Philip Ridley’s new time-hopping black comedy The Beast of Blue Yonder receives its world premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse in a strictly limited season, running from 2 April to 9 May 2020, with a press night on 7 April. Time to get booking!
Three stories. Three decades. One terror.
In 1930s Hollywood Tex Maverick is casting his new film, Terrorland. He’s not after a star. Just someone who can scream.
In 1980s Essex, young people enjoy a summer’s day at the beach. They eat ice cream. They make plans. Then something happens that changes their lives forever.
In 1960s East London, Scott is mourning the death of his wife. He wants to talk to her again. Then he meets someone who can make that happen. It’s all so perfect. Like in a movie.
Philip Ridley‘s new black comedy is a dazzling, genre-mashing, singing ‘n’ dancing, tour de force of storytelling, where film stars become addicted to strange potions, a town battles with a demonic child, and a burning cinema shines like a new sun.
“Time does strange things to horror and comedy. One can become the other very easily”
Three different stories from three different decades, but all hurtling towards the same thing. That thing that everyone fears the most… The Beast of Blue Yonder.
The Beast of Blue Yonder returns Philip Ridley to Southwark Playhouse where his ANGRY premiered in 2018. That Offie-nominated collection of gender-neutral monologues, also produced by Tramp, saw Georgie Henley and Tyrone Huntley alternating roles at different performances.
Tramp’s other productions include the smash-hit immersive version of Tennessee Williams’ Confessional, also at Southwark, and, premiering this month at VAULT Festival, Blow: A Deaf Girl’s Fight.
Commenting on The Beast of Blue Yonder, Jack Silver, Artistic Director of Tramp, said:
“It’s amazing to be back at Southwark Playhouse with such an incredible piece of writing. When I first read it I was just blown away, but it wasn’t until we started auditions that I realised quite how incredible Phil’s writing is. It gives the actors a blank canvas and yet there’s a magnetic rhythm to the words.”
The premiere production is directed by Russell Bolam, with sound by Max Pappenheim, casting by Jane Frisby and assistant direction by Wiebke Green.
Since his breakthrough debut play The Pitchfork Disney (1991) and follow-up The Fastest Clock in the Universe (1992), both considered seminal “in-yer-face” works, multi-award-winning Philip Ridley has continued to create theatre that provokes controversy and breaks boundaries. His many other plays for adults include Vincent River, revived last year at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios, Angry, Radiant Vermin, The Pitchfork Disney, Tender Napalm, Dark Vanilla Jungle, Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights and Leaves of Glass.
Ridley also wrote the screenplay for the 1990 film The Krays, as well as various children’s novels, short story and poetry collections, radio plays and short films. He’s also an accomplished songwriter, photographer and painter.
What critics say about Philip Ridley
Ridley has been astounding and confounding critics for years.
“One of Britain’s greatest living playwrights” – Independent
“The master of modern myth” – Guardian
“Delivers the goods with a punch in the gut and a burst vein in the head” – Arts Desk (about Angry)
“Ridley’s play is completely and dizzyingly of itself. The writing seethes and burns… Seldom has sexual love been explored on stage with such ferocious honesty” – Guardian (on Tender Napalm)
“Outstanding… Ridley at his imaginative best… his most moving and accessible adult play to date” – WhatsOnStage (on Shivered)
“Thrilling… I left the theatre convinced that I’d seen a work of genius immaculately performed. Wonderful” – Arts Desk (on The Pitchfork Disney)
“Ridley pictures consumerism at its most insane and destructive. He’s on stingingly funny… fierce… dazzling” – Evening Standard (on Radiant Vermin)
The Beast of Blue Yonder runs from 2 April to 9 May 2020 at Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees Tuesdays and Saturdays at 3pm. Tickets are priced £14-22. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!