In association with The Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK (UCA-UK) London’s Playground Theatre is presenting Love & Destruction, celebrating the work of female Ukrainian artists through piano music and poetry and questioning the role of authoritarian male dictatorship through drama, running from 25 to 29 May 2022.
Love & Destruction will contribute a donation from each ticket sold via UCA-UK to support the British Red Cross Appeal in purchasing a second ambulance for children in the Ukraine. The charity’s mission is to bring positive recognition of Ukraine and its culture to the UK and provide a brighter future for its people. Further donations are also welcomed through The Playground Theatre website.
The evening will open with original compositions by Ukrainian concert pianist Alla Sirenko, the only Ukrainian composer to have their work performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. These will be interwoven with readings by the actor Maryam D’Abo of compelling poems by Lesya Ukrainka and Lyuba Yakimchuk.
The second half is the world premiere of One Man, a play in one act by Peter Efthymiou starring Anthony Cozens, Wilf Scolding, Peter Tate and Joshua Ward. Christian Holder directs.
A battle between two opposing forces – the tyrant and the man of love. Who has the strength to prevail? Whose words will cascade down through the centuries?
The evening is produced by Sarah Lawrie with lighting and sound design and production management by Simon Beyer and stage management by Rebecca Natalini.
Love & Destruction runs from 25 May to 29 May 2022 at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 6RQ, with performances from Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30pm and on Sunday at 5pm. Tickets are £22, £18 concessions (10 x £10 tickets per performance also available). Running time: 80 minutes including interval. Suitable for ages 15-plus.
Composer and pianist Alla Sirenko studied at Cambridge, Lubeck and Moscow and graduated from three conservatoires: Kyiv as a pianist, Lviv as a composer, Tallinn as an organist. For ten years Alla was the composer in residence for the Lviv Opera House of Ukraine, where her productions were in the main repertoire. She has successfully composed film music for EMI, Sony and Warner Brothers and a performance and composition of her ‘Ave Maria’ was commissioned for the late Pope John Paul II (and televised to several million people). For the last six years, Alla has been the composer in residence, producer and artistic director of the Ukrainian Cathedral Concert Hall in Mayfair. Recently she founded the Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK and secured its exclusive membership to FIWAL.
In the early eighties reader Maryam D’Abo worked in French television with credits including Les Idiots by Gerard Brach. In 1987 she played opposite Timothy Dalton’s James Bond in The Living Daylights and from 1988 worked in the US for Showtime, HBO, CBS and USA Network. In 1995 Maryam produced and starred with Myriam Cyr in Abundance at the Riverside Studios. Other credits include Dr Zhivago for Granada TV and Bond Girls Are Forever which she co-produced and which premiered at the Hampton Film Festival. In 2007, Maryam suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage and made a documentary about survivors of brain injuries directed by her husband Hugh Hudson called Rupture – Living With My Broken Brain, which premiered on BBC4 in 2012.
Director Christian Holder has had several theatrical careers, from a child actor and dancer in London, to a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet in New York, to costume designer and choreographer, and most recently as a solo cabaret vocalist. For The Playground Theatre Christian has written and directed Ida Rubinstein: The Final Act with his collaborator Naomi Sorkin.
Actor Anthony Cozens’ film credits include Legend, AmStarDam, Dementamania and Van Wilder 2 – The Rise Of Taj. His most recent television credits include The Great, The Last Kingdom, Gentleman Jack, Pennyworth, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Casualty, Holby City and Cider With Rosie. Theatre credits include The Castle (The Space Theatre), Treehouse (Touring), Square (Tristan Bates Theatre), Buster Keaton At The Hollywood Canteen (The Space Theatre), Hanging Out (Oldham Coliseum), Art (Edinburgh Festival), Hacked (Theatre 503) and The Exonerated (Charing Cross Theatre).
Actor Wilf Scolding has just wrapped on the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars television series and can currently be seen in the new Fantastic Beasts film. Recent television includes Netflix’s hit show The One. Other screen work includes Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of Martin’s Close, Mrs Wilson and portraying Rhaegar Targaryen in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Wilf is also a regular in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, playing Christopher Carter.
Actor Peter Tate trained at Webber Douglas and with Stella Adler in New York where he began his career. Credits while there included The Bacchae directed by Michael Cacoyannis on Broadway and Richard III with the American Shakespeare Company. Peter returned to London to play a leading role at the National Theatre opposite Alan Bates. An invitation from the Actors Studio New York brought him back to the US to play the co-lead in Rasputin opposite Peter Stormare. In 2001 Peter formed the Playground Studio as an arena for artists to explore new theatrical ideas; this became The Playground Theatre in November 2017. More recently Peter played Shylock in Bill Alexander’s A Merchant of Venice at The Playground Theatre. https://www.petertateactor.uk/
Actor Joshua Ward’s theatre credits include Robert Graves’ But It Still Goes On at the Finborough Theatre, James Purdy’s Paradise Circus at the Playground Theatre and Rena Brannan’s Mount Vernon at the King’s Head.