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Painter Premiere Opens Arcola Colourworks

The Arcola Theatre in Dalston will reopen at its new location on Ashwin Street with the world premiere of Rebecca Lenkiewicz's The Painter, a play about the life of English romantic landscape painter and watercolourist JMW Turner. The theatre's new Colourworks home, which it is moving to after 10 years on Arcola Street, was the former home of Reeves whose colour blocks were made famous by artists such as Turner and Constable.

Directed by Arcola artistic director Mehmet Ergen, the production, which opens on 14 January (previews from 12 January 2011) and continues until 12 February, will star Toby Jones as Turner with Niamh Cusack as mistress and mother of his two children, Sarah Danby.

Lenkiewicz's play follows Turner's story from a young working class Cockney at the beginning of the 19th century to a painter who would change the landscape of British and international art forever.

Toby Jones' past work in theatre includes Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Complicite’s Measure For Measure for the National Theatre, Parlour Song at the Almeida and The Play What I Wrote in the West End and on Broadway for which he received an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Cusack's extensive credits include the National Theatre's His Dark Materials and The Enchantment, Dancing At Lughnasa at the Old Vic, Three Sisters at the Gate, Dublin and the Royal Court as well as As You Like It, The Art of Success, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Mary After The Queen for the RSC.

Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s first play, Soho – a Tale of Table Dancers, won a Fringe First at Edinburgh and opened the Arcola Theatre in 2001. Her play The Night Season, which opened at the National Theatre in 2004, received the Critics’ Circle’s Most Promising Playwright Award and was nominated for an Evening Standard Award. Her recent work for the Arola include adaptations of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and Ghosts.

The full cast for the production was today announced as Amanda Boxer, Jim Bywater, Denise Gough and Ian Midlane. The play is designed by Ben Stones with lighting design by Emma Chapman.


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