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Opera star leads Carmen Disruption

Published 3 March 2015

World renowned mezzo-soprano Viktoria Vizin will star in the UK premiere of Simon Stephens’ Carmen Disruption next month alongside a cast of acclaimed theatre actors including Olivier Award winner Noma Dumezweni.

Stephens’ dramatic take on Bizet’s famous opera Carmen is described as “exploring the possibility of love in a fractured urban world”, reimagining the story through the eyes of a famous singer who steps out of the opulent surroundings of a European opera house into the truth of the streets.

Michael Longhurst will follow his recent huge success with both Constellations and Bad Jews to direct the production at the Almeida Theatre from 10 April. The casting of Vizin, who has performed in opera houses all over the world, is particularly fitting given she completed her 100th performance of Carmen at the Budapest State Opera House in 2012.

Equally impressive are the more conventionally theatrical additions to the company, with well-known performers John Light and Sharon Small joining Dumezweni in the cast.

While Light, who can currently be seen in the West End hit Taken At Midnight, has appeared at the Almeida Theatre in numerous productions including The Master Builder, Certain Young Men and The Tower, both Dumezweni and Small will make their Almeida Theatre debuts in the production.

RSC regular Dumezweni, who was last seen in ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, boasts an impressive CV with extensive stage credits including Belong at the Royal Court, Henry V and Six Characters In Search Of An Author in the West End, and A Raisin In The Sun at the Young Vic, for which she was awarded her Olivier Award. In contrast, Small (Men Should Weep, National Theatre; Life Is A Dream, Donmar Warehouse) is arguably best known for her regular leading screen roles, appearing in series including Mistresses, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Downton Abbey.

The trio will be joined by Riot Club star Jack Farthing, who was last seen on stage in the Royal Court Theatre’s Bang Bang Bang, Once The Musical’s Jamie Cameron, Harry Napier (Macbeth Of Fire at the Arcola) and Katie West, who will follow her recent performance opposite Maxine Peake in the actor’s high profile turn as Hamlet at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Stephens’ much anticipated play will run at the prestigious Islington venue until 23 May, following the world premiere of another much-revered British playwright, as Mike Bartlett’s voyeuristic drama Game continues to provoke reaction with its uniquely intimate staging until 4 April.


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