Brian Cox, star of acclaimed HBO drama Succession, steps behind the scenes to direct the UK premiere of dramatic love story Sinners – The English Professor when it runs at the Playground Theatre later this month. Book your tickets now!
The drama, which stars Cox’s wife Nicole Ansari, runs at the Latimer Road venue from 25 February to 14 March 2020.
Layla, a University professor in an unnamed Muslim country, is denounced for an affair with her former student, Nur, and is waiting to be stoned to death for adultery. Nur can save his own life by throwing the first stone. What choice will he make?
The play, written by Joshua Sobol, examines both Layla’s and Nur’s choices for love and survival, and the striving for freedom in a patriarchal culture.
Sobol, who wrote Sinners – The English Professor in 2008, is an Israeli novelist and playwright whose work includes Alice and Martin, Bereaved and the Evening Standard Award-winning Ghetto. His illustrious career has also seen him receive the Rosenblum Award for The Contribution to Israeli Theatre, The Israeli Theatre Award for a Life’s Achievement, and Golden Medal of the Land of Vienna for Meritorious Achievements.
Speaking to Arts Fuse about what inspired him to write the piece, Sobol said:
“I was shocked to read about the barbaric practice of stoning women to death. I was surprised by its widespread use and by the huge number of women who were stoned to death since the Islamist revolution in Iran and recently in some other countries. But what surprised and shocked me almost to the same extent was the indifference shown by civilized nations and by the liberal democratic western states to this crime against humanity. Regimes that practice this crime of utmost savagery as part of their judicial system should be treated as criminal regimes and should be excluded from the United Nations.”
Ansari, who plays Layla, boasts stage credits including Rock ‘n’ Roll (Royal Court Theatre/Duke of York’s Theatre/Bernard B. Jacobs Theater), Daybreak (Beckett Theater) I am Antigone (Theater for the New City) and Hamlet (The Mirror Rep). On television she has appeared in series including Deadwood, The Blacklist and The Mysteries of Laura.
Ansari is joined in Sinners – The English Professor by Adam Sina, whose London productions include When My Mama was a Hittite (Park Theatre), War Horse (New London Theatre) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (The Old Vic).
Though Cox is best known for his acting roles, this is not the first time he has directed, having helmed The Cherry Orchard at Moscow Art Academic Theatre and Richard III at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. On stage, he’s appeared in productions from Rock ‘n’ Roll to Titus Andronicus, for which he won an Olivier Award, while on screen, in addition to his performances as Logan Roy in Succession, he has won an Emmy for Nuremberg and appeared in films including Braveheart, The Bourne Identity, Churchill and Troy.
As well as starring in the show, Ansari also produces, along with Camden Mews Productions and Lawryn LaCroix, who previously produced Your Alice at the Arcola Theatre and at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Sinners – The English Professor runs at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 6RQ from 25 February to 14 March with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Sundays at 5pm, Matinee 14 March at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £21.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!