E.M. Forster’s A Passage To India adapted for the stage at Park Theatre

A Passage To India
A Passage To India

A Passage To India

One of the great novels of the twentieth century, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India is vividly re-imagined by award-winning ensemble simple8, in a co-production with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.  The press night will be Thursday 22 February, at 7pm.

How can we love each other in a world divided by race, power and religion?

This question at the heart of A Passage to India challenges us today just as it did a hundred years ago. With their new adaptation of Forster’s masterpiece and a diverse company of fourteen, simple8 finds in the past a mirror for our own divided times, carefully re-imagining this ground-breaking novel for contemporary Britain.

Multi-award-winning simple8 create worlds out of nothing. Rooted in “poor theatre”, this ensemble company creates all atmosphere and setting without extravagant costumes, scenery, props or recorded sound, producing dynamic plays that tackle big ideas. This new approach to Forster’s masterpiece will transport their audience to British India, conjuring up its elephants and trains, courthouses and temples – and the mysterious Marabar Caves – with the simplest of means.

Delighting in spectacle but dispensing with nostalgia and clutter, the production focuses instead on the novel’s beating heart. A Passage to Indiaargues that friendship in a world divided is not possible “yet”; the natural question for us today is: “Is it possible now?”

simple8 seek to address this question in the form of the production itself, the entire spectacle providing a powerful image of different people working together to tell a story, using nothing but their shared imagination.

A Passage to India is adapted and co-directed by Simon Dormandy, whose recent directing work includes co-directing his own adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ film The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield, Southampton and Liverpool Playhouse), and directing Julius Caesar (Bristol Old Vic), Luce (Southwark Playhouse) and Waiting for Godot (Arcola Theatre).

Original music is composed and performed live by Kuljit Bhamra MBE, one of the most prolific musicians, composers and producers on the British Asian music scene, having composed and produced over 2000 songs and worked on film scores including A Winter of Love and Bend it Like Beckham. On stage, Kuljit has appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre) and Bend it Like Beckham(Phoenix Theatre) which he also co-orchestrated.

The cast features Liz Crowther (The Witch of Edmonton, RSC) as Mrs Moore/Ralph, Matthew Douglas (An Inspector Calls, West End) as Callendar, Christopher Doyle (The Playboy of the Western World, Old Vic) as McBryde, Hannah Emanuel (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Arcola Theatre) as Mrs Callendar/Stella, Tibu Fortes (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Globe Theatre) as Hamidullah, Richard Goulding (King Charles III, Almeida, West End and Broadway) as Fielding, Nigel Hastings (Henry VI, Globe Theatre) as Turton, Asif Khan (Handbagged, UK Tour) as Aziz, Edward Killingback (Hay Fever, West End) as Ronny, Ranjit Krishnamma (Behind the Beautiful ForeversNational Theatre) as Godbole/Das, Phoebe Pryce (The Tempest, Globe Theatre) as Adela and Maanuv Thiara (Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre) as Mahmoud Ali. Music is performed live by Kuljit Bhamra MBE and Asha McCarthy.

A Passage to India is co-directed by Simon Dormandy and Sebastian Armesto, who has co-directed and co-written all of simple8’s productions to date. The production is designed by Dora Schweitzer, with lighting design by Prema Mehta.



Venue: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP

Dates: 20 Feb – 24 Mar 2018

Press night: 22 Feb 2018, 7pm

Age guidance: Suitable for 7+

Performances: Tue – Sat Evenings 7.45pm, Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm

Parents & Babies: Wed 21 Mar, 1pm

Prices: Previews £18.50, Tue-Thu & Sat Matinees Standard £20.00 – £29.50, Concessions £18.50 – £22, Child £15, Young Patrons £10 (20 – 27 Feb)
Booking: / 020 7870 6876

*10% telephone booking fee, capped at £2.50 per ticket.


There or Here – New Play to Star Rakhee Thakrar at Park Theatre

There or Here
There or Here

There or Here

The UK Premiere of There or Herefrom the producers of the 2013 hit Yellow Face (Park Theatre/National Theatre transfer), will open the PARK90 2018 season. With a cast that includes Rakhee Thakrar (EastEnders)Jennifer Maisel’s dramatic comedy follows the journey of an inter-racial American couple who return to the country of his roots to outsource their pregnancy. The official press night will be on Thursday 25 January at 7pm.

  1. When illness prevents Robyn and Ajay from having a child of their own, they return to India – the country of Ajay’s birth – to outsource their pregnancy to a local woman.  As they come together to face this next step in their lives, they are unable to be the comfort the other needs.  Through sharp writing and witty observation,There or Here explores what happens when couples forego face-to-face communication in favour of the virtual. Solace is found through strangers on phone sex lines, in IT call centres and at drive-thrus.  Age and location no longer matter as the world moves online, and life becomes outsourced.

The cast includes Rakhee ThakrarChris Nayak, Ursula Mohan, Manish Gandhi and Lucy Fenton.

There or Here was a 2009 PEN West Literary Award finalist. It was also a finalist at the Sundance Theatre Lab (2007) and the O’Neill Theatre Conference (2008). It received its world premiere at the 14th Street Theater in New York on 9 September 2008.

Cast and Creative Team

Chris Nayak as Ajay

Lucy Fenton as Robyn

Manish Gandhi as Rajit/Raj

Rakhee Thakrar as Neera

Ursula Mohan as Ellen/Dr. Vittal

Written by Jennifer Maisel

Directed by Vik Sivalingam

Designed by Vicky Sweatman

Lighting Designed by Robbie Butler

Sound Designed by Nicola Chang

Rakhee Thakrar is best known for playing the character of Shabnam Masood in Eastenders. She also plays the Eighth Doctor’s companion, Bliss, in Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas. She was nominated for Best Serial Drama performance at the 2016 National Television Awards. Her theatre credits include: Astronauts Of Hartlepool (Vaults Festival), Lalita’s Big Fat Asian Wedding (Curve Leicester), Pyaar Hai (Rich Mix), Free Booze (Edinburgh Fringe), Retaliation (Peepul Centre), Cervical Monologues (various), Chale Ga Chale Ga (UK tour), Precious Bazaar (UK tour) and Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Phoenix Theatre).

Ursula Mohan’s theatre credits include: You Forgot the Mince (Edinburgh Fringe & UK Tour), King Lear (Tristan Bates Theatre & Union Theatre), Hecuba (Scoop Theatre), Horniman’s Choice (Finborough Theatre), The Veil (National Theatre), Dad’s Army (UK Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone (Gatehouse Theatre), Tango (Royal Shakespeare Company), US (Royal Shakespeare Company), Making Tracks (Scarborough Theatre), Antigone (Greenwich Theatre), The Good Woman of Setzuan(Hampstead Theatre), A Murder is Announced (The Vaudeville), Revenge (Royal Court), Othello (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) The Cenci (Almeida), Bloody Mary (Stratford East) and Scapino (Young Vic).

Chris Nayak’s theatre credits include: King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About NothingLove’s Labour’s Lost (RSC/ Theatre Royal Haymarket), A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About NothingThe Christmas TruceLove’s Labour’s Lost (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC/ Garsington Opera),Anita and Me (Stratford East), Macbeth (Little Angel Theatre), Leaving Planet Earth (Edinburgh International Festival), The Wind in the WillowsArthur and GeorgeEast is East (Birmingham REP), Invasion! (Soho Theatre), She Stoops to ConquerThe League of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse), Stand Up Diggers All (Pentabus Theatre), Romeo and JulietLisa’s Sex Strike (Northern Broadsides), A Passage to India (Shared Experience), Indian Ink (Salisbury Playhouse), The Marriage of Figaro (Tara Arts), East is East (York Theatre Royal), Mother Goose and the Wolf (Greenwich Theatre) and Punchkin: Enchanter (London Bubble).

Manish Gandhi trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include: Now We Are Here (Young Vic Theatre), Brown Shakespeare (Efua Theodora Sutherland Drama Studio, Legon-Accra), Rizwan (FTII Pune), Limbo (Prithvi Theatre Mumbai) and Cock (Prithvi Theatre, National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai).

Lucy Fenton trained at Drama Centre London. Her theatre credits include: Right of Way (Lost Theatre), Kiss (The White Bear), Little Women (Ingatestone Hall),Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Baron’s Court Theatre), Crime and Punishment (Baron’s Court Theatre), A Man for All Seasons (Empty Space Theatre), Racing Demon(Empty Space Theatre) and The Death of Cuchulain (Edinburgh Fringe).

Director Vik Sivalingam trained on the Arts Council/ Birkbeck, University of London MFA in Theatre Directing. Following this, he became Director in Training at the New Wolsey Theatre from 2005 to 2006, and later in his career was the Resident Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2011. His credits include works at The Old Vic, The Royal Court, Tricycle Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, the New Wolsey Theatre and Headlong Theatre. He holds a PG Award in Teaching Shakespeare (RSC/ Warwick University) and has worked extensively at drama schools including LAMDA, Rose Bruford College, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham School of Acting, Arts Educational Schools, East 15 Acting School and WacArts.

New Park Theatre 2018 season revealed

Jez Bond
Jez Bond

Jez Bond

Artistic Director Jez Bond to direct dystopian political thriller Building The Wall, a Park Theatre production and UK Premiere from Pulitzer Prize winning writer

David Haig stars in London premiere of his play Pressure, based on a true wartime story

A new stage adaptation of E. M. Forster’s seminal novel, A Passage To India

UK premiere of Rothschild & Sons, a musical inspired by the famous Banking dynasty

Artistic Director Jez Bond today announced Park Theatre’s new Jan – Jun 2018 season. Featuring five world, European, UK and London premiere productions, Park Theatre continues to build its reputation as a home for new writing and celebrated transfers.

Artistic Director Jez Bond says: “I’m thrilled to be announcing our season for the first half of 2018. In PARK200 we are working with some of the best theatres and producers from across the UK and beyond, from Chichester Festival Theatre to Broadway, bringing world class productions to our stages; as well as producing our next show from America, the politically timely Building The Wall. As ever we’re full to the brim with a majority of new writing premieres in both PARK200 and PARK90. PARK90 celebrates our passion for women on stage and off: with women’s stories and journeys at the heart, and a prevalence of women writers, producers and directors.”

The UK premiere of the musical Rothschild & Sons opens the new season in PARK200, with Broadway songwriters Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock (Fiddler On The Roof) charting the Rothschild family’s rise from poverty to a global banking dynasty with new, never-before-heard songs. A Passage to India follows, as part of an international adaptation of E. M. Forster’s seminal novel set in Imperial India, re-imagined for a contemporary Britain by simple8. Written by and starring David Haig, Pressure is the incredible true story of two allied meteorologists tasked with predicting the perfect weather conditions for General Eisenhower’s D-Day landings in 1944. For the European premiere of Building The Wallfrom Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, Jez Bond directs this political thriller that has already taken America by storm, exploring how the inconceivable can become the inevitable. The world premiere of Monogamy closes the PARK200 season, a new comedy by Torben Betts about living a private life in the public eye.

There or Here commences the new PARK90 season, in the UK premiere production of a new American comedy about outsourcing motherhood, from the producer of Yellow Face (Park Theatre/National Theatre transfer). The London premiere of A Princess Undone is a play inspired by actual events around sensational and potentially damaging royal letters acquired by Princess Margaret. A revival of Philip Ridley’s modern classic exploring hate crime follows, as Robert Chevara directs Vincent River. Inspired by a real court case in the USA, a Chicago teenager is arrested for terrorist collusions when she converts from Christianity to Islam, and is tried by a practicing Muslim, in the UK premiere ofFaceless. Next is a revival of Schism from the lauded playwright and activist Athena Stevens, which charts the unlikely love that forms when Harrison’s suicide plans are dashed by the arrival of a young student with cerebral palsy. Closing the new season in PARK90, Beirut explores a fleeting encounter between two lovers, now divided by a quarantine enforced to protect a future society from a terrifying Sexually Transmitted Disease.

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The Revlon Girl comes to Park Theatre following acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival

The Revlon Girl
The Revlon Girl

The Revlon Girl

Following a critically acclaimed and sell-out tour across Wales last year, The Revlon Girl will come to PARK90 in September after a run at the Edinburgh Festival which is supported by The Arts Council of Wales. Written by composer and writer Neil Anthony Docking, The Revlon Girl is a poignant, heart-breaking and tender new play which explores a terrible episode in Welsh history and tells a story of amazing courage, hope and humour.

Set eight months following the death of 116 children during the Aberfan Disaster of 1966, The Revlon Girl tells the real life story of a group of bereaved mothers who met every week above a local hotel to talk, cry and even laugh without feeling guilty.

At one of their meetings, the women confided how much they felt they’d forgotten about themselves but were too afraid of being judged frivolous to do anything about it. So together they arranged – secretly – for a representative from Revlon to come along one night and give them all a talk on beauty tips.

The Revlon Girl is directed by Maxine Evans, with set design by Eleri Lloyd; lighting design by Chris Barrett and special technical effects by Dan Travers.

Charlotte Gray plays Sian. Her theatre credits include: The Light of Heart, Under Milk Wood, Alan Aykbourn’s Season’s Greetings, A Small Family Business, Taking Steps, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Pygmalion, The Suicide, An Inspector Calls, The Hub and A Write to Rock (for Theatre Clwyd, Cymru), The Gut Girls, Never Fear Love? (Velvet Ensemble) along with A Red Threatening Sky (Foolish People), A Night on the Tiles (Grassroots Productions), The Tree and The One Sea(Atomic 80 Productions Assembly Rooms). Television credits include: Alys (series regular 1&2), Caerdydd, Afel Druig (S4C) and Stella (Tidy Productions).

Antonia Kinlay plays Revlon. She is currently filming Career of Evil for HBO/BBC. Theatre credits include The Suicide(National Theatre); A History Of Falling Things (New Vic Theatre); Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Bath); Molière (National Theatre Studio/Finborough); The Eternal Not (National Theatre); Arden Of Faversham (The Globe); When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios); Lady Anna: All At Sea (Park Theatre); The Three Lions (St James Theatre); Arms And The Man (Theatre Clwyd); Mr Whatnot (Northampton Royal Theatre); As You Like It (Theatre Clwyd); Carrot (Theatre 503). Film & Television Credits include: Emmerdale; Mi High; Consuming Passion; Doctors and Broadside.

Michelle McTernan plays Marilyn. Michelle provides the voice of ‘Nib’ in the animation series Bobinogs (BBC). Theatre Credits: The Three Night Blitz, (Joio Productions/ Swansea Grand); Macbeth, Merchant Of Venice, Buoy, Fall Out 84(Pontardawe Arts Centre); Barren (October Sixty Six Productions); Bara Bread (Theatr Gwalia) Granny Annie, Trivial Pursuits, Erogenous Zones, (Grassroots); Flesh And Blood (Sherman/Hampstead Theatres); The Oystercatchers (Swansea Grand/Sherman Theatre); Blue Remembered Hills (Torch), Under Milk Wood, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead(Clwyd Theatr Cymru); Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, The Merchant Of Venice (Ludlow Festival). Television & Film: Stella (Tidy/Sky1 HD); Rain (Tornado Films); The Healers (Pooka Films); Midnight (Nowhere Fast); Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible, Tales from Pleasure Beach (BBC); Light in the City (BBC Wales) and the feature film Very Annie Mary (Dragon Pictures).

Bethan Thomas plays Rona. Credits include Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, Linda in the West End production of Blood Brothers, Kitty in Charley’s Aunt (Ian Dickens Productions); Beyond Therapy, Mother Courage, Under Milk Wood, Merchant of Venice, Comedy of Errors, Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night as well as the Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi. Bethan’s film credits include Be All And End All, Sawn off Santa, Don’t Walk, Hermit, Love Me Love My Dog, The Harmion Tale and, for the BBC, Dear Nobody.

Zoë Harrison plays Jean. Zoë trained at Guildford School of Acting and her theatre credits include The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Circle (Oxford Stage Company), What a Wonderful World (Lyngo Theatre Company) and Blondel (Pleasance, London). She co-wrote and co-starred in BBC Radio 4 comedy series Jason Cook’s School of Hard Knocks. TV and film credits include EastEnders, Two Doors Down, Doctors (BBC) and Neil’s Party (Twothreefive Productions. Zoë can currently be seen as Young Maria in the feature film Never Let Go on Netflix, and as Rob Brydon’s wife in the P&O cruises commercials.

Director Maxine Evans studied classical acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has worked as an actor, writer, series editor and director in television, film and theatre. She directed Without a Song or a Dance (short- listed Best Director at the Cork Film Festival) Nuts & Bolts (ITV/RTS Award winner) and Rain (a Feature Film Musical also by Neil Anthony Docking) while her writing/series editor credits include Coronation Street, Crossroads and Nuts & Bolts (ITV). She continues to develop new writing for theatre (Goat Street Runners and Who’s Coat Is That Jacket?) and has recently directed a new comedy entitled Storyline. As an actor Maxine appears regularly on television- most notably in BBC’s Call The Midwife and A Song For Jenny and as the indomitable ‘Rhian’ in Sky 1’s hit comedy Stella.

Neil Anthony Docking is a British writer, composer and producer, and has worked in press, radio, film and theatre. Whilst studying music at the University of Westminster he became a columnist for The Guardian and received a BFI Animation nomination for Best Score for Psyche Engine (narrowly missing out to Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit). His writing credits include: Station Road (BBC Radio Drama), The Throne Room (original play for radio), Bay College, Casualty (BBC), Nuts & Bolts, Crossroads, Emmerdale (ITV1) and has been shortlisted for the BBC Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award. He has written, scored and co- produced the original independent British feature film musical, Rain; written and directed TVCC(Channel 4) and most recently wrote and produced Storyline, an original comedy for online broadcast. The Revlon Girl is his first play for theatre.

Box office: 020 7870 6876*


The Revlon Girl

Venue: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP

Dates: 19 Sep – 14 Oct 2017

Press night: Wednesday 20 September

Running Time: 90 minutes

Performances: Tue – Sat Evenings 7.45pm, Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm

Parents & Babies: Wed 4 Oct 13.00 £15

Prices: £14.50 Previews / £18 Full / £16.50 Concessions/ £13 Child/ £10 Young Patrons
Booking: / 020 7870 6876

*10% telephone booking fee, capped at £2.50 per ticket.

Ian McDiarmid to play Enoch Powell in What Shadows

Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell
Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell

Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell © Ellie Kurttz

Olivier and Tony Award-winning actor, Ian McDiarmid will play MP Enoch Powell in Chris Hannan’s searing play, What Shadows. Directed by Roxana Silbert (Artistic Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre), What Shadows tells the story of Powell’s explosive Rivers of Blood speech, bringing to life the community that inspired it and, 30 years later, its effects on a woman trying to make sense of her life. The production runs 27 Sep – 28 Oct in PARK200, with a national press night onTuesday 3 October.

“I was a storm. I was also a man entirely alone in a storm. There were forces beyond my control and I was one of them.”

Oxford academic and daughter of a Caribbean immigrant, Rose Cruickshank wants answers. Enoch’s controversial words about immigration shattered her childhood. Rose cannot find inner peace until she understands what led him to make the speech that defined a generation. Will a meeting with the man himself give her the answers she desperately craves?

Director Roxana Silbert says of What Shadows“As we near the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s explosive ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, the nation finds itself again facing profound and difficult questions about national identity and attitudes to immigration. Chris’s powerful play is a scorching interrogation of prejudices and how a bitterly divided country moves forward in the wake of a crisis. It couldn’t be more necessary.”

The full cast and creative team includes:

Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell

Nicholas Le Prevost as Clem Jones

Amelia Donkor as Rose Cruickshank & Joyce Cruickshank
Paula Wilcox as Grace Hughes & Marjorie Jones

Waleed Akhtar as Saeed

Ameet Chana as Sultan & Doctor Sharma

Joanne Pearce as Sofia & Pamela

Roxana Silbert Director

Ti Green Designer

Chahine Yavroyan Lighting Designer

Giles Thomas Original Sound Design

Louis Price Video Designer

Anna Morrissey Movement Director

Stephen Kemble Voice & Dialect Coach

Luke Kernaghan Associate Director

Ian McDiarmid is an Olivier and Tony award-winning British character actor and director, internationally renowned for his role as Palpatine in George Lucas’ Star Wars filmsHis film credits include Sleepy Hollow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Gorky Park and Dragonslayer, and his recent theatre credits include the title role in A Life of Galileo directed by Roxana Silbert for the RSC, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at the Almeida, Maximus in Emperor and Galilean for the National Theatre, the title role in John Gabriel Borkman for the Donmar Warehouse and the father in Rupert Goold’s Six Characters in Search of an Author for Chichester Festival Theatre.

Box office: 020 7870 6876*

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What Shadows

Venue: PARK200, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP

Dates: 27 September – 28 October 2017

Press night: Tuesday 3 October

Performances: Tue – Sat Evening 19.30, Thu & Sat Matinees 15.00

Prices: Previews £18.50, Tue-Thu & Sat Matinees, Standard £20.00 – £26.50, Concessions £18.50, Child £15
Young Patrons: £10 (27 Sept – 3 Oct)
Groups: Buy 10 tickets get the 11th free

Audio described: Wed 11 Oct 19.30, Touch Tour 18.00

Age guidance: 14+
Running time: 2 hours 15 mins inc. interval
* Telephone booking fee: 10% (capped at £2.50 per ticket)

Final casting announced for the 50th anniversary production of Loot – Joe Orton’s darkly comic masterpiece

Loot final cast

Loot final cast

Loot final cast

Final casting is announced today for the 50th anniversary production of Joe Orton’s darkly comic masterpiece, LOOT.

Joining the previously announced rising British stars Calvin Demba (Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award nominee, The Red Lion, National Theatre) and Sam Frenchum (Private Peaceful, Grantchester) and the award-winning Sinéad Matthews (Mrs Elvsted in Ivo van Hove’s Hedda Gabler, National Theatre), are Christopher Fulford (Winston Churchill in Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, The Crucible, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Ian Redford (The Alchemist, Mad World My Master, Candide, all for the RSC) and Raphael Bar (national tour of Out of Order) with Anah Ruddin.

LOOT – from the same producers as the recent sell-out hit The Boys in the Band – is directed by Michael Fentiman, whose credits include two acclaimed shows for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as the critically-acclaimed hit, Raising Martha.

It will run at London’s Park Theatre from 17 August – 24 September.

It will then transfer to the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Berkshire, from 28 September – 21 October.

Park Theatre press night: Wednesday 23 August at 7.00pm.

When it premiered five decades ago, LOOT shocked and delighted audiences in equal measure and it scooped the Best Play of the Year  Award in the 1967 Evening Standard Awards. This production commemorates three 50-year anniversaries: Joe Orton’s death on 9 August 1967; LOOT’s first award-winning West End season at the Criterion Theatre; and the momentous, transformative passing in July 1967 of The Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21.

Loot – The Plot

Uproarious slapstick meets dubious morals as two young friends, Hal (Frenchum) and Dennis (Demba), stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin, attempting to hide their spoils from the attentions of a psychopathic policeman, a gold-digging nurse and a grieving widower. LOOT was named one of the National Theatre’s “100 Plays of the Century”. Sixties style icon Michael Caine loved it so much he saw it six times in 1967. Another fan was Beatle Paul McCartney.

The Cast

Raphael Bar (Meadows)

His recent theatre credits include a national tour of Out of Order directed by Ray Cooney, The Club and Break Time (Tristan Bates), If My Heart Was A Closed Camera (Chelsea Theatre), Reprehensible Men (Camden Fringe), Skewed Judgement (Cockpit Theatre). On film he played the title role in the movie Pericles.

Calvin Demba (Dennis)

Calvin had an early break in C4’s Hollyoaks then secured the lead in the hit youth drama Youngers. His other roles include a show-stopping turn in the award-winning play Routes at the Royal Court and the film London Road. He wrote and starred in his first short film RueBoy and will soon be seen in the action film sequel Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle.

Sam Frenchum (Hal)

Sam trained at RADA. He recently had a featured starring role in six episodes of Grantchester as Gary Bell, a mentally-
challenged teenager sentenced to hang for murder that was really an accident. He was Jimmy Parsons in the film Private Peaceful. As a member of the National Youth Theatre he was Dave in Our Days Of Rage (Old Vic Tunnels), Jack in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (Edinburgh Festival), and Orlando in As You Like It, directed by Fiona Laird.

Christopher Fulford (Truscott)

A regular face in British TV and film for over 20 years, he made an early mark playing green-haired punk Alex in the short-lived two-series ITV sitcom, Sorry, I’m A Stranger Here Myself.  Memorably he appeared as a suspected child murderer in Cracker, he played Castor Van Bethoven in the movie Immortal Beloved and he starred as Napoleon in the BBC adaptation of Scarlet and Black alongside the then virtually unknown Ewan McGregor and Rachel Weisz. More recently, he appeared in the ITV1 dramas Whitechapel and Collision, as a suicidal Prime Minister in the TV series The Last Enemy, and as Winston Churchill in Werner Herzog’s movie, Queen of the Desert. On stage he was Rev Parriss in Timothy Sheader’s production of The Crucible at  Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The River Line at Jermyn Street Theatre, Nightingale and Chase directed by Richard Wilson at the Royal Court, The Indian Boy at the RSC and as ”A” in Crave as part of the Sarah Kane Season in Sheffield.

Sinéad Matthews (Nurse McMahon)

Sinéad trained at RADA. Her stage roles include Mrs. Elvsted in Ivo van Hove’s recent Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), Laura in Giving (Hampstead), Jane in Evening at The Talk House (NT), Heather in Wasp (Hampstead). As Hedvig in The Wild Duck, directed by Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse, she won the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. On film she was Queen Victoria in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Miss Topsey in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Alice in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky.

Ian Redford (McLeavy)

Ian’s extensive theatre credits includeThe Alchemist (RSC/Barbican), Mad World My Master (RSC), Candide (RSC), Our Country’s Good (Out Of Joint), Brimstone and Treacle (Arcola), The Gatekeeper (Manchester Royal Exchange), Love the Sinner (National Theatre), Six Degrees of Separation (Old Vic), Helen (The Globe), Romeo & Juliet (The Globe). TV includes; New Tricks, Mary and Martha, Boogeyman. Film includes; The Trial of the King Killers, I.D, The Remains of the Day, Just Like a Woman.

The Creative Team

Director Michael Fentiman
Designer Gabriella Slade
Lighting Design Elliot Griggs
Sound Design Max Pappenheim
Casting Director Stephen Moore CDG

Produced by Tom O’Connell, James Seabright and The Watermill Theatre in association with King’s Head Theatre
and Park Theatre

John Kingsley “Joe” Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967) 

Between 1963 when his first play was accepted and 1967 when he died, aged just 34, in a frenzied hammer attack in a murder-suicide at the hand of his jealous partner, Kenneth Halliwell, Joe Orton emerged as  a playwright of international reputation.

Fascinated with the macabre, he wrote just a handful of plays, including Entertaining Mr Sloane and What The Butler Saw, but his impact was huge. His reviews ranged from praise to outrage, and the term “Ortonesque”,  describing work characterised by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism, was in common useage. Like Oscar Wilde before him, Orton’s plays scandalised audiences, but his wit made the outrage scintillating.

At the time of his death, aged 34, he was the toast of London, he had an award-winning West End play, two more plays broadcast on TV, was appearing on TV chat shows and had been commissioned to write a movie script for The Beatles. In the end, his death was more lurid than anything he put on stage and made front page news.


Tom O’Connell, James Seabright
and The Watermill Theatre in association
with King’s Head Theatre and Park Theatre

by Joe Orton

Thursday 17 August – Saturday 24 September

Park Theatre
Clifton Terrace
Finsbury Park
N4 3JP
Box office: 020 7870 6876

Previews: 17 – 19 August
Plays: 17 August – 24 September
Press Night: Wednesday 23 August at 7.00pm

Tue – Sat Evening 7.30pm
Thu & Sat Matinees 3.00pm
Sun 27 August 3.00pm
3, 10 & 24 September 3.00pm

Young Patrons
17 – 23 August Tickets £10*

Previews £18.50
Tuesday – Thursday  & Saturday matinees
Standard £20.00 – £26.50
Concessions £18.50
Friday – Sunday evening & Sundays
Standard £25.00 – £29.50
Concessions £22.00
Child (Under 16) £15*
*Subject to availability. T&Cs apply.
Groups: Buy 10 tickets get the 11th free
*Telephone booking fee: 10%
(capped at £2.50 per ticket)

Thursday 28 September  – Saturday  21 October

The Watermill Theatre
RG20 8AE
Box Office: 01635 46044

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
Saturday 21 October performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Monday evenings, Wednesday and Saturday matinees:
£15.50 and £15
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings:
£24, £22, £15
Friday and Saturday evenings:
£26.50, £24.50, £16.50

First Week Special:
On the first Thursday and Friday seats are £15.50 and £15
(no other discounts apply)

Initial casting announced for the World Premiere production of RABBITS at Park Theatre

Alex Ferns © Joe Boggon

Alex Ferns © Joe Boggon

A new black comedy tale of marital strife and bunny murder comes to Park Theatre from Joe Hampson, the writer of Skins, The News Quiz & Newsjack who makes his stage writing debut with Rabbits. An exploration of contemporary sexual politics, Rabbits follows the fallout as Frank prepares to save his and Susan’s marriage by taking their pet rabbit to be murdered – by a psychopath. With caustic jokes and abominable intentions, the production will run 26 July – 19 August 2017, with an official press night on Friday 28 July.

The production will star Alex Ferns (Legend, The Legend of Tarzan, EastEnders) and David Schaal (The Inbetweeners, The Office), with additional casting to be announced.

When Frank asks a stranger to kill his pet rabbit, it appears to be an isolated act of desperation, mania and warped logic. However, as Frank and Susan delve into their issues and try to repair their spiraling marriage, we see their private lives unravel and the initial bunny slaying takes on a whole new dimension, revealing what is really at the heart of their relationship.

Joe Hampson said: “Since starting out working on shows about teenage relationships and then moving on to write about more mature, complex and irregular ones, the same question always appears: what is it that is keeping these people together? As our collective understanding of sexual politics and the makeup of relationships has taken a dramatic step away from traditional ideas of heteronormative monogamy, it is interesting to question what drives two or more people to intertwine their lives and what it takes to sustain that commitment, whatever form the relationship takes.”

Rabbit is directed by Sadie Spencer, whose directing credits include: Cautionary Kate (King’s Head Theatre); Albee Vector the Sound Collector (tour with House Theatre Network, Bristol Old Vic); and Seeing Double (Pleasance, Camden People’s Theatre). She was a finalist in the 2017 JMK competition and her associate credits include: What’s in a Name (Birmingham Rep, Jeremy Sams) and Outside Mullingar (Ustinov Studio, Sam Yates).

David Schaal

David Schaal

David Schaal’s theatre credits includes: American Justice (Arts Theatre), Beggars Bush (Globe Theatre/Latitude Festival), Brotherly Love (Edinburgh Festival), The Roman Bath (Arcola Theatre), and Cyrano De Bergerac (Manchester Royal Exchange). His television appearances include: The Inbetweeners (Ch4), Fearless (ITV), Frontier (Netflix), We The Jury (BBC), Modern Toss (Ch4), Ashes To Ashes (BBC), The IT Crowd (Ch4), Doc Martin (BBC), and The Office (BBC). His film credits include: The Inbetweeners Movie, 101 Year Old Man, Fallen, The Inbetweeners 2, Pirates – In An Adventure with Scientists, and Kidulthood.

Alex Ferns’ theatre credits include: Out There On Fried Meat Ridge and The Father (Trafalgar Studios), True West (Tricycle), South Pacific (Barbican), The Hard Man (King’s Theatre),  Guys & Dolls (West End), ID (Almeida Theatre) and Coyote On A Fence (West End/Royal Exchange. Alex’s screen credits include: Romans (Dreamscape), Legend (Working Title Films), Tarzan (Warner Brothers), Hot Property (Fortune Films), Joyeux Noel (Nord-oust  Prod), River City (BBC), Taboo (BBC), Wallander (BBC & Left Bank), The Passing Bells (BBC), 24: Live Another Day (Sky 1/Netflix), The Widower (ITV) and Low Winter Sun (Channel 4). Alex is of course also well known for his role as Trevor Morgan in EastEnders.

Venue: PARK90, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP
Dates: 26 July – 19 August 2017
Press Night: Friday 28 July, 7pm
Performances: Evenings Tue – Sat 7.45pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 3.15pm
Running time:
Prices: £14.50 Previews / £18 Full / £16.50 Concessions/ £13 Child/ £10 Young Patrons (26 Jul – 2 Aug)
Age Guidance: 12+
Booking: / 020 7870 6876
*10% telephone booking fee, capped at £2.50 per ticket

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T’Nia Miller The Ugly One at Park Theatre Cast Interview: “You’ll find us congregating in the bar which stock Kraken rum, so I’m as happy as a pig in …”

T'Nia Miller
T'Nia Miller

T’Nia Miller

Do you think everyone does have body confidence issues? Some people seem to have none at all, do they just not realise it?
No I don’t think everyone has body issues despite the media’s efforts to make us feel inferior in some way or other. Within different cultures ‘body issues’ are non-existent and emphasis on self-worth is measured  on less fickle values/ideals.

Is it quite fun working at Park Theatre?
You’ll find us often congregating in the bar which stock Kraken rum, so I’m as happy as a pig in …

What drew you to auditioning for The Ugly One?
Well  it’s a very funny play and I rarely get to do much theatre. I also hugely admire our director and love working with him.

Getting older is quite fun isn’t it: do you need time to pass so that you can look back with wisdom?
Is getting old fun? Umm personally I wouldn’t know as I’m 21 years young. I’ll have to trust you on that one. I have to say I’ve found wisdom in the voices of four year olds as well as those in their twilight years.

What can audiences expect from The Ugly One 10 years on since it was last seen?
I imagine it’s still as side splitting ten years ago as it is today! On a more serious note If things continue to head the way they are in the western world and with the impact of globalisation I imagine it will still be very much relevant in ten years’ time.


How have the performances been going? Is it fun performing in an intimate space such as Park 90?
Every night is different still so much to explore and learn.

Can you describe your director (Roy) in 3 words?
No. Joking umm he’s intelligent, innovative fun

Last question – easy one – Do any of you share the view that some take that Brexit and Trump are good for arts and culture?
I can’t even deal … seriously I could write a dissertation on this question alone.

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The Ugly One at Park Theatre, Interview: Arian Nik: “Art, theatre & performance is one of the best outlets of frustration & another opportunity to have you voice heard.”

Charlie Dorfman and Arian Nik in The Ugly One. Photo Credit Helen Maybanks
Charlie Dorfman and Arian Nik in The Ugly One. Photo Credit Helen Maybanks

Charlie Dorfman and Arian Nik in The Ugly One. Photo Credit Helen Maybanks

Their PR asked if I’d like to have a chat with the cast of Buckland Theatre Company’s The Ugly One and I said ‘yes please, can I ask them all the same question?’ and before they had a chance to say no I did just that.
 During the course of what follows you will hear various cast members talking about various things. Specifically: getting older, The Ugly One (obviously) and more.
 ‘FYI’ The Ugly One is a scalpel sharp comedy on beauty, identity and getting ahead in life. You will also bear witness to a question about Trump and Brexit’s impact on arts and culture. Oh and it runs at the Park Theatre until 24 June.
Arian Nik answers the same set of questions as Indra Ové yesterday.
Do you think everyone does have body confidence issues? Some people seem to have none at all, do they just not realise it?
I can’t really speak for others, but as far as my own confidence goes – I think we live in a society now where there are so many pressures from the media that it’s hard not to have hang ups about your appearance!

Is it quite fun working at Park Theatre?
Working at The Park Theatre has been a blast so far. I trained at Mountview  Academy in North London so spent a lot of my time as an acting student seeing productions at The Park- feels awesome to now be on the other side. The theatre is always buzzing & the staff are super friendly.

What drew you to auditioning for The Ugly One?
There were so many reasons! Having visited The Park so much as a student, to perform there was always a goal of mine. Secondly, the piece itself excited me so much! I had loads of questions & was hungry to explore the possible answers. Above all – I wanted to work with Roy. His approach to text & story telling rang true with me. I was itching to create with him.


Getting older is quite fun isn’t it: do you need time to pass so that you can look back with wisdom?
I don’t believe wisdom necessarily comes from age or time, but from experience. One person can experience more in a year than another person may do in a lifetime. The experiences offer the wisdom. Not age, nor time.
But yes, getting older is fun. I counted down the days till I could get my hands on a Drivers Licence.

What can audiences expect from The Ugly One 10 years on since it was last seen?
Audiences can expect an exciting, thought-provoking & hilarious night out. The play is more relevant than ever. The issues explored & the expectations from the world of the play are perhaps more relatable now than they were 10 years ago.

How have the performances been going? Is it fun performing in an intimate space such as Park 90?
The preview period has been so much fun. The audiences have been warm & welcoming which has really allowed us to explore, cement but above all – PLAY.

Can you describe your director (Roy) in 3 words?
Open. Playful. Supportive.

Last question – easy one – Do any of you share the view that some take that Brexit and Trump are good for arts and culture?
As long as there are no cuts or shunning involved- yes. World politics is igniting something within people more so than ever. Art, theatre & performance is one of the best outlets of frustration & another opportunity to have you voice heard.

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The Ugly One at Park Theatre – Cast Interview – Indra Ové: “I’ve enjoyed getting older. Age has never worried me. Live in the moment!”

Indra Ové in rehearsals for Buckland Theatre Company’s The Ugly One at Park90. Credit Helen Maybanks
Indra Ové in rehearsals for Buckland Theatre Company’s The Ugly One at Park90. Credit Helen Maybanks

Indra Ové in rehearsals for Buckland Theatre Company’s The Ugly One at Park90. Credit Helen Maybanks

Their PR asked if I’d like to have a chat with the cast of Buckland Theatre Company’s The Ugly One and I said ‘yes please, can I ask them all the same question?’ and before they had a chance to say no I did just that.
During the course of what follows you will hear various cast members talking about various things. Specifically: getting older, The Ugly One (obviously) and more.
‘FYI’ The Ugly One is a scalpel sharp comedy on beauty, identity and getting ahead in life. You will also bear witness to a question about Trump and Brexit’s impact on arts and culture. Oh and it runs at the Park Theatre until 24 June.
Anyway, here is what Indra had to say for herself.

Do you think everyone does have body confidence issues? Some people seem to have none at all, do they just not realise it?
Yes I think most Women in the West have body confidence issues. We’re made to. I think its part of a beauty conspiracy. Created by the press, by cosmetics firms and the drug industry. If people don’t have it they are very lucky. Men suffer much, much less than women. Though the pressure is effecting them too now.

Is it quite fun working at Park Theatre?
Yes enormous fun. It’s a great theatre and space. And I’m local so it’s pure joy for me!

What drew you to auditioning for The Ugly One?

The script!! I loved it from my first read. I love the way it’s written and I love the subject. It’s so important. And I really enjoy the mixture of tragedy and comedy. And the dynamic change of characters. I love my three Fannys. It’s great to go from playing someone my own age into someone aged 73! And I wanted the opportunity to work with Roy. We’d met a lot in the past year and I was keen to work with him. And since the Park has opened I’ve wanted to work here!!

Getting older is quite fun isn’t it: do you need time to pass so that you can look back with wisdom?
Yes I’ve enjoyed getting older. Age has never worried me. Experience and wisdom is a great and liberating thing. Live in the moment!

What can audiences expect from The Ugly One 10 years on since it was last seen?

A fascinating reflection of what’s happening in Western society today that I think is even more significant, relevant now than 10 years ago.


How have the performances been going? Is it fun performing in an intimate space such as Park 90?

Performances have been great. Especially as we’ve had packed houses, and such responsive audiences. It’s great working in such an intimate space and being so up close and personal with the audience.

Can you describe your director (Roy) in 3 words?
Funny Brave Playful & Creative

Last question – easy one – Do any of you share the view that some take that Brexit and Trump are good for arts and culture?
No Brexit and Trump are incredibly dangerous for the arts!!