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Blue Elephant Theatre - Autumn 2012

The Hatpin

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE BLUE Elephant Theatre has announced its Autumn 2012 programme and it includes the European premiere of Australian musical The Hatpin and Lazarus Theatre Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

However, the season kicks off with What The Soul Can’t Hide and Harbour, a double bill of contemporary and Caribbean/Afro-contemporary dance – from October 4 to October 6.

Marking Black History Month at the Blue Elephant, this double bill brings two separate stories together in what is described as a vibrant and resonant performance.

Choreographer is Heather Cupid.

Tickets: £10, £9 concessions, £8 Southwark residents.

Time: 8pm.

Next – on October 12 and 13 – comes Hattie Thomas’ Beatrice on Fire, a comedic and absurd retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, as presented by a young woman navigating her way through depression, bereavement and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Combining visual and physical theatre, puppetry, storytelling and music, Beatrice on Fire is a completely new take on the story of Beatrice and Benedick. This work-in-progress performance aims to keep the audience on their toes with a smile on their faces.

Hattie Thomas is an actor and puppeteer, creating bizarre and exciting work which brings new stories to life.

Tickets: Free but must be reserved in advance.

Time: 8pm.

Beatrice on Fire is followed – from October 16 to October 20 – by The Wordcatcher, a world of sound and of silence both in the heart and in the mind, where we try to fix things in place that don’t fit together.

Following Seemingly Invisible last year, Smoking Apples return to the Blue Elephant with a new piece using puppetry, physical theatre and live music. Smoking Apples aim to ignite the adult imagination to find wonder in the most human and mundane of situations.

Devising cast are Molly Freeman, Matt Lloyd and Hattie Thomas.

Tickets: £8, £6 concessions, £5 Southwark residents.

Time: 8pm.

Post show discussion: Wednesday, October 17.

Next it’s the turn of Signs, Games and Messages, in which dance and music meet – from October 24 to October 27.

Fusing electronics, innovative choreography and the music of cutting-edge composers, Signs, Games and Messages probes the subtleties of being human: the minute signs and idiosyncrasies that let us glimpse who we truly are, the games we play with each other and the hidden messages we send.

Music is by György Kurtág, Tigran Mansurian, Javier Alvarez and Sounding Motion’s resident composer Benjamin Graves; and musicians are Stephen Upshaw (viola) and Calie Hough (percussion).

Dancers are Imogen Bland, Adrian Gillott, Jaya Hartlein, Michael Kitchin and Anne Marie Kristensen; and choreographers are Imogen Bland, Anne Marie Kristensen and Dominick Mitchell-Bennett. Lighting design is by Greg Gould.

Tickets: : £10, £8 concessions, £7 Southwark residents.

Time: 8pm.

Next up is the European premiere of award-winning musical The Hatpin – from October 30 to November 24.

Amber Murray gives up her son to the wealthy Makin family in the belief that he will have a better life. When she is unable to visit him, her suspicions are aroused. Refusing to be brushed off with excuses, she begins to look more closely into the family she has entrusted with her son.

The Hatpin, which based on one of the most shocking and influential trials in Australian history, is about being brave enough to find the truth, and then having the strength to face it.

With music by Peter Rutherford and book and lyrics by James Millar, The Hatpin is directed and designed by Ricky Dukes, with musical direction by Aaron Clingham and costume design by Alice Pocock.

The Hatpin is presented by Heather Doole, Blue Elephant Theatre and Greenwich Theatre in association with Lazarus Theatre Company.

Tickets: : £16.50, £12.50 concessions, £10 Southwark Residents and previews (October 30 and 31) – available from www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk or 020 8858 7755.

Time: 7.30pm.

Finally – from November 27 to December 15 – comes Lazarus Theatre Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, here transported to a frozen forest .

High in the mountains, four young lovers find themselves far from home, following romance at all costs. With the fairies at hand to weave their spells, nothing is quite as it seems until confusion gives way to happily-ever-after.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is directed and designed by Ricky Dukes, with lighting by Alex Musgrave and costumes by Rachel Dingle.

Tickets: £15, £10 concessions and previews (November 27 and 28), £9 Southwark residents.

Time: 8pm (Wednesday matinees at 4pm on December 5 and 12).

For more information visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/.