Joe Penhall’s multi-award-winning Blue/Orange is to be revived at the Arcola theatre with a twist; the previous all-male cast will be replaced with an all-female ensemble.
The witty tale of institutional politics, mental health and race, which won Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards when it premiered at the National Theatre in 2000, will be staged by British African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi from 27 October until 20 November.
Tiata Fahodzi’s production of Blue/Orange focuses on a young woman who alternately bewilders and beguiles her medical consultants. Faced with stories of a damaged childhood in thrall to Idi Amin and a precarious urban London upbringing, her doctors and the audience must question where the truth lies and to what extent it would be more dangerous to keep her inside than to set her free.
Speaking about the new production, playwright Penhall said: “I am thrilled this production adds a new dimension to my play and another stage in its journey. There is nothing inherently ‘male’ in the play or in the mental health system. Writing about institutionalised Black people more often than not focuses on the plight of men and it is significant that Tiata Fahodzi’s take on Blue/Orange shifts the emphasis to women.”
No casting has yet been confirmed for the production.