Multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary Exchange Theatre celebrates its tenth anniversary next month with a revival of their inaugural hit, Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Flies, performed in both English and French. Casting is now announced, including Meena Rayann, best known for her appearances in Game of Thrones.
The Flies (Les Mouches) runs at London’s Bunker Theatre from 11 June to 6 July 2019, with a press night on 13 June. Sartre’s rebellious 1943 play reimagines the Greek tragedy of Electra and Orestes, exploring the complexities of human values in a period of political turbulence.
French actress Meena Rayann stars as the downtrodden Electra alongside Samy Ekhatib, in his professional debut, as vengeful brother Orestes. Rayann is best known to Game of Thrones fans as Vala, a prostitute in Mereen in league with the resistance movement against Daenerys Targaryen, in seasons five and six.
Also in The Flies, Exchange Theatre co-founders, Mauritius-born French actor David Furlong (Offie-nominated productions of The Doctor in Spite of Himself and The Misanthrope) and Fanny Dulin (The Misanthrope, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mystery Plays), originally from Bordeaux, will play, respectively, the tyrannical Aegisthus and traitorous mother Clytemnestra as well as a fate-led Fury.
Also taking to the stage are Mozambique-born Swiss actor Raul Fernandes as the God of Flies, Belgian Juliet Dante as The Tutor, with Paris-born Jonathan Brandt as The Anonymous. Completing the Greek chorus as The Woman/Fury is Soraya Spiers and Chris Runciman as the High Priest/Fury.
The production is directed by Exchange Theatre artistic director David Furlong, with video design by Jason Greenberg and Giuliana Pulcini, set design by Ninon Fandre, with Kevin Rowntree as associate director and movement consultant.
David Furlong comments:
“Some of the most interesting challenges have been raised in this casting process: how do we represent diversity, gender-parity, equity and disability on stage? All of these questions, in keeping with the current public debates, are part of our responsibility. We’re also incredibly proud to be joined by amazing talents and recognisable faces. The diversity, high profiles and quality of the fully bilingual cast we’ve assembled this year is a testamebt to Exchange Theatre establishing itself as a meaningful player.”
The play will be performed, at alternating performances, in both French and English. Electra, Orestes, and their troubled family will be joined on stage by a live band, A Riot in Heaven, to transform this tragedy into a modern, tense and thrilling rock opera.
A Riot in Heaven are a Mauritian rock band with Indie Oceans Records. Their previous albums include ReEvolution and Weekend on Proxima. The band worked closely with Exchange Theatre on their original 2009 production of The Flies.
About Exchange Theatre
Exchange Theatre’s mission is to promote French theatre to a wide UK audience. The company creates multicultural and multilingual shows, drawing on a myriad of international influences, with a basis in French plays. Exchange has drawn on East Asian influences and Mauritian writing over the last few years and aim to widen their remit even further. Making use of video and music, the theatre company pushes the borders of various disciplines, creating a rich cultural exchange with every production.
The Flies runs from 11 June to 6 July 2019 at the Bunker Theatre, 53A Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are priced £10-16. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!