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Lyric Revives Kane's Blasted, Dyson Adapts Dahl

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Sean Holmes will direct the first major London revival in nearly a decade of the late Sarah Kane’s seminal 1995 play Blasted as part of his second season in charge of west London’s Lyric Hammersmith, announced today.

Other highlights will include Richard Bean’s new play The Big Fellah, a traditional pantomime (for the second year in a row at this address), the return of Simon StephensPunk Rock and a premiere stage version of Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales, adapted by The League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson, who also co-wrote and co-directed Ghost Stories, which had its London premiere at the Lyric earlier this year before transferring to the West End.

The full season’s main house schedule is as follows:

  • Punk Rock, 8-18 September 2010 (previews from 6 September) - Simon Stephens’ play about violence in a British school, which was nominated for two Evening Standard and two Whatsonstage.com Awards after its run at the Lyric last year, returns for two weeks only ahead of a nine-week UK tour. A co-production between the Lyric and the Manchester Royal Exchange, it’s directed by Exchange joint artistic director Sarah Frankcom. Casting for the new dates has not been announced. Following London, Punk Rock will tour to Sheffield, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Salisbury, Plymouth, Oxford, Leicester and Warwick.

  • The Big Fellah, 24 September to 16 October 2010 (previews from 21 September) - Max Stafford-Clark’s Out of Joint co-production of Richard Bean’s new play about Irish Americans and their influence on the Troubles in Northern Ireland comes to the Lyric mid-way through its autumn UK tour. The The Big Fellah cast are Rory Keenan, Yousseff Kerkour, Finbar Lynch, David Ricardo-Pearce, Claire Rafferty, Fred Ridgeway and Stephanie Street.

  • Blasted, 22 October to 20 November 2010 (previews from 28 October) - When it premiered in 1995 at the Royal Court Upstairs, directed by James MacDonald, Kane’s debut made outraged front-page headlines thanks to its depiction of rape, cannibalism and torture. The “most notorious playwright in Britain” followed it with just four more plays - Phaedra’s Love, Cleansed, Crave and 4.48 Psychosis - before committing suicide in 1999 at the age of 28. Set in a hotel room in Leeds, a middle-aged journalist brings a younger woman back for the night, their abusive relationship heightened by a brutal civil war that forces its way in. Sean Holmes, who worked with Kane, directs to bring her work “to a new generation”, albeit with a warning that the play is for 16+ only. Blasted’s last major London outing was back at the Court in 2001, when the theatre staged a posthumous retrospective of her plays.

  • Dick Whittington, 3 December 2010 to 8 January 2011 (previews from 27 November) - Following the success of last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk, Steve Marmion (now artistic director of Soho Theatre) returns to direct another traditional pantomime, in a version by Joel Horwood and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, with whom he also collaborated on Beanstalk.

  • Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales, 24 January to 26 February 2011 (previews from 14 January) - After creating tales for Ghost Stories, his stage collaboration with Andy Nyman, now playing at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, “master of the macabre” Jeremy Dyson turns his attention to the short stories Roald Dahl wrote for adults to reveal the original author’s “twisted imagination and full malevolence”. Polly Findlay directs the latest co-production between the Lyric and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Whereas Ghost Stories ran in Liverpool prior to the Lyric, Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales will open first in London and then transfer to the Liverpool Playhouse in spring 2011 (dates tbc).

  • Mogadishu, 7 March to 2 April 2011 (previews from 3 March) - In an inner-city London school, a teacher is accused of racial harassment by one of the pupils. This is the first play by Vivienne Franzman, who is herself a drama teacher in a London comprehensive. It was one for the four joint first prize winners in the most recent Bruntwood Playwriting Competition and won Franzman the 2010 George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright. Matthew Dunster directs the Manchester Royal Exchange production.
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