JERMYN STREET THEATRE Announces 1930s Autumn Season
Jermyn Street Theatre and Anthony Biggs today announce a season of rediscovered work to run from September to December 2014. Comprising three plays by English playwrights, all first staged in 1933 to 1934, the line up is made up of John van Druten's lament to the fallen of World War One - Flowers of The Forest, the first ever revival of Terence Rattigan's debut work - First Episode and the first production in sixty years of Mordaunt Shairp's controversial 1930s allusion to homosexuality - The Green Bay Tree.
From 23rd September to 18th October the theatre presents John Van Druten's Flowers of The Forest directed by Biggs. A time shift work set in London in 1934 and in Sussex from 1914 to 1916, the play tells the story of the Jacklyn family torn apart by the Great War. Tackling the issues of how the conflict had a long lasting and devastating effect on a whole generation, the play is a both a eulogy to those who fell and a testament to those who lived on without them. John Van Drutten was one of the most popular playwrights of the inter-war and early post-war years and was best known for his works Bell, Book and Candle, which was later made into a film starring James Stewart and Kim Novak and his adaptation of Goodbye To Berlin by Christopher Isherwood - I am a Camera
Following Flowers of The Forest from 28th October to 22 October, Primavera presents the first revival of Terence Rattigan's debut work First Episode, which was coauthored with Philip Heimann and is directed by Tom Littler. Inspired by events from Rattigan's own time in 1930s Oxford, First Episode is the story of a movie star's appearance in a student play. The story charts the relationship of best friends Tony and David as their friendship is tested when Tony becomes besotted with the beautiful star Margot Gresham. First Episode is one of the earliest plays to deal explicitly with homosexuality and marks the start of Rattigan's glittering career.
Continuing the theme of unspoken sexuality, the season ends with Mordaunt Shairp's 1930s study of gay desire and control. Produced by Evergreen Theatrical ProductionsThe Green Bay Tree runs from November 25th to December 20th. Telling the story of a beautiful young man as he is forced to choose between the love of his fiancée and the lifestyle of his male mentor, the work is a comedy of manipulation and self-repression. The orginal Broadway production launched Laurence Olivier's American career as he played the lead opposite his then wife Jill Esmond.
Anthony Biggs became artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre in January 2013. His previous productions at the theatre include the recent South African Season, The Potsdam Quartet, the UK premiere of Ibsen's St John's Night, Charles Morgan's The River Line, Ibsen's Little Eyolf the recent revival of Frederick Lonsdale's On Approval. The Autumn season builds on these and Jermyn Street Theatre's other recent successes which include Maltby & Shire's Closer Than Ever, Arthur Wing Pinero's The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmithand Steven Berkoff's Religion & Anarchy. The summer season at Jermyn Street Theatre concludes with the first ever UK production of William Inge's Natural Affection. Starring Lysette Anthony and directed by Grace Wessels, it opens on July 15.