Theatre News

Kiln Theatre announces artistic director Amit Sharma’s inaugural season

The season includes world premieres by Rob Drummond and Amy Ng

Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma, © Marc Brenner

Amit Sharma has announced his inaugural season as artistic director at London’s Kiln Theatre.

Launching the new season will be the world premiere of Rob Drummond’s Pins and Needles (19 September to 26 October 2024), directed by Sharma himself. The piece explores the politics around vaccines through the microcosm of a handful of human stories.

This autumn Sharma will then direct the European premiere of The Purists by Dan McCabe (14 November to 21 December 2024). The New York-based comedy focuses on themes of race, sexuality and music through the interactions of a legendary Emcee, a hall-of-fame DJ, a musical lover and two rap-battling women.

Next up, Ebenezer Bamgboye will helm the acclaimed production of The Lonely Londoners (10 January to 15 February 2025), transferring from the Jermyn Street Theatre. Adapted by Roy Williams from the Sam Selvon novel, the piece examines the hopes, dreams and harsh realities of the Windrush generation, as Trinidadian Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver arrives in London during the 1950s.

Next spring, Kiln will present the world premiere of Shanghai Dolls (April to May 2025), written by Amy Ng. The new play tells the untold story of two friends who become two of the most influential women in Chinese history – Madam Mao and Sun Weishi. One goes on to establish herself as China’s first female director, while the other becomes the architect of the Cultural Revolution.

Sharma commented: “I’m incredibly proud to share my first season as artistic director of Kiln. My ambition is to make sure we present world-class theatre coaligned with new entertainment offerings – so we are well on our way in making this a theatre for all! We have two world premieres, one European premiere and a hugely exciting transfer.

“At the heart of the theatre programme are human stories which are fun, poignant, relatable, and make for a great night out! Pins and Needles, The Purists, The Lonely Londoners, and Shanghai Dolls are brilliant plays written by incredible playwrights. The common thread they all have is that they tackle the big conversations which explore our cultural and political life – past and present. This neatly intertwines with The Kilburn High Road project, our three-year creative engagement project exploring the human histories of our community at a much more local level. We’ll also be expanding our offer to audiences by hosting comedy, book launches, podcasts – with other action-packed events on the way.

“I can’t wait to share all this with you as I kick off my new tenure.’’

Casting and further creative team information for the season will be revealed in due course.

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