London’s newest Off-West End venue, the Playground Theatre, will officially open its doors to the public for the first time next month with the world premiere of PICASSO, a new play about the renowned artist starring Peter Tate in the title role.
PICASSO, written by Terry D’Alfonso and directed by Michael Hunt, runs from 1 to 25 November 2017 at the Playground, which has been created in a converted bus depot in Ladbroke Grove in west London, one of the most culturally diverse areas of the capital.
“When I love a woman everything is torn apart, everything, including the woman, including my paintings, including myself. Over this, I have no control.
PICASSO is a revealing portrait of the greatest artist of the twentieth century, his unremitting and unshakeable creative drive, his life and his loves. The Spanish painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker and poet’s impact on 20th-century Western culture is immeasurable.
For Pablo Picasso, art and creativity were etched into the soul. It was his reason to be. Yet, he was also driven by his relationship with women. Picasso was notorious for having many lovers, but his artworks depicting those women are among his most revered paintings.
Terry D’Alfonso’s new play explores five of his most significant relationships, all of which had a great effect on his life and work. PICASSO combines live performance with film to cast light on this creative titan of modern art.
Co-artistic director of the Playground, Anthony Biggs, commented:
“We are tremendously excited to launch The Playground Theatre with this visceral and challenging work. It is very much a statement of intent. There’s a real buzz about this theatre, a sense of creativity and possibility, and it is exciting to be welcoming in an audience to experience our work for the first time. The Playground has always been a place for artists to develop ideas and push boundaries, so it’s fitting that our inaugural production should be about Picasso, one of history’s most influential artists.”
Peter Tate is joined in PICASSO by Adele Oni as Picasso’s lover French philanthropist, filmmaker and model Genevieve Laporte, Claire Bowman as Marie Therese Walter the artist’s model and longtime mistress, and Spanish actress Alejandra Costa as Jacqueline Roque, his enigmatic last muse.
In addition, filmed inserts will feature Italian film actress Sandra Collodel as Picasso’s lover Dora Maar, fellow Italian TV star Margot Sikabonyi as Marie Therese Walter, and Russian ballet dancer and stage, television and film actress Milena Vukotic as Picasso’s first wife Olga Khokhlova. The premiere production is designed by Klara Zieglerova and lighting by David Cunningham.
About the Playground
The Playground Theatre’s mission is to work with both established and emerging artists in the UK and Internationally. The ethos is one of cross-fertilisation between different forms and different cultures with the aim of creating work that is bold and imaginative, whilst fully engaging the rich diversity of the community of which it is part. Last week it was announced that The Playground Theatre has been nominated for Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2017.
Peter Tate trained at Webber Douglas in London and with Stella Adler in New York, where he began his career. Credits there included The Bacchae directed by Michael Cacoyannis, on Broadway, and Richard III with the American Shakespeare Company. He returned to London to play a leading role at The National Theatre opposite Alan Bates. An invitation by the Actors Studio New York, took him back to the US to play the co- lead as Prince Felix Yussopov, in Rasputin opposite Peter Stormare. More recently, he played the lead in Tabloid Caligula at the Brits Off-Broadway festival at 59E59th St Theatre. Peter has played many leading roles in the UK, including at the Almeida (The Master in Master and Margarita), the Lyric, Hammersmith (General Khludov in Flight by Bulgakov) and Senator Daniels in American Justice at the Arts Theatre in the West End. Peter was also invited by one of Poland’s top directors, Henryk Baranowski, twice winner of Russia’s top award as best director, to play Macbeth in a bi-lingual production, in Poland. Peter has performed his show Odd Man Out at many international festivals worldwide including in the USA, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Germany, and Russia.
Sandra Collodel is an Italian actress who has appeared in many Italian films including Things from Another World by Francesco Patierno and Unfair Competition by Ettore Scola, a five times Oscar nominee and starred Gereard Depardieu.
Margot Sikabonyi is an Italian actress who started her career at the age of 11. Became well-known in Italy through the tv series A Family Doctor in which she appeared in nine series of the show. In 2012 she appeared the film, Two Married People, shot in Canada and directed by Jim Bates. The film won the 2014 MIFF Award as Best Screenplay and Margot was nominated for Best Female Performance.
Milena Vukotic is known for her role of Pina in the Fantozzi series of comedy films. Additional screen credits include Arabella, The Adventurers, Blood for Dracula, Max, Mon Amour, Monsignor, Juliet of the Spirits, A Good Woman and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgoiese. Luis Bunuel said of Milena: ’She is my favourite actress’. She appeared in several films of his as well as working with Fellini ,Zefferelli and Tarkovsky She had a recurring role on the French television series Une famille formidable. In 1987 she played in the German series Anna, which was a big success in the German-speaking countries.