London’s Arcola Theatre has announced another overtly political programme for its new 2017 spring/summer season. Production highlights include:
● Neil Bartlett to direct his new adaptation of Albert Camus’ modern classic, THE PLAGUE
● RSC Associate Artist Greg Hicks to play the title role in William Shakespeare’s RICHARD III, directed by Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen
● Amy Draper to direct THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD, blending cabaret and original music to tell a vital story from Argentina’s Dirty War
● Lourdes Faberes to play TAMBURLAINE in Yellow Earth’s radical retelling of Christopher Marlowe’s classic, adapted and directed by Ng Choon Ping
● Helena Bell, Artistic Director of Kali Theatre, to direct the world premiere of READY OR NOT by Naylah Ahmed, as part of a UK tour
● Award-winning new play THE PULVERISED by Alexandra Badea to receive its UK premiere in a co-production by Arcola, Changing Face & York Theatre Royal
Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen commented:
“Arcola’s new season confronts tyranny – the tyranny of people by rulers (Richard III, Tamburlaine, These Trees), states of emergency (The Plague, Ready Or Not) and work in the global economy (The Pulverised). At a time when the world order is under strain – but also when ordinary people are feeling the strain of that change – these plays offer a chance to reflect on our afflictions, and on ways we might resist the worst excesses of power. In-keeping with Arcola’s commitment to diverse theatre, the season features new productions from leading BAMER companies Yellow Earth and Kali Theatre. Half of the shows are directed by women, including two original works by female playwrights.”
Studio 1 is now a fully producing house. Arcola Theatre presents three productions this season:
5 April – 6 May 2017
Arcola Theatre presents
based on La Peste by Albert Camus Adapted and directed by Neil Bartlett
“April 29th; lunchtime. Found Mr Michel in the street outside the apartment. Walk unsteady. Eyes unnaturally bright.”
Dr Rieux is noticing things. A rat on the stairs, where it has no right to be. A sore throat becoming a fever. The first signs of panic. It all amounts to a troubling diagnosis… so what’s the cure?
The Plague is Albert Camus’ electrifying story about living through a time of crisis and fighting back against despair.
Written in the aftermath of the Nazis’ march across Europe, it struck a powerful chord with millions struggling to understand the fascist ‘plague’ that had just overwhelmed them.
Now, seventy years later, multi-award-winning director Neil Bartlett (Or You Could Kiss Me, National Theatre; Stella, LIFT) retells Camus’ classic for our own dangerous times. His frank and gripping new stage adaptation puts chaos under the microscope, and plants the germ of hope in the power of our common humanity.
Cast: Joseph Alessi, Burt Caesar, Billy Postlethwaite, Sara Powell, Martin Turner
11 May – 10 June 2017
Arcola Theatre presents
by William Shakespeare Directed by Mehmet Ergen Cast includes Greg Hicks
King Edward is on the throne, and England is at peace. But don’t worry – it won’t be that way for long. Gripping and outrageous, Shakespeare’s Richard III is the tale of a ruthless, power-crazed misogynist who lies and cheats his way to the highest seat in the land.
Following his celebrated performances as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Greg Hicks takes on the role of the tyrant king Richard in this startling new production, directed by Arcola’s Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen.
14 June – 15 July 2017
Arcola Theatre presents
THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD Book by Paul Jenkins
Music and Lyrics by Darren Clark
Directed by Amy Draper
Original story by Amy Draper, Paul Jenkins and Darren Clark
1970s Argentina. A violent, right-wing dictatorship. Thousands of citizens, seized by the authorities, have “disappeared”. Inside the country’s most disreputable club, a mother is about to risk everything to find her missing daughter.
Spectacular, arresting and totally unique, These Trees are Made of Blood blends cabaret and original live music to tell a vital, human story from Argentina’s Dirty War.
Step into Buenos Aires for this immersive theatrical experience, which pulls back the curtain on a secretive state, and shines the spotlight on a powerful act of resistance. Following a sold-out premiere in 2015, the cabaret coup reignites at Arcola for four weeks only.
15 March – 8 April 2017
Yellow Earth presents
by Christopher Marlowe
Adapted and directed by Ng Choon Ping
A lowly shepherd rises to power – and conquers half the known world.
Tamburlaine is a breathtaking interrogation of power, masculinity and the limits of violence.
In his new adaptation for Yellow Earth theatre company, Ng Choon Ping directs a startling production with a British East Asian cast and live taiko drumming. Lourdes Faberes makes her Arcola debut as Tamburlaine.
As ‘strongman’ leaders exert their influence, and new power from the East asserts its growing dominance, Christopher Marlowe’s classic tale takes on a new urgency and relevance for our time.
Cast: Melody Brown, Lourdes Faberes, Fiona Hampton, Susan Hingley, Amanda Maud, Leo Wan.
11 – 29 April 2017
Kali Theatre presents
READY OR NOT by Naylah Ahmed
Directed by Helena Bell
Why would an ordinary retired teacher take a young Muslim man hostage in her living room? In this timely political thriller from Naylah Ahmed (winner of the Royal National Theatre Playwrights Award), an innocent encounter soon develops into a dangerous game of hide and seek with the truth.
In a world of 24-hour news, is there any escape from fear? And how can we detect the real enemy at our gates? Kali Theatre has been presenting groundbreaking new theatre by South Asian women for over 20 years. New Artistic Director Helena Bell directs this sharp, thought-provoking world premiere, arriving in London as part of a UK tour.
Cast: Joan Blackham, Naeem Hayat, Natasha Rickman Design: Rajha Shakiry
Arcola Theatre, Changing Face and York Theatre Royal present
2 – 27 May 2017
by Alexandra Badea, translated by Lucy Phelps Directed by Andy Sava
“Stop the rat race. Stop time. Stop the money. Stop the anxiety. Stop everything that has made human beings so bitter.”
A quality assurance officer from France, a call centre manager from Senegal, a factory worker from China, and an engineer from Romania. Each leads a life apart, but all work round-the-clock for the same multinational corporation.
When work has no borders, what’s the cost? Alexandra Badea’s captivating drama is a powerful and disturbing portrait of globalisation and its far-reaching effects on our lives. Following an explosive premiere at the National Theatre of Strasbourg, where it won the prestigious Grand Prix de la Littérature, The Pulverised arrives in the UK with a new English translation.