After a sell-out, Off-West End run at The White Bear to rapturous audiences, and with the play about to be published, INIGO transfers to the Pleasance Islington, Main House for a limited three-week run.
16th Century Europe – Christianity is at war, counter-reformation follows reformation and the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, enters Rome as a radical reformer.
“INIGO” (Loyola’s birth name), follows the life of the Basque-born nobleman and Christian revolutionary from ambitious, hot-headed, street fighting hedonist with a lust for sensual pleasure and earthly glory to his conversion and subsequent adherence to the values of poverty, chastity, and obedience. It charts the founding of his religious order The Companions of Jesus (known pejoratively as The Jesuits), which set him and the movement on a collision course with church and establishment, lasting through to the present day. Although set in a specific historical period, it is also a contemporary allegory, a story of our times about anyone who demands change and meets with the savage opposition of those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
The ideas of Ignatius have influenced Shakespeare, modern psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation and The Twelve Step programme. The Jesuits have educated people as diverse as Descartes, Voltaire, Castro, Peter O’Toole, James Joyce, Hitchcock, Paul Merton, Scorsese, Conan Doyle, Chris Morris, Lorca, Bunuel, Freddie Mercury, Bill Murray, Rubens and Saint Exupery as well as the current Pope Francis, the first ever Jesuit Pope.
The play is timely because, although the first drafts were written when the previous Pope was in Rome, the play has since been produced when another reforming Jesuit now treads the same path as his founder four and a half centuries before.
From the beginning, and even today, the Jesuits have been the focus of much controversy, suspicion and conspiracy theories. Their political engagement and championing of the poor and marginalized has brought them into conflict with authority, sometimes with the Church itself.
INIGO” has a cast of actors whose experience includes The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Almeida, West End, TV, Film and Radio: Charlie Archer, Fayez Bakhsh, Simon Haycock, Helena Northcote, Reggie Oliver, Paul Storrier, Elle Van Knoll and Scott Westwood.
After training as an actor and working professionally in modern and classical theatre, Paul Storrier entered a Benedictine monastery for seven years. He recently left the order, but will play a Benedictine monk in the play. The leading role of Ignatius of Loyola will be played by an actor of Yemeni Arab parentage who was raised a Muslim, Fayez Bakhsh.
Jonathan Moore is an award winning actor, writer and director. As an actor he has played leading roles at the RSC, Royal Court, Donmar, Royal Exchange and on TV. He has directed theatre and opera world premieres at the Almeida, Donmar, Royal Exchange, Shakespeare’s Globe, Gate, English National Opera, Covent Garden, La Fenice in Venice and TV among many others. A published playwright and librettist, his work has been performed at leading theatres including Donmar, Royal Exchange, Gate, BBC TV, radio and internationally. Jonathan was asked by Mark Rylance to direct the large scale immersive project for over fifty performers, What You Will, a co-production for Shakespeare’s Globe, The Cultural Olympiad and Mayor’s Office and several subsequent Shakespeare projects. He is due to direct a large scale site-specific immersive project in Italy for Ludovico Einaudi and a new opera project with Stewart Copeland.
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Tuesday 19th May 2015