Flying Lovers and Tristan & Yseult return for vibrant Kneehigh’s 2017 season

Marc Antolin & Audrey Brisson in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. Images Steve Tanner.
Marc Antolin & Audrey Brisson in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.

Kneehigh Theatre says its 2017 season will be a heady and eclectic mix of vibrant and subversive visions.

One of the defining novels of the 20th Century, Gunter Grass’ dazzling tour de force, The Tin Drum will be brought to thrilling theatrical life in a touring co-production.

Directed by Mike Shepherd, written by Kneehigh artistic associate Carl Grose The Tin Drum is a folktale for troubled times: a dark, burlesque comic extravaganza, which is at once daringly provocative, political and profound.

Kneehigh’s season also includes the return of one of company’s greatest successes Tristan and Yseult, the quintessential tale of forbidden desires, which will embark on a Celtic tour.

Daniel Jamieson’s sublime The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk will return to Bristol in August before playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with future London dates planned in 2018. Both plays are directed by Emma Rice.

Kneehigh’s artistic director Mike Shepherd said: “We’re thrilled to be taking our Tristan and Yseult, a 21st century take on the oldest of Celtic love stories, on a tour of Celtic Nations as well as to the Globe for Emma Rice’s Summer of Love season.

“Her wonderful production of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk will play in Edinburgh before it tours internationally in 2018.

“Last, but certainly not least, I have reassembled the creative team behind Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) to make a new version of Gunter Grass’ extraordinary novel The Tin Drum.

“Our iconic anti-hero, Oskar, will lead us through a world as delicate as moth’s wings and as incandescent as a blazing saw mill. A grand musical satire, it promises to be furious, funny and fiercely full of hope – a story very much for now.”

Tristan and Yseult, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, has been written by Carl Grose and Anna Maria Murphy.

The original tale of forbidden desires, broken hearts and the agony of choosing one human being over another. Seen through the eyes of the ‘Unloved’, Tristan & Yseult blends comedy, live music, grand passion and tender truths, in an irresistible night of love.

Touring to: May 23 – 27, Brighton Festival; May 30 – June 3, Citizens Theatre Glasgow; June 13 – 24 June, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; June 27 – July 1, Theatr Clwyd; July 4 – 15, Bristol Old Vic; and July 17 – 21, Galway International Arts Festival.

Emma Rice directs Marc Antolin and Audrey Brisson as Marc and Bella Chagall in Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, a dazzling and evocative play vividly drawn from the early life of the artist Marc Chagall (read Stage Review’s verdict

Tour dates: July 4-15, Bristol Old Vic and August 15-26, Edinburgh Festival.

Mike Shepherd directs The Tin Drum in a co-production with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

On Oskar’s third birthday he rails against the adult world and decides to remain a child forever. Armed with a heart full of rage, a singing voice that shatters glass, and a seemingly indestructible tin drum, Oskar sets about to reveal the world for what it truly is.

However, the world has other plans for our hero…

Often hailed as one of the greatest novels ever written, Gunter Grass’ surreal post-war masterpiece has never been more prescient. Kneehigh will retell this extraordinary story of love, war and fizz powder as a startling musical satire. Part Baroque opera, part psychedelic white-out, part epic poem: a burlesque, a blitzkrieg, a tsunami.

Tour dates: September 28-October 14, Liverpool Everyman; October 17-28, West Yorkshire Playhouse; November 7-18, Bristol Old Vic; November 21-25, Hall for Cornwall; December 5-23, Shoreditch Town Hall.

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