Tom Littler launches his first season as artistic director of London’s Jermyn Street Theatre with the premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Blinding Light, a specially commissioned work about the life of Swedish dramatist August Strindberg.
Leading the cast is Jasper Britton, known for numerous roles with the National Theatre and RSC including his critically hailed portrayal of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.
He is joined by Susannah Harker who was nominated for a BAFTA award for her portrayal of Mattie Storrin in BBC’s House of Cards and whose other roles include Jane Bennett in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
Also cast are rising stars Gala Gordon (Three Sisters – Young Vic; TV: The Crown) and Laura Morgan (Deposit – Hampstead Theatre; TV: Joan of Arc in The Hollow Crown, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Dark Angel).
The Blinding Light charts Strindberg’s notorious breakdown in Paris in 1896, known as his ‘Inferno period’.
Abandoning theatre, living a life of squalid splendour, Strindberg practises alchemy. In his hotel room, he attempts to make gold by finding the philosopher’s stone, the secret of creation.
As his grasp of reality weakens his first two wives visit him to bring him to his senses but their interventions spin out of control. And – are they really his wives at all?
Tom Littler said: “What an honour to be opening my first season with Howard Brenton’s new play.
“This is a spooky, 90-minute thriller – by turns funny, beautiful, and frightening. I’m delighted to have assembled such a talented cast.”
Howard Brenton said: “Jermyn Street Theatre is a tiny furnace of creativity, radiating influence way beyond its size.
“I was so pleased to be commissioned to write the first play of Tom Littler’s debut season, and thrilled about the casting of such terrific actors.”
Following The Blinding Light, the autumn season continues with the premiere of Judith Burnley’s Anything That Flies, directed by Alice Hamilton.
Continuing the association of Howard Brenton and August Strindberg, Littler directs Miss Julie, in a new version by Brenton, in November.
The season finishes with a co-production with the English Theatre Frankfurt of The Hound of the Baskervilles, directed by Lotte Wakeham as the theatre’s Christmas show this December.
The Blinding Light runs at the Jermyn Street Theatre from September 6 – October 14.