Photos: Oxford Street Attracts Shoppers at ElephantDate: 13 June 2008
Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke hopes for a “peripatetic” future for select productions got off to a flying start this week at the Elephant & Castle mall where, following a sell-out run at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs in Sloane Square, the premiere production Levi David Addai’s retail-set play Oxford Street has moved in to a disused shop for a handful of dates (See News, 6 Jun 2008).
Interested theatregoers and local residents have been queuing up along the mall concourse and pressing their faces up to the shop window to get a glimpse of the action. With tickets reduced to only £8 (or £5 for under-25s), the play has become a sell-out for a second time, but, because of planning permission restrictions, was only able to secure a license to perform from 11 to 14 June 2008 so will finish tomorrow.
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Oxford Street is a comedy that looks beyond the glossy facade of the high street, at the stories and ambitions of the workers within. At Total Sports, security guard Kofi and his workmates are making sure everything runs smoothly, easing the daily grind with plenty of jokes and chat about the future. Young or old, they all want more from life. The only difference is how they’ll go about getting it.
The original Royal Court cast – led by former So Solid Crew rapper Ashley Walters (pictured), Preeya Kalidas and Nathaniel Martello-White (as Kofi) –reprise their performances in Elephant & Castle. Oxford Street had its world premiere on 7 May 2008 (previews from 2 May) at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, where it ran until 31 May (See 1st Night Photos, 12 May 2008). It’s directed by Dawn Walton. Also in the cast are Cyril Nyri, Kristian Kiehling, Amelia Lowdell, Reece Beaumont, Daniel Kaluuya and Shane Zaza.
According to Dominic Cooke: “The Royal Court exists to experiment, and should not be limited by its four walls. I am always looking for ways in which we can take our work out of the building and into our local communities, so taking Oxford Street to Elephant & Castle sets an exciting precedent. It’s certainly something I look to continue and build upon in the coming months.”
- by Terri Paddock