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A UK first for a Tennessee Williams' classic


Preview by Paul Nelson

NEVER before performed professionally in Britain, Something Cloudy, Something Clear, by Tennessee Williams, is set in Provincetown, Cape Cod in 1940 and is based on real events in Williams' life. It is to receive its British premiere in May.

The play re-imagines the events of a pivotal summer in the life of a playwright called August on the brink of Broadway success.

Living in a beach shack with only his phonograph, typewriter and a bottle of rum for company, August's isolated existence is suddenly blown apart by the arrival of a young woman named Clare and her ethereally beautiful 'brother', Kip…

A delicately woven tapestry of past and present, vulnerability and toughness, impetuous action and mature insight, the play seeks reconciliation between love and art, life and death - the cloudy and the clear. It explores notions of time, of memory, and of love in its many forms.

Tennessee Williams' (1911-1983) other plays include A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Rose Tattoo, The Night of the Iguana, Suddenly Last Summer and Not About Nightingales.

Something Cloudy, Something Clear is directed by Tamara Harvey, currently Assistant Director at Shakespeare's Globe, whose future work includes the UK tour of The Graduate, and who has previously directed at the Bristol Old Vic Basement, in New York City and in Botswana. She also assisted on the National Theatre production of Life x 3.

The designer is Soutra Gilmour, whose recent work, Through the Leaves at the Southwark Playhouse with Simon Callow, has now transferred to the Duchess Theatre in the West End.

The cast includes Susan Bovell, (pictured, left) whose many credits include Peak Practice, Testament of Youth, Lytton's Diary, the RSC, and Hay Fever (Queen's Theatre); Bruce Godfree who graduated from Bristol Old Vic in 2002 and played Edgar in King Lear for the RSC Academy, directed by Declan Donnellan; James Hillier whose credits include Lulu (Almeida), The Homecoming, (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Great Expectations and All the King's Men (BBC); Nikki Leigh Scott - Little Women (Lilian Baylis Theatre); and Juliet van Kampen, who graduated from RADA in 2002 and whose credits include Medea and Sue in Bash, by Neil LaBute, at the Union Theatre.

The play is produced by Nina Alexandersen, whose previous work includes the Infusion Festival, in Ghana, and Edinburgh and Bangkok's International Festival of Music and Dance.

Something Cloudy, Something Clear by Tennessee Williams, Directed by Tamara Harvey. Designed by Soutra Gilmour. Lighting Design by Emma Chapman. Sound by Richard Lace. Choreography by Sian Williams. WITH: Susan Bovell, Bruce Godfree, James Hillier, Nikki Leigh Scott and Juliet van Kampen. Presented by Bright Angel, Produced by Nina Alexandersen, Associate Producer Theodore C. Rogers. At the Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 from Wednesday, May 21 to Saturday, June 14 at 7.30pm (Sun matinee at 3.30pm). Tickets 020 7373 3842.

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