London's Jermyn Street Theatre to Stage Rep Season of Steven Berkoff Shorts, Plus a New Musical

News   London's Jermyn Street Theatre to Stage Rep Season of Steven Berkoff Shorts, Plus a New Musical
London's Jermyn Street Theatre, a studio theatre in the heart of the West End just off Piccadilly Circus, has announced its first full season under the artistic directorship of Anthony Biggs, who took over the theatre in January.

According to press materials, the season will continue and extend the theatre's dedication to rediscovery but now also places its work firmly within a contemporary context.

The season opens with a five-week repertory season of one-act plays by Steven Berkoff, presented under the umbrella title Steven Berkoff: Religion and Anarchy. Beginning performances Sept. 24 and running through Oct. 26, Berkoff will co-direct his own plays with Jermyn Street's associate director Max Barton. The plays include the premieres of Roast, Guilt, Line-Up, Gas and How To Train an Anti-semite, as well as Berkoff performing his own epic poem Requiem for Ground Zero. Alongside these productions there will be a series of readings of his other one-act plays, and at least 20 of his works will feature in the season.

Then Biggs will direct David Pinner's 1974 play The Potsdam Quartet, beginning performances Oct. 29 for a run through Nov. 23. Pinner is best known for his 1967 novel "Ritual," later adapted for the screen as "The Wicker Man."

In the play, which is set in the summer of 1945 as the Second World War comes to an end, "Stalin, Truman, Churchill and Atlee, the 'Big Four,' meet at Potsdam in Occupied Germany. Their mission is to decide how to administer punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany, which agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier. The goals of the conference also include the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues and countering the effects of the war. As the four most powerful men in the world gather to set out the new order, in an ante-room a British string quartet, guarded by a Russian soldier, wait to perform. As the musicians bicker and the quartet begins to disintegrate, next door the fate of the world is being settled."

Finally, The Little Beasts (What Happens to Naughty Children) is a new musical that will begin peformances Nov. 26 for a run through Dec. 19. Written by Luke Bateman (the theatre's resident composer who previously co-wrote All I Want for Christmas with Kate Darby that was seen at the theatre, and music for Jermyn Street's productions of St. John's Night and On Approval) and Michael Conley, it is described as a modern take on an 18th century cautionary tale for children, in which children are transformed into the animals they most resemble. To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7287 2875, or visit for more details.

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