Follow Us on Twitter

Mare Rider - Arcola Theatre

Mare Rider

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OLIVIER Award-winner Kathryn Hunter returns to the Arcola Theatre in Leyla Nazli’s evocative new play, Mare Rider, which runs from January 25 (previews from January 22) to February 16, 2013.

In this potent new work, directed by Mehmet Ergen, Nazli weaves classic mythology with fears of child-birth and issues of identity into what is described as a dazzling piece that is both unsettling and deeply moving.

In the maternity ward of a London Hospital, Selma is stuck between other people’s reality and her own. She’s visited by Elka from afar, who takes her on a fantastical journey of dreams and fears – stealing wine, meeting seahorses and mermaids, and riding mares across meadows.

Elka is the Mare Rider, subversive and vengeful baby-stealer, a timeless creature of myth, who inhabits our dreams.

Kathryn Hunter’s previous work at the Arcola includes Tell Them I am Young and Beautiful and Yerma. Her credits elsewhere include Kafka’s Monkey and Peter Brook’s Fragments (Young Vic), The Diver (Soho Theatre) and Friedrich Durrenmatt’s The Visit (National Theatre), for which she won a 1990 Olivier Award.

As a director, her credits include Othello (RSC), The Birds (National Theatre) and Pericles (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Hunter has also appeared in films such as Mike Leigh’s All or Nothing and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The cast also includes Matthew Flynn, Anna Francolini and Hara Yanas.

Leyla Nazli was selected to be one of ‘The Royal Court Fifty’ to celebrate the theatre’s 50th Anniversary year. It was at the Royal Court that her play Silver Birch House had its first reading before, in 2007, premiering at the Arcola, where she is currently Executive Producer.

Mehmet Ergen is the founder and Artistic Director of the Arcola Theatre, where his more recent credits include The Sweet Smell of Success, The Painter, The Cradle Will Rock, Release the Beat, Silver Birch House, Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Jitterbug, Chasing the Moment and An Enemy of the People.

Mare Rider is designed by Matthew Wright.

Tickets: £18, £14 concessions, £14 previews (all tickets), matinees (February 2, 9 and 16) £16, £12 concessions. All are available from the box office on 020 7503 1646 or online at

Times: 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2:30pm.

NB: There is no performance on Thursday, February 14.

Also at the Arcola Theatre: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (February 12 to March 16) and Moby-Dick (March 27 to May 4).