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Casting announced for The Unnatural Tragedy at the White Bear Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for The Unnatural Tragedy, which runs at the White Bear Theatre from July 3 to July 21, 2018.

The line up includes Madeleine Hutchins (as Madame Malateste), Norma Dixit, Jesse Jones, James Sanderson (Marry), Alan Booty (Malateste) and James Walmsley.

The production is designed by Alys Whitehead.

Previously Posted: Written by Margaret Cavendish and directed by Graham Watts, The Unnatural Tragedy runs at the White Bear Theatre from July 3 to July 21, 2018.

A woman write a play! Nobody will believe it. For if it be good, they will say she did not write it.

Essex girl Margaret Cavendish wrote The Unnatural Tragedy in the decade between the Taj Mahal being completed and the Great Fire of London. It has never had any kind of performance – until now!

Why has the play and Cavendish been discarded for so long? Think Samuel Beckett presenting Waiting for Godot to Henry Irving. She was years ahead of her time and knew it. “I regard not so much the present but future ages, for which I intend all my books,” she wrote. In effect what she penned would be recognisable today as a film script.

Cavendish skilfully juxtaposes hilarious comedy with high drama, exploring themes such as incest, rape, and the emotional abuse of women. As in a screenplay many scenes are short and without context, some only four lines long.

In an age where no woman was allowed to perform on stage she was unashamedly female-centric. Nine of the cast of 13 are women and 70% of the dialogue is spoken by female voices. The language they use is nothing like the flowery verse we associate with plays from this period but gritty and immediate prose.

Preceding Marx by 200 years, Cavendish questions whether Biblical doctrine is (literally) man-made. If that is the case then only Nature’s laws exist – but what is “Unnatural”?

Director Graham Watts’ 30-year career includes Nathan Field’s A Woman is a Weathercock (nominated for a “Time Out” Award,) Much Ado About Nothing in New York, Othello in Hamburg, Henry V in Brisbane, Australia, and nine outdoor Shakespeare productions in Alaska.

The cast compromises both veterans of the stage and exciting recent graduates.

Tickets: £16, £12 concessions. To book, call the box office on 0333 012 4963 or visit www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday matinees at 4pm.