New plays by Sebastian Barry and Jonathan Harvey are to join the previously announced Chekhov Jubilee and Royal Shakespeare Company work in the spring season at Hampstead theatre.
Renowned theatre company Out Of Joint is to work with Hampstead on Barry’s new piece about Charles Dickens and Hans Christian Andersen, while Harvey’s Canary is a co-production with English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
Andersen’s English, which runs from 7 April to 8 May, is set in the imagined home of Victorian novelist Dickens, where fairytale writer Andersen arrives announced. The eccentric children’s writer, with his broken English, sees a household of perfect bliss, but does not recognise the storms brewing within the family. The play, which stars Niamh Cusack, David Rintoul and Danny Sapani, follows previous collaborations between Hampstead theatre and Out Of Joint, including Feelgood and King Of Hearts.
Canary, which follows Andersen’s English from 17 May to 12 June, spans five decades of life in Liverpool and London, exploring the changing attitudes towards homosexuality in Britain. Canary will be directed by Hettie MacDonald, who directed both the stage and screen versions of Harvey’s Beautiful Thing.
The season also includes a new play written by Penelope Skinner for the theatre’s 14-18 year old young company Heat & Light; Scarlet Circus runs in the Michael Frayn space from 25 to 27 March.
Hampstead theatre’s 2010 opens with A Jubilee For Anton Chekhov (18 to 23 January), a week long celebration of the Russian writer’s work, which is followed by the world premieres of David Greig’s Dunsinane (10 February to 6 March) and Dennis Kelly’s The Gods Weep (11 March to 3 April), presented by the RSC.
The Swiss Cottage venue, which is currently presenting Christmas ghost story Darker Shores and children’s piece Charlie And Lola’s Best Bestest Play, will part company with its Artistic Director Anthony Clark in the new year. A successor is yet to be appointed.