The production’s West End engagement precedes, as previously reported, a return to the Theatre Royal Plymouth, where it started life in March 2007 and will now be performed for one night only, on 14 October, and broadcast to cinema screens around the world as part of the National’s NT Live. It’s the first time that the initiative will cover a non-NT, non-London production.
The original cast who devised the piece – David Annen, Firdous Bamji, Paul Bhattacharjee, Hiren Chate, Divya Kasturi, Chetna Pandya, Saskia Reeves and Shane Shambhu – will reunite in the West End. A Disappearing Number is conceived and directed by Complicite artistic director Simon McBurney and features original music by Nitin Sawhney, design by Michael Levine, lighting by Paul Anderson, sound by Christopher Shutt, projection by Sven Ortel and costumes by Christina Cunningham.
A Disappearing Number weaves together several stories, crossing decades and continents. In London a man attempts to unravel the secrets of his lover. In Bangalore a woman collapses on a train. In 1914 Englishman GH Hardy, Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, seeks to comprehend the ideas of the Indian prodigy, Srinivasa Ramanujan.
The production received its London premiere at the Barbican in 2007 – going on to win Best New Play accolades at the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards – and returned for a second limited engagement there in 2008. It has also toured internationally and arrives in London straight after its New York debut at the Lincoln Center and performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai and the International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad, India.
In other Complicite news this autumn, the company will return to the Barbican in November with a second season of Shun-kin, its follow-up to A Disappearing Number, and Simon McBurney will direct Raskatov’s A Dog’s Heart for English National Opera at the London Coliseum from 20 November to 4 December 2010.
Currently at the Novello, Australian dance show Tap Dogs, starring Adam Garcia, is due to finish its 12-week season on 5 September. After A Disappearing Number, Martin Sherman’s play Onassis, starring Robert Lindsay as the late Greek tycoon, opens on 12 October 2010 (previews from 30 September).