By Mark Shenton
15 Mar 2013
This small studio space, used to nurture work-in-progress, is presented free from commercial pressures and without "official" critical assessment, but in front of a paying audience who influence the future of the work by offering feedback both in the theatre and on social media. Three Hampstead Downstairs plays have so far had successful future productions – Amelia Bullmore's Di and Viv and Rose subsequently moved in a re-cast version to the main theatre, Tom Holloway's And No More Shall We Part was seen at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's Belongings transferred to Trafalgar Studios.
Say it with Flowers, which runs April 5-May 4, will "take the audience on a surreal and unexpected journey through a selection of celebrated American modernist Gertrude Stein's writing." The cast comprises Laura Harling, Peter Hobday, Sarah Malin, Sarah Northgraves and Sean Jackson.
A Human Being Died That Night, which runs May 10-June 15, will be directed by Jonathan Munby in his Hampstead directorial debut. The play is set in 1997 in Pretoria Central Prison in South Africa, where psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela prepares to sit opposite the apartheid regime's most notorious assassin, a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is interviewing Eugene de Kock while he serves 212 years for crimes against humanity, murder, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms and fraud. It is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Gobodo-Madikizela and explores her interviews with Eugene De Kock, her time on the TRC, and how a fundamentally moral person could become a mass murderer.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7722 9301, or visit www.hampsteadtheatre.com for more details.