Today Shoreditch Town Hall announces an immersive double-bill of Philip Ridley plays, including the world première of Killer and a new production of Ridley’s contemporary classic The Pitchfork Disney, his first stage play which premièred in 1991. The productions will both be directed by Jamie Lloyd and run in ‘The Ditch’ basement spaces of Shoreditch Town Hall in spring 2017.
The Pitchfork Disney, starring George Blagden (TV credits include the leading role of King Louis XIV in Canal+ / BBC2’s Versailles and Athelstan in the History Channel’s hit Vikings), Tom Rhys Harries (theatre credits include Hotel at the National Theatre and MOJO at the Harold Pinter), Hayley Squires (recently seen as Katie in Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or winning film I, Daniel Blake) and Seun Shote (Salome, directed by Jamie Lloyd for Headlong and Play Mas at Orange Tree Theatre), runs 27 January to 18 March 2017, with a press night on 2 February.
Killer, a series of monologues starring John MacMillan (recently seen in Yerma at the Young Vic, Jamie Lloyd’s production of The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios and the BBC’s Silk) runs from 22 February to 8 April 2017, with a press night on 27 February.
The two productions play in rep from 28 February to 18 March.
Jamie Lloyd said today: “Philip Ridley is a maverick iconoclast of British culture, whose work includes plays, screenplays, novels, music, performance art, painting, photography and more. His innovative output has been a major influence on my own practice, and I am fascinated to explore the depth of his work via his first play alongside, and in the context of, his most recent theatre piece. The Ditch at Shoreditch Town Hall is one of the most atmospheric spaces in the country – the perfect environment in which to delve deep into Ridley’s imagination with these two projects, together with a raft of special events to be announced at a later date.”
The Pitchfork Disney
You know why the ghost train is so popular? Because there are no ghosts. Once you’ve learnt that you can make a fortune.
Presley and Haley have bolted their East London home against the terrors of the world. Since their parents died ten years ago, they have found comfort in chocolate, medication and fantasies of nuclear apocalypse. But, one night, Presley sees a beautiful stranger on the street outside. And while Haley sleeps, he lets their worst nightmare in.
Claustrophobic, comic and deeply unsettling, Philip Ridley’s seminal masterpiece played a revolutionary role in changing the face of British theatre when it premiered in 1991 to critical acclaim and controversy. Its exploration of ‘a climate of fear’, living in ‘alternate worlds’ and persistent thrum of sexual anxiety has continued to act as a tuning fork for the zeitgeist – a play whose relevance is forever in the now.
Step into Shoreditch Town Hall’s atmospheric basement spaces and experience this unique, immersive revival of Ridley’s debut play deep in the eerie underbelly of East London.
A killer! That’s what I am. And if I’m not very much mistaken…You could be too!
A loner finds an albino ostrich that can perform miracles. A teenager stumbles on a mysterious doorway leading to a Jurassic world. A one-legged surfer grows a new limb. Killer is a magical and, at times, menacing anthology of stories told in the recesses of the dark…
Employing binaural sound, director Jamie Lloyd takes you on an intimate journey within the bowels of Shoreditch Town Hall and the depths of your psyche. In this world première production, Philip Ridley’s darkly comic collection of new monologues shiver with the anxiety of our age.
Philip Ridley’s stage plays include The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights, Tender Napalm, Shivered, Dark Vanilla Jungle (winner of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award), Radiant Vermin, Tonight With Donny Stixx and Karagula plus several plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece (named as one of the 50 Best Works About Cultural Diversity by the National Centre for Children’s Books), Sparkleshark and Brokenville (collectively known as The Storyteller Sequence), and a play for the whole family, Feathers in the Snow. In 2001 he was one of the writers chosen to contribute to the National Theatre’s Chain Play (celebrating the venue’s 25th anniversary). He wrote the screenplay for The Krays feature film (winner of Evening Standard Best Film of the Year Award) and has also directed three feature films from his own screenplays: The Reflecting Skin – winner of eleven international awards (including the prestigious George Sadoul Prize) – The Passion of Darkly Noon (winner of the Best Director Prize at the Porto Film Festival) and Heartless (winner of The Silver Meliers Award for Best Fantasy Film). He studied painting at St Martin’s School of Art and his work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and Japan. He has written several books for children and adults. In 2012 What’s On Stage named him a Jubilee Playwright (one of the most influential British writers to have emerged in the past six decades). Ridley has won both the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards, the only person ever to receive both prizes.
Jamie Lloyd is the Artistic Director of The Jamie Lloyd Company. His recent work, presented by The Jamie Lloyd Company, includes Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s) and The Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class, Richard III, The Pride, The Hothouse and the Olivier Award-nominated Macbeth (all at Trafalgar Studios). His other recent work includes Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory; Evening Standard Award nomination for Best Director), Urinetown (St James & Apollo), The Commitments (Palace Theatre), Cyrano de Bergerac (Roundabout Theatre Company; American Airlines Theatre, Broadway), The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre), The Faith Machine and the Olivier Award-winning The Pride (Royal Court), Inadmissible Evidence, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the Evening Standard Award-winning Passion and Polar Bears (Donmar Warehouse), Piaf (Donmar Warehouse, Vaudeville Theatre, Teatro Liceo in Buenos Aires & Nuevo Teatro Alcala in Madrid; Olivier Award nomination for Best Musical Revival, Hugo Award for Best Director, Clarin Award for Best Musical Production, ADEET Award for Best Production), The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Apollo Theatre), The Lover and The Collection (Comedy Theatre), Elegies: A Song Cycle (Arts Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal, Bath), Salome (Headlong), Eric’s (Liverpool Everyman), and The Caretaker (Sheffield Crucible & Tricycle). For radio, he directed and co-adapted Orson Welles’ Heart of Darkness (BBC Radio 4). He has also directed work as a part of the Old Vic’s 24 Hour Plays and Musicals and at the Royal Court International Residencies, and was on the panel for the 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Theatre Awards. He was Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse from 2008 to 2011 and a former Associate Artist of Headlong. Jamie is frequently featured in the top 20 of The Stage 100 list and the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list, and was a Macgeorge Fellow with the University of Melbourne in 2016.
Shoreditch Town Hall: Over the past five years, Shoreditch Town Hall has established itself as vital, non-traditional arts and live events space on the London cultural map: a unique home for original and adventurous arts and artists from across the world, and a flagship venue for Hackney. With a focus on emerging talent and site-responsive performance, the building has become a vibrant home for original and ambitious theatre and performance, welcoming 27,000 audiences and supporting up to 100 artists and 8 new commissions every year.
Built in 1865 and occupying a huge 46,500 sq ft, Shoreditch Town Hall was for over 100 years one of the grandest Vestry Halls in the city. It ceased to be a home for local government during the 1960s and since 2005 has been a fully independent venue. From the magnificent Victorian grandeur of the Assembly Hall and Council Chamber to the warren of untouched, atmospheric basement spaces the building includes eight performance spaces ranging from 40 to 800 capacity.
Shoreditch Town Hall has never received revenue funding, supporting on average 90% (£350,000) of its arts and community programme annually through earned income, supplemented by smaller project grants. Since 2012 it has also raised and invested £2m to transform the building’s in-house audience and production facilities, bringing back to full use its 750 capacity Assembly Hall – the largest purpose built auditorium in Shoreditch – as a public space, as well as installing two lifts to significantly improve access.