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Jack Studio Theatre - Autumn 2013

A Scent of Flowers

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE JACK Studio Theatre has announced its programme for Autumn 2013 and it includes four revivals from visiting companies, plus an in-house Christmas production.

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, DogOrange presents James Saunders’ lost absurdist classic, A Scent of Flowers, which runs from September 10 to September 28.

Hailed by The Times as ‘a unique, an unforgettable experience’, it introduced a young Ian McKellen to the West End audience, and led to his first acting award.

Zoe is rifling through her memories for an answer; something to explain what has happened to her. Alone in a strangely familiar room, she glimpses moments in her life that brought her to this day; her funeral.

A tragic-comic and wildly inventive tale, A Scent of Flowers is presented with DogOrange’s trademark theatrical style and directed by Artistic Director Matthew Parker. It marks award-nominated DogOrange’s return to the Jack Studio following the sell-out successes of A Woman Alone and Mary Rose and features Stage Award nominated actress Charlotte Blake.

Tickets: : £13, £10 concessions.

Time: 7.45pm.

A Scent of Flowers is followed by The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel. Presented by OutFox Productions, it runs from October 1 to October 19.

We’re all made of star dust. Of atoms that once were stars and planets and moons. The beautiful and the banal: coexisting through a complex chemical bond.

Tillie loves knowing the underlying scientific structure of the world. But could science be a way of gaining her mother’s love? Can a project with irradiated marigold seeds at the school science fair show her mother that Tillie is more than just half a test-tube?

The 1971 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, Paul Zindel’s tale of crazy relatives, radioactive flora and a passion for science is a dark and dreamy tale of one girl’s struggle to survive the trauma of growing up by escaping into science. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds discovers what beautiful flora might grow from seemingly rotten remnants when you simply apply the spark of imagination.

Tickets: £13, £10 concessions.

Time: 7.45pm.

Next, Language Laid Bare Productions, by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd, presents the musical Love Story – from October 23 to November 16.

Inspired by Erich Segal’s best-selling iconic novel and the film starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, this ‘life-affirming’ musical is scored by the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning composer Howard Goodall, with lyrics by Stephen Clark.

When Oliver Barrett IV wanders into a library in search of a book, he discovers Jenny Cavilleri. They came from different worlds. He was a Harvard man, she was Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music. But they fell in love. This is their story.

Tickets: £14, £10 concessions.

Times: 7.45pm. Saturday matinee (November 16) at 3pm.

Love Story is followed – from November 19 to December 7 – by William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, presented by Lazarus Theatre Company.

An economic crash, a society turned upside down, a battle of head versus heart. Shakespeare’s masterful play comes to the stage in this all new ensemble production of one of the most controversial comedies of all time.

Antonio, with assets tied to investments, finds his commitments lead him to one of the greatest characters of all time, Shylock. Their embittered rivalry leads to a fight to the death. Venice will never be the same again.

Tickets: £13, £10 concessions.

Time: 8pm.

For Christmas, the Jack Studio Theatre is presenting The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful by Charles Ludlam, American playwright, actor, director and founder of The Ridiculous Theatrical Group. Directed by Kate Bannister, it runs from December 11 to January 4, 2014.

Egyptologist Lord Edgar introduces his new bride, Lady Enid, to the Hillcrest family estate. But a dark shadow hangs over their future in the shape of Irma Vep, Lord Edgar’s first wife who died in mysterious circumstances.

Will Lady Enid escape the fate of her predecessor? Will Lord Edgar find his Mummy?

The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful is described as a gothic horror, quick-change tour-de-force that brings werewolves, vampires and ancient artefacts gloriously to life.

The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful is produced by the same in-house team at the Jack behind The Ghost Train, Around the World in 80 Days, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and is performed by Jonathan Kemp and William Kempsell.

Tickets: £14, £10 concessions.

Time: 7.45pm.

For more information or to book, call the box office on 0844 8700 887 or visit There is no charge for online bookings. Telephone reservations have a £1.50 booking fee.