London's Orange Tree Season Will Feature Three World Premieres and Rare Revivals

News   London's Orange Tree Season Will Feature Three World Premieres and Rare Revivals
 
Paul Miller, the incoming artistic director of London's Orange Tree Theatre — who takes over from the theatre's founder Sam Walters, who ran the theatre for 42 years — has announced his inaugural season at the helm that will include rare revivals and three world premieres. He has also announced plans to offer reserved seating and other changes to the building itself.

In a press statement, Miller commented, "I'm thrilled to announce my inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree with a season of seven new productions representing almost a full year of work. It's a mix of new plays and re-discoveries all featuring the early works of seven great writers. Each one takes us to a completely different world and will be directed by directors all new to the Orange Tree: Charlotte Gwinner, Ned Bennett, David Mercatali, and Paulette Randall."

He added, "In addition to the work on stage, we will be making changes to the building - over the summer we will be moving to numbered seating, redecorating the auditorium and refreshing the feel of the foyers. Looking to the future, we will be working with Haworth Tompkins exploring ways in which we can dramatically enhance the audience experience of our buildings. There's so much to look forward to. It's the start of a new adventure for me and for the Orange Tree, opening up the building to new artists and new audiences."

The season will begin with Miller himself directing the 100th anniversary production of D.H. Lawrence's The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, beginning performances Sept. 3 prior to an official opening Sept. 5, for a run through Oct. 4. Miller previously directed Lawrence's The Daughter-in-Law at Sheffield's Crucible last year, where he has been an associate director since 2009.

According to press materials, the play is set in a tight-knit mining community in 1914, and paints a powerful story of a working-class woman on the edge.

The world premiere of Deborah Bruce's The Distance follows, beginning performances Oct. 8 prior to an official opening Oct. 10 for a run through Nov. 8. Directed by Charlotte Gwinner, the play provides a tough, funny look at the responsibilities of being a parent, the strength of friendship, and trying to do the right thing. Next, Ned Bennett directs another world premiere: Alistair McDowell's Pomona begins performances Nov. 12 prior to an official opening Nov. 14 for a run through Dec. 13. It is described as a sinister and surreal thriller.

Miller will then direct Bernard Shaw's first play Widowers' Houses, beginning performances Dec. 17 prior to an official opening Dec. 19 for a run through Jan. 31, 2015. Written in 1892, it is described as a sharp-toothed comedy about London's eternal struggle with housing and the problems of the buy-to-let classes.

David Mercatali will then direct the world premeire of Alice Birch's Little Light, beginning performances Feb. 4 prior to an official opening Feb. 6, for a run through March 7. It is descrbied as a dark, volatile new play that asks if we can ever let go.

Next, Paul Paulette Randall, formerly artistic director of Talawa and the associate director of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, will direct Mustapha Matura's Play Mas, beginning performances March 11 prior to an official opening March 13, for a run through April 11. Originally premiered at the Royal Court in 1974, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Play, this is its first major revival.

Finally, Miller will direct Each His Own Wilderness, beginning performances April 15 prior to an official opening April 17 for a run through May 16. This is the first major production of a rare play from Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing. It received a one-off performance at the Royal Court in 1958.

Priority booking for members opens June 9, with public booking from June 16. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 8940 3633 or visit www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk.

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