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Max Stafford-Clark revives Our Country's Good, first show confirmed for new St James Theatre

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A new production of Our Country's Good secures a footnote in West End history today as the first production to be confirmed for London's newest theatre - the St James Theatre.

Out of Joint artistic director Max Stafford-Clark will direct the revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Olivier Award-winning play, having staged the premiere production of the work at the Royal Court when he helmed the Sloan Square venue in 1988.

The new production, which is co-produced by Out of Joint, Karl Sydow and the Octagon Theatre, will launch from the Bolton venue on 3 September 2012.

Our Country's Good will then open in Birmingham on 26 September (previews from 25 September) before travelling to Aberystwyth, Cheltenham, Southampton, Oxford, The Hague, Watford, Leeds and Cambridge.

The production will run at the new St James Theatre from 30 January to 9 March 2013. Casting for Our Country's Good will be announced shortly.

Having originally been commissioned to write a play to compliment a revival of The Recruiting Officer, Wertenbaker's play depicts true events and is based on Thomas Keneally’s best selling novel The Playmaker.

The piece is set in Australia in 1789 and tells the story of a young lieutenant who is given the task of directing a cast of dispirited transported murderers and thieves in George Farquhar’s 1706 play.

But with growing suspicion from his fellow officers, just two copies of the script, his leading lady facing the gallows, and an uncontrollable passion for one of his convict players, Ralph’s – and Australia’s – first theatre production is in trouble from the start.

Publicity image for Our Country's Good. Photo credit: Eric Richmond
The Recruiting Officer is currently being revived by Josie Rourke as her first production as the artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, starring Tobias Menzies, Mark Gatiss and Mackenzie Crook. The show's limited run finishes on Saturday (14 April 2012).

The play originally premiered at The Royal Court in 1988 before transferring to the West End and Broadway.

Our Country’s Good will have design by Tim Shortall, lighting by Johanna Town and sound by Andy Smith.

The St James Theatre is situated at 12 Palace Street in Victoria on the site of the former Westminster Theatre which was destroyed by fire during its demolition in 2002. The theatre's bar and restaurant will open in July 2012 and the theatre itself in September 2012.


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