LINGUA FRANCA Makes New York Premiere at Brits Off Broadway, Closes 11/28
59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) is thrilled to host the US premiere of LINGUA FRANCA, written by Peter Nichols, at the 2010 Brits Off Broadway festival. Directed by Michael Gieleta, LINGUA FRANCA comes to NY from London's prestigious Finborough Theatre. LINGUA FRANCA begins performances on Tuesday, November 9 for a limited engagement through Sunday, November 28. Press opening is Tuesday, November 16 at 7 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday & Wednesday at 7 PM; Thursday & Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM; and Sunday at 3 PM and 7 PM. Please note, there is no performance on Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 25). The regular ticket price is $60 ($42 for 59E59 Members). Preview tickets are $45 ($31.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org. For more information, visit www.britsoffbroadway.com.
LINGUA FRANCA follows innocent abroad, Steven Flowers, as he travels from National Service in South-East Asia to 1950's Florence. He soon finds himself working for a chaotically-run language school, together with a cosmopolitan muddle of six foreign misfits killing their post-war nihilism in the cafés of Florence, the cradle of Renaissance high culture.
Based around a leading character in Olivier Award-winning playwright Peter Nichols' acclaimed work Privates on Parade, this fast-paced, sexually charged production was the toast of London over the summer. Michael Billington of The Guardian enthused "it exuberantly entertains," containing, "the sexiest seduction scene on the London stage!"
The Brits Off Broadway production marks the play's New York premiere. Mr. Nichols' last play in New York was the critically acclaimed A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2003, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Outstanding Revival.
LINGUA FRANCA comes to New York with one of the most extraordinary casts ever to grace Brits Off Broadway's stages. It features Anna Carteret (part of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic and member of The Peter Hall company), Enzo Cilenti (the films NINE, Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People and Wonderland), Ian Gelder (countless productions with The National and the RSC), the Olivier Award-winning actress Abigail McKern, Chris New (Bent with Alan Cumming), Charlotte Randle (All About My Mother at the Old Vic) and Natalie Walter (Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus at the Donmar).
Production design is by James Macnamara, who recently designed the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Johannesburg. Costume design is by Emily Stuart.
Playwright Peter Nichols (born 1927) is a multiple award-winning author of some of the most enduring British plays of the last four decades. His work continues to be revived on both sides of the Atlantic due to its controversial and subversive range of themes and styles. His many plays include A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (revived in the last decade in the West End and on Broadway with Clive Owen, Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton), Passion Play (recently seen at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Michael Grandage), Privates on Parade (also revived at the Donmar Warehouse with James McAvoy as Steven Flowers), The National Health, Forget-Me-Not-Lane, The Freeway, Chez Nous, Born in the Garden, Blue Murder (later Fig-Leaves), So Long Life and A Piece of My Mind. His awards include a Tony Award, four Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award for Best Comedy and two Ivor Novello Best Musical Awards. He has also written screenplays of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, The National Health and Privates on Parade. His books include Feeling You're Behind, a memoir, published by Weidenfeld in 1984 and his Diaries, published by Nick Hern Books in 2000. His Plays One and Two are published by Methuen.
Director Michael Gieleta combines work in theatre and opera internationally. His London credits include Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams by Pulitzer-Prize winner Nilo Cruz a the Finborough Theatre, the recent acclaimed revival of Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard (Old Red Lion Theatre), Mimi and the Stalker by Glyn Maxwell (Theatre 503), David Lescot's Le Mariage and Tena Stivicic's Fragile! (Arcola Theatre). He recently debuted at the Wexford Opera Festival with Smetana's Hubicka. Michael is a former Associate Director to Franco Zeffirelli.