Arcola Theatre Announces Winter Season

The Arcola Theatre today announced its Winter Season, with new plays by David Greig, Ron Hutchinson, Christina Lamb, Belarus Free Theatre, Christine Bacon, Sergio Blanco and Henry Naylor.

Nicolas Kent joins Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen to direct DRONES, BABY, DRONES: two urgent new plays about drone warfare by David Greig, Ron Hutchinson and Christina Lamb.

Trevor White and Alex Austin star in THEBES LAND, a daring new play about retribution and justice created by Sergio Blanco and award-winning director Daniel Goldman.

• Belarus Free Theatre premiere a powerful new work about schizophrenia - TOMORROW I WAS ALWAYS A LION - based on a memoir by Arnhild Lauveng.

• Ria Parry directs THE ISLAND NATION, Christine Bacon's enthralling new play about civil war in Sri Lanka.

• Henry Naylor's critically-acclaimed ANGEL, based on the legend of Syria's 'Angel of Kobane', receives its London premiere.


Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said:

"These exciting new plays focus on mental health - the afflictions of schizophrenia (Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion), trauma (Drones, Baby, Drones) and guilt (Thebes Land) - and on physical danger; the danger that comes from living in conflict zones (Angel) and repressive regimes (The Island Nation). They are plays about the individual under stress, and society under threat. They affirm Arcola's commitment to bold, provocative work which is socially and politically engaged, and which is accessible to all. Tickets for these new shows start at just £10."

19 - 29 October 2016
Belarus Free Theatre in association with the Albany presents
TOMORROW I WAS ALWAYS A LION
by Arnhild Lauveng, based on I morgen var jeg alltid en løve
Directed by Vladimir Shcherban

Cast: Grace Andrews, Oliver Bennett, Emily Houghton, Samantha Pearl and Alex Robertson
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Belarus Free Theatre's Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion is a captivating theatrical investigation into the nature of psychosis and recovery. Based on the extraordinary memoir by Arnhild Lauveng, it tells a unique personal story of living with and recovering from schizophrenia - a contentious prognosis that challenges our perception and understanding of the condition.

This bold and inventive new production interrogates this controversial text with insights from world-leading psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists.
Following Belarus Free Theatre's furious production of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis, which is blacklisted in their homeland, BFT have fearlessly continued to use theatre to excavate social taboos. Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion continues this journey of provoking and challenging the deepest questions of our humanity.

Every performance of Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion will be followed by Belarusian cuisine and a post-show discussion/facilitation in partnership with Antiuniversity Now. Audiences will share their responses to issues raised in the production such as the nature of schizophrenia, recovery from mental illness, social and cultural stigmas, the brains of dictators and the impact of imprisonment on the brain. Each post-show facilitation will be unique, run by different facilitators and collaborators every night. This is an incredible opportunity to participate in a call to action surrounding mental health issues both individually and as a society.

Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to revisit and reimagine the 1968 Antiuniversity in an ongoing programme of free and inclusive radical education events. It was set up to challenge academic and class hierarchy through an open invitation to teach and learn any subject, in any form, anywhere. For the Belarus Free Theatre production, Antiuniversity Now invited collaborators to devise after show sessions, looking at the issues explored in the play from the Antiuniversity perspective of social, cultural and political self-actualisation and collective resistance.

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Post-show events
Wed 19th - Julia Farrington, Belarus Free Theatre Head of Campaigns
Thu 20th - Antiuniversity Now session led by Sue McAlpine and Sara Haq
Fri 21st - PRESS NIGHT - no aftershow
Sat 22nd (matinee) - Antiuniversity Now session led by Caragh, Grace Gelder and Antiuniversity Now organisers
Sat 22nd (evening) - Vladimir Shcherban, director of Tomorrow I was Always a Lion, in conversation
Mon 24th - Antiuniversity Now session led by Simona Ciocoiu, Delia Spatareanu, Jacob Woods, Rosa Irwin Clark and Mark WoodsTue 25th - Helen Fisher, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College) & Jonny Benjamin, mental health campaigner & film producer
Wed 26th - Antiuniversity Now session led by Hit the Ground (@hitthegroundtc)
Thu 27th - Performance Artist the vacuum cleaner invites the audience into Madlove - his Designer Asylum
Fri 28th - Dolly Sen - writer, film-maker and mental health consultant
Sat 29th (matinee) - Hearing Voices Cafe
Sat 29th (evening) - Q&A with the actors and creative team from Tomorrow I was Always a Lion

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World premiere
#AlwaysALion

Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm
Tickets £10-19 (previews £12)

26 October - 19 November 2016
ice&fire presents
THE ISLAND NATION
by Christine Bacon
Directed by Ria Parry

Cast: Claire Dargo, Ayesha Dharker, Bally Gill, Clive Hayward, Nikki Patel and Neran Persaud
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'The world does not care. The world doesn't even know. There are European tourists sipping cocktails right now on the beaches in the south, who have no idea what's happening in the north.'

Sri Lanka, 2009. A 26-year civil war between the government and the Tamil Tigers is coming to an end. The United Nations, the media and all independent witnesses are banned from entering the war zone.

Nila, a young Tamil woman, is trapped in rebel-held territory. Rebecca, a British aid worker, is desperate to get her out. Erik, a Norwegian politician, thinks he has a plan for peace. But nothing is certain - and nobody is safe.

Be transported to the heart of Sri Lanka to discover the shocking truths, and the extraordinary human sides, of the biggest unreported war story of our time. Based on real events, The Island Nation is a visceral, revelatory new play by Christine Bacon, artistic director of the pioneering human rights theatre company ice&fire.

Ria Parry (Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, Albion) returns to Arcola to direct the world premiere production.

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Post-show events

31st October
The Director and Writer Relationship
This Q&A is an unique opportunity to hear from the key creatives behind the production about the artistic choices and challenges they faced, from the initial inspiration to the full staging. Find out what was the concept and drive behind The Island Nation and what is ice&fire's unique approach to tackling human rights violation through theatre.

3rd November
Sri Lanka: Then and Now
Journalist Frances Harrison, author of Still Counting the Dead and Ann Hannah, International Advocate and Researcher at Freedom from Torture, will discuss the legacy of the events of 2009 and the ongoing human rights violations at the hands of the Sri Lankan military and security services. Freedom from Torture provides direct clinical services to survivors of torture who arrive in the UK, as well as striving to protect and promote their rights. For many successive years, Sri Lankans have comprised the largest proportion of their caseload.

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World premiere
Now booking at www.arcolatheatre.com
#TheIslandNation

Monday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday matinees at 3.30pm
Tickets £17 / £14 concessions (previews £12)


2 - 26 November 2016
Arcola Theatre in association with Nick of Time Productions and Jemima Khan presents
DRONES, BABY, DRONES
Two new plays by David Greig, Ron Hutchinson and Christina Lamb
Directed by Nicolas Kent and Mehmet Ergen

Cast: Anne Adams, Joseph Balderrama, Sam Dale, Raj Ghatak, Tom McKay and Rose Reynolds
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War isn't what it used to be. In the words of former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, 'from now on, it's drones, baby, drones'.

As Barack Obama prepares to leave office, five of our finest political writers and directors probe behind the scenes of America's drone wars, with two vital and exposing tales of power, sex and infighting at the top of the Washington establishment.

Nicolas Kent, former Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre, returns to Arcola to direct This Tuesday, an urgent political thriller by Emmy award winner and Olivier nominee Ron Hutchinson (Moonlight and Magnolias, Rat in the Skull) and Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Sunday Times Christina Lamb (I Am Malala, Farewell Kabul). A CIA director is waiting for news in a Washington hospital. A White House adviser is in bed with a young intern. A Pentagon General is working out in a gym. It is 5 a.m. Tuesday, and they all have a decision to make...

Then, Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen directs The Kid, a gripping new play by multi award-winning playwright David Greig (The Events, Glasgow Girls). When a Hellfire missile lands on a wedding party in Pakistan, the shockwaves are felt at a dinner party 7000 miles away. In matters of life and death you need a little distance - but for two drone operators celebrating a successful mission, the hard-hitting reality is close to home.

This provocative double bill lays bare the moral dilemmas created by drones, and asks what remote-controlled conflict will mean for the future of warfare and our world.

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Post-show events
On Thursday nights, stay for free talkbacks with speakers including Christina Lamb OBE, Jemima Khan and Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith OBE.

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World premiere
Now booking at www.arcolatheatre.com
#DronesBabyDrones

Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm
Tickets £10-19 (previews £12)


21 November - 23 December 2016
Arcola Theatre in association with Redbeard Theatre and Gilded Balloon Productions presents
ANGEL
by Henry Naylor
Directed by Michael Cabot

Cast: Filipa Bragança
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"Riveting ... I would see it again, in an instant"-The Times

Syria, 2014: there's a siege as fierce as Stalingrad. ISIS, having steam-rollered through Iraq, expect to take the town easily. But the citizens have found a heroine: a crackshot sniper, with 100 kills to her name. And she appears indestructible. She's the Angel of Kobane.

Inspired by an extraordinary modern legend, Angel is the critically-acclaimed new drama from playwright Henry Naylor. Following a sold-out run in Edinburgh, where it won a prestigious Fringe First award, it premieres in London for 4 weeks only. Michael Cabot (Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre) directs Filipa Bragança in the title role.

Formerly a head writer of Spitting Image, Henry Naylor has written for some of the most famous names on television, including Alistair McGowan, Lenny Henry and Rory Bremner. After The Collector and Echoes, Angel becomes the third of his plays to transfer to Arcola.

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London premiere
Now booking at www.arcolatheatre.com
#AngelPlay

Monday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday matinees at 3.30pm
Tickets £17 / £14 concessions (previews £12)


30 November - 23 December 2016
Arcola Theatre and CASA Theatre Festival
THEBES LAND
by Sergio Blanco
Directed by Daniel Goldman

Cast: Trevor White and Alex Austin
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"Some things aren't easy to tell."

How could anyone kill their own father?

Acclaimed actor and writer Trevor White (Long Day's Journey Into Night, West End; Enron, Royal Court) and Alex Austin (Fury, Soho Theatre; Yen, Royal Court) interrogate one of the rarest and most shocking crimes known to man, with the on-stage participation of convicted patricide Martin Santos.

An electrifying tale about retribution and justice, love and masculinity, Thebes Land has played sold-out runs in eight countries across Europe and Latin America. Now it premieres in London for four weeks only.

Created in collaboration with celebrated Franco-Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco and award-winning director Daniel Goldman, this daring new play teases the boundaries between truth and lies, what you know and what you think you know.

Please note: Thebes Land is presented with the consent of all parties and in accordance with Home Office regulations. It will be staged inside a large protective cage.

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UK premiere
Now booking at www.arcolatheatre.com
#ThebesLand

Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm
Tickets £10-19 (previews £12)

Arcola Theatre is one of London's leading off-West End theatres. Locally engaged and internationally minded, Arcola stages a diverse programme of plays, operas and musicals. World-class productions from major artists appear alongside cutting-edge work from the most exciting emerging companies. Arcola delivers one of London's most extensive community engagement programmes, creating over 5000 opportunities every year. By providing research and development space to diverse artists, Arcola champions theatre that's more engaging and representative. Its pioneering environmental initiatives are internationally renowned, and aim to make Arcola the world's first carbon-neutral theatre.


19 - 29 October 2016
Tomorrow I was Always A Lion
by Arnhild Lauveng, based on I morgen var jeg alltid en løve
Directed by Vladimir Shcherban

26 October - 19 November 2016
The Island Nation
by Christine Bacon
Directed by Ria Parry

2 - 26 November 2016
Drones, Baby, Drones
Two new plays by David Greig, Ron Hutchinson and Christina Lamb
Directed by Nicolas Kent and Mehmet Ergen

21 November - 23 December 2016
Angel
by Henry Naylor
Directed by Michael Cabot

30 November - 23 December 2016
Thebes Land
by Sergio Blanco
Directed by Daniel Goldman


Box Office

020 7503 1646 (12.30pm - 6pm)
www.arcolatheatre.com
24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL



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