Bryan Dick, Jamie Foreman and Sheridan Smith are among the cast of Tinderbox, a new play by Lucy Kirkwood, which opens at the Bush theatre on 28 April (previews from 23 April). Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the West London new writing theatre, directs.
Kirkwood’s farcical play gives a disturbing vision of a dystopian late 21st century world when England is dissolving into the sea. Amid the chaos, one man, Londoner Saul Everard, still clings to traditional British values, managing his wayward wife Vanessa and running his butcher’s shop, and he will do anything to preserve his empire. When Perchik, a committed vegetarian and outlaw artist, swims across Hadrian’s Channel to England and stows away in a container full of meat, he lands up in Saul’s shop. Since Saul’s last boy went missing, Perchik gets an instant job offer. With riots raging in the streets, Saul’s meaty little empire may be the last place to seek sanctuary.
Foreman plays Saul. His theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard and The Front Page at the National Theatre and Irish Eyes English Tears at the Royal Court, while on film he has been seen in Layer Cake, Sleepy Hollow, Elizabeth, Nil By Mouth and Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist.
Dick (Perchik) has appeared in the BBC’s 20,000 Streets Under The Sky, Bleak House and Elizabeth. On stage his credits include The Alchemist and The Life Of Galileo (National), Plasticine, Bone and Sliding With Suzanne (Royal Court).
Smith (Vanessa) has been a regular presence on the London stage in the last few years, appearing in The Taming Of The Shrew at the Open Air and in the role of Audrey in the musical Little Shop Of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Duke of York’s, for which she received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination this year for Best Actress in a Musical. She is well known on television for the sitcoms The Royle Family and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.
The cast also includes Nigel Betts and Sartaj Garewal.
Tinderbox is playwright Kirkwood’s first full-length play following her short play Grady Hot Potato, which was presented at the Edinbugh Festival in 2006. Kirkwood also writes for television drama Skins.
Earlier this year the Bush, a powerhouse of new writing, was due to have its annual funding slashed in the Arts Council England’s overhaul of its UK-wide funding provision. After a major outpouring of support for the venue from the community and the theatre industry, the ACE reversed its decision.
After Tinkerbox, the Bush’s spring season continues with 2,000 Feet Away, by Anthony Weigh, which runs from 11 June to 12 July.