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Gate launches season of premieres and provocation

Published April 23, 2010

Three world premieres and four boundary-pushing pieces of interactive theatre make up the summer season at West London’s always innovative Gate theatre.

At the theatre, the company will collaborate with Rupert Goold’s Headlong theatre on a new production of Frank Wedekind’s Lulu and produce its own premieres of How To Be An Other Woman and Joseph K. Around the nearby Notting Hill area, the company produces four other pieces – Etiquette, Susurrus, Domini Públic and The Knowledge Emporium – as part of its groundbreaking Gate Outdoors season.

Lulu (10 June to 10 July), the tale of a young woman who skips from one husband to the next, is adapted from Frank Wedekind’s original play by Anna Ledwich, who also directs the piece. Sinead Matthews, who was most recently seen in Eigengrau at the Bush theatre and Our Class at the National Theatre, stars in the production staged as part of the New Directions award, which gives new theatremakers a chance to stage their own vision of a classic text.

Gate co-Artistic Director Natalie Abrahami adapts and directs Lorrie Moore’s short story How To Be An Other Woman (25 August to 2 October), following her sell-out success with The Kreutzer Sonata in 2009. The piece, which features choreography from Aline David and design by Linbury Award-winner Samal Blak, is described as “a vivid evocation of womanhood and consumerism”.

Comedian Tom Basden has based new piece Joseph K (11 November to 18 December) on Franz Kafka’s The Trial. Directed by Gate Associate Director Lyndsey Turner, it tells the story of a man who wakes on his 30th birthday to find he has been arrested but has no idea why.

The productions in the Gate Outdoors summer season all push the limits of what theatre is or can be. Etiquette is a show for two audience members, who take part in the café-based performance by following instructions given through headphones; Susurrus has an even smaller audience, as it again uses headphones to tell a story of love during a stroll through Holland Park Gardens; Domini Públic, by contrast, utilises a cast of over 100 receiving instructions though headphones; and The Knowledge Emporium takes audiences on a trip through Notting Hill, sharing stories hidden within the community, until the group arrives at a very special sweetshop where the only currency accepted is knowledge.

MA