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Off-West End Announcements – 29 May 2009

Finborough hosts Georgian revival
The play that launched the career of the late Karen Cartlidge is to get a long-overdue revival next month. Apart From George, by Australian writer Nick Ward, was one of the first commissions of the newly formed National Theatre Studio in 1987, giving character actress Cartlidge her break before roles for Mike Leigh and Lars Von Trier. The play gets a limited six performance run at the Finborough on Sundays and Mondays in June.

Trio of talent at the Tristram Bates
June also sees the reunion of emerging playwright Kenneth Emson, young director Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder and designer Georgia Lowe for Whispering Happiness, the second instalment of Emson’s ambitious Town-Country trilogy at the Tristram Bates Theatre (9 June-4 July). This provocative urban fairytale is another product of the Old Vic New Voices playwriting programme.

Guildford goes al-fresco for Shakespeare
The Guildford Shakespeare Company are cooking up a comic double bill for their fourth season of open-air theatre. The Surrey countryside provides the set as the company takes to the grounds of Guildford Castle for The Taming of the Shrew (12-27 June), before decamping to the lake at the University of Surrey for The Two Gentlemen of Verona (9-18 July).

Seneca’s Thyestes for a digital age
Horror fans take note. The Arcola Theatre is dragging Greek tragedy Thyestes kicking and screaming into the 21st century in a new multimedia staging by JMK award-winning director Polly Findlay. The production, running from 3-27 June at the Dalston venue, will use the latest digital technologies to bring a shock flick aesthetic to Seneca’s revenge myth. Watch out for the rats.

Multimedia Medea at the Cock Tavern
In another classical reworking , Medea 4.0 – at the Cock Tavern Theatre from 2-20 June – will transport Euripides’ heroine to a modern corporate nightmare where her tragedy is repackaged by a marketing company and sold to the highest bidder. Slovenian playwright Saša Rakef has lifted Medea’s lines from the Greek and each performance will be streamed over the internet in real time.

James Dean: the man, the myth, the play
When Jackie Skarvellis’s Long live James Dean premiered at the 2007 Jermyn Street Festival, the script was praised for moving as fast as the Hollywood legend’s car. Two years later, Skarvellis has picked up a Best Auteur award and Above the Stage is hosting a new production of her explosive exposé (4-20 June), the first British play to be written about Dean’s life (and death).


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