Having been appointed Rose Theatre’s artistic director in January 2020, Christopher Haydon was prevented from announcing his inaugural season until now due to Covid-19. With an emphasis on the female voice, the season will include five Rose Original productions – including two world premieres and a new version of an epic Brechtian masterpiece.
Under Haydon’s stewardship, the Rose’s own work will be the priority, as demonstrated by the five Rose Originals in this upcoming season, but there will always be room on the theatre’s stage for the country’s leading touring shows as well. This season’s Rose Originals are a blend of new plays tackling significant contemporary issues and well-known titles reinvented for today.
Haydon is very keen for the Rose to support and mentor emerging and established artists, with a focus on writers. The Rose is developing projects with Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Lulu Raczka, Onjali Q. Raúf, Nina Segal and Roy Williams. He is enlarging the creative family around the Rose, appointing new partners and advisers including Lucian Msamati as an associate drtist, Poltergeist as an associate company and this year’s recipient of the Peter Hall Emerging Artists Fellowship, Layla Madanat.
Christopher Haydon said of his first season:
“I have been hugely proud to work with the amazing Rose team to devise my first season, in spite of the extraordinary challenges presented by the past year. These shows combine uplifting stories which bring some much needed joy, with plays that ask provocative, searching questions about the society we live in.
“Alongside the productions, we are expanding the creative family that surrounds the Rose with our new group of associates. I am delighted to be working with both experienced artists who will help guide the vision of the theatre and emerging talent whom we will mentor and support in every way we can. I’m also really excited to have some of the UK’s best playwrights under commission.”
2 to 25 September 2021 (Press night is 7 September 2021)
A new thriller from the Olivier Award-winning producer of Fleabag and Baby Reindeer opens the Rose’s 2021/22 season. The world premiere of a Rose Original production is written by rising talent Alys Metcalf (You Only Live Forever, Unearthed) and directed by Christopher Haydon.
When Niala arranges to meet celebrated charity leader Ben in the bar of a London hotel for career advice, their evening unfolds into something far less professional. As the weather closes in and secrets start to surface, the consequences of their choices leave them nowhere to hide.
The Seven Pomegranate Seeds
4 to 20 November 2021 (Press night is 10 November 2021)
From the director of My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre transfer, 2019) and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (West End transfer, 2019), comes the world premiere of Colin Teevan’s (The Emperor, Doctor Faustus, Rebellion, Das Boot) The Seven Pomegranate Seeds.
Persephone, Hypsipyle, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, Creusa and Demeter: the women of Euripides’ plays are reimagined as people of today in an unexpected fusion of celebrity, inappropriate desires, historical police investigations and missing children.
Rose associate artist Melly Still (My Brilliant Friend, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Coram Boy) returns to the Rose to direct and design the world premiere Rose Original production.
Beauty And The Beast
3 December 2021 to 3 January 2022 (Press night is 10 December)
On her 18th birthday, Bella learns that her father is the victim of a terrible curse. She sets out across the mountains to a mysterious valley, determined to face the Beast who condemned her father. Instead, she finds a community confronting its own sorrows with love, laughter and hope. In a race to learn the truth, Bella must question everything she’s been told and find humanity in the least expected places.
A new version written by Ciaran McConville (The Snow Queen, Hansel & Gretel, Alice in Winterland), with music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer (Twelfth Night & Henry V at the Rose, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo & Juliet & Julius Caesar Re-imagined at RSC) and directed by Lucy Morrell (The Creature [Frankenstein Retold], 1984, Treasure Island). A cast of Rose Youth Theatre members and professional actors to be announced.
26 February to 19 March 2022 (Press night is 3 March 2022)
Jeff James (La Musica at Young Vic) and James Yeatman’s adaptation, first seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2017, brings all the sharp observation and quick wit of Jane Austen’s novel to the stage, without a bonnet in sight. A Rose Original production with Alexandra Palace and in association with Oxford Playhouse, directed by James.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
23 April to 14 May 2022 (Press night is 28 April 2022)
Bertolt Brecht’s epic tale about justice and humanity is propelled into the present day, in a new version by Steve Waters (The Last King of Scotland, Limehouse, Temple) with original songs by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles, Mr Burns, They Drink it in the Congo).
This Rose Original production, developed in association with MGC, is directed by Christopher Haydon and is the first major London production of Brecht’s tragicomic masterpiece for 25 years. New Version – A Rose Original Production
Also this Season:
The Smeds And The Smoos
27 to 31 October 2021 (Press performance is 28 October)
A new show based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Music, laughs and interplanetary adventures for everyone aged three and up from Tall Stories.
A Monster Calls
24 March to 9 April 2022
Patrick Ness’ piercing novel A Monster Calls is brought vividly to life in the Olivier award-winning production by visionary director Sally Cookson. Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Global Creatures present The Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic production.
17 to 29 May 2022
From Kenny Wax Productions, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’ international smash hit musical makes its return.