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Pleasance Theatre announces 2019 season and new development scheme for emerging artists and companies

The venue will support three companies on an annual basis

The Cabinet Madame Fanny Du Thé

Pleasance Theatre in Islington has announced its 2019 season, as well as new initiatives to help support emerging companies over the course of the year.

Nathan Wright's debut play Lilies and Sweets will run from 5 to 16 February, featuring everything from Grindr to drug dealing. It's directed by Spencer Noll.

From 19 February to 9 March, Post-it Productions will present Call Me Vicky by Stacey and Nicola Bland. Set in Elephant and Castle in the '80s, the piece is a debut play from the sisters.

Rachael Head will direct Issy Knowles' Model Behaviour from 12 to 16 March, transferring from Edinburgh Fringe, while Riddlestick Theatre will present musical comedy The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé from 19 to 23 March.

Tariq Jordan's Ali and Dahlia, previously developed in association with the Arcola and HighTide, explores a Palestinian-Israeli love story against the backdrop of the construction of the West Bank wall, and runs from 26 March to 14 April.

Christopher Neels and Callum Cameron will write and direct Neck or Nothing from 23 April to 4 May, about an inventor who builds a suit to fight bears. Inspired by the cult documentary Project Grizzly, the show will transfer to Greenwich Theatre after its run at the Pleasance.

Grace Chapman's Don't Look Away will run from 7 to 18 May, produced by NOVAE theatre and directed by Nicholas Pitt, about a young man who enters a community centre and needs help (while covered in flour). Hope Theatre Company will present #BeMoreMartyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo about the reaction to Martyn Hett's death in the 2017 Manchester bombings. A verbatim piece based on interviews with Hett's friends, the show runs from 21 to 25 May.

The Science Fiction Theatre Festival will return from 27 May to 1 June, while from 4 to 30 June Maya Ellis and Pleasance will present the European premiere of David Finnegan's Kill Climate Deniers, directed by Nic Connaughton. The new award-winning satire, billed as a mashup between an action film and a TED talk, explores what it would take to stop climate change in its tracks.

Already announced is Up in Arms, Ellie Keel and Pleasance's production of In Lipstick, which runs from 9 to 26 January.

The venue has also announced new initiatives to support emerging work. Pleasance LABS will offer year-round opportunities to develop new work including a 100 per cent subsidised development space for up to 30 weeks of the year, while the venue is looking to appoint three associate artists or companies that will receive year-round mentoring and a slot in their 2020 programme. These three associate artists will also be given four weeks of subsidised rehearsal and development space.

The director of Pleasance Theatre Trust Anthony Alderson said: "New plays and developing artists have always been central to what we do at Pleasance and together this represents an investment of over £60,000 to support the next generation of theatre makers."