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Hampstead Downstairs hits transfer

Published 9 September 2015

Hampstead Theatre will come to the West End this winter when two of its most recent successful studio hits, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds and The Wasp, transfer to Trafalgar Studio 2.  

Both plays began life in the venue’s Hampstead Downstairs space, which offers artists the chance to stage and develop work away from commercial pressures and the scrutiny of the critics.

James Fritz’s debut play Four Minutes Twelve Seconds did, however, catch the eye of the Olivier Awards, earning a nomination in the Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre category following its October premiere.

The technology drama will open the Hampstead Theatre double bill at the intimate Trafalgar Studio 2 on 10 November and run to 5 December.

Directed by Anna Ledwich, the school-set story throws light on the often unexpected consequences of new technology where nothing dies online, except reputations. Centring on parents Di and David, and their son Jack, a startling incident outside the school gates puts all their relationships under scrutiny.

Original cast members Kate Maravan (New Tricks), Jonathan McGuinness, who is currently appearing in Oresteia at Trafalgar Studio 1, and West End debutant Ria Zmitrowicz will all reprise their roles.

Morgan Lloyd Malcom’s sell-out hit The Wasp, which tells the story of two close childhood friends who meet after a 20 year absence, will follow from 8 December to 9 January.

Talking about reprising the Tom Attenborough-directed production for its West End premiere, Lloyd Malcolm said: “I am thrilled that we are getting the chance to get the team together to work on this project again. In particular, I will never get tired of watching two brilliant actors getting stuck into the twists and turns of this tangled web of a play.”

Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director Edward Hall echoed her excitement, commenting: “Discovering, supporting and presenting original work has always been a major part of what Hampstead Theatre has stood for and it is incredibly exciting that these plays will have a further life in the West End.”

The transfers come at an exciting time for Hampstead Downstairs with autumn 2015 marking its fifth anniversary. Since opening in 2010 the space has consistently produced a string of acclaimed productions including previous West End transfers of Di And Viv And Rose and Lloyd Morgan’s Belongings.

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