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Off-West End Announcements – 23 October 2009

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Oval House Opens A Window
British playwright Edward Bond is to receive his first London premiere in more than a decade at Kennington’s Oval House Theatre next month. A Window tells the tragic story of a mother, father and son divided by time and marks a welcome return for the veteran writer, whose last London production was 1996’s In the Company of Men. Bond’s 45 plays have been performed everywhere from the RSC to the National, as well as in more than 60 countries worldwide, so this is a joint coup for the Oval House and producers Big Brum Theatre, who specially commissioned the piece.

Lion and Unicorn Bedbound
The work of another big name playwright, Ireland’s Enda Walsh, is also back on the London stage this coming week as Giant Olive Theatre Company revives his disorientating two-hander Bedbound at the Lion and Unicorn. Walsh received mixed reviews for The Walworth Farce at the National but this earlier play, which premiered at the Royal Court in 2001, was labelled a tour-de-force. New talent Kate Budgen directs the production, which runs from 27 October to 22 November.

North London Witching Hour
Halloween is almost upon us and nowhere is embracing the hocus-pocus more than Hoxton, where a new production of William Rowley’s The Witch of Edmonton has already opened at the Courtyard Theatre. Written in 1621, this gothic fairy-tale of deranged women and demonic dogs gets a new lease of life from promising young company Periwig and Monkey, who claim they will blow the cobwebs off classical theatre. The show runs until 14 November.

Darwin is Dead, Long Live Darwin
Also in fashionable N1, Robin French’s new tragicomedy Gilbert is Dead premieres at Hoxton Hall from 4-29 November. Set a few centuries later than Rowley’s piece, in the early 1860s of Victorian England, it centres round taxidermist Lucius Trickett’s mission to find the ghost of Ioria, a primate that proves Darwin’s evolutionary theory wrong. Yet another play marking the big bicentenary, this production’s USP is its puppets, directed by Seonaid Goody and set to include a shark and centipede.

Politics and Power in Croydon
From ghosts and witches to Lords and Whigs in The Joy of Politics, the latest show from award-winning double act The Black Sheep. Radio 4’s Andrew Jones and Ciaran Murtagh return to Croydon’s Warehouse Theatre from the 4-22 November with this new romp through the corridors of power and the cul-de-sacs of quango. Expect topical jokes and satirical sketches spanning political life from the Magna Carta to this morning’s headlines. No-one and nothing is safe.

And Finally...
We all have secrets. Does that make us liars? Or just actors playing the parts we are assigned? An exciting new play at the Cock Tavern Theatre from 17 November to 5 December hopes to explore these very questions. Secrets is directed by Danielle Colman and devised by its eight-strong cast, whose real-life secrets have been woven together to create an intimate story dissolving the barriers between fact and fiction and the nature of secrecy itself. Will you be telling yours?


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