The Steam Industry returns to The Scoop at More London near Tower Bridge for its fifth year this summer, presenting six weeks of free theatre in SE1. The season, running from 2 August to 9 September 2007, will comprise two new productions running in repertory at the 850-seat open-air amphitheatre by City Hall, with performances taking place on Wednesdays through to Sundays.

John Steinbeck’s 1930s familial drama The Grapes of Wrath opens the season from 2 August to 9 September 2007. Based on the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath was in 1940 turned into a film directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. It charts the Joad family’s journey from Oklahoma to California on a rickety old truck in search of a new life during the Great Depression.

Tim Baker’s new adaptation of the Steinbeck classic premiered last year at Theatre Clwyd. It’s directed by Phil Willmott, with musical composition and direction by Joe Fredericks, lighting by Hansjorg Schmidt and costumes by Annalise Harvey.

It’s joined in rep, from 8 August to 9 September 2007, by Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS, based on Walt Disney’s 1967 animated feature film based on Rudyard Kipling’s novel The Jungle Book. Director Phil Willmott has collaborated with National Theatre puppeteer Toby Olie to create the new children’s show that blends comedy, song dance and puppetry and features the sing-along favourites from the film “Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You”. The two productions will be performed by a company of 16 actors/musicians, including 8 National Youth Theatre performers.

Since Scoop’s launch in 2003, over 100,000 people have enjoyed productions including The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Cyclops!, Oedipus, Agamemnon, Androcles and the Lion, The London Nativity, Children of Hercules and Treasure Island. Last year, the Scoop won the prestigious Peter Brook Empty Space Award for up-and-coming theatre of the year (See News, 7 Nov 2006). The 2007 season is presented by Suzanna Rosenthal for the Steam Industry Free Theatre Ltd.

- by Malcolm Rock & Terri Paddock