London Season 18 FINAL

Strange Tales (from the West Country)

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The Theatre Royal Plymouth is delighted to announce, Strange Tales (from the West Country), a mini-season of subversive visions celebrating originality, spirit and provocation in the modern world which will run in repertoire at Southwark Playhouse in early 2018.

Following their UK premieres in The Drum, the Theatre’s internationally renowned space for new writing. Theatre Royal Plymouth will take over The Little at Southwark Playhouse with Glenn Waldron’s chilling, dystopian comedy The Here and This and Now, which will run alongside Mikhail Durnenkov’s thrillingly anarchic The War Has Not Yet Started.

Artistic Director Simon Stokes said “It’s exciting to show the most recent work of these two distinctive playwrights, one, a cosmopolitan Russian and the other a sophisticated, media-savvy Plymothian, to the wider audience beyond the far south west country. Individually, I think these stories are both a great night out. Taken together, they investigate our present uncertainty with incisive wit and intelligence while suggesting a future of perhaps ominous turbulence”

A Theatre Royal Plymouth production
By Glenn Waldron
Directed by Simon Stokes
Designed by Bob Bailey with lighting by Andy Purves and sound by Adrienne Quartly
Wednesday 10 January to Saturday 10 February 2018 at Southwark Playhouse

Simon Stokes directs Glenn Waldron’s dark and enigmatic comedy The Here and This and Now at Southwark Playhouse, which takes an intriguing and intelligent look at the medical industry and asks in these politically uncertain times, how high is the price of progress?

An office away-day. A newly recruited sales team for a pharmaceutical company learns the ropes. But does their work really make a difference? What exactly is the drug they are selling? Change is swiftly coming and they are asking all the wrong questions…

Science and civilisation collide in Glenn Waldron’s darkly funny play. Fiendishly original, The Here and This and Now interrogates office workplace culture and the cataclysmic consequences of antibiotic resistance.

A former journalist and editor of i-D magazine, Waldron’s first play Forever House was also commissioned by Theatre Royal Plymouth and premiered at the Drum in 2013. Waldron’s Natives opened to great acclaim at Southwark Playhouse last year.

Directed by Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Artistic Director Simon Stokes, who is recognised as one of the country’s leading pioneers of new writing and experiment in British Theatre. He was an Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in the 70’s and 80’s and since then has directed in the West End, elsewhere in the UK, in Europe and in America. Since he has been Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Plymouth has won, or been nominated for, over 30 major awards for producing new plays. A maverick director of ground-breaking, bold innovative new work, Stokes has consistently surprised audiences with his many ambitious collaborations.

As well as a wide commissioning programme for local and national writers, the Drum has long-standing co-production relationships with companies ranging from Frantic Assembly and Paines Plough to Told by an Idiot and Belgian radicals, Ontroerend Goed.

Full cast for The Here and This and Now will be announced shortly.

A Theatre Royal Plymouth production
By Mikhail Durnenkov
Translated by Noah Birksted-Breen
Directed by Gordon Anderson
Designed by Bob Bailey with lighting by Andy Purves
Wednesday 17 January to Saturday 10 February at Southwark Playhouse

Gordon Anderson directs Mikhail Durnenkov’s provocative The War Has Not Yet Started, a surreal and at times unsettling comedy about everyday people fighting everyday wars.

In twelve twisted parables for the modern age, Durnenkov taps into the fears and strangeness of our daily lives – sexual gamesmanship; what to do with ageing parents, those lying politicians, tensions at the airport, those lying journalists, infidelity and the absurdity implant.

Things happen but no one can see the connections in The War Has Not Yet Started, a strangely, prophetic study of our collective unease about living in the modern world.

Russian playwright, Mikhail Durnenkov is a major stage, screen and television talent living in Moscow. His plays have been translated and staged all over the world and his play The Drunks, written with his brother, was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2009. Durnenkov is artistic director of the well-established young-playwrights festival Lubimovka.

Gordon Anderson is an award-winning television and theatre director. He was Artistic Director of ATC from 2001 to 2006, where he commissioned, produced and directed new and international work that toured extensively throughout the UK. He co-founded the League of Gentlemen comedy group, directing their earliest live performances. His television comedy includes the highly acclaimed Lovesick, The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat, Shameless, The Catherine Tate Show, Rotters, which was part of Sky Arts Physical Comedy Season, Hoff the Record, starring David Hasselhoff .

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