Churchill's Blue Heart & Almeida's Phedre & Britannicus to Hit NY With a BAM

News   Churchill's Blue Heart & Almeida's Phedre & Britannicus to Hit NY With a BAM
 
Following its final performance at London's Albery Theatre (now extended through Dec. 12, 1998), Jonathan Kent's Almeida production of two Racine classics, Phedre by the late poet laureate Ted Hughes and Britannicus by Robert David MacDonald, will travel across the pond to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jan. 5-17, 1999.

Following its final performance at London's Albery Theatre (now extended through Dec. 12, 1998), Jonathan Kent's Almeida production of two Racine classics, Phedre by the late poet laureate Ted Hughes and Britannicus by Robert David MacDonald, will travel across the pond to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jan. 5-17, 1999.

The acting company for both plays will include Dame Diana Rigg, Julian Glover, David Bradley, Holly de Jong, Avril Elgar, Barbara Jefford and Toby Stephens.

Rigg's most recent stage credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Medea, both for the Almeida. Other theatre work includes numerous Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester and West End productions. Rigg is perhaps best known for her various film and television roles in programs such as "The Avengers" and "Mother Love," and films including "A Little Night Music" and "A Good Man in Africa."

Both Racine plays will be directed by the Almeida's joint artistic director Jonathan Kent. His many productions for the Almeida include Naked with Juliette Binoche, Medea, The School for Wives, Ivanov and The Government Inspector.

Also being imported from London, is the latest new work from Caryl Churchill, a collection of two one-acts, Blue Heart, going to BAM's Majestic Theatre, Jan. 29 - Feb. 20, 1999. Blue Heart is made up of Churchill's Heart's Desire and Blue Kettle. Each explores language, loss and the breakdown of family life. In Heart's Desire, a mother, father and aunt await the return of the daughter from years abroad. In Blue Kettle, a 40-year-old man cons a series of women into believing he's the son they gave up for adoption. Frequent Churchill collaborator Max Stafford-Clark will direct both pieces.

Churchill achieved international attention in the late seventies with fellow Brit playwrights Edward Bond, Howard Barker and Peter Hedges. Churchill became known for her radical Marxist-based plays including: Cloud 9 and Top Girls. Churchill's The Skriker made its New York debut at The Public in 1996, and marked a change in Churchill's work -- foregoing social theory to create a language-based, almost Beckett-esque play about British folk tales haunting denziens of the present.

For tickets or more information on The Almeida Theatre Company's Phedre and Britannicus, or Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart, all at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, call (718) 636-4100.

-- By Sean McGrath and Terri Paddock

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