HOW TO BE IMMORTAL to Kick Off National Tour at London's Soho Theatre, March 4-9

Penny Dreadful Theatre will present a brand new show about love, death and science; the world premiere and national tour of HOW TO BE IMMORTAL by Mira Dovreni. Directed by Kirsty Housley and featuring Clare Perkins, Anna-Helena McLean and John McKeever, with scientists Gareth Ackland (UCL), Anna Gutierrez-del-Arroyo (UCL), and Duncan Wilson (Manchester), the National Tour will run 28 January 2014 to ­ 23 March 2014. Press Night 29 January at 7.45pm, The Albany, Deptford, London.

From the creators of highly acclaimed, innovative shows including The Bitches Ball, The Missionary¹s Position and Penny Dreadful¹s Etherdome, comes a new show exploring one of the great moments in scientific discovery the eternal human cancer cells.

In Penny Dreadful Theatre¹s new show, HOW TO BE IMMORTAL, writer Mira Dovreni weaves together three different stories contemplating immortality. They are set over different centuries and continents: the true story of Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells takes place in West Virginia in the 1950s, while a young couple in present day London experience a similar situation, but handled very differently. A third story explores one of the most extraordinary advances in science - the mapping of DNA ­ only possible because of Henrietta¹s immortal cells.

Created in collaboration with scientists from UCL and Manchester University and with original music based on a sound code interpreting DNA, this show blends science and human emotion in a unique exploration of the different things our loved ones leave us when they die.

Rosa has fallen in love with Mick the decorator. She plays the cello, he plays the squeezebox ­ an unlikely combination but they sound great together. Trouble is she¹s pregnant and he¹s about to die.

Henrietta Lacks died in West Virginia in 1951, but her cells are still alive, dividing endlessly in laboratories all over the world. It's taken Deborah Lacks years to come to terms with her mother¹s death. Now she's got to deal with her immortality.

If we didn't have bodies would we live forever? Its 1950 and Doctor George Gey and his wife Margaret are about to make a mind-bending discovery using homemade apparatus and some calves liver puree. All they need is the right biopsy.

Creative team: Designed by Angela Simpson; Lighting Design by Matt Haskins; Music and Sound Design by Barnaby Race; and Animation Artist: Gemma Burditt.

Writer Mira Dovreni is one of the founders of Penny Dreadful Theatre and her extensive performing credits include The Bitches Ball and The Missionary's Position. This is her debut as a playwright.

Actor Clare Perkins has just finished season in Eastenders, playing the popular character Ava Hartman. Director Kirsty Housley's extensive credits in theatre include working on the recent international tour with Complicite.

Penny Dreadful Theatre's past productions have achieved critical acclaim and sold-out houses. The company explore forgotten figures from history, telling stories that are more complex and fascinating and definitely stranger than fiction.

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Mira Dovreni - Writer - Founder member and artistic director of Penny Dreadful Productions, Mira created the concepts, performed in, co-devised and produced The Bitches Ball, The Missionary¹s Position, and Etherdome. As an actress, experience includes new writing with theatres such as Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible, Liverpool Everyman; she was a member of BBC Radio Rep (World Service) for a year and has devised new plays at Soho Theate, Oval House, Proteus, Forest Forge, Southampton Nuffield. For Soho theatre she co-devised the show Genetics for Blondes ­ where she knitted a chromosome, extracted DNA live on stage and sniffed audience members' armpits to test their genetic suitability (never fails). This is where she first started to wonder what DNA actually did. Mira trained at Rose Bruford College (Community Theatre Arts) and with the Philippe Gaulier School (clown), and she has been acting, devising and writing since graduating in 1992. As well as the usual selection of commercials and two line TV credits, she recently played the role of Lizzie in the award-winning romcom Betsy and Leonard (Best feature / Best Screenplay / Best Director, Madrid Film Festival 2013).

Kirsty Housley ­ Director & Dramaturge - Kirsty is a freelance theatre director and writer. She has been the recipient of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust award and the Title Pending award for innovative new work at Northern Stage. She is an Associate Director of Complicite and Theatre Uncut. Recent directing includes Bandages at The Corn Exchange Newbury and on tour, Theatre Uncut 2012 at The Young Vic, 9 at West Yorkshire Playhouse for Chris Goode and Company, and Thirsty for The Paper Birds. Recent writing includes White Horses, for Paines Plough Come to Where I'm From and Bandages. For Complicite Kirsty has been Associate Director on Shun-kin since 2007, and has worked on several new pieces in development, including Amazon Beaming.

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