Jeremy Dyson, co-writer of TV’s The League Of Gentlemen and the Lyric Hammersmith’s hit show Ghost Stories, will return to the West London venue next year to present his new stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s dark short stories for adults.
Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales, which runs from 14 January to 26 February 2011, is co-conceived and directed by Polly Findlay, whose work in London includes the well-received Eigengrau at the Bush theatre.
The show forms part of the new autumn/winter season at the Lyric Hammersmith. In addition to the already announced new play by Richard Bean, The Big Fellah (21 Sep to 16 Oct) and the pantomime Dick Whittington (27 Nov to 8 Jan), the season also includes Sarah Kane’s seminal play Blasted, a new play about a teacher accused of racial harassment, Mogadishu, and the return of Simon Stephens’s Punk Rock.
The latter opens the season on 6 September, running for just two weeks prior to a UK tour. Exploring the latent violence and discontent that simmers below the surface in a group of aspirational students at an English grammar school, Punk Rock achieved acclaim when it first played at the Lyric Hammersmith in September 2009, with young actor Tom Sturridge winning Most Promising Newcomer at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.
Following Bean’s The Big Fellah, a play about Irish Americans and their influence on the Troubles, the season continues with a new production of Kane’s Blasted (22 Oct-20 Nov), directed by Lyric Hammersmith Artistic Director Sean Holmes.
Kane, who ended her own life in 1999, entered the London theatre scene in dramatic fashion when Blasted, her first full-length work, premiered at the Royal Court in 1995, outraging some critics with its depiction of rape, torture and violence. Set in a hotel room in Leeds, the play centres on middle-aged tabloid journalist Ian who openly flaunts his racist, homophobic and misogynistic views. He brings a younger woman, Cate, to spend the night with him and their increasingly abusive relationship is shifted as a brutal civil war forces its way in.
Blasted is followed by considerably lighter fare in the form of Dick Whittington, before Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales opens in the new year. Concluding the season is Mogadishu (3 Mar to 2 Apr), another school-set drama which, unlike Punk Rock, has a teacher at its centre.
Written by first time playwright and drama teacher Vivienne Franzmann, this hard-hitting play is set in an inner city London school where teacher Amanda is accused by a pupil of racial harassment. Mogadishu, which won Franzmann the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright is directed by Matthew Dunster, whose work includes the recent Love The Sinner at the National Theatre and You Can See The Hills at the Young Vic.
The Lyric Hammersmith’s season also includes its regular Sunday comedy nights and a line-up of up-and-coming bands, poets and vocalists in the Lyric Lounge.