Nadia Fall announces inaugural season as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, today announces her inaugural season, beginning this September. 

The season opens with The Village, a new adaptation of Lope de Vega’s masterpiece Fuenteovejuna by April de Angelis. A powerful play about community and solidarity, Fall directs the production in homage to Joan Littlewood, who staged the production at Theatre Royal Stratford East under the title The Sheepwell in 1955. Transported to contemporary India and with a renewed poignancy, Fall’s first production opens on 13 September.

October sees the return of Cassa Pancho’s hugely popular Ballet Black, who as part of their partnership with the theatre return for their third consecutive year with a new double bill.

This is followed by the European première of Sarah DeLappe’s award-winning debut play The Wolves which premièred in 2016 in the US. Directed by Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Ellen McDougall, The Wolves opens on 30 October.

Matthew Xia returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East, having previously directed here as well as being a member of the theatre’s young company, to direct the much-loved annual pantomime opening in December. Staying true to its critically acclaimed tradition, Sleeping Beauty, with the Book by Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton with Music and Lyrics by Robert Hyman will also feature original songs.

In the new year, Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth’s production of The Unreturning has its London première when it comes to Stratford as part of the show’s UK tour. Written by Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting winner Anna Jordan and directed by Frantic Assembly Associate Director Neil Bettles, the production celebrates the 10th anniversary of Frantic Assembly’s Ignition training programme, of which Theatre Royal Stratford East has been a partner.

Following on is a co-production of Peter Shaffer’s classic play Equus with English Touring Theatre. Directed by Ned Bennett, this bold new revival will open at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February ahead of a UK tour.

Opening in May 2019, Fall directs August Wilson’s King Hedley II in the first production of Wilson’s work staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Set against the backdrop of Reagan-era America, this touching and angry play will make up the penultimate production of the season.

The season concludes with an ambitious production with large-scale community and school participation to be directed by Lyndsey Turner. Further details will be announced shortly.

Theatre Royal Stratford East will also be participating in this year’s Fun Palaces campaign on the weekend of 6-7 Oct 2018, an idea conceived by Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price in the early 1960s focusing on bringing the local community together through an inclusive and open environment.

In addition, at every performance of every show over half of the tickets are priced under £25, with £10 tickets available for those aged under 26. 

The Village, The Wolves, Ballet Black and Sleeping Beauty are on sale from 22 March and all other productions will be on sale from May 2018.

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, said today, ‘’I’m excited to kick start my first Season as Artistic Director with The Village, in a new adaptation by April de Angelis of Fuenteovejuna, a story that our founding mother, the great Joan Littlewood first brought to Stratford East in 1955. For me the play is ultimately about the power of community and a warning shot to authority.

I especially love that it’s the story’s heroine that leads the way in ‘sticking it to the man,’ as we transport the play to contemporary India. I can’t contain my excitement about Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves, which captures the voices of young women in the most authentic way. Instead of the usual bubble-gum clichés of teenage girls; here we discover a competitive high-school football team during their pre-match warm ups. I’m thrilled that the talented Ellen McDougall is directing, as she’s a theatre maker whose work manages to regularly reduce me to tears- in a good way.

The start of our season has a strong feminist gesture but I’m equally passionate about welcoming Frantic Assembly’s The Unreturning which explores the experiences of young men, as well as mounting King Hedley ll, by the African-American powerhouse that is August Wilson, this play is a lament to the viscous cycle of prison and absent fathers set in 1980s Pittsburgh. The enfant terrible of British theatre, the young auteur Ned Bennett will be directing Shaffer’s notorious modern classic Equus, in a co- production with ETT that promises to be the play as you’ve never seen it before.

We welcome back the hugely popular and elegant Ballet Black with a new double-bill this autumn and of course our world-famous Panto. Sleeping Beauty will see the return of our brilliant Stratford East alumni Matthew Xia, who is also directing the Alfred Fagon award winning play Shebeen by Mufaro Makubika this summer. We will end our season with a large scale community and schools led production, directed by the outstanding Lyndsey Turner. This season was built for all of us who love a good story, told from the mouths of everyday characters. There are no kings or queens here, just people like us.’’

Nadia Fall trained at Goldsmiths College (MA Directing) and on the NT Studio’s Directors programme. Her directing credits include The Suicide, Our Country’s Good, Dara, Chewing Gum Dreams, Home, Hymn, The Doctor’s Dilemma (National Theatre), Hir, Disgraced (Bush Theatre), R and D (Hampstead Theatre), Way Upstream (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), How Was It For You? (Unicorn Theatre), Sticks & Stones (Polka Theatre), The Maids (Lyric Hammersmith), Miss Julie (Croydon Warehouse Theatre) and Wild Turkey (Site Specific). As Associate Director, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Gielgud Theatre), Collaborators, The Habit of Art (National Theatre); and as Staff Director, Rocket to the Moon, Really Old, Like Forty Five, Phèdre and Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre). Fall has directed at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Unicorn Theatre and led participation initiatives with partners such as the Young Vic, Clean Break, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. She is also an acting coach, supporting professional actors for film and stage.

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents

The world première of

THE VILLAGE

After Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega in a new adaptation by April de Angelis

7 September – 6 October 2018

Press night: 13 September 7pm

Director: Nadia Fall, Designer: Joanna Scotcher, Lighting Designer: Paul Pyant;

Sound Designer: Helen Atkinson

Kicking off Nadia Fall’s season is a new adaptation of Lope de Vega’s Spanish Golden Age play Fuenteovejuna from April de Angelis. Transported to contemporary India, The Village is a powerful story of community, solidarity and the lengths each of us are willing to go to protect ourselves from tyranny. Directed by Fall, Vega’s masterpiece is given renewed urgency and was previously performed by Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop in 1955.

Village life for Joythi is simple: the people work hard, sing and live off the earth. She would much rather devour a delicious meal than think about a suitable partner. But when the Inspector and his men arrive back in town, things quickly begin to sour. The Inspector’s reign of terror sees him commit unspeakable acts against the village with young Joythi in his sights, pushing everyone to breaking point. Will she dare scorn his advances?

#couragedidit
#wearecourage

Lope de Vega (1562 – 1635) was a Spanish playwright, poet and novelist. In addition to Fuenteovejuna, notable works include The Dog in the Manger and Punishment Without Revenge.

April De Angelis is an acclaimed writer whose extensive theatre work includes After Electra, Rune, Gastronauts, Jumpy, an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, A Laughing Matter, A Warwickshire Testimony, The Positive Hour, Playhouse Creatures and The Life and Times of Fanny Hill. She’s currently under commission to the Royal Exchange, Manchester and the National Theatre. De Angelis has also written the libretto for Flight, music by Jonathan Dove, for Glyndebourne Opera and The Silent Twins libretto, which was set to music by Errollyn Wallen. Her work for radio includes an adaptation of Life in the Tomb, a serialisation of Peyton Place, Visitants and The Outlander which won the Writer’s Guild Award in 1992. For television her work includes Aristophanes.

BALLET BLACK: DOUBLE BILL 2018
10 – 13 October 2018

Press night: 10 October

Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black celebrates dancers of black and Asian descent. As part of their latest double bill, renowned British choreographer Cathy Marston choreographs a new ballet based on Can Themba’s moving fable The Suit. This is followed by Arthur Pita’s Olivier nominated A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents

The European première of 

THE WOLVES

By Sarah DeLappe
Director Ellen McDougall

24 October – 17 November 2018

Press night: 30 October 2018

Stretch, squat, lunge, kick, the girls are warming up, a pack of teenage warriors ready for battle and out to score some goals.

From their plot of astro turf in the heartland of middle America the girls gossip, joke and wrestle with the big and small questions of our times, whilst trying to remain unbeaten in their high school soccer league.

Sarah DeLappe’s award-winning debut play receives its European Première at Theatre Royal Stratford East in a new production directed by Ellen McDougall.

Sarah DeLappe’s is a writer and studied at MFA, Brooklyn College. Her debut play The Wolves (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Relentless Award) premiered at The Playwrights Realm, following an engagement with New York Stage & Film, and development with Clubbed Thumb.

Ellen McDougall is Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre. She previously directed Idomeneus for the company in 2014. Her credits include a critically acclaimed production of Othello at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe earlier this year, the Lyric’s annual pantomime – Aladdin by Joel Horwood (2016) and Cinderella by Tom Wells (2015), The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange), The Remains of Maisie Duggan (Abbey Theatre, Dublin), The Glass Menagerie (Headlong), Anna Karenina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Henry the Fifth, Not Now BernardThe NutcrackerAntigone, Philoctetes (Unicorn Theatre), Glitterland

(Secret Theatre/Lyric Hammersmith) and Ivan and the Dogs (Actors Touring Company/Soho Theatre – nominated for an Olivier Award). McDougall was formerly part of the Secret Theatre Company at the Lyric Hammersmith, Associate Director at the Gate and an Associate Artist at ATC. She trained as an assistant to Katie Mitchell and Marianne Elliott. She was awarded an International Artists’ Development Award (ACE/British Council) in 2012.


Theatre Royal Stratford East presents
SLEEPING BEAUTY
Book by Sarah A Nixon, Mark Chatterton; Music and Lyrics by Robert Hyman
Director: Matthew Xia
1 December 2018 – 12 January 2019

Press night: 8 December 2018

Theatre Royal Stratford goes Far East for a brand new festive adventure!

Sleeping Beauty has been in a deep sleep for a hundred years… but wakes to find herself in a strange city with a cruel fairy hot on her heels…

Expect our much-loved mix of original songs, cracking jokes and a (huge) sprinkling of magic in London’s must-see pantomime.

Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton are Pantomime writers. They are the writing team behind the Liverpool Everyman Theatre’s perennial hit The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto. Their many pantomime writing credits include Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella! Mop In The Name Of Love!, Dick Whittington! Great Balls Of Fur!, Sleeping Cutie! Wake Up Little Snoozy! and Mother Goose! Shake, Waddle And Roll!, The Twee Musketeers! A Rock & Roll Caper! and the upcoming Rapunzel! Hairway To Heaven! (Everyman Theatre).

Robert Hyman has worked extensively at Theatre Royal Stratford East for the last 17 years both as a Composer and Musical Director. That body of work includes music and lyrics for Rapunzel, Cinderella (Olivier Award nominated), Pinocchio, Aladdin, Red Riding Hood and Dick Whittington (with Trish Cooke), as well as songs for The Snow Queen and Hansel and Gretel, and scores for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Make Some Noise. He was also Musical Director for the hit musicals Tommy (Ramps on the Moon), The Big Life (Including West End), Come Dancing and Takeaway (all Theatre Royal Stratford East) as well as all Theatre Royal Stratford East pantomimes since 1998. Other projects include conducting a choir of 5000 at the O2; Musical Director for World Children’s Ensemble (Royal Albert Hall) and Reasons to be Cheerful (UK tour).

Matthew Xia directs. Xia will return to Theatre Royal Stratford East after directing the upcoming, Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East). He was Associate Artistic Director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange where he directed Brink, Into The Woods and The Bruntwood Award Winning Wish List (Royal Court Co-Production). Other credits include Blue/Orange, The Sound of Yellow, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (Young Vic), Dublin Carol (The Sherman Theatre) and Frankenstein (Royal Exchange).

Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth present
THE UNRETURNING
Written by Anna Jordan 

Directed by Frantic Assembly Associate Director Neil Bettles

16 January 2019 – 2 February 2019

Press night: 17 January 7pm

I want to return to my home. 

A British Northern coastal town. Three young men are coming home from war. Their stories, set at different times over the last 100 years, are beautifully interwoven in this compelling new play by Anna Jordan (Yen – Royal Court Theatre, Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2013).

Directed by Neil Bettles and featuring Frantic’s celebrated physicality, The Unreturning explores the profound effect that war has on young lives, and asks – what does coming home really mean?

The production celebrates 10 years of Ignition, a project that Theatre Royal Stratford East and Frantic Assembly have partnered on for many years.

Anna Jordan won the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for her play Yen after having been twice longlisted for her plays Marianne and Chicken Shop. Yen has had productions at Manchester Royal Exchange, the Royal Court and MCC New York as well as several international productions. It was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2015-2016. Other theatre writing includes We Anchor In Hope, (Royal Court Theatre – Beyond the Court), A Serious Case of the Fuckits, (CSSD), Chicken Shop (Park Theatre) and Freak (Theatre503 / Assembly Studios). Writing for TV includes Succession and a pilot of her own drama series on addiction Cluck. She directed Jonathan Harvey’s play Tomorrow I’ll Be Happy at The National Theatre Shed as part of National Theatre Connections.

Neil Bettles is Associate Director for Frantic Assembly, most recently co-directing No Way Back for the company. Credits include, as Movement Director, The James Plays (Edinburgh International Festival/NT), Blood WeddingThe Bacchae (Royal & Derngate), Much Ado About Wenlock, (Vamos), Platform (Old Vic Tunnels), Henry IV: Part One (Drum, Plymouth) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Secret Cinema). As Associate Movement Director, The Light Princess, (National Theatre), The Full Monty (Sheffield Theatres). As Director, Chalk Farm, The Static, Blackout, Boy Magnet and White Noise (ThickSkin), Playlist (Belgrade Theatre Coventry) and Brave (Battersea Arts Centre) and as Associate Director, Beautiful Burnout and Lovesong (Frantic Assembly); and as Assistant Director, Dirty Wonderland (Frantic Assembly).

Award winning theatre company Frantic Assembly’s method of devising theatre has been impacting theatrical practice and unlocking the creative potential of future theatre-makers for up to 22 years. One of the most exciting theatre companies in the UK, Frantic Assembly is led by Artistic Director and co-founder Scott Graham, and has toured extensively across Great Britain, and worked in 40 countries internationally collaborating with some of today’s most inspiring artists. Frantic Assembly productions include Othello, Beautiful Burnout (UK, Australia, New Zealand and New York), Lovesong, (Stockholm, UK and Australia), The Believers, Things I Know To Be True (UK and Australia), Fatherland (Manchester International Festival 2017 and Lyric Hammersmith 25 May-23 June 2018). They are also the Movement Directors on the award-winning National Theatre of Great Britain production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (West End, Broadway, International Tour, UK & Ireland Tour). Television credits include Movement Direction on BAFTA winning British – American series Humans.

Frantic Assembly is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

www.franticassembly.co.uk

@franticassembly

Theatre Royal Plymouth specialises in the production of new plays alongside the presentation of a broad range of theatre – including classic and contemporary drama, musicals, opera, ballet and dance. Theatre Royal Plymouth have three performance spaces – The Lyric (1300 seat proscenium arch), The Drum (175 capacity flexible studio) and The Lab (50 capacity development studio). Our work with young people and communities is extensive and radical, taking place across all our venues and beyond. Recent credits include 49 Donkeys Hanged, Clockwork Canaries, The Here and This and Now, The War Has Not Yet Started, Monster Raving Loony, The Man With The Hammer, The Whipping Man, After Electra, Grand Guignol and Horse Piss for Blood, Merit, Another Place, Chekhov in Hell, The Astronaut’s Chair, Solid Air and MAD MAN.

Theatre Royal Plymouth have regularly co-produced with Ontroerend Goed (£YE$, World Without Us, Are We Not Drawn Onward To New Era, A History of Everything, Sirens, Fight Night) Paines Plough (The Angry Brigade, Love Love Love), Frantic Assembly (Othello, The Believers, Lovesong) and Told By An Idiot (My Perfect Mind, And The Horse You Rode In On, Heads Will Roll, Napoleon Disrobed). South West based theatre company The Wrong Crowd are the first resident company at the theatre. They have also co-produced with Complicite (The Master and Margarita, A Disappearing Number), Hofesh Shechter (Sun, Political Mother), Graeae (The Solid Life of Sugar Water) and David Pugh, Dafydd Rogers, Kneehigh Theatre (Rebecca) and Jamie Hendry (Wind in the Willows, London Palladium).

Theatre Royal Stratford East and English Touring Theatre present

EQUUS

By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Ned Bennett

15 February – 23 March 2019

Press night: TBC

Award winning director Ned Bennett brings Peter Shaffer’s psychological thriller Equus to the stage in a bold new production of the critically-acclaimed classic.

When teenager Alan Strang’s pathological fascination leads him to blind six horses, psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart is tasked with uncovering the motive behind the boy’s violent act. As Dysart delves into Alan’s world of twisted spirituality, passion and sexuality, he begins to question his own sanity and motivations in a world driven by consumerism.

Sir Peter Shaffer’s (1926 – 2016) plays include The Salt Land, The Prodigal Father, Balance of Terror, Five Finger Exercise (Evening Standard Drama Award), The Private Ear, The Public EyeThe Royal Hunt of the SunBlack ComedyWhite Lies, The Battle of Shrivings, Yonadab, The Gift of the Gorgon, Lettice and Lovage and Amadeus (Evening Standard Drama Award and Tony Award for Best Play). His plays adapted for film include Five Finger Exercise, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus and Amadeus (Academy Award for Best Picture), for television The Salt Land and Balance of Terror, and for radio The Prodigal Father and Whom Do I Have the Honour of Addressing?. In 1994, Shaffer was Visiting Professor of Contemporary Drama at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. He was awarded the CBE in 1987 and was knighted in 2001.

Ned Bennett directs Equus. He is an award-winning theatre director, who trained at the Royal Court, the National Theatre and LAMDA. His work includes the Evening Standard Award-winning An Octoroon, which opened at the Orange Tree Theatre in Spring 2017 and will transfer to the Dorfman in Summer 2018, and Buggy Baby which opened at the Yard Theatre in March of this year. He directed the Bruntwood Prize-winning Yen at the Manchester Royal Exchange which transferred to the Royal Court in 2016, and Pomona which was commissioned by the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and transferred to the Orange Tree, and then to the National Theatre. Pomona and Yen won Bennett the UKT Best Director award 2015. Pomona won four Off-West End awards: Best Director, Best Production, Best New Play and Best Lighting Design.

English Touring Theatre is one of the UK’s leading touring companies, winning the UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production in 2014, 2015 and 2016. ETT works with exciting artists to stage an eclectic mix of new and classic work for audiences throughout the UK and overseas; theatre that is thrilling, popular and engaged in the contemporary world. At the heart of everything ETT does is the passionately held belief that everyone, wherever they are in the country, deserves to have access to world class theatre. In 2017 ETT toured to 40 venues throughout the UK, with productions including Sam Holcroft’s Rules for Living, Richard Twyman’s critically acclaimed production of Othello and the 20th anniversary tour of The Weir, which finished its nationwide tour this year, winning the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Visiting Production. 2018 sees the company celebrate its 25th anniversary.​

www.ett.org.uk
@ETTtweet 

Theatre Royal Stratford East Presents

KING HEDLEY II

By August Wilson

Directed by Nadia Fall

Opening in May 2019

1980s Pittsburgh, against the backdrop of Reagan-era America, King an ex-con is trying time rebuild his life and start a family.

Touching and angry, August Wilson’s King Hedley II is a quest for redemption for one man and a whole community.

August Wilson (1945–2005) was an American playwright. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play Fences and earned a second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson. His other notable works include Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean, Jitney and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Theatre Royal Stratford East  Listings

Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN

Box Office: 020 8534 0310

www.stratfordeast.com

Since 1884, Theatre Royal Stratford, the historic producing house in the heart of London’s East End has spearheaded diverse work, and championed often marginalised stories on its stage. Many leading actors and directors have been part of the Theatre Royal Stratford East family including Meera Syal, Barbara Windsor, Don Warrington, Indhu Rubasingham, Tanika Gupta, Roy Williams and Cynthia Erivo to name but a few. Now with Artistic Director Nadia Fall at the helm, Theatre Royal Stratford East will deliver a bold programme of reimagined classics, timely revivals and ground-breaking new work.

Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter: @stratfordeast

Instagram: theatre_royal_stratford_east

Youtube: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Tickets: From £10

Newham Discount Night: All preview performances will have a limited number of £5 tickets on sale.  These are available for first-time visitors who live or work in Newham (proof of address required) and there’s a maximum of two per person. Only available to book in person or over the phone.

SEASON AT A GLANCE:

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents

THE VILLAGE

7 September – 6 October 2018

Press night: 13 September 2018

Access performances:

BSL – Thursday 4 October 7.30pm

Captioned – Friday 5 October 7.30pm

Audio – Saturday 6 October 2.30pm

BALLET BLACK
10 – 13 October 2018
Press night: 10 October

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents

THE WOLVES

24 October – 17 November 2018

Press night: 30 October 2018

Access performance:

BSL – Thursday 15 November 7.30pm

Captioned – Friday 16 November 7.30pm

Audio – Saturday 17 November 2.30pm

 

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents
SLEEPING BEAUTY
1 December 2018 – 12 January 2019

Press night: 8 December 2018

Access performance:

Audio described: Saturday 22 Dec 2pm

Captioned: Friday 4 Jan 7pm

BSL: Saturday 5 Jan 2pm

Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth present
THE UNRETURNING

Press night: 17 January 7pm

16 January 2019 – 2 February 2019

Access performance TBC

Theatre Royal Stratford East and English Touring Theatre present

EQUUS

15 February – 23 March 2019

Press night: TBC

Access performances:

BSL – Thursday 21 March 7.30pm

Captioned – Friday 22 March 7.30pm

Audio – Saturday 23 March 2.30pm

Theatre Royal Stratford East Presents

KING HEDLEY II

By August Wilson

Directed by Nadia Fall

Opening in May 2019

Access performance TBC

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