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Ridley’s BNP-based Moonfleece Bows in East End

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Philip Ridley’s most directly political play to date, Moonfleece, will receive its professional premiere at the height of general election furore this spring.

Originally developed in 2004 for the National Theatre Connections programme for young people, the piece about rising right-wing nationalism and homophobia will initially run from 2 to 13 March as part of the 2010 East Festival at the new Rich Mix multi-platform arts centre in Bethnal Green, marking the first premiere of a Ridley play in the East End where the playwright was born and still lives, works and takes part in community and outreach work.

Set in an abandoned council flat, Moonfleece centres on a young, right-wing activist forced to reassess his personal and political beliefs. The new Supporting Wall production is directed by David Mercatali, with a multi-cultural cast including Sean Verey, David Ames and Krupa Pattani.

Following its opening in east London, nearby Barking & Dagenham which polled 19.4% in favour of the British National Party in last year’s European elections, the production will tour for selected dates in other BNP-affected areas – Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham, Doncaster and Dudley – before returning to London in April for stints at Riverside Studios (6-11 April) and Greenwich Theatre (15-17 April).

Philip Ridley’s other plays include Leaves of Glass, Apocalyptica, Mercury Fur, Piranha Heights, Fairytale Heart, Krindlekrax and his award-winning 1997 piece The Fastest Clock in the Universe, revived last year at Hampstead Theatre. His films include the East End-set gangster biopic The Krays and the upcoming Heartless, which stars Jim Sturgess, Timothy Spall and Luke Treadaway and is due for release next month.


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