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Outdoor theatre festival featuring new musicals to take place in the heart of London this summer

Iris Theatre has unveiled its plans

The Actor's Church in Covent Garden
© Necrothesp, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Hit company Iris Theatre has announced a plethora of shows that will be staged at the Actor's Church in Covent Garden this summer.

Running through what's involved in the festival, there will be a twist on the classic Romeo and Juliet speech in Danielle Pearson's Queen Mab, which will open on 21 June. Directed by Georgie Straight and designed by Isobel Nicolson, the piece follows the dream weaver as she watches the pandemic world.

Following this, Tom Ryalls will present his autobiographical piece Can You See into a Black Hole?, based on interviews with his parents, from 28 June to 3 July. The show is directed by Deidre McLaughlin with sound and music by Christian Czornyj and associate direction from Sally Lofthouse.

Directed by Alex Miller and designed by Charlotte Dennis, Tanya Bridgeman's Shoes to Fill will run from 5 to 10 July. The piece explores mixed-race-identity and the coming together of cultures.

Zoe Woodruff and Kathryn Tindall's musical The Red Side of the Moon will run from 12 to 17 July, with the piece following Ellen and Beth, who fall in love with one another after meeting at an open mic night.

Tara Harris' Spectacular will play from 24 to 28 July, with the family piece featuring life-size puppets and catchy tunes. Jemma Carlisle and Bethany Filler round out the cast and creative team.

Across August, Iris will present Arthur/Merlin, an actor-musician twist on the Arthurian legend penned by Reuben Johnson, directed by the company's artistic director Paul-Ryan Carberry, designed by Sophie pardon and composed by Nick Hart.

In September, there will be a staging of Willow Walk Productions and Iris' musical St Anne Comes Home.

The company will also present Eyes On , a series of work-in-progress pieces, as well as "Shakespeare Sunday's" events.

All performances will adhere to social distancing in line with government guidelines.

Carberry and Charlotte Lund, executive director of Iris Theatre said today: "We're thrilled to be launching our Summer Season today alongside these five incredible companies. Make no bones about it, this festival is an unabashed celebration of theatre, a championing of early-career artists and of their exceptional work. Iris has long been renowned for innovative, bold and site-specific outdoor work and we can't wait to welcome audiences back to our garden once again this summer.

"With our new retelling of one of the greatest adventures ever told; Arthur/Merlin, and loads of incredible new work from a generation of new voices, there is, as always, something for everyone. Come down...you're all welcome...and we'll see you in the garden!"

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