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Anthony Biggs’ first full season as Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre

Jermyn Street Theatre today announces its first full season under Anthony Biggs, with a series of challenging, exciting and contrasting productions set to ignite this studio theatre in the heart of the West End.

Ranging from a season of Stephen Berkoff short works to be played in repertory, to a revival of Wicker Man author David Pinner’s 1974 comedy The Potsdam Quartet, to a new fun filled family musical Little Beasts based on the 18th Century cautionary children’s tale What Happens To Naughty Children, the season carries on and broadens the theatre’s commitment to rediscovery but now places its work securely within a modern-day context From 24th September – 26th October the theatre presents Steven Berkoff: Religion and Anarchy.

In a five week season this legendary maverick of British theatre will co-direct his visceral one act plays with our Associate Director Max Barton. Eight of his plays will be produced in rep including the premieres of Roast, Guilt, Line-Up, Gas and How To Train an Anti-semite. The season will also include his epic poem Requiem for Ground Zero, which Berkoff himself will perform once a week. Together with the fully produced plays, there will be a series of readings of his other one-act plays and at least 20 of his works will feature in the season.

Following the Steven Berkoff season, from 29th October to 23rd November, Anthony Biggs will direct a revival of the 1974 David Pinner comedy The Potsdam Quartet. Set in the summer of 1945 as the Second World War comes to an end, Stalin, Truman, Churchill and Atlee, the ‘Big Four’, meet at Potsdam in Occupied Germany. Their mission – to decide how to administer punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany, which agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier. The aims of the conference also include the establishment of post-war order, peace treaties issues, and countering the effects of the war. As the four most powerful men in the world gather to set out the new order, in an anteroom a British string quartet, guarded by a Russian soldier, wait to perform. As the musicians bicker and the quartet begins to fall apart, next door the fate of the world is being settled.

Contrasting the conflicting and paradoxical worlds of politics and art, The Potsdam Quartet addresses the themes of love, friendship and endurance against the background of a disintegrated world starting to put itself back together. A prolific writer for stage and a novelist, David Pinner is perhaps best known for his 1967 novel Ritual, which was later adapted for screen as The Wicker Man.

Continuing Jermyn Street Theatre’s mission to revive classics and develop new musical theatre work The Little Beasts (What Happens To Naughty Children) runs from 26th November – 19th December 2013 as the Christmas show. A farm for the fiendish, a menagerie for the mischievous and a warning to the wicked, this modern take on an 18th century cautionary tale for children, is a new musical written by Luke Bateman and Michael Conley. The colourful and joyous extravaganza features a pleasurably disgusting feast of naughtiness in which children are transformed into the animals they most resemble. The show will feature puppetry, masks, magic and promises to be a Christmas treat for all the family. Luke Bateman is the resident composer at Jermyn Street Theatre. With Katy Darby he co-wrote the darkly comic All I Want For Christmas, and the MMD award-winning musicals Lord Byron’s Mistress and Bachelor Boys. He has composed music for productions including St John’s Night and On Approval.

Anthony Biggs became artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre in January 2013. His previous productions at the theatre include the UK premiere of Ibsen’s St John’s Night, Charles Morgan’s The River Line, Ibsen’s Little Eyolf and the recent revival of Frederick Lonsdale’s On Approval. The production builds on these and Jermyn Street Theatre’s other recent successes, including Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall starring Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon, the musical Boy Meets Boy and a rare revival of Charles Dyer’s Mother Adam!

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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