The Drill Hall unveils its line-up for early 2003

Preview by Paul Nelson

AFTER its successful autumn season, the newly revamped Drill Hall returns with an event-packed new programme to ring in the new theatrical year.

As previously noted in these columns, the new season in Drill Hall 1 will take place on weekends only, whereas the programme in Drill Hall 2 will be running all week long. The Drill Hall continues its association with the BBC as a recording studio on weekdays, making every weekend a mini festival.

Highlights of the new season include Edith Piaf and Bertolt Brecht - Portraits in Song, performed by Elizabeth Mansfield (Brecht is pictured left); a brand new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro will be the centrepiece of Music Theatre London's season; Amazonia presents In The Jungle of the City, a scathing and affectionate look at the vibrant extremes of contemporary city life; plus three hits from this year's Edinburgh Festival, John-Paul Zaccarini's blend of physical theatre and aerial artistry Throat, renowned Italian cabaret artist Ernesto Tomasini traces the history of the Castrati in True or Falsetto and Filler Up!, in which Deb Filler fills us in on her complicated relationships with food and family.

Drill Hall 1:

Sat Jan 18 - Sun Jan 26
In The Jungle of The City
written, composed and directed by Jude Alderson, Amazonia Productions take us on a journey of the street world and its drama from drugs, poverty, begging, scams, love and homelessness to the world of the over-privileged whose narratives and songs intertwine. Saturdays 6pm (not on 18 Jan) and 8.30pm (£10/£7 concs), Sundays 4pm (£5).

Sat Feb 1 - Sun Feb 2
Jazztopinter: Variations on The Dumb Waiter (La Barca Ensemble) Based on The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, La Barca¹s World Premiere blends music, theatre and dance to explore the inherent musicality of Pinter¹s work, as well as its dramatic content. Directed by Francois Van Eeeckhaute.
Sat 8.30pm (£10/£7), Sun 4pm (£5).

Sat Mar 8 - Sun Mar 30
Elizabeth Mansfield: Portraits in Song Edith Piaf and Bertolt Brecht. Through the single voice of Elizabeth Mansfield in a full dramatic evening interwoven with Piaf's and Brecht's marvelous songs, two powerfully different artists and world views emerge and are brought vividly to life.
Saturday 8.30pm (6pm on March 22 and 29) (£10/£7 concs), Sundays 4pm (£5).

Sat Apr 5 - Sun Apr 27
Throat, choreographed and performed by John-Paul Zaccarini. In a unique blend of comedy, dance, clowning, physical theatre and aerial artistry, Company FZ effortlessly takes the audience on a fascinating journey through aspects of modern life. "A fabulous piece of work as passionately executed as it was beautifully conceived" (The Times).
Saturdays 6pm (not April 5) & 8.30pm (£10/£7concs), Sundays 4pm (£5).

Sun May 11 - Sun June 8
Music Theatre London: The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart's ever popular comedy has not been performed in the capital by the company for ten years, and is being given a thoroughly twenty first century makeover by MTL's Artistic Director Tony Britten.
Saturdays 6pm & 8.30pm (£15/£10), Sundays 4pm (£10).

Drill Hall 2:

Thu Feb 6 - Sat Mar 8
Filler Up! written and performed by Deb Filler. Described as "Tracey Ullman meets Jackie Mason", Deb Filler's Filler Up! is a passionately funny tale of coming to terms with food and feelings that keep us down and fill us up, eating and overeating, living and over-living.
Tuesdays Thursdays 8pm, Fridays and Saturdays 6.30pm and 9pm (£10/£7).
Sundays 4pm (£5).

Thu Mar 20 - Sun Mar 30
English Chansons: A short season of performances celebrating the tradition of the English Chanson. Artists appearing will include Pete Atkin, Attila the Stockbroker, Lorraine Bowen, Alan Clayson, Des deMoor, Philip Jeays, Robb Johnson, Barb Jungr, Leon Rosselson and Peter Sarstedt.
Thurs 8pm, Fridays and Saturdays 6.30pm & 9pm (£10/£7), Sundays 5pm (£5).

Thu Apr 3 - Thu Apr 17
True Or Falsetto? Written by Lucy Powell, performed by Ernesto Tomasini. In this new operatic comedy, renowned Italian cabaret artist Tomasini unearths the secret history and under-sung arias of the infamous Castrati singers. Tomasini trills and thrills in this unusual "Drama with balls" (The List).
Tues Thurs 8pm, Fri & Sat 6.30pm & 9pm (£10/£7), Sun 5pm (£5).

Thu May 1 - Sat May 10
Norah's Ark by Barb Jungr and Russell Churney. Based on an original idea by Barb Jungr - the "queen of musical cabaret" (Time Out) - this pop/gospel/soul musical tells the story of downtrodden Norah and her rise and fall as a modern day prophet.
Thurs Sat 8pm, Sat May 10 at 5pm & 8pm (£10/£7), Sun 5pm (£5).

Tue May 13 - Sun June 8
Music Theatre London: Cabaret/Entartete Musik/Screenings and more. Complementing the MTL production of 'Figaro', this exciting programme of events includes cabarets, workshops of new music theatre pieces, and a new version of a recently rediscovered German comic opera from the Weimar period. In addition, there will be a screening of MTL's 'Boheme', and some site specific 'mini operas' which will make surprise appearances throughout the theatre.
Performance times TBA

DRILL HALL Box Office: 020 7637 8270

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