Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange in incendiary revival at Royal & Derngate

Twenty years after Joe Penhall’s ground-breaking Blue/Orange premiered, he collaborates with co-creators Giles Terera, Michael Balogun and Royal & Derngate’s artistic director James Dacre on a brand new production shining new light upon this incendiary interrogation of power and privilege in modern Britain.

This latest Made in Northampton co-production is now in rehearsals ahead of opening in Northampton on November 23.

This razer sharp satire and multi-award-winning drama won the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard awards for Best New Play in 2001.

In a London psychiatric hospital, a mysterious patient wants out. The problem is that, to him, oranges are bright blue and Muhammed Ali is a whole lot more than just a boxer.

As his doctor and senior consultant debate whether to section or release him, an extraordinary new claim causes them to become more and more divided in their diagnosis.

Their power struggle escalates into a startling and provocative exploration of power and privilege, revealing uncomfortable truths about all three men.

Giles Terera, winner of the 2018 Olivier Award for Hamilton, said: “I vividly remember how fired up and moved I was watching Joe Penhall’s extraordinary play when it premiered.

“I believe the play can speak to us just as much, if not more so now as it did then. Getting to explore its themes of identity, mental health, race and a power struggle at the heart of the NHS alongside Michael Balogun is something I’m very excited about.”

The cast comprises Michael Balogun, Ralph Davis and Giles Terera.

Blue/Orange opens at Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio this Friday, October 29, running until November 13 before moving to Oxford Playhouse (November 16 – 20) and Royal & Derngate (November 23 – December 4).

The Made In Northamptonshire season also includes The Wellspring (March 17-26), an autobiographic work from award-winning playwright Barney Norris and his father, internationally acclaimed pianist and broadcaster David Owen Norris.

The Wellspring examines that age-old story of a boy and his dad, and how they can relate to one another, in every sense of the word.

Legendary improvised theatre company Improbable return to their roots with An Improbable Musical (Royal, February 25 – March 5)

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