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The Shed at the National Theatre (photo Phillip Vile)
The Shed at the National Theatre

Orange Tree’s Pomona transfers to NT

Published March 10, 2015

Alistair McDowall’s surreal thriller Pomona will transfer to the National Theatre this autumn after becoming one of 2014’s most talked about London fringe hits.

Described by the Guardian as “a fierce dystopian drama with terrific comic edge”, Pomona collected rave reviews when it first played at the Orange Tree Theatre as part of Paul Miller’s first season as Artistic Director.

The Manchester-set drama will find a new home at the National Theatre’s Temporary Theatre – the eye-catching giant scarlet shed outside the South Bank venue’s main building – with dates and casting still to be confirmed.

Directed by Ned Bennett, the sinister production tells the story of Ollie. Desperately searching for her missing sister, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of Manchester where journeys end and nightmares are born.

Speaking about the show’s transfer, Artistic Director Miller said: “I’m thrilled that Ali’s play will be seen by many more people on the South Bank and in Manchester [where the show will travel to following its London run], in Ned Bennett’s quite brilliant production. New work is the life-blood of any theatre, and over 4800 people saw this audacious and original piece of theatre in Richmond.”

The Orange Tree Theatre will no doubt hope to replicate this success with its next season to be announced in May. Commenting on the theatre’s future, following its shock loss of Arts Council Funding, Miller confirmed they had lost none of their ambition, explaining: “We will carry on mounting adventurous new work despite the loss of regular ACE funding this year… These are challenging times for the Orange Tree but I have no doubt about one thing: the real risk lies in taking no risks.”

“I’m thrilled that Ali’s play will be seen by many more people in Ned Bennett’s quite brilliant production. New work is the life-blood of any theatre, and over 4800 people saw this audacious and original piece of theatre in Richmond.”