Papatango today announce the creative team and cast for the world première of Stewart Pringle’s début play Trestle. JMK Award-winner Cathal Cleary directs the two-hander starring Connie Walker as Denise and Gary Lilburn as Harry. Off West End Award-winner Frankie Bradshaw designs, with lighting from Johanna Town and sound by Richard Hammarton, the team behind Papatango’s 2016 production Orca.
The winner of the ninth annual Papatango New Writing Prize, Trestle was chosen anonymously from over 1000 entries and opens at Southwark Playhouse on 3 November, with previews from 1 November. It runs until 25 November.
“We’re not here forever. You’ve got to take a chance from time to time. Sometimes you’ve got to see something you like and grab hold. Don’t let it go.”
Harry feels like life is beginning to tick down, his autumn years spent quietly caring for the community he loves. Denise thinks life begins in retirement and she’s dancing like she’s still at high school. When their paths cross at the village hall, their understanding of the time they have left changes irrevocably. What do community, growing old, and falling in love really mean? And who gets to decide anyway?
In its world premiere, Trestle tenderly but truthfully explores love and ageing, asking how we choose to live in the face of soaring life expectancies.
Stewart Pringle’s recent work for stage includes The Ghost Hunter and You Look Tasty!. He is currently the Associate Dramaturg of the Bush Theatre, and prior to that was Artistic Director of the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington, for which he received the 2016 OffWestEnd Award for Best Artistic Director. In 2011 he co-founded the London Horror Festival, now in its 7th year. Working as a theatre critic for several years, his writing has been published in The Stage, Time Out, New Scientist and Exeunt Magazine.
Gary Lilburn plays Harry. His theatre includes The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Golden Ass (Shakespeare’s Globe), Deluge, Buried Alive and Tuesday’s Child (Hampstead Theatre), The Cripple of Inishmaan (MGC at the Noel Coward Theatre & Broadway), The Kingdom and Angels and Saints (Soho Theatre), The Hairy Ape and The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse), Calendar Girls (Chichester Festival Theatre & Noel Coward Theatre), The Man Who Had All The Luck (Donmar Warehouse), The Quare Fellow (Tricycle Theatre & Oxford Stage Company), To Kill a Mockingbird and Hen House (Arcola Theatre), The Weir (Royal Court Theatre) and The Measles (Gate Theatre). For television his credits include Paula, Catastrophe, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Dead or Alive, Pete Versus Life, I Shouldn’t Be Alive, Whistleblower, Single Handed, Perfect Day the Funeral, Pulling, Sea of Souls, Grease Monkeys II, 55 Degrees North, The Good Thief, Dalziel and Pascoe, McCready & Daughter, My Family, Fair City, A Safe House, Perfect Scoundrels and Single in London; and for film, Philomena, Eden, Garage, and Veronica Guerin.
Connie Walker plays Denise. Her theatre includes The March on Russia (Orange Tree Theatre), Death of a Salesman (Northampton & UK tour), FOLK (Birmingham Rep & tour), Seeing the Lights, Kes and Top Girls (New Vic Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, UK tour and Barbican), You Like It and Hay fever (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Separate Tables (Chichester Festival Theatre), Spring Awakening (Novello Theatre), Plunder (Watermill Theatre & Greenwich Theatre), Inside Out (Arcola Theatre & UK tour), Happy Birthday Brecht (National Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Manchester Royal Exchange). For television her credits include Vera, Scott & Bailey, Silent Witness, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, New Tricks, Blackpool, M.I.T. and The Vice; and for film, The Darkest Light.
Cathal Cleary directs. Cleary is Artistic Director of MOMMO Theatre and was the first Trainee Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse from 2014 – 2016, having won the 2011 JMK Award. Theatre credits as a as director include The Half Of It (Dublin Fringe, First Fortnight Award), Furniture (Druid Debuts), Disco Pigs (Young Vic, JMK Award, and UK & Irish tour), Women Of Troy (Mountview), The Last Yankee (Print Room), Appointment in Limbo (Dublin Fringe), and The Factory Girls and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Town Hall Galway). Credits as associate director include The Vote (Donmar/More4); and as assistant director, The Winslow Boy (Old Vic), Privates on Parade (MGC at the Noel Coward Theatre), Timon of Athens and Detroit (National Theatre), Twisted Tales (Lyric Hammersmith) and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic).
The Papatango New Writing Prize is the UK’s only annual award guaranteeing an emerging playwright a full production, publication, 10% of the gross box office and an unprecedented £6000 commission for a second play. Previous writers produced under the Prize include Dawn King, Dominic Mitchell, Tom Morton-Smith, Fiona Doyle, Luke Owen, Louise Monaghan, James Rushbrooke, and last year’s winner Matt Grinter. It is free to enter and assessed anonymously, and all entrants receive personal feedback on their scripts, an unmatched commitment to supporting aspiring playwrights.
Papatango is a charity who discover and champion new playwrights by running free open application schemes and opportunities. As well as the annual New Writing Prize, Papatango offers a yearly Resident Playwright scheme, taking an emerging playwright through commissioning and development of a new play.
Papatango also run GoWrite, an extensive programme of free playwriting workshops for children and adults nationwide that has so far delivered face-to-face training for over 1000 budding writers this year alone, and provided over £5000 in bursaries to enable in-need writers nationwide to access opportunities.
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