Following a successful run in Brighton, James Alexander Allen’s tale about the devastating effect of alcoholism, The Engagement, comes to London’s Bread & Roses Theatre later this month. Book your tickets now.
The Experimentorium productions show runs at the Clapham venue from 26 to 30 November 2019.
Inevitably, a relationship begins promisingly, almost perfectly. It moves fast, but what’s wrong with that if you’re happy?
The Engagement tells the true story of how alcoholism tears apart a couple and their family. Briefly, Gerri and John are happy together but as the effects of Gerri’s addiction become overwhelming, even the intervention of family, in the form of Gerri’s stepsister, Luanne, cannot change the inevitable. The engagement ends, leaving everything impossible to finish.
Lene Kqiku, whose previous productions include BU21 and Othello at Barons Court Theatre, leads the cast as Gerri. Velenezia Spearpoint, who is also Artistic Director of the Bread & Roses Theatre plays Luanne with Experimentorium Productions’ co-founder Jonathan Parr as John.
The production is directed by Parr’s Experimentorium co-founder Laura Dorn, who has previously directed productions including The Enemies, Salome and My Name’s Macbeth. Speaking about the production, she said:
“Alcoholism is a grave illness that often gets brushed under the carpet in order to avoid shame. This production will instead expose it for what it is and attempt to generate discussion.”
Based on the true story of Wayne Liversidge, who has worked with playwright and screenwriter Allen to bring it to the stage, The Engagement ran at Brighton’s Rialto in 2018 following a positive response to an earlier rehearsed reading. On that performance, FringeGuru said, in their four-star review, “Allen should be applauded for tackling issues often taboo in polite society.”
According to Alcohol Change UK, there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers in the UK and less then 20% of those are receiving treatment.
Speaking about the condition, Dr Emmert Roberts, an MRC Clinical Research Fellow at King’s College London and consultant on The Engagement, said:
“Alcohol misuse continues to be a highly stigmatised condition. Given the increasing rate of death due to alcohol in the UK, it is vital individuals can access the support they need to tackle issues with alcohol. For those suffering with alcohol related problems Alcohol Change UK is a national charity which can offer information and advice about drinking and signposting to appropriate services.”
During its week at the Bread & Roses Theatre, each performance of The Engagement will be followed by a post-show discussion, which is included in the price of the ticket. Among the people taking part are Dorn (26 Nov), Roberts (27 Nov), the cast (28 Nov), Allen and Liversidge (29 Nov) and recovering alcoholic Joshua Spearpoint (30 Nov).
The Engagement runs at the Bread & Roses Theatre, 68 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham, SW4 6DZ from 26 to 30 November with performances Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £11. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!