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Rehearsals begin for THE TELL-TALE HEART at the National Theatre

THE TELL-TALE HEART

A young playwright rents an attic flat in Brighton, hoping it will break the writer’s block that’s preventing her from following up on her wildly successful debut. Whilst there, she forms a relationship with her landlady, a lonely young woman with a life-altering condition.

But pressure mounts on the writer, and her relationship with the landlady becomes ever-more suffocating. The Tell-Tale Heart is a twisted, graphic and darkly-comic treat.

Renowned for his ground-breaking work, Anthony Neilson (The PrudesUnreachableThe Wonderful World of Dissocia) makes his NT debut with this contemporary reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of a haunted conscience. Cast includes David Carlyle,Imogen Doel and Tamara Lawrance.

Directed by Anthony Neilson, design by Francis O’Connor, lighting design by Chahine Yavrayan and music and sound by Nick Powell.

A new play by Anthony Neilson

Based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe

Previews in the Dorfman Theatre from 5 December, press night 12 December, playing until 9 January

Anthony Neilson directs ACT and TERMINAL 3 by major Swedish playwright Lars Norén at the Print Room at the Coronet

ACT and TERMINAL 3
ACT and TERMINAL 3

ACT and TERMINAL 3

ACT and TERMINAL 3 by Lars Norén – a double-bill of hard hitting and deceptively simple short plays from Swedish master-playwright Lars Norén, directed by Anthony Neilson.

Lars Norén – playwright, poet and novelist – is thought by many to be the greatest living Swedish writer. For many years Artistic Director of the Riksteatern, the National Touring Theatre of Sweden, his work is hugely influential, interrogating the human psyche in a style that veers between realism and fantasy, with devastating results.  An heir to August Strindberg, this is the literary tradition behind the much-acclaimed Nordic-noir drama.   “Considered the most important playwright since August Strindberg in his native Sweden.” New York Times

Reimagined in a near future USA in the aftermath of a second civil warAct is a prescient interrogation of faith, conscience and atrocity and what is excusable during war. In a hospital examination room, a doctor assesses a female prisoner, accused of being a terrorist and now on hunger strike.

Then, storylines intertwine in Terminal 3. A young couple await the birth of their first child, while in the same place two people wait to identify the body of their dead son. What truths emerge from the birth – and death – of a child? How does the birth – and death – of a child affect the lives and relationships of the parents?

Anthony Neilson is one of the most extraordinary – and controversial – dramatists working today. His previous work, including The Prudes, Narrative, Unreachable and Relocated at the Royal Court Theatre, The Wonderful World of Dissocia and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Realism at the Edinburgh International Festival.

The cast will be Barnaby Power, Robert Stocks, Temi Wilkey and Hannah Young.

Design is by Laura Hopkins, with lighting by Chahine Yavroyan.

BIOGRAPHIES

Barnaby Power – previously worked with Anthony Neilson in Narrative and Wonderful World of Dissocia at the Royal Court Theatre. Other stage appearances include Laurel and Hardy, Faust, Charlie Sonata and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); Removal Men (The Yard Theatre); Interiors; The Destroyed Room (Vanishing Point/Edinburgh International Festival); Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night (RSCand Somersaults (National Theatre of Scotland).

Robert Stocks – Theatre credits include Warburg in Mrs Orwell (the Old Red Lion and Southwark Playhouse), Seppings in Jeeves and Wooster (World Tour) and Hare in The Butcher and the Thief (Edinburgh Festival)
His previous credits with Anthony Neilson include Bernard in Get Santa (The Royal Court) and Bufty in The Menu (National Studio).

Temi Wilkey – trained at Cambridge University. Her theatre credits include: Jubilee (Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Exchange); Hamlet and Cymbeline (RSC), The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre); and How To Hold Your Breath (Royal Court); TV credits include Manhunt (ITV)

Hannah Young – Theatre: The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale, Coriolanus, The Drunks, Little Eagles (RSC) Corporate Rock (Nabokov), The Lady From The Sea (Birmingham Rep) The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Yvonne Arnaud) As You Desire Me, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (West End) Time and the Conways (TR Bath) First Love (Royal Court) A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida) Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Liverpool Everyman) Screen: The Robinsons, Offenders, Alan’s Breakfast

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Dates and Times:  1-30 June at 7.30pm
Press Night: Tue 5 June at 7pm
Tickets: £20 / £25.   All Concessions – £15
Wednesdays 6, 13, 20, 27 June – all tickets £8.50
Multibuy tickets:  Book three full price events and receive a 20% discount

To Book:
Tel:   020 3642 6606
Online: the-print-room.org

In person:  103 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3LB.
t: @the_printroom

Unreachable – a fascinating theatrical experiment that represents ego and art without being overbearing

Anthony Neilson’s hilarious new play is about a director going through a difficult time. It is like a rush of blood to the head. After five weeks of much publicised unscripted rehearsals there’s no point in resisting – and there’s no need – because it is captivating.

Matt Smith in Unreachable

Matt Smith in Unreachable

As is the way with these things, it’s hard to get a proper feel for a play of this nature  on one viewing, but ‘Unreachable’ feels like a genuine attempt to steal the 2016 theatre throne, as well as being the kind of gloriously all over the shop production that you often get when the country’s acting and production cream of the crop decide that they all want to get involved with a writer while the theatre iron is extremely hot.

Is ‘Unreachable’ difficult to grasp? No. Neilson’s theme, in fact, is less than the crippling uncertainty that stems from not being comfortable in your skin. Leading a fine cast, Matt Smith is superb as the lost and troubled Maxim, intoxicating and uncomfortable to watch, like the show itself.

Though it suffers from tonal inconsistency everything is elevated by an excellent cast. There are off-kilter moments throughout, you’d expect that, but the subject matter and the hilarious performance of Jono O’Neill as Ivan goes a long way toward forgiving the play’s strange anomalies. This is an entertainingly alive psychodrama that hits many of the beats, but lacks depth.

The potency of the evening is magnified by Chloe Lamford’s monochrome design, in which black and white wash the set and cast, and four metallic screens frame the action on the stage. And like all Nielson’s work, this is likely to be a constant work in progress.
I’m already looking forward to the second coming of this show. Seriously, well done all concerned.

Unreachable is at the Royal Court, London, until August 6.
To book tickets, visit  www.royalcourtheatre.com or call 020 7565 5000