Soho theatre has announced two new dramas to play as part of its summer programme adding an international political twist to the season.
First on the bill, Kathrine Kressmann Taylor’s classic pre-war drama Address Unknown will be performed in a new French and English version in June with Belgian theatremaker Valentijn Dhaenens’ look at the manipulative nature of rhetoric, Bigmouth, following in July.
Directed by the venue’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion, Address Unknown will feature two stars of French cinema, Christian Clavier (Napoléon, Les Visiteurs, Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre), and Thierry Lhermitte (An American Werewolf In Paris, Les Papas Du Dimanche).
Playing from 13 June to 27 July, Address Unknown, or Inconnu Á Cette Adresse as it will also be known for this bilingual production, tells the story of a successful art dealer who returns to his native Germany, keeping a correspondence with his close Jewish friend back in America. Against a backdrop of austerity, recession and rising nationalism, their former allegiances become distorted beyond recognition.
Banned in Germany in the 1930s for exposing the threat of Nazism, the anti-fascist piece will be presented in partnership with Institut français and JW3, the Jewish Community Centre London. There will also be 1,000 £10 tickets available for under-26s to see the important historical piece thanks to funding from the Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation.
Bigmouth, which is performed and directed by Dhaenens, plays from 1 to 13 July at the theatre following its hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Performed in English, German, French and Dutch, the one-man production examines 2,500 years of oratory from Socrates to Osama bin Laden.
Described by The Guardian as “a fascinating experience”, the show highlights how the tricks of the rhetorical trade have hardly changed over time and shows how by picking the right words, you can turn the weakest argument into the strongest, achieve world power or simply win the hand of a beloved.
Commenting on the summer programming, Marmion said: “I’m thrilled to announce our summer of international political performances, with a Soho twist. We are working across different languages, with new work referencing events across the globe and history, shining a light on our here and now. There is a lot of theatre and performance to take in, and we hope we have found a way of offering entertaining, genre-defying work that can provoke deep thought and has real political resonance.”
The new pieces join a spring/summer line-up that also includes Irish Theatre Awards Best New Play nominee The Life And Sort Of Death Of Eric Argyle, Verity Bargate Award winner Pastoral and tale of returning soldiers developed with former servicemen, Glory Dazed.