Jonathan Maitland’s AN AUDIENCE WITH JIMMY SAVILE, which recently broke the box office and attendance records at Park Theatre in London, and is playing there until Saturday 11th July 2015, will transfer to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 11th to 22nd August 2015.
It’s 1991 and a TV show celebrates the life of the recently knighted ‘Most Trusted Man In Britain’. Whilst the great and the good praise him in the studio, a starkly different story unfolds in the shadows…
Directed by Brendan O’Hea, designed by Lone Schacksen, with lighting design by David Howe and sound design by Tristan Parkes, the production stars Alistair McGowan, Charlotte Page, Robert Perkins, Graham Seed and Leah Whitaker. An Audience with Jimmy Savile is produced by Denise Silvey for Cahoots Theatre company, alongside Executive producer Steve Anderson.
Drawing extensively on material from genuine interviews, transcripts and TV shows, this is the first play to explore the most shocking sex scandal of our time, and has attracted huge critical and public attention, with Alistair McGowan’s portrayal of ‘Jimmy Savile’ garnering universal praise, including:
Jonathan Maitland said, “I’m delighted our play is coming to Edinburgh. The reaction it’s had – from audiences, survivors of abuse and critics – has exceeded everything we’ve hoped for and confirmed my belief that writing this play was absolutely the right thing to do. The success we’ve had at Park Theatre has also meant that we have been able to give a substantial donation to support the amazing and vital work of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood”.
Gabrielle Shaw, Chief Executive for NAPAC said, “we are delighted with the success of this outstanding play, which shines a light on how Savile got away with his terrible actions, but even more importantly it highlights the varied experiences of those who were victims of his abuse. NAPAC works with adult survivors of childhood abuse, and the producers’ donation will go directly towards this work – notably the NAPAC support telephone line which offers free and confidential advice and a listening ear for those trying to deal with the trauma they have suffered.”
Alistair McGowan, said “The response to the play has been extraordinary. Many survivors of abuse and victims of Savile have seen it in London and said ‘it needs to be seen’ by more people around the country. The Edinburgh Festival is one of the best showcases in the world for contemporary, controversial and cutting edge theatre, and performing it there gives us more chance to let more people see this important play. The Savile scandal is one of most significant stories of the last few years – it has changed attitudes to abuse in terms of policing and prosecution – I think what Jonathan Maitland has done is to collate under one roof, as it were, a convincing answer to the questions everyone asks all the time: ‘How on earth did he get away with it for more than half a century?’ ‘How did he justify his crimes to himself?’ And ‘How did a shameless, abuser pull the wool over the eyes of the BBC, the NHS, the Catholic Church, politicians, royalty and the British police?’ I, on a personal level, felt ‘duped’ by the man. Most of the people of my age feel weirdly foolish that we were taken in by Jimmy Savile and – while we haven’t suffered one iota of what his victims went through – there are 12 or 15 million of us who used to watch his shows who feel that we’ve had a part of our childhood tainted forever too.”
Jez Bond, Artistic Director of Park Theatre said “I’m thrilled that Park Theatre has helped bring this important play to the stage. The reaction of our audiences after every sold out performance reminds us just how successful theatre can be in raising the debate on current affairs. There’s much to be learnt from this disgusting piece of our society’s history – and I’m proud that we’ve been able to play even a small part in the autopsy of the events. I wish the production every success at the Edinburgh Fringe, where I’m sure it will continue to provoke these important discussions.”
VENUE: Studio 1 St. George’s Square
DATES: 11 – 22 August @ 19.55 (70 mins)
TICKETS: £15 Mon – Thurs, £16 Fri – Sun, 2 for 1 August 11th
BOX OFFICE: www.assemblyfestival.com, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and
Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square and Assembly Checkpoint
Friday 10th July 2015