Scandal & controversy for Park Theatre’s second year


Is it too soon? London’s fledgling Park Theatre marks its second year by testing its patrons’ resolve with An Audience With Jimmy Savile the first play to examine the scandal that continues to shock the nation.

Park Theatre, named Fringe Theatre of the Year in the Stage 2015 awards, has Alistair McGowan leading the cast in Jonathan Maitland’s An Audience with Jimmy Savile which opens June 10.

Drawing extensively on material from genuine interviews, transcripts and TV shows, this is the first play to explore the shocking sex scandal.

Park Theatre’s artistic director, Jez Bond, said: “I’m thrilled to announce a full repertoire of shows taking you right to the end of the year.

“In true Park style we’re continuing to demonstrate our commitment to both new writing and great revivals, and to presenting bold, relevant and challenging plays.

Jez Bond
Jez Bond

“I believe that theatre is not just entertainment – it’s also about opening discussion and challenging perspectives, holding a mirror up to nature and tackling even the most uncomfortable of issues so we learn from our mistakes.”

The venue, nestled behind Finsbury Park tube station, has also lined up Lady Anna: All At Sea, from August, a new play by Craig Baxter, inspired by the writing of Anthony Trollope.

Trollope writes two thousand words of his latest novel, Lady Anna, daily before breakfast on board the SS Great Britain bound for Australia.

His fellow passengers are profoundly shocked by its content. Is Trollope himself a surprising radical pitted against the status quo? Or is it his characters that his companions find so disturbing?

In the novel, scandal is in the air. A very British scandal involving fraud, bigamy, a disputed title, a legal case, madness and, ultimately, attempted murder.

Lady Anna: All at Sea is a new play which considers how power and prejudice act as a crucible of corruption; about how an intolerant society too easily becomes a very dangerous thing.

Steve Thompson’s witty and uncompromising comedy Roaring Trade (September) exposes the dark underbelly of the financial sector as the curtain allegedly comes down on the recession.

In Canary Wharf four wildly different bond traders put their limits to the test. The coarse tactics of big swinging dick, Donny, are challenged when a younger fresher new arrival fights to stake a claim in the bank.

With Jess wrapping clients around her little finger, bright Cambridge grad Spoon has to catch up fast. Struggling to paper over the cracks of a family life in suburbia, seasoned trader PJ lags behind.

In glass buildings that never sleep, is there a glass ceiling and what will it take for it to shatter?

In Steve Thompson’s (Dr Who/Sherlock/Upstairs Downstairs) witty and uncompromising play power, lust and ambition run unbridled.

Dark and poignant family drama The Gathered Leaves (July), puts three generations together with the aim of putting the past behind them.

The Pennington family have not been in the same room for over 17 years. But on the eve of William’s 75th birthday, all three generations gather.

And internationally acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning play Dinner with Friends makes its UK debut in October.

Dinner with Friends is a tantalilzing and witty portrayal of relationships. Follow Beth, Tom, Karen and Gabe, whose lives, once inextricably linked, start to come undone.

The Park90 season features a new revival of Nick Darke’s masterpiece The Dead Monkey directed by Hannah Price almost thirty years since it was first staged by the RSC; Inspired by true stories, Shaun Kitchener’s Positive, is a refreshingly honest and ultimately uplifting comedy breaking down the out-dated preconceptions surrounding HIV; Julia Pascal’s family drama Crossing Jerusalem explores the most politically tense city in the world during the last intifada; the world premiere of Gemma Page and Michael Kirk’s Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched is a mucky romp through the morals, memories and music of the 1950s; Daniel Dingsdale’s biting cultural satire Dark Tourism explores media cynicism and the world of celebrity and spin; Deafinitely Theatre will use two actors to creatively combine British Sign Language, visual storytelling and the spoken word to bring George Brant’s one woman show Grounded to life; ACS Random present a double bill to coincide with the 110th anniversary of Henry Irvine’s death, The Knight from Nowhere / The Bells.

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