The 2020–2021 lineup at Headlong will mark Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin’s final season with the British touring company. Included on the slate of productions are a revival of August Wilson’s Jitney, the world premiere of the Jack Thorne-penned After Life, and the previously announced Faustus: That Damned Woman.
“It seems appropriate to draw my time as artistic director to a close with a range of projects and collaborators that are close to my heart,” said Herrin in a statement. “I’ve loved the time sharing some magical evenings of theatre up and down the country with the team past and present. I’m happy that I leave the company in strong health with an inspired staff, a capable and ambitious board and a range of excellent commissions, making it an appetizing opportunity for a talented and visionary new artistic director.”
Headlong will kick off the season with Europeans: Dramas from a Divided Union, a series of short political monologues, co-produced by The Guardian, exploring the issues in E.U. countries and how they affect the U.K. The series of seven films from Poland, Sweden, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, and the U.K. premiere as part of the London Short Film Festival beginning January 16, 2020.
Next is is the previously announced Faustus: That Damned Woman by Chris Bush starring Jodie McNee and Danny Lee Wynter. The Caroline Byrne-helmed play premieres at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre January 22, before going on tour. Joining the cast are Barnaby Power, Emmanuella Cole, Katherine Carlton, Tim Samuels, and Alicia Charles.
In addition, April De Angelis’ Mrs Noah will be developed into a hybrid music and theatre video in early 2020. Directed by Headlong Associate Director Holly Race Roughan, the piece is a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop and theatre.
Later in the year, a U.K. touring production of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tinuke Craig, begins in Septemberat Leeds Playhouse, which serves as co-producer.
Rounding out the season is After Life, which will premiere as a co-production with the National Theatre in early spring 2021 at the National’s Dorfman Theatre. The play is based on the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, adapted for the stage by Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), directed by Jeremy Herrin, and designed by Bunny Christie.
Throughout the season, Headlong will continue to support emerging theatre talent with Headlong Origins. The program aims to diversify the pool of directors that the company is currently working with. The Headlong Origins Directors for 2020 are Maria Crocker, Nyasha Gudo, Alix Harris, Fionnuala Kennedy, Maisie Newman, and Ellie Taylor. Recruitment for two more places on the Headlong Origins scheme will begin in Spring 2020.