Casting has been announced for the much-anticipated Old Red Lion Triptych, which is headlined by the first revival of Simon Stephens’ 2017 one-act play Nuclear War. Time to get booking!
Revitalising the creative and cultural integrity of the fringe venue, which marked its fortieth anniversary last year, the “Old Red Lion Triptych” runs from 3 to 21 March 2020, with a press night on 6 March and a post-show Q&A chaired by MyTheatreMates founder Terri Paddock with Simon Stephens and new artistic director Alexander Knott on 18 March.
Stephens’ short play Nuclear War is accompanied by two premiere productions from emerging talent: Buried by David Spencer and Graceland by Max Saunders-Singer. The three plays find commonality in the exploration of human suffering and how we survive the unimaginable, resonating with today’s fraught social divisions in a not-so-United Kingdom.
Zöe Grain (Oneness, Hedgehog, LOOP) and Freya Sharp (Cockroached, Twelfth Night, A Christmas Carol) star in Stephens’ suggestive and experimental Nuclear War, which follows a woman trying to experience everything life has to offer, just to feel something again.
Based on the nerve-racking true story of Max Spencer who was buried alive in World War II, Buried, written by Max’s son David Spencer, will be performed by Max’s grandson James Demaine (Bath, LOOP, Beauty and the Beast).
Darkness looms over the classroom in Graceland, by emerging talent Max Saunders-Singer, which will be performed by TV regular Anthony Cozens (Doctor Who, Sherlock and The Last Kingdom, BBC). Pushed to the edge by his wife – and Elvis Presley – Cozens’ overworked and harassed science teacher is just one small spark away from combustion.
The Old Red Lion Triptych is produced by Boxless Theatre, Bag of Beard, Grindstone and Take Two Theatricals.
Commenting on the casting, Old Red Lion artistic director Alexander Knott said:
“‘I’m thrilled to bring together an exceptional cast from across BoxLess, Bag of Beard and Grindstone. Zoe & Freya are hugely physical performers and encapsulate the fusion of text and movement that BoxLess strives for. Buried was written for James, and as grandson of the protagonist of Buried, this hugely prescient, family story can only be told by him. Finally, we’re thrilled to be working with Anthony Cozens, who will bring an edge of unsettling mania to a darkly comic monologue.”
The triptych is a new model for The Old Red Lion, following current demand for ‘box-set theatre’, with a world-renowned playwright to support brilliant emerging talent, while building a new way of seeing and supporting new writing.
Multi-award-winning Stephens’ many other plays include Sea Wall, Heisenberg, Birdland, Punk Rock, Pornography, Harper Regan, Country Music, Motortown, One Minute, Port, Herons, Bluebird and his Tony and Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Nuclear War / Buried / Graceland run from 3 to 21 March 2020 at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John St, Islington, London EC1V 4NJ with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3pm. Tickets priced £16.50-£18.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!