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Wertenbaker world premiere for Southwark autumn

Published 17 June 2013

Southwark Playhouse’s forthcoming autumn season will feature premieres of a new play by Olivier Award-winning playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker and Beau Willimon’s Farragut North, the play on which hit George Clooney film The Ides Of March is based.

Kicking off the season from 11 September (press night 13 September) to 5 October is Guy Unsworth’s production of Farragut North, Willimon’s acclaimed tale about Stephen Bellamy, a bright young man with ruthless political ambition who at the age of 25 is already press secretary to a candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. But when he receives an unexpected phone call, a decision made in the heat of the moment unleashes a chain of events beyond his control.

Also well known as the screenwriter of hit American series House Of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, Willimon’s previous work for the stage includes Lower Ninth, which was staged as part of the 2010 Donmar Trafalgar season.

Following the UK premiere of Farragut North, Matthew Dunster (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Regent’s Park Open Air theatre) will direct the first major revival for more than three decades of The Love Girl And The Innocent, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s gripping story about sex, humanity and survival.

Playing from 9 October (press night 15 October) to 2 November, the play, which is set in a prison camp, charts the story of new arrival Nemov who is sent from the front line to take charge of the prisoners. As he struggles to endure the camp’s barbarity and injustice he falls for a female prisoner, forcing him to question how far he must betray his own moral and emotional loyalties.

Completing the season from 6 November (press night 8 November) to 30 November is the world premiere of Our Ajax. Written by Wertenbaker, whose Olivier Award-winning play Our Country’s Good was revived at the St James theatre earlier this year, Our Ajax is an epic drama about heroism, love and homeland based on Sophocles’ Greek tragedy.

Directed by Southwark Playhouse Associate Director David Mercatali and based on interviews with current and former servicemen, Our Ajax tells the story of the legendary leader who, torn between army politics and the love of his soldiers, begins to spiral out of control.

Southwark Playhouse’s autumn season will begin following Tony Award-winning musical Titanic, which plays at the venue from 26 July to 31 August.

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