World Premiere of Richard Bean's PITCAIRN Begins Tonight at Chichester Festival
Award-winning playwright Richard Bean unveils the second of his three world premieres to be staged this year, and renews his collaboration with acclaimed director Max Stafford-Clark for Pitcairn at Chichester, prior to London and a national tour.
This gripping island story charts how dreams of a modern society of equals in Paradise are blown off-course, following the infamous mutiny on The Bounty.
This compelling new play forms part of Chichester Festival Theatre's Hidden Histories season, exploring little known stories springing from historical events.
Richard Bean has forged a reputation as one of Britain's leading playwrights whose work is characterised by robust humour. Pitcairn is the second of three world premieres written by him to open during 2014. His acclaimed satire Great Britain currently plays at the National Theatre followed by the world premiere of West End musical Made in Dagenham later this year. There will also be a revival of Toast at London's Park Theatre. Other credits include One Man, Two Guv'nors, The Heretic and his previous collaboration with Max Stafford-Clark, The Big Fellah. Bean has twice won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play, and Critics Circle awards in both London and New York.
Director Max Stafford-Clark remains a central figure in Britain's canon of radical contemporary drama. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1979 - 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 - 1970. One of his most notable collaborations has been with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart. He founded acclaimed touring company Out of Joint in 1993.
Pitcairn opens in 1789, when revolution is in the air. In France, a monarchy falls and in the South Pacific, Fletcher Christian overthrows his captain in the famous mutiny on The Bounty.
Christian drops anchor at the fertile and remote island of Pitcairn. But his dreams of Eden are destroyed by the greed and suspicions of his fellow sailors, and by the Tahitians' rigid adherence to their hierarchy and traditions.
The cast is an ensemble of new and emerging talent. The mutineers are played by Anna Leong Brophy (Walua), Lois Chimimba (Te Lahu), Samuel Edward-Cook (Mathew Quintal), Vanessa Emme (Fasto), Eben Figueiredo (Hiti), Siubhan Harrison (Mi Mitti), Saffron Hocking (Te'o), Ash Hunter (Ned Young), Naveed Khan (Menalee), Cassie Layton (Mata), Tom Morley (Fletcher Christian), Adam Newington (John Adams), Henry Pettigrew (William McKoy), David Rubin (Oha) and Jack Tarlton (William Brown Gardner).
The production is designed by Tim Shortall, whose Chichester credits include Top Girls (also West End). Other credits include This May Hurt A Bit (UK tour and St James Theatre) and the 25th anniversary revival of Our Country's Good (St James' Theatre).
Lighting Design is by Johanna Town whose credits include West End productions of Fences, What the Butler Saw, Betrayal and Some Like It Hip Hop.
Video Design is by Andrzej Goulding whose Chichester credits include Festival 2014's Pressure. Other credits include Union (Royal Lyceum), Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse) and From Morning Till Midnight (National Theatre).
Choreography is by Orian Michaeli whose credits include This May Hurt A Bit (UK tour and St James' Theatre) and Ballad of the Burning Star (BAC and UK tour).
The composer is Adam Pleeth whose credits include The Elephantom (National Theatre Shed), This May Hurt A Bit (UK tour and West End), Ballad of the Burning Star (BAC and UK tour) and Cinderella (Tobacco Factory Theatre and St James Theatre).
Epic, inquisitive, original and authentic, for twenty years co-producer Out of Joint has developed and toured entertaining theatre that broadens horizons and investigates our times. It has premiered plays by such writers as Caryl Churchill, David Edgar, David Hare, Mark Ravenhill and Robin Soans and its recent productions include Stella Feehily's play about the NHS, This May Hurt A Bit, and an acclaimed revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, which this year is revived for national and international touring.
Founded in 1997 by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a vibrant organization and reconstructed open-air theatre on the banks of the River Thames dedicated to the exploration of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Jacobean, and contemporary theatre. Its smaller and younger sister - the indoor, candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse - opened in January 2014 with its inaugural production of The Duchess of Malfi starring Gemma Arterton. Shakespeare's Globe has become a home for modern writers producing world premières by Howard Brenton, Jessica Swale and Che Walker, and the present season includes Holy Warriors by David Eldridge, making his Globe writing debut. The current artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole, has staged 16 new plays in eight years, and the Globe is delighted to be co-producing with Out of Joint and Chichester Festival Theatre for the first time.
Pitcairn contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature. Age guideline 16+.
Performances of Pitcairn at Chichester are sponsored by De'Longhi.
Press Night: Thursday 28 August, 7.00pm
Pitcairn is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester from tonight, 22 August - 20 September, Evenings 7.45pm (except Press Night, Thursday 28 August 7.00pm), Matinees 2.45pm. Tickets: Previews / Press Night £18, £22, All other performances £24, £33. To book, visit cft.org.uk or call 01243 781312.
An allocation of tickets for 16 - 25 year olds priced at just £8.50 for all performances of Pitcairn will go on sale on 25 July. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at cft.org.uk/850 or in person.
Stay after the performance to ask questions, meet the company and discover more about Pitcairn on Tuesday 26 August.
A pre-show talk with writer Richard Bean and director Max Stafford-Clark, chaired by author Kate Mosse, takes place on Wednesday 27 August at 6pm. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the box office.
For those aged 16 - 25, Live Nights! accompany the £8.50 tickets, offering much more than just seeing the play. Participants arrive early to meet the company, tour the set or visit backstage. Pitcairn Live Night! is on Thursday 18 September from 6.25pm.
It's All In The Telling is a panel discussion on art, heritage and the rediscovery of hidden histories, inspired by Festival 2014's three world premieres, Pressure, Pitcairn and Taken at Midnight. Participants are writer Mark Hayhurst (Taken at Midnight), Kate Wheeler, Archiving the Arts project, and Rib Davis, oral historian and playwright, with the event chaired by Kate Mosse. The discussion is on Tuesday 7 October, 5.15pm, Minerva Theatre. Tickets free, booking essential.