BAFTA-winning actress Monica Dolan brings her first play, The B*easts, to the Bush Theatre from 12 February (press night 15 February) following a hit run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it won a Stage Edinburgh Award 2017.
A searing ‘What If?’ exploration of the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children.
Setting the modern obsession with putting your own child first against our responsibility as a society towards our children as a whole, this dark tale, written by and starring Monica Dolan, explores how far one mum will go to give her child what she wants.
Dolan’s first solo play is a chillingly relevant piece that invites us to examine our cultural environment from an extreme perspective – exploring how the unimaginable can take root in what we have come to regard as normality. As Tessa, the central character says, ‘you only have the choices you can see’. So when and how do you start noticing that your moral compass may be being directed by what ‘you may also like’?
Monica Dolan has recently appeared on television as straight-talking Senior Comms Officer Tracey Pritchard in W1A (BBC Two); Leonora Quine in Strike: The Silkworm (BBC One); Alice More in Wolf Hall (BBC Two); Tess Wall in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy (BBC One); MI5 director Judith in Complicit (Channel 4), and as Janet McIntyre in Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution (BBC One), adapted for television by Sarah Phelps. Other TV credits include: Agatha Christie’s Poirot – After The Funeral (ITV); U Be Dead (ITV); Inside No.9 (BBC Two) and Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge (Sky).
Her film credits include: Eye in the Sky, Pride, The Falling, Alpha Papa (The Alan Partridge Movie) and The Arbor. Onstage, Monica has appeared in The Glory Of Living, Plaques and Tangles and Birth Of A Nation (all Royal Court); The Same Deep Water As Me (Donmar Warehouse) and She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre). Monica has worked extensively at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she took on the roles of Regan and Masha in Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull.
For the Bush Theatre, Monica starred as Loretta in Chalet Lines, by Lee Mattinson, and performed in NASSIM at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. The Bush also hosted previews of The B*easts before its premiere and sell-out run in Edinburgh.
Monica’s most notable role was as killer Rosemary West in ITV’s 2011 drama Appropriate Adult; she won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.
Director John Hoggarth has recently been appointed co-director of the North Wall in Oxford working alongside Ria Parry. The North Wall is an exciting arts venue that champions new work and the development of emerging artists. John trained and worked as an actor for several years before expanding his work to include writing and directing for the theatre and television. In 2003 he became joint artistic director of the National Youth Theatre and combined this with a prolific freelance writing and directing career. He has written and produced work for television, radio and the stage. He is co-artistic director of Iron Shoes, an alumnus associate company of the Bush Theatre established in 2009 to develop and produce new writing. He has won two Fringe First awards and is about to produce his new play Fragment which has music and songs by Dom Coyote.
Designer James Button studied at Wimbledon School of Art. Theatre includes: Jason and The Argonauts, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, The Velveteen Rabbit, Henry the Fifth, A Winter’s Tale, Dr Korczak’s Example and Not Now, Bernard all at the Unicorn Theatre; Charlotte’s Web and Disgraced for Singapore Repertory Co.; The Island Nation for The Arcola Theatre; Jane Wenham – The Witch of Walkern (Out of Joint); The Edge (Transport Theatre); The Scarecrow’s Wedding (Scamp Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors, Worst Wedding Ever and On Golden Pond (Salisbury Playhouse); Jefferson’s Garden (Watford Palace); Macbeth and Tory Boyz (Ambassador’s Theatre); Albion (Bush Theatre); Absent Made Present (Royal Opera House); Orpheus and Eurydice and Our Days of Rage (Old Vic Tunnels). As associate artist for Iron Shoes, he has designed: Fen (Finborough Theatre); Mad About the Boy (UK tour) and My Beautiful Black Dog (Bush Theatre).
Tom Clutterbuck is founder of the company Altered Feast. His recent designs include: The Vanishing Man by Simon Evans and David Aula, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads by Adrian Berry, Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead, the Fringe First award winning What I Learned From Johnny Bevan by Luke Wright and its follow-up, Frankie Vah. Coming from a comedy performance background, Tom directed two stand-up shows at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and will be working on several for 2018. He also works regularly as a lighting improviser, with such shows as Cariad and Paul, Jack Left Town and the Olivier Award winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.
Suzanna Rosenthal is managing director of Something for the Weekend. Recent projects include Jack Lane’s critically acclaimed Wisdom of a Fool on national tour and nine shows at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, including The B*easts. Suzanna is the in-house producer for Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (Olivier Award Winner – Best Entertainment & Family Show 2016). Other productions and co-productions include: When We Are Married (Garrick Theatre), Journey’s End (Duke of York’s and on national tour) and An Evening With Sir Roger Moore (five national tours, culminating at the Royal Festival Hall in 2016); Simon Block’s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed novel Everything Is Illuminated (starring Denise Gough, Gemma Jones and David Ryall (Hampstead Theatre); Victor/Victoria (UK premiere starring Ria Jones, Bridewell Theatre)and The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui starring Peter Polycarpou (Bridewell Theatre). Suzanna is also the founding producer of London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season at The Scoop amphitheatre on the Southbank.
12 February – 2 March at 7.30pm
Wednesday matinees on 14, 21 & 28 Feb at 2.30pm
Saturday matinees on 17 & 24 Feb & 3 March at 2.30pm
Audio described performance on Sat 24 Feb at 2.30pm
Captioned performance on Thurs 1 March at 7.30pm