Following two postponements due to COVID-19, Andrew Corbet Burcher’s comedy of science and religion, Going Ape!, brings its Garden of Eden to the Union Theatre next week with a cast led by Melanie La Barrie. Time to book your tickets!
The tale of an extremely unusual meeting, which was due to run at the Southwark venue in both April and November 2020, finally takes to the stage from 29 June-10 July 2021.
Adam and Eve, who lived for 900 years after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, are both waiting for the arrival of their eldest son Cain, dropping in for a short visit to break the monotony of his homeless wandering life. A life sentence imposed on him by God for killing his brother Abel.
But Cain brings with him a woman he’s met in Africa. She is Australopithecus Afarensis, the earliest known woman. As Cain’s girlfriend is introduced to the family, it soon becomes clear that they are destined to put on the first show on earth!
Melanie La Barrie is a West End star boasting roles including Nurse in & Juliet and Madame Morrible in Wicked. In 2020, she also appeared in the National Theatre’s pantomime Dick Whittington.
La Barrie is joined in the cast by Anabel Kutay, who appeared in an earlier production of Going Ape! when it ran at the Dance Attic in 2018, Sion Lloyd, Gabriel Vick, Henry Collie and Laura Tyrer.
Former dancer Kutay boasts London stage credits including Pinocchio at the National Theatre and Drew McOnie‘s Jekyll And Hyde at The Old Vic, where she also performed in The Lorax. Lloyd has appeared in musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Titanic and Miss Atomic Bomb, which was co-written by his Going Ape! co-star Vick. Vick has appeared in musicals including Sunny Afternoon, Once and Avenue Q. Collie is best known for film Lancaster Skies. Tyrer toured the UK in 9 to 5.
When Corbet Burcher is not writing plays, he runs the Dance Attic dance and rehearsal studios in Fulham, founded with then-wife Dee Dee Wilde in 1982. When the earlier version of Going Ape! was staged at the venue in 2018, it received four-star reviews from North West End Reviews and Theatre Review. Corbet Burcher’s other plays include Last Tango in Toytown, written while he was serving in the Royal Artillery.
Evan Ensign, who directed the first production of Going Ape!, returns to direct the Union Theatre production. He previously directed the 20th anniversary US tour of RENT, Richard Thomas‘ Wrong Songs for Christmas at the National Theatre, UK tours of Avenue Q and Just a Housewife, and New York productions of Womyn In Three, Out of the Reach of Children and Simone at Town Hall.
As part of its work to make the venue COVID-safe, the Union Theatre is operating at 50% capacity, and has removed its usual seating and replaced it with ‘bubbles’ of cabaret-style seating, increasing the floor space for the audience. The theatre also has santiser stations around the venue, is operating temperature checks before audiences enter and is asking to people to wear masks inside the venue and during the show unless medically exempt.
Going Ape! runs at The Union Theatre, 229 Union Street, Southwark, SE1 0LR from 29 June-10 July 20201, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays 7.30pm, matinees Sunday 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £20. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!