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Rose Scores First Transfer with Hall’s Bedroom

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Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce will return to the West End this month, when Peter Hall’s revival, seen last autumn at the Rose Kingston, transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre for a limited season from 30 March to 10 July 2010 (previews from 24 March). The comedy marks the first West End transfer for the Rose, which opened in January 2008 after more than six years and £11 million in development.

Bedroom Farce centres on four couples who are at different stages in their relationships and whose lives intersect over the course of one very chaotic evening across three bedrooms.

Premiered at Ayckbourn’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 1975, the play opened at the National Theatre, directed by Hall, in 1977 and subsequently transferred to the West End where it ran until September 1979. It was last revived in the West End in 2002, with a cast including Richard Briers and June Whitfield (See News, 27 Feb 2002).

Peter Hall’s new production was first presented last October as part of the Rose’s two-month Behind Closed Doors programme, which examined what happens in the privacy of other people’s homes via revivals, with Bedroom Farce running in rep from 15 October to 28 November 2009 (previews from 1 October) with Strindberg’s Miss Julie, directed by Stephen Unwin, who succeeded Hall as the theatre’s artistic director.

At the Rose, both productions were performed by the same company, which included: Jane Asher, Nicholas Le Prevost, Finty Williams, Daniel Betts, Orlando Seale, Rachel Pickup, Tony Gardner and Lucy Briers (daughter of Richard).

In the West End, Williams, Betts, Seale, Pickup and Gardner reprise their performances, with Sara Crowe, Jenny Seagrove and David Horovitch joining the cast. The production is designed by Simon Higlett, with costumes by Mark Bouman and Mia Flodquist, lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Gregory Clarke.

The Rose Kingston is a modern building modelled on the same horseshoe-shaped ground plan of Elizabethan London’s Rose. Like the original, Kingston’s 900-capacity Rose comprises a promontory stage surrounded by three tiers of seating and a pit for audience ‘groundlings’. The Rose Kingston was spearheaded by Peter Hall who, at the time of opening, handed over full-time administrative responsibility to Stephen Unwin (See News, 21 Jan 2008).

The Duke of York’s has been dark since 27 February 2010 and the conclusion of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s run of Twelfth Night, starring Richard Wilson.

UPDATED, 6pm: This story has now been updated with West End casting and further creative credits, added in bold above.


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