Who Do We Thing We Are?
Drawing on an incredible set of personal histories and memories, the UK’s first professional theatre ensemble formed entirely of older performers debut in this new work, directed by longtime RSC and National Theatre collaborator Sue Lefton. Written by Sonja Linden and Company and Directed by Sue Lefton.
Southwark Playhouse, 29 October to 15 November 2014
In the year of the centenary of the start of the First World War, this debut production offers a very personal take on the last hundred years of history, from 1914 to the present day. Based on the incredible family histories, photographs and memories of the cast, Who Do We Think We Are? draws on real life experiences such as a life in a Siberian prison camp during the Russian revolution, childhood experiences in India under the Raj, an escape from the Warsaw Ghetto, surviving the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, experiencing the harsh reality of life under Ceausescu, London in the swinging sixties and the present.
Visible is made up of professional actors of many years standing with an array of credits in high profile productions across theatre, film and television. Highly international, its members include Togo Igawa, the first Japanese actor at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ruth Posner, a child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and original member of the London Contemporary Dance Company, Imola Gaspar, who has performed extensively with the National Theatres of Hungary and Romania, and Ann Firbank, currently in The Crucible at the Old Vic and with a long and prestigious history of work at the RSC and the National Theatre, including the original RSC production of Hollow Crown, as well as film and TV.
The company is founded on the belief that tapping the energy and talent of older theatre performers can reap rich artistic rewards and serve as an inspiration for audiences. Following the run at Southwark Playhouse, Visible is planning an adaptation of La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, highly controversial in its time, exploring its themes of love, sex and death for an older cast.
Director Sue Lefton has had an extensive career both as a movement director and theatre director and is widely recognized as one of the UK’s foremost movement directors, having worked with many of the country’s major companies including The Royal Court, National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has also worked widely in film and opera.
Writer Sonja Linden was the founder of iceandfire theatre, and her previous plays include On A Clear Day You Can See Dover, Crocodile Seeking Refuge at the Lyric Hammersmith and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, which debuted at the Finborough Theatre before touring the UK and USA.
Writer Sonja Linden said “It’s been my dream as a writer to be part of an ensemble and to work collaboratively from day one in creating a piece of theatre. Inspired by the imaginative and high quality work of European ensembles, I have been privileged to gather stories from 10 amazing actors and fashion them into what I believe is quite a unique piece of theatre.”
Director Sue Lefton said “Directing a show with ten older actors from ten different cultures each with their highly contrasting stories – told in 40 swift moving scenes – then add dance, movement, projections, video and live music, and you have an epic and exhilarating piece of work to undertake.”
Directed by Sue Lefton Written by Sonja Linden and Company
Music by Sally Davies Lighting Design by Neill Brinkworth
Ann Firbank, Andrew Hawkins, Imola Gaspar, Jamina Daniel, John Moraitis, Paul Humpoletz, Norma Cohen, Ruth Posner, Togo Igawa and Trevor Allan Davies
Who Do We Thing We Are?
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
Running Time: 130 minutes (with interval)
Wed 29 October to Sat 15 November
Mon – Sat, 8pm evening performances and 3.30pm Sat matinees
020 7407 0234
Tuesday 30th September 2014