Murder & gingerbread. Iris Theatre launches 10th summer season

Iris Theatre’s anniversary summer season of promenade theatre will feature new immersive productions of Macbeth and Hansel & Gretel and the Witch Baba Yaga.

David Hywel Baynes returns from the US to star as Macbeth following his award-nominated tour-de-force as Richard III.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this summer, Iris Theatre will present a double bill of Shakespeare and the Brothers Grimm, told in their signature immersive style in St Paul’s, the Actors’ Church, in the heart of Covent Garden.

2016’s summer season was a record-breaking year with nearly 8,000 people watching Iris’s shows.

Artistic director Daniel Winder will open the 2017 season by directing Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a terrifying journey into the mind of a murderer.

Inspired by the psychosexual imagery of Hieronymus Bosch, this production will weave its way around the grounds of St Paul’s Church; reflecting the play’s journey into the twisted mental landscape of Macbeth as he rises to be king.

David Baynes said: “Getting the chance to come back and work on my favourite play with the Iris family was a no-brainer.

“The environment surrounding Iris during the summer season is like no other.  And it’s truly an honour to be back in London with them as they celebrate their 10th anniversary!”

David, a Londoner, moved to New York City in 2010. He has played a number of Shakespearean roles including Brutus, Puck, Macduff and Richard III.

He is an Artistic Associate of Covent Garden-based Iris Theatre Company and original member of Passion in Practice Shake-speare Company.

Winder has also penned the family show, a new adaptation of Hansel & Gretel and the Witch Baba Yaga.

Featuring a life-size, edible gingerbread house, this production will follow Hansel and Gretel as they travel deeper and deeper into a dark, forbidding forest.

There, in the shadows, you might glimpse a figure in a red hood chased by a wolf, or a witch’s hut standing tall on chicken legs; all manner of magical beasts lurk in these woods…

Promenading round the grounds of St Paul’s Church, this immersive fairytale is guaranteed to fright and delight curious children and adventurous adults alike.

Winder said: “This anniversary year promises to be full of witches and wonder, magic and mayhem.

“Working across the two shows, as writer of one and director of the other, will mean digging deep into the morally ambiguous world of witches; agents of female power pushed to the boundaries of a patriarchal world.

Macbeth will run at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, from June 21 to July 29. Hansel & Gretel runs at the same venue from August 3 to September 3.

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