As Park Theatre, which won the ‘Fringe Theatre of the Year’ in the Stage 2015 awards, celebrates its second birthday, Artistic Director Jez Bond today announces its new season of work, including eight new writing world premieres alongside a number of exciting revivals.
Alistair McGowan leads the cast in Jonathan Maitland’s An Audience with Jimmy Savile; drawing extensively on material from genuine interviews, transcripts and TV shows, this is the first play to explore the most shocking sex scandal of our time. This is followed by striking new family drama The Gathered Leaves by Andrew Keatley and a new play by Craig Baxter, inspired by the work of Anthony Trollope. Lady Anna: All At Sea has been commissioned by the Trollope Society as part of the Trollop Bicentennial Celebrations. Steve Thompson (Dr Who, Sherlock, Upstairs, Downstairs) kicks off the autumn with his financial sector dark comedy Roaring Trade, which is followed by the UK debut of Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize winning play Dinner with Friends.
Bond said, “I'm thrilled to announce a full repertoire of shows taking you right to the end of the year. In true Park style we’re continuing to demonstrate our commitment to both new writing and great revivals, and to presenting bold, relevant and challenging plays. I believe that theatre is not just entertainment – it’s also about opening discussion and challenging perspectives, holding a mirror up to nature and tackling even the most uncomfortable of issues so we learn from our mistakes.”
The Park90 season features a new revival of Nick Darke’s masterpiece The Dead Monkey directed by Hannah Price almost thirty years since it was first staged by the RSC; Inspired by true stories, Shaun Kitchener’s Positive, is a refreshingly honest and ultimately uplifting comedy breaking down the out-dated preconceptions surrounding HIV; Julia Pascal’s family drama Crossing Jerusalem explores the most politically tense city in the world during the last intifada; the world premiere of Gemma Page and Michael Kirk’s Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched is a mucky romp through the morals, memories and music of the 1950s; Daniel Dingsdale’s biting cultural satire Dark Tourism explores media cynicism and the world of celebrity and spin; Deafinitely Theatre will use two actors to creatively combine British Sign Language, visual storytelling and the spoken word to bring George Brant’s one woman show Grounded to life; ACS Random present a double bill to coincide with the 110th anniversary of Henry Irvine’s death, The Knight from Nowhere / The Bells.
Highlights of the current programme include the world première of Avaes Mohammad’s Hurling Rubble (13 May – 6 June), a double-bill performed in repertory, investigating contemporary twenty-first century British extremism, a co-production between Park Theatre and Red Ladder Theatre Company and the debut play from Jonathan Maitland, Dead Sheep (1 April – 9 May), which sheds new light on Geoffrey Howe’s historic speech that brought down Margaret Thatcher, starring Thatcher’s Spitting Image impressionist Steve Nallon and directed by Ian Talbot. Dylan Costello’s The Glass Protégé (14 April – 9 May), comes to Park90 direct from a six week run in Chicago, exploring a scandalous gay love affair in 1950s Hollywood, followed by the UK premiere of award winning political thriller Skin in Flames (13 May – 6 June), about a famous photojournalist who returns to the country where his career was launched during a brutal civil war.