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Lithuania comes to Southwark

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 18 April 2008

Southwark Playhouse is staging a festival celebrating theatre, music and art from Lithuania this January. Produced by Vilnius-based company Arts Printing House, A Lithuanian Festival runs from 7 to 26 January and includes three new plays by emerging playwrights from the Baltic country.

Svetlana Dimcovic directs two of the three plays – Gabriele Labanauskaite’s The One That Hurt The Most and Dovile Katiliute’s The Doll. In The One That Hurt The Most, gay culture thrives in an underground urban bar, away from society’s disgusted glare. But when Jetaime’s parents unexpectedly arrive, so do their prejudices and rejection. Coming out in this homophobic society starts a deathly chain of events. The Doll is set in a city where nothing is allowed, including laughing. But Antanas has an illegal secret – a doll he can hear. When his mother and the local priest try to taker her away, Antanas flees this suffocating and restrictive world.

Simon Usher directs the third of the plays, Marius Macevicus’s Goodbye My Love, which centres on Birute, who is living a seemingly free life in Scotland, running a restaurant with her Turkish boyfriend. But ambitions run deeper than motherly love as she returns to see her son in Lithuania and capitalism touches a post Soviet life.

The cast for all three plays – which can be seen individually or as a triple bill on selected nights – includes Daniel Abelson, Vanessa Ackerman, Archie Adam, Steven Beard, Cara Chase, Jo Elwood, Valerie Gogan, Martin Hodgson, Charlotte Pyke and Philip Wolff.

Southwark Playhouse is currently housed in Shipwright Yard by London Bridge station, where it reopened in August this year after leaving its old Southwark Bridge Road venue in 2006. Plans are underway to provide a new permanent home for the theatre in a development in Elephant & Castle, due for completion in 2010.

CB

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