End of Moving Walkway, an ambitious company founded on the principle that the fringe can and should be as professional and high quality as large-scale venues, announces its debut production.
Will Eno’s brilliantly honest play in a production that offers a touching account of the absurdity, and the beauty, of life. Five simple stories performed by a cast of nine.
The industry preview played to great acclaim, Sir Trevor Nunn said “I laughed, I cried, I recognised and I celebrated. Oh our humanity indeed. I highly recommend”.
A 2007 piece, Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions tells of eight ordinary people, being ordinary, inadequate, and totally exposed. There’s a coach who’s had a dismal season and an airline spokeswoman trying to say sorry. A man and a woman are searching for true love, whilst two others wonder why the car won’t start.
Previous productions have been inclined to opt for multi-rolling, presenting five distinct stories with a cast of three or four actors. Director Paul Lichtenstern instead presents a nine-strong cast, performing together in a shared space. “It’s through seeing the tableau of diverse, exposed, and ordinary people working for each other, interacting with each other, that the beauty of each individual becomes clear”, he says.
A preview performed by a student cast in January 2014 was very well received. “Fast paced, slick and highly engaging” praised Diyan Zora (Swivel Theatre Company), whilst Sam Carrack (AllthePigs) called it “honest and compelling… five very different performances all brilliantly handled”. The production is transformed for the Tabard run with a set designed by Andy Edwards, and a cast that includes Jonathan Kemp (‘Yes, Prime Minister’ UK Tour, and ‘Peter Pan’ NT) and Claire Lichie (Matthew Dunster’s ‘You Can Still Make a Killing’ Southwark Playhouse, Alecky Blythe’s ‘Cruising’ The Bush, and EastEnders).
Over 1500 professionals auditioned for the production, which is a paid opportunity. The commitment to always paying its cast is one of End of Moving Walkway’s three founding principles, the other two being: to confront audiences with ambitious, challenging and risk-taking drama, and to promote the potential of fringe theatre to achieve the same standards of professionalism and artistic excellence as large-scale productions everywhere.
Cast: Kaye Brown Wife, Rebecca Herod Assistant, Keith Hill Husband, Jonathan Kemp Coach, Claire Lichie Spokeswoman, Philip Nightingale Photographer, Esmé Patey-Ford Woman, Joseph Stevenson Man, Guy Warren-Thomas Artist
Creative Team: Andy Edwards Designer, Will Eno Playwright, Janis Jaffa Casting Consultant, Patrick Jensen Stage Manager, Paul Lichtenstern Director, Rosie Thomas Deputy Stage Manager, Phoebe Wagner Assistant Director
Paul Lichtenstern Artistic Director
Paul has experience working with a number of fringe companies: he is Assistant Director of Swivel Theatre Company, with whom he assisted on an award winning show at Theatre 503, and Producer for The Merely Players, responsible for their monthly Shakespeare repertory company. He admires shows that combine ambition with clarity: performances that take risks to tell important stories, but remain accessible and engaging for all.
Tahmid Chowdhury Producer
Tahmid has spent the past few years working on various productions at top London venues such as Royal Festival Hall and Tristan Bates Theatre as writer, director, stage manager and producer.
Lottie Patterson Head of Development, Catherine Mackworth Assistant Producer, George Linfield Head of Marketing, Jessica Dunn Head of PR, Jess Lichtenstern Assistant to the AD
Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions
3rd to 20th September 2014
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Saturday matinees 4pm (13, 20 Sep)
Tickets: £16, £14 Concessions
Groups: 8 tickets for £100
Box office: 020 8995 6035
Tuesday 29th July 2014