Citizens Theatre to Present THE LIBERTINE, 28-31 May
Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Dominic Hill takes on a new production of Stephen Jeffreys' raunchy and bawdy historical drama The Libertine as the finale to his Spring 2014 Season. Following performances in Glasgow, the production will tour to Bristol Old Vic from 28 - 31 May, the first time the Citizens has presented work at the Bristol theatre.
Jeffreys' play tells the true story of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester and a hedonistic poet, courtier, playwright and rake, whose appetite for women and wine has made him a notorious figure in 1670s London and the court of King Charles II. His need to exceed every limit leads to a spectacular fall from favour, from which neither his charisma nor true love can save him.
Premiered at the Royal Court in 1994, Jeffreys' incisive critique of an age of excess employs all the wit, flair and bawdiness of a Restoration Comedy. The script found another life as a 2004 screenplay, largely thanks to the support of John Malkovich. Having performed the role of Rochester with his legendary Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Malkovich was so taken with the story that he optioned the script for his production company, courting Johnny Depp to play the notorious Rochester with Malkovich taking the role of King Charles II.
Designer Tom Piper, who has previously worked with Hill on King Lear (Citizens Theatre) and Scottish Opera's recently-revived Macbeth, joins the creative team to produce a show that calls to mind the infamous Citizens productions of the 70s and 80s. Original music will be created by composer Hilary Brooks, with lighting designed by Lizzie Powell, who has worked with Hill on his 2012 production of Krapp's Last Tape with Gerard Murphy and Far Away and Seagulls in 2013.
Describing the production, Hill says: "I'm really excited to be giving The Libertine its first major stage production in the UK since its London premiere. It feels to me like such a "Citz" play, with everything that has made the Citizens famous: a brilliant script, visual flair and a celebration of theatre itself. There's long been a tradition at the Citizens of theatre that's risqué and outrageous, and I think the bawdiness of The Libertine will serve that tradition very well."
Martin Hutson, who has previously performed at the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre takes on the role of Rochester. He is joined in the cast by, amongst others, Andy Clark, Barbara Rafferty and Tony Cownie, who will be familiar faces to theatre-goers in Scotland.
Tickets available from 0141 429 0022 / citz.co.uk