THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Mike Bartlett Premiere and More Slated for Almeida Theatre's New Season
Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said: "We are thrilled to present three major new productions at the Almeida, including two world premieres and one rare revival. Spanning the Atlantic and beyond, this season is a timely and limitless interrogation into contemporary cultural anxieties and the power we have over our own lives.
"What do we truly desire? What is it that scares us the most? Is it more dangerous to live in the past or only in dreams? Are we looking to belong - or to escape?
"Here at the Almeida we are committed to ongoing relationships with artists and for that reason, following on from his extraordinary work on King Charles III and Game, we are excited to welcome back Mike Bartlett with Albion. Equally, Anne Washburn's work with us on the mind-bending Mr Burns was one of the most controversial and formally exhilarating texts we have presented - and we are thrilled to produce a brand new play with Anne's unique take on The Twilight Zone. Finally, we are delighted to present an exciting new director to the Almeida stage, Rebecca Frecknall, with Tennessee Williams' rarely performed Summer and Smoke. Rebecca has been part of our Resident Director scheme which aims to support emerging directors.
"Opening the season, Albion interrogates the political state of England through the lens of tangled family politics. The Twilight Zone looks back at American nightmares made during the Cold War which speak as powerfully to the current political moment and the ongoing power of the imagination today. And to complete the season, Summer and Smoke explores the spiritual and sexual sacrifices we can make on the journey to self-discovery.
"Each play challenges the preoccupations of daily life in search of something more meaningful. The answers might lie close to home - the earth beneath our feet, the complexity of family, or national identity. They might already exist in our bodies and souls without our knowing - love, sickness, belonging. Or they might be found beyond our physical existence, in alternate universes, technology... and dreams.
"Our Figures of Speech digital project continues with a new slate of filmed speeches, featuring Derek Jacobi, Noma Dumezweni, Russell Tovey, Pearl Mackie, John Heffernan and responses by our young leaders, challenging British politics, rediscovering the power of rhetoric and questioning the art of leadership.
"In the West End, Ink by James Graham will open at the Duke of York's Theatre in September, Robert Icke's production of Hamlet featuring AnDrew Scott runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre until September, and Mary Stuart with Lia Williams and Juliet Stevenson, opens at the Duke of York's Theatre in January.
"The ground-breaking work of Participation continues in multiple projects across the rest of the year, including From the Ground Up at the Edinburgh Festival and a new project in partnership with Arsenal in the Community and supported by The Arsenal Foundation, following the success of Play On."
It's England really, isn't it? A climate without cloud and rain isn't honest.
In the ruins of a garden in rural England, in a house which was once home, one woman searches for seeds of hope.
Albion is a new play by Mike Bartlett, directed by Rupert Goold, their first collaboration following their international award-winning production King Charles III. The cast will feature Victoria Hamilton with further casting to be announced.
Victoria Hamilton has previously appeared in The Doctor's Dilemma at the Almeida. Recent television appearances include The Queen Mother in The Crown and Anna in Doctor Foster. Other theatre credits include Love, Love, Love at the Royal Court; Twelfth Night for the Donmar Warehouse at Wyndham's Theatre; Once in a Lifetime, Summerfolk and Money at the National Theatre; Suddenly Last Summer at the Donmar Warehouse and UK Tour; Sweet Panic in the West End; A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at the Roundabout Theatre, New York and in the West End; Home & Beauty in the West End; The Country Wife and As You Like It at Sheffield Crucible; King Lear, The Provoked Wife and The Seagull at The Old Vic; Troilus And Cressida and As You Like It at the RSC; The Master Builder in the West End; Retreat and Memorandum at the Orange Tree Theatre. Other television includes Our Ex-Wife; The Circuit; Call the Midwife Christmas Special; The Game; What Remains; Toast; Larkrise to Candleford; Time of Your Life; Trial & Retribution; Wide Sargasso Sea; The Shell Seekers; A Very Social Secretary; Jericho; Spine Chillers; To the Ends of the Earth; The Brontes; Goodbye Mr Chips; Baby Father - I & II; Victoria & Albert; The Savages; King Lear; The Merchant of Venice; Persuasion; and Pride and Prejudice. Films include French; Scoop; Before You Go and Mansfield Park.
Mike Bartlett's plays for the Almeida include Game and the multi-award winning King Charles III (Olivier Award - Best New Play) which premiered at the Almeida before West End and Broadway transfers, and a UK and international tour. Mike's television adaptation of the play was broadcast on BBC earlier this year. Other plays include Wild at Hampstead Theatre; An Intervention for Paines Plough and Watford Palace; Bull for Sheffield Theatres, Off Broadway and the Young Vic (Olivier Award - Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre); Medea for Headlong, at the Glasgow Citizens, Watford Palace and Warwick Arts Centre; Chariots of Fire at Hampstead Theatre and at the Gielgud Theatre, West End; 13 at the National Theatre; Decade (co-writer) for Headlong; Earthquakes in London for Headlong and the National Theatre; Love, Love, Love for Paines Plough, the Plymouth Theatre Royal, the Royal Court, and the Roundabout Theatre Company, New York (Theatre Award UK - Best New Play); Cock (Olivier Award - Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre), Contractions, and My Child for the Royal Court; and Artefacts for the Bush Theatre and Nabokov. Plays for the radio include: King Charles III, Cock, Heart, The Core, Family Man, and Love Contract for BBC Radio 4; and The Steps and Not Talking for BBC Radio 3. As Director: Medea (Headlong/Glasgow Citizens/Watford/Warwick) and Honest for the Theatre Royal Northampton. Television includes King Charles III; Doctor Foster; and The Town.
Rupert Goold is the Almeida's Artistic Director where he has previously directed Ink, Richard III (which was broadcast live to cinemas around the world in July 2016), Medea, The Merchant of Venice, King Charles III and American Psycho, which opened on Broadway in April 2016. He was Artistic Director of Headlong from 2005 until 2013 where his work included The Effect, ENRON, Earthquakes in London and Decade. Other theatre credits include Made in Dagenham in the West End; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida; Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway; and No Man's Land at The Gate, Dublin and in the West End. He has twice been the recipient of the Laurence Olivier, Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director. He was Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2009 to 2012 and was Artistic Director of Northampton Theatres from 2002 to 2005. On film he directed the BAFTA nominated Richard II, part of The Hollow Crown, and Macbeth for the BBC, feature True Story, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill, and a television adaptation of his production of Mike Bartlett's King Charles III for BBC Two. Rupert was awarded a CBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Year's Honours.
Tuesday 5 December 2017 - Saturday 27 January 2018
THE TWILIGHT ZONE
based on stories by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson
adapted by Anne Washburn
directed by Richard Jones
Press night: Tuesday 12 December at 7pm
Between light and shadow, science and superstition, fear and knowledge is a dimension of imagination. An area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Adapted by Anne Washburn (Mr Burns) and directed by Olivier Award-winner Richard Jones, this world premiere production of the acclaimed CBS television series The Twilight Zone lands on stage for the first time in its history. Or its present. Or its future.
Stage magic and fantasy unite as the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
The Twilight Zone is based on stories by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson from the CBS television series. Casting to be announced.
One of television's most revered and influential science-fiction fantasy series, The Twilight Zone ran on American network CBS from 1959 to 1964, winning 3 Emmy Awards during its 156 episode run. Its incisive parables explore humanity's hopes, despairs, prides and prejudices. The programme has had a seminal influence on popular culture; from Stephen King to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to Steven Spielberg, The Simpsons to Black Mirror.
Anne Washburn's plays include Mr Burns: A Post Electric Play, which received its European premiere at the Almeida in 2014. Other plays include 10 out of 12 (Premiere at Soho Rep, NYC), Antlia Pneumatica (Premiere: Playwrights Horizons, NYC), The Communist Dracula Pageant (Premiere: ART, Boston), A Devil at Noon (Premiere: Actors Theater of Louisville, Kentucky), I Have Loved Strangers (Premiere: Clubbed Thumb Summerworks, NYC), The Internationalist (Premiere: 13P, NYC), The Ladies (Premiere: The Civilians, NYC), The Small (Premiere: Clubbed Thumb Summerworks, NYC), and trans adaptations of Euripides' Orestes (Premiere: The Folger, Washington D.C.), and Iphigenia In Aulis (Premiere: Classic Stage Company, NYC). Awards include a Guggenheim, an Alpert, and a Laura Pels for an artist in mid career. Anne is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P.
Richard Jones (Director) has directed theatre at the at the Young Vic, The Old Vic, the National Theatre, in the West End, for the Royal Court/Ambassadors, for the RSC, in New York at The Public Theatre and three times on Broadway. He has directed opera at the Royal Opera House, the ENO, Aix en Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, Glyndebourne, la Scala, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and at the Met in New York. In theatre he has been awarded Olivier Awards for Too Clever by Half (The Old Vic) and Into the Woods (Phoenix Theatre - West End), the Evening Standard Award as best director for The Illusion (The Old Vic). He was nominated for a Tony Award for La Bête on Broadway. He has been awarded 3 Olivier Awards in opera - for Hansel and Gretel (WNO), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (ROH) and for The Mastersingers of Nuremberg (ENO) - this production was also awarded a South Bank Show Award. He was given the Evening Standard Award for outstanding artistic achievement for his production of Wagner's Ring at the Royal Opera House. This year the recent Old Vic production of The Hairy Ape played at the New York Park Armory and was nominated for 6 Drama Desk nominations. He was appointed CBE in the 2015 New Year's Honours list.
Saturday 24 February - Saturday 7 April 2018
SUMMER AND SMOKE
by Tennessee Williams
directed by Rebecca Frecknall
Press night: Wednesday 7 March at 7pm
The girl who said 'no' - she doesn't exist anymore, she died last summer - suffocated in smoke from something on fire inside her.
In the heat of summer - under the wings of an angel - Alma meets John.
Trapped between desire and fear in a life of obligation, her world turns upside down in the search for salvation.
Featuring an ensemble cast led by Patsy Ferran, Rebecca Frecknall directs Summer and Smoke, Tennessee Williams' intoxicating classic about love, loneliness and self-destruction. Summer and Smoke is designed by Tom Scutt. Further casting to be announced.
Patsy Ferran's theatre credits include Speech and Debate at Trafalgar Studios; As You Like It and Treasure Island at the National Theatre; The Merchant Of Venice at the RSC; The Angry Brigade at Paines Plough; Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre. Patsy's television credits include Guerrilla; Jamestown (series regular). Film credits include Darkest Hour; God's Own Country; Tulip Fever; The National Phobia; Association's Day Out. Patsy won a Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2014, and was nominated for an Emerging Talent Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2015.
Tennessee Williams, whose classics include The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, transformed the American stage through his poetic writing and provocative subject matters. Awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, three Drama Critic Circle Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Williams' success is unequivocal and he is arguably one of the best playwrights of the 20th century. Summer and Smoke explores the complex nature of body and soul, religion and indulgence versus sacrifice. The play was first performed on Broadway in 1948, and made its West End stage debut in 2006.
Rebecca Frecknall (Director) is supported at the Almeida Theatre by the Eranda Rothschild Resident Director scheme. She was previously Resident Director at Northern Stage from 2015-2016 after winning the acclaimed RTYDS bursary. During this time she directed Idomeneus; What Are They Like?, Educating Rita (for Durham Gala) and Julie by Zinnie Harris, her final production for the company. Before taking up this role, Rebecca worked as a freelance Director in London and was involved in various projects at the National Theatre, RSC and Young Vic. She was the 2012 recipient of the National Theatre Studio's Resident Director Bursary and was awarded one of the Young Vic's Jerwood Assistant Director Bursaries in 2011.
FIGURES OF SPEECH
A divided politics, a divided country, a divided people.
We've never needed leaders more.
Figures of Speech, our provocative anthology of digital films exploring the voices behind of visionary leadership, continues with a second series of films to be released later this summer following the great success of the first series.
Following Ashley Waters, Nicola Walker, Lucian Msamati, Fiona Shaw and Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Noma Dumezweni, Russell Tovey, Pearl Mackie and John Heffernan add their dynamic voices to the project as we use the power of performance to explore controversial political and social ideas from our past to illuminate our troubling present.
Alongside this growing anthology of surprising speeches, inspiring young leaders aged 15 - 25 from across London will continue to add their voices to the project with their own speeches as part of the Almeida's extensive Participation programme.
The films are available to be viewed for free through a dedicated microsite: speech.almeida.co.uk.
Figures of Speech is directed by Anthony Almeida.
The first series of Figures of Speech films had a combined total of 140,000 views, from both clips on the Almeida's social media channels and the full-length speeches on YouTube, with over 24,000 views of the website and content related to the speeches. Overall the Almeida reached over 650,000 people through its social channels alone, with total impressions on Twitter for the project reaching over 110 Million. Over 60% of the conversation online about the project has been from outside of the UK.
Jamie Flatters' speech about being too young to vote, released in the week of the General Election, has had over 10,000 views through social media and YouTube and Ian McKellen's reading of Harvey Milk's 'Hope Speech' has had over 66,000 views through social media and YouTube.
Figures of Speech has engaged with many different organisations that have all supported the project, including the Huffington Post, The Royal Society of Literature, Pride in London, Women's March London, National AIDs Trust, Shout Out UK, and London Libraries.
Anthony Almeida is currently the Link Artist of the Royal Opera House. In 2015 he was the Resident Director of the Almeida where his work as associate director included: The Odyssey; The Iliad; Oresteia (also West End); and Game.
Figures of Speech is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and a number of generous Almeida Supporters.
INK AT THE DUKE OF YORK'S THEATRE, WEST END
Saturday 9 September 2017 - Saturday 6 January 2018
Opening night: Tuesday 19 September
Tickets go on sale on Monday 17 July at 10am
Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. A young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asks the impossible and launches The Sun's first editor's quest: to give the people what they want. No matter the cost.
Following a sell-out season at the Almeida, Ink, written by James Graham (This House) and directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III), transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre for a strictly limited season. With a cast featuring Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Matilda) and Richard Coyle (The Associate, The Lover), this ruthless, red-topped new play leads with the birth of this country's most influential newspaper.
HAMLET AT THE Harold Pinter THEATRE, WEST END
Until Saturday 2 September 2017
Following a critically acclaimed run at the Almeida Theatre, HAMLET, starring AnDrew Scott in the title role, directed by Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke, is now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End for a limited run until 2 September.
The cast is Barry Aird (Francisco / Gravedigger), Madeline Appiah (Guildenstern), Derbhle Crotty (Gertrude), Marty Cruickshank (Player Queen), Jessica Brown Findlay (Ophelia), Calum Finlay (Rosencrantz), Joshua Higgott (Horatio), Daniel Rabin (Reynaldo), David Rintoul (Ghost/Player King), AnDrew Scott (Hamlet), Maanuv Thiara (Marcellus), Luke Thompson (Laertes), Peter Wight (Polonius), Angus Wright (Claudius) and Matthew Wynn (Bernardo/Player 3/Priest).
Hamlet has design by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons, and video design by Tal Yarden. The Associate Director is Daniel Raggett. Casting is by Julia Horan. Hamlet is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group, Sonia Friedman Productions and the Almeida Theatre.
Mary Stuart AT THE DUKE OF YORK'S THEATRE, WEST END
Saturday 13 January - Saturday 31 March 2018
Press Night: Thursday 25 January
The Almeida's critically acclaimed production of Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller, in a new adaptation created by Robert Icke, will open in the West End on 25 January 2018, with Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams reprising their roles.
The production will then visit Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 4 - Saturday 14 April, Salford Lowry from Tuesday 17 - Saturday 21 April and Cambridge Arts Theatre from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 April 2018.
Schiller's political tragedy takes us behind the scenes of some of British history's most crucial days. Playing both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Juliet Stevenson (Hamlet) and Lia Williams (Oresteia) trade the play's central roles, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin.
For every performance of Mary Stuart in the West End, 25 top price tickets will be available at £25 for those aged 25 and under. These will be available to buy in person at the Box Office and via the TodayTix app.
Mary Stuart is adapted and directed by Robert Icke, with set and costume design by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Jackie Shemesh, sound by Paul Arditti, and video by Tim Reid. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG. Further casting to be announced. Mary Stuart is presented by Fiery Angel, the Almeida Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and Howard Panter.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
The Almeida Theatre in partnership with Arsenal in the Community and Islington Borough Council's Crossing the Threshold present AGAINST ALL ODDS, a summer-long writing and performance project written by Charlotte Josephine and directed by Beth Shouler. Against All Odds is supported by the Arsenal Foundation.
Building on the success of Play On, a project run in partnership with Arsenal in the Community in response to the Almeida's production of Boy, a team of playwrights and directors will work with 80 young people and adult community groups to create theatre in response to Christopher Shinn's Against through a series of workshops which will be performed on the set of the play by professional actors and 20 community performers who helped shape the work. The piece will be performed on Friday 25 August.
Against All Odds is part of an Islington project, Crossing the Threshold, a pilot 12 month initiative engaging Islington council estate residents in a range of high quality arts activities. Through an innovative partnership between the Council Arts and Housing Service: emerging and established Islington arts providers will transform and enhance the spectrum of creative opportunities for residents who find it difficult to access mainstream arts provision.
Charlotte Josephine is a writer and actress whose plays include Bitch Boxer (Soho Young Writers Award 2012), Blue (Bolton Octagon's Octagon Prize) and Blush (The Stage Edinburgh Award). Charlotte is under commission to Boundless Theatre. She recently won the inaugural BBC Screenplay First Award and is currently developing a script with BBC Films. In March 2017 she was named on the BBC New Talent Hotlist. Charlotte is co-artistic director of Snuff Box theatre.
Beth Shouler is a director and writer from the East Midlands. She was Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Young Company Director for the Tricycle Theatre and Lakeside Arts Centre. She has been an assistant director for Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Arts Centre. She co-founded Plymouth Fringe Festival, The Party Somewhere Else Collective, and Junk Shop Theatre. Most recently she was part of the Royal Court Writers' Group and is currently a Breakthrough Artist at Curve. She has directed several productions including: Bait, Stacked (Almeida); Big Sister Little Brother, The Crossing (Spark Arts); Plunge, Are You There? (Theatre West); Brexit: The Write Club Response (Nottingham Playhouse); The Dissidents, The Endless Night, Gargantua (The Tricycle); Hardworking People (Junk Shop); Love and Information, Epiphany, Ailie and the Alien, Girls Like That, Platform 13 and Pronoun (Theatre Royal Plymouth).
Monday 7 - Thursday 10 August, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Shoreditch Town Hall
Monday 14 - Sunday 27 August, 2 - 3pm, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
FROM THE GROUND UP AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE
written by Joeri Smet
directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry
created by the Almeida Theatre Young Company
The Almeida Theatre Young Company presents FROM THE GROUND UP at Shoreditch Town Hall and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.
From the Ground Up is a thrilling and provocative interactive show that unites and divides the audience through a series of challenging questions, stories and dilemmas, both political and personal. It examines political identity, the battle between public and private personas and the human need to belong.
From the Ground Up is created by the Almeida Theatre Young Company, written by Joeri Smet - founding member of Belgian theatre collective Ontroerend Goed - and directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry, Artistic Director of Warts and All Theatre and former Participation Associate at the Almeida.
Every element of this original immersive production has been worked on in collaboration with young people aged 16 - 25. Every professional, from creative to production has mentored at least one young person, working together to develop the production, increasing their learning, skills and connections with peers and industry professionals.
Supported by Shoreditch Town Hall.
Priority Booking will open to Almeida Members at Designers' Circle level and above on Wednesday 19 July. Booking for Friends opens on Friday 21 July. Tickets for the new season go on public sale on Thursday 27 July. Box Office: 020 7359 4404 (10am - 7.30pm) or online: almeida.co.uk. Memberships start from £50.