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Hampstead announce Downstairs season

Published March 15, 2013

Renowned director Katie Mitchell will present a promenade piece based on Gertrude Stein’s work at the Hampstead theatre’s Downstairs venue this spring.

Say It With Flowers, which will play from 5 April to 14 May, was announced alongside Nicholas Wright’s A Human Being Died That Night to complete the spring season in the West London venue’s smaller space that allows work to be presented free from commercial pressures and without critical assessment.

Say It With Flowers, which uses writing by the celebrated American modernist Stein to lead the audience through a surreal and unexpected journey, marks the return of innovative theatremaker Mitchell to the venue following 2012’s The Trial Of Ubu and Small Hours.

Joining the audiences on their surreal journey will be cast members Laura Harling, Peter Hobday, Sarah Malin, Sarah Northgraves and Sean Jackson.

A Human Being Died That Night will mark the Hampstead Downstairs debut of playwright Wright, whose hugely successful The Last Days Of The Duchess played on the venue’s main stage in 2011.

Set in 1997 in South Africa, the new drama tells the story of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist interviewing the apartheid regime’s most notorious assassin while he serves 212 years for crimes against humanity, murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms and fraud.

In light of such heinous crimes, Pumla must try to overcome her disgust and find the human within as she attempts to get such a monster to open up and tell an educated black woman the truth.

Wright’s drama will be directed by Jonathan Munby, who makes his Hampstead theatre debut with the production. His numerous stage credits include A Number at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Life Is A Dream at the Donmar Warehouse and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare’s Globe.

Since opening in 2010, Hampstead Downstairs has seen three productions transfer to larger spaces including Di And Viv And Rose, which played to sold-out houses on the Hampstead theatre’s main stage earlier this year.