The Orange Tree Theatre Announces Final Shows Of 2022/23 Season

Learn more about the remaining lineup here!

By: Nov. 10, 2022

The Orange Tree Theatre Announces Final Shows Of 2022/23 Season

The Orange Tree Theatre has announced the final three plays of its 2022/23 season, as outgoing Artistic Director Paul Miller hands over to new Artistic Director Tom Littler.

The newly announced spring shows begin with the world premiere of the winner of the 2020 Women's Prize for Playwriting,You Bury Me by Ahlam.The award-winning play about post-revolutionary life in Cairo is directed by joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough Katie Posner, in an Orange Tree co-production with Paines Plough, The Women's Prize for Playwriting, 45North, and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, in association with Bristol Old Vic.

Tom Littler then makes his Orange Tree directorial debut with Somerset Maugham's comedy The Circle, following his previous revival of Maugham's For Services Rendered at Jermyn Street Theatre in 2019; and completing the season is the world premiere of Isley Lynn's The Swell in a co-production with The Women's Prize for Playwriting and Damsel Productions, directed by Hannah Hauer-King (The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs, The Funeral Director).

Spring 2023 also sees the return of the OT Community's successful Primary Shakespeare project, producing As You Like It for 2023, designed to support schools' curriculum study at Key Stage 2 & 3, introduce Shakespeare's language and stories in an accessible and fun way, and give younger children their first taste of the excitement of live performance.

These productions complete the 2022/23 Season featuring the already-announced hilarious classic Arms and the Man by Bernard Shaw, directed by outgoing Artistic Director Paul Miller; the return of Sonali Bhattacharyya's important and entertaining play Two Billion Beats, co-directed by Nimmo Ismail and Tian Brown-Sampson; and the striking world-premiere of Grim Brenda by Ross Willis, developed with and directed by Ned Bennett, and co-produced with Francesca Moody Productions.

Each of these newly announced spring productions will also be available to watch on-demand thanks to the continuation of OT On Screen, allowing greater access for audiences far and wide to connect with the OT digitally.

Tom Littler says today "As the Orange Tree completes its fiftieth year in Richmond, these plays conclude a year of programming begun by the inspirational Paul Miller, whose tenure reaches a fitting finale with Grim Brenda. You Bury Me, The Circle, As You Like It and The Swell celebrate a dynamic relationship between the old and the new, which continues in the adventurous spirit of the OT. We are delighted to forge new alliances with The Women's Prize for Playwriting, Paines Plough, 45North, The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Bristol Old Vic, and Damsel Productions to ensure these plays are seen by the widest audiences and are produced to the highest standards."

Hanna Streeter says today "We are honoured to collaborate with such prestigious partners and artists to produce this eclectic programme of work. Though we are sad to say farewell to Paul, following many glorious seasons of bold and entertaining artistic leadership, we are thrilled to welcome Tom to the OT, and with this season get a tantalising taste of programming to come!"


Directed by Katie Posner

A co-production with Paines Plough, The Women's Prize for Playwriting, 45North and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, in association with Bristol Old Vic.

27 March - 22 April 2023

Press night: Thursday 30 Marchat7pm

OT On Screen: 25 - 28 April

Alongside its Orange Tree dates You Bury Me will open at Bristol Old Vic from 24 February - 4 March (national press night 28 Feb) and tour to The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from 7 - 18 March 2023.

Only Cairo will push you to your absolute limits and then suddenly... you're in love. How does this city do that?

This story is about a city. A city of exhaust fumes, drunken phone calls, first kisses, hysteria, sweat and laughter. Cairo.

The smoke of revolution is still in the air, but these six young people have other things in mind. Alia and Tamer must hide their secret love away from the gaze of their families. High schooler Lina contends with the escapades of her rebellious friend, Maya. And struggling to pick up the pieces after the Arab Spring, journalist Osman and dreamer Rafik face the dangers of living as their true selves.

You Bury Meis written by an anonymous playwright under the alias Ahlam. She has lived in Germany, Singapore, Kenya, Venezuela, Turkey and the UK.

Katie Posner joined Paines Plough as Joint Artistic Director with Charlotte Bennett in August 2019. Katie has most recently directed - Hungry for Soho Theatre/ Roundabout Edinburgh, Really Big and Really Loud, Black Love (Co-Director for Roundabout) and You Bury Me staged reading for the Edinburgh International Festival (Paines Plough/Ellie Keel Productions/45 North) Katie is an experienced and award-winning director. She has worked across a wide variety of productions both overseas and on national tours, including multiple productions with York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre with whom she was Associate Director from 2009 until 2017. Her work encompasses both intimate pieces of new writing and larger-scale community pieces. In 2019 Katie received a UK Theatre Award nomination as Best Director with her production of My Mother Said I Never Should at Theatre By The Lake. Productions include: My Mother Said I Never Should(Theatre By The Lake); Mold Riots(Theatr Clwyd); The Seven Ages Of Patience(Kiln Theatre); Swallows & Amazons(Storyhouse), Babe(Mercury Theatre); Playing Up(NYT); Finding Nana(New Perspectives); Made In India(Tamasha/Belgrade/Pilot); Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes, End Of Desire (York Theatre Royal); The Season Ticket(Northern Stage); A View From Islington North (Out Of Joint); In Fog And Falling Snow(National Railway Museum); Running On The Cracks(Tron Theatre); York Mystery Plays(Museum Gardens York); Blackbird, Ghost Town, Clocking In, A Restless Place(Pilot Theatre).

Somerset Maugham's THE CIRCLE

Directed by Tom Littler

An Orange Tree Theatre production

Designer: Louie Whitemore; Lighting Designer: Chris McDonnell; Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim

29 April - 17 June 2023

Press night: Friday 5 Mayat7pm

OT On Screen: 20 - 23 June

Isn't it fun being in love with someone who's in love with you?

The sun is shining on the manicured lawns of the Dorset home of Arnold Champion-Cheney, MP. The Great War is over. Arnold's political career is blossoming. He has a beautiful young wife, Elizabeth. If only the servants would dust his antiques properly, everything would be perfect.

But Arnold's idyllic life is about to explode into chaos. His rakish father is staying for the weekend. His scandalous long-lost mother is descending with her detested husband in tow. And there's a dashing young stranger who seems far too interested in Elizabeth...

Will history come full circle? Or can one generation learn from their parents' disastrous mistakes? Somerset Maugham's sparky comedy of manners was first staged in 1921 and has remained a firm favourite with audiences ever since.

Somerset Maugham(1874-1965)was an English novelist and playwright. His plays include Loaves and Fishes, Lady Frederick, Smith, Penelope, The Land of Promise, Our Betters, Caesar's Wife, The Constant Wife, The Letter, The Sacred Flame, The Bread-Winner, For Services Rendered and Sheppey; and his novels include Liza of Lambeth, Mrs Craddock, The Magician, Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence, The Painted Veil, Cakes and Ale, The Narrow Corner, Theatre, Up at the Villa, The Razor's Edge, Then and Now and Catalina.

Tom Littler is Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre. He was formerly Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, Associate Director of Theatre503, Artistic Director of Primavera, and Associate Director of the Peter Hall Company. He has directed over 70 productions throughout the UK and Europe, this year including Love All and Cancelling Socrates at Jermyn Street Theatre, and Hamlet for Guildford Shakespeare Company.

Isley Lynn's THE SWELL

Directed by Hannah Hauer-King

An Orange Tree Theatre, The Women's Prize for Playwriting and Damsel Productions co-production

24 June - 29 July 2023

Press night: Thursday 29 June at 7pm

OT On Screen: 1 - 4 August

You need to meet the other special people. There are so many of us. You'll fall in love every day.

Annie is happy at last - she's engaged to Bel, the love of her life, and counting down the days to their wedding. But then old friend, free spirit, and troublemaker Flo turns up unexpectedly, and announces she'll be staying with them until the big day. Their surprise reunion turns into a complicated love triangle with dangerous consequences that threaten to destroy Annie's Happily Ever After...

Featuring a live vocal score, the world premiere of this thrilling romantic drama is a gripping story spanning decades of love, sacrifice and betrayal.

Isley Lynn's playwriting credits include Albatross(The Playground Theatre),The War of the Worlds(New Diorama Theatre),Skin a Cat(Vault Festival/The Bunker/UK tour),Tether(Edinburgh Festival Fringe),Sleight of Hand(Theatre503/Arcola Theatre/Gate Theatre),What's So Special(Royal Court Theatre),Lean(Tristan Bates Theatre),Bright Nights(The Space) and Sie Und Wir(Werk X).

Hannah Hauer-King is the Artistic Director of Damsel Productions and recently directed production The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs, a co-production between Damsel Productions and Soho Theatre. Other theatre credits include The Funeral Director (ETT Regional Tour, Southwark Playhouse), The Amber Trap (Theatre503), Fury (Soho Theatre), Fabric (Soho Theatre), Grotty (Bunker Theatre), and Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre). She is currently working as an associate on Zadie Smith's The Wife of Willesden at the Kiln Theatre.