Renowned British novelist Louis de Bernières is to make his unlikely stage debut at the Southwark Playhouse this week, narrating a unique sensory version of his only play Sunday Morning At The Centre Of The World.
Produced by theatre company Bad Physics, Bernières, who is best known for his hugely successful novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, will join the cast of the production for two special gala performances on 23 and 25 March. Ticket holders will then be invited to attend a drinks reception and post show talk with the author.
Written in 1999 as a ‘play for voices’, Sunday Morning At The Centre Of The World is a homage to Bernières’s time living in Earlsfield in London and was inspired by Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood.
The Southwark Playhouse production, which plays from 22 March to 16 April, will divide audience members in order to create two very different viewing experiences. One half will be blindfolded for the duration, enjoying an exhilarating sensory experience as the play is told using live sound effects, smell and touch. The other half of the audience will watch over the blindfolded participants as Paul Jellis, the show’s producer, explains: “The rest of the audience will be watching the mechanics of creating the sensory experience and the reactions of the blindfolded audience. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work with Louis de Bernières and to get his insights into the characters which he wrote, and to hear him performing in his own play.”
As well as performing at the two gala performances, Louis de Bernières will be appearing as a surprise guest narrator at selected performances throughout the run.