Theatre Royal Plymouth brings new plays to London

Theatre Royal Plymouth brings new plays to London

Strange Tales from the West Country

A mini-season of plays that had their UK premieres at The Drum at Theatre Royal Plymouth is to run in repertoire at London’s Southwark Playhouse from January.

Under the banner of “Strange Tales (from the West Country)”, they are Glenn Waldron’s chilling dystopian comedy The Here and This and Now and Mikhail Durnenkov’s thrillingly anarchic The War Has Not Yet Started.

The Drum will take over The Little at Southwark Playhouse for performances running from January 10 to February 10, 2018.

Glenn Waldron’s The Here and This and Now, which premiered at The Drum in March this year, is directed by Simon Stokes, artistic director of Theatre Royal Plymouth, with a cast of Simon Darven, Becci Gemmell, Tala Gouveia and Andy Rush. It is designed by Bob Bailey with lighting by Andy Purves and sound by Adrienne Quartly.

The play takes an intriguing and intelligent look at the pharmaceutical industry and asks in these politically uncertain times, how high is the price of progress. It is a return to Southwark Playhouse for Waldron whose Natives opened to great acclaim at the theatre last year.

The War Has Not Yet Started, which premiered in Plymouth in May 2016, is a surreal and at times unsettling comedy about everyday people fighting everyday wars, written by Russian playwright Mikhail Durnenkov and translated by Noah Birksted-Breen.

Directed by Gordon Anderson, it is made up of 12 twisted parables for the modern age, tapping into the fears and strangeness of our daily lives – sexual gamesmanship, what to do with ageing parents, those lying politicians, tensions at the airport, those lying journalists, infidelity and the “absurdity implant”.

Full casting will be announced shortly. Design is by Bob Bailey with lighting by Andy Purves.

Simon Stokes said: “It’s exciting to show the most recent work of these two distinctive playwrights – one, a cosmopolitan Russian and the other, a sophisticated, media-savvy Plymothian – to the wider audience beyond the far south west country.

“Individually, I think these stories are both a great night out. Taken together, they investigate our present uncertainty with incisive wit and intelligence while suggesting a future of perhaps ominous turbulence.”

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