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Rose Theatre Kingston - Spring 2013

The Vortex

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE ROSE Theatre Kingston has announced its Spring 2013 programme and it includes Noël Coward’s The Vortex and Richard Bean’s black comedy Smack Family Robinson, directed by Richard Wilson.

Next year also sees the return of Propeller with The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, and Northern Broadsides presents the ground breaking Rutherford and Son, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.

The new season begins with the Rose’s youth and adult amateur groups’ presentation of Thomas Hardy’s masterpiece Tess of the D’Urbervilles (January 11 and 12), a heart-rending love-story, in which tradition clashes head-on with modernity. It follows the success of last year’s production of The Crucible.
Read more about Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Martha Tilston (January 19) is a singer-songwriter blessed with a gloriously clear and seductive voice. Her poetic music boasts a magical new flavour on this live tour, following the recording of her latest new studio album, Machines of Love.

Now a popular annual fundraising event, Magic at the Rose (January 20) is described as a terrific night of entertainment for the whole family and includes fiendish illusions, incomprehensible mind-reading and plenty of laughs.

Southbank Sinfonia (January 26), Britain’s orchestra of young professionals bring their signature talent and energy back to the Rose. Be inspired by the next generation of musical stars, described by The Times as “a dashing ensemble who play with exhilarating fizz, exactness and stamina”.

Following their triumphant run at the International Youth Arts Festival, National Youth Music Theatre return to the Rose with this magical treatment of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a cast of 45 of Britain’s most promising young actors and a twelve-piece orchestra, The Dreaming (February 1 and 2) is packed with hilarious comedy, mystery and “haunting music full of shimmering textures” (The Guardian).

Noël Coward’s The Vortex (February 7 to March 9), a tale of sexual vanity and drug abuse among the upper classes, is directed by the Rose’s Artistic Director Stephen Unwin.

What do you do if your mother’s lovers are the same age as you? Noël Coward’s follow-up to Hay Fever was described as ‘un peu shocking’ and was his first great success. The relationship between the decadent young Nicky Lancaster and his highly-sexed mother scandalised its original audiences and still packs a punch.

Rose Plus Choir (February 17) return to the Rose for a single day to learn, rehearse and perform a Valentine’s Day special. Either join the Choir for the day to rehearse and sing a programme of romantic classics in the Rose auditorium, or join the audience for an unforgettable performance. Whether a practised chorister or a secret shower-time singer, this is an exhilarating experience for all.

Tall Stories Theatre Company, the creators of the stage version of The Gruffalo, return with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo’s Child (March 14 to March 17) in a magical, musical adaptation for children aged 3 years and over.

The Gruffalo’s Child

One wild and windy night the Gruffalo’s Child ignores her father’s warning and tiptoes out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn’t really exist… does he?

Northern Broadsides’ Rutherford and Son (March 19 to March 23) is an unflinching portrayal of an Edwardian family on the brink of collapse. John Rutherford (Northern Broadsides’ Artistic Director Barrie Rutter) is a tyrannical patriarch, blind to the hopes and feelings of his family. The success of the family firm takes precedence over everything – even happiness.

The Rose’s production of Richard Bean’s black comedy Smack Family Robinson (March 28 to April 20), directed by Richard Wilson, has been relocated from Whitley Bay to South West London.

The Robinsons have run a successful, if a bit dodgy, family business since the 1960s. They have a comfortable house in the suburbs and expensive cars in the drive. But the younger generation isn’t like their dad. And the police are getting interested.

Richard Bean is one of Britain’s most successful playwrights. His many plays include Toast, Harvest (Royal Court Theatre) and the award-winning National Theatre, West End and Broadway hit, One Man, Two Guvnors.

Prior to the evening performance of Smack Family Robinson, Richard Bean is taking part in the Rose’s Time to Talk series. Time to Talk: Richard Bean (April 17) is a chance to hear from one on Britain’s best playwrights about his long and successful career, followed by the opportunity to ask your own questions.

Edward Hall’s internationally-renowned all-male company Propeller bring two of Shakespeare’s finest comedies to the Rose, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew (April 23 to April 27). Both plays explore how being in love with the wrong person reveals true feeling as Shakespeare asks us to examine what makes happiness.

One of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies of love and confusion, Twelfth Night (April 23, 26 and 27) tells a twisted tale of mistaken identity, transformation and deception. With a man playing a girl disguised as a boy, illusion and reality are almost indistinguishable on Propeller’s island of Illyria. Dark and delightful, the play asks ‘What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?’ and the answer is both beautiful and bittersweet.

In The Taming of the Shrew (April 24, 25 and 27) two disguised, competing suitors clamour for the hand of beautiful Bianca whilst gold digging Petruchio agrees to wed her viciously ill-tempered sister Kate sight-unseen. The difference between marrying for love and marrying for money, however, becomes increasingly difficult to judge.

There will be a post-show discussion with the Company on the 449th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) following that evening’s performance of Twelfth Night.

Tickets are available in person, over the phone on 0844 821 556 (booking fee) and online at (booking fee).

Rose Theatre Kingston’s Autumn 2012 Programme.