Kneehigh Theatre Company’s stage adaptation of cult British sitcom Steptoe And Son is to transfer from co-producing theatre West Yorkshire Playhouse for a run at the Lyric Hammersmith next year.
The comic and moving re-imagining of the classic series, adapted and directed by Kneehigh’s joint Artistic Director Emma Rice, will play from 19 March (press night 20 March).
Taken from the scripts of Steptoe And Son writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the production captures the famous tender and cruel relationship between father Albert and son Harold and is described by the Cornish theatre company as “a show for anyone who has had a parent, anyone who has had a child,” adding somewhat intriguingly, it is also for “anyone who has wanted to tear the walls down and run across the fields naked”.
The two-hander will star Kneehigh founding member and joint Artistic Director Mike Shepherd and Dean Nolan (Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), who reprise their roles following last month’s run at the Leeds venue where it premiered.
Speaking about the project, Rice said: “I laughed and wept in equal measure as I made my way through the scripts that make up the Steptoe And Son canon. The work is deeper, darker and more intricate than I’d ever realised watching as a child. I’ve tried to enable and reveal the heart-breaking and perfectly observed characters that had generations glued to their TVs for over a decade. It has been the chance of a lifetime to dive into such an iconic and important body of work.”
Last seen at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2011 with The Wild Bride, the BBC series about two rag and bone men living in Shepherd’s Bush may seem an usual choice for Kneehigh theatre which is better known for more fantastical adaptations including The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, The Red Shoes and Brief Encounter, but the company prides itself on innovation, creating challenging theatre with an ever evolving company of performers and artists.
Steptoe And Son will play at the venue until 6 April. As part of the theatre’s continued commitment to engaging with the local community, anyone who lives or works in Hammersmith and Fulham can claim two free tickets to see the dark comedy on 19 March.