Lyric Hammersmith Presents THREE KINGDOMS, Opening Tonight, May 3

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The Lyric Hammersmith presents the UK premiere of Three Kingdoms - a brand new thriller by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens - in a European co-production with Tallinn's NO99 Theatre and Munich Kammerspiele from tonight, the 3rd, to the 19th of May. Sebastian Nübling, the director behind the world premiere of Stephens' acclaimed Pornography, reunites with the writer to bring this ambitious new project to the London stage as part of World Stages London.

When the severed head of a woman is found washed up on the bank of the Thames, the police investigation draws two British detectives into the murky depths of the European vice trade as they launch a feverish hunt for those responsible.

Three Kingdoms is a gripping depiction of the danger and uncertainty that bubbles under the surface of modern Europe, tracking a nightmarish journey that spans London, Munich and Tallinn.

The play is performed in three languages by an international cast, including British actors Nicholas Tennant (Herons, Royal Court; The Power of Yes, National Theatre), Rupert Simonian (A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky, Lyric Hammersmith; Appropriate Adult, ITV), and Lyric Artistic Associate and Filter Co-Artistic Director Ferdy Roberts (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Filter/Lyric Hammersmith; Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll).

Speaking about the benefits of crossing linguistic and national borders in search of a truly collaborative theatrical event, Simon Stephens said: 'I have several important, nourishing relationships with directors. But one of the most constantly provocative and stimulating is my relationship with Sebastian Nübling. In his productions language is unapologetically physical in a way that is simply not the case in England. It's not that he ignores the meaning of words but that he fuses that consideration of meaning with a consideration of gesture which few English directors dare.'

Simon Stephens is an Artistic Associate of the Lyric Hammersmith where his work includes the highly acclaimed Punk Rock. His On the Shore of the Wide World won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Play. Amongst his many other works are Harper Regan (National Theatre), Herons, Motortown (Royal Court) and Sea Wall (Traverse/Bush), which has recently been released as a film download starring AnDrew Scott (Sherlock, BBC; Cock, Royal Court).

In 2007, director Sebastian Nübling was named Theater Heute's Young Director of the Year. He has been chosen to present several of his acclaimed productions at the Berliner Theatertreffen, including Händl's Wilde – Man with the Sad Eyes and Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkmann. His original production of Simon Stephens' Pornography premiered at Hamburg's Deutsche Schauspielhaus in 2007.

Following its world premiere in Tallinn and a sold out run at the renowned Munich Kammerspiele, Three Kingdoms comes to the Lyric Hammersmith for a limited run as part of World Stages London, before returning to mainland Europe for runs at the Berlin Autorentheatertage festival and the prestigious Wiener Festwochen in June.

Three Kingdoms is recommended for ages 16+ due to strong language, nudity and adult content.

World Stages London is a landmark theatre celebration of the international and multicultural nature of London culminating in a series of shows presented in April, May and June 2012.

See www.worldstageslondon.org.uk for more information or to book.

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