Pub opera & groundbreaking new work for King’s Head season

Trainspotting
Trainspotting. Image Christopher Tribble.

Pub opera returns, Edinburgh transfer hits and female-led new writing make up the new season at Islington’s King’s Head Theatre.

Artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher originated pub opera in his first season at the King’s Head in 2010. Now there is a stylish new production of Mozart’s classic opera Cosi fan tutte in March, directed by international opera director Paul Higgins.

It will play in rep alongside Louis Nowra’s play by the same name, Cosi, where patients in a mental asylum perform Mozart’s piece while questioning the madness of the Vietnam War.

Cosi is directed by ex-Sydney Theatre Company artistic director Wayne Harrison.

Adam said: “Two Cosis at the same time?! If a large funded arts centre said they were going to do this, it would raise an eyebrow – the fact that an unfunded pub theatre is doing it is completely bonkers”.

Before that, in February, there is the return of smash success Trainspotting after a sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2015 run, which plays at the venue for a month before heading on a national tour.

Tickets were tough to come by for this critically acclaimed, anarchic take on Irvine Welsh’s classic novel-then-film in both London and Edinburgh – it received a sell-out show laurel for 58 performances at the Fringe.

There is also a wealth of new writing this season: January offers new plays The Long Road South, by Paul Minx, focusing on the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and Big Brother Blitzkrieg, by Hew Rous Eyre & Max Elton, which sees Hitler enter the Big Brother House.

April features work exclusively by female playwrights with Adrian Pagan Award winner, Kate Lock’s insightful work about female relationships, Russian Dolls.

It runs alongside Edinburgh transfer To Kill a Machine, by Catrin Fflur Huws, which delves into the sexuality and chemical castration of Alan Turing.

A new British musical, John Myatt and Simon Arrowsmith’s Something Something Lazarus, performed in a ground-breaking “broken cabaret” style, is staged in March.

Theatre spokesman, Chris Hislop, said: “We’re proud that our new writing offerings this season champion female and international playwrights alongside our continued support for new work”.

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