The new spring season for the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, south London, features plays by Robert Holman, Chris Urch, Brad Birch and Bernard Shaw, directed by Ellen McDougall, Alice Hamilton, Mel Hillyard and Artistic Director Paul Miller.
Artistic Director Paul Miller announces the January to June 2016 season at the Orange Tree. It follows a year of award-winning theatre playing to 90% capacity and 25% newcomers. The OT production of Alistair McDowall’s Pomona has played to full houses at the National Theatre and will transfer to the Royal Exchange Theatre from 29 October, with Deborah Bruce’s hit OT play The Distance opening at Sheffield Crucible Studio on the same night. At the UK Theatre Awards this week, Ned Bennett has just won Best Director for Pomona and Joel MacCormack won Best Performance in a Play for Doris Lessing’s Each His Own Wilderness.
- £12 tickets available to under 30s across 95 performances, plus £15 previews for all.
- The season opens with the London premiere of Chris Urch‘s The Rolling Stone (pictured) directed by Ellen McDougall. Set in Uganda it focuses on a gay couple having a relationship in a country where homosexuality is illegal and a religious family struggling to come to terms with it. Winner of a Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, it is a co-production with the Royal Exchange Theatre where it premiered to critical acclaim in April 2015. The cast includes Faith Alabi, Fiston Barek, Jo Martin, Faith Omole and Sule Rimi.
- The first major revival of Robert Holman‘s 1977 play German Skerries will be directed by Alice Hamilton in a co-production with award-winning touring company Up in Arms (Barney Norris’ Eventide and Visitors). This pertinent play is set against the backdrop of the Redcar steel works on Teeside, the closure of which has just been announced. It will then go on tour.
- Mel Hillyard‘s production as the recipient of the J. P. Morgan Award for an Emerging Director will be the world premiere of Brad Birch‘s new play The Brink, in a co-production with W14 Productions and the National Theatre Studio.
- Following his sell-out production of Bernard Shaw‘s debut full-length play Widowers’ Houses in 2014, Paul Miller will direct Shaw’s second play The Philanderer in a major new revival designed by Simon Daw.
- Take Part, the OT’s education and participation work involves over 20,000 people from the local community every year. This year the Shakespeare Up Close production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Gemma Fairlie aimed at secondary school students plays in the Theatre and on tour to schools. Our Primary Shakespeare production will be The Comedy of Errors, directed by Imogen Bond.
- The OT will be a partner theatre for National Theatre Connections for the first time in May, with 7 young companies visiting the OT to perform plays written especially for Connections over its incredible 20 year history, alongside our own Connections Company which presents James Graham’s Bassett, directed by Corinne Meredith. The Orange Tree Young Company will also present a one-off performance of their show The Joy of Normal, directed by Rob Watt.
- Orange Tree Extras, a new series of one-offs and short runs of the best comedy, music and theatre features West End and Broadway star Hadley Fraser, Edinburgh Festival hit The End is Nigh from Jonny and the Baptists, Sally Phillips & Lily Bevan, plus classical concerts from the Allegri Quartet.
Paul Miller comments:
“Bold new plays, intriguing revivals, emerging directors: a classic Orange Tree mix. Music and comedy, young companies in new plays and Shakespeare for students all form a vital part of the Orange Tree’s life as well. We continue to innovate and expand our range of work even as we live without Arts Council funding. I’m so grateful to all who support us and help us to thrive. Winning two UK Theatre Awards for our work set the seal on a great first year. This season builds on our successes as we collaborate with some great new partners.”
The Rolling Stone
by Chris Urch
14 January – 20 February 2016
by Robert Holman
3 March – 2 April 2016
a new play by Brad Birch
7 – 30 April 2016
by Bernard Shaw
12 May – 25 June 2016