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Sun - St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SUN, an intimate reflection on the importance of mortality and human relationships as Valentine’s Day approaches, will be performed at St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, from Wednesday, February 5 to Sunday, March 2, 2014.

In this piece, written and directed by Alan Fielden, a young girl practices her piano, a couple remember, twins boil water, strangers fall in love. And then the world begins to end: fire and ash, dinosaurs, hurricanes, volcanoes, secrets …

An audience of no more than 40 are invited to walk between two separate performances within the nave of the church, absorbing delicate fragments which form a ‘painting with words’, created using elements such as light, darkness, height, sound and distance.

Responding to the architecture and acoustics of the space, the thought provoking performance explores what humans would keep in the face of extinction. What is sacred in the Western world today? How we might be remembered by future generations?

Writer and director Alan Fielden said:

“One thing Sun is about is the mortality of all love and if there’s any such thing as a love that conquers death. I’ve had testing experiences of love in my recent life both romantically and in my family and I think that means that my head and heart are in a place of questioning the mortality of love. The inevitability of love seems to be loss which is somehow funny and cruel and absurd.”

The cast includes Anna Martine, Jack McMahon, James Murray-Perton, Lydia Orange, Malachy Orozco, Loukia Pierides, Daniel Somerville, Duncan Wilkins and Oyinka Yusuff.

Sun is presented by National Art Service , a London based international theatre collective led by Alan Fielden. Made up of a fluid ensemble of collaborators from the UK, US, Cyprus, Sweden and Singapore, NAS have been creating off West End productions since 2010. Previous work includes the award-winning The Winning Crowd (LOST Theatre, 2011) and In the Dark (Tristan Bates Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, 2010 and AXA Hotel Prague, 2011).

Dedicated to St Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners and the mentally ill, St Leonard’s Church stands as the oldest building in Shoreditch. It prides itself on being the original actors’ church. The first English theatre was close by and was the site of several of Shakespeare’s play premieres. The actors who were first to play Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III, Othello and Romeo are all buried in the crypt of St Leonard’s; as are the Burbage family who built The Globe.

St Leonard’s Church, locally known as Shoreditch Church, has always been committed to its community. The building’s wonderful acoustics and rich architecture have made it a home to a variety of contemporary music and performance events from the BBC Symphony Orchestra to Kate Tempest. The church is currently presided over by the Reverend Paul Turp and was recently used for the BBC Two programme Rev and as the backdrop for alternative pop act Florence + the Machine’s Drumming Song video.

Produced by Jemima Yong and Annabelle Stapleton-Crittenden, Sun has lighting by Ziggy Jacobs, sound by Pete Malkin and costume design by Rachel Good.

Sun is suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets: £8 – £14, previews (first week) £12. To book, call 0800 411 8881 or visit http://suninshoreditch.brownpapertickets.com/.

Times: 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (no interval).

St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, London, E1 6J