Hampstead Theatre has announced its 2016 season will include world premieres of work by two of the UK’s most respected playwrights, Howard Brenton and Mike Bartlett.
Brenton follows recent hits at the acclaimed theatre including Drawing The Line, 55 Days and The Arrest Of Ai Weiwei with another historical epic, Lawrence After Arabia.
Playing from 28 April to 4 June, the John Dove-directed drama was commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt and tells the story of famed British archaeologist T.E. Lawrence.
It’s 1922 and Lawrence, one of the most famous men in Britain, has disappeared. But in the idyllic calm of the village of Ayot St Lawrence, on the top floor of Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw’s home, the ‘uncrowned King of Arabia’ is hiding, with slabs of homemade carrot cake for comfort, desperately craving a taste of ‘normal’ life.
The play will be followed by Olivier Award winner Bartlett’s Wild, a darkly comic drama about the life-changing consequences of challenging the status quo in a time when the State is growing more powerful because of technology and technology more powerful because of the State.
Wild, which plays from 10 June to 16 July, centres on Andrew, a man who, in the space of the week, transforms from a normal citizen eating lunch in KFC and making plans for his future to hiding out in an undisclosed Moscow hotel room on the run and at risk of assassination. With just one touch of a button he has become America’s Most Wanted Man.
The hugely exciting double bill of world premieres will follow the forthcoming UK premiere of Neil LaBute’s romantic comedy Reasons To Be Happy.
The previously announced show will feature a cast led by Tom Burke, who reprises the role of Greg following his appearance in the show’s companion piece, Reasons To Be Pretty, at the Almeida Theatre in 2011. He will be joined by Luther star Warren Brown, who makes his professional stage debut in the production, Robyn Addison (Chalet Lines, Bush Theatre) and National Theatre regular Lauren O’Neil.