Photo Flash: First Look - OUR TOWN at King's Head Theatre, Now Through 20 July
Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, Our Town, is to get its official 75th anniversary UK production - its first major London revival in a generation - at the King's Head Theatre from Wednesday 26 June - Saturday 20 July.
UK-based American director Tim Sullivan has cast 14 actors from 11 different countries for the production - Australia, China, Colombia, England, New Zealand, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, USA, Wales.
Our Town, is Wilder's best known and loved play. Set in the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners, it recounts the story of an average town's citizens through their everyday lives. And in a move that was truly groundbreaking when the play premiered, it is performed without a set and the actors mime their actions without the use of any props, conjuring up a complete world through just a handful of chairs and ladders. Another stage first was to use the character of the Stage Manager as an actual narrator, breaking the Fourth Wall to address the audience directly.
Winning the 1938 Pulitzer Prize, this seminal American play has been performed somewhere in the United States every day since. Wilder himself played the Stage Manager on Broadway and over the years this pivotal role has been played by actors as diverse as Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra (in a 1955 musical adaptation of the play), HAl Holbrook, Paul Newman, Helen?Hunt, Michael McKean and Michael Shannon.
This new London production is being directed by Off-West End Award nominee Tim Sullivan and follows his acclaimed double-bill of two classic Thornton Wilder one-acts, The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden and The Long Christmas Dinner at the King's Head Theatre last December. He directed an earlier version of Our Town in 2012. That led to an offer to re-stage it at the King's Head Theatre in 2013 and the endorsement of the Thornton Wilder estate, who have chosen this new production to be a part of its 75th anniversary celebration alongside high-profile American regional theatres including Ford's Theatre in Washington, the Huntington Theatre in Boston, and the Actor's Theatre of Louisville.
Our Town features a cast assembled from 10 different countries. The streets of tiny Grover's Corners will stretch globally to underscore the true universality of Our Town. The cast features Giovanni Bienne, Sam Child, Stewart Clegg, Simon Dobson, Ben Z. Fuiava, Cristina Haraba, Siu-see Hung, Dylan Lincoln, Princess McDonnough, Tamarin McGinley, Alex Nasmyth, Andres Ortiz, Zoë Swenson-Graham, Rita Walters.
Photos Courtesy of King's Head Theatre
Rita Walters, Tamarin McGinley
Zoe Swenson-Graham, Stewart Clegg
Ben Z. Fuiava, Zoe Swenson-Graham, Stewart Clegg