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Casting announced for London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season 2019

Tim Bowie, George Caporn, Melanie Gleeson, Acushla-Tara Kupe, Veronica Beatrice Lewis, Heidi Lynch, Stephanie MacGaraidh, Lorenzo Martelli, Itoya Osagiede, Feyesa Wakjira.

Season preview

CASTING has been announced for London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season, which this year includes The Sea Queen and Twelfth Night.

The line up includes Tim Bowie, George Caporn, Melanie Gleeson, Acushla-Tara Kupe, Veronica Beatrice Lewis, Heidi Lynch, Stephanie MacGaraidh, Lorenzo Martelli, Itoya Osagiede and Feyesa Wakjira.

Previously Posted: London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season will return to The Scoop for a 16th year with the world premiere of The Sea Queen, a family show about the Irish pirate Grainne O’Malley, and Shakespeare’s popular romantic comedy Twelfth Night.

Presented by Gods and Monsters Theatre in association with Iris Theatre, the season will run from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, September 1 with both shows playing nightly, Wednesday to Sunday. There’s no need to book – just turn up and take a seat! There’s room for 1,000 people at every performance.

These two plays and their two respective heroines, Grainne and Viola, will place the stories of strong, independent women at the heart of the season. It will also be the first year that one of the plays of William Shakespeare is being presented by the Company.

Telling classic narratives in modern ways, with strong female role models, is central to the approach being taken by this season’s director, Rae Mcken. Over the past decade, through her work with her own company ‘Custom/Practice’, Mcken has been at the forefront of presenting classical theatre with diverse casts that better reflect the makeup of our cosmopolitan melting pot city.

Through her work with ‘Artistic Directors of the Future’, Mcken also promotes greater diversity in the next generation of artistic leaders.

In The Sea Queen join Grainne O’Malley; pirate, chieftain and Irish queen of the seas, as she sets sail on her greatest adventure yet. Her family are prisoners, held in the dark dungeons of Dublin Castle by the evil Sir Richard Bingham. To save their lives she must embark for London, overcoming storms, buccaneers, and mutiny, before finally facing her implacable foe; England’s Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.

Based on the true story of Ireland’s legendary 16th century heroine, this voyage is for anyone who has dreamed of an ocean adventure. Come dance a jig, sing a sea shanty and live the life of a sea queen.

The Sea Queen is written by Daniel Winder.

In Twelfth Night experience Shakespeare’s famous tale of unrequited love in all its hilarious and heartbreaking splendour, entirely for free. Separated from her twin Sebastian in a shipwreck, Viola must fend for herself in a strange land. Havoc ensues through mistaken identity and heartache as Viola falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio…

Photograph © Sheila Burnett, 2011 (‘Around The World in Eighty Days’).

Set and costume design will be by Mayou Trikerioti and sound design by Matthew Bugg. Casting will be announced in due course.

Running in tandem with the shows will be a series of free Saturday theatre workshops for families in nearby Hayes Galleria – why not make a day of it and enjoy one of the free performances of The Sea Queen after the workshop?

Ahoy Pirates! – June 1

An interactive workshop perfect for any young heart who’s dreamed of becoming a pirate.

O’Malleys Crew – August 10

Grainne O’Malley, queen of the Sea, is seeking bold buccaneers for her crew. Become a pirate queen with this free theatre workshop.

Sea-Shanty Scallywags – August 17

“Yo Ho Yo Ho A Pirate’s Life for Me” Come learn a tune and sing with performers from London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season. Learn traditional Irish Folk and sing songs of the sea, perfect for any voice whether a mermaid’s or walrus’s!

Davy Jones’ Crafting – August 24

Create your own loot to hide in Davy Jones’ Locker! A workshop that’s perfect for pirates who love arts and crafts.

The Sailors’ Hornpipe – August 31

Join the crew of Grainne O’Malley and learn a jig like a true sailor of the sea.

Performance times: The Sea Queen – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm – 7pm. Sunday from 4pm – 5pm. Twelfth Night – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8pm – 9:30pm. Sunday from 6pm – 7.30pm.

Captioned performance (both shows) – Friday, August 16.

Relaxed Performance (both shows) – Saturday, August 24.

Parent & Baby performance (both shows) – Sunday, August 25.

Post Show Talks: Sunday, August 11, 18 and 25 from 7:45pm – 8:30pm.

The Scoop (adjacent to City Hall), London Bridge City, Queens Walk, London, SE1 2DB

Image: Photograph © Sheila Burnett, 2011 (Around The World in Eighty Days).