The Playground Theatre to Premiere PICASSO as Opening Production

The Playground Theatre to Premiere PICASSO as Opening Production

'When I love a woman everything is torn apart, everything, including the woman, including my paintings, including myself. Over this, I have no control.'

Today, London's newest theatre announces its opening production. On November 1, The Playground Theatre will open its doors for the first time with the world premiere of Picasso by Terry D'Alfonso.

Directed by Michael Hunt and starring founder of The Playground Theatre, Peter Tate, Picasso is a revealing portrait of the greatest artist of the twentieth century, his unremitting and unshakeable creative drive, his life and his loves.

The Spanish painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker and poet's impact on 20th-century Western culture is immeasurable. For Pablo Picasso, art and creativity were etched into the soul. It was his reason to be. Yet, he was also driven by an irrepressible sexual appetite and he was as uncompromising with his lovers as he was with his genius.

Picasso combines live performance with film to cast light on this creative titan of modern art.

Co-Artistic Director of The Playground Anthony Biggs said: "We are tremendously excited to launch The Playground Theatre with this visceral and challenging work. It is very much a statement of intent. There's a real buzz about this theatre, a sense of creativity and possibility, and it is exciting to be welcoming in an audience to experience our work for the first time. The Playground has always been a place for artists to develop ideas and push boundaries, so it's fitting that our inaugural production should be about Picasso, one of history's most influential artists."

Terry D'Alfonso studied at the Hunter College of the City University of New York. Inspired by Italian director Giorgio Strehler's production of Goldoni's A Servant of Two Masters in New York, she set her heart on working with him. Taken to Italy by a job with the FBI, she sort him out at the del Piccolo Teatro di Milano and he later invited her to assist him. This began a long association with both the director and the theatre, where she directed many productions in her own right. From here she moved into television and her work for the BBC includes television adaptation of A Dangerous Game by Friedrich Durrenmatt. This was followed by a long period directing classic dramas for Swiss TV. Throughout her career, D'Alfonso has worked in both television and theatre and has developed a style that combines both the mediums of live theatre and film. D'Alfonso is known for productions of Pirandello's work and is the recipient of the Pirandello Prize for Best Director.

Michael Hunt has an International reputation for directing and producing cultural programmes and theatre performances. His past posts include: Artistic Director of Co-Opera, Ireland; Artistic Director of the Bloomsbury Festival, Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal, Waterford and Chief Executive of Wexford Opera Festival, Ireland. In opera his work as a director has included new productions with many companies including: Perm State Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Opera Ireland, Wexford Festival, Las Palmas Festival, Portland Opera USA, Faroe Islands Festival, Theatres in Cannes, Saumur & Le Mans - France, Bolzano - Italy and Operadagen Rotterdam. His theatre work includes directing at Northcott Theatre, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, The Town Hall Theatre Galway, Theatre Royal Waterford and the Arts Centre in Cheltenham. In Russia, he is a regular guest director at two theatres in Perm where he has directed Tom Stoppard's EGBDF and The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe. His production of Peter Pan has been performed over 200 times in 3 years. Later this year he will return to Russia for a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar as well as The Knitting Pattern Play at Theatre 503 in London

Peter Tate trained at Webber Douglas in London and with Stella Adler in New York, where he began his career. Credits there included The Bacchae directed by Michael Cacoyannis, on Broadway, and Richard III with the American Shakespeare Company. He returned to London to play a leading role at The National Theatre opposite Alan Bates. An invitation by The Actors Studio New York, took him back to the US to play the co-lead as Prince Felix Yussopov, in Rasputin opposite Peter Stormare. More recently he played the lead in Tabloid Caligula at the Brits Off-Broadway festival at 59E59th St Theatre. Peter has played many leading roles in the UK, including at the Almeida (The Master in Master and Margarita), the Lyric, Hammersmith (General Khludov in Flight by Bulgakov) and Senator Daniels in American Justice at the Arts Theatre in the West End. Peter was also invited by one of Poland's top directors, Henryk Baranowski, twice winner of Russia's top award as best director, to play Macbeth in a bi-lingual production, in Poland. Peter has performed his show Odd Man Out at many international festivals worldwide including in The USA, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Germany, and Russia.

The Playground Theatre's mission is to work with both established and emerging artists in the UK and Internationally. The ethos is one of cross-fertilization between different forms and different cultures with the aim of creating work that is bold and imaginative, whilst fully engaging the rich diversity of the community of which it is part. Last week it was announced that The Playground Theatre has been nominated for Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2017.


The Playground Theatre presents the World Premiere of
by Terry D'Alfonso

Directed by Michael Hunt
Designed by Klara Zieglerova

At The Playground Theatre, Unit 8, Latimer Rd, London W10 6RQ

November 1 to November 25, 2017
Previews November 1 - 4
Press performance, November 7, 7.30pm
Schedule: Tuesday - Saturday 7.30pm; Matinee Saturday 3.00pm

Tickets: £20; £15 for previews and matinees; £15 concession for students / unemployed/senior citizens
Book online at or phone 020 8960 0110

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