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YEAST NATION Comes to Southwark Playhouse This Summer

Performances run 22 July – 27 August 2022.

YEAST NATION Comes to Southwark Playhouse This Summer

The European premiere of a bio-historical musical comedy from the Tony-award winning writers of Urinetown opens at the Southwark Playhouse this summer. Yeast Nation (The Triumph of Life) was written and composed by Tony and Obie award-winning writers Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, and this debut London production is directed by Benji Sperring (The Toxic Avenger, Night of the Living Dead - Live!)

Yeast Nation is a black comedy set in the brine of the primordial soup over 3 and a half billion years ago. As the original colony of salt-eating Yeast take their first tentative steps up (or down) the evolutionary ladder, some of The Yeast are happy to stay in stasis at the bottom of the sea. However, there are others in the colony determined to rise and grow, even if it is against the wishes of The Yeast's leader, Jan-the-Elder, who refuses to acknowledge the depletion of their limited saline food supply. But as even Jan-the-Elder's son strives against his father, who knows what troubles The Yeast will face as they come to terms with the cruellest evolutionary hurdle: Love? Part classic Greek drama, part bio-historical comedy musical, part bizarre fever dream, and all unique theatre experience, Yeast Nation shows that no matter your size, you have to dream big.

Yeast Nation premiered in 2007 at the Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, and has been produced in fringe productions across the US including New York, San Francisco and Chicago. It was written as a prequel to Urinetown as part of an, as yet, unproduced trilogy.

Director Benji Sperring has said "Having directed shows ranging from the Rocky Horror sequel which predicted the dangers of Reality TV, to a show about a monstrous mutant ripping people up for not recycling, of course I'm attracted to the wacky weirdness that comes from a show about Yeast. But with the genius minds of Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann behind it, the show is about so much more than that - it's about love, the soul, the state of the world we are in now, and the ways we are dealing with the terrifying global problems on our doorstep. And while The Yeast might only be little, they prove they can grow into the biggest heroes and change existence as we know it; what a brilliant metaphor for what we need today." a??

Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann are best known for Urinetown, which won three Tonya??Awards - including Best Book and Best Original Score - the Obiea??Award, and the National Broadway Theatre Award, as well as receiving 11 Drama Desk Award nominations and winning thea??Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Awardsa??for best musical.a??Other work together includes The Sting and ZM.

Greg Kotisa??is the author of many plays and musicals a??I Am Nobody,a??The Truth About Santa,a??Lunchtime,a??Give the People What They Want, Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards, Pig Farm,a??Eat the Taste, anda??Jobey and Katherine.a?? His work has been produced and developed in theaters across the US and around the world.a?? Greg co-founded Theater of The Apes with his wife Ayun Halliday (www.theater-of-the-apes.com), and is a member of the Neo-Futurists, the Cardiff Giant Theater Company, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild.a?? He grew up in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, lives in New York City, and is the proud father of India and Milo.

Mark Hollmann His other shows as composer/lyricista??include Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls (Perseverance Theatre).a?? For TV, he has written songs for the Disney Channel's Johnny and the Spites. He is a member of the American Societya??of Composers,a??Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Dramatists Guild of America and has served on the council ofa??the Dramatists Guild as well as on the Tony Award® Nominatinga??Committee.

Benji Sperring has been called "the bad boy of musical theatre" and has brought many notable cult shows to life, including the world premiere of the sequel to the Rocky Horror show Shock Treatment, the Southwark Playhouse and West End production of The Toxic Avenger: The Musical, Night of the Living Dead: Live (both released worldwide on BroadwayHD), and the UK premiere of An Act Of God based on viral sensation @TheTweetOfGod. During the pandemic, he directed the UK version of A Killer Party starring Jason Manford and a host of West End stars. He was born in Wales, grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands, and lives in South London.

Performances run 22 July - 27 August 2022.

Tickets: www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk | 020 7407 0234



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