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Wendy Beckett's SAPPHO Will Make Its UK Premiere At Southwark Playhouse Elephant

The production begins on 8 May, with previews from 3 May and runs to 25 May.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
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The UK and English Language première of Wendy Beckett's Sappho,  a new play inspired by the famous Greek poet integrating the original poetry with contemporary music and dance, will première at Southwark Playhouse Elephant on 8 May, with previews from 3 May and run to 25 May.

The original Greek production premièred in Hydrama Theatre in August 2022 before touring to Andros, Delphi and Rhodes. Wendy Beckett and Adam Fitzgerald co-direct both making their UK directorial debuts. They lead a multi-national creative team with Halcyon Pratt, Fotis Diamantopoulos, and Mehdi Bourayou all transferring with the production from Greece.

Wendy Beckett said, “For three millennia Sappho's life and her sexuality has been debated and refuted among scholars. Legends and fables have sprung up at the mere mention of her name. Never has a poet held such a status disproportionate to the size of her surviving work, which is what inspired me to write this play! It is an adult fairy tale about a great, seminal artist who has inspired women everywhere. To be able to bring her alive again at Southwark Playhouse Elephant is a great honour.”

Adam Fitzgerald added, “We are thrilled to now be bringing Sappho to the London stage after our Greek production. It is such a joy to continue this play with artists from around the globe - Australia, Greece, France, and the U.S. - and joining a fantastic team here in the UK Sappho is a queer icon, a history-making LGBTQ+ superstar, and we are honoured to be sharing her story, embodied by British actors and dancers on the beautiful new stage at Southwark Playhouse Elephant.”

Poet. Lover. Legend.

Fusing ancient poetry with modern music, Greek chorus with circus and contemporary dance, Sappho is a thrilling adult fairy tale of mythic proportions that may - or may not - have happened.

We are somewhere between imagination and 6th century BC on the Greek island of Lesbos. Poetess Sappho creates worlds out of her words: rewriting the rules of both her art form and her gender. Socrates calls her work beautiful, Plato describes her as the tenth Muse, and many think her work rivals even that of Homer's Iliad.

Sappho has fallen in love with a woman but her family and a civilization on the precipice of democracy have other ideas for her. The defiantly spirited Sappho comes under fire, and soon she must decide whether to marry a man for the advancement of her society, or remain true to her own words - and her authentic self.

Expect dancing, passion, poetry and plenty of queer joy as Pascal Productions' epic international hit finally storms the London stage.

Wendy Beckett writes and co-directs. She has written over twenty–five plays and directed more than fifty. She has also written biographies, radio plays, books, librettos, and academic articles. On ABC radio she interviewed some of the most important minds of our time - including Gore Vidal, Leonard Bernstein and Paul Bowles. Her academic background includes psychology, philosophy, literature and she has lectured on these subjects at many Australian Universities. She has travelled her works all over the world including performances in Sydney, New York, Paris, Tokyo, and throughout Greece.

Adam Fitzgerald co-directs. He is a writer, director, filmmaker, and content creator whose work has been recognized with an Emmy Nomination, Critic's Picks from The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, TimeOut Chicago and TimeOut New York, Best of the Year nods in The Advocate Magazine and The Contra Costa Times, a Jeff Award Nomination, and San Francisco Bay Area Critics' Award nominations. His writing has been published by the Huffington Post and Thomson Reuters Foundation & Openly; and his short film, Occupy Me (director/writer) has been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. Fitzgerald directed RESISTANCE RADIO for Man in the High Castle (Amazon Studios) which was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award and received two Silver and three Bronze Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and the short film Dividends, which won Best Director at the New York Film Awards.

Fotis Diamantopoulos choreographs. (Aida, Traviata) for the Greek National Opera House. He is currently working as a ballet master and assistant choreographer with the National opera ballet and school.

Mehdi Bourayou composes (Est-ce que j'ai une gueule d'Arletty which received two Molières including best Musical)


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