Eclectic autumn for St James Studio

Published October 4, 2013

The new will merge with the old at the St James Studio this autumn with Shakespearean productions playing alongside contemporary adaptations and a wealth of new writing at the Victoria venue.

Following the success of I, Malvolio at the Unicorn theatre last year, Tim Crouch’s new play I, Cinna (The Poet) will play a trio of performances at the studio from 7 to 10 October. Exploring the relationship between words and actions, art and politics, self and society, Barney Norris’ production, which is performed by Anthony Gordon Lennox, places the character from Julius Caesar centre stage to ask audiences what words can really do.

In a cheerful transition from tragedy to comedy, Shakespeare will continue to delight audiences at the St James Studio later in the month, but this time during the day, with the return of Lunchtime theatre from 21 to 25 October.

Twelfth Night, which is brought to the stage by the same company that presented luncheon offering A Midsummer Night’s Dream early this year, will provide peckish theatre lovers with the perfect mealtime, allowing audiences to take in their midday sustenance at the same time as enjoying a condensed version of the Bard’s classic comedy of mistaken identities.

Co-directed by Aileen Gonsalves with a cast including Antonia Bourdillon, Caroline Colomei, Jack Finch, Olly Geraghty-Gower, Gemma Stroyan, Ralph Taylor, Oli Towse and Paul Turner, Twelfth Night can be relished with a five pound lunch purchased at the venue or a homemade packed lunch.

Bohemian artists will take the reins on 11 and 12 November when Picasso Is Coming… Ce Soir takes over the studio with its tale about the legendary absinthe-fuelled parties of Bulgarian Jewish artist Jules Pascin, who was raised in brothels and travelled the world painting erotic nudes and spending every penny he earned.

After a short break, the Bard will return once again with a unique production of Macbeth –performed in the round and in complete darkness – playing in the studio on 13 November. Presented by London Contemporary Theatre, Shakespeare’s pacey tragedy will allow audiences to feel every treacherous moment with the title character and learn what it’s like to never quite know who’s watching you.

Joining Picasso Is Coming… Ce Soir and Macbeth: In Pitch Black in the St James Studio’s Play Week are a series of three new plays by acclaimed writer James Phillips, whose dramatic love story Hidden In The Sand opens at the Trafalgar Studio 2 this evening.

Playing from 14 to 16 November, City Stories sees a cast comprising Daphne Alexander, Louisa Clein and Sarah Quintrell take on a haunting journey that fuses drama and live music written and performed by Rosabella Gregory.

While all this is happening in the studio, Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of Scenes From A Marriage will be playing its final weeks in the venue’s main space, coming to the end of its run prior to Play Week on 9 November.