Bleakly comic, psychological thriller Mites, which tells the story of a vulnerable woman, a pest controller and a talkative feline, will receive its world premiere at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre this autumn. Time to book your tickets!
James Mannion‘s absurdist tale, a sinister exploration of the manipulation which can underpin relationships, a runs at the Camden venue from 7 to 26 October 2019.
A lonely woman, abandoned by her husband, lives in an isolated house with her outspoken, anthropomorphic cat, Bartholomew. One day she is visited by Ken, a pest controller, who claims to be her ex-husband returned to her. Deceived by his lies and obsessed with memories of the past, the woman accepts Ken into her life, despite the sceptical protestations of Bartholomew. As her self-deception grows and Ken’s true intentions become clear, how will she survive the competitive machinations of her two male companions? And is there more to Bartholomew than meets the eye?
An allegorical interpretation of mental health based on personal experiences, Mites explores the emotional turmoil which accompanies descent into mental instability. It creates a web of mistrust, intrigue and control using an absurdist narrative to mirror the disorientating panic, paranoia and helplessness. It is a psychological thriller which centres on a worsening spiral of manipulation and gaslighting. Mites is an eviscerating take on the predatory and the vulnerable, autonomy and delusion which pushes boundaries and throws probing questions up in the air.
Claire-Marie Hall leads the production as Ruth, returning to the London stage swiftly after her performance in Crowded Room’s acclaimed The Colours at Soho Theatre. Mites brings her back to the Tristan Bates Theatre, where she previously appeared in The Sorrows of Satan.
Richard Henderson, who has appeared on screen in Netflix’s Cursed and on stage in the Richard Burton Theatre Company’s Hush and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot plays Bartholomew, while George Howard, who appeared in both Votes For Women and Playhouse Creatures at the New Vic Theatre in 2018, plays Ken.
Mites is directed by Blueleaf Theatre’s Artistic Director, Marcus Marsh, who previously directed Mannions’ Hedgehogs & Porcupines at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Stuff for NT Connections and That Moment on a UK tour and at the Edinburgh Festival.
Speaking about Mites, he said:
“I am really excited to maintain Blueleaf Theatre’s ethos of developing new writing, working with emerging playwrights and creatives. James has produced a ground-breaking script in Mites which tackles mental health head on and the absurdist style of the piece means it is something we are sure an audience will have never seen on stage before. The play’s exploration of the manipulation in relationships and the effect this has on an individual’s mental health are issues both James and I feel are very important in today’s society. We hope this production widens the conversation and provokes discussion amongst audiences.”
2019 has been a busy year for playwright Mannion. In addition to staging the world premiere of Mites this autumn, earlier this year Rebound Productions staged Flights of Fancy, a collection of five of Mannion’s short plays, at the both the White Bear Theatre and The Hen & Chickens Theatre.
Mites runs at the Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower St, London, WC2H 9NP from 7 to 26 October 2019, with performances Mondays to Saturdays 7.45pm, matinees Saturdays 2.30pm. Tickets are priced from £12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About Blueleaf Theatre
Blueleaf Theatre was founded by Artistic Director Marcus Marsh and Producer Rebecca Lyle in 2016. It aims to stage new pieces of work in imaginative ways, posing questions and challenging audiences’ perspectives on the world we live in. It works with emerging artists across the industry in a number of ways, from new writing event, A New Leaf, to meeting for a coffee to discuss opportunities and offer advice. It has previously toured Dougie Blaxland‘s That Moment and staged James Mannion‘s Hedgehogs & Porcupines at The Old Red Lion Theatre.