Following the season of English Touring Theatre's production of Peter Gill's York Realist (4 January to 2 February), Norwegian writer Jon Fosse's Nightsongs (pictured), directed by Katie Mitchell, opens in the Theatre Downstairs from 21 February to 23 March 2002. It describes how a child disrupts the relationship between an aspiring poet and his unfaithful partner.
Nightsongs runs concurrently with late night performances of Martin Crimp's Face to the Wall, also directed by Mitchell, from 13 to 23 March. Crimp's previous work at the Royal Court has included The Country, Attempts on her Life, The Treatment and No One Sees the Video. Face to the Wall details 15 minutes in suburbia, beginning with a murder.
Meanwhile, 2002 kicks off in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs with Bedbound, written and directed by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, running from 10 January to 2 February 2002. Walsh's previous work includes the hugely successful Disco Pigs, recently made into a film. In Bedbound, a father and daughter share a small bed but can't sleep for all their frantic talking. It has already played to critical acclaim at the Dublin and Edinburgh festivals.
Next up in the Theatre Upstairs is a series of productions as part of the International Playwrights Season from 8 February to 6 April: Roland Schimmelpfennig's Push Up (from Germany); Vassily Sigarev's Plasticine (Russia); and the "Steps to Siberia" double bill of personal testimonies from Theatre Lozhe and Babii. There will also be readings of short plays from Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Italy, the Ivory Coast, Kosovo, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uganda, the US and Yugoslavia, as well as the UK.
Further ahead in 2002, new works by leading young playwrights Jez Butterworth, Nick Grosso, Helen Edmundson and Micheal Wynne will be premiered.
- by Terri Paddock