“No-one wants to be dumped at Christmas!” Watch playwright and performer Natasha Santos talking to London Live about the personal experiences that inspired her comedy Getting Over Everest and adding festive fun to the emotional mix. Book your tickets now!
Following a sell-out season at the Tristan Bates Theatre and a previous short run at The Hope Theatre, comic tale Getting Over Everest returns to the Islington venue this Christmas with a story of seasonal relationship strife. Book your tickets now!
Just as much as the emotional impact, though, it’s the unique and original approach to the subject matter that makes this debut production from Turn Point Theatre particularly memorable.
As River In The Sky opens at The Hope Theatre for three weeks, Lindsey Cross and Howard Horner, who play Ellie and Jack, talk about their experiences during rehearsals and what it means to show this new play about dealing with grief to an audience. Book your tickets now!
“Do you remember his first monster…” As four star hit River in the Sky prepares to come to The Hope Theatre, check out the emotive new trailer for the tale of a couple struggling with grief. Book your tickets now.
Following a hit run at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre earlier this year, Turn Point Theatre’s acclaimed drama River In The Sky receives an extended run at The Hope Theatre this summer. Book your tickets now.
Cuttings is a sharp, witty and hugely enjoyable play about an industry we all know exists, but somehow seem to forget every time we watch an emotional YouTube apology or read a remorseful statement from a disgraced celebrity.
Debates about the death penalty tend to focus, unsurprisingly, on the moral rights and wrongs of taking a life for a life. Less, perhaps, is known about the dehumanising conditions in which condemned prisoners must await their fate – often for years, or even decades. Tormented Casserole’s two-hander Gilded Butterflies, devised by the company and directed by Kathryn Papworth-Smith, sets out to remedy that. Based on the true account of death row survivor Sunny Jacobs, the play paints a brutal picture of what everyday life is like in solitary confinement, and in doing so it also offers us a poignant glimpse at the lengths to which the human spirit will go to survive, even in unimaginably bleak circumstances.
Photo credit: Rebecca Rayne
Maggie (Francesca McCrohon) is a young woman who spends her days alone in her prison cell in Florida. It’s been a year since she saw or spoke to anyone besides her guards and her lawyer, but she keeps herself upbeat by painting, writing daily letters to her husband, and dreaming of what she’ll do when her lawyer gets her out. Then one day she gets a new neighbour (Samantha Pain) – but having company may not be quite the blessing she expected, and Maggie soon finds herself forced to face up to some devastating truths about what she’s done, and where she might be headed.
Samantha Pain plays three roles: the nameless prisoner next door, Maggie’s lawyer and her sister Lauren. Each of these is not so much a character in their own right as a vehicle to shed a little new light on Maggie’s situation, and it’s Francesca McCrohon who steals the show throughout. Smiley, chatty, kind: in any other circumstances Maggie’s the kind of person you can imagine yourself getting along with. Both the script and McCrohon’s performance draw us in, and for at least the first half of the play we even find ourselves sharing a little of her bright-eyed optimism about the state of her appeals.
And then we find out what brought Maggie to death row, and the tone of the play shifts in a much darker direction. Her dreams for the future are exposed as just that – dreams – and we realise what we’re seeing is a woman desperately battling to hold on to who she is against a system that’s determined to steal every last scrap of humanity from her, before finally ending her life. The lack of human contact; the refusal to allow her the most basic of items; the fact that she’s not even allowed to attend her own court hearings to plead her case; each new detail is one more reminder of how the American justice system views prisoners as less than human, a problem to be eradicated rather than addressed in any constructive way. Maggie is not innocent of the terrible crime for which she’s been convicted, but based on what we later learn of her circumstances, she’s not wholly guilty either – a subtle difference that a black and white system like the death penalty completely fails to take into account.
Photo credit: Rebecca Rayne
The play is simply staged; given the nature of the story, visually there’s not a lot to look at except a static set – consisting of two cells outlined on the ground, each with a metal bed and not much else – which helps to emphasise the monotony of Maggie’s daily existence. At each scene transition, white noise sound effects and abrupt lighting changes from Naomi Baldwin create an oppressive atmosphere that no amount of chatter can quite dissipate.
Gilded Butterflies is a thought-provoking and moving piece that highlights the urgent need for a change in policy and attitudes. The story may be set on death row, but the talking points it raises – specifically around mental health and the importance of rehabilitation rather than punishment – can be just as easily applied to justice systems around the world, including that of the UK. And if the play happens to also make you angry about the insanity of the death penalty – well, that’s an added bonus.
Gilded Butterflies is at The Hope Theatre until 24th November.
Can’t see the map on iPhone? Try turning your phone to landscape and that should sort it. I don’t know why but I’m working on it… 😉
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Written by Lilac Yosiphon, who also directs along with Mike Cole and Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, Jericho’s Rose is a moving and intriguing exploration of the true meaning of “home”, seen through the eyes of two characters.
And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank doesn’t allow us to shrug it off so easily, though – in no small part because the production was personally requested by Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss.
Written by Sasha Wilson, Bury the Hatchet is a folktale meets musical with a difference and tells the story of Lizzie Borden, a young woman who, if the theories are to be believed, literally got away with murder.
The play perfectly balances entertainment with an honest, powerful portrayal of the impact dementia can have on families and relationships. Highly recommended, but prepare to be put through the emotional wringer.
Adam & Eve at the Hope Theatre, London has an atmosphere of simmering tension that keeps the audience on our guard from start to finish.
The writer and actress spoke to Love London Love Culture about her play Cockamamy, playing at the Hope Theatre from the 12th June.
A year on from the terrorist attack on Westminster bridge, Our Big Love Story came to the Hope Theatre, a play set around a teacher and four students in the wake of what became known as the 7/7 bombings.
In Our Big Love Story, Stephanie Silver explores the idea of radicalisation of teenagers – only not, as one might expect, that of young Muslims.
Foul Pages, not as funny, original or inspired as it likes to think it is, runs at the Hope Theatre, Islington.
The Hope Theatre continues to programme top rate Fringe theatre and Moments & Empty Beds, two bijou theatrical nuggets from Pennyworth, are no exception.
It’s a real delight and breath of fresh air to see such a beautifully written and performed new play from seasoned actors. I very much hope Louise Jameson and Nigel Fairs write and perform together again in the future, as it’s absolute magic.
Matthew Parker has announced the spring season in his fully curated year of shows at The Hope Theatre, an award-winning performance space in North London. The year features a mix of new writing and established work with a 50/50 gender split of writers and containing a world premiere directed by artistic director Parker. 2018 gets […]
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