The tunnels beneath Waterloo Station are to host an all-male cross-dressing cast from 5 to 30 January as they perform Polish black comedy Ivona, Princess Of Burgundia.
Witold Gombrowicz’s play is a biting social satire which centres on the terminally bored Crown Prince Philip, who decides to propose to the most repulsive girl in the kingdom, the mute, sickly Ivona. Her silence holds a mirror to others’ hidden vices; her ugliness provokes disgust and desire in equal measure. Set in a seething, gossiping, corrupt Royal Court, the play explores the ridiculous and ultimately deadly consequences of this impulsive betrothal.
Ivona, Princess Of Burgundia is the latest production by Sturdy Beggars Company, which was founded in 2007 by Alex Andreou, who performs in the 15-strong cast.
Staged in the Network theatre beneath Waterloo Station, the production is the latest in a line of shows to make use of the spaces in and around railway stations. For much of 2010 the deserted Eurostar terminal in Waterloo has been occupied by The Railway Children, which ends its run on 2 January, while the Old Vic has staged several productions in tunnels it acquired beneath the station. Further down the road, the Waterloo East theatre opened its doors earlier this year in a converted railway arch.