Joan Littlewood remembered in Nadia Fall’s inaugural season at Theatre Royal Stratford East

Nadia Fall, new artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced her inaugural season and it opens with a production that pays homage to the venue’s founder, Joan Littlewood.

The season opens with The Village, a new adaptation of Lope de Vega’s masterpiece, Fuenteovejuna, from April de Angelis.

A powerful play about community and solidarity, Fall directs the production in homage to Joan Littlewood, who staged the production at Theatre Royal Stratford East under the title The Sheepwell, in 1955.

Transported to contemporary India, and with a renewed poignancy, Fall’s first production opens this September.

The European première of Sarah DeLappe’s award-winning debut play, The Wolves, directed by the artistic director of the Gate Theatre, Ellen McDougall, opens in late October.

In the new year, Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth’s production of The Unreturning has its London première when it comes to Stratford as part of the show’s UK tour.

Written by Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting winner Anna Jordan The Unreturning is directed by Frantic Assembly associate director, Neil Bettles.

Following on is a co-production of Peter Shaffer’s classic play Equus with English Touring Theatre.

Directed by Ned Bennett, this bold new revival will open at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February ahead of a UK tour.

In May 2019, Fall directs August Wilson’s King Hedley II. Set against the backdrop of Reagan-era America, this touching and angry play is the first production of Wilson’s work staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, said today: “I’m excited to kick start my first season with The Village, a story that our founding mother, the great Joan Littlewood, first brought to Stratford East in 1955.

“For me the play is ultimately about the power of community and a warning shot to authority.

“I especially love that it’s the story’s heroine that leads the way in ‘sticking it to the man,’ as we transport the play to contemporary India.

“I can’t contain my excitement about Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves, which captures the voices of young women in the most authentic way.

“Instead of the usual bubble-gum clichés of teenage girls; here we discover a competitive high-school football team during their pre-match warm ups.

“I’m thrilled that the talented Ellen McDougall is directing, as she’s a theatre maker whose work manages to regularly reduce me to tears- in a good way.

“The start of our season has a strong feminist gesture but I’m equally passionate about welcoming Frantic Assembly’s The Unreturning which explores the experiences of young men, as well as mounting King Hedley ll, by the African-American powerhouse that is August Wilson.

“This play is a lament to the vicous cycle of prison and absent fathers set in 1980s Pittsburgh.

“The enfant terrible of British theatre, the young auteur Ned Bennett, will be directing Shaffer’s notorious modern classic Equus, in a co- production with ETT that promises to be the play as you’ve never seen it before.

“This season was built for all of us who love a good story, told from the mouths of everyday characters. There are no kings or queens here, just people like us”.


The Village, 7 September – 6 October.
The Wolves, 24 October – 17 November
The Unreturning, 16 January 2019 – 2 February
Equus, 15 February – 23 March
King Hedley II, May 2019.

For full programme details click TRSE

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