Artistic director Edward Hall has announced Hampstead Theatre’s spring/summer season, comprising three premiere plays:
- The UK premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s darkly comic post-truth play Describe the Night will be directed by Lisa Spirling.
- The world premiere of Jemma Kennedy’s blisteringly entertaining Genesis Inc. will be directed by Laurie Sansom.
- The world premiere of Fiona Doyle’s haunting and provocative new drama The Strange Death of John Doe will be directed by Artistic Director Edward Hall for Hampstead Downstairs. The production is a Hampstead Theatre commission and a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
- Under 30s can access Priority Booking for all shows via The Downstairs Club – Hampstead’s free membership scheme to allow better access to the cheaper seats
Edward Hall comments:
“Next year will mark Hampstead Theatre’s 60th birthday. Since 1959, Hampstead has always committed itself to discovering and presenting a variety of top quality new plays by established, emerging or debut writers. I’m proud to report that right now, both of our plays – the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ Dry Powder on the Main Stage and Georgia Christou’s debut play Yous Two Downstairs – are playing to full houses. Rehearsals are also underway for Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s breathtaking musical Caroline, or Change, which makes a highly anticipated transfer from Chichester to Hampstead next month.
Furthermore, I’m delighted to announce three new plays: the UK premiere of multi-award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night, Jemma Kennedy’s breakthrough new play Genesis Inc. and Fiona Doyle’s haunting story of The Strange Death of John Doe, commissioned and developed by Hampstead, which is a finalist this year for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. So, as we approach a major milestone next year, I’m pleased to say that Hampstead’s in a very exciting place, filled with talented, bold and ambitious creatives delivering world-classs entertainment to a vibrant and captivated audience. Long may it continue.”
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
Written by Rajiv Joseph Directed by Lisa Spirling
30 April – 9 June 2018
Press Night Wednesday 9 May 7pm
‘When we say that something is true, it becomes true. When we say that something is false, it becomes false… There is nothing that cannot eventually be crossed out and changed’
In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel reports on a Red Cavalry campaign in Poland. In 1936, Stalin’s NKVD chief Nicolai Yezhov unleashes the Great Purge. In 1989, a mysterious KGB agent spying on a woman in Dresden falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes near the Russian city of Smolensk…
Hampstead Theatre presents the UK premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night. Directed by Lisa Spirling, this darkly comic fantasia on Russian themes explores the blurred lines between lies, fiction and conspiracy theories, as it tracks back and forth across 90 years of Soviet and post-Soviet history in search of the genesis of the post-truth world.
Rajiv Joseph’s play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. His play Guards at the Taj was a 2016 Obie Winner for Best New American Play and 2016 Lucille Lortel Winner for Best Play. His play Archduke, received its World Premiere this spring at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Monster at the Door, Animals Out of Paper, The Lake Effect, The North Pool, Guards at The Taj, Mr. Wolf, and Describe the Night. Rajiv has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is a board member of the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, where he develops all his plays. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Written by Jemma Kennedy Directed by Laurie Sansom
22 June – 28 July 2018
Press Night Thursday 28 June 7pm
‘Cyclist are you? Good for the lungs, less so for the sperm. Try fast walking instead’
Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Jemma Kennedy’s breakthrough play, the blisteringly entertaining Genesis Inc. Directed by Laurie Sansom, this is a multifaceted tale of the final frontier of 21st century capitalism: the privatisation of human reproduction. This richly imaginative, topical, and explosively funny new comedy takes a closer look at the lengths to which people will go to defy biology – and at the moral compass of an industry that trades on fear and hope.
Serena and Jeff have one last chance: Genesis Incorporated, whose glowing testimonials and bespoke treatments surely justify a final roll of the dice. Meanwhile, Bridget has put her future literally on ice while she focuses on her high-flying career and on finding Mr Right. And all Miles wants is a steady salary so he can buy a property in Zone 4 – oblivious to the fact that, in a different kind of currency, he’s actually the richest of them all…
THE STRANGE DEATH OF JOHN DOE
Written by Fiona Doyle
Directed by Edward Hall
Presented by Hampstead Downstairs / Celia Atkin
25 May – 30 June 2018
Press Night Tuesday 5 June 7.45pm
‘I mean, where does a person begin and end, and when did they stop being a person?’
Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Fiona Doyle’s The Strange Death of John Doe, inspired by real events. This powerful and poignant new play is a Hampstead Theatre commission and a finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It will be directed by Artistic Director Edward Hall.
London – the present day. The unidentified body of a young man with fatal head injuries is found face down in a suburban street. Who is he and where did he come from? He has no ID and nobody witnessed anything. It’s as if he has just fallen from the sky…
Clinically named as ‘John Doe’, the pathologists must uncover the truth and piece his story – and body – back together. A breakthrough sends DC John Kavura into overdrive for answers and as his investigation unravels, he discovers a haunting story of our time.