Christopher Hunter, Tom Mothersdale and Melody Grove Star in Spellbound Productions' IN LAMBETH at Southwark Playhouse, Now thru Aug 2
Spellbound Productions present IN LAMBETH, written by Jack Shepherd, directed by Michael Kingsbury and designed by Ruth Sutcliffe. Opening night is slated for today, 11 July 2014 at 7.30pm, with the regular run continuing through Saturday 2 August 2014 (one preview 10 July).
Cast includes Christopher Hunter, Tom Mothersdale (currently appearing in Missing Dates as part of the Simon Grey plays at Hampstead) and Melody Grove (recently played the title role in The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland)
1789. Six years after the end of the American Revolution. Across the channel, the French Revolution has only just begun. In Britain, an anxious government is suppressing any kind of dissident activity. Angry mobs roam the streets in support of church and state.
Recently returned from America where his writing has helped forge the new Republic, Thomas Paine is running through these streets, pursued by government agents: branded as one of the most dangerous men in Europe. When all seems lost, he remembers that a fellow dissident, the poet William Blake, lives in a cottage nearby and en route to seek sanctuary in his garden encounters both William and his wife, Catherine, sitting naked up a tree reading from Paradise Lost...
Melody Grove plays Catherine Blake. Theatre credits include The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland and USA tour), Much Ado About Nothing (Old Vic), The Importance of Being Earnest (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Of Mice and Men (Royal Lyceum Theatre) and 2401 Objects (Analogue).
Christopher Hunter plays Thomas Paine. His extensive theatre credits include King Lear, Macbeth, Venetian Twins, Romeo and Juliet, Moby Dick, The Tempest, Richard III (all Royal Shakespeare Company), The Wars of the Roses (Royal Shakespeare Company and World Tour), The Parasol (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Richard II (Old Vic Theatre), Ivanov, The Mother (National Theatre),? A Tale of Two Cities (Northampton Theatre), The Surprise of Love, Iphigenia (Theatre Royal Bath), The Crucible (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Othello (Southwark Playhouse), My Father's House (Birmingham Rep) and Summerfolk, The Warrior (Chichester Festival Theare).
Tom Mothersdale plays William Blake. Theatre credits include Missing Dates (Hampstead Theatre), King Lear (BAM, New York and Chichester Festival), Boys, Romeo and Juliet (Headlong), Iphigenia, The Phoenix of Madrid (Theatre Royal Bath), The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare's Globe), A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (Lyric Hammersmith) and Pride and Prejudice (Theatre Royal Bath).
Olivier-Award winning writer and actor Jack Shepherd was born in Leeds and studied art at King's College Newcastle, after which he went to Central School of Speech and Drama and was a student founder of the Drama Centre. Since then he has enjoyed a successful career as an actor on both stage and screen. As a writer, Jack began devising plays for the theatre in the Sixties, with a production of The Incredible Journey of Sir Francis Younghusband (Royal Court), followed by The Sleep of Reason (Traverse Theatre) and Real Time (Joint Stock). In Lambeth is his first written work for the stage, which he originally directed at the Donmar Warehouse, where it won the 1989 Time Out Award for best directing and writing. Other credits include Comic Cuts (Derby Playhouse, Salisbury Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith Studio) and Holding Fire (Shakespeare's Globe) which is the third of his 'revolution' plays. He wrote and directed Chasing the Moment, a play about jazz musicians (1995, Edinburgh Festival and Battersea Arts Centre), which he later revised especially for the Arcola Theatre (2007, dir. Mehmet Ergen). He also wrote Half Moon (Southwark Playhouse) and Through A Cloud (The Drum Plymouth & Birmingham Repertory Theatre, dir. Simon Stokes, re-directed by David Levine for the Arcola Theatre in 2005). Jack is currently writing a new play about Edvard Munch. For television, he has written dramas including The Actual Woman, Underdog and Clapperclaw (all BBC). He co-authored Impossible Plays with fellow-writer Keith Dewhurst, an account of his time with the National Theatre's Cottesloe Company (published by Methuen). Jack has also directed three productions at the Globe:Two Gentlemen of Verona, Thomas Decker's The Honest Whore, and a mask play, Man Falling Down.
Director Michael Kingsbury's theatre credits include the critically acclaimed Ying Tong (West Yorkshire Playhouse and subsequent transfer to the Ambassadors Theatre), the London premiere of States of Shock (BAC), This Other Eden (Soho Theatre) and Seduced (Finborough Theatre). He will direct the world premiere of Radio 4 The Musical for the Watermill Newbury and ACT Productions in October and is currently developing Jack Shepherd's play about Edvard Munch in association with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His play All Manner of Means was Time Out Critics' Choice at the BAC and subsequently transferred to the King's Head Theatre. His work at the Salisbury Playhouse included Steven Berkoff's Decadence, and new adaptations of Hard Times and Hound of the Baskervilles. Michael produced and directed the hugely successful Round the Horne... Revisited which ran in the West End for over a year, completed 3 Number One tours, was chosen for the Royal Variety Performance, and was subsequently adapted for BBC television. Michael has also directed numerous overseas tours with the British Council.
Designer Ruth Sutcliffe's recent credits include If Only (Chichester Festival Theatre), Home (The Shed, National Theatre) and Crispino e la Comare (Valle d'Itria Opera Festival, Italy). In 2009 she won the Linbury Prize for Stage Design receiving the commission for The Duchess of Malfi (Royal & Derngate) which was also nominated for best design at the Theatre Awards UK (TMA). She won an OffWestEnd award for Best Set Design for her work on Tennessee Williams' Kingdom of Earth (The Print Room) directed by Lucy Bailey and more recently collaborated again with Bailey on The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company). Other designs include Hedda Gabler (Royal & Derngate), Bronte (Shared Experience), Yerma (The Gate) and The Gypsy Bible (Opera North).
Spellbound Productions are a Soho-based production company whose work includes first-class tours of Haunting Julia by Alan Ayckbourn and September In The Rain by John Godber (dates including Theatre Royal Brighton and Richmond Theatre). The company produced London premieres of John Osborne's first play The Devil Inside Him which received an Offie nomination for Best Actor (Ralph Aiken) and Night Of January the 13th by Ayn Rand (The White Bear Theatre). Future projects include Contact.Com by Michael Kingsbury and Edvard by Jack Shepherd- a new piece about Edvard Munch - which Spellbound developed and read at RADA earlier this year with Samuel West playing Munch. For more information, visit www.spellboundproductions.co.uk.
Political thinker and revolutionary Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809) was a key figure in the American and French revolutions and one of the most influential writers in human history. He was branded a traitor in Britain and fled across the channel to France.
William Blake (1757 -1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.
Southwark Playhouse is located at 77-85 Newington Causeway London SE1 6BD. Nearest Tube: Borough / Elephant and Castle. Performances run Thursday 10 July - Saturday 2 August 2014: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday matinees at 3pm. Box Office: Online at www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk (24 HOURS/NO BOOKING FEES); By telephone: 020 7407 0234 (NO BOOKING FEES). Ticket Prices: Previews £10; £18, £16 (conc.). Concessions: Students, Under 16's, Unwaged, Registered disabled, Equity, Over 65's. Registered disabled patrons can bring one companion free of charge.