Brenda Blethyn, Mrs. Moneypenny and Play About Peter Sellers Flavor Brits Off Broadway Festival

News   Brenda Blethyn, Mrs. Moneypenny and Play About Peter Sellers Flavor Brits Off Broadway Festival
Brits Off Broadway, an annual slate of productions from resident British companies, returns to Manhattan for its seventh year Nov. 3-Jan. 2, 2011, at the beehive of venues at 59E59 Theaters. Acclaimed performers Brenda Blethyn (an Academy Award nominee for "Secrets & Lies") and Niall Buggy (both in the U.S. premiere of Edna O'Brien's Haunted) are mixed with emerging talents.

Brenda Blethyn
Brenda Blethyn

Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Inspector Sands and Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre are among troupes represented. A new play about comic actor Peter Sellers is on the schedule. One additional offering is yet to be announced.

Here's the 2010 Brits Off Broadway schedule at a glance:

Nov. 3-21
By Hywel John, directed by Kate Wasserberg
With Louise Collins, Jennifer Kidd and Steven Meo
Produced by Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Wales

"The critically acclaimed dark fable of loss and revenge. When childhood is shattered by grief can the pieces be reassembled?"

Nov. 4-28
Personal Enemy
By John Osborne and Anthony Creighton, directed by David Aula
With Karen Lewis, Tony Turner, Genevieve Allenbury, Mark Oosterveen, Joanne King, Peter Clapp and Steven Clarke
Produced by FallOut Theatre, London

"A vivid depiction of the political and sexual paranoia that gripped America in the 1950s at the height of McCarthyism, when the public enemy suddenly became a lot more personal."

Nov. 9-28
Lingua Franca
By Peter Nichols, directed by Michael Gieleta
With Anna Carteret, Enzo Cilenti, Ian Gelder, Abigail McKern, Chris New, Charlotte Randle and Natalie Walter
Produced by the Cherub Company at the Finborough Theatre, London

"Follows innocent abroad Steven Flowers as he travels from National Service in South-East Asia to 1950s Florence. He soon finds himself working for a chaotically-run language school, together with a cosmopolitan muddle of six foreign misfits killing their post-war nihilism in the cafés of Florence, the cradle of Renaissance high culture. Based around a leading character in…Nichols' acclaimed work Privates on Parade, this fast-paced, sexually charged production was the toast of London over the summer. This marks the play's New York premiere." Nov. 23-Dec. 12
Being Sellers
By Carl Caulfield, directed by Simon Green
With David Boyle as Peter Sellers
Produced by Waterloo East Theatre, London

"Peter Sellers was celebrated for his ability to transform himself completely into his characters — from Chief Inspector Clouseau to Doctor Strangelove. But who was he and what was the personal cost of his comic genius? Marking the 30th anniversary of Sellers' death, Carl Caulfield's poignant comedy brings to life a wealth of memorable characters to unmask a tortured Goon."

Nov. 30-Dec. 5
An Audience With Mrs. Moneypenny
By Heather McGregor and Robert McGregor, directed by Owen Lewis
Starring Mrs. Moneypenny

"The ultimate working mother and saucy Financial Times weekend columnist descends upon New York with her hysterical tales of banking, business and cost centers one, two and three."

Dec. 1-Jan. 2, 2011
By Edna O'Brien, directed by Braham Murray
With Brenda Blethyn, Niall Buggy and Beth Cooke
Produced by Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

"When a captivating young woman enters the life of Mr. Berry, he pretends his wife is dead and dresses the young woman in her clothes to ensure the relationship continues. [A] U.S. premiere."

Dec. 7-Jan. 2, 2011
Inspector Sands: Hysteria and If That's All There Is
Created by Inspector Sands, directed by Joseph Alford and Lu Kemp
With Lucinka Eisler, Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis
Produced by Inspector Sands, London

"Inspector Sands is a young company…[that] arrives at Brits Off Broadway with two critically acclaimed productions running in rep that examine the 21st century mindset with hilarious results. In Hysteria, a man and a woman are on the most awkward dinner date of their lives. Caught in the middle is their mortified waiter, who is haunted by visions of global catastrophe. In If That's All There Is, a couple teeters on the brink of marriage. As the happiest day of their lives approaches, the panic begins to rise. And everyone's watching."

One more show for December will be announced in the coming weeks.

59E59 Theaters, at 59 E. 59th Street, is run by Elysabeth Kleinhans (artistic director) and Peter Tear (executive producer).

Single ticket prices range $25- $60 ($17.50-$42 for 59E59 Members). Tickets to Brits Off Broadway are available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or online at

For more information on Brits Off Broadway, visit

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