Brecht meets Laughton in Orbits at Drayton Arms Theatre

What happens when two stellar personalities collide? Wally Sewell follows the stars in his acclaimed play Orbits which comes to London’s Drayton Arms Theatre next month.

The planet-sized egos of left wing German playwright Bertolt Brecht and Hollywood film star Charles Laughton clash over the translation and adaptation of Brecht’s play Life of Galileo for its American premiere, with Laughton lined up for the lead.

The Life of Galileo is an account of Galileo’s trial for the heresy for believing that the Earth orbits the Sun and his subsequent recantation under threat of torture.

Its themes reflected in the lives of Laughton, a gay man in 1940s America, and Brecht, whose left wing sympathies would eventually lead him before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Orbits explores how – just as Galileo crumbled under the Inquisition – Brecht’s beloved ‘concrete truth’, could crumble under pressures, political, historical and personal.

Orbits by Wally Sewell, directed by Anthony Shrubsall, stars Peter Saracen as Brecht and Edmund Dehn as Laughton.

Peter has acted for stage, film and television. In 2014 he starred as the inquisitor, Don Domingo, in Heresy at the Tabard Theatre. He played the Pastor in RETZ’s immersive piece The Trial, developed in collaboration with the Barbican and Guildhall.

He also appeared in the film musical Les Miserables.

Edmund Dehn’s credits include: Prospero, Job, Becket and Coriolanus on stage. His TV credits include Carlo in two series of The 10%ers (Carlton TV) and Gumboil in Knightmare (Anglia TV)

Orbits runs at the Drayton Arms Theatre from February 21 – March 11

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