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Philip Ridley to premiere new series of online monologues

New work from the hit writer will be unveiled online

Jade Ewen and Steve Furst
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

A new series of Philip Ridley monologues, The Beast Will Rise, will premiere online from Thursday.

Featuring the cast of another Ridley play, The Beast of Blue Yonder, the online series will be revealed on a weekly basis from tomorrow. The Beast of Blue Yonder was originally meant to have its world premiere at Southwark Playhouse but was forced to cancel its run after the outbreak of the coronavirus. The show is due to be re-staged later this year.

The cast includes Jade Ewen (Disney's Aladdin), Steve Furst (Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear), Mirren Mack (Sex Education), Lucy Gape (Hollyoaks), Charlie Quirke (Birds of a Feather), Rachel Bright (EastEnders), Tyler Conti (Safe) and Unique Spencer (Top Boy). Also appearing will be Joseph Drake, Mike Evans, Nat Johnson, Joseph Potter and Kyle Rowe.

Gator, Rachel Bright, will be launched on production company Tramp's Twitter and Instagram channels. The performance is free to watch but the production is asking for donations, which will go towards paying all the cast and crew not only of The Beast of Blue Yonder but also of the other show currently meant to be on at Southwark Playhouse, Anything is Possible.

Jack Silver, artistic director of Tramp said: "When we postponed Beast it was devastating. Not just because of all the hard work the cast and creative team had already put in but because, like so many people in the industry, most of our cast have day jobs in things like the service industry, gyms, and teaching acting. Most of them didn't just lose an acting job last week, they lost their day jobs too.

"I spoke to Philip to see if we could come up with ideas to help the cast and creatives financially, and also to give them something to keep their creative juices flowing, and we came up with the idea of The Beast Will Rise. The cast of the play will perform the monologues each week, which will be available to watch for free online, with the audience invited to make a donation.

"We promised people a Philip Ridley world premiere this Thursday at 7.30pm, and we're going to give them one. It's not the one we'd originally planned, but in a way that makes it even more exciting.  Gator is the first time any of Philip's work has had its world premiere online and he's written it in the past few weeks as a direct response to what's happening in the world right now. Our incredible director for The Beast of Blue Yonder, Wiebke Green, is directing all the monologues over Skype, before the actors record them. She and Rachel have put in huge amounts of work on Gator and it's looking incredible.

"I'd also been speaking to the team behind Anything is Possible, the show which was due to open the day before us in Southwark's studio space and, of course, they were in the same boat. So we decided to share any donations between the actors and key creatives of both shows.  It's important that we show solidarity with other shows, after all we are all in this together."