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OperaUpClose returns to Soho

Published 23 March 2011

Soho theatre is to collaborate once again with the team behind the Olivier Award-winning hit La Bohème to produce a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

The production, which plays from 11 August to 17 September, updates the opera to 1990s London, creating a heady tale of sex, drugs and excess centred around City trader Don and his hapless intern Leporello.

The show is created by OperaUpClose, the company behind the modern-day version of La Bohème which earlier this month defeated established opera venues the Royal Opera House and the London Coliseum to take the 2011 Best New Opera Production Olivier Award. The show, which began life at the Cock Tavern pub theatre, transferred to the Soho theatre last August.

Don Giovanni forms part of the new spring/summer season at Soho theatre, which also includes Anthony Neilson’s new play Realism, a new work by upcoming playwright Ed Harris and Edinburgh Fringe musical hit Operation Greenfield, which opens the new season from 17 May to 4 June.

Created by Little Bulb theatre company, whose debut show Crocosmia played at BAC in 2009, Operation Greenfield is billed as a “tale of sexual awakening, Christian folk rock and forest fruit squash” which centres on four unlikely teenagers preparing for Stokely’s Annual Talent Competition.

Following Operation Greenfield, Soho theatre Artistic Director Steve Marmion reunites with playwright Neilson to direct Realism, a play exploring the imagination and fantasies of a normal man. Neilson’s previous plays include The Wonderful World Of Dissocia and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats Of Loneliness, which Marmion directed at Soho theatre in 2009.

Realism plays from 9 June to 9 July and is followed, on 14 July, by a companion piece, Mongrel Island, commissioned by Soho theatre from playwright Ed Harris. Performed by the same company as Realism, Mongrel Island explores similar themes by offering a darkly comic perspective of how the world and workplace invade our humanity.

Soho theatre’s main house season will be accompanied by a programme of work staged in two new performance spaces created by a reconfiguration of the Dean Street building.  Soho Theatre Upstairs will become a dedicated space for emerging talent and experimental theatre, while Soho Theatre Downstairs fashions itself as a cabaret and comedy venue, which launches with comedians Stewart Lee, Omid Djalili and Justin Bond, along with Melbourne International Comedy Festival hit the Pajama Men.

For more details of the programme in the two new spaces, visit



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