Hampstead Theatre's Fall Season to Include Brecht's Last Play

News   Hampstead Theatre's Fall Season to Include Brecht's Last Play Hampstead Theatre will launch its autumn season with the British premiere of Turandot, Bertolt Brecht's final play that was written just before his death in 1956 and will be presented in a new translation by Edward Kemp that will run Sept. 4-Oct. 4 with an official opening scheduled for Sept. 8.

Turandot will be followed by the London premiere of Shared Experience's production of Mine, written and directed by Polly Teale, running Oct. 7-25 (with a press night on Oct. 25).

The theatre will then offer the world premiere of Lucky Seven, a comedy by Alexis Zegerman that was written while the playwright was the theatre's Pearson Writer-in-Residence in 2007-08. Performance dates for Lucky Seven are Oct. 31-Nov. 22 with a press night on Nov. 4.

The theatre will host a week-long season of one-man shows by Michael Pennington Nov. 24-29, before Hampstead's artistic director, Anthony Clark, will stage an adaptation of The Little Prince, running Dec. 4, 2008- Jan. 10, 2009 (with a press night on Dec. 8).

In a press statement Clark said, "This season will be the first to benefit from the uplift in funding we received from the Arts Council earlier this year. With the extra support we are extremely proud to be producing three of our own commissions and presenting work from some of the most talented emerging and established writers in the country."

Turandot is a comic parable inspired by a Chinese fairytale that has appeared in many forms, including Puccini's popular opera. Brecht's version will be presented in a new version by Edward Kemp, whose version of Gotold Lessing's Nathan the Wise was seen at Hampstead in 2005. The production, directed by Clark, will include Chipo Chung (Talking to Terrorists, The Overwhelming) as Princess Turandot and David Yip ("The Chinese Detective" on TV). Shared Experience will produce Mine. The theatre company previously brought its two-part adaptation of War and Peace to Hampstead Theatre earlier this year and has also appeared there in Kindertransport. Polly Teale, whose production of her own play After Mrs. Rochester won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director and the Time Out Award for Best West End Production in 2003, is artistic director of the company, and the new play is described in press materials as "a powerful exploration of parenthood through a couple who are desperate to adopt and a mother who can't let go."

Lucky Seven, which uses Granada Television's Seven UP! as inspiration, follows three participants who are contracted to meet once every seven years to have their lives scrutinized by the nation, and each other. Playwright Alexis Zegerman won Soho Theatre's Westminster Prize for new Writing in 2003 and writes extensively for BBC Radio. As an actor, she can currently be seen as Zoe in Mike Leigh's latest film "Happy Go Lucky." The play will also be directed by Clark.

Veteran RSC actor Michael Pennington will bring his one-man shows Sweet William and Anton Chekhov to the theatre; the first is a journey through the life and works of William Shakespeare, while the second takes the form of an evening in the company of the Russian playwright.

The Little Prince — which, according to press materials, is the third most printed book in the world after The Bible and Gone with the Wind — is being staged in a new musical adaptation.

To book tickets contact the box office at 020 7722 9301 or visit www.hampsteadtheatre.com.

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