Carrying on with its 21st anniversary year, Jermyn Street Theatre announces an autumn season of American work.
Comprising four UK premieres, – a contemporary musical, two works by Eugene O’Neill and a critically acclaimed contemporary play – the season kicks off with the London premiere of hit Off-Broadway musical SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE by Michael John LaChiusa which runs from September 8 to October 3. Three interlocking stories, that take the audience from feudal Japan to the New York Cities in 1951 and 2005, explore the gap between perception and reality. LaChiusa’s beautiful and unexpected music blends a plethora of influences from jazz and salsa to classical and pop into a fluid, cinematic score. The show premiered at New York’s Public Theater in 2005 and starred Idina Menzel in her first role following her Tony Award winning creation of the part of Elphaba in Wicked. Michael John LaChiusa is the Tony nominated composer of The Wild Party, Hello Again, Marie Christine and Giant.
See What I Wanna See is followed by the UK premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s early work, THE FIRST MAN which runs from October 6 to 31 and is directed by Jermyn Street Theatre artistic director Anthony Biggs. A highly autobiographical work, this is a tale of male pride, family jealousy and maternal longing from one of America’s greatest playwrights. The First Man will be accompanied by the first UK production of O’Neill’s long lost play EXORCISM directed by Grace Wessels. Written in 1919 O’Neill pulled the play after a few performances of its premiere and destroyed all the copies he could find. Finally rediscovered in 2003, The Exorcism tells the story of Ned Malloy, a young man who, down on his luck and living in a tawdry NY rooming house with his alcoholic roommate Jimmy, is forced to stage a humiliating event in order to escape his miserable marriage. Performances are on October 15th, 22nd, and 29th at 3.30 pm.
The season continues from November 3 to 21 with another UK premiere, DRY LAND, the critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit and Susan Smith Blackwood Award nominee by rising star Ruby Rae Spiegel. Set in the girls’ locker room of a Florida high school, the energetic four-hander explores an unlikely friendship that is put to the most extreme of tests. Tackling issues surrounding sexuality and the pressures of youth, this is a play of our time. Described as “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing, often all at the same time”, when Dry Land opened in New York last September, it was lauded by critics across the board.
Jermyn Street Theatre Artistic Director Anthony Biggs said: “I am delighted with the sheer quality, breadth and range of the productions we are presenting in this autumn’s American season. It is fitting that we reach the climax of our 21st year by presenting four UK premieres of bold and ambitious work. Jermyn Street theatre has a reputation for discovering and rediscovering truly great theatre for a contemporary audience and I am immensely proud to continue in this tradition.”
Jermyn Street Theatre’s current Summer season has comprised the current world premiere of Ashley Holloway’s Lesere and Susie Lindeman’s stunning portrayal of Vivien Leigh in Donald MacDonald’s VIVIEN: Letter To Larry. This work builds on the theatre’s other recent successes, which include Jerry’s Girls – a musical revue based on the songs of composer/lyricist Jerry Herman, the acclaimed production of Flowers of the Forest by John Van Druten, the first ever revival of Terence Rattigan’s debut work – First Episode, Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever, Arthur Wing Pinero’s The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith and William Inge’s Natural Affection. The 21st anniversary year has also included James Hogan’s Ivy & Joan, the first ever revival of Edwardian playwright, St John Hankin’s Last Of The De Mullins Giles Coles drama The Heart of Things, Jonathan Lewis’s comedy A Level Playing Field and Stephen Wyatt’s Told Look Younger.
Anthony Biggs became Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre in January 2013. His previous productions at the theatre include the recent Flowers of The Forest, The South African Season, The Potsdam Quartet, the UK premiere of Ibsen’s St John’s Night, Charles Morgan’s The River Line, Ibsen’s Little Eyolf and the revival of Frederick Lonsdale’s On Approval.
JERMYN STREET THEATRE
Box office – 020 7287 2875
Thursday 16th July 2015