Brits Off Broadway: NDT Head To New York To Co-Curate Festival With 59E59
New Diorama Theatre has announced the programme for Brits Off Broadway this spring, hosting the finest Off West End theatre on American soil. This festival is co-curated with New York's 59E59 and takes place at the Drama Desk Award-winning Midtown theatre from Tuesday 14 April to Sunday 28 June.
The 2020 programme is a perfect sample of the UK's vibrant theatre scene featuring celebrated work by eight of the country's most exciting and inventive companies.
One of the most successful theatre shows of the 2019 Edinburgh Festival and fresh from its premiere run in London throughout February and March, New Diorama Theatre's The Incident Room will open in New York (23 Apr - 24 May). David Byrne (Secret Life of Humans) and Olivia Hirst's play tells the true story of the police hunt for one of Britain's most infamous serial killers, The Yorkshire Ripper. The turbulent investigation is said to have been the birth of modern policing, changing the relationship between the forces and society forever.
In The Habit of Art, The Original Theatre Company revives the work of one of Britain's greatest and most celebrated playwrights, Alan Bennett. Exploring friendship, rivalry and heartache this multi layered masterpiece recounts the meeting of poet WH Auden and composer Benjamin Britten (29 May - 28 Jun).
It's True It's True It's True by Breach Theatre is the Untapped, Scotsman Fringe First and The Stage Award-winning story of the court trial surrounding the rape of artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Acclaimed as one of the definitive artistic responses to the #MeToo revolution and acknowledged to have helped revive Artemisia's position as a feminist icon, this production incorporates the original transcript of the 1612 trial to show how little has changed for victims of misogyny and sexual abuse in 400 years. The play was televised by the BBC in February 2020 and will run at the world-famous Barbican Centre before transferring to New York (6-31 May).
Dinomania by Kandinsky tells the true story of the 'dinosaur hunters' of the 19th century, particularly Gideon Mantell, an amateur whose attempts to gain recognition from the scientific establishment led him to be a pawn in the battle between the creationist beliefs of the ultra-conservative old order, and the scientific progressivism of the 'evolutionists'. The play portrays a collision between politics, religion, social class, and science which has fundamentally changed our understanding of the world and life itself (3-28 June).
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) by Silent Uproar is a Scotsman Fringe First and Musical Theatre Review Award-winning cabaret-musical about living with depression. Written by Olivier-nominated playwright and writer on Netflix's The Crown, Jon Brittain, with music and lyrics by acclaimed musician and performer Matthew Floyd Jones, the story spans a decade in the life of protagonist Sally. Charting her journey through depression but A Super Happy Story shows through storytelling, music and humour that mental ill health is not a barrier to happiness (14 Apr - 3 May).
Wild Swimming by FullRogue Theatre tells the story of two friends going for a dip off the Dorset Coast in the 17th century and rejoining them as they repeat the tradition...once a century. As the years fly by a friendship endures framed by drastic changes to society, women's rights and the aspirations of the young (14 Apr - 10 May).
Ladykiller by The Thelmas is a sharp and blackly comic monologue by a murderous hotel maid which was a sell-out success at Edinburgh Fringe 2018 (12 May - 7 Jun).
Orlando by BoonDog Theatre takes us back to 1928 when Virginia Woolf imagined her own freedom through the character of her novel Orlando. Over 90 years later, Lucy Roslyn's play is the story of a person looking for escape, desperate to leave behind the identarian bullshit (9-28 Jun).
New Diorama artistic director David Byrne: "At New Diorama, we're always looking to unlock new opportunities for our artists. The chance to co-curate Brits Off-Broadway with 59E59's brilliant Val Day, and transfer some of our best NDT supported work to New York, has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and I can't wait to share some of the best new, contemporary British theatre with Off-Broadway audiences."
Brits Off Broadway has been running at 59E59 since 2004 and has been described by the New York Times as "a highlight of the theatrical year in New York". New Diorama's previous productions Down & Out in Paris and London, and Secret Life of Humans sold out at Brits Off Broadway with 2020 their first year as co-curators.