The Playground Theatre has announced its first full autumn season, running from October 2018 to January. The programme features the world premiere of The Paradise Circus by cult American novelist James Purdy, the world premiere of Fanatical the Musical by Matt Board and Reina Hardy, and a Christmas revival of Once Upon a Mattress, Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer’s musical comedy based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and The Pea.
Anthony Biggs, co-artistic director, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing our first full season less than a year after opening The Playground. As the word has spread about this exciting and welcoming new neighbourhood theatre, audiences from all over London and beyond are beginning to seek us out.”
The season comprises:
The Paradise Circus
October 8 to 3 November 2018 (press night is 12 October)
Directed by Anthony Biggs, James Purdy’s The Paradise Circus is located in the deep Mid-West and focuses on old miser Rawlings who is pining for his perfect boy, killed in The Great War. His two younger sons, neglected by their father, waste their lives away painting beautiful horses for the merry-go-round.
When the enigmatic ringmaster of a travelling circus pays an unexpected visit, he makes the old man a terrible but tempting offer. Wracked with guilt over his decision, in desperation Rawlings is forced to turn to Alda Pennington for help. But, salvation doesn’t come cheaply at the home of the witch doctor.
7 November to 9 December 2018 (press night is 14 November)
Matt Board’s and Reina Hardy’s Fanatical is directed by Shaun Kerryson. In a distant Galaxy the ragtag, misfit crew of cargo ship Angel 8 are under the command of fearless pilot Iris Aucht. Meanwhile at a conference centre, somewhere in England, a ragtag, misfit collection of 1,000 fans gather from all across the UK for Eight Con One, the first ever official convention of Angel 8, the cult TV show.
Angel 8 started as a comic created by reclusive British sci-fi author Scott Furnish. Its first TV outing ended on a shocking cliff-hanger. With eager anticipation at the promise of a second series, these enthusiastic devotees have convened to celebrate their beloved programme and to meet Scott face-to-face and hear his keynote speech.
Once Upon a Mattress
18 December 2018 to 19 January 2019 (press night is 20 December)
Mary Rodgers’ and Marshall Barer’s Once Upon a Mattress is directed by Alex Pearson and Grace Wessels. Once Upon A Mattress is a modern-day family musical based on the story of The Princess and the Pea.
Winnifred, better known as Fred, is not your average princess – she’s loud, independent and knows her own mind. But for her to marry Prince Dauntless, she must prove to his overprotective mother, Queen Aggravain, that she is indeed a true princess in an impossible test.
With music by Rodgers, lyrics by Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Barer, Once Upon A Mattress takes place against the colourful backdrop of Fred’s beloved’s castle and is set to an upbeat jazzy score.