2014 Brits Off Broadway Festival to Run 4/1-6/29


2014 Brits Off Broadway Festival to Run 4/1-6/29

The critically acclaimed Brits Off Broadway festival, host to the UK's most innovative and provocative theater in New York City, returns for its 9th season of New York premieres of new British theater. Presented by 59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer), Brits Off Broadway launches on Tuesday, April 1 and runs through Sunday, June 29. The single ticket prices range from $25 - $70 ($17.50 - $49 for 59E59 Members). Tickets to Brits Off Broadway go on sale on February 28, with a special pre-sale for 59E59 Members beginning February 21. Tickets are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.59e59.org. For more information on Brits Off Broadway, visit www.59E59.org or www.britsoffbroadway.com.

Now celebrating its 9th smash season, the 2014 Brits Off Broadway festival features a spectacular line-up of New York premieres coming direct from the UK, including three NYC premieres by Alan Ayckbourn running in rep.

Plenty of familiar faces and old friends are on hand to celebrate the 9th anniversary season, including the reteaming of Douglas Maxwell and Joanna Tope (Drama Desk nominee for The Promise from Brits 2011), Lizzie Watts (Mike Bartlett's Artefacts in 2008), the incomparable Jessica Walker (The Girl I Left Behind Me from 2013), Alan Cox (Cornelius, also from 2013), the sensational Simon Green (Coward at Christmas in 2008, Travelling Light in 2010), and the master of British comedy Alan Ayckbourn, who returns for his fifth Brits Off Broadway.

Once again, Brits Off Broadway kicks off the Scotland Week celebrations with the US premieres of three critically acclaimed plays, starting with a raucous double bill from Scotland's renowned Traverse Theatre, Douglas Maxwell's A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY (The Promise at 59E59, Decky Does A Bronco) and the fast-paced crime caper CLEAN. Next up is the US premiere of DON'T WAKE ME: THE BALLAD OF NIHAL ARMSTRONG, a highly personal, heart-wrenching play by Guardian journalist Rahila Gupta, starring acclaimed actress Jaye Griffiths. All three plays took the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe by storm.

Harry Melling, best known as Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter films, premieres his new solo play PEDDLING, direct from the High Tide Festival. And Alan Cox, from last season's Cornelius, returns to Brits Off Broadway in PLAYING WITH GROWNUPS, about a couple adjusting to a new baby.

Renowned British playwright by David Rudkin examines the brilliant but complicated "master of suspense" Alfred Hitchcock, in the US premiere of THE LOVE SONG OF ALFRED J. HITCHCOCK, adapted from Rudkin's 1993 radio play.

Lizzie Watts (Mike Bartlett's Artefacts in Brits 2008) returns in the new play BLINK, which examines a love affair in the digital age. CHALK FARM examines the dynamics of a mother and a son through the lens of the 2011 London riots.

59E59 audience favorite Simon Green returns with SO, THIS THEN IS LIFE. The incomparable Jessica Walker (The Girl I Left Behind Me, Brits 2013) tackles the scandal that nearly destroyed Britain's first wartime movie star Pat Kirkwood in PAT KIRKWOOD IS ANGRY.

Finally, Brits Off Broadway is thrilled to be home to no less than three New York premieres of plays by Alan Ayckbourn: TIME OF MY LIFE, ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES, and FARCICLES: A Double Bill of Frivolous Comedies.

The full 2014 Brits Off Broadway lineup:

Tuesday, April 1 - Sunday, April 20
DON'T WAKE ME: THE BALLAD OF NIHAL ARMSTRONG, written by Rahila Gupta and directed by Guy Slater
With Jaye Griffiths
Produced by Nihal Theatre Company in association with Louise Chantal Productions

DON'T WAKE ME is the true story of the life and death of acclaimed British journalist Rahila Gupta's much-loved son. Performed by Best Solo Performer nominee (Edinburgh Festival 2013) Jaye Griffiths, the play is 'a beautifully constructed piece with a heart-aching sense of authenticity.' (London Evening Standard ****)

Wednesday, April 2 - Saturday, April 26
A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY by Douglas Maxwell and CLEAN by Sabrina Mahfouz, directed by Orla O'Loughlin
With Joanna Tope and Gavin Jon Wright (A Respectable Widow...); and Jade Anouka, Emma Dennis Edwards and Chloe Massey (Clean)
Produced by the Traverse Theatre Company (Scotland)

A double bill of two new short plays from Scotland's renowned Traverse Theater Company, both celebrating brilliant, brazen women.

CLEAN introduces audiences to the world of London's top female underground criminals on their biggest job yet. Zainab, Chloe and Katya are three fast-talking, no-nonsense criminal heroines who mean business.

In A RESPECTABLE WIDOW TAKES TO VULGARITY, Annabelle, mourning her husband's death, strikes up an unlikely relationship with his potty-mouthed employee, Jim. Entering into Jim's un-finishing school, Annabelle finally finds her own voice.

Wednesday, April 23 - Sunday, May 18
PEDDLING, written by Harry Melling, directed by Steven Atkinson
With Harry Melling
Produced by High Tide Festival Theatre
A young door-to-door salesman wakes up in a field, somewhere in London, surrounded by the burnt and empty remnants of the night before. With no memory, he knows he must go back to 'the very start of it all.' His attempts to retrace events lead him on a haunting journey where everything comes into question: his life, his world, and his future.

Tuesday, April 29 - Sunday, May 18
PLAYING WITH GROWN UPS, by Hannah Patterson, directed by Hannah Eidinow
With Alan Cox, Daisy Hughes, Trudi Jackson, Mark Rice-Oxley
Produced by KPS Productions in Association with the Pleasance
Late thirties, careers under their belts and a new baby just arrived. Isn't that what everybody wants? A wry, provocative look at what it is to be a woman today, in a society that tells us we can have it all and our ambitions can be unlimited.

Thursday, May 1 - Sunday, May 25
THE LOVESONG OF ALFRED J. HITCHCOCK, written by David Rudkin, directed by Jack McNamara
With Martin Miller, Roberta Kerr, Tom McHugh, and Anthony Wise
Produced by New Perspectives
David Rudkin's poetic new play takes an unprecedented look at the life and mind of one of the century's most fascinating cultural icons. With great insight and stunning lyricism, this critically acclaimed character study reveals the story of the Hitchcock you never knew.

Tuesday, May 20 - Sunday, June 1
SIMON GREEN: SO, THIS THEN IS LIFE, created by Simon Green and David Shrubsole, performed by Simon Green with musical arrangement and accompaniment by David Shrubsole
Produced by The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
SO, THIS THEN IS LIFE explores paths un-trod, mistakes repeated and ridiculous responses to an ever-changing world. Simon Green and David Shrubsole cast their uniquely British gaze over life's rude awakenings. As in their Drama Desk nominated Traveling Light, they concoct a theatrical marriage of word, music and truths that aim to transport audiences to a former, more innocent incarnation of themselves.

Wednesday, May 21 - Sunday, June 8
CHALK FARM, written by Kieran Hurley & AJ Taudevin, directed by Neil Bettles
With Thomas Dennis and Julia Taudevin
Produced by ThickSkin
Through a mother's desire for safety and acceptance and a young boy's need to be recognized as part of something, CHALK FARM offers an uncompromising and ultimately heartbreaking examination of a fractured society. This explosive new play about love and blame during the 2011 London riots was hailed as 'Brilliant, sharp, poetic, passionate, full of searing insight into the politics of blame' in The Scotsman when it premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thursday, May 29 - Sunday, June 29
AYCKBOURN ENSEMBLE, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn
Cast to be announced
Produced by Stephen Joseph Theatre
One company, two major bittersweet comedies and two frivolous shorts, all written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, run in rep.

It is Laura Stratton's birthday and, to celebrate the event, the whole family is gathered for an evening out in their favorite restaurant. The dinner turns out to be a significant moment in all their lives. The NYC premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's 1992 comedy.

At a London rail terminus an elaborate trap is deployed to capture a dangerous and elusive terrorist. The Strategic Simulated Distractional Operations Unit is ready to pounce. Their witness, garrulous traffic warden, Barry Hawkins and troubled young female soldier Ez Swain, his minder, are on hand. What can possibly go wrong?

FARCICALS: A Double Bill of Frivolous Comedies
In CHLOË WITH LOVE, Teddy and Lottie's marriage is in difficulty. Cue neighbors Penny and Reggie to the rescue. But who is Chloe? Lottie and Teddy return in THE KIDDERMINSTER AFFAIR! Will Lottie discover the awful truth about Kidderminster? Will Teddy burn the barbeque?

Tuesday, June 3 - Sunday, June 29
BLINK, written by Phil Porter, directed by Joe Murphy
With Thomas Pickles and Lizzy Watts
Produced by Soho Theatre and nabokov
This is the tale of Jonah and Sophie. It's a love story. A dysfunctional love story, but a love story all the same. Against the lonely backdrop of London, the worlds of two shy individuals collide, and a charming, delicate and darkly funny story unfolds before your eyes.

Tuesday, June 10 - Sunday, June 29
PAT KIRKWOOD IS ANGRY, written by Jessica Walker, directed by Lee Blakeley, with musical arrangements by James Holmes
With Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins at the piano
Produced by Jess Walker Music Theatre in association with Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Jessica Walker (from last year's sublime The Girl I Left Behind Me) stars in this hilarious and heart-breaking new play with songs about the turbulent life of the actress and singer Pat Kirkwood. Britain's first wartime star (in 1939) and Noel Coward's muse, Kirkwood's fortunes took a nose-dive after a fateful meeting with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, the repercussions of which were to last her whole life.

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