Autumn preview – Jermyn Street Theatre

The First Man
The First Man

Stage Review’s series of previews for the forthcoming season continues with what’s coming up this autumn at Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s Off-West End.

Jermyn Street Theatre plans an autumn season of American work, kicking off with four UK premieres – a contemporary musical, two works by Eugene O’Neill and a critically acclaimed contemporary play.

First up is Michael John LaChiusa’s off-Broadway musical See What I Wanna See.

Three interlocking stories take the audience from feudal Japan to New York in 1951 and 2005 and explores the gap between perception and reality.

See What I Wanna See.

LaChiusa’s music blends a plethora of influences from jazz and salsa to classical and pop into a fluid, cinematic score.

The show premiered at New York’s Public Theater in 2005 and starred Idina Menzel in her first role following her Tony Award winning creation of the part of Elphaba in Wicked.

The UK premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s early work, The First Man this October is directed by JST’s artistic director Anthony Biggs.

A highly autobiographical work, this is a tale of male pride, family jealousy and maternal longing from one of America’s greatest playwrights.

It will be accompanied by the first UK production of O’Neill’s long lost play Exorcism directed by Grace Wessels.

Written in 1919, O’Neill pulled the play after a few performances of its premiere and destroyed all the copies he could find.

Rediscovered in 2003, The Exorcism tells the story of Ned Malloy, a young man who, down on his luck and living in a tawdry NY boarding house with his alcoholic roommate Jimmy, is forced to stage a humiliating event in order to escape his miserable marriage.

The season continues in November with another UK premiere, the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, Dry Land which tackles issues surrounding sexuality and the pressures of youth.

Set in the girls’ locker room of a Florida high school, the energetic four-hander explores an unlikely friendship that is put to the most extreme of tests.

JST’s Anthony Biggs, said: “I am delighted with the sheer quality, breadth and range of the productions we are presenting in this autumn’s American season.

“It is fitting that we reach the climax of our 21st year by presenting four UK premieres of bold and ambitious work.

“Jermyn Street theatre has a reputation for discovering and rediscovering truly great theatre for a contemporary audience and I am immensely proud to continue in this tradition.”

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