Three World Premieres Announced For Hampstead Downstairs

Learn more about The Animal Kingdom, Some Old Street, and Lotus Beauty.

By: Jan. 11, 2022
Three World Premieres Announced For Hampstead Downstairs

Hampstead Theatre has announced three world premieres for its Downstairs space in 2022.

The Animal Kingdom by Ruby Thomas, directed by Lucy Morrison, will run from 18 February until 26 March. The cast features Paul Keating, Martina Laird, Jonathan McGuinness, Ashna Rabehru and Ragevan Vasan.

Some Old Street, co-produced by Bunny, is written and performed by Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence, and will run from 2 April until 7 May. They are joined by director and co-writer, Kirsty Housely and co-writer, Annie Siddons.

Lotus Beauty by Satinder Chohan, directed by Pooja Ghai, will run from 13 May until 18 June. It is presented in association with Tamasha Theatre Company. Full creative team and cast to be announced.

Priority Booking opens today at 10.30am. Public Booking opens on Tuesday 18 January at 10.30am.

In addition to these three world premieres, The Glad Game, written and performed by Phoebe Frances Brown with direction by Hampstead Theatre's Associate Director Tessa Walker, and Kali Theatre's Discovery Showcase will be staged in the Downstairs space on selected dates during February. Tickets are on sale now. Further details are available via

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, said:

"I am really excited to be welcoming these wonderful artists into our Downstairs space over the next few months. The range, diversity and singularity of their voices is extraordinary and I can't wait to see their stories brought to life."

The world premiere of Ruby Thomas' The Animal Kingdom, directed by Lucy Morrison, is an observation of family dynamics told with wit and compassion.

"We're bonobos, in our family. A hundred percent... They can be pretty aggressive actually."

Sam is struggling. Being a human has never been simple for him. He just feels like a different kind of creature. Sam's family don't understand. But then they barely understand themselves. Now, trapped in a stuffy inpatient clinic undergoing family therapy, they must find new ways to communicate with each other so that, one way or another, Sam can be released from captivity.

Ruby Thomas returns to Hampstead Theatre, following the premiere of her first full-length play Either in 2019. In 2020, Ruby wrote a piece for the Royal Court's Living Newspaper, and she has also had short plays performed at the Old Red Lion, Platform Southwark, the White Bear and Theatre503.

Lucy Morrison makes her Hampstead debut. An Associate Director at the Royal Court, her credits include Scenes with girls (Royal Court), The Woods (Royal Court) and Little on the inside (Almeida Festival/Clean Break).

The Animal Kingdom has been kindly supported by the Godwin family.

The world premiere of Some Old Street is a devised piece of theatre by Bunny, an artistic partnership comprising of Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence. Bunny are joined by writer and director Kirsty Housley (Extinct, Theatre Royal Stratford) and writer Annie Siddons (How (Not) to Live in Suburbia, Soho Theatre). Expect interviews with real people, homemade songs, plate spinning, an octopus of wealth and double act comedy antics as they ask the question - how can Lisa and Rachael stay together?

Other credits for Bunny include Still No Idea (The Royal Court/Improbable), Souled Out (Shakespeare's Globe) and Lowdown (Channel 4).

"I know exactly what I would do. I would never move away, that's a false economy. Get a normy job for two years, get the down payment, buy it, it's yours."

Lisa and Rachael are best mates with a big friendship. They're happiest living side by side, in the middle of the city. Life is tough sometimes, but they are city people, persistent, resilient chancers - and their survival depends on having each other close by. One day, Rachael learns she's going to have to move out of her rented flat just around the corner from Lisa and the pair set out to fix Rachael's housing crisis. Surely by working harder, being funnier and lying better they can get her family housed on one of the most expensive bits of land in the world?

Some Old Street is presented in association with Theatre Deli and developed with support from The Marlowe Theatre.
Lotus Beauty follows the intertwined lives of five multigenerational women, inviting us into Reita's salon where clients can wax lyrical about their day's tiny successes or have their struggles massaged, plucked or tweezed away. But with honest truths and sharp-witted barbs high among the treatments on offer, will the power of community be enough to raise the spirits of everyone who passes through the salon doors?

"Women come, women go. We pamper them, preen them, make them beautiful. Make small talk. Never know what's really under their skin."

Satinder Chohan makes her Hampstead debut. Previous credits include Zameen (Kali Theatre), Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi (Pursued By A Bear/Kali Theatre), Half of Me and Made in India (Tamasha).

Artistic Director of Tamasha, Pooja Ghai directs her first production at Hampstead. A former Associate of Theatre Royal Stratford East, previous credits include Lions and Tigers (Globe Theatre), Approaching Empty (Tamasha, Kiln Theatre, Live Theatre), Rapunzel, Counting Stars and The House of in Between (all Stratford East).

Lotus Beauty is presented by Hampstead Downstairs and Celia Atkin, in association with Tamasha Theatre Company.

The cast and full creative team of Lotus Beauty will be announced in due course.Three World Premieres Announced For Hampstead Downstairs


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