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Kirby's latest could be a bare necessity at New End



Preview by Paul Nelson

MODERN Man, Roger Kirby's new play, crackles with sexual tension and jealousy as the muses who helped painter Edouard Manet become famous confront him and each other.

Victorine, whose unapologetic nudity scandalized society; the aristocratic and beautiful Berthe Morisot; and Suzanne, his wife, each posed for the witty, well-born painter, and each demanded more than he was prepared to give.

Often considered the inventor of modern art, Manet's struggles between passion for his work and desire for love, self-realisation and the capacity to love, remain those of contemporary life.

Roger Kirby draws an elegant and provocative portrait of a man whose decisions to pursue his genius separated him from life and from the women who were attracted to him.

 

Gideon Turner plays Manet. His recent credits include Richard III, Don Juan, and Edward II (all directed by Michael Grandage), the American TV epic Boudicca (co-starring Alex Kingston) and C4's Cinderella.

Julie Kate Olivier plays Suzanne. Her West End credits include Cordelia in Seven Lears, Carol in Time and the Conways (Old Vic) and Jane in Golgo at the Royal Court. She played Lorna in Anthony Mingella's Cigarettes and Chocolate, and she recently co-produced the documentary Safari Strife for C4's Cutting Edge series.

Carolyn Tomkinson is Victorine. She was in Debris at The Latchmere, and Five Kinds of Silence at The Old Red Lion.

Kate Steavenson-Payne is Berthe. She played the regular character of Charlotte Myddleton in ITV's Bad Girls. She also appeared in Look Back in Anger at the Royal National Theatre.

Roger Kirby has written a variety of works, both fiction and non-fiction including A Secret Life with Babe. His first play, Natural Inclinations, premiered last September at The Finborough Theatre.

Modern Man by Roger Kirby. Directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, designed by Nicolai Hart Hansen, music composed by Jane Watkins, soundscape by Shock Productions. Presented by 71a Productions at The New End Theatre, 27 New End, Hampstead, NW3 1JD. Box Office: 020 7794 0022

Tickets: £15.00 (£13.00 concs) Tuesday June 24 - Saturday July 26, Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm matinee Saturday & Sunday at 3.30pm.

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