The new brooms at Leicester’s Curve Theatre have announced their first season with promises of a mix of top touring productions and original new theatre.
Chief executive Chris Stafford and his new artistic director, Nikolai Foster are presenting a new production of Legally Blonde, directed by Foster; Wipers, a Curve commissioned play by Ishy Din examining the contribution made by South Asian soldiers in WWI; the première of the highly-anticipated Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly and Into the Hoods Remixed, a Zoonation Dance Company and Curve Co-commission.
Legally Blonde, opening in April is Foster’s first musical as artistic director at Curve, and the show will be choreographed by Nick Winston (Annie, Loserville and White Christmas).
Nikolai Foster said: “Its been an exhilarating first few months at Curve and working alongside Chris Stafford has been a joy.
“This is an ambitious programme of work, introducing more plays to our repertoire than ever before. Through this eclectic programme of drama, dance and musicals we hope to continue to diversify our audiences, offering theatre which entertains, challenges, inspires and is reflective of our communities.
“We are proud to be working with such a prestigious and dynamic group of playwrights, producers and practitioners and I’m thrilled internationally acclaimed artist Akram Khan and local choreographer Mel Knott have agreed to be associate artists.”
Foster also directs Richard Greenberg’s adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in March.
Following its première at Curve, the production embarks on a national tour before transferring to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End.
Wipers, commissioned by Curve and co-produced with Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Watford Palace Theatre, is inspired by the real life story of Khuddadad Khan, the first South Asian soldier to be awarded a Victoria Cross for his extraordinary bravery at the First Battle of Ypres.
This startling new piece, directed by Curve associate director Suba Das, is set in October 1914 when the British forces, bolstered by huge numbers of volunteer soldiers from across the Empire, suffered huge casualties at Ypres, in one of the first bloody battles of The Great War.
As a sole survivor on the battlefield holds off the advancing enemy troops, a group of South Asian and British soldiers seek refuge in an abandoned barn.
Over the course of a single night, this group of men must confront their fears and find a way to come together if they are to survive.
Also programmed is Zoonation Dance Company and Curve Co-commission Into the Hoods: Remixed, a newly revamped version of the award-winning West End production.
The much-loved show returns to the stage with all the wit and charm of the original, updated with new choreography, a remixed soundtrack and fresh designs.
The new season brings with it and eclectic and diverse programme of visiting work including Mike Bartlett’s multi award-winning new play King Charles III; Green Day’s critically acclaimed musical American Idiot opens its national tour at Curve and the spring season sees the return of Kali Theatre with Aamina Ahmad’s The Dishonoured, an engaging new piece of theatre about lies, deceit and how to tell who is telling the truth.
Other highlights include the Regent’s Park Theatre production of William Golding’s Lord of The Flies; the startling adaptation of Eimear McBride’s award winning novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson’s much-loved Hetty Feather.
Chris Stafford said: “At Curve we strive to make theatre that is bold, exciting and accessible and we hope that there is something for everyone in the season ahead.
“2016 will see Curve productions flying the flag for Leicester, both in the West End and on tour throughout the UK, cementing Curve’s reputation as a nationally recognised producing theatre.”