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Above the Stag Theatre - Autumn/Winter 2014

Treasure Island the Curse of the Pearl Necklace

Season preview

ABOVE the Stag Theatre has announced its programme for Autumn/Winter 2014 and it includes:

You Should Be So Lucky by US Drama Desk award-winner Charles Busch. A contemporary gay Cinderella story, it runs from September 17 to October 18.

When the shy, eccentric and accident prone electrologist Christopher helps the elderly Mr Rosenberg recover from a fainting fit he’s not expecting to be sent off to meet his Prince Charming at a glamorous charity ball.

And when the electrics short so he accidentally kills Rosenberg he certainly isn’t expecting to inherit his millions … nor to end up on reality TV facing the fury of his embittered and furious daughter, Lenore.

But it’s the icing on the cake when the old man turns up to lend a hand in the guise of a very ghostly fairy Godfather…

Andrew Beckett (The Gay Naked Play, Jack Off the Beanstalk) directs a new production of this New York hit, rekindling the madcap fun of the great screwball comedies of the 1930s.

You Should Be So Lucky is designed by David Shields, whose previous work includes Saturday Night Fever (Apollo Victoria Theatre), 1888 (Union Theatre), tours of Strictly Come Dancing, Chess, Carmen Jones and Holiday on Ice, and Dick Whittington (Bristol Hippodrome), plus many plays and pantos at Above The Stag.

The cast includes Lucas Livesey, Stacy Sobieski, Ellen Verenieks and Christopher Woodley. Lighting is by Chris Withers.

The Bus by James Lantz. The story of secret teenage love in the heart of America’s Bible Belt, it runs from October 22 to November 22.

The derelict bus signposting the road to the church is the ideal secret rendezvous for teenagers Jordan and Ian as they explore their friendship and love.

But when the gas station owner, who also happens to be Jordan’s divorced father, decides he’s had enough of giving it house room for free they suddenly find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of small-town politics, deep seated religious prejudice and family resentment.

A clash between the large church and a tiny local business can only be explosive and lead to unexpected consequences for all.

This battle between family, feelings and faith is described as touching, sometimes haunting, gently humorous and swirling with suspense.

The Bus is directed by Robert McWhir, Artistic Director of the Landor Theatre (13 years), where his credits include Sondheim’s Follies, which received universal acclaim in both the national and international press, and I Love You Because, which won the What’sOnStage award for Best Off-West End Production. Among his other numerous credits are the world premiere of Sleeping Arrangements, the UK premiere of Meet Me In St Louis, a revival of No Way To Treat A Lady, and the world premiere of The Man Inside starring Dave Willetts.

The production has set design by David Shields and lighting by Elliot Griggs. Casting has yet to be announced.

The Bus made its New York premiere in 2011 and has been performed in Burlington Vermont, Topeka/Wichita, San Francisco and Cape Town. Originally designed to go on the road and reach more conservative audiences, it is the first play by James Lantz, an award-winning commercial filmmaker and screenwriter, a non-activist, who is married and a father of two young children.

Lantz also produced a symbolic performance of The Bus near one of the most homophobic places in the country, The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, which came to national prominence in 1998 for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard and which since then has staged over 45,000 anti-gay protests, many at schools.

Speaking about The Bus, Lantz said: “It’s a story about gay teens, a small town, and a very big church. But at its core, it’s really a story about homophobia… After last year’s heartbreaking spate of suicides by gay teens, I began to wonder if we really should be ignoring a campaign of hate that is as relentless as this.”

Treasure Island – the Curse of the Pearl Necklace by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper. Above the Stag’s celebrated annual adult panto, it runs from November 28, 2014 to January 10, 2015.

Jim Hawkins wants adventure! Tired of swallowing seamen’s stories in his mum’s hotel on the Cornish coast, he gets his hands on a sailor’s chest and discovers a mysterious treasure map. Will he find riches? Sunshine? Speedo-clad men in the sand-dunes? Only if he can beat John Silver, a charismatic and curiously disabled pirate – and a very nautical boy.

Described as outrageous, romantic and very silly, Above The Stag’s acclaimed Christmas shows are a hugely popular festive feast of traditional panto fare and then some!

Treasure Island – the Curse of the Pearl Necklace is directed by Andrew Beckett (My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Sleeping with Straight Men) and is designed by David Shields, with musical direction by Daniel Johnson and lighting by Elliot Griggs. Casting has yet to be announced.

Martin Hooper and Jon Bradfield’s pantos for Above The Stag include Sleeping Beauty – One Little Prick, Robin Hood – Queen of Thieves, Dick Whittington – Another Dick in City Hall and Get Aladdin! They also wrote Gay School Musical and a drama A Hard Rain, about a drag queen and former soldier in the build-up to the Stonewall Riots, which premiered at Above The Stag earlier this year.

NB: Treasure Island – the Curse of the Pearl Necklace is for adults only.

For more information or to book the above productions, visit www.abovethestag.com/ or for group bookings email atstheatre@aol.com.