News: Rose Theatre’s new artistic director announces inaugural season

June 8, 2021
News: Rose Theatre’s new artistic director announces inaugural season

Rose Theatre’s artistic director Christopher Haydon announces his inaugural season at the Kingston venue, featuring musicals Beauty and the Beast and SIX.

With an emphasis on the female voice, the season will include five Rose Original productions, including two world premieres.

Productions include Leopards from 2 to 25 September, which is a world premiere production written by Alys Metcalf, with direction by Christopher Haydon, design by Lily Arnold, lighting design by Mark Howland, sound design by Gareth Fry, intimacy direction by Asha Jennings-Grant and assistant direction from Amber Sinclair-Case.

An unmissable new thriller from the Olivier Award-winning producer of Fleabag and Baby Reindeer, the show follows Niala, who arranges to meet celebrated charity leader Ben in the bar of a London hotel for career advice, their evening unfolds into something far less professional. As the weather closes in and secrets start to surface, the consequences of their choices leave them nowhere to hide.

A gripping encounter that takes place over the course of one stormy night, Leopards is a play about the image we construct of ourselves and what it truly means to be good.

From 4 to 20 November will be The Seven Pomegranate Seeds, a world premiere by playwright Colin Teevan. The production is directed and designed by Melly Still, with compositions and sound design by Jon Nicholls, lighting design by Malcolm Rippeth, associate design by Amanda Ramasawmy and assistant direction from Layla Madanat.

From the director of My Brilliant Friend and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, this show sees seven contemporary stories grounded in prominent, mythical origins.

Persephone, Hypsipyle, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, Creusa and Demeter: the women of Euripides’ plays are reimagined as people of today in an unexpected fusion of celebrity, inappropriate desires, historical police investigations and missing children.

A severed maternal bond threads each story together, charting a journey through rage and redemption, towards a compelling conclusion.

A new version of classic fairy-tale Beauty and the Beast is set to play a festive season from 3 December 2021 to 3 January 2022, by Ciaran McConville. The show features music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer, with director Lucy Morrell, set designer Frankie Bradshaw and costumer designer Peter Todd.

On her eighteenth birthday, Bella learns that her father is the victim of a terrible curse. She sets out across the mountains to a mysterious valley, determined to face the Beast who condemned her father. Instead, she finds a community confronting its own sorrows with love, laughter and hope. In a race to learn the truth, Bella must question everything she has been told and find humanity in the least expected places.

One of the oldest fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast is about the power of youth to see beyond prejudice.

A co-production with Alexandra Palace follows, in a popular adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The show runs from 26 February to 19 March, and is adapted by Jeff James, with James Yeatman. It is directed by Jeff James, with design by Alex Lowde, lighting design by Lucy Carter, music and sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, movement by Morgann Runacre-Temple, dramaturgy by James Yeatman and assistant direction by Layla Madanat.

First seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2017, this adaptation of Persuasion brings all the sharp observation and quick wit of Austen’s novel to the stage – without a bonnet in sight.

When Captain Wentworth proposed to Anne Elliot eight years ago, he was penniless and had only love and ambition to offer. Persuaded out of accepting his proposal by her family, Anne’s never quite got over her first love.

But now Wentworth is back. Rich, successful and single, the handsome Captain has been transformed into a serious catch. When circumstances bring the two face to face again, Anne is forced to confront the past. As old wounds reopen, will Wentworth forgive Anne for rejecting him, and will Anne finally learn to trust her desires?

This romantic comedy is riotously reinvented for the twenty-first century with an explosive foam party and a soundtrack of Frank Ocean, Dua Lipa and Cardi B.

There will also be a new version of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which will run at the venue from 23 April to 14 May. A Rose Original, the show is adapted from Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece by Steve Waters, with music by Michael Henry.

The production is directed by Christopher Haydon, with designer by Frankie Bradshaw, casting by Stuart Burt CDG and assistant direction by Layla Madanat.

In a refugee camp, a fight breaks out over lost land. To seek resolution, a singer tells the fable of “The Chalk Circle”: in the midst of a bloody revolution, a servant girl risks all to raise the abandoned child of the Governor and his wife. Years later, when the Governor’s wife returns seeking her son, a rogue judge turns justice on its head. Can the test of the Chalk Circle determine which of the two women is the boy’s real mother?

Further shows in the season include the brand new tour of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Smeds and the Smoos, The Old Vic production of A Monster Calls and the UK tour of smash-hit musical SIX.

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