Theatre News

New Diorama Theatre to co-curate Brits Off-Broadway festival in New York

This is the first year a British theatre has co-curated the festival with American venue 59E59

The cast of The Incident Room
The cast of The Incident Room
© The Other Richard

The Brits Off-Broadway season of British work transferring to New York has been announced.

New Diorama Theatre has partnered with Manhattan's 59E59 theatre for the first year to co-curate the festival that hosts Off-West End theatre on American soil. The festival itself has been running since 2004, with eight companies bringing their work to the venue from 14 April to 28 June.

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) by Silent Uproar will run from 14 April to 3 May. The musical won a Scotsman Fringe First award and a five-star review from WhatsOnStage during its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. The story takes place over ten years in the life of Sally, a young woman living with depression. Written by Jon Brittain (who won an Olivier Award for his Off-West End play Rotterdam), it has music and lyrics by Matthew Floyd Jones.

Wild Swimming by FullRogue will run from 14 April to 10 May and tells the story of two friends who meet on a deserted beach in Renaissance era Dorset. The show visits four historical periods to explore the rise of feminism and examine gender politics.

Alice Lamb in Wild Swimming
Alice Lamb in Wild Swimming
© Chelsey Cliff

The Incident Room by New Diorama Theatre will run from 23 April to 24 May. Writers Olivia Hirst and David Byrne (Secret Life of Humans) tell the true story of the police hunt for one of Britain's most infamous serial killers, The Yorkshire Ripper, in the 1970s. The show is currently playing at the New Diorama Theatre after premiering at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.

It's True It's True It's True by Breach Theatre will run from 6 to 31 May. It recounts the court case surrounding the rape of artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Based on transcripts taken from the 1612 trial of Italian artist Agostino Tassi, the show uses modern language and features an all-female cast to examine how much has really changed in the past 400 years. Written by Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens and directed by Barrett and Rhodri Huw, the play was televised on BBC Four earlier this month and will run at the Barbican Theatre before its transfer.

It's True It's True It's True
It's True, It's True, It's True
© The Other Richard

Ladykiller by The Thelmas will run from 12 May to 7 June. The darkly comic monologue is performed by a murderous hotel maid and played at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019, written by Madeline Gould and directed by Madelaine Moore.

The Habit of Art by The Original Theatre Company will run from 29 May to 28 June. The Alan Bennett revival recounts the meeting of poet W H Auden and composer Benjamin Britten.

Dinomania by Kandinsky will run from 3 to 28 June. It tells the true story of the dinosaur hunters of the 19th century, particularly Gideon Mantell.

Orlando by BoonDog Theatre will run from 9 to 28 June. Lucy Roslyn's play is set in 1928 and recounts the time when Virginia Woolf imagined her own freedom through the character of her novel Orlando: A Biography.

New Diorama Theatre's artistic director David Byrne commented: "At New Diorama, we're always looking to unlock new opportunities for our artists. The chance to co-curate Brits Off-Broadway with 59E59's brilliant Val Day, and transfer some of our best supported work to New York, has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and I can't wait to share some of the best new, contemporary British theatre with Off-Broadway audiences."