|Nigel Hastings as David in Gravity|
Birmingham Rep stage Gravity at Contact, 29 March
Date: 22 March 2012
Gravity is described as a contemporary and gripping new play about provocation. Commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2010, it is written by Wolverhampton playwright Arzhang Pezhman. Arzhang is a playwright whose plays have been produced at the Royal Court and he was writer-in-residence at the Soho Theatre in 2006.
The Large Hadron Collider – expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature and our existence, but sparking fears that the particle collisions might produce a black hole – the end of life as we know it.
David is a good teacher. Struggling to stay afloat in the modern day stressful world of secondary education and doing his best to keep his life on track, he immerses himself in his work. He has a passion for physics and he’s desperate for his students to share his enthusiasm.
There’s just one boy, Kyle – the school loner, who takes an interest in science and shares David’s thirst for knowledge. But when Kyle is picked on by his troublemaking classmates, Reece and Chantay, all of David’s good work starts to unravel. Their disruptive behaviour is a catalyst for colliding personalities, resulting in an explosive reaction.
The cast of five is be lead by Nigel Hastings as David. Nigel is known for his numerous television and theatre appearances including Doctors and Hustle and most recently The Colonel in the Tony Award winning West End production and UK tour of Journey’s End.
Joining Nigel as the three school pupils will be Ashley Hunter as Kyle, who, fresh out of Central School of Speech and Drama, was highly praised for his performance in the 2011 production of A Clockwork Orange at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Rebecca Loudon plays Chantay. Rebecca has worked with Director Rae McKen previously at The REP in the 2010 production of Respect. Playing the role of Reece is Boris Mitkov, who has recently graduated from Arts Educational School. The role of Kathy will be played by Imogen Slaughter.
Directing Gravity is Rae McKen. Rae has worked with Birmingham Repertory Theatre on various previous projects including Respect (2010); Cling To Me Like Ivy (2010) and most recently as Associate Director for The Wiz (2011). Other directing credits include Jamie The Saxt (Finborough Theatre); Origin Unknown (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Bedtime Story (Theatre503); and Stamping, Shouting And Singing Home (mac and national tour). Rae is Artistic Director of Custom/Practice with whom she has directed Macbeth (national tour) and Romeo And Juliet. Rae has also worked as an assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic and the Royal Court Theatre.
The production will be designed by Fabrice Serafino with lighting by Simon Bond, and composition and sound design by Edward Lewis.
Gravity received its World Premiere at mac Birmingham in February this year and is currently touring the UK, with support from the Sir Barry Jackson Trust. It runs at Contact from 29 - 30 March.
- by Glenn Meads
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