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Torben Betts's INVINCIBLE To Tour the UK, March 30


The Original Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds will present the first national tour of Torben Betts's INVINCIBLE, directed by Christopher Harper. The tour will begin at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds on 30 March.

With the recession biting hard, Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England. One night, they open their doors to their next door neighbours, Dawn and Alan. Over the course of a disastrous evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art, class and culture collide, resulting in consequences that are both tragic and hilarious.

Torben Betts said of the new production of his play, "I've always been impressed by Original Theatre Company. I'm delighted they are touring INVINCIBLE this year. It is, amongst other things, a play about the North/South divide so it will be interesting to see what audiences away from and north of London make of it."

INVINCIBLE had its world premiere at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond in 2014 and transferred later that same year to St James Theatre, London. It received great critical acclaim.

Torben Betts was born in Lincolnshire and studied at Liverpool University. He became the resident dramatist at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1999. Poet and dramatist Liz Lochhead said Betts "is just about the most original and extraordinary writer of drama we have." His play The Unconquered won Best New Play 2006/07 at the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. 2015 saw a revival of his acclaimed 2012 play Muswell Hill at London's Park Theatre, his latest work, What Falls Apart, opened at Newcastle's Live Theatre, and his version of Chekhov's The Seagull was staged at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. He has adapted Get Carter for Northern Stage in Newcastle, where it opens in February this year, before embarking on a major national tour.

Director Christopher Harper is an Associate of the Original Theatre Company and directed their 2011 production of See How They Run. As an actor, he recently finished playing Benedick on a world tour of Much Ado About Nothing for the Globe, and starred as Victoria Wood's son, Cliff Last, in the television film Housewife 49.

Christopher Harper said of INVINCIBLE, "In 2009, I was in a very dark and edgy play of Torben's about a man and wife moving in together, just as my wife and I first moved in together. And she was cast as the wife! INVINCIBLE is lighter and a brilliant, fast-moving story, but Torben's uncanny ability to depict life and find both the dark and the hysterically funny hasn't changed. We all know people like the four in INVINCIBLE. When you watch you'll have your head in your hands, you'll cover your eyes, you'll grip your seat and punch the air. It's a masterpiece of comic timing, one-liners and heart-breaking loss."

INVINCIBLE will be designed by Victoria Spearing, with sound by Dominic Bilkey. The national tour is produced by Tom Hackney for The Original Theatre Company and Adrian Grady for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Karen Simpson, Director of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, said, "Theatre Royal is delighted to be co-producing with Original Theatre again following our successful collaboration with Three Men in a Boat. Torben Betts's play is a great piece of new writing from one of the UK's most talented contemporary playwrights and we are really excited about touring it nationally."

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30 March - 2 April Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds 01284 769505

5 - 9 April Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford 01483 440000

12 - 14 April Hull Truck Theatre 01482 323638

19 - 23 April New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich 01473 295900

26 - 27 April South Hill Park, Bracknell 01344 484 123

28 - 30 April Mercury Theatre, Colchester 01206 573948

2 - 4 May Gala Theatre, Durham 03000 266600

6 - 7 May Stamford Arts Centre 01780 763203

10 - 14 May Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne 01323 412000

17 - 21 May Birmingham Repertory Theatre 0121 236 4455

23 - 24 May Theatre Royal Winchester 01962 840440

26 - 28 May Key Theatre, Peterborough 01733 207239

7 - 11 June Exeter Northcott Theatre 01392 726 363

14 - 18 June Festival Theatre, Malvern 01684 892277

The Original Theatre Company was formed in 2004 by Creative Director Alastair Whatley. Based in Whepstead, Suffolk, they create touring productions of both classical and contemporary

texts. Past productions include Flare Path, Birdsong, Our Country's Good, See How They Run, Twelfth Night, Dancing at Lughansa, The Madness of George III, The Importance of Being Oscar, Journey's End, Othello, and Vincent in Brixton.

The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is the UK's last surviving working Regency playhouse. Under the care of the National Trust, it is a Grade 1 Listed building, which underwent a £5.3 million restoration in 2005 to return it to its original 1819 layout and design. The Theatre Royal is owned by the Greene King Brewery, leased by the Brewery to the National Trust, which in turn has leased the Theatre to Bury St Edmunds Theatre Management Ltd to run it as a working theatre. It is both a producing and receiving house.

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