Following a sell-out run at Finborough Theatre, where it continues until Saturday 19 April, a new musical adaptation of Émile Zola’s classic French novel Thérèse Raquin will transfer to Park200 at Park Theatre for a limited 4 week run from Wednesday 30 July 2014 (press night Tuesday 5 August at 7pm) it was announced today.
A story of paralysing passion…
19th Century Paris. Behind the counter of a small dusty haberdasher’s shop near the Seine sit Madame Raquin and her beautiful niece Thérèse, whom she has married off to her sickly son Camille in a loveless match. While he is out working, Thérèse serves in the shop, the monotony only broken on Thursday nights when Madame plays dominoes with a strange assortment of old friends. One such Thursday, Camille brings a childhood friend to the party – the bluff and attractive Laurent – who inspires such passion in Thérèse that she abandons all her inhibitions and her loyalties. This brutal and overwhelming passion overturns all their lives, with consequences nobody could have foreseen.
Émile Zola (1840–1902) was a novelist, playwright and journalist, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and was nominated for both the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902. Thérèse Raquin was Zola’s first major work, originally published in serial format in 1867 and then, due to its huge popularity, in book format in 1868. In 1873, Zola adapted the novel into a play, although it did not receive its London première until 1891 due to the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship. Both the novel and the play have been seen in many stage, screen, television and radio adaptations including a 2013 Hollywood film.
Nona Shepphard (Book, Lyrics and Direction) directed her first play at the Nuffield Theatre Southampton and wrote her first play whilst she was Associate Director at the Chester Gateway Theatre. Since then Nona has worked as a writer, director and deviser with over 150 productions and 40 commissioned plays to her credit. Her plays have been performed in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Europe and Russia. She is an Associate Director of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and International Consultant at the Lir Academy in Dublin.
Craig Adams (Music) is a composer, lyricist, and arranger. He was Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Finborough Theatre, facilitated by Mercury Musical Developments and Musical Theatre Network UK. Craig’s first musical Lift, developed in association with Perfect Pitch, received its world premiere at Soho Theatre in February 2013 and is now being licensed around the world, with an Off Broadway run in November 2013 and a WhatsOnStage nomination for Best Original Score 2014. Other writing includes DEFECT (Finborough Theatre), 101 Dalmatians (The Castle, Wellingborough), Ghosts Of The Past and The Watchers (YMT:UK), Ballet People (The Place), Battlement (Vanbrugh Theatre), Let Him Have Justice (Cochrane Theatre), Spell, The Frog Prince (Wimbledon Studio Theatre and Edinburgh Festival) and Alice in Wonderland (Edinburgh Festival and tour). Craig’s writing will be represented in four productions this August; Thérèse Raquin at the Park Theatre, Shadowthief at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Soul Music (YMT) at South Hill Park and LIFT at the MAC, Belfast. www.craigadamsmusic.com
Thérèse Raquin is produced by Theatre Bench, launched by Jim Zalles in October 2012 to support the development of new works in theatre and dance. Theatre Bench co-produced the world premiere of Craig Adams and Ian Watson’s LIFT at Soho Theatre in February 2013, which was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award, and produced the one man show Our Friends The Enemy at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, along with several standalone cabarets at the St James Studio Theatre. More recent projects include the sold-out hit play Carthage at Finborough Theatre, Drunk at the Bridewell Theatre (a co-production with the McOnie Company) and Shadowthief, a dance theatre piece from composer Craig Adams and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves which will have its world premiere at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival.
Thérèse Raquin has Music by Craig Adams and Book and Lyrics by Nona Shepphard. It is Directed by Nona Shepphard and Designed by Laura Cordery with Lighting by Neil Fraser. Thérèse Raquin was developed as part of Finborough Theatre’s acclaimed Celebrating British Music Theatre series. First performed at the Finborough Theatre, London. Neil McPherson, Artistic Director.
Casting is to be announced.
Thursday 17th April 2014