Nigel Harman is to head a first class creative team when he directs a major West End season of Steven Berkoff one-act plays, Lunch and The Bow of Ulysses at Trafalgar Studios for five weeks from Thursday 6th October – Saturday 5th November. Press Night is Monday 10th October at 7.00pm
Lunch (1983) and it’s sequel The Bow of Ulysses (2002) are two of Berkoff’s finest small pieces, examining the relationship between a couple when they first meet and have, what appears to be, an abortive one-night-stand; and how they are years later after two decades of marriage.
The creative team includes Olivier Award-nominated sound designers Ben & Max Ringham, designer Lee Newby (Grand Hotel, Dogfight), lighting designer Joshua Carr (Hangmen, West End) and Offie Award Best Choreographer Alistair David as movement director.
Cast to be announced.
Nigel Harman said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity of working on two of Steven Berkoff’s rarely performed short plays, When I first read them I was struck by the caustic beauty of the writing. Berkoff manages to amuse, horrify and move all in one sentence. And his instinct for the human condition, with all it’s flaws and wonders, is unique. I’m intrigued to put these plays on stage and see how an audience will react. They are a challenge to watch. Some people will laugh and enjoy the theatricality of them. Others may find them uncomfortable in the way they hold a dark mirror up to relationships. One thing’s for sure, they don’t pull any punches.”
Producer Jimmy Jewel said: “Berkoff‘s plays are always physically demanding for the actors involved. In Lunch and The Bow of Ulyses, intentional vulgarity sits cheek by jowl with passages of poetic clarity, allowing the characters to reveal the most painful and ugly aspects of their lives. Lunch is a black comedy of errors that is as universal as it is bizarrely peculiar. It is a psychological and sexual struggle for power. Berkoff’s writing is astounding in its unrelenting physicality. Yet it skips from Shakespearian verbosity, allusion and surprising imagery to tiptoeing indecision. The Bow Of Ulysses avoids any hint at conversation, with each character speaking in long soliloquies, before passing the baton to the other. The man feels he has wasted years married to the woman, she believes he’d have been nothing without her support. The truth, as truth always is, is more complicated and the sides switch around and explore one another, without ever touching in conversation. This is a rare opportunity to see two of Berkoff’s finest small pieces.”
NIGEL HARMAN (Director)
ALISTAIR DAVID (Movement Director)
BEN & MAX RINGHAM (Sound Design)
LEE NEWBY (Designer)
GINNY SCHILLER CDG (Casting)
Jimmy Jewell Ltd (Producer)
LUNCH and THE BOW OF ULYSSES
by Steven Berkoff
Book Tickets for Trafalgar Studios
Trafalgar Studios 2
6th October – 5th November 2016
Monday – Saturday at 7.45pm
Matinees Thursday & Saturday at 3.00pm