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Last chance to see Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre directed by Jamie Lloyd

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre
Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre

Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan in Guards at the Taj Bush Theatre Credit Marc Brenner

Guards at the Taj by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd enters its final two weeks at the Bush TheatreThe last performance will be held on Saturday 20 May.  Danny Ashok plays the role of Humayun and Darren Kuppan plays Babur.

This darkly comic play opened the newly revitalised Bush Theatre, following its major £4.3m capital project. Guards at the Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty.

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard getting our eyes pecked out by the royal crows. So excuse me if I don’t wallow in some misbegotten guilt all night. Was it fucked up? Yes, it was. But I don’t have to feel terrible about it.”

It’s 1648. Agra, India. Imperial guards Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Guards at the Taj is written by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd and designed by Soutra Gilmour. Lighting design is by Richard Howell with sound design and composition by George Dennis. Fight direction is by Kate Waters.

Listings

Runs until 20 May
GUARDS AT THE TAJ
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jamie Lloyd
Designed by Soutra Gilmour
Lighting Design by Richard Howell
Sound Design and Composition by George Dennis
Captioned: 27 Apr, 7.30pm
Audio described: 6 May, 2.30pm
Ticket prices
Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking

Phone  020 8743 5050

In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ

Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

COMING UP AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

Until 27 May
WHILE WE’RE HERE
A Bush Theatre, Up In Arms and Farnham Maltings co-production
Written by Barney Norris
Directed by Alice Hamilton
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 28 Apr, 7pm
Captioned: 12 May, 7.45pm
Audio described: 13 May, 2.45pm

1 – 4 June
SHEPHERD’S BUSH COMEDY FESTIVAL
Presented by H&F and PBJ Management
Various Artists

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm

24 – 29 Jul
NASSIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written and performed by Nassim Soleimanpour
Directed by Omar Elerian
Press night: N/A

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

 

 

 

First production images released for Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre directed by Jamie Lloyd

Rehearsal images released for Guards at the Taj at the Bush Theatre directed by Jamie Lloyd

Casting announced today for Guards at the Taj by Pulitzer Priz finalist Rajiv Joseph

Guards at the Taj
Guards at the Taj

Guards at the Taj

Casting is announced today for the European premiere of Guards at the Taj, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph and directed by Jamie Lloyd. Danny Ashok (Disgraced, Bush Theatre; Capital, BBC) will play Humayun and Darren Kuppan (East is East, West End/ UK Tour) will play Babur. A new image of the cast has been released today and is now available to download here.

This darkly comic play will open the 2017 season at the Bush Theatre, following its major £4.3m capital project to revitalise the building. Guards at the Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard getting our eyes pecked out by the royal crows. So excuse me if I don’t wallow in some misbegotten guilt all night. Was it fucked up? Yes, it was. But I don’t have to feel terrible about it.”

It’s 1648. Agra, India. Imperial guards Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Guards at the Taj is written by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd and designed by Soutra Gilmour. Lighting design is by Richard Howell with sound design and music composed by George Dennis. Fight direction is by Kate Waters.

Danny Ashok’s credits at the Bush Theatre include the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, which transferred to Broadway and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Most recently at the Bush he appeared in Zaida and Aadam, part of last season’s This Place We Know. Elsewhere his theatre credits include The Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Theatre Royal Bath) and Blood and Gifts (National Theatre). He most recently appeared in the International Emmy Award-winning BBC Drama Capital. Further television work includes The Five, Chasing Shadows and the BAFTA-winning The Dumping Ground. He has recently finished shooting the lead role in Finding Fatimah, directed by Oz Arshad, which will be released this spring.

Darren Kuppan most recently appeared on stage in The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe). Previous credits include Cymbeline (Shakespeare’s Globe), as Maneer Khan in East Is East (West End/ UK Tour), An August Bank Holiday Lark (Northern Broadsides), England Street (Oxford Playhouse), Great Expectations (English Touring Theatre/ Watford Palace), Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon/ New Vic Stoke), the lead in Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Aladdin, Arabian Nights (New Vic Stoke) and Bollywood Jane (West Yorkshire Playhouse). Television work includes Spooks and Britannia High.

Jamie Lloyd (director) has directed many productions in the West End for The Jamie Lloyd Company, including Doctor Faustus, The Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class (Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for James McAvoy), Macbeth (Olivier nomination for Best Revival), The Hothouse, Richard III and The Pride. He won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical for Passion while he was Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2008 to 2011) and the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for The Pride (Royal Court). Lloyd’s other extensive credits include Urinetown (St. James Theatre/ West End), The Commitments (West End/ UK Tour), The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The Faith Machine,  Inadmissible Evidence, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Polar Bears (all Donmar Warehouse), Piaf (Donmar Warehouse/ Vaudeville/Teatro Liceo, Buenos Aires/Nuevo Teatro Alcala, Madrid; Olivier nomination for Best Musical Revival, Hugo Award for Best Director, Clarin Award for Best Musical Production, ADEET Award for Best Production) and Three Days of Rain (West End; Olivier nomination for Best Revival).  He is currently directing a double bill of Philip Ridley’s work, Killer and The Pitchfork Disney, at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Rajiv Joseph (playwright) became a Pulitzer Prize finalist (2010) for his Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which starred Robin Williams in his Broadway debut. Other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper and All This Intimacy (Second Stage Theatre). Screen credits include seasons 3 & 4 of the TV series Nurse Jackie and he was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.

Soutra Gilmour (designer) is an award-winning designer whose extensive credits include many productions in collaboration with Jamie Lloyd. She has designed several productions for The Jamie Lloyd Company in the West End including Doctor Faustus, The Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class, Richard III, The Pride, The Hothouse and Macbeth. Previous work at the Bush Theatre includes Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Qur’an.

Shoreditch Town announces additional programme of events to complement Philip Ridley Double-Bill

The Pitchfork Disney
The Pitchfork Disney

The Pitchfork Disney

Shoreditch Town Hall today announces a series of additional events, talks and readings running alongside its double-bill of Philip Ridley plays in its basement spaces.

These include rehearsed readings of Ridley’s The Fastest Clock in the Universe and Ghost from a Perfect Place which, along with The Pitchfork Disney, complete his East End Gothic Trilogy, an adaptation of Ridley’s book for children Krindlekrax and post-show Q&As with the casts of The Pitchfork Disney and Killer.  For full details on the events please see below.

The Ridley double-bill, directed by Jamie Lloyd, features a new critically acclaimed production of his contemporary classic The Pitchfork Disney, starring George BlagdenTom Rhys HarriesSeun Shote and Hayley Squires, which is running until 18 March; and the world première of Killer, a collection of monologues, which opens on 27 February.  The two productions play in rep from 28 February until 18 March with Killer then continuing to run until 8 April.

Full programme of activity

Until Saturday 8 April, before and after performances of The Pitchfork Disney and Killer

Rebels and Rubble: An exhibition of photographs by Philip Ridley

Free

 Thursday 16 February, 7.30pm

BSL interpreted performance of The Pitchfork Disney

Standard ticket prices (free ticket for a carer or companion)

Saturday 4 March, 10am

Rehearsed Reading of Krindlekrax followed by a Q+A and book signing with Philip Ridley

£2

(On Friday 3 March there will be dedicated schools performances of Krindlekrax at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Please contact Shoreditch Town Hall directly for further information and availability)

Friday 10 March, following 7.30pm performance of The Pitchfork Disney and Friday 24 March, following 6.30pm performance of Killer

Lovesongs for Extinct Creatures: Poetry with Philip Ridley

Free for those attending that evening’s performance of The Pitchfork Disney

Philip Ridley’s performances of his own poetry have become something of a cult hit over the past few years.  At Shoreditch Town Hall, for two evenings only, he will read his sequence of poems that chart the journey of a love affair; from wanting love through to the grief of losing that love.

Saturday 11 March, 11.30am

Touch Tour of The Pitchfork Disney

Free for those who have also booked a ticket for the audio described performance

 Saturday 11 March, 1pm

Audio Described performance of The Pitchfork Disney

Standard ticket prices

Wednesday 15 March, following 7.30pm performance of The Pitchfork Disney

Q+A with George Blagden, Tom Rhys Harries, Hayley Squires and Seun Shote

Chaired by Jamie Lloyd

Free for those attending that evening’s performance of The Pitchfork Disney

Thursday 16 March, 7.30pm

Rehearsed Reading of The Fastest Clock in the Universe, directed by Rupert Hands, followed by a post-show Q+A with Philip Ridley and company. Chaired by Terri Paddock

We’re all as bad as each other. All hungry little cannibals at our own cannibal party. So fuck the milk of human kindness and welcome to the abattoir!

In a strange room in East London, a party is underway. Cougar Glass is celebrating his ‘birthday’. He is nineteen years old…again. And to celebrate your ‘last year as a teenager’ as you are slipping into your thirties requires a lot of preparation: the cake has to be perfect, the cards have to be perfect, but the most perfect thing of all has to be the guest of honour. For it’s the guest of honour – Foxtrot Darling – who will bring the most precious gift of all. The gift Cougar would kill for…Youth!

Philip Ridley’s second play was his breakthrough work. It caused a sensation when it premièred at Hampstead Theatre in 1992, winning Ridley the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer, the Meyer Whitworth Prize, the Critics’ Circle Most Promising Playwright Award and a Time Out Award.  Its exploration of ‘metrosexuality’ and the ‘culture of youth’ was years ahead of its time, and it is now regarded as a contemporary classic.

£6

Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm

Rehearsed Reading of Ghost from a Perfect Place, directed by Rupert Hands, followed by a post-show Q+A with Philip Ridley and company. Chaired by Aleks Sierz

 I’m not threatened by you. Or your gang. I was threatening people before any of you were born…I’m Travis Flood!

When one-time gangster Travis Flood returns to his old East London stomping ground after a twenty-five years he finds much has changed.’ A girl gang, clad in gold skirts and blond wigs – with a penchant for pyromania and revenge against men – have spread fear where once Travis held sway. But Travis is instantly captivated by the hauntingly beautiful gang leader, Rio Sparks. And soon a shocking story begins to emerge. A story that shatters both their distorted memories.

Ridley’s third stage play was a cause célèbre when it premièred at the Hampstead Theatre in 1994. With its on stage violence and depiction of a ‘girl gang’ it provoked The Guardianto label it ‘pornographic’.  But it went on to be nominated for the Evening Standard Best Play Award and with its exploration of a ‘post truth’ world and the dangers of nostalgia –  has, like most of Ridley’s plays, proved itself uncannily prophetic.

 £6

Saturday 25 March, 1.30pm

Touch Tour of Killer

Free for those who have also booked a ticket for the 3pm performance

Thursday 30 March, following 7.30pm performance of Killer

Q+A with John MacMillan and Philip Ridley. Chaired by Jamie Lloyd

Free for those attending that evening’s performance of Killer

 

Bush Theatre re-opens from 18 March (celebrations include Black Lives, Black Words) and 2017 Season opens with Guards at the Taj directed by Jamie Lloyd

Bush Theatre in progress
 Bush Theatre in progress

Bush Theatre in progress

The Bush Theatre will reopen after a year-long £4.3m redevelopment, the largest capital project in the theatre’s history, with a bold new season kicked off by the European Premiere of Guards at the Taj by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd (from 7 April). A brand new Studio space opens with the premiere of Barney Norris play While We’re Here directed by Alice Hamilton (from 26 April).

Prior to this, a week of housewarming events (from 18 March) will celebrate the new Bush building and the diversity of its home in Shepherds Bush. This will include performances, talks, music and spoken word. The building will also be animated with work from the Bush’s Associate Artists and Emerging Writers’ Group. See Notes to Editors for full listing details.

A highlight of the week is Black Lives, Black Words (23 March – 25 March) a series of short plays in the newly revitalised theatre space that will consider the question ‘Do black lives matter today?’ This shared project was initiated by the award-winning American playwright Reginald Edmund in Chicago in 2015.  Black Lives, Black Words has since grown to explore the black diaspora’s experiences in some of the largest multicultural cities in the world, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Baltimore and London.

The Bush Theatre will contribute new commissions to the Black Lives, Black Words canon including plays by black British writers Winsome Pinnock and Rachel De-Lahay. Poet Anthony Anaxagorou will open each night with If I told you and an anthology of all the works performed will be published by Oberon Books.

The Bush Theatre redevelopment has been driven by the aim of realising Artistic Director Madani Younis’ vision for a theatre that reflects the diversity of London today. Upon reopening, the building will be more sustainable and entirely accessible, with a new entrance, front-of-house area and exterior garden terrace to the main street. The new 70-seat Studio will serve to increase the artistic output of the Bush Theatre, and provide emerging writers and artists with a flexible, intimate space to create and showcase the best in new writing.

The Season

Over the 2017 season, the Bush Theatre will present three new commissions, three world premieres, two European premieres and one production that will tour nationally. 50% of the programme comes from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) writers.

The Theatre is the Bush Theatre’s original production space with a capacity of 180 seats. The Studio is a brand new, smaller performance space with 70 seats.

Guards at the Taj
Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Jamie Lloyd
Designed by Soutra Gilmour

Theatre

7 April – 20 May
Please note the Press Night will now take place on Wednesday 12 April

The new season opens with Guards at the Taj, a darkly comic moral fable about beauty, privilege and access to art, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph. This surreal and witty play first opened to critical acclaim in New York. Jamie Lloyd directs the European premiere.

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard getting our eyes pecked out by the royal crows. So excuse me if I don’t wallow in some misbegotten guilt all night. Was it fucked up? Yes, it was. But I don’t have to feel terrible about it.”

It’s 1648. Agra, India. Imperial guards Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Guards at the Taj takes as its starting point an enduring legend and prompts contemporary audiences to revisit questions about art and privilege. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

Jamie Lloyd (director) makes his Bush Theatre directing debut with Guards at the Taj. Most recently he directed a season of revivals in the West End for The Jamie Lloyd Company, including Doctor Faustus, The Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class (Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for James McAvoy) and Macbeth (Olivier nomination for Best Revival). He won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical for Passion while he was Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2008 to 2011) and the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for The Pride (Royal Court). He is directing a double bill of Philip Ridley’s work, Killer and The Pitchfork Disney, at Shoreditch Town Hall from late January.

Rajiv Joseph (playwright) became a Pulitzer Prize finalist (2010) for his Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Other plays include Gruesome Playground InjuriesAnimals Out of Paper and All This Intimacy (Second Stage Theatre). Screen credits include seasons 3 & 4 of the TV series Nurse Jackie and he was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.

Soutra Gilmour (designer) is an award-winning designer whose extensive credits include many productions in collaboration with Jamie Lloyd. She designed several productions in The Jamie Lloyd Company’s recent West End season including Doctor FaustusThe Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class, Richard III, The Pride, The Hothouse and Macbeth. Previous work at the Bush Theatre includes Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Qur’an.

A Bush Theatre, Up In Arms and Farnham Maltings co-production
While We’re Here
Written by Barney Norris
Directed by Alice Hamilton
Designed by James Perkins

Studio
26 April – 27 May
Press night on 28 April

A World premiere by Barney Norris opens the brand new 70 seat Studio. While We’re Here will be directed by Alice Hamilton. Co-Directors of the multi award-winning touring company Up In Arms, the duo return to the Bush following their critically acclaimed production of Visitors, for which Norris won the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright

‘I remember the crunch of the gravel under my feet, and thinking my life might be over. I might have had all of my fun. And then him. And we don’t get to choose who we fall for.’

Eddie and Carol were lovers once, but their lives went in different directions. Now they meet again in a town full of memories, and find something still burns between them. On the country’s southern margin where the towns give way to the English Channel, both search for the centre of their lives.

Barney Norris (playwright) is a critically acclaimed writer and the co-artistic director of Up in Arms. Previous work at the Bush Theatre includes The Rest of Your Life and Visitors, for which he won the Critics’ Circle and Off West End Most Promising Playwright Awards. Further plays include Fear of Music (National Tour/ Out of Joint), At First Sight (National Tour/ Latitude Festival) and the critically acclaimed Eventide (Arcola Theatre)Further published works include To Bodies Gone: The Theatre of Peter Gill and the bestselling novel Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain. He has two other productions opening this spring; Echo’s End (Salisbury Playhouse) and a revival of Every You Every Me (Oxford Playhouse/ Reading Rep).

Alice Hamilton (director) is the co-artistic director of Up in Arms. She was nominated for the Best Director Offie Award for Visitors (Arcola Theatre/ Bush Theatre/ National Tour) and Eventide (Arcola/ National Tour). For Up in Arms she also directed German Skerries (Orange Tree Theatre/ National Tour), Fear of Music (National Tour/ Out of Joint) and At First Sight (National Tour/ Latitude Festival). Other theatre includes 30 Christmases (Old Fire Station, Oxford), Orcaand Orson’s Shadow (both at Southwark Playhouse). She will be directing the upcoming production of Echo’s End (Salisbury Playhouse).

HIR
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones

Theatre
15 June – 22 July
Press Night on 20 June

Having made great waves in New York, this explosive play by one of America’s most dynamic and distinctive voices comes to London in a new production by Nadia Fall (Disgraced). Taylor Mac (24-Decade History of Popular Music), an artist at the forefront of alternative responses to American culture, subverts all notions of the modern American family in this clash of wild absurdity and stark realism.

“Stop behaving like a man!”
“We are men!”

In a nondescript town somewhere in mid-west America, Isaac gets home from serving in the marines to find war has broken out back home. Isaac’s mom Paige is blowing up entrenched routines.  In their cheap house made of plywood and glue, notions of masculinity and femininity become weapons with which to defeat the old order. But sometimes annihilating the past doesn’t free you from it.

Taylor Mac (playwright) is also a multi award-winning actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. judy is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces including the 24-hour durational concert A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (an extract of which was performed at the Hackney Empire for LIFT Festival 2016), The Lily’s Revenge (which received rave reviews and an Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother EarthThe Young Ladies OfRed Tide BloomingThe Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (winning Edinburgh Festival’s Herald Angel Award), and in collaboration with Mandy Patinkin, Susan Stroman and Paul Ford, Mac created The Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville.

Nadia Fall (director) returns to the Bush Theatre following Disgraced. She has directed numerous productions at the National Theatre including The SuicideOur Country’s GoodDaraChewing Gum DreamsHomeHymn and The Doctor’s Dilemma. Further directing credits include R&D (Hampstead Theatre), Way Upstream(Chichester Festival Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), How Was it for You? (Unicorn Theatre) and The Maids (Lyric Hammersmith). She has led participation initiatives with partners such as the Young Vic, Clean Break, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. She is also an acting coach, supporting professional actors for film and stage.

Ben Stones (designer) has designed extensively for theatre and dance and returns to the Bush Theatre following The Kitchen Sink. Previous work with Nadia Fall includes The Suicide (National Theatre), Way Upstream (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Other credits include Into The Hoods: RemixedThe Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Some like it Hip Hop (ZooNation), Kiss Of The Spider Woman (Donmar Warehouse), The Silence of the Sea (Donmar Trafalgar), An Enemy of the People (Sheffield Crucible) and The Lady In The Van (National Tour). In 2011 he won the MEN award for Best Design for Doctor Faustus at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

Nassim
Written and performed by Nassim Soleimanpour
Directed by Omar Elerian

Studio
24 – 29 July

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour returns to the Bush with an audacious theatrical experiment that explores the power of language to unite us in unknown, uncertain times.  Directed by Bush Associate Director Omar Elerian, Nassim will feature the playwright himself.

Dear performer. I want to show you something. Did you know, in Farsi my name is written like this:  ‘.ROUPNAMIELOS MISSAN si eman yM’

No rehearsals. No preparation. Just a sealed envelope and an actor reading a script for the first time.

Nassim follows Soleimanpour’s globally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been translated into 15 different languages and performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg. It had already been performed hundreds of times in more than a dozen languages by 2013 when Soleimanpour was first permitted to travel outside his native Tehran.

Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright and performer) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker best known for his multi award-winning play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Nassim’s play BLANK premiered in the UK at the Bush Theatre’s RADAR festival in 2015, also playing in Amsterdam, Utrecht with further performances all over the world including in Argentina, Australia and India. Further plays include Blind Hamlet which premiered at LIFT Festival 2014 prior to a UK tour and productions in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin and has been commissioned to write a new play for Teater Momentum (Denmark).

Omar Elerian (director) is Associate Director at the Bush Theatre where he directed One Cold Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton. He also co-directed the Olivier nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre alongside Daniel Goldman. He was also Associate Director on The Royale by Marco Ramirez, Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans and Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson. Other directing credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams (Bradford, Yorkshire), Testa di Rame (Festival Inequilibrio, Italy) and Les P’tites Grandes Choses (Maison de Arts du Cirque et du Clown, France).
Ramona Tells Jim
Written by Sophie Wu

Studio
20 September – 21 October

Sophie Wu (Kick Ass, Fresh Meat) will be the first graduate of the Bush’s Emerging Writers’ Group, which launched in 2015, to have a full commission produced at the Bush, with the premiere of Ramona Tells Jim. 

In 1998, Ramona, of Englandshire, has a penchant for Enya and hates bananas. On her geography field trip she meets Jim, a local laddie wearing an anti-pill fleece.  He’s obsessed with hermit crabs, rock erosion and making homemade Irn-Bru cocktails. Deep in the Scottish Highlands Ramona falls for Jimmy’s awkward charm but gets caught in a scandal that will haunt them both for years to come

Sophie Wu (playwright) is a performer and writer for screen and stage. Her debut play, Sophie Wu is Minging, She Looks Like She’s Dead, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then transferred to the Soho Theatre. She is currently developing the play as an original comedy series for television with Charlie Brooker’s company, House of Tomorrow. As a performer, screen credits include Kick-AssFresh Meat and The Midnight Beast. On stage she last appeared at the Bush Theatre in The Wood Orchid directed by Michael Longhurst and most recently Shopping and F***ing (Lyric Hammersmith). Sophie is a graduate of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group.


A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Of Kith and Kin
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins

Theatre
18 October – 25 November
Press Night on 20 October

Sheffield Theatres Artistic Director Robert Hastie (My Night With Reg, Splendour) directs this gripping new comedy by Chris Thompson (Albion).  The pair previously collaborated on Carthage at the Finborough Theatre.  Of Kith and Kin, a Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production, poses the question what does family mean in the 21st century? The play will premiere at Sheffield Theatres as part of Hastie’s inaugural season as Artistic Director before transferring to the Bush Theatre.

‘He can’t call you both Dad. One of you should be Dad and the other one Daddy, surely?’

Daniel and Oliver are about to have their first baby. With their best friend, Priya, acting as surrogate, they’ve turned the study into a nursery and the bottles are sterilised. All that’s missing is the bundle of joy they’ve been pining for. When Daniel’s chaotic mother gatecrashes the baby shower with a few home truths, the cracks in Daniel and Oliver’s relationship begin to show.

Everyone knows you can choose your friends. Chris Thompson’s new play takes us to the heart of what happens when we choose our family too.

Chris Thompson (playwright) returns to the Bush Theatre after Albion. Previous credits include Carthage (Finborough Theatre) for which he won a Pearson Playwriting Award and was nominated for Best New Play and Most Promising New Playwright Offie Awards. Chris was the Channel 4 Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre in 2014. In 2013 he took part in the Kudos/ Bush Initiative and the Royal Court invitation studio writers group.

Robert Hastie (director) is Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres and Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse. He most recently directed Breaking the Code (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatr Clwyd). Further directing credits include Chris Thompson’s Carthage (Finborough Theatre) and Sixty-Six Books: In The Land Of Uz, Middle ManDavid and GoliathSnow In Sheffield and A Lost Expression at the Bush Theatre.

Of Kith and Kin opens at Sheffield Studio Theatre on 15 September with a press night on 19 September

Shoreditch Town Hall announces immersive Philip Ridley double-bill directed by Jamie Lloyd

Killer
Killer

Killer

Today Shoreditch Town Hall announces an immersive double-bill of Philip Ridley plays, including the world première of Killer and a new production of Ridley’s contemporary classic The Pitchfork Disney, his first stage play which premièred in 1991. The productions will both be directed by Jamie Lloyd and run in ‘The Ditch’ basement spaces of Shoreditch Town Hall in spring 2017.

The Pitchfork Disney, starring George Blagden (TV credits include the leading role of King Louis XIV in Canal+ / BBC2’s Versailles and Athelstan in the History Channel’s hit Vikings), Tom Rhys Harries (theatre credits include Hotel at the National Theatre and MOJO at the Harold Pinter), Hayley Squires (recently seen as Katie in Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or winning film I, Daniel Blake) and Seun Shote (Salome, directed by Jamie Lloyd for Headlong and Play Mas at Orange Tree Theatre), opens on 2 FebruaryKiller, a series of monologues starring John MacMillan (recently seen in Yerma at the Young Vic, Jamie Lloyd’s production of The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios and the BBC’s Silk) opens on 27 February, with the two productions playing in rep from 28 February.

Jamie Lloyd said today, “Philip Ridley is a maverick iconoclast of British culture, whose work includes plays, screenplays, novels, music, performance art, painting, photography and more. His innovative output has been a major influence on my own practice, and I am fascinated to explore the depth of his work via his first play alongside, and in the context of, his most recent theatre piece. The Ditch at Shoreditch Town Hall is one of the most atmospheric spaces in the country – the perfect environment in which to delve deep into Ridley’s imagination with these two projects, together with a raft of special events to be announced at a later date.”

 

 Shoreditch Town Hall presents

The Pitchfork Disney

By Philip Ridley 

Directed by Jamie Lloyd; Designed by Soutra Gilmour; Lighting by Richard Howell

Sound by Ben Max Ringham and George Dennis; Composition by Ben & Max Ringham

Casting by Charlotte Sutton

 Cast: George BlagdenTom Rhys HarriesSeun Shote and Hayley Squires

 27 January – 18 March

Press night: Thursday 2 February at 7pm

You know why the ghost train is so popular? Because there are no ghosts. Once you’ve learnt that you can make a fortune.

Presley and Haley have bolted their East London home against the terrors of the world. Since their parents died ten years ago, they have found comfort in chocolate, medication and fantasies of nuclear apocalypse. But, one night, Presley sees a beautiful stranger on the street outside. And while Haley sleeps, he lets their worst nightmare in.

Claustrophobic, comic and deeply unsettling, Philip Ridley’s seminal masterpiece played a revolutionary role in changing the face of British theatre when it premiered in 1991 to critical acclaim and controversy. Its exploration of ‘a climate of fear’, living in ‘alternate worlds’ and persistent thrum of sexual anxiety has continued to act as a tuning fork for the zeitgeist – a play whose relevance is forever in the now.

Step into Shoreditch Town Hall’s atmospheric basement spaces and experience this unique, immersive revival of Ridley’s debut play deep in the eerie underbelly of East London.

 

Shoreditch Town Hall presents

The world première of

Killer

By Philip Ridley 

Directed by Jamie Lloyd; Designed by Soutra Gilmour

Sound by Ben Max Ringham and George Dennis; Composition by Ben & Max Ringham

Casting by Charlotte Sutton

 Cast: John MacMillan

 22 February – 8 April

Press night: Thursday 27 February at 7pm

A killer! That’s what I am. And if I’m not very much mistaken…You could be too!

A loner finds an albino ostrich that can perform miracles. A teenager stumbles on a mysterious doorway leading to a Jurassic world. A one-legged surfer grows a new limb. Killer is a magical and, at times, menacing anthology of stories told in the recesses of the dark…

Employing binaural sound, director Jamie Lloyd takes you on an intimate journey within the bowels of Shoreditch Town Hall and the depths of your psyche. In this world première production, Philip Ridley’s darkly comic collection of new monologues shiver with the anxiety of our age.

Philip Ridley’s stage plays include The Fastest Clock in the UniverseGhost from a Perfect PlaceVincent River, Mercury FurLeaves of Glass, Piranha Heights, Tender NapalmShiveredDark Vanilla Jungle (winner of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award), Radiant VerminTonight With Donny Stixx and Karagula plus several plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece (named as one of the 50 Best Works About Cultural Diversity by the National Centre for Children’s Books), Sparkleshark and Brokenville (collectively known as The Storyteller Sequence), and a play for the whole family, Feathers in the Snow. In 2001 he was one of the writers chosen to contribute to the National Theatre’s Chain Play (celebrating the venue’s 25th anniversary).  He wrote the screenplay for The Krays feature film (winner of Evening Standard Best Film of the Year Award) and has also directed three feature films from his own screenplays: The Reflecting Skin – winner of eleven international awards (including the prestigious George Sadoul Prize) – The Passion of Darkly Noon (winner of the Best Director Prize at the Porto Film Festival) and Heartless (winner of The Silver Meliers Award for Best Fantasy Film).  He studied painting at St Martin’s School of Art and his work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and Japan.  He has written several books for children and adults. In 2012 What’s On Stage named him a Jubilee Playwright (one of the most influential British writers to have emerged in the past six decades). Ridley has won both the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards, the only person ever to receive both prizes.

George Blagden plays Presley Stray. His stage credits include the upcoming production of Platinum at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs. His TV credits include the leading role of King Louis XIV in Canal+ / BBC2’s Versailles and Athelstan in the History Channel’s hit Vikings. His film credits include No Postage Necessary, The Three of US, Wrath Of The Titans, Les Misérables, After Dark and Blood Moon.

 Tom Rhys Harries plays Cosmo Disney. His theatre credits include Hotel (National Theatre) MOJO (the Harold Pinter) Creditors (the Young Vic) Four(the Old Vic) Dedication (the Nuffield) Torch Song Trilogy (Menier Chocolate Factory) and The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible). His television work includes Jekyll & HydeHinterlandParades EndD Day: Last Letters Home and Under Milk Wood; and on film The Inbetweeners: the Long GoodbyeCrowHunky DoryHot Property and Panic.

John MacMillan’s theatre credits include YermaThe Member of the WeddingIn the Red and Brown Water (Young Vic), The Homecoming (Trafalgar Studios), Children’s ChildrenThe Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Almeida Theatre), Piranha Heights (Soho Theatre), Cymbeline (Cheek by Jowl international tour), Macbeth (Royal Exchange Manchester – Nominated for the Ian Charleson Award) and Hamlet (Donmar/Broadway – Nominated for the Ian Charleson Award). His television credits include Ordinary LiesThe WindsorsChewing Gum, New TricksSilkMiranda UnwrappedSherlock Holmes: The Blind Banker and Hustle. His film credits include FuryMaleficentWorld War Z and The Dark Knight Rises.

Seun Shote plays Pitchfork Cavalier. His theatre credits include Salome (Headlong), Play Mas (Orange Tree Theatre), Egusi Soup (Menagerie Theatre), Routes (Royal Court Theatre) and One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre and international tour). His television credits include Birds of a FeatherOne ChildSkins and Little Britain.

Hayley Squires plays Haley Stray.  Her theatre credits include As Good a Time as Any (The Print Room). Her television credits include Murder (episode 1), SouthcliffeComplicitand Call the Midwife.  She was recently seen as Katie in Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or-winning film I, Daniel Blake. Her other film credits include Giantland, AwayPolar Bear and A Royal Night Out.

Jamie Lloyd is the Artistic Director of The Jamie Lloyd Company. His recent work, presented by The Jamie Lloyd Company, includes Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s) and The MaidsThe HomecomingThe Ruling ClassRichard IIIThe PrideThe Hothouse and the Olivier Award-nominated Macbeth (all at Trafalgar Studios). His other recent work includes Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory; Evening Standard Award nomination for Best Director),Urinetown (St James & Apollo), The Commitments (Palace Theatre), Cyrano de Bergerac (Roundabout Theatre Company; American Airlines Theatre, Broadway), The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The Faith Machine and the Olivier Award-winning The Pride(Royal Court), Inadmissible EvidenceThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the Evening Standard Award-winning Passion and Polar Bears(Donmar Warehouse), Piaf (Donmar Warehouse, Vaudeville Theatre, Teatro Liceo in Buenos Aires & Nuevo Teatro Alcala in Madrid; Olivier Award nomination for Best Musical Revival, Hugo Award for Best Director, Clarin Award for Best Musical Production, ADEET Award for Best Production), The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Apollo Theatre), The Lover and The Collection (Comedy Theatre), Elegies: A Song Cycle(Arts Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal, Bath), Salome (Headlong), Eric’s (Liverpool Everyman), and The Caretaker (Sheffield Crucible & Tricycle). For radio, he directed and co-adapted Orson Welles’ Heart of Darkness (BBC Radio 4). He has also directed work as a part of the Old Vic’s 24 Hour Plays and Musicals and at the Royal Court International Residencies, and was on the panel for the 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Theatre Awards. He was Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse from 2008 to 2011 and a former Associate Artist of Headlong. Jamie is frequently featured in the top 20 of The Stage 100 list and the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list, and was a Macgeorge Fellow with the University of Melbourne in 2016.

The artistic programme at Shoreditch Town Hall is made possible by the generous support of Old Possums Practical Trust, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation & Arts Council England.

Listings Information                                                                                       The Pitchfork Disney & Killer

Venue:                 Shoreditch Town Hall

Address:              380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

Box Office:          020 7739 6176

Website:              www.shoreditchtownhall.com

 

THE PITCHFORK DISNEY 

Performances:

27 January – 18 March

Times: Various (1pm / 2.30pm / 3.30pm / 6.30pm / 7.30pm / 8pm / 8.30pm)

Tickets:

Previews: £18

Mon – Thu performances: £25

Fri – Sat performances: £28

Under 25 tickets for Mon – Thu performances (not including previews or press night; limited availability per show): £12

All tickets subject to additional booking fees.

 

 KILLER

 Performances:

22 February – 8 April

Times: Various (3pm / 6pm / 6.30pm / 7.30pm / 8.30pm)

Tickets:

Previews: £15

Mon – Thu performances: £22

Fri – Sat performances: £25

All tickets subject to additional booking fees.

Ticket Deal: Purchase tickets to see both productions on any one Saturday during the run and get £5 off (Total price reduced to £48 from £53; available on Sat 4 MarchSat 11 March and Sat 18 March; not available for previews; limited availability per show)

 

Last chance to see Kit Harington as Doctor Faustus in the West End

Kit Harington as Dr Faustus

There are just three weeks left to see Game of Thrones star Kit Harington on stage in the title role of Doctor Faustus at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London. Directed by Jamie Lloyd, this anarchic production of Christopher Marlowe’s masterwork, with two acts written by Colin Teevan, must end Saturday 25th June.

Kit Harington as Doctor Fautus

Kit Harington as Doctor Faustus. Click on the image to book your tickets

With Teevan’s darkly comic scenes, the story of this 400-year-old play is transported to a celebrity-obsessed society of greed and instant gratification, offering a fresh perspective that chimes with our times.

Faustus makes a pact with the Devil, selling his soul in return for the ability to perform anything he pleases with the power of black magic. This fatal decision catapults him into an intoxicating world of celebrity, as he becomes a world-renowned conjuror, international heartthrob and friend of the rich, famous and powerful. But what is the cost of his insatiable thirst for wealth and fame?

Alongside Kit Harington, Jenna Russell takes the role of Mephistopheles with Jade Anouka, Tom Edden, Danielle Flett, Brian Gilligan, Forbes Masson, Craig Stein, Gabby Wong and Garmon Rhys completing the cast.

In a free event to complement Doctor Faustus, after the performance on Monday 13th June, spoken word and rap artist Charlie Dupre will perform ‘Faustus: Remixed’, a visceral, high-octane spoken word retelling of Marlowe’s famous tale. Building on the original’s cornerstones of vanity and thirst for understanding, the piece challenges the audience to examine Marlowe’s themes through a modern lens. It questions whether individualism and grandeur are the keys to fulfilment, or rather the gatekeepers of a hell we are desperate to avoid. Performed exclusively in partnership with The Jamie Lloyd Company on the set of Doctor Faustus, this is Marlowe like you’ve never heard him before. Entry is free with tickets for that evening’s performance.

Doctor Faustus is designed by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by Jon Clark, and music and sound by Ben and Max Ringham. Movement direction is by Polly Bennett, with fights by Kate Waters.

As with The Jamie Lloyd Company’s previous productions, all tickets for Monday performances are £15. Some of these are made available through a special outreach scheme, targeted at schools and first-time theatregoers. The remainder are released monthly to the public each month, available online or at the Duke of York’s box office.

BOOK TICKETS TO WATCH DOCTOR FAUSTUS HERE

Doctor Faustus releases more £15 tickets and announces three free events

Kit Harington as Dr Faustus

Doctor Faustus releases more £15 tickets and announces three free events

  • Next round of £15 Monday tickets on sale tomorrow at 10am
  • New ‘JLC Extras’ events announced for June – ‘Jamie Lloyd in Conversation with Jenna Russell’, ‘Queering Marlowe’ and a rap re-telling of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

 Hundreds of £15 tickets for every remaining Monday performance of Doctor Faustus, starring Kit Harington and directed by Jamie Lloyd, will go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

Doctor Faustus poster image no details

Kit Harington as Dr Faustus

As with all The Jamie Lloyd Company’s productions, all tickets for Monday performances of Doctor Faustus are £15. They will be available to buy in person at the box office of the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, and online thereafter. The Jamie Lloyd Company will provide entertainment and refreshments for those queuing for tickets.

Some of the £15 tickets will also be made available through a special outreach scheme, targeted at schools and first-time theatregoers.

The Jamie Lloyd Company also announced a series of free events arranged to complement Doctor Faustus. After the performance on Tuesday 7th June, Jamie Lloyd in Conversation with Jenna Russell will see the show’s director and one of its stars in conversation on stage. Jenna Russell, one of Britain’s leading musical theatre performers, will discuss her career and collaborations with Jamie Lloyd as well as perform a selection of her favourite songs from Sondheim, Victoria Wood and others.

Pre-show on Friday 3rdJune, ‘Queering Marlowe’ will see five monologues performed from the works of Christopher Marlowe: poet, hell-raiser, magician, genius, queer.  What would a female Tamburlaine look like? A male Dido Queen of Carthage? #QueeringMarlowe invites some of London theatre’s finest actors to gender-flip Marlowe’s most famous characters. Featuring Sharon D Clarke, Emily Taaffe, Ryan Sampson, Leo Wan and Muireann Bird.

Finally, after the performance on Monday 13thJune, spoken word and rap artist Charlie Dupre will perform ‘Faustus: Remixed’, a visceral, high-octane spoken word retelling of Marlowe’s famous tale. Building on the original’s cornerstones of vanity and thirst for understanding, the piece challenges the audience to examine Marlowe’s themes through a modern lens. It questions whether individualism and grandeur are the keys to fulfilment, or rather the gatekeepers of a hell we are desperate to avoid. Performed exclusively in partnership with The Jamie Lloyd Company on the set of Doctor Faustus, this is Marlowe like you’ve never heard him before.

Entry to these events will be free with tickets for that evening’s performance.

Directed by Jamie Lloyd, Christopher Marlowe’s masterwork Doctor Faustus, with two acts written by Colin Teevan, is at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, until Saturday 25th June.

With Teevan’s darkly comic scenes replacing the extant middle acts (widely believed not to have been written by Marlowe), the story of this 400-year-old play is transported to a celebrity-obsessed society of greed and instant gratification, offering a fresh perspective that chimes with our times.

Faustus makes a pact with the Devil, selling his soul in return for the ability to perform anything he pleases with the power of black magic. This fatal decision catapults him into an intoxicating world of celebrity, as he becomes a world-renowned conjuror, international heartthrob and friend of the rich, famous and powerful. But what is the cost of his insatiable thirst for wealth and fame?

The production is designed by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by Jon Clark, and music and sound by Ben and Max Ringham.  Movement direction is by Polly Bennett, with fights by Kate Waters and special effects by Scott Penrose.

As with The Jamie Lloyd Company’s previous productions, all tickets for Monday performances are £15. Some of these will be made available through a special outreach scheme, targeted at schools and first-time theatregoers. The remainder are released monthly to the public each month, available online or at the Duke of York’s box office.