1940’s New York laid bare in Britten in Brooklyn at Wilton’s Music Hall

Britten in Brooklyn

Smokey clubs and the bohemian lifestyle of 1940’s New York is set to be laid bare in the premiere of Zoe Lewis’ Britten In Brooklyn at Wilton’s Music Hall in downtown London this September.

Set in a dilapidated house in Brooklyn Heights, the racy lifestyle of Benjamin Britten, WH Auden, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee, in the artistic community at 7 Middagh Street, starts to unravel as World War II becomes a brutal reality.

Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee

Exiled in America for his beliefs and a national disgrace Benjamin Britten must decide which way his conflicted political ideals lie but the constant parties, doomed affairs and John Dunne, the mysterious stranger provide an easy distraction.

Based on true events, the premiere of Zoe Lewis’s passionate and thought-provoking play takes place in the beautiful and unique setting of Wilton’s Music Hall.

Sadie Frost returns to the stage to play Gypsy Rose Lee in a production directed by Oli Rose. Sadie said: “I am thrilled that the premiere of Zoe’s brilliant play is to be staged in Wilton’s Music Hall.

“It was always our first choice of venue and the stunningly restored theatre with its beautiful, faded bohemian elegance, will form an integral part of the production.”

Sadie Frost previously starred in Zoe Lewis’s one-woman play, Touched, in the West End at Trafalgar Studios.

Sadie Frost. Image Rachell Smith
Image Rachell Smith

Director Oli Rose is the artistic director of Rogues’ Gallery. His acclaimed production, Run, recently premiered at the 2016 London Vault Festival. Oli won the Old Vic New Voices Ignite 5 competition.

Zoe Lewis is the two-time winner of North West Playwrights competition (Contact Theatre Manchester). Her plays include Like A Virgin (Soho Theatre,) Touched (Trafalgar Studios), Flanders Mare (Sound, West End), Pool Death (Salisbury Playhouse), Glastonbury, Sharp Relief (Salisbury Playhouse) and Paradise Syndrome.

She is an associate writer with High Tide New Writing Festival. Other projects include screenplays for Working Title Films and Ealing Studios and in development Mad Mums TV drama series. She is also a feature writer for The Times and other broadsheets.

Britten in Brooklyn runs at Wilton’s Music Hall from August 31 – September 17.

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