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West End season of new writing to open in May with Emma Corrin, Gemma Arterton, Fehinti Balogun and more

The Re:Emerge season will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Five performers involved in the season
© All except centre: Dan Wooller, centre: David Simon Dayan

Sonia Friedman Productions will present a season of socially distanced theatre in the West End from May.

One of the shows, as already revealed, is Yasmin Joseph's J'Ouvert, which won the James Tait Black Drama Prize. The piece is directed by Rebekah Murrell (Nine Night) as part of a season of new work curated by Ian Rickson. J'Ouvert was originally produced by Theatre503, in a co-production with Bad Breed and Tobi Kyeremateng. It will be broadcast by the BBC later this year.

J'Ouvert is designed by Sandra Falase in collaboration with Chloe Lamford, lighting design is by Simisola Majekodunmi, sound design is by Beth Duke, movement is by Shelley Maxwell and casting by Isabella Odoffin.

Gemma Arterton (Joan of Arc), Fehinti Balogun (Against) and Lydia Wilson (The Duchess of Malfi) will star in Amy Berryman's Walden, directed by Rickson. It has design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Azusa Ono, music by Mark Bradshaw, sound design by Emma Laxton and casting by Amy Ball. The piece follows a NASA botanist who returns from a year-long Moon mission.

The third show is Anna X, directed by Daniel Raggett and penned by Joseph Charlton. Award-winner Emma Corrin (current seen in The Crown season four) and Nabhaan Rizwan (Industry) will star in the show. The piece takes place in the world of front-row fashion shows.

It has set and video design by Mikaela Liakata and Tal Yarden, lighting Design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Mike Winship and costume design by Natalie Pryce.

Tickets are from £10, with over 600 tickets per week under £15.


Sonia Friedman said today: "After what has been such a devastating year for so many it fills me with the greatest joy and hope to announce RE:EMERGE, an SFP Season of bold, new work for a bold, new world as we begin to build back to the full reopening of British Theatre.

"Yasmin Joseph's J'Ouvert, first seen at Theatre503 and currently in rehearsals to be filmed for the BBC, reveals Notting Hill Carnival through the eyes of two best friends navigating the joys and dangers of young Black womanhood in 21st Century Britain. Whilst Amy Berryman's Walden depicts the intensity of familial love and loss as the climate emergency encroaches ever closer, Joseph Charlton's Anna X delves deep into the corruption of truth and reality through the all-consuming lies we tell the world about ourselves over social media. These extraordinary plays, each one with a distinct and powerful voice, will thrill, move and delight audiences.

"We hope that the RE:EMERGE Season will help the immense effort being made across our industry to reopen our theatres, with the most exciting, new talent working in tandem with some of our greatest theatre makers and artists. And this is just the beginning – we have so much more to come.

"We are deeply thankful for the commitment of all the extraordinary group of writers, actors, directors, designers, stage managers, technicians and theatre makers who have agreed to be a part of this season – just when theatre needs them most. I am also incredibly grateful to Ian Rickson, one of my closest and most dedicated long-time collaborators, for his vision and co-curation of this Season. And my thanks must also extend to my incredibly committed team, who have worked so passionately under very challenging circumstances to help bring this season of work together.

"I would also like to thank Arts Council England, whose support has made RE:EMERGE possible. After an incredibly difficult year, I cannot wait for us all to ‘re-emerge' from our homes and return to the theatre, where together we can be entertained, enthralled, challenged and dazzled by these astonishing works."

Alongside the season, SFP also intends for the comedy The Comeback to return to the West End following its enforced shutdown in December.

SFP plans to open the season in May in line with the government's roadmap. Further information regarding performance and on-sale dates will be released in the coming weeks.

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