents, their visiting relatives, and the attending staff. Some seek a share of his wisdom, while others feel compelled to lend a hand in passing the time.
A Resounding Tinkle, as well as Simpson's other work, Gladly Otherwise were revived for a sell-out run at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007. In 2008, the BFI screened a season devoted to his film and television work.
Simon Usher is joint artistic director of Presence Theatre and as well as working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court and the National Theatre he was previously the artistic director of the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.