Details of Park Theatre’s 10th season for Autumn/Winter 2017 have been announced by Artistic Director Jez Bond. Featuring six world premieres, a very special one man show and a London premiere, the new season includes a plethora of new writing and acclaimed revivals across both spaces in the venue’s fifth year.
Jez Bond says: “I’m excited to be presenting a season peppered with familiar names but also a host of new, up-and-coming talent. With a continued programme of access performances across both spaces and increased diversity on our stages, we’re pushing further, both this season and beyond, to really make Park Theatre an accessible, welcoming venue for everyone.”
Public tickets go on general sale on Monday 10 April.
Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You (Photo: Mark Douet)
Sir Ian McKellen’s exclusive solo performance of Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You (3-9 July) opens the new season in PARK200, as Jez Bond directs Sir Ian through the most exciting pages and stages from the actor’s past fifty years, with all funds going to support the theatre’s work. Reprising some of his renowned performances, from Gandalf to Macbeth, he will take requests, answer your questions and invite you to act with him.
Kevin Elyot’s never-before-seen final play Twilight Song (12 July – 12 August, press night 17 July) follows, in a performance set to overlap with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that decriminalised homosexuality. Tracing one family’s hidden liaisons over half a century to the present day, the evocative show conjures a heartbreakingly funny tale of fathers and sons, desire and regret, and lives half lived.
The producers behind Park Theatre’s third West End transfer The Boys In The Band return with a revival of Joe Orton’s seminal black comedy Loot (16 August – 24 September, press night 23 August), opening one week after the 50th anniversary of the playwright’s tragic death. Uproarious slapstick meets dubious morals as two young friends stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin, attempting to hide their spoils from the attentions of a psychopathic policeman, a gold-digging nurse and a grieving widower.
Roxanna Silbert (Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre) then directs Olivier and Tony Award-winning actor Ian McDiarmid in political powerhouse drama What Shadows (27 September – 28 October, press night 3 October). Oxford academic and daughter of a Caribbean immigrant, Rose Cruickshank wants answers, as Enoch Powell’s controversial words about immigration shattered her childhood. Will a meeting with the man himself give her the answers she desperately craves?
Directed by actress, comedian and playwright Kathy Burke, The Retreat (2 November – 2 December, press night 7 November) follows; a world premiere comedy drama penned by Peep Show, Fresh Meat & Four Lions co-creator and writer Sam Bain. Luke left his high-flying City life to discover serenity in the Highlands, but he can’t escape his past. Is Tony everything wrong with Luke’s old life, or is he the only one who can really see into his soul?
Concluding the PARK200 season in time for Christmas is a revival of Denise Deegan’s Olivier Award-winning, festive heart-warmer Daisy Pulls It Off (5 December – 13 January 2018, press night 8 December), from the team behind the previous Park Theatre hit Almost, Maine, and directed by Paulette Randall MBE. Our plucky heroine Daisy is ready for a topping new term to take on a jolly ripping mystery in this whizzo family treat for Christmas.
The PARK90 season opens with the world premiere of biochemical topical thriller The View From Nowhere (27 June – 22 July 2017, press night 30 June), from the same creative team behind Warehouse of Dreams (Lion & Unicorn Theatre). Prez is a brilliant biochemist who carries a chip on his shoulder as big as the sink estate he grew up on. In his heart he knows he’s right. But can he prove it?
New black comedy Rabbits (26 July – 19 August, press night 28 July) follows with a tale of marital strife and bunny murder, as Skins, The News Quiz & Newsjack writer Joe Hampson make his stage writing debut, with caustic jokes and abominable intentions.
A familiar play stripped to the core by three actors from one family, Hamlet (22 August – 16 September, press night 30 August) stars Gyles Brandreth, along with his son Benet and daughter-in-law Kosha Engler (directed by Simon Evans), this is Hamlet stripped to its core. With a running time of 90 minutes, this Hamlet blasts through our expectations of a familiar text offering a unique take on Shakespeare’s most famous play, performed by a unique cast.
Then, telling the real life story of survivors of the 1966 Aberfan Disaster, The Revlon Girl (19 September – 14 October, press night 20 September) is a touching and affirming play from Neil Anthony Docking. Set 8 months following the death of 116 children during the Disaster, a group of bereaved mothers met every week above a local hotel to talk, cry and even laugh without feeling guilty.
A trio of haunting monologues from a mysterious fishing community intertwines across eras in Fishskin Trousers (17 October – 11 November, press night 19 October), written by Elizabeth Kuti. Long-buried secrets emerge, as these echoing voices coalesce, revealing how the stories of human lives connect in the most surprising and intimate ways, though decades – and even centuries – separate them.
Centred around an accusation of misconduct in the workplace, The Secondary Victim (14 November – 9 December, press night 15 November) receives its world premiere with an incisive look at contemporary blame culture, directed by Matthew Gould. Ali is a respected psychotherapist and loyal wife. Then suddenly a complaint of sexual misconduct by a male former client throws her professional and personal life into a maelstrom of suspicion and distrust. Who is lying? Is anyone telling the whole truth?
Closing the PARK90 season with an epic London premiere about love and redemption from 18th century Canada, White Fang (13 December – 13 January 2018) is written and directed by Jethro Compton (director/adapter of the PARK200 hit The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), and based on the novel by Jack London. After the massacre of her tribe, a child is rescued by an old huntsman. Torn from centuries of tradition, struggling to find her path in the world, she soon discovers hope in the friendship of an abandoned wolf – swiftly learning the customs of her ancestors, becoming skilled in the ways of the wild.