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Mouthpiece transfers to Soho Theatre, London in Spring 2019

Traverse Theatre

Mouthpiece – Kieran Hurley’s gripping, provocative and critically-acclaimed smash hit exploring issues of class and culture – will transfer to Soho Theatre, London in April (2 Apr-4 May).

Following hot on the heels of a sold-out world premiere run as the centerpiece of the Traverse Theatre’s Autumn/Winter 2018 season, the transfer sees playwright Kieran Hurley return to Soho Theatre for the first time following his successful debut show Beats.

Produced in association with HighTide, and directed by the Traverse’s former Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin, Mouthpiece is an unexpected, darkly comic and at times shocking story of two unlikely lives intertwined.

Reprising their roles will be Neve McIntosh (Libby) and Lorn Macdonald (Declan). Libby whiles away her days in New Town cafés and still calls herself a writer – but she’s not put pen to page for years. Declan is a talented young artist struggling with a volatile home life on the outskirts of the city. As the two form an uneasy relationship, complicated by class and culture, Libby spots an opportunity to put her writing career back on track, and tell a story that really matters – Declan’s story. It’s a deeply personal look at the different Edinburghs which often exist in ignorance of one another, and examines whether it’s possible to tell someone else’s story without exploiting them.

A hit amongst audiences and critics alike, the production received a glowing set of five-star reviews and sparked lively debate, with The Stage calling it ‘a strong contender for Scotland’s best play of 2018’, while The Skinny praised the performances as being ‘utterly captivating’ and The National hailed it as ‘sharp and voracious, with plenty to say’.

Speaking to The Herald about the play’s pertinence, Hurley said: “I hope it says something about who gets to tell stories, about the stories that are excluded and some of the complexities around class… It’s about who does or doesn’t get to produce art and culture in society. Out of that comes a much bigger conversation about privilege and power.

LISTINGS:

Soho Theatre, London, W1D 3NE

Tue 2 Apr-Sat 4 May 2019

Tickets on sale now: 020 7478 0100 and online at sohotheatre.com

New musical The View Upstairs to play a limited season at  Soho Theatre

The View Upstairs
The View Upstairs

The View Upstairs

Jack Maple & Brian Zeilinger for Take Two Theatricals, and Ken Fakler present the European premiere of new LGBTQ+ musical THE VIEW UPSTAIRS from 18 July to 31 August at Soho Theatre, following a triumphant run Off-Broadway, multiple regional US productions and a recent Australian premiere, THE VIEW UPSTAIRS is written by young up-and-coming artist Max Vernon and will be directed in London by Jonathan O’Boyle (Aspects of Love, Pippin, Hair), with choreography by Fabian Aloise (The Rink, Madagascar The Musical, Our House, Working). There will be a national press night on Tuesday 23 July. Casting is to be announced.

Max Vernon is a three-time Drama Desk nominee, Out100 Honoree and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Richard Rodgers Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova, Kimmel Center (via The Public Theater), Disney Creative Entertainment and Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, among others. His musical KPOP had a sell-out run at Ars Nova in October 2018 and was the most nominated Off-Broadway show of the 2017/18 season. Max’s notable concert performances include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Max said of the London production, “As a devotee and lover of British theatre, art, music and culture (from Caryl Churchill and Joe Orton to Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, Roxy Music, T. Rex and Siouxsie and The Banshees), it has been a lifelong dream of mine to bring an original musical to London. For that show to be The View UpStairs – which is high fashion, rock and roll, queer, subversive, and speaks to an important forgotten history in the LGBTQ+ community – that is an enormous opportunity. I’m obsessed with the director & producing team’s vision for how to mount this work. We are ready to turn it the f*q out and create something iconic & unheard of at the Soho Theatre.”

The musical opens in present day when Wes, a young fashion designer buys an abandoned space, not realising this had been the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant ’70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans, which, in 1973, was burned down in an arson attack, killing 32 people, making it the worst attack on the LGBTQ+ community until the 2016 shooting at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. THE VIEW UPSTAIRS brings to life this forgotten community and takes the audience on an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration, celebrating the lives of those forgotten, while featuring a soulful, rock and jazz score.

Jonathan O’Boyle said, “I’m thrilled to be working with Max Vernon on his brilliant new musical The View Upstairs for its European premiere at Soho Theatre this summer. The View Upstairs is a beautiful, uplifting musical that celebrates the lives of these forgotten people. Max is a brilliant new voice in modern musical theatre, and this show, inspired by true events, takes us on a radical, rollercoaster ride through the extraordinary lives of these special human beings.”

THE VIEW UPSTAIRS opened to rave reviews Off-Broadway in 2017, where Entertainment Weekly described it as “a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present”, and the musical gained support from some of the LGBTQ+ community’s biggest advocates, including RuPaul. The London production of the musical is one of ten that have been and are being mounted around the world between 2017 and 2019, and there is an original cast recording available on Broadway Records.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

18 July – 31 August

21 Dean St,
Soho,
London W1D 3NE

Performance Times:
Monday – Saturday at 7.15pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm

Tickets: from £10 (standing) and £19.50 (£18.50 concessions) seated. Please note, £1 restoration levy on all tickets.

Box Office:  020 7478 0100

Tickets:  www.sohotheatre.com
Website: www.theviewupstairs.co.uk
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @theviewupstairs

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Provocative, funny, confronting – Soho Theatre’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme 2018

Underground Railroad Game. Photo by Ben Arons
Natalie Palamides: NATE. Photo by Nick Rasmussen

Natalie Palamides: NATE. Photo by Nick Rasmussen

‘Soho Theatre is back at the world’s biggest arts festival with unheard voices from across the globe. Class, gender and identity pulses through the heart of the work with these entertaining and truly live artists from around the world. From Cork to New York, we have it covered from the newest of angles.’ Steve Marmion, Artistic Director

Underground Railroad Game. Photo by Ben Arons

Underground Railroad Game. Photo by Ben Arons

From the most provocative new theatre to cabaret that confronts and comedy that takes home the Festival’s biggest prize, Soho Theatre’s Edinburgh Fringe has always been an exceptional offering of some of the most talked about talent from within and beyond UK’s borders. This year will be no different as we present a programme of 15 new shows by award winners and nominees alongside exciting festival debutantes from around the world.

OBIE Award Winner for Best New American Theatre Work, Underground Railroad Game, is a no holds barred look at race, sex and power politics in America. A poignant yet explosive exploration of one of the most toxic of American legacies; a playful teaching exercise which throws off its disguise to become a theatrical firecracker.First produced in New York by the award-winning theatre Ars Nova, the play will have its UK premiere at the Traverse immediately followed by a run at Soho Theatre’s Dean Street home.

Le Gateau Chocolat: ICONS. Photo by Eli Schmidt

Le Gateau Chocolat: ICONS. Photo by Eli Schmidt

Shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s biennial Verity Bargate Award, award-winning writer and performer Karen Cogan’s Drip Feed is a fast new, infectiously dark comedy about the messiness of being young, female and queer in Ireland. Though set in the 90s this is a story marked by issues demanding consideration in Ireland 2018: sexuality, intimacy, addiction and mental health.

An arresting first production from writer Ed Edwards, inspired by his own experience, The Political History of Smack and Crack is an angry, funny love-song to a lost generation annihilated by the heroin epidemic of Thatcher’s years, leaping from the 1981 riots to present day survival on the streets of Manchester.

Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer and MICF Barry Award nominee Natalie Palamides wants to know what it means to be a man. Natalie doesn’t have a clue, but NATE does. Natalie is NATE. Co-devised and directed by Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Doctor Brown, join NATE on his struggle to find self-expression and true love, all while still upholding society’s pressures ‘to be a man’.  

 International debuts include award-winning Ivan Aristeguieta (Winner Best Newcomer 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival, Best Comedy Adelaide Fringe 2017) who emigrated to Australia from Venezuela only to become one of the hottest comics Down Under; Journalist, Bollywood Film Writer and India’s Most Intelligent Comedian (New York Times) Anuvab Pal who has a colonial hangover in ‘New India’ in his show Empire, and; New York’s cosmic comedian Myq  Kaplan, who wants to take audiences (and himself, and the universe) on a journey of kindness in All Killing Aside, a comedy show about truth, love, and not murdering.

From the UK, last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show nominee Ahir Shah returns to Cabaret Voltaire with Duffer, another high-intensity stand-up show full of political vigour, philosophical inquiry and sweet gags. Best Newcomer nominee Lauren Pattison is looking forward to delivering some new home truths with her wicked, warm and authentic brand of humour, following her whirlwind year of awards, nominations and sold-out shows. And Jessie Cave brings her acute blend of confessional comedy and DIY Performance Art in Sunrise, over-sharing as she does best about heartbreak, motherhood and keeping up the Instagram Illuminati.

After three years away, opera and lycra loving cabaret sensation, Le Gateau Chocolat returns to the Fringe to debut his captivating international smash-hit, Icons. Seamlessly weaving through pop, opera and rock, from Whitney to Pavarotti, Gateau investigates his own objects of worship through the songs and music of his personal icons.

Following their sell-out global-stadium-Pop-tour that came to an earth-shattering finale in Edinburgh last year –DENIM broke up. Humanity has been in mourning. The five queens will reunite for one night only. All month.And, as if that’s not enough, for the first two weeks of the festival Denim are doubling up to present the perfect place for young’uns to scream, dream and become a queen in The Denim Juniors, their first drag pop concert for kids.

Edinburgh Best Newcomer Nominee 2016 Jayde Adams is going full diva this Fringe with glorious gowns, acerbic charm and show-stopping music by Olivier Award winning composer Richard Thomas. And Drag Superstar Jonny Woo and Richard Thomas bring Jonny Woo’s All Star Brexit Cabaret, a sequin-spangled musical ripped straight from the headlines.

LISTINGS

Soho Theatre presents the Ars Nova Production of

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME

Created and performed by Jennifer Kidwell & Scott R. Sheppard

With Lightning Rod Special

Directed by Taibi Magar

Edinburgh Fringe. Traverse 1. UK Premiere. 18+. Duration 75 mins.

Sun 5 – Sun 26 August (not 3, 6, 13, 20, 25). Previews Thu 2 Aug, 7pm & Sat 4 Aug, 5.30pm.

Press night Sun 5 Aug, 9.15pm

Times and dates: 9, 16, 22 Aug, 10am / 23, 26 Aug, 1pm / 10, 17, 24 Aug, 4pm / 4 Aug, 5.30pm / 2, 11, 14, 18 Aug, 7pm /

5 Aug (press), 9.15pm / 7, 8, 12, 15, 19, 21 Aug, 10pm. Tickets £21.50 (£16.50 / £15.00). (£15 / £9 previews).

 

Soho Theatre. Tue 4 – Sat 29 Sep, 7.15pm. Captioned performance Tue 18 Sep, 7.15pm. Tickets from £8

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @arsnova #URGTour

Soho Theatre presents

DRIP FEED

By Karen Cogan

Directed by Oona Murphy. Performed by Karen Cogan.

Assembly George Square, The Bubble.

Wed 1 Aug to Sun 26 Aug, 2.30pm (not 14). 60mins. From £12 (£8 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @KarenMCogan

Most Wanted, Offstage Theatre, Soho Theatre, W14 Productions and Alastair Michael present

THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK

Directed by Cressida Brown

Paines Plough’s Roundabout, Summerhall.

Fri 3 – Sun 26 Aug, 5.30pm (not 7, 14 & 21). 60 mins. From £10 (£9 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @Summerhallery #RoundaboutPP

Soho Theatre in association with Avalon presents

AHIR SHAH: CONTROL

Directed by Adam Brace

Free Fringe. Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire.

Thu 2 – Sat 26 August, 2.15pm. 60 mins

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @ahirshah

Jessie Cave with Soho Theatre c/o Curtis Brown Ltd

JESSIE CAVE: SUNRISE

Directed by Adam Brace

The Stand 3 & 4.

Wed 1 – Sat 26 Aug, 2.25pm (not 13). 60 mins. From £10.

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @jessiecave

Soho Theatre and United Agents present

DENIM: THE DENIM JUNIORS

Directed by Steve Marmion

Assembly George Square, Piccolo

Fri 3 to Sat 19 Aug, 4.30pm (not 13). 60mins. From £9 (£5 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @Denim_uk

Soho Theatre presents

NATALIE PALAMIDES: NATE

Directed by Doctor Brown

Pleasance Courtyard, Beside

Wed 1 – Sat 26 Aug, 6pm (not 13). 60 mins. From £10 (£7 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @natdogkatdog #NATE

David Johnson, Jon Mackay and Reuben Cook in association with Soho Theatre present

JONNY WOO’S ALL STAR BREXIT CABARET

Assembly George Square Gardens

Thu 2 – Mon 27 Aug, 6pm (not 13 & 20). 60mins. From £13 (£8 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @JonnyWooUK

Soho Theatre in association with Mick Perrin Worldwide Management present

ANUVAB PAL: EMPIRE

Pleasance Courtyard, That

Wed 1 – Sat 26 Aug, 7pm (not 13). 60 mins. From £10 (£7 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @AnuvabPal

Soho Theatre in association with United Agents present

LAUREN PATTISON : PEACHY

Pleasance Courtyard, Attic

Wed 1 – Sun 26 Aug, 7pm (not 13). 60mins. From £11 (£6.50 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @laurenpattison

Soho Theatre in association with Laughing Stock Productions present

IVAN ARISTEGUIETA: JUITHY

Edinburgh Fringe

Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker One

Wed 1 to Sat 26 Aug (not 13). 7.15pm. 60 mins. From £10 (£7 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @IvanComedy

Soho Theatre Downstairs

Tue 28 Aug – Sat 1 Sept, 7.30pm. 60 mins. From £11

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @IvanComedy

Soho Theatre presents

LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT: ICONS

Assembly George Square, Piccolo

Thu 2 to Sat 26 Aug, 7.30pm (not 13 & 20). 70mins. From £13 (£8 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @LeGateauChoc

Soho Theatre presents

MYQ KAPLAN: ALL KILLING ASIDE

Underbelly Bristo Square, Fresian

Wed 1 – Sat 26 Aug (not 13), 9.15pm. 60mins. From £11 (£7 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @MyqKaplan

Johnson, Mackay, Soho Theatre and United Agents present

JAYDE ADAMS: THE DIVINE MS JAYDE

Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Two.

Wed 1 – Mon 27 Aug, 9.30pm. 60mins. From £12 (£7.50 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @jaydeadams

Soho Theatre and United Agents present

DENIM: THE REUNION TOUR

Directed by Steve Marmion

Assembly George Square Gardens, Piccolo

Thu 2 to Sat 26 Aug (not 13), 10.30pm. 60mins. From £12 (£7 previews).

sohotheatre.com @sohotheatre @Denim_uk

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Out of Joint Co-Director, Kate Wasserberg, Interview: “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors.”

Kate Wasserberger

Kate WasserbergKate Wasserberg’s new job as co-Artistic Director of Out of Joint sees her joining founder Max Stafford-Clark to helm the company. Out of Joint have performed in six continents and co-produced with leading theatres globally, led from the start by Stafford-Clark.  So, how will the new management structure work? “Max was very central to the recruitment process and we had really honest conversations about the fact that I was already an Artistic Director. I made it clear that I was interested in running the company with him as a partnership, that I wanted us to have a genuine relationship as co-directors and that we would find a way to run it shoulder-to-shoulder,” she says. “Audiences can expect a commitment to political work, alongside a commitment to an aesthetic”, she says. “I want to find a language for my work that is complimentary with Max’s work with Out of Joint, but also distinct, so that we are increasing our breadth as a company. I want us to engage young audiences. I want us to be the hot ticket in town, and I think that often we are – but I want to build on that.”

Variety is the key both to her work and her artistic tastes. “I want to work with new people and I want to open doors. If we all keep working with people we know then there is no way for new people to break in,” she says. Wasserberg wants to be part of a wider conversation that reaches beyond theatre. “One of the reasons that I had to apply for the job was because of the political climate. Out of Joint is one of those companies that directly affects discussions around the kitchen table all up and down Britain. That doesn’t mean that all our work will be political with a capital ‘p’ but it means I’m going to engage with those conversations on a national level.”

There’s no question that Wasserberg has put in the work to reach where she is now. She was Associate Director at Theatr Clwyd and the Finborough Theatre and has directed plays for the Traverse, Soho TheatrePaines Plough and HighTideThe shape of my career is that I’ve made a lot of shows and sometimes I’ve learned by doing it wrong. My work hasn’t been as diverse at it could have been and I probably should have tried harder. That is something that I will be doing,” she says. “I feel like I’ve taken the slow road. It wasn’t my choice and when I was in my twenties and I saw my contemporaries excel I was, at times, envious.”

In 2014, Wasserberg founded and ran the Cardiff pub theatre the Other Room. She and her team achieved some remarkable things in a very short space of time. (The Other Room was named Fringe Theatre of the Year by The Stage in 2016). I ask her what she’ll miss most“Oh God, everything. They are the most remarkable group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with in my life. Every single day we did the impossible. Their standards are really high, they are so passionate, so talented.” She is satisfied with her achievements but looking to the future. “I doubt I’ll have that precise experience again in my life. It was so profound and special. The things that run through The Other Room like a stick of rock: an absolute commitment to artistic excellent, always thinking about the audience first and paying everyone properly. I’m really proud of that.”

When it comes to influences, she cites Emma Rice, Tamara Harvey and Neil McPherson: “Neil taught me that excellence is the only option,” she smiles. I think it’s really important to remain a fan of theatre and stay in love with it.”

We discuss Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s extraordinary play An Octoroon, which is both an adaptation of a 19th-century melodrama and a postmodernist critique of it. “It blew me away – I felt really fired up by it,” she pauses. “I’m quite conflicted too though because I’ve read the Exeunt response and it was so intelligent and considered. It made me question my easy response. My reaction to that work, though, was as a white audience member. I thought it was gloriously bold, I thought the company was incredible. I found it really bracing… the Orange Tree Theatre is a fireball of ingenuity.”

Wasserberg bluntly describes the challenges of being a working mother in this industry. “I struggle with it constantly; it’s a scramble,” she says, “The thing I was unprepared for was the emotional toll of being away from them. I have two extraordinary, resilient and optimistic children, but I still struggle with it. I’m excited to get them to London and as they grow – they may not be interested in the arts at all – but they will meet all sorts of people and their world will be large. I wish I could do all of that and put them to bed every single night… OSunday night I was a bit tearful about being away from home and my husband, who is a very wise man, said: try and enjoy this, you’ve worked so hard for it. If I’m away from them and I feel guilty then there’s no point in doing it”, she declares “so, when I go home I’m going to turn the phone off and live both parts of my life fully.” 

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, A revival of the play, directed by Max Stafford-Clark, tours from September.

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Award winning play Girls coming to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Girls - A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls – A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will make its Edinburgh Festival premiere in 2017. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Girls examines the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

“Why is everyone so bloody obsessed with hashtags?

Can you use it to shoot your way out of here?”

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and how the West often turns a blind eye to the stories behind headlines.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls when she became curious about the girls in the headlines, as well as those that are left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, Theresa works with gangs and serious youth violence offenders in the community, plus young women affected by gang and serious youth violence.

Theresa is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with both HighTide and Soho Theatre.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls won critical acclaim in its opening performances at London’s Soho Theatre, the Birmingham Rep and HighTide Festival in 2016. Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal, which was part of Talawa Firsts in 2014 and staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Girls was the joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015).

www.talawa.com  

@TalawaTheatreCo / @_HighTide_ / @sohotheatre / @TheresaIkoko

LISTINGS

Girls

Venue: Pleasance 2, Pleasance Courtyard

Dates: Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27 August, 12pm

Age Recommendation: 14+

Running Time: 90 mins without interval

Prices: £12 / £10.50 weekend | £11/£9.50 weekday
Box office: www.pleasance.co.uk | 020 7609 1800

HighTide announces programme of comedy and talks for 10th anniversary festival

HighTide Festival, internationally renowned for discovering some of the UK’s best new playwrights and producing new plays, has today announced the full ancillary programme for the 2016 Festival (08 – 18 September). The programmewhich spans performance, music, visual arts, literature and talks, also includes world premiere productions from new and established HighTide writers. For the full festival programme, please visit www.hightide.org.uk.

 The cast of The Sugar-Coated Bullets Of The Bourgeoisie


The cast of The Sugar-Coated Bullets Of The Bourgeoisie
©NOBBY CLARK

HighTide Festival’s Soho Theatre comedy nights are set to return in 2016 with an eclectic programme of acts. The line-up includes: sequin-clad weirdos Bourgeois and Maurice who bring their highly theatrical kaleidoscope of current affairs, moral confusion and social commentary in How to Save the World Without Really Trying; acclaimed cartoonists of the mind, the spectacularly surreal Pajama Men bring a live, comic existential meltdown that takes place as two comedians attempt to stage an epic, historical, romance novel in under an hour; BAFTA-nominated star Spencer Jones arrives with Spencer Jones is The Herbert in ‘Eggy Bagel’, a magical mélange of visual, prop, clown and homemade musical comedy that takes us on a surreal  journey through The Herbert’s childlike world, and finally 2015 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, Nish Kumar, presents Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud, a comedy show about history, democracy and capitalism.

HighTide is also bringing back its hugely successful talks programme Face to Face and The HighTide Symposium.  Esteemed thinkers and experts in their fields who will be in conversation for Face to Face this year include: Alexi Kaye-Campbell (Pride, Sunset at the Villa Thalia) and actors Elizabeth McGovern(Downton Abbey) and Ben Miles (Coupling); Olivier Award-winning actor Celia Imrie and theatre commentator Terri Paddock; esteemed actor Eleanor Bron and Terri Paddock; former Theatre Critic for the Daily Telegraph Charles Spencer and Guardian Theatre Critic Michael Billington; playwright and Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton CBE and Kate Mosse, and Tom Harper, Director of BBC One’s acclaimed War & Peace will talk about his career. The HighTide Symposium brings together theatre experts to explore and reflect on artistic trends, social and political shifts and the strengths and omissions in the new plays produced in British Theatre since HighTide’s first year, a decade ago.

HighTide Festival 2016 will also include four brand new commissions: the world premiere of the Alfred Fagon and George Devine Award-winning Girls (a co-production with Soho Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company) exploring girlhood and enduring friendship against the backdrop of extremism in Nigeria, written by Theresa Ikoko and directed by Elayce Ismail and Elinor Cook’s Pilgrims (a co-production with Theatr Clwyd and Vicky Graham Productions), a psychological battle of the sexes about ambition, colonialism and man’s impulse to conquer the world directed by Tamara Harvey; In Fidelity (in association with Traverse Theatre Company), equal parts inspirational presentation and theatrical experiment, combining a live on-stage date with evolutionary theory written by Rob Drummond, directed by Steven Atkinson comes straight from a hit run at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Anders Lustgarten’s epic The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (a co-production with the Arcola Theatre) which charts the transformation of a rural Chinese village from the Communist revolution through to modern commercialism directed by Steven Atkinson, which opened at the Arcola earlier this year. The Festival will also premiere The Path, a promenade production of seven short new plays created especially for HighTide’s anniversary by Alumni Playwrights and directed by Jude Christian. The 10th Anniversary season also includes Al Smith’s Harrogate at the Royal Court Theatre, transferring from HighTide Festival 2015.

The HighTide Festival 2016 programme also includes readings of new plays, including The Brolly Project by Molly Taylora collaboration between Look Left Look Right, the Young Vic, and HighTide that will be performed by a group of people who either have been, or currently are, working in the sex industry; a new play by Olivier Award nominee Matthew Dunster called Those Who Trespass; and Pentabus present Light in Water by Simon Longman, directed by Elizabeth Freestone. St James Theatre will present a cabaret programme.

The Festival runs 08 – 18 September 2016.

The HighTide Festival 2016 brochure can be accessed online here and contains full listings of all events and readings at the festival.  

Twitter: @_HighTide_
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HighTideTheatre

Soho Theatre, HighTide and Talawa Theatre Company present Theresa Ikoko’s award-winning new play Girls

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate new play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will premiere at HighTide Festival 2016 in September before its London premiere at Soho Theatre on 27 September. The production will also run at Birmingham Rep Theatre in between those dates. Girls was the winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015). 

Cast of Girls

Cast of Girls. Click on the image to book your tickets

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a new play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls to give a voice to girls abducted in Nigeria and around the world in conflict zones. Following Boko Haram’s recent violent uprising, she became frustrated with selective media coverage on attacks that are quickly forgotten, and unreported and overlooked violence ignored by the West. This is a play about the girls in the headlines as well as those left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, she wrote the play alongside her full time job reducing involvement in youth crime and violence as part of a London Borough Gangs Team. She is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with Soho Theatre as part of 2016’s Soho Six.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal which was staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Performances of the production at Soho Theatre are kindly supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts

Important dates:
HighTide Festival: 8 –18 SeptemberPress Day: Saturday 10 Sept
Birmingham Rep: 20 – 24 September
Soho Theatre: 27 Sep – Sat 29 OctPress Night: Thursday 29 September

Contact details for more information:
HighTide Festival:
Maisie Lawrence / [email protected] / 020 7831 7657
Soho Theatre:
Laura Steele / [email protected] / 020 7478 0128
Talawa Theatre Company:
Nick Pearce / [email protected]  / 0203 372 0966

@TheresaIkoko / @sohotheatre /@_HighTide_ /  @TalawaTheatreCo

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