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Autumn at Wilton's with ENO, James Graham’s Sketching and the return of The Box of Delights

Sketching from Dee McCourt (Borkowski Arts)

Season preview

WILTON’S Music Hall has announced its autumn 2018 season, which sees collaborations with forward-thinking theatre companies, era-defining playwrights and prestigious institutions.

For the first time in its history, English National Opera will perform a piece at Wilton’s Music Hall as they present Paul Bunyan (September 3-5 and September 7 – 8), Benjamin Britten’s retelling of the legend of the mythical giant, as part of its ENO Studio Live series.

The initiative seeks to present the immense power of opera in intimate theatre environments, and the chance to see an iconic piece in such an atmospheric venue will be unmissable.

From one classic reimagining to another, the renowned Watermill Theatre brings its bold and beautiful retelling of Twelfth Night (September 12 – 22) to the magical surroundings of Wilton’s by way of a 1920’s speakeasy.

Renowned for its progressive and collaborative approach to Shakespeare, Watermill Theatre have set this classic tale in the Roaring Twenties, where prohibition is rife and Europe is still reeling in the wake of war. Following a hugely successful UK and international tour and set against a soundtrack of energetic jazz music, the ensemble reunites to create what is described as a dizzying and glorious production.

Olivier Award-winning playwright James Graham (Ink, This House, Quiz) brings his brand-new multi-authored play SKETCHING to Wilton’s. Presented by Bozco Ltd. in association with Wilton’s Music Hall, it runs from September 26 to October 27).

Inspired by Dickens’ first novel Sketches by Boz, the piece sets out to explore the diversity and intricate stories that make up London, using eight emerging writers picked out from a submission list of over 800 applicants who will co-author the works led and crafted by Graham. Directed by Thomas Hescott (Tory Boyz, The Act, Outings), this is a unique and observant piece celebrating the rich patchwork of people and narratives that make up our beloved capital.

The production is supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.

Not About Heroes from Dee McCourt (Borkowski Arts)

Stephen Macdonald’s acclaimed production Not About Heroes (October 31 to November 11) is a tale of friendship, joy and loss, exploring the relationship between two of the most celebrated World War One poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon who met at Craiglockhart Hospital in 1917 and bonded over a mutual hatred of war and love of poetry.

This strictly limited London run concludes an acclaimed two-year tour, commemorating the centenary of the Armistice. Flying Bridge Theatre Company partners with Wilton’s Associate Artists and Olivier Award winners Seabright Productions to present this enduringly powerful love letter to poetry and the strength of the human spirit.

Making their Wilton’s debut from November 13 – 17 are the ingenious BalletBoyz with Young Men, a poignant and powerful hybrid of live dance and film bringing to life their Rose d’Or award-winning film which chronicles the experiences of those sent to fight in The Great War. Performing to an evocative and mesmeric score by cult singer/songwriter Keaton Henson with choreography by Iván Pérez, the BalletBoyz dancers burst from screen onto stage as the two genres beautifully intertwine.

A glorious fusion of theatre, cabaret and drag, Dietrich: Natural Duty (November 19 – 24) is an intoxicating one (wo)man show revealing the life of a legend, Marlene Dietrich. In her gold sequinned gown on the battlefields of Africa in 1942, she takes to the stage to fight the war her way; with an irresistible mix of songs, sequins, sex and sympathy. The Wilton’s run follows a highly-acclaimed Edinburgh Festival run and sold out shows at VAULT festival.

Explore a world of magic, sorcerers, flying cars and festive delight as the critically acclaimed production The Box of Delights by Piers Torday, based on the novel by John Masefield, returns (November 30 to January 5). A Wilton’s Music Hall and Hero Productions co-production, it tells the story of schoolboy Kay Harker, who is entrusted with a magical box after a mysterious meeting on his train home for the holidays. It draws him into an ancient magical struggle which will see him fighting not just for his life but to save Christmas itself.

OneTrackMinds from Dee McCourt (Borkowski Arts)

In the rest of a jam-packed season, Wilton’s sees the return of the uproarious, good old-fashioned knees up that is Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long (August 6), showings of silent classics with the Pie Face Silent Comedy Film Festival (August 7-10) and the always wonderful OneTrackMinds (September 6) where a vibrant selection of writers, musicians and thinkers celebrate the power of music by sharing stories about the one song that changed their life.

Joining them will be the exceptionally popular Dead Poets Live presents Bob Dylan: The Words of the Songs (November 5) performed by none other than British acting legend Toby Jones and for a festive cabaret experience, join Nicky Gayner and her band for Nicky Gayner’s Unashamedly Christmas (December 21), a show brimming with sparkling fun and festive ditties, old time classics, cheeky pop hits and of course a few unexpected treats from the bottom of her stocking.

For younger theatre goers, November 22 and 23 sees the return of Chickenshed with Tales from the Shed, a vibrant, interactive show packed full of silliness and fun for kids aged 0 – 6.

For more information visit www.wiltons.org.uk/.