Gate Theatre artistic director Ellen McDougall has announced the 40th anniversary season for west London’s Gate Theatre, comprising six new productions – four world premieres, two UK premieres – as well as a £5 tickets scheme for under-30s, a new “Manifesto for Our Future” and an Archive Project, “40 Years in 40 Weeks”.
The six new productions in the season, running from October 2019 to summer 2020, are: the UK premieres of Samuel Gallet’s Mephisto [Rhapsodie] and Land Without Dreams by Copenhagen’s Fix&Foxy: and the world premieres of Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd, directed by McDougall; Sylvan Oswald’s queen revolutionary adventure story Trainers, or, the Brutal Unpleasant Atmosphere of This Most Disagreeable Season: A Theatrical Essay; epic poem Omeros, written by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott and developed by Paterson Joseph; and Rosie Elnile’s Prayer.
Ellen McDougall, the Gate Theatre’s Artistic Director, commented:
“Programming a season that celebrates the formidable and trailblazing 40-year history of the Gate is a challenging and exciting prospect. Throughout its existence, the Gate has been forward-looking and anti-establishment. It has always looked outwards, working with international artists and stories, and it has always supported artists at an early stage of their careers. So the most appropriate way to celebrate our history seems to me to be to look forward. Our MANIFESTO FOR OUR FUTURE is a way to share the thinking that underpins our work.
“All the shows in this season consider the past, and imagine possible futures – they are rooted in the idea of time travel. We open with MEPHISTO [RHAPSODIE], a searing new play inspired by Klaus Manns’ visionary 1930s cult novel, directed by Kirsty Housley. Immediately after that, I am delighted to be introducing the award-winning Danish company Fix&Foxy and their piece LAND WITHOUT DREAMS, that tackles our deepest anxieties about the future with humour and hope.
“In the new year, I am directing an adaption of Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli’s award-winning novel FACES IN THE CROWD, a shapeshifting story about identity and transformation. That is followed by brand new play TRAINERS, OR, THE BRUTAL UNPLEASANT ATMOSPHERE OF THIS MOST DISAGREEABLE SEASON: A THEATRICAL ESSAY by Sylvan Oswald, a queer adventure story about gender non-conformity, transition, set in the 1500s and the future.
“Paterson Joseph returns to the Gate for the first time since Emperor Jones (1995), to develop a brand new adaptation of Derek Walcott’s epic poem OMEROS directed by Elayce Ismail – a redemptive and powerful retelling of Homer’s Iliad set in his native St. Lucia. Rosie Elnile is creating PRAYER, reimagining our relationship to nature, our bodies, and public spaces. I’m particularly thrilled that we can celebrate our role as the home of the Jerwood Designers Programme with this designer-led project.
“There’s lots of other ways to engage with our work too: our Archive Project – 40 Years in 40 Weeks; Open Rehearsals; a brand new partnership across Europe; audio described shows, and a new ticket scheme making our work more accessible than ever.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be announcing two new associates to join our team – The Queer House – run by Yasmin Zadeh and Charlotte Boden – are our first ever Associate Company and Jean Pierre Baro (Suzy Storck) joins as our International Associate.
“When Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell celebrated the Gate’s 30th birthday they described it as ‘the eternal teenager’, because of its youthful, rebellious attitude. And today’s teenagers are more active and progressive than ever: they are on the front line of the climate crisis, they are redefining our perceptions of identity, they are forcing the adults to sit up and listen. In these extraordinary times let’s come together to imagine the possibility of change, of transition, of transformation.”
✅ Process is political
✅ Form is political
✅ Our work is part of the world
✅ Change. Transition. Transform
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) June 24, 2019