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Off-West End Announcements – 27 Mar 2009

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Among this week's Off-West End announcements:

Choosing a mate at the Pleasance
The Pleasance will host The Serious Business of Choosing a Mate (14 April – 3 May), a double bill featuring Jeremy Green’s Fairy Tale and Anton Chekhov’s The Proposal. Both comedies come to the Islington venue under the direction of Maria Chiorando and confront the one question no singleton wants answered: What if the person of your dreams never actually turns up?

Racine visits Barbican
Jean Racine’s acclaimed 1667 French play Andromaque (22 April – 2 May) will visit the Barbican as part of its seven week UK tour. Presented in French (with English surtitles) by Cheek by Jowl and directed by Declan Donnellan, Andromaque is set at the end of the Trojan War and follows Hector’s widow as she faces a horrible dilemma.

Tiata Fahodzi at the Soho
Ìyà-Ilé (14 May – 20 June) - the prequel to Oladipo Agboluaje’s The Estate - is set in 1980s Nigeria during a time of social change and military rule. Presented by Tiata Fahodzi and directed by artistic director Femi Elufowoju, Jr., Ìyà-Ilé (English translation The First Wife) focuses on the household of Chief Adeyemi as his wife’s 40th birthday is planned; as secrets and deceit cloud Adeyemi’s home, will the party be a celebration or a coup?

Betts placed at Arcola
Torben Betts’ psychologically stimulating Lie of Land (6 April – 2 May) receives its London premiere at the Arcola theatre after a successful run in Edinburgh last year where it was nominated for a Fringe First award. Based on a nightmare Betts dreamt after relocating from urban London to the suburban Berwick-on-Tweed,  Lie of the Land follows a couple as they too move from cityscape to countryside and face unexpected circumstances. 

Also at the Arcola, Love&Madness Ensemble presents  Only When I Laugh from 14 April to 2 May, directed by Nicky Henson. Writer Jack Shepherd stars as theatre manager Stanley in this production about a 1950s Leeds Empire variety show. Also starring Jim Bywater, Only When I Laugh centres on the lives of working class entertainers during an era following the war.

One-woman Jezebel at New End
Next month, the New End Theatre will host Elizabeth Fuller’s one-woman show Me & Jezebel (14 April – 2 May), starring Doctor Who’s Katy Manning.  Directed by Barry Crocker, the play - inspired by Fuller’s own life - is set during the summer of 1985 when legendary American actress Bette Davis invited herself to stay overnight…and didn’t leave for a month.

Connect with Future Me
Stephen Brown’s acclaimed dramatic comedy Future Me (31 March – 26 April) returns to London for a limited Fringe season after touring nationally and running in San Francisco and New York. Directed by Guy Retallack and with a cast including David Benson, Future Me places an eye on the dark world of sex offenders as Peter - a young barrister with great potential and a beautiful girlfriend - accidentally forwards a revealing email to everyone he knows, consequently destroying his reputation.

Love is Blind Pig at Courtyard
Blind Pig presents Joe Penhall’s Love & Understanding (28 April – 17 May) at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre. The play follows Neal and Rachel, a couple whose promising medical careers have sucked away all the romance from their relationship. As if that weren’t problem enough, an unwelcome acquaintance from Neal’s past resurfaces, stirring up even more problems.

Young people tackle gun crime at Hackney Empire
Written, performed and directed by young people, Urban Theatre’s In His Hands (27 April – 2 May) calls attention to the gun crime pandemic with a film noir-styled exploration of gun trafficking and the lives it affects.

Stepping Out's Moonshadow
England’s leading mental health theatre group - Stepping Out Theatre - presents Steve Hennessy’s Moonshadow (23 June – 19 July). Directed by Chris Loveless, Moonshadow is set in a psychiatric hospital and follows patients and nurses as an eclipse approaches.

Corpsing at Southwark Playhouse
A True/Fiction Theatre production, Welsh multi-authored play The Exquisite Corpse (5 – 30 May) hits London’s Southwark Playhouse following a critically acclaimed run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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