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Ellen McDougall announces first season as Gate's artistic director

McDougall will direct two pieces in her inaugural season

Ellen McDougall
© Manuel Harlan

Ellen McDougall has announced her inaugural season as the artistic director of the Gate Theatre.

McDougall will direct the first production of the season, The Unknown Island, which is an adaptation of José Saramago's short story. Saramago won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998, and the short story is about a man who asks the king to lend him a boat so he can go in search of 'the unknown island'. It has been adapted by McDougall and Clare Slater, and will run from 11 September.

In October, Jean-Pierre Baro will direct the UK premiere of Magali Mougel's Suzy Strock, translated by Chris Campbell. The play is about a woman who wonders how she can escape her life as she waits for her husband to come home. It runs from 30 October.

Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 runs form 11 January. It follows the riots in the city following the acquittal of the policemen accused of killing Rodney King. Smith's previous work includes Fires in the Mirror, House Arrest and Let Me Down Easy.

Jude Christian will direct Falk Richter's Trust in February. Translated by Maja Zade, the piece is a 'celebration of broken relationships' and sees Christian return to the theatre after I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me of My Sleep Than Some Other A**ehole in 2014. German playwright Richter's works include For the Disconnected Child and Rausch.

McDougall will also direct the final piece in the season: the world premiere of Effigies of Wickedness. In collaboration with English National Opera, the Gate will present the cabaret which includes a number of songs banned by the Nazis in the '30s. During the Nazi reign, the Weimar cabaret performed these songs as a celebration of difference, but were later censored, exiled and incarcerated. The piece will feature members of the ENO's Orchestra, and runs from 3 May.

The season will also see the theatre take part in the annual InTRANSIT festival. The Gate will run a series of free workshops the Portobello Pavilion in Powis Square for a day on 17 June. The theatre will also team up with Fun Places to welcome the local community for tea and cake on 18 June.

On her first season, McDougall said: "I am hugely excited be introducing my first season at the Gate – it features an eclectic and vital range of stories, surprising ideas of how to tell them in our constantly changing space, and most importantly, brilliant, adventurous artists."


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