Off West End Announcements – 13 March 2009

March 13, 2009

Here’s a round-up of announcements at Off-West End Theatres this week:

King’s Head
Joe Di Pietro’s critically acclaimed Fucking Men returns from 19 March – 6 June following its recent sold-out extended run. The comedy about sexual manners is directed by Phil Wilmott and features a cast including Morgan James, Nicholas Keith, James Kristian, Timothy Lone, Chris Polick, Patrick Poletti and Adam Unze.

Warehouse Theatre Croydon
Unexpected Opera presents its premiere production, The Barber of Savile Row (1 – 15 April). Adapted by Tim Riley and John Lovat from Rossini’s classic opera, the play jumps from the 17th century to 1950s London and includes a bit of Elvis. Director Lynn Binstock and Unexpected Opera aim to make the show accessible to everyone, not just those already familiar with opera.

Young Vic
The Maria Studio will feature Matthew Dunster’s You Can See the Hills (23 April – 9 May) in its Spring 2009 Season. This one-man show features a performance by Doctor Who’s William Ash as protagonist Adam. Following a sell-out run in the Clare last autumn, Dunster’s play returns to the stage shedding light on the life of a young man as he comes of age in the ‘80s.

Finborough Theatre
Michael Craig stars in Trying (17 March – 11 April), a play written by Joanna McClelland Glass about Judge Francis Biddle, the US Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chief American Judge at the Nuremberg Trials. Based on Glass’s own experience as personal secretary to Judge Biddle, Trying follows protagonist Sarah as she attempts to reorder her new boss’s hectic life while simultaneously dealing with her own personal woes.

Sadler’s Wells
The Lilian Baylis Theatre presents two productions written by Jimmy Durante as part of Ian Marshall Fisher’s Lost Musicals performances. Both shows have not been onstage since their Broadway runs in 1930. The first, The New Yorkers (Sundays 29 March and 5, 12, 19 April), follows the romance between an heiress and a gangster in 1920s New York. Following The New Yorkers is the satire Johnny Johnson (Sundays 14, 21, 28 June and 5, 12 July), which is an anti-war comedy bringing together cowboy ballads, French music-hall and American vaudeville.

The Troy Bar
The Hoxton Street venue, the Troy Bar, will host the four-month mini festival, Missfit Mondays (Mondays 16 February – 25 May). Arranged as a festival fundraiser for DYS(THE)LEXI 2009, which features works by dyslexic writers, Missfit Mondays combines innovative theatre with inventive new writing to produce their unique blend of “innoventive” shows. Co-produced by missfit productions and Touchwaves, the festival will show works by Nicholas McInerny, Gerard Logan and Rachel Rose Reid.

The travelling Welsh circus troupe, NoFit State, will grace the London stage with their production of Tabu (28 March – 19 April), following a sell-out European tour. Directed by Firenza Giudi, Tabu incorporates a mixture of live music and video to accompany the 12-person ensemble during the performance.

Lyric Hammersmith
Director Matthew Lenton joins forces with Scotland touring company, Vanishing Point, to bring their newest production, Interiors (21 April – 9 May), to London. Adapted from Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1891 play Interior , this brand new show focuses on the idea of isolation by contrasting the inside and outside worlds. Interiors commences as a stranger peers through a window upon a group of friends as they talk around the dinner table.

Hackney Empire
Mike Batistick’s play BOdEGA lung fat (11 – 28 March) is currently receiving its world premiere. Starring Mitzi Thaddeus, George Georgiou, Pierre Mascolo, Daniel Frost and Stephen Hoo, the show focuses on a diverse group of Brooklyn-ites as they discuss everything from drugs to racism to poverty. BOdEGA lung fat is directed by Sam Neophytou and presented by Inner City Productions.

The Vagina Monologues (2 – 4 April) will make a return to the Empire starring Sharon D. Clarke, Jessie Wallace and Jocelyn Jee. The show has drawn audiences from London to L.A., and everywhere in between, and included performances by Kate Winslet, Whoopi Goldberg, Sophie Dahl and Jerry Hall.

Meanwhile, the Studio will host the world premiere of Alex Martinez’s Private Thoughts (6 – 25 April). Directed by Kevin Hely, the play features performances by Kevin McGowan and Clara Onyemere as Eric and Dr. Chase, respectively. Worried by an increasing fear that he may be a potential child abuser, Private Thoughts follows Eric into his therapy sessions as he discusses these concerns with his therapist.

Soho Theatre & Southbank Centre
The world premiere of Forced Entertainment’s Void Story (21- 25 April) will take place next month as part of SPILL Festival at the Soho Theatre. The play is set in an urban wasteland and follows a couple as they are undergo a mugging, insect bites, haunted hotels and more.

The six-member theatre company, who this year celebrate their 25th anniversary, will also showcase a second play for SPILL Festival. Branching away from the rest of Forced Entertainment’s creative team, artistic director Tim Etchells presents his solo project That Night Follows Day (7 – 8 April) for a two-day run at London’s Southbank Centre. The production features a cast of 17 children between the ages of 8 and 14 in a play “with children, but for adults.”

New End Theatre
Anita Harris stars in Anton Burge’s musical comedy G&I: Going Into Battle with Gertrude Lawrence (8 April – 3 May). Based on the life of actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence, the production is set in spring of 1944 and focuses on her experience as she gears up for a performance for British and American troops during World War II. G&I is directed by Ninon Jerome and co-stars Brenda Longman and Ben Stock.

Orlando Wells’s new dark comedy The Tin Horizon (15 April – 9 May) sheds light on protagonist Vladimir as his personal problems become overwhelming—he is plagued by uncooperative servants, a visit from his ex, unwanted Police attention on his taxidermy shop and a potential visit from the Messiah during breakfast. The Tin Horizon is directed by Phoebe Barran and presented by Theatre503 and Bird & Be Productions.

- by Katie Blemler

St. Stephens Reopens with The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

March 2, 2009

After resting unused for over three decades, St. Stephen’s will reopen its doors next month with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (17 March – 19 April). Presented by Antic Disposition, this performance will be the first to grace the stages of St. Stephens following its recent £4 refurbishment.

Co-directors Ben Horslen and John Risebero—who also co-founded Antic Disposition in 2005—bring to life a new staging of the classic CS Lewis tale. The play stars Alice Fernbank, Jayne Dickinson, and James Pellow as the White Witch, Lucy, and Professor Kirk/Father Christmas, respectively.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows four young children as they seek safety from the London Blitz. Upon reaching their country house, the children travel through a mysterious wardrobe which leads them to the winter wonderland of Narnia. Here they help Aslan the lion as he tries to break the evil White Witch’s spell, restoring Narnia from its one hundred year winter.

The theatre space has been designed by Risebero to match the frosty surroundings of Narnia, transporting viewers to the fantasy world of the play.

Celebrity patron Helena Bonham Carter calls attention to the staging of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by stating, “I’m delighted that St. Stephens is finally being brought back to life – it will make a unique and brilliantly atmospheric venue for live performances.”

-Katie Blemler

Chloë Moss Wins $20k Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

February 26, 2009

Liverpudlian playwright Chloë Moss has been awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play This Wide Night, which premiered at the Soho theatre in July 2008. In a private reception at London’s Arts Club yesterday (25 February), actress Sigourney Weaver presented Moss with $20,000 and a signed print by Dutch artist Willem de Kooning. Read more

After Doroteia, The Flies & Void Story Grace the London Stage this Spring

February 25, 2009

StoneCrabs Theatre presents the UK premiere of After Doroteia (26 – 28 March), a play adapted from Nelson Rodrigues’ Doroteia . Written and directed by Franko Figueiredo, After Doroteia centres on a young man who leaves home and returns years later as Doroteia. Read more

Award winning Dai comes to London for a Short Run

February 24, 2009

Iris Bahr’s sell out Edinburgh fringe hit, Dai, is to travel to central London for eight performances at the Shaw Theatre from 11-17 March. Dai, which is Hebrew for enough, won the prestigious Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show in an off Broadway production in 2008 and was also performed at the United Nations in New York. Read more

New Six-Person Venue Opens in Brixton

February 21, 2009

Arch468, a new London theatre space, is set to stage Caryl Churchill’s Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (17 February – 22 March) as its first long-run stage performance. The venue boasts a unique set-up in that it houses only six audience members at any one time. Read more

Tricycle Presents Three-Month Afghanistan Season

February 20, 2009

12 plays will receive world premieres as part of the Tricycle’s forthcoming season dedicated to Afghanistan. The Great Game: Afghanistan runs from 24 April to 14 June 2009 (previews from 17 April) and features work by playwrights including Richard Bean, David Edgar, Abi Morgan, David Greig and Simon Stephens. Read more

Chickenshed to Host Moscow Based Workshop

February 20, 2009

London theatre company Chickenshed will be sending four of its members abroad next week to host a theatre workshop geared towards Russian children. The foursome are running an Inclusive Theatre presentation—funded by the European Union—at the British Embassy in Moscow on Friday 27 February. Read more

Tamasha Take Bronte to Bollywood

February 19, 2009

Tamasha Theatre Company, formed in 1989 as a partnership between director Kristine Landon-Smith and actor/playwright Sudha Bhuchar, have announced the full cast and tour dates for their 2009 musical adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. The production will tour the UK from 13 March – 20 June and is a Tamasha and Oldham Coliseum co-production in association with the Lyric Hammersmith. Read more

Low Life and Hysteria Return to BAC

February 18, 2009

Low Life at the BACBAC will feature one-week last chance runs of two of their best remembered shows, Low Life (7 – 14 March) and Hysteria (16 – 21 March) as part of their Spring 2009 Season. Both shows return to BAC after acclaimed succes the first time around and following a recent British Council tour through China. Read more

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