Theatre Royal Plymouth takes risk with ambitious new work


Simon Stokes, artistic director of Theatre Royal, Plymouth has announced a 2014/15 programme packed with the risk-taking writers and international collaborations.

Stokes, who is currently directing Simon Callow in Juvenalia at the Edinburgh Festival, will direct Carl Grose’s critically acclaimed Grand Guignol in Plymouth and London.

In Plymouth, two new commissions Another Place by DC Moore and After Electra by April de Angelis, will be premiered.

The season also includes the première of James Graham’s The Angry Brigade co-produced with Paines Plough, Sirens co-produced with Ontroerend Goed, Vooruit and Richard Jordan Productions and Small War with Valentijn Dhaenens, co-produced with SKaGeN and Richard Jordan Productions.

There will also be a revival of the theatre’s co-production of Othello, as well as of the continuation of the extensive tour of My Perfect Mind, co-produced with Told by an Idiot and the Young Vic, which will begin with a further run at the Young Vic in September.

Since becoming artistic director Stokes has established the TRP as one of the UK’s most influential and prolific venues for new writing.

On his watch, TRP has commissioned, produced and co-produced more than 60 new productions, encouraging, supporting and premiering work by such names as Abi Morgan, Mike Bartlett, Anthony Neilson, Rona Munro, debbie tucker green, Alecky Blythe, Mark Ravenhill, Lucinda Coxon, Bryony Lavery, Chris Goode, Gregory Burke, Frantic Assembly, Philip Ridley, Doug Lucie and Ontroerend Goed.

Valentijn Dhaenens Smallwar (2-13 September) is set in 1914 in a field dressing station behind the front lines.

SmallWar sees a nurse discover, confront and observe as she maintains a watchful vigil with her patients.

Sirens (24-29 November) is written and performed by six young women and is their heartfelt, yet irreverent, feminist manifesto for the 21st century.

My Perfect Mind (3-27 Sept, Young Vic, London, touring 29 Sept–15 Nov) created by Told by an Idiot, written by Kathryn Hunter, and starring Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge.

James Graham’s The Angry Brigade (18 September–4 October then touring) is set against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain.

A young urban guerrilla group mobilises: The Angry Brigade. Their targets: MPs, Embassies, Police, Pageant Queens. A world of order shattered by anarchy; the rules have changed. An uprising has begun. No one is exempt.

Othello (4-11 October then touring) updated to the 21st century. There’s tension around the pool table, cues in hand. A world of broken glass and beatings in the car park.

Grand Guignol (2009 cast). Photo by Manuel Harlan
Grand Guignol (2009 cast). Photo by Manuel Harlan

Grand Guignol (9-18 Oct, 23 Oct–22 Nov, Southwark Playhouse, London)
1903, in the back streets of Monmartre, the Theatre du Grand Guignol opens its doors to an unsuspecting public.

A psychiatrist obsessed with the playwright’s gruesome dramas ingratiates his way into the company.

But when he starts to unpick the author’s mind, the boundaries between theatre and truth begin to blur.

Grand Guignol is guaranteed keep the audience guessing, and wincing, until the very last horror show.

Another Place (6-22 Nov). Man’s obsession to uncover the secrets of space is explored in DC Moore’s new work Another Place.

After Electra (29 Jan-14 Feb) A new play by April de Angelis, whose previous work includes Jumpy (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Wild East (Royal Court Theatre), Playhouse Creatures (West End) and Breathless.

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