Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael today announces the theatre’s forthcoming Spring/Summer 2017 season. In-house productions include the world premiere stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel Room, now also an Oscar-winning film.
The season opens with the European première of Kirsten Childs’ funny and moving award-winning musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. The story follows Viveca, a young African American girl from LA, who has to fight racism and sexism and goes on to learn her self-worth and follow her dreams. This marks celebrated director and actress Josette Bushell-Mingo’s return to London. > Runs 1 February to 11 March 2017, with a press night on 8 February.
May brings the world première of the stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s book Room featuring original songs by songwriter Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Donoghue adapts her bestseller into a play which she previously adapted into a multi-award winning film. Room is a co-production between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre, Dublin in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Covent Garden Productions. > Runs 2 May to 3 June 2017, with a press night on 10 May.
Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer, living in Canada with her family. Her first full-length feature film, Room (which she adapted from her international bestselling novel of the same name and shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes), won Donoghue Best Scriptwriting nominations for the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Baftas. The film starred Brie Larson winning her an Oscar and Golden Globe for best actress.
Donoghue now adapts Room into a new play with songs. Kidnapped as a teenage girl, Ma has been locked inside a purpose-built room in her captor’s garden for seven years. Her five-year-old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside Room with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination where objects like Rug, Lamp and TV are his only friends. But for Ma the time has come to escape and face their biggest challenge to date: the world outside Room.
Concluding the Stratford East season in the main house is the world premiere of Rikki Beadle-Blair’s new play Summer in London – a romcom with an all transgender cast described as a cross between On The Town, Roman Holiday and The Inbetweeners. > Runs 8 to 29 July 2017, with a press night on 13 July.
Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael said today: “Our new season is a chance to give attention to those voices on the fringes of the mainstream, to celebrate the genius of outsiders and shine a light on those with an alternative story to tell. This season highlights diverse communities and cultures with the aim of making theatre as inclusive as it possibly can be. In a time of huge change around the world, which for some brings uncertainty and fear, we salute the theatre makers working in this new season, striving to create unique stories and exceptional shows that can help us understand our neighbours, bringing us together and in our own small way make our world a better place.”