Southwark Playhouse has announced a new slate of productions for spring 2020 as they prepare to move into new premises. How many have you booked for already?
The 2020 programme opens with the world premiere of new play Cops, written by American ex-serviceman Tony Tortora, and includes work from People Show, Spit Lip, ViSIBLE Theatre and Small Things Theatre Company as well as a major new production of Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle The Last Five Years.
Construction is well underway for Southwark Playhouse’s brand new, purpose-built theatre at Elephant & Castle. Work is currently on schedule for the team to move in in March 2020. Meanwhile, the company has secured a lease extension at their current premises in Newington Causeway, where they’ll continue to programme shows in The Large and The Little for at least thee next two years.
In bricks & mortar @swkplay news, construction of the new purpose-built venue at Elephant & Castle is on schedule to move in in Mar 2020.
Meanwhile, the lease is extended for their current home on Newington Causeway, where they’ll keep programming for at least 2 more years pic.twitter.com/vGYQlhRGlC
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) December 5, 2019
New 2020 shows
The line-up of new year productions so far announced for both spaces is as follows.
By Tony Tortora. Directed by Andy Jordan. Set and costume design by Anthony Lamble.
Lighting design by Chris Corner. Composition and sound design by Simon Slater.
Presented by Andy Jordan Productions and Pluto Productions.
15 January-1 February 2020
Press night: Friday, 17 January 2020 at 8pm (The Little)
Chicago. 1957. Four cops, of different ages, classes and races, and filled with suspicion of each other, must grab a gangster turned state witness before ‘the Mob’ can get him.
Outside their office, the world is changing. The Civil Rights movement. Race riots. Mass consumerism. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Elvis has arrived. Sex is everywhere.
Cops was inspired by real-life events in the often brutal and corrupt world of 1950’s Chicago policing and mob violence. With wit, humour and razor-sharp, fast-moving dialogue, this emotionally powerful and poignant new play movingly reveals the men’s personal stories.
People Show 137
By People Show
5-29 February 2020
Press night: Friday, 7 February 2020 at 8pm (The Little)
1966, a Soho basement. The People Show was born. Born site-specific, immersive, screaming and always visual. With the British Library archiving their first 50 years, they surge onwards. From the troubadours of the Parisian boulevards of yesteryear to today’s global corporate domination, People Show 137: God Knows How Many, will take you precisely nowhere. But on the way you will you will laugh, possibly cry, and feel a sense of what it is we might be doing here.
Emil Wolk, George Khan, Mark Long – People Show stalwarts – and Bill Palmer of Avanti Display, come together for a new show. Years of tumbling, verbal and musical gymnastics are taken to the next dimension. A darker dimension where the momentary nature of life is confronted and challenged.
The Last Five Years
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle.
Originally produced for the New York stage by Arielle Tepper and Marty Bell.
Originally produced by Northlight Theatre, Chicago, USA.
Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.
Presented by Aria Entertainment.
28 February-28 March 2020
Press night: Wednesday, 4 March 2020 at 7.30pm (The Large)
Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award-winning musical, The Last Five Years, is an emotionally powerful and intimate show about two New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The musical’s unconventional structure unfolds as Cathy tells her story in reverse, from the end of their turbulent relationship, whilst Jamie tells his story chronologically from the spark of their initial meeting.
The two characters meet only once, at their wedding in the middle of the show. Now, this iconic musical returns to London, in a bold new actor-musician production with the actors onstage at all times and playing the piano to add a new narrative dimension to the story, accompanied by a four-piece band.
Anything Is Possible If You Think About It Hard Enough
By Cordelia O’Neill. Directed by Kate Budgen. Presented by Small Things Theatre Company.
Designed by Camilla Clarke. Lighting design by Sally Ferguson. Sound design by Beth Duke.
1-25 April 2020
Press night: Monday, 6 April 2020 at 8pm (The Little)
Alex and Rupert aren’t a conventional match but a caffeinated meeting on the underground ignites a spark. Skip forward to them fighting over baby names, nursery colours and ways to save money. All the signs of a normal family in waiting.
Then Alex goes into labour, their baby is born still and their world implodes. What follows is a window into how a couple find the strength to move forward, the will to stay together, and the determination to keep the memory of their child alive.
A new play that takes us to the depth of grief to find hope, to the edge of insanity to find reason and finds humour in the most unexpected places.
Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep
Devised by Mike Alfreds and Sonja Linden with the Company. Directed by Mike Alfreds.
Presented by ViSiBLE Theatre.
29 April-23 May 2020
Press night: Wednesday, 29 April 2020 at 8pm (The Little)
Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep follows the journeys of five individual characters over one night, each struggling in different ways with an inability to sleep. As the play moves from dusk to dawn, we observe their sometimes bizarre nocturnal activities and failed attempts at regaining their sleep.
Humour alternates with pathos as the five, all in their 60s and 70s, gradually reveal the reasons for their sleeplessness. The journey through the night delves into their inner lives, and the pursuit of not only a good night’s sleep but of answers to much bigger existential questions.
Devised by a company of older actors aged 60+ and led by the acclaimed veteran director and renowned master of ensemble, Mike Alfreds, this play was conceived in response to the current public health crisis of insomnia, now characterised by sleep scientists as ‘a silent epidemic’, with 30% of the UK population now suffering from some form of sleep disturbance.
Written and composed by SpitLip.
SpitLip are David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts.
Choreography by Jenny Arnold. Set and costume design by Sherry Coenen.
Sound design by Dan Balfour.
14-23 May 2020
Press night: TBC (The Large)
Following a sell-out run in The Little set for January 2020, SpitLip are back with the latest incarnation of their new musical Operation Mincemeat. The team are continuing the show for a limited run of 9 performances. The year is 1943 and we’re losing the war. Luckily, we’re about to gamble all our futures on a stolen corpse.
Operation Mincemeat is Singin’ in the Rain meets Strangers on a Train, Noel Fielding meets Noel Coward. Join us in discovering the fast-paced, hilarious and unbelievable true story of the twisted secret mission that won us World War II. The question is, how did a well-dressed corpse wrong-foot Hitler?
Operation Mincemeat has been nominated for ‘Best Ensemble in a New Production of a Play or Musical’ at the Broadway World Awards 2019 and for five Off West End Awards including Best New Musical, Best Company Ensemble, Best Set Design, Best Musical Director and Best Sound Design. The team also recently took home the prestigious Stage Debut Award for “Best Composer/Lyricist.”
Commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, co-commissioned The Lowry. Supported by the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Additional support from Avalon.