Following their critically-acclaimed and varied spring programme of new writing which included the celebrated WINK and Sense of an Ending, Theatre503’s autumn season stages four hugely diverse new plays. As well as supporting new writers, Jon Brittain is also welcomed back to Theatre503 after the success of Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho. Also, returning by popular demand, Sleeping Trees will mark the end of the season and their residency at Theatre503 with a festive treat.
Theatre503 continues to be a powerhouse of new writing and, as ever, it can be counted on as the home of groundbreaking plays. Paul Robinson, Artistic Director of Theatre503, comments: “I’m proud that despite a cold in-house producing climate on the fringe, 503 is still so firmly committed to getting work on stage. All in all the season aims to celebrate our dedication to growing talent in-house and exploiting our development models to produce work which has the 503 kite mark.”
2014 saw Theatre503’s inaugural Playwriting Award which presented an unprecedented opportunity for playwrights at all levels. Over 1600 applications were received and two winners were selected for the much sought-after prize. Their plays will now be staged at Theatre503 – And Then Come the Nightjars by Bea Roberts, directed by Theatre503’s Artistic Director Paul Robinson, and Valhalla by Paul Murphy, directed by the much acclaimed Jo McInnes (RSC, Royal Court, National Theatre).
Theatre503 and Bristol Old Vic present And Then Come the Nightjars (2nd – 26th September)
And Then Come the Nightjars charts one farm’s struggle to survive the march of history. Fierce with rage and achingly tender in turn, the play is a story of enduring friendship and a requiem for rural England. And Then Come the Nightjars marks Theatre503’s first co-production with Bristol Old Vic.
Theatre503 in association with Sheer Drop Theatre presents Valhalla (30th September – 24th October)
Valhalla explores the boundaries of scientific research and tests the endurance of human love. A scientific researcher and his wife on the brink of a transformational discovery escape to an isolated Nordic research facility. Cracks begin to appear in their marriage and they are forced to choose between conflicting allegiances while coming to terms with her traumatic past.
Theatre503 and HartshornHook Productions present Rotterdam (27th October – 21st November)
Rotterdam by Jon Brittain is a bittersweet comedy about gender, sexuality and being a long way from home. It’s New Year in Rotterdam, and Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents to tell them she’s gay. But before she can hit send, her girlfriend reveals that she wants to become a man.
Cinderella and the Beanstalk (25th November – 2nd January)
Returning after overwhelming popular demand Sleeping Trees mark the end of the season with a festive treat for those who like their Christmas pantos with a twist. They have fashioned the props, hired the costumes, booked the venue and rigged the lights; the stage is set. But on arriving at the theatre they realise they have forgotten one vital component: a cast. Theatre503 are delighted to announce that Sleeping Trees are now an associate company at Theatre503.
Paul Robinson continues: “I’m overjoyed to see the culmination of our inaugural Playwriting Award – already seen as an essential part of the ecology – with our production of not just one but two plays. For both writers this will be a watershed moment in their careers and I can promise work of quality and contrast. As for Rotterdam, this was Jon Brittain’s commission for 503 as part of the previous 503Five intake and is the culmination of a six year relationship with the theatre.”
The winning productions from the Playwriting Award (And Then Come the Nightjars and Valhalla) have been generously supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and The Richard Carne Trust.
Ticket prices range from £2 – £20 (concessions available). Tickets are available from theatre503.com, 020 7978 7040 or in person at the Theatre503 box office. For more information about Theatre503, visit theatre503.com or follow @theatre503.
Wednesday 3rd June 2015