Playwright Lucy Kirkwood — whose credits include Tinderbox, seen recently at the Bush, and "Skins" (for TV channel E4) — has created a new version of Hedda Gabler for the 21st-century, in which Hedda exists in a world of endless choices, where each person strives to create their own life-narrative. Yet, Hedda seems unable to create any meaningful purpose for her own existence; and when she returns from a six-month honeymoon with a man she no longer loves, the only way she can find passion and excitement is through the wilful damage of others. The Gate's joint artistic director Carrie Cracknell directs the production, which runs to Sept. 27, and features a cast that includes Adrian Bower as Lovborg, Cara Horgan as Hedda, Christopher Obi as Brack, Alice Patten as Thea and Cath Whitefield as Julia.
Cracknell's production of I Am Falling, first seen at the Gate in January, and featuring choreography by Anna Williams and text by Jenny Worton, will be revived, transferring to the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler's Wells as part of a new partnership in presenting dance/theatre. It will begin performances at the Lilian Baylis Oct. 29, prior to an official opening Oct. 30, for a run to Nov. 1. According to press materials, the staging is presented from varying angles with light and sound used to lead the audience's attention like a film camera, allowing the characters' story to unfold from different perspectives simultaneously. The cast comprises Ben Duke, Gawn Grainger and Petra Soor.
Back at its home theatre, the Gate will next present the U.K. premiere of German playwright Falk Richter's State of Emergency, running Nov. 6-Dec. 13 (with an official opening Nov. 11), in a new translation by David Tushingham. According to press materials, the play examines state control and self-control, and how the civic dream can turn into an Orwellian nightmare as it portrays a married couple, living in what appears to be an ideal neighbourhood, protected from the dangers of the world outside. But what happens when this utopian world becomes a new form of prison? Maria Alberg, whose credits include Days of Significance (RSC at Stratford's Swan and London's Tricycle), Shrieks of Laughter (Soho) and Stallerhof (Southwark Playhouse), directs.
Finally, the Gate's other joint artistic director, Natalie Abrahami, will stage George Devine Award winner Alexandra Wood's Unbroken, running Feb. 5-March 7, 2009 (with an official opening Feb. 10). The play is inspired by Schnitzler's 1897 play La Ronde. Dance (choreographed by Belgian choreographer Ugo Dehaes) and text will intertwine to reveal the spoken and unspoken, seen and unseen dynamics between people in search of physical and emotional fulfilment. Casting includes dancers Gemma Higginbotham and Darren Ellis.
For tickets contact the box office at 020 7229 0706 or visit www.gatetheatre.co.uk.