Artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, has today announced her inaugural season, beginning this September.
The season opens with The Village, a new adaptation of Lope de Vega’s masterpiece Fuenteovejuna by April de Angelis. A powerful play about community and solidarity, Fall directs the production in homage to Joan Littlewood, who staged the production at Theatre Royal Stratford East under the title The Sheepwell in 1955. Transported to contemporary India and with a renewed poignancy, Fall’s first production runs from 7 September to 6 October 2018 (press night is 13 September).
October sees the return of Cassa Pancho’s hugely popular Ballet Black, who as part of their partnership with the theatre return for their third consecutive year with a new double bill.
This is followed by the European premiere of Sarah DeLappe’s award-winning debut play The Wolves which premièred in 2016 in the US. Directed by artistic director of the Gate Theatre, Ellen McDougall, The Wolves plays from 24 October to 17 November 2018 (press night is 30 October).
Matthew Xia returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East, having previously directed at the theatre, as well as being a member of the theatre’s young company, to direct the much-loved annual pantomime opening in December.
Staying true to its critically acclaimed tradition, Sleeping Beauty, with the book by Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton with music and lyrics by Robert Hyman, will also feature original songs (1 December 2018 to 12 January 2019 (press night is 8 December).
In the new year Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth’s production of The Unreturning has its London première when it comes to Stratford as part of the show’s UK tour (16 January to 2 February 2019 (press night is 17 January).
Written by Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting winner Anna Jordan and directed by Frantic Assembly associate director Neil Bettles, the production celebrates the 10th anniversary of Frantic Assembly’s Ignition training programme, of which Theatre Royal Stratford East has been a partner.
Following on is a co-production of Peter Shaffer’s classic play Equus with English Touring Theatre. Directed by Ned Bennett, this bold new revival will open at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February ahead of a UK tour (15 February to 23 March 2019).
Opening in May 2019, Fall directs August Wilson’s King Hedley II in the first production of Wilson’s work staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Set against the backdrop of Reagan-era America, this touching and angry play will make up the penultimate production of the season.
The season concludes with an ambitious production with large-scale community and school participation to be directed by Lyndsey Turner. Further details will be announced shortly.
Artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, said today:
“I’m excited to kick start my first season as artistic director with The Village, in a new adaptation by April de Angelis of Fuenteovejuna, a story that our founding mother, the great Joan Littlewood first brought to Stratford East in 1955. For me the play is ultimately about the power of community and a warning shot to authority. I especially love that it’s the story’s heroine that leads the way in ‘sticking it to the man’, as we transport the play to contemporary India.
“This season was built for all of us who love a good story, told from the mouths of everyday characters. There are no kings or queens here, just people like us.”