London's Jermyn Street Theatre to Present New Work By Absurdist Playwright Simpson

News   London's Jermyn Street Theatre to Present New Work By Absurdist Playwright Simpson
 
The world premiere of If So, Then Yes, the latest play from legendary absurdist playwright N.F. Simpson (who is now 91), will be presented at London's Jermyn Street Theatre, beginning performances Sept. 7 prior to an official opening Sept. 9, for a run through Oct. 2.

Presented by Presence Theatre in association with Jermyn Street Theatre, it is directed by Presence's joint artistic director Simon Usher, and features veteran actor Roddy Maude-Roxby, who appeared n the original 1959 production of Simpson's One Way Pendulum at the Royal Court and in the subsequent West End transfer.

Simpson's first play A Resounding Tinkle as well as The Hole and The Cresta Run also originally premiered at the Royal Court. In Martin Esslin's celebrated book "The Theatre of the Absurd," N.F Simpson is identified as one of the major absurdist dramatists of the last century, alongside Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. If So, Then Yes is his first new play in over 30 years, and charts a day in the life of Simpson's comic protagonist, octogenarian writer Geoffrey Wythenshaw, who sits down to dictate his autobiography from the comfort of a retirement home for the upper crust. Unfortunately, he finds himself constantly interrupted by his fellow residents, their visiting relatives, and the attending staff. Some seek a share of his wisdom, while others feel compelled to lend a hand in passing the time. Using dialogue that disguises the utterly nonsensical as the patently logical, the play examines with humor and heart what it means to age in contemporary society.

Maude-Roxby, who plays Geoffrey Wythenshaw, has also appeared on stage in Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus opposite Alec Guinness (West End), I Am Shakespeare (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK tour), King of Hearts (Hampstead Theatre) and Old Dog New Trick (LIFT Festival). Film credits include "Shadowlands," "Unconditional Love," and Clint Eastwood's "White Hunter, Black Heart." He is the voice of Edgar in Walt Disney's "The Aristocats."

Presence Theatre was founded in 2007 by joint artistic directors Simon Usher and Chris White, and board members James Chalmers and Claire Duttson, with the goal of redressing a concern about the ever-shrinking repertoire in the UK's mainstream theatres. The company has produced work at Theatre 503, Trafalgar Studios, Pushkin House and at Bankside's Rose Theatre.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7287 2875, or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk for more details.

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