In the intimate Studio 2, with a capacity of just under 100 seats, the new season’s offerings have a collective theme of life-changing storytelling, opening tomorrow (6 June, previews from 5 June) with Two Men Talking, an unscripted performance about the lives of two men from Johannesburg and their remarkable chance meeting later in life. Previously seen at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the two-hander production stars Murray Nossel, an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, and psychiatrist Paul Browde. It runs until 23 June.
From 27 June to 21 July 2007, the venue will present the Arcola Theatre’s revival of Mojo Mickybo, the 1998 play by award-winning Irish playwright Owen McCafferty (Days of Wine and Roses, Scenes from the Big Picture, Shoot the Crow. The story of two boys growing up in Belfast in the summer of 1970, and their escape from a city overshadowed by hatred and fear, is directed by Jonathan Humphreys and stars Martin Brody and Benjamin Davies, who won an Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in 2001.
Following Mojo Mickybo is another transfer from the London Fringe - the Old Red Lion’s production of Martin Wagner’s The Agent, a dark tale about a high-flying literary agent, which runs from 25 July to 18 August 2007 before the return of the Bristol Old Vic production Private Peaceful, the one-man play based on Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel. Awaiting the firing squad at dawn, First World War soldier Private Tommo Peaceful looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon. The production runs from 3 to 29 September. The piece is adapted and directed by Simon Reade, who last month resigned as Bristol Old Vic artistic director prior to the theatre’s sudden closure for refurbishment (See News, 11 May 2007).
Despite the succession of plays announced for Studio 2, there are still no confirmed productions in the larger Studio 1 auditorium. Aside from a two-week stint for the touring production of slave trade play African Snow (See News, 13 Apr 2007), the 400-seater has been dark since 24 March, when Harry Burton’s revival of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, starring Lee Evans and Jason Isaacs, concluded its run. Among the productions rumoured for Studio 1 are the Bush transfer of Elling starring Life on Mars’ John Simm and a new production of Jonathan Larson’s cult 1996 musical Rent (See The Goss, 5 Jun 2007).
- by Jake Brunger