Crooked Wood Begins Performances at the Jermyn Street Theatre Sept. 9

News   Crooked Wood Begins Performances at the Jermyn Street Theatre Sept. 9 Performance of Gillian Plowman's Crooked Wood begin Sept. 9 at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London's most centrally located fringe theatre that is situated just off Piccadilly Circus.

Doreen Mantle heads the cast of the production, which will officially open Sept. 10. This staging marks the first time that the venue has acted as a producing theatre to present its own fully-funded in-house show since it opened in 1994.

Mantle plays Miss Barwick, a seemingly dotty and eccentric old lady who refuses offers up to £1 million to leave her rundown, crumbling home, that stands in the way of a massive new housing development in London around the Olympic site. Andrew Veitch, the smooth-talking iron fist of property developer Golden Future, cannot budge intrepid Miss Barwick, who is convinced that he has come to restore her rotting stairs and floorboards and mend the holes in the roof.

Mantle has appeared on TV in "A Passage to India," "The Duchess of Duke Street," "The Wild House" and "Casualty," and is best known for her role as Jean Warboys in "One Foot in the Grave." She recently appeared onstage in a tour of Billy Liar.

Also in the cast are Clive Carter (A Man for All Seasons at the Haymarket, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Lyric, We Will Rock You at the Dominion, Into the Woods at the Phoenix, for which he was Olivier-nominated for playing Prince and Wolf, and original company of Les Miserables), Shona Lindsay (recently seen as Rose Vibert in the U.K. tour of Aspects of Love, who has also appeared as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Sandy in Grease and Millie in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Alec Walters (seen at Jermyn Street Theatre in The Dorchester and Much Ado About Nothing), and Nick Waring ("Holby City" and "Doctors" on TV).

Playwright Gillian Plowman won the Verity Bargate Award in 1988 for Me and My Friend, and her other plays include The Purity Game, Storm, Pits and Abundantly Yours (to be staged at the Oval House in October 2008). She has also written "The Wooden Pear," "Rowena," "A Sea Change" and "David's Birthday" for BBC Radio. The play is directed by Gene David Kirk, programming director at Theatre 503, where he has staged The Amir: The Lost Prince of Persia, Gillian Plowman's The Ox and the Ass and The Ash Boy.

Jermyn Street Theatre has previously operated only as a receiving house, because it receives no grants or public funding and the trustees have never wanted to gamble its future on the success or failure of a single production. This production is being dedicated to the memory of the late Judy Campbell (who appeared in several productions at the theatre) and Dan Crawford, the founder of the King's Head Theatre, who were jointly planning a production of the play at the venue before they died.

For tickets contact the box office at 020 7287 2875 or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.