Arcola Theatre Opens MARE RIDER Tonight

Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter returns to the Arcola Theatre in Leyla Nazli's evocative new play, Mare Rider.

Elka is the Mare Rider, subversive and vengeful baby-stealer, a timeless creature of myth, who inhabits our dreams. In this potent new work, directed by Mehmet Ergen, Nazli weaves classic mythology with fears of child-birth and issues of identity into a dazzling piece that is both unsettling and deeply moving.

In the maternity ward of a London Hospital, Selma is stuck between other people's reality and her own. She's visited by Elka from afar, who takes her on a fantastical journey of dreams and fears - stealing wine, meeting seahorses and mermaids, and riding mares across meadows.

Kathryn Hunter's previous work at the Arcola includes Tell Them I am Young and Beautiful and Yerma. Her other theatre credits include Kafka's Monkey (Young Vic), The Diver at Soho Theatre, and Peter Brook's Fragments at the Young Vic. She won an Olivier award in 1990 for Friedrich Durrenmatt's The Visit at The National Theatre. Her film credits include Mike Leigh's All or Nothing and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As a director her credits include Othello with the RSC, The Birds for the National and Pericles at Shakespeare's Globe.

The cast includes Matthew Flynn, Anna Francolini and Hara Yanas.

Leyla Nazli was selected to be one of 'The Royal Court Fifty' to celebrate the theatre's 50th Anniversary year, where her play Silver Birch House had its first reading. The play later premiered at Arcola in 2007. She is currently Executive Producer at the Arcola Theatre.

Mehmet Ergen is the founder and Artistic director of the Arcola Theatre. Directing for the Arcola includes most recently The Sweet Smell of Success, The Painter , The Cradle Will Rock, Release the Beat, Silver Birch House, Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Jitterbug, Chasing the Moment and An Enemy of the People.

Mare Rider is being performed as of Europe Now, a theatrical collaboration between four of the most innovative theatre in Sweden, Turkey, Holland and Germany.

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