Simon Russell Beale will play JS Bach in the world premiere of Nina Raine’s Bach & Sons, directed by Nicholas Hytner at the Bridge Theatre from 23 June to 9 September 2021 with opening night on 29 June 2021.
Johann Sebastian Bach, irascible and turbulent, writes music of sensuous delight for his aristocratic patrons, and gives voice to his deep religious faith in music for the church. He’s touchy, he’s fabulously rude, he has high standards (he stabs a bassoonist for playing badly) and he’s constantly in trouble with his employers. Music is the family business – both his wives and all his children are musicians.
His eldest son, Wilhelm, is brilliant, chaotic and paralysed by his father’s genius. Tense, industrious Carl is less talented than his father but more successful. As the years pass, their gripping family drama provokes furious arguments about love, God and above all music.
The associate director is James Cousins, with set designs by Vicki Mortimer, costumes designed by Khadija Raza, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry and music supervised by George Fenton. Further casting will be announced shortly.
Simon Russell Beale made his Bridge debut last year in A Christmas Carol, also directed by Hytner whom he has previously collaborated with on The Alchemist, Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, Collaborators, London Assurance and Timon of Athens all at the National Theatre.
Next in line is Suzan-Lori Parks’ White Noise which will receive its European premiere at the Bridge Theatre, directed by Polly Findlay. Performances are from 5 October to 13 November 2021 with opening night on 12 October. Set designs are by Lizzie Clachan with costumes by Natalie Pryce, lighting by Jackie Shemesh and sound by Donato Wharton. Casting for White Noise will be announced at a later date.
Thirty-somethings Leo, Misha, Ralph and Dawn have been inseparable since college. Making their way together in the big city, they are liberal, open-minded and socially aware. Misha is producing the hit online show ‘Ask A Black’; Ralph is waiting for tenure at his university, and as a lawyer, Dawn spends her days fighting for social justice. Leo would be a talented visual artist – if only he could sleep.
As best friends and lovers, confident in their woke-ness, their connection with each other is stronger than anything else – until, that is, Leo is assaulted by the police in a racially motivated incident. Shaken to the core, he brings to the group an extreme proposition. White Noise takes an unflinching look at race in the 21st century from both a black and white perspective.
The piece received its world premiere at the Public Theater in New York in March 2019 and was the winner of the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play.
In addition Flight will return to the Bridge Theatre from 17 May to 6 June 2021. The Barbican again collaborates to co-present this theatre installation by Vox Motus which made its London debut at The Bridge last year before lockdown halted the run.
From a private booth, audiences are drawn into this tale of orphaned brothers and their desperate odyssey across Europe, the action unfolding in an exquisite world of moving miniatures. Based on Caroline Brothers’ novel Hinterland, Flight combines timely themes with engrossing images to honour the resilience of refugee children adrift in dangerous lands.
Audiences are seated individually and given headphones for this intimate experience staged by Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison who is magic and illusions designer for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Like a 3D graphic novel brought to life, the revolving scenes contain detailed sets and figures which are accompanied by binaural sound and narration.
Flight was originally commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival in 2017 and presented in association with the Beacon Arts Centre. It won a Herald Angel Award and was included in The New York Times’ Unforgettable Theatre Moments of 2018.
Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage will be directed by Hytner in Bryony Lavery’s new stage adaptation which takes place 12 years before Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy. Previously planned for summer 2020 and delayed due to the pandemic, further details of this production, due to open in December 2021, will be announced later this year.