Rough Haired Pointer to Present FRED & MADGE World Premiere at The Hope Theatre, Sept 15-Oct 11
Rough Haired Pointer and Adam Spreadbury-Maher present the world premiere of JOE ORTON'S FRED & MADGE at The Hope Theatre, Islington, this September.
Fred & Madge (1959) is the first play by Joe Orton, one of the most pivotal playwrights of the 20th century. Until now this full length play has been unseen. Now for the first time it will be staged at The Hope Theatre, a stone's throw from Orton's former bedsit flat on Noel Road where he lived, wrote and was murdered.
Webber: Do you want to ruin society and civilization with your laughter? Madge: Yes, oh yes!
Fred and Madge are a normal couple. Or so we think until a director and an audience member start interrupting and reworking this play within a play. Exhilaratingly subversive, the play includes the destruction of the Festival Hall (a potent symbol of middle-class complacency in '50s Britain), professional insulters intent on purging society with laughter and a dystopian England overgrown with marigolds. Full of biting satire and sardonic wit, the play mingles astutely observed social realism with myth: Fred's job is to push boulders up a hill, and Madge's is to sieve water. In it we see Orton at the outset of his phenomenal career.
Joe Orton came from a working-class family in Leicester. He won a scholarship to RADA where he met his lover and lifelong companion Kenneth Halliwell with whom he lived until 1967 when Halliwell murdered him and then killed himself. His work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What The Butler Saw.
In the last 10 years the early novels (Between Us Girls, Lord Cucumber and The Boy Hairdresser) written by Orton / Orton and Halliwell were published. In October 2014 his first play will be performed for the first time at The Hope Theatre 47 years after his death.
Full casting details to be announced at a later date.
Director Mary Franklin. Producer Adam Spreadbury-Maher. Designer Christopher Hone. Lighting Designer Seth Rook-Williams
Rough Haired Pointer's past work includes The Diary Of A Nobody (White Bear and King's Head Theatres), The Boy Who Cried (The Hope & Tabard Theatres) and The Young Visitors (The Hen and Chickens). Their work combines visual originality, precisely crafted staging and headlong action. Mary Franklin, 24, is a graduate of the King's Head Theatre Trainee Director Scheme, Artistic Director of Rough Haired Pointer and Resident Director of The Hope Theatre.
Fred & Madge is the final production at The Hope Theatre under founding Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher ahead of Matthew Parker taking over the venue in October.
FRED & MADGE By Joe Orton
At the The Hope Theatre 207 Upper Street London N1 1RL
Press nights: Thursday 18 September at 7.30pm and Friday 19 September at 7.30pm
Regular Run: 15th September - 11 October, Monday - Saturday 7.30pm Matinee 11 October 2.30
Previews: 15, 16, 17 September all seats £10
Tickets £12 - £14 Box Office | 020 7226 4443