Old Red Lion Theatre Announces 40th Autumn/winter Season

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The Old Red Lion Theatre has announced its 40th autumn/winter season, which opens with a frighteningly timely new revival of Peter Hamilton's DANELAW, five new plays - including two world premieres for the London Horror Festival - and two adaptations of literary classics as part of the theatre's Christmas Festival.

Launching the season is DANELAW, a grisly tale of British neo-Nazis inspired by true events. The play follows racist football thug, Cliff, as he is approached by a mysterious man who offers him the chance to re-establish the Golden Age of Viking rule. And so begins a darkly-comic tragedy of violence and death directed by former Old Red Lion Artistic Director, Ken McClymont.

The London Horror Festival returns to its suitably spooky home with Last Orders: The Haunting of the Old Red Lion, a docu-play based on the venue itself. Since 1415 the Old Red Lion pub has welcomed countless visitors through its doors and, according to legend, some never left... The Knock Knock Club will present their findings from months of archival research and paranormal investigations to willing audiences this October. Join them, if you dare...

Closing the London Horror Festival is EDRED, THE VAMPYRE, a new play from David Pinner, the author of the novel RITUAL that inspired the cult movie THE WICKER MAN. Edred is a thousand-year-old bisexual Anglo-Saxon vampire, who slept with Shakespeare but never bit him. Combining ironic humour with mystery, suspense and insidious menace, EDRED is the latest offering in Pinner's wealth of contributions to Gothic literature.

Kathryn O'Reilly returns to the Old Red's stage, following her award-winning performance in Paul Westwood's Skin In The Game, with her new play Poisoned Polluted. In this stark, bold, powerful and poetic drama two sisters struggle to survive in the wake of a toxic childhood and the cycles of drug abuse.

To celebrate the end of the theatre's 40th anniversary year, a Christmas Festival will host four plays that each showcase original work created by talented emerging artists. This will include a new production of Uncle Vanya adapted through a female lens while addressing environmental conservation, quirky and comical murder mystery The Exceptional Case of Whizz and Drex, heartfelt and humorous new play BLOOD ORANGE following a Junior Doctor at Christmas in A&E, and a fresh new adaptation of The Signalman - after all, what's Christmas without a ghost story, or Dickens for that matter?

Drawing the winter season to a close is Rosalind Blessed's 'Tales From Behind the Twitching Curtain', two very dark comedies: The Delights of Dogs and the Problems of People - two souls are lost as a marriage descends into abuse; and Lullabies for the Lost - eight souls are found as they tell their secrets. The two plays will run in rep throughout January... and both plays have a dog!

Artistic Director, Katy Danbury, says: "I am proud to see the Old Red Lion's 40th anniversary out with equal gender representation across the final season and a celebration of both young and established playwrights. Audiences are sure to be left feeling dazzled, horrified and jolly as they journey through the many, varied stories that will play before them in the coming months. The absurdity of racist rhetoric is pushed to extremes in one tale based on a true story, our belief in the paranormal tested in the next; mental health importantly takes centre stage in both poetic and comic forms, and a famous text is re-imagined to consider our impact on the planet. So, whether you're looking for laughs, hard-hitting drama or seeking a delightfully spooky experience, this season is sure to accommodate your entertainment needs."

The season at a glance:

DANELAW by Peter Hamilton

Directed by Ken McClymont
September 17 to October 5, with press night on September 19

Last Orders: The Haunting of the Old Red Lion by The Knock Knock Club

Devised by The Knock Knock Club
Playing as part of the London Horror Festival
October 8 - 26, with press night on October 10

EDRED, THE VAMPYRE by David Pinner

Directed by Anthony Shrubsall
Playing as part of the London Horror Festival
October 28 to November 2, with press night on October 29

Poisoned Polluted by Kathryn O'Reilly

Directed by Lucy Allan
November 5 to 30, with press night on November 7

Uncle Vanya adapted from Anton Chekhov by Venetia Twigg

Playing as part of the Christmas Festival
Directed by Nadia Papachronopoulou
December 2 to 7, with press night TBC

The Exceptional Case of Whizz and Drex by Fred Kelly

Playing as part of the Christmas Festival
Directed by Fred Kelly
December 2 to 7, with press night TBC

BLOOD ORANGE by Tania Amsel

Playing as part of the Christmas Festival
Directed by Hamish MacDougall
December 10 to January 4, with press night TBC

The Signalman adapted from Charles Dickens by Martin Malcolm

Playing as part of the Christmas Festival
Directed by Sam Raffal
December 10 to January 4, with press night TBC

Tales From Behind the Twitching Curtain by Rosalind Blessed

The Delights of Dogs and the Problems of People Directed by Caroline Devlin

Lullabies for the Lost Directed by Zoé Ford Burnett

January 7 to February 1 (plays alternating dates), with press night TBC

Tickets are available from www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk or 0333 012 4963.



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