Arcola Theatre presents KENNY MORGAN – World Premiere of a new play by Mike Poulton. Two-times Olivier award nominee Paul Keating stars in the world premiere of KENNY MORGAN about the suicide of Terence Rattigan’s gay lover.
“Say what you like but there’s been a crime committed. More than one I should say”
February 1949. The tenants of a boarding house in Camden Town, alerted by a smell of gas coming from one of the rooms, discover a young man lying unconscious, and signs of what might be a botched suicide attempt. In an attempt to make contact with the victim’s family or friends, they decide to telephone the first person listed in his book of personal telephone numbers. It is the celebrated playwright Terence Rattigan….
Mike Poulton (Tony nominated for his Broadway versions of Fortune’s Fool, Wolf Hall, and Bring Up The Bodies) in his new play makes a conjectural reconstruction of a day in the life of a young man who nine years previously had received the British Film Industry’s ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ award.
Kenny Morgan, directed by Lucy Bailey, reveals a volatile story of secrets and lies, of destructive passions and unrequited love… and draws on the real events behind the creation of what would become arguably Terence Rattigan’s best and most celebrated play: The Deep Blue Sea.
“In a letter to John Osborne, Terence Rattigan wrote: ‘Perhaps I should rewrite Deep Blue Sea as it really was meant to be, but after 20 years I just can’t remember why I made all that fuss.’ I have not attempted to rewrite or adapt Rattigan’s greatest play; I have simply looked at the events that inspired him to write it and, using the same Greek structure he employed, written a new play based on certain concealed truths.” – Mike Poulton
Lucy Bailey (Director) co-founder of The Print Room Theatre in Notting Hill, and the music theatre company, the gogmagogs. Her acclaimed Shakespeare productions include Titus Andronicus, Macbeth and Timon of Athens at the Globe and The Winters Tale, The Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar at the RSC. Lucy has worked with Mike Poulton on three previous occasions, directing his adaptations of The Lady from the Sea for Birmingham Rep; Uncle Vanya for the Print Room and Fortune’s Fool for the Old Vic, both starring Iain Glen.
Mike Poulton (Playwright) began writing for the theatre in 1995. His first adaptations of Turgenev’s Fortune’s Fool, with Alan Bates, and of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, with Derek Jacobi, were both staged at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and on Broadway – Fortune’s Fool receiving a Tony Nomination for Best Play, Tony awards for Alan Bates as Best Actor and Frank Langella as Best Featured Actor, and five other major awards. His work for the Royal Shakespeare Company includes St Erkenwald, The Canterbury Tales, Morte d’Arthur, Anjin (Tokyo, Osaka, London) and most recently Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies (Stratford, London, Broadway), which received 8 Tony Nominations including Best Plays. Recent work includes a new production of Fortune’s Fool at the Old Vic, directed by Lucy Bailey, Luise Miller at The Donmar directed by Michael Grandage, A Tale of Two Cities at Northampton, directed by James Dacre, to be revived for a national tour Autumn 2016. Other work in London’s West End, and at Chichester, Cymru Theatr Clwyd, Colchester, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, America and Ireland, includes adaptations of Schiller, Chekhov, Strindberg, Ibsen, Euripides, De Filippo. Mike’s version of The York Mysteries will open on May 26 in York Minster. He is currently under contract to The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Director Lucy Bailey
Designer Robert Innes Hopkins
Sound Designer Neil McKeown
Lighting Designer Jack Knowles
24 Ashwin Street
London, E8 3DL
Wednesday May 18 – Saturday June 18