Preview by Paul Nelson
MR Elliott, by Jonathan Hall, directed by Nigel Townsend,
will be the next show at the Chelsea Theatre. It is the
latest work by the author whose previous play, The
Coffee Lovers Guide to America, was a success at the Chelsea
Theatre last autumn.
For this, his latest play, he has drawn on his experiences and
observations as a teacher in inner city Bradford to tell a story
that is both challenging and funny.
Mr Elliott has been teaching in the same classroom in the same
school on the same Bradford estate for over twenty years.
An estate of low paid jobs and five star dreams; where the only
chance to escape seems to be through drink or drugs or schemes
for a 'Hello' style wedding. The type of estate that attracts
millions of pounds in one fancily titled scheme after another,
but to little or no real effect on its residents' lives.
Working in one world but living in another, Mr Elliott has an
apparently happily married life in an out-of-town suburb.
However, a chance encounter with an ex-pupil forces Mr Elliott
to confront the realities of his life. This chain of events sparked
by Ash, a young Asian chancer, not only change Mr Elliott forever
but present a glimmer of hope and understanding that may also
effect a change in his wider world.
Within the framework of this illicit gay love affair, Jonathan
Hall tells the story of some of the wrongs within this and other
such communities and asks can we, will we, ever change them?
Jonathan Hall's previous theatre credits include Enthusiastic
Men, Statements of Attainment, Behind The Aquarium at the
Last Pizza Show (Bradford and Edinburgh, Fringe First 1996), Sweet
as You Are (Fringe First 1999) and Learning to Love the
Grey (Ytouring, Edinburgh and tour). He has received the D.H
Lawrence short story award for A Single Ticket and The
Small Time Players and the Joshua Tetley drama award for Enthusiastic
Nigel Townsend has previously directed Jonathan's plays The
Coffee Lover's Guide to America, Sweet As You Are and
Learning to Love the Grey. He is also Artistic Director
of Y Touring Theatre Company.
The Chelsea Theatre is committed to presenting new plays by new
writers alongside premieres by established playwrights. It receives
funding from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the
Eva and Hans K Rausing Trust and The John Lyons Trust.
Mr Elliott by Jonathan Hall, Directed by Nigel Townsend. Cast
to be announced. Chelsea Theatre, World's End Place, SW10. June
9 to July 5 evenings at 8pm (7pm June 11) Monday to Saturday.
Tickets 0870 980 8454
Photo shows Elyes Gabel