SOPHIE WARD TO STAR IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEW STAGE ADAPTATION OF ALDOUS HUXLEY’S DYSTOPIAN MASTERPIECE BRAVE NEW WORLD BY DAWN KING – DIRECTED BY JAMES DACRE WITH ORIGINAL MUSIC BY THESE NEW PURITANS OPENING IN NORTHAMPTON ON 4 SEPTEMBER 2015 FOLLOWED BY UK TOUR
I don’t want comfort. I want danger. I want freedom. I want sin.
Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present the world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel BRAVE NEW WORLD, opening on Friday 4 September 2015, with a national press night in Northampton on Tuesday 8 September.
Brave New World, widely considered to be one of the finest and most prophetic dystopian novels of the twentieth century, bursts into life on stage in an adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King, directed by James Dacre and designed by Naomi Dawson, with an original new music by the ground breaking British band These New Puritans.
Sophie Ward will star as ‘Margaret Mond – the Regional World Controller for Western Europe’, which in Huxley’s novel is a male character. Dawn King said, “I took this decision primarily because as a feminist, I wanted to increase the gender equality of the show. I also felt that having a female world controller of Western Europe is more representative of our world today, and of a world of the future. In the novel the character is called ‘Mustapha Mond’, but in my adaptation I chose the name Margaret, for its obvious allusions. I think Sophie Ward is a great choice to play the role because ‘Mond’ is a person who has had to make hard decisions, has a strong sense of her own personal morality, and has real steely authority – qualities I think Sophie will accentuate.”
Sophie Ward’s extensive screen credits include series regular roles in Land Girls, Heartbeat and Holby City, and appearances in acclaimed TV dramas Dinotopia, A Dark Adapted Eye (opposite Helena Bonham Carter), A Village Affair and Secret State, and films including Jane Eyre, Book of Blood, Out of Bounds, Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights, and Young Sherlock Holmes. Her theatre work includes: Go Back For Murder (tour); Private Lives; One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (tour); An Ideal Husband (Theatre Clwyd); Nothing (59th Street, New York); Electricity (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Semi Monde (Lyric Theatre, London); The Three Sisters (Chichester); The Turn Of The Screw (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); Flare Path (King’s Head, London); and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (tour) Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published in 1932, and is widely seen to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century, anticipating developments in reproductive technology, psychological manipulation and behavioural conditioning. Set 600 years in the future human life has been almost entirely industrialised, and humans are created and conditioned in a lab according to a strict caste system, in a World State whose motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”.
Monogamy, the family unit and the ‘natural’ process of giving birth, are considered horrific and unnatural, and material comfort and physical pleasure – provided by the drug soma and recreational sex — represent Dawn King also said, “Huxley’s novel is over eighty years old, but his vision of the future is shockingly familiar. In many ways, we already live in Brave New World: a glittering dystopia built on inequality, where people keep themselves distracted with empty pleasures, chemical stimulants and consumer goods. Adapting this huge work for the stage has been as tough and stimulating as anything I’ve ever done and a huge pleasure.”
James Dacre said, “Asking whether it is better to be free and unhappy or to live in forced happiness, incapable of accepting freedom, our version of Brave New World will explore the ways that we currently live our lives, imagining how tomorrow’s world might look as a consequence of today’s choices.”
This adaptation of Brave New World is based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, presented through special arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the Aldous and Laura Huxley Literary Trust, Mark Trevenen Huxley and Teresa Huxley. All rights reserved.
Brave New World is the fifth Touring Consortium Theatre Company production funded by the Arts Council of England‘s
Strategic Touring Programme, and the third co-production with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.
Brave New World premieres at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, where it runs from 4th to 26th September 2015. It then tours to Edinburgh, Blackpool, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Bradford where it concludes on 5 December.
Further casting to be announced.
Twitter – #BraveNewWorld2015
Friday 10th July 2015