The season includes a series of revivals, reworkings and world premieres. Dates, venues and casting are still to be confirmed, but the season will feature the world premiere of a bold re-working of Jonathan Swift's "Guilliver's Travels," simply entitled Gulliver, that Goold and Ben Power will adapt; a revival of Oscar Wilde's Salome; Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera in a new vesion by David Eldridge; and two world premieres of plays by Anthony Neilson and Mike Bartlett.
Gulliver is a re-imagining of what press materials call "the greatest satire of all time" and "one of the most incendiary experiments in storytelling ever written." For over 200 years it has challenged readers with its surrealist imagination and fevered profanity. Madness, colonialism and the inherent isolation of the human condition all find expression in this hilarious and disturbing tale. Now, Headlong responds to Swift's original with an innovative experiment in theatrical form. Filtering the spirit and the ambition of the novel through the lens of contemporary culture, Rupert Goold and Ben Power, who previously adapted Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, are creating what is called "a visceral satiric exploration of identity, sanity and international relations."
Playwright David Eldridge, whose Under the Blue Sky was seen at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre in 2008 and whose adaptation of Festen transferred from the Almeida to the West End and Boradway, is collaborating with director Lucy Bailey (Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare's Globe, The Night Season at the National's Cottesloe Theatre, and The Postman Always Rings Twice (West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds and West End's Playhouse Theatre) on the world premiere of a new version of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera, which marks the first major new production in the U.K. in 15 years.
A new production of Oscar Wilde's Salome will be staged by Jamie Lloyd (whose recent work includes Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse and subsequently at the West End's Vaudeville, Three Days of Rain at the West End's Apollo Theatre and The Pride at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs), to be presented in a co-production with Leicester's Curve, where it will run May 6-15, 2010 (with a press night on May 12), prior to a U.K tour.
Headlong will also stage the world premieres of Anthony Neilson's Orson Welles in the Land of the Peas and Mike Bartlett's Earthquakes in London. Welles is the actor, writer and director regarded by many as the greatest cinema artist of all time. In 1941 he released "Citizen Kane." By 1980, he was voicing advertisements for frozen food on British television. The play, which is described as "examining ambition, myth and the eternal clash between art and commerce," takes a comic yet humane look at the one of the defining figures of twentieth century culture and attempts to fill in the gaps between the famous out-takes of this recording session. Neilson's previous plays include God in Ruins (RSC), The Wonderful World fo Dissocia and Relocated (both Royal Court), and Realism (Royal Lyceum).
Bartlett's new play is described in press materials as "a imaginative investigation into the perils we currently face. Environmental disaster, economic meltdown and moral bankruptcy threaten to overwhelm a disparate group of individuals, united only in their growing sense of panic and of isolation. With wit, imagination and humanity, Bartlett investigates the potential for change and the possibility of hope." The play revolves around an old man who has seen the future, and his three daughters, each of whom in her own way is falling apart. Bartlett's previous plays include Contractions and My Child (both seen at the Royal Court) and Cock, due to premiere at the Royal Court from Nov. 13-Dec. 19.
Goold's previous productions include Chichester's Minerva Theatre production of Macbeth (that subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (that transferred to the West End, and is about to embark on an autumn U.K. tour, beginning performances at Bristol Old Vic Sept. 26). Other recent credits include Time and the Conways at the National Theatre, Pete Postlethwaite in King Lear (co-produced with Headlong), and West End productions of Pinter's No Man's Land and Oliver! (currently at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). He is currently directing Turandot for English National Opera, where it opens at the London Coliseum on Oct. 8.
For further details, visit www.headlongtheatre.co.uk.