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Scoop Serves Up Ninth Season of Free Theatre

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The Scoop festival of free theatre at More London will return for its ninth season this year, featuring free performances of Bertolt Brecht's The Mother and "family adventure" Around the World in Eighty Days.

Performances take place in the sunken, 1000-seater open-air amphitheatre next to City Hall on the South Bank where over 200,000 people have attended theatre productions since Scoop’s launch in 2003.

Around the World in Eighty Days is a production for all ages, a whistle stop tour of four continents, as dashing Victorian adventurer Phileas Fogg and his hapless servant Passepartout recount their daring attempt to cross the globe in record time. It has been freely adapted from the novel by Jules Verne and the musical by Phil Willmott and Annemarie Lewis Thomas, which premiered at the BAC ten years ago.

A surprisingly warm and witty portrait of a family and neighbourhood in crisis, The Mother has been translated by Mark Ravenhill. The production sees a mother disapprove of her beloved son becoming involved in political demonstrations. The last thing she expects is to find herself marching alongside him, but as she listens to the stories of those around her this meek, respectable woman begins to ask how long she can keep silent. Written during the rise of Hitler, it so worried the Nazis that they kidnapped the leading actor to prevent the public from seeing the play.

Produced by Steam Industry Free Theatre and season director Phil Willmott, the shows will run from 5 August (previews from 4 August) to 4 September with performances Thursday through Sunday. Around The World in Eighty Days will play a 6pm slot with The Mother at 8pm.

Previous summer seasons at the Scoop have included double bills of Medea and The Adventures of Jason and the Argonauts and last year Toad Hall! and Don Juan in Love. In 2006, the theatre won the prestigious Peter Brook Empty Space Award for up-and-coming theatre of the year.


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