Theatre News

Off-West End Announcements – 17 July 2009

Grime Time at the Arcola

picnickers take cover, as the Arcola welcomes back Grimeborn, its annual
festival of opera and music theatre, for a third year of alternative arias and boundary-breaking experiences that ENO could only dream of. Founded in 2007, the festival specialises in new and
experimental work by young composers, writers and directors as well as rarely
performed older pieces. This year’s line-up promises an intoxicating mix of “love,
sex, death, football, gods, clowns, faeries and drag queens”, as 26 companies
rip apart classics, showcase new work and rearrange modern music to get to the
nub of what opera can be.

a Clean Break

upon a time, two female prisoners founded a theatre group. Three decades later,
Clean Break is nationally acclaimed for its new writing and education
programmes. And to celebrate its 30 anniversary, the company will be presenting
a duo of exciting female voices at two of London’s finest venues. Lucy Kirkwood’s
it felt
empty when the heart went at first but it is alright
debuts at
the Arcola from 6-31 Oct, before Chloë Moss’s This
Wide Night
returns to the Soho Theatre from 24 Nov-5
Dec. Further anniversary plans include a major collaboration with Frantic

Greed at the White Bear

classic dramas to contemporary settings doesn’t always work, but if any play
seems relevant to the current maelstrom, it is John Ford’s ’Tis Pity
She’s a Whore
. Baseless Fabric Theatre Company’s decision to update this
Renaissance tragedy of madness, greed and lust to the urban noughties just seems
to make sense. See Annabella and Giovanni’s doomed incest play out at the White
Bear Theatre in Kennington from 21 Jul-9 Aug, directed by emerging talent
Joanna Taylor, whose Tempest and Measure for Measure so impressed at Bridewell.

It’s A (Blessed) Family Affair

treasure and I’m A Celebrity alumnus Brian Blessed will be giving a rehearsed
reading of Stephen Hunt’s new play, Permission Painted, at
the Tristram Bates Theatre on 6 September. What’s more, he will be joined by wife
Hildegard Neil, daughter Rosalind Blessed and Rosalind’s husband Mark Hayden in what
will be the first time the entire Blessed acting clan have performed together.
Hunt is a long time collaborator with Hildegard Neil and their current
production, Impossible Steps is half way through a ten-date
theatre tour around the M25 circle. London Orbital indeed.


Something a little more incisive for the weekend. New
company Occurrent Glow will be taking over Southwark’s Old Operating Theatre for
the next three days and putting its table to good use in the site-specific piece, Incisions and
. The patient? Poetry, as a collection of contemporary writing
by Peter Ebsworth, Niall O’Sullivan, Liz Dean, Bryan Baker and Sara
Nesbitt is subjected to the stethoscope to see if it contains some new
theatrical forms. Occurent Glow was established to explore the possibility of
poetry in play, and this event (performances
Fri 7pm, Sat 5pm, Sun 2pm/5pm) is part of the ongoing London Bridge Festival.