London's Hampstead Theatre to Offer Quartet of Simon Gray Plays, Three of Them Previously Unperformed

By Mark Shenton
04 Feb 2014

London's Hampstead Downstairs Theatre will offer a quartet of plays by the late Simon Gray, three of them previously unperformed that revolve around the same characters, found in the same situation but all telling a different story. The plays will run in repertory, beginning performances March 20 for a nine-week run through May 17.



Now presented under the umbrella title In the Vale of Health, the starting point is Gray's Japes, which Peter Hall directed at the West End's Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 2001. In that play, the accidental death of their parents when Michael and Jason (Japes) were in their teens made them as close as brothers can be: the family home they inherited remains unchanged, part playground, part shrine. But their lives change forever when Michael falls in love with Anita and so does Japes, and a passionate triangle develops.

According to press materials, watching rehearsals, the playwright realized the characters might have made different choices and arrived at a different outcome, so he set to work on Japes Too. Concerned that he had still only told one side of the story he then set down Michael. But the characters continued to haunt him so he kept writing, and Missing Dates is a further attempt to put them to rest.

The plays will be directed by Tamara Harvey, currently represented in the West End by From Here to Eternity. Casting is still to be announced.

For full dates for each play and booking details, visit www.hampsteadtheatre.com, or call 020 7722 9301.