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Wasted - King's Head Theatre Pub (Review)

Wasted

Review by Shanna Schreuder

SHORT, sharp and smart. Kat Woods’ Wasted forces you to view in detail what a drunken encounter between a man and a woman can lead to. And, like life, it includes all the uncomfortable bits, as well as all the funny and happy moments.

The audience starts the show as part of the production by being squished together on the dance floor as the two protagonists – Emma and Oli – weave through the crowd to find each other and get to the bar before last orders.

Quickly, we’re then ushered into our seats by the bouncers in order to get to the nitty-gritty part of this contemporary love story, but what follows the next day reveals that this yarn is no fairytale.

Wasted is a perfect piece for the King’s Head as it benefits from the closeness created by the pub’s intimate theatre space. Both Serena Jennings and Will Hearle are top-notch as they don’t only play the main characters with ease, but also successfully take on all the other roles without the need for props or customer-changes.

Wasted may only stretch to just over an hour, but it’ll leave you thinking and discussing it for days after.

Tickets: September 14 and 16 – £10; September 17 and 19 – £14; then £18 full price, £15 concessions.

Time: 9.30pm.

Running Time: 65 minutes.

Buried Child - final casting includes Game of Thrones' Charlotte Hope

Charlotte Hope

Casting news

FINAL casting has been announced for Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer and Obie prize-winning play Buried Child, which runs at Trafalgar Studios for a strictly limited season – from November 14, 2016 to February 18, 2017.

Joining previously announced Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Jeremy Irvine will be Charlotte Hope (as Shelly), Jack Fortune (Father Dewis), Barnaby Kay (Tilden) and Gary Shelford (Bradley).

Charlotte Hope will be making her West End debut in Buried Child, following A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. She most recently starred opposite Richard Gere and Peter Dinklage in Jon Avnet’s film Three Christs of Ypsilanti, and can next be seen in the Robert Zemeckis’s World War II action-romance Allied, with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom.

Although Hope is best known for her recurring role as ‘Myranda’ opposite Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, her other film credits include Testament Of Youth, The Theory of Everything, The Invisible Woman and Les Misérables.

Jack Fortune’s stage credits include Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland, and on international and UK tour) and King Lear (Bristol Old Vic). His screen credits include Critical, Route Irish, Above Suspicion – Silent Scream, Law and Order, The Appropriate Adult, Dunkirk, North Square, Judge John Deed, Serious and Organised and Sparkling Cyanide.

Barnaby Kay’s numerous stage credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox and A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse), The Captain of Kopenick, Danton’s Death and Closer (National Theatre), The Real Thing (Old Vic), Eric Larue, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Herbal Ben, The Changeling and A Jovial Crew (Royal Shakespeare Company), Dying for It (Almeida Theatre), Raving and War and Peace (Hampstead Theatre) and King Charles III (Wyndham’s Theatre).

Kay’s equally numerous screen credits include Treasure Island, Red Tails, Arn: The Knight Templar, AKA, Conspiracy, Eisenstein, Croupier, Shakespeare in Love, Oscar & Lucinda, The Man who Knew Too Little, Wallander, One Child, New Tricks, Frankie, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, Dead Boss, Public Enemies, Without You, Wuthering Heights, The Fixer, The Passion, Lifeline, The Government Inspector, Spooks, Prime Suspect IV, Silent Witness, Blonde Bombshell, The Bill, The Castle, Jonathan Creek, Cracker and The Vet.

Gary Shelford’s many stage credits include Ross (Chichester Festival Theatre), As You Like It and The Heresy of Love (Shakespeare’s Globe), Ghost Stories (Arts Theatre), Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, The Winter’s Tale and Henry V (Propeller Theatre Company, on world tour), The Shop (Bristol Old Vic), Angry Young Man (Trafalgar Studios), Present: Tense (Southwark Playhouse), They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Apollo Theatre), Market Boy (National Theatre Studio) and No Man’s Land (National Theatre).

His screen credits include Luther, Silent Witness, Holby City, My Family, The Quatermass Experiment, EastEnders, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, The Scampi Trail, Charlotte Gray, A Portrait Of London and Slapper.

Buried Child finds Dodge and Halie barely hanging on to their farmland and their sanity while looking after their two wayward grown sons. When their grandson Vince arrives with his girlfriend, no one seems to recognize him, and confusion abounds. As Vince tries to make sense of the chaos, the rest of the family dances around a deep, dark secret.

Read more about Buried Child.

Art - Tim Key, Paul Ritter and Rufus Sewell star at The Old Vic

Rufus Sewell

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for Art, Yasmina Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance, which runs at The Old Vic from Saturday, December 10, 2016 to Saturday, February 18, 2017.

The line up includes Tim Key (as Yvan), Paul Ritter (Marc) and Rufus Sewell (Serge).

One of the most acclaimed plays of recent times, Art premiered in London twenty years ago and went on to become a phenomenon. Director Matthew Warchus reunites the original creative team.

Tim Key won the Edinburgh Comedy Award (formerly the Perrier award) in 2009 for his weird and wonderful poetry/stand-up fusion. He has since had three books of his work published and made three series of his BBC Radio 4 show Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme. He has also written and performed in the sketch show Cowards on BBC Radio 4 and BBC 4 (TV). On television, he plays Sidekick Simon in Alan Partridge’s Midmorning Matters and momentarily moved into Mark and Jeremy’s flat in the final series of Channel 4’s Peep Show.

On stage, he has performed in Daniel Kitson’s two-hander Tree at The Old Vic. He has recently finished filming E4’s new globetrotting comedy drama Foreign Bodies, written by his regular collaborator Tom Basden. He regularly performs his terse poems on the comedy circuit, and currently is developing new poetry to be performed in London and then, hopefully, beyond.

Paul Ritter’s theatre credits include John Major in The Audience opposite Helen Mirren (Gielgud Theatre), and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, The Hothouse and Coram Boy for which he received an Olivier Award nomination for playing Otis Gardiner (National Theatre). Ritter also received Olivier and Tony award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Featured Actor respectively for his performance in The Norman Conquests at The Old Vic and on Broadway.

His film work includes Suite Francaise, Complicit, The Eagle, The Other Man, Quantam of Solace, Nowhere Boy, The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz and The Libertine. He also starred in Love You More directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, which won Best British Short film at the British Independent Film Awards.

On television, he has appeared in Friday Night Dinner, We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story, Mapp & Lucia, The Game, The Bletchley Circle, Great Expectations, Pulling and Channel 4’s No Offence, for which he’s currently filming the second series.

On stage, Rufus Sewell most recently played Larry in David Leveaux’s production of Closer at the Donmar Warehouse. His other work includes Old Times (Harold Pinter Theatre), Rock N’ Roll (Royal Court, Duke of York’s and Bernard Jacobsen Theatre, New York – winning an Olivier Award, London Critics’ Circle Award and Evening Standard Award for Best Actor and receiving nominations at the Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards and What’s On Stage Theatregoers Awards), Macbeth (Queen’s Theatre), Translations (Plymouth Theatre, New York – Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut) and Arcadia (National Theatre – Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor).

Sewell can currently be seen playing Lord Melbourne in the ITV drama Victoria, and he is filming the second series of the successful Amazon drama The Man in the High Castle (for which he received a Critics’ Choice Nomination for Best Supporting Actor). His other screen work includes the feature films Gods of Egypt, Hercules, The Sea, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Holiday, Amazing Grace, The Illusionist, A Knight’s Tale, Illuminata, Dark City, Dangerous Beauty, The Woodlanders, Carrington, A Man of No Importance and Cold Comfort Farm.

His television credits include Killing Jesus, Restless, Parade’s End, Zen, Pillars of the Earth, 11th Hour, John Adams, The Taming of the Shrew (BAFTA TV nomination for Best Actor), Charles II, Middlemarch and Cold Comfort Farm.

Translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Matthew Warchus, Art will be designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Mic Pool and music by Gary Yershon.

Also at The Old Vic: Samuel Beckett’s No’s Knife (until October 15) and King Lear, with Glenda Jackson in the title role (October 25 to December 3, 2016).

Acorn, a modern all-female underworld myth - Courtyard Theatre

Acorn

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MAUD Dromgoole’s Acorn, a modern all-female underworld myth, runs at the Courtyard Theatre from October 6 (previews from October 4) to October 29, 2016.

Combining dark humour with lyricism, fury and wit, projection and an original score, Acorn radically reimagines two mythic women in a play that explores the power of stories, and how we come to write our own.

I am not going to live happily ever after. That’s not my story.

Eurydice is getting married, and impatiently waiting for her life to begin. Persephone works hard and keeps the world at bay – it’s the way she knows how to survive. But death’s about to bring them together.

Using two ancient myths, Acorn analyses and evaluates the ever-changing role of women in the modern world, as well as challenging perceptions of medical care around the end of life.

How is myth preserved in modern culture? How does it still shape our lives? What power do these stories still have over our ideas of life, death, and what it means to be a woman? How can they be re-written?

Maud Dromgoole’s first play, Blue Moon, played at the Courtyard Theatre in 2015. She has also had several short plays performed, including Cake at the Cockpit Theatre and Tristan Bates Theatre, and Selkie at Southwark Playhouse.

Acorn will be performed by Lucy Pickles and Deli Segal, who had a sell-out run of After Penelope, a new play about women in wartime, at The White Bear Theatre, which they co-wrote with their all-female theatre company, Spectra. The play went on to be performed at The Rome International Fringe Festival 2015 and then again at the RADA Festival in London. Spectra performed their second play, Harry’s Girls last summer. A modern re-telling of the story of the six wives of Henry VIII, it played at the RADA Studios and Upstairs at the Gatehouse.

Tatty Hennessy directs.

Tickets: £14.50/£11.50 – available from the box office on 0844 477 1000 or online at www.ticketweb.co.uk/+.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Ticketweb (ticketweb.co.uk), 0844 477 1000

Thriller Live announces a new West End booking period

Thriller, September 2016. Photo credit: Irina Chira.

Theatre news

THRILLER Live has once again extended its booking period at the Lyric Theatre, this time until October 2017.

A new Thriller Live tour will visit theatres across the UK and Europe from January 2017 and tonight (September 30, 2016), a production opens at a major new resort in the People’s Republic of China.

Michael Jackson first sang Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough in 1979. It was the first song to showcase his talent as a solo artist, winning him his first solo Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and it’s been in Thriller Live, the West End concert spectacular created to celebrate the career of one of the world’s greatest entertainers, since day one.

Thriller Live first opened in the West End at the Lyric Theatre in January 2009 and is currently the 10th longest running show – musical or play – in West End history. It never fails to get the audience on its feet and has received more than 3,200 nightly standing ovations. It also holds the record as the longest running show since the Lyric started entertaining the capital in December 1888.

Thriller Live recently sold its two millionth West End ticket and has now been seen by over four milion people in 32 countries and played over 5,100 performances worldwide.

The UK tour dates have also been announced and they are: Southport Theatre (January 27 and 28); Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (January 30 to February 4); His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen (February 6 – 11); Norwich Theatre Royal (February 13 – 18); Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (February 21- 25); Venue Cymru, Llandudno (February 27 to March 1); Sands Centre Carlisle (March 2 – 4); Gaiety Theatre Dublin (March 6 – 11); Waterfront Hall, Belfast (March 16 – 18); Grand Theatre Swansea (March 20 – 25); Grand Theatre Leeds (April 11 – 15); and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry (April 25 – 29).

Thriller Live was chosen as the opening production in the state-of-the-art 1,200-seat Parisian Theatre at the heart of the magnificent $2.9billion dollar hotel complex, the Sands Parisian Macao Hotel in Macao in the People’s Republic of China. The hotel and resort opened its doors to the public for the first time on Tuesday, September 13 and Thriller Live will play there for seven weeks.

Producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol said today: “After more than eight years in the West End, Thriller Live continues to go from strength to strength. We have had a spectacular summer and year on year audience numbers are fantastic. Michael Jackson’s music has never been more popular, and just like Wicked and other successful shows, Thriller Live has many loyal fans who come back time after time for repeat visits. We aim to keep the show fresh and exciting for them for many years to come through subtle changes, additional special effects and new video content.”

The current Thriller Live West End company are: Jordan Alexander, Angelica Allen, J Brock, Dajiow, Haydon Eshun, Ryan Shaw, Ria Horsford, Cordell Mosteller, Alex Ko, Aisling Duffy, Florivaldo Mossi, Leslie Bowman,Joshua Rees Ivey, Alishia Marie Blake, Ebony Clarke, Alex Jackson, Victoria Lamm, Arnold Mabhena, Helen Parsons, Chanté Simpson, Steven Thompson, Beccy Jones, Thomas Remaili, Aled Arhyel Charles, Remi Gooding, Zayn Johnson, Zuriel Williams-Kabasomi and Daniel Odejinmi.

Fool For Love - Adam Rothenberg and Lydia Wilson star at Found111

Adam Rothenberg

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING the critically acclaimed productions of The Dazzle, Bug and Unfaithful, Emily Dobbs Productions is presenting Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love at Found111. The final show at the pop-up theatre, it runs for an eight-week season from Wednesday, October 26 to Saturday, December 17, 2016.

Described as passionate and explosive, Fool For Love stars New Jersey-born Adam Rothenberg, making his eagerly awaited London stage debut, and Olivier award-nominated Lydia Wilson. They previously starred together as lovers in BBC1’s hit detective series, Ripper Street.

Adam Rothenberg has starred in all five series of Ripper Street as former US Army surgeon and Pinkerton agent Capt Homer Jackson. He also played Stanley Kowalski opposite Patricia Clarkson in the Kennedy Centre’s A Streetcar Named Desire. He said:

“I’m thrilled to have been invited to London to be a part of such a wonderful play. It’s a dream part. It’s going to be doubly exciting to play opposite Lydia Wilson again. We had such a great time on Ripper Street together and I look forward to getting to do this part opposite her.”

Lydia Wilson, who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Olivier for her performance as Kate Middleton in Rupert Goold’s King Charles III (Almeida Theatre, West End and Broadway), played Cate in the Olivier-nominated Blasted and Kalara in this year’s Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond. She said:

“I’m so excited to work on this iconic play at Found111 – I remember as a teenager running around the old St Martin’s School of Art building. And I’m delighted to be working again with the immensely talented Adam Rothenberg. The entire cast of Ripper Street were very close, it was a uniquely happy job with real respect and friendship amongst the cast.”

Fool For Love finds Eddie and May confined to a run-down motel room where they spit truth and lies at each other as they fight for a love that they can’t live with, or without. Past, present and reality collide in this searingly funny, dark portrayal of love, loss and identity set against the stark backdrop of the Mojave Desert.

Lydia Wilson

Director Simon Evans (The Dazzle, Bug) returns to Found111 to direct the production. He said: “I can’t wait to return to direct Found111’s swan-song show, Fool For Love. Ever since walking up those stairs and into that space on behalf of the Collyer brothers (for The Dazzle), I’ve adored its unique capacity to pull an audience into a story; not to mention the extraordinary artists I’ve been able to work with.

“Sam Shepard’s blisteringly good play completes the triptych perfectly: pulling out audience again into the wilder corners of America and confronting them with one final set of fascinating, eccentric and damaged characters bound together by their attempts to understand their place in the world. Outsiders who seal themselves away have always found a good home at Found111. I’ll be sad to see it go, but am thrilled we get to see it out in style.”

The cast also includes Joe McGann and Luke Neal.

Sam Shepard is an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director, whose body of work spans over half a century. He ranks as one of America’s most celebrated dramatists, having written nearly 50 plays and seen his work produced in venues ranging from Greenwich Village coffee shops to regional professional and community theatres, from college campuses to Broadway and the West End.

Throughout his career, Shepard has amassed numerous grants, prizes, fellowships, and awards, including the Cannes Palme d’Or and the Pulitzer Prize. Fool for Love earned him his 11th OBIE award for Best Play and his first for Best Direction.

Fool For Love contains adult themes and is therefore suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets: from £27.50 (with no booking fee) – available from the box office on 020 7478 0100 or online at www.found111.co.uk/.

NB: Found111 now has allocated seating.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 3pm.

Found111, 111 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT

Casting announced for the Lyric Hammersmith's Aladdin

Lyric Hammersmith

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for the Lyric Hammersmith’s Christmas panto, Aladdin, which runs from Saturday, November 19, 2016 to Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Award-winning comedian Vikki Stone will play Abanazer, joining Karl Queensborough who returns to the Lyric stage as Aladdin after playing the Prince in last year’s panto, Cinderella.

They are joined by Allyson Ava-Brown (as Jasmine), James Doherty (Widow Twankey), Arthur McBain (Wishy Washy), Malinda Parris (Genie) and Dale Rapley (Emperor).

The Lyric will also continue its commitment to nurturing young talent with a six strong young ensemble: Cyrus Barghchi, Madeline Charlemagne, Amber Edwards, David Fieller, Isabella Shaw and Violet Vincent.

Joel Horwood will pick up the reins again to write this year’s panto and Ellen McDougall, newly appointed as Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, also returns to direct, alongside other members of last year’s creative team, Oliver Townsend (Set Design), Corin Buckeridge (Musical Composition) and Lainie Baird (Choreography).

As part of the Lyric’s commitment to the local community, they will provide 2,000 free tickets to Aladdin for Hammersmith and Fulham schools. They will also provide a relaxed performance for the first time for panto after the success of the one presented for Bugsy Malone.

Tickets: Previews £15, then £15, £20, £25, £30, £35. No booking fee. To book call the box office on 020 8741 6850 or visit www.lyric.co.uk.

Times: See website for details.

Open Captioned Performance: Sunday, December 18 at 5.30pm.

Audio Described Performance: Thursday, December 15 at 7pm.

BSL Performance: Tuesday, December 27 at 2pm.

Relaxed Performance: Tuesday, January 3 at 2pm.

See also the Little Lyric Autumn 2016 Season, which includes Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas which runs from November 18 to December 24.

Jersey Boys to close in March 2017

IT HAS been announced that the hit musical Jersey Boys is to close in the West End – on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

The show will embark on a second UK tour in December 2017, beginning at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.

Previously posted: The hit musical Jersey Boys, which recently celebrated its eighth year in the West End, has extended its run at the Piccadilly Theatre until April 16, 2017.

The show has also recently welcomed a new cast with Matt Corner as Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey as Tommy DeVito, Declan Egan as Bob Gaudio and Matt Hunt as Nick Massi.

The musical, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, features many of the group’s hits from the 60s such as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Oh, What a Night and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

It was in 2008 that Jersey Boys opened in London – at the Prince Edward Theatre, before moving to its current home, the Piccadilly Theatre, in March 2014.

Confessional at Southwark Playhouse - first images released

Rob Ostlere

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE first images have been released of the cast for the London premiere of Tennesee Williams’ Confessional. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Following a critically-acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, Tramp Theatre’s production of Tennesee Williams’ Confessional transfers to London – to Southwark Playhouse where it runs from Wednesday, October 5 to Saturday, October 29, 2016.

Tramp’s innovative, semi-immersive production reimagines Williams’ little known play in “Monk’s Bar”, a run-down British seaside bar on the Essex coast, frequented by life’s flotsam and jetsam. The audience are seated in the pub with the locals while the action kicks off around them.

Join the bar’s regulars over the course of one furious and fun evening, as a pair of strangers enters their world – and all hell breaks loose.

The action focuses around Leona Dawson, a caravan park beautician who discovers her layabout boyfriend has been cheating on her with her mentally ill best friend. To add insult to injury, it’s also the anniversary of her younger brother’s death.

With alcohol-fuelled emotions already running high, tensions increase when a pair of gay men come into the bar, one of whom reminds Leona of her dead brother, who was also gay. As Leona gets drunker she alternates between ranting at the regulars, bragging about her self sufficiency and her itinerant life in a caravan, and listening to the two strangers tell stories about the experience of being homosexual – something she knows will irritate her homophobic friends.

According to press material, Confessional is like an episode of EastEnders, written by Tennessee Williams!

Directed by Jack Silver, Confessional, Williams’ first play to feature an openly gay character, receives its London professional premiere at Southwark Playhouse.

Silver says: “You don’t know until the very end, which of your fellow drinkers/audience members has a speaking part. I want the audience to feel unsafe, I want them to have a physical reaction to the play which means something in their instinct compels them to watch. When you sit on the Underground and there’s a sketchy guy on the train, you have to watch him, even out of the corner of your eye. Because something deep within you says that if you don’t watch out, you might not be safe. I’m trying to recreate that instinct, to compel you to watch.”

Lizzie Stanton

The cast includes Lizzie Stanton, reprising her critically-acclaimed role as Leona, Rob Ostlere (best known for playing Arthur Digby for three years in Holby City and Waymar Royce in Game of Thrones), Gavin Brocker (Mapp & Lucia, Beautiful Thing), with Raymond Bethley, Simone Somers-Yeates, and AF McLoughlin also returning and newcomers Jack Archer and Alex Kiffin.

Tennessee Williams was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, and is considered one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century. After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with The Glass Menagerie (1944), closely reflecting his own unhappy family background. This heralded a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959).

Produced by Remy Blumenfeld, Confessional has set design by Justin Williams.

Tickets: Previews (October 5 and 6): all tickets £12. From October 7: £20, £16 concessions. To book, call the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 8pm; Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 3.30pm.

The professional European première of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro continues at Southwark Playhouse until September 10, 2016.

Acclaimed Czech theatre makes London debut

Dejvicke Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PRAGUE’S cult Dejvicke Theatre makes its London debut at the Greenwood Theatre from November 5 to November 7, 2016, celebrating the work of Shakespeare, Irvine Welsh and Lev Theremin.

Critically acclaimed for original writing and star casting and boasting multiple national and international awards, the Dejvicke Theatre is one of Prague’s most celebrated cult venues. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Made in Prague festival organized by the Czech Centre London, the theatre will make its London debut.

All plays are in Czech with English surtitles.

For three nights only, the Prague company will present three UK premieres showcasing the best of its repertoire: Petr Zelenka’s Theremin, William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and the risqué A Blockage in the System inspired by the stories of Irvine Welsh.

The careful selection of three plays presents a cross section of the company‘s work: original writing (Petr Zelenka’s Theremin), the adaptation of contemporary world literature (A Blockage in the System based on Welsh’s Acid House) and an extraordinary interpretation of the great classics (Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale).

The specific, seductive and sparkling quality of each performance results from the fact that the Dejvicke Theatre is both a permanent venue and a company with a superb cast who have worked closely together for the past twenty years. The actors frequently appear in feature films and television and are adored by the public and awarded by critics.

Eva Kejkrtova-Merickova, director of the Dejvicke Theatre, said: “Coming to London is a unique opportunity to showcase one of the top Czech drama companies and we will bring the best it has to offer.”

THE PLAYS

The series opens with Theremin (November 5), a play by Petr Zelenka, one of the wittiest Czech playwrights and filmmakers and winner of five Czech National Film Awards for films such as Lost in Munich and The Karamazov Brothers (screened at the London Film Festival in 2015 and 2008 respectively).

It follows the controversial life of Lev Theremin – inventor of the theremin, (the first electronic musical instrument), scientist, musician and Russian spy. Theremin is brilliantly portrayed by Czech film and theatre star Ivan Trojan. Theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina (Lev Theremin’s granddaughter) will perform during the intermission and also give visitors an opportunity to try out the instrument.

The play has received numerous awards, including best drama, best actor and nominations for the Alfred Radok Award and the Thálie Award for Ivan Trojan’ s performance.

A Blockage in the System – Why is God sitting on the substitutes’ bench? (November 6), famous as the company’s most foul-mouthed play, is based on Irvine Welsh’s second book, Acid House, a collection of short stories. Daniel Majling’s adaptation is based on one of the stories – A Blockage in the System, but by including characters from other stories it ultimately paints an insightful portrayal of Edinburgh’s underbelly.

In 2012, the play won two Alfred Radok Prizes, top Czech theatre awards, for Best Play and Best Actor (Ivan Trojan).

The Winter’s Tale (November 7) marks the global celebrations of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a beautiful adaptation of his final play, which is partially set in Bohemia. The Dejvicke Theatre approaches this magical and complex text as a “psycho-thriller with a happy ending” full of subtle irony, humour and with stunning stage design.

“Details make good theatre and Dejvicke Theatre has managed to create an astonishing adaptation with its thought-through details and by faithfulness to the original text,“ says professor Martin Hilský, Shakespeare scholar and translator, member of the Order of the British Empire. “It was the best Winter’s Tale I have ever seen in any language. The actors were very strong and the direction and editing of the text were excellent,” confirms Guy Roberts, director of the Prague Shakespeare Company.

Tickets: £20 – £25.

Times: 7.30pm.

Greenwood Theatre (King´s College), 55 Weston Street, London, SE1 3RA