Following a year of extraordinary challenges, and as British theatre begins to find ways to re-emerge from the devastating impact of the enforced shutdown, SFP today announces a season of new plays for a new world. The RE:EMERGE season will create a space for vital, new voices and fresh talent in the West End and beyond, working alongside some of the industry’s greatest theatremakers and artists. The extraordinary collection of plays curated by SFP alongside Ian Rickson – who becomes Artistic Director for the season – tackles urgent issues integral to rebuilding our society, including structural inequality, climate change and the economics of truth in an internet age. Supported by Arts Council England, RE:EMERGE will support the theatre-makers of the future, provide vital work for the freelance community and celebrate the live experience as we begin to build back to the full reopening of British Theatre.
The RE:EMERGE season intends to open to socially-distanced audiences from May to help re-open and re-energise our theatres, and will be staged in a Covid safe environment following government advice and adhering to social distancing guidelines; and in line with Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s See It Safely campaign. Alongside the season, SFP also intends for the comedy The Comeback to return to the West End following its enforced shutdown in December.
Announced on 12th March 2021 as part SFP’s RE:EMERGE season so far is:
- Amy Berryman’s WALDEN, directed by Ian Rickson, starring Gemma Arterton, Fehinti Balogun and Lydia Wilson.
- Yasmin Joseph’s J’OUVERT, directed by Rebekah Murrell, starring Annice Boparai, Gabrielle Brooks, Sapphire Joy and Zuyane Russell.
- Joseph Charlton’s ANNA X, directed by Daniel Raggett, starring Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwan.
Tickets from £10, with over 600 tickets per week under £15
SFP plans to open the season in May in line with the government’s roadmap. Further information regarding performance and on-sale dates will be released in the coming weeks, and audiences can sign up today at www.sfp-reemergeseason.co.uk to be the first to hear more news. Tickets for the previews will be priced from £5, and from £10 for the runs post press night, with a top price ticket of £49.50. There will be 600 tickets each week priced under £15.
There is intention for all three productions to be filmed for a future broadcast life, with J’OUVERT being shown on BBC Four as part of BBC Lights Up – a season of plays for BBC radio and TV, produced in partnership with theatres across the UK and continuing BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative.
Sonia Friedman said today, “After what has been such a devastating year for so many it fills me with the greatest joy and hope to announce RE:EMERGE, an SFP Season of bold, new work for a bold, new world as we begin to build back to the full reopening of British Theatre.
“Yasmin Joseph’s J’OUVERT, first seen at Theatre503 and currently in rehearsals to be filmed for the BBC, reveals Notting Hill Carnival through the eyes of two best friends navigating the joys and dangers of young Black womanhood in 21st Century Britain. Whilst Amy Berryman’s WALDEN depicts the intensity of familial love and loss as the climate emergency encroaches ever closer, Joseph Charlton’s ANNA X delves deep into the corruption of truth and reality through the all-consuming lies we tell the world about ourselves over social media. These extraordinary plays, each one with a distinct and powerful voice, will thrill, move and delight audiences.
“We hope that the RE:EMERGE Season will help the immense effort being made across our industry to reopen our theatres, with the most exciting, new talent working in tandem with some of our greatest theatre makers and artists. And this is just the beginning – we have so much more to come.
“We are deeply thankful for the commitment of all the extraordinary group of writers, actors, directors, designers, stage managers, technicians and theatre makers who have agreed to be a part of this season – just when theatre needs them most. I am also incredibly grateful to Ian Rickson, one of my closest and most dedicated long-time collaborators, for his vision and co-curation of this Season. And my thanks must also extend to my incredibly committed team, who have worked so passionately under very challenging circumstances to help bring this season of work together. I would also like to thank Arts Council England, whose support has made RE:EMERGE possible. After an incredibly difficult year, I cannot wait for us all to ‘re-emerge’ from our homes and return to the theatre, where together we can be entertained, enthralled, challenged and dazzled by these astonishing works.”
Twitter: @SFP_London #ReEmergeSFP
Instagram: @SFPOfficial #ReEmergeSFP
Facebook: /SoniaFriedmanProductions #ReEmergeSFP
Book Tickets for the Harold Pinter Theatre – on-sale dates soon!
A debut play by Amy Berryman
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Fehinti Balogun, Lydia Wilson
Directed by Ian Rickson; Design by Rae Smith; Lighting Design by Azusa Ono
Music by Mark Bradshaw; Sound Design: Emma Laxton; Casting: Amy Ball
After returning from a year-long Moon mission, Cassie, a NASA botanist, finds herself in a remote cabin in the woods, where her estranged twin sister, Stella, a former NASA architect, has found a new life with climate activist Bryan. Old wounds resurface as the sisters attempt to pick up the pieces of the rivalry that broke them apart.
Amy Berryman’s full-length plays include Walden, The New Galileos (O’Neill Finalist 2019), and Three Year Summer. Her play Epiphany was a finalist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries and is a Semi-Finalist for the O’Neill 2020. Rising Phoenix Rep commissioned her play The Whole of You for Cino Nights in LA, directed by Daniel Talbott. Her work has been developed at Premiere Stages, People’s Light, Bay Street Theatre, Caltech, Portland Stage, PROP Thtr, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, AMiOS, and Eden Theatre Co. The short film she wrote, co-produced, and starred in You Are Everywhere won Best Drama in the LA Short Film Festival 2018.
Gemma Arterton’s theatre credits include Saint Joan (DonmarWarehouse), Made In Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre), The Duchess Of Malfi, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Master Builder (Almeida Theatre) and The Little Dog Laughed(Garrick Theatre). Her television credits include Black Narcissus, Urban Myths: Marilyn And Billy, Inside No. 9, Tess Of The D’Urbevilles, Lost In Austen and Capturing Mary; and for film, her credits include Kingsman 3: The King’s Man, Summerland, Murder Mystery, Vita & Virginia, The Escape, Their Finest, Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters, Song For Marion, Tamara Drewe, Clash Of The Titans, The Disappearance Of Alice Creed, Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time, Quantum Of Solace, The Boat That Rocked and St Trinians.
Fehinti Balogun’s theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), Blue Door (Theatre Royal Bath), Against (Almeida Theatre), Myth (RSC) and King Lear (The Old Vic). For television his credits include I May Destroy You, Urban Myths, Informer and the forthcoming Viewpoint; and for film his credits include Juliet, Naked. Alongside his acting career, he delivers talks on climate change aimed at a more rounded inclusion in the conversation, which he is adapting into a play with Complicité. As a result of these talks, he has toured around London and south England discussing climate change and taking part in international climate discussions.
Lydia Wilson’s theatre credits include The Duchess Of Malfi (Almeida Theatre) King Charles III (Almeida Theatre, West End and Broadway), Hysteria (Hampstead Theatre), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Cheek By Jowl), The Acid Test, The Heretic (Royal Court Theatre), Blasted (Lyric Hammersmith), Pains Of Youth (National Theatre) and The House Of Special Purpose (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, her credits include Flack, Requiem, Ripper Street, Misfits, The Making of a Lady, Dirk Gently and Black Mirror: The National Anthem, South Riding, Crimson Petal and the White; and film credits include Love is Thicker Than Water, About Time and Never Let Me Go.
Ian Rickson was the Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, where he directed The River (also Broadway), Jerusalem (also West End and Broadway), The Winterling, The Night Heron and Mojo (also Chicago), all by Jez Butterworth; Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen and This is a Chair by Caryl Churchill; Dublin Carol and The Weir by Conor McPherson (also Dublin, Chicago, West End and Broadway); The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (also Broadway); Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett; Alice Trilogy by Tom Murphy; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman; Fallout by Roy Williams; Mouth to Mouth by Kevin Elyot; The Lights by Howard Korder; Pale Horse and Some Voices by Joe Penhall; Ashes and Sand by Judy Upton and Killers by Adam Pernak.
In the West End, Rickson has directed Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Rosmersholm (The Duke of York’s Theatre), Uncle Vanya (also filmed for the BBC), The Birthday Party, Old Times, Betrayal and The Children’s Hour (all at the Harold Pinter Theatre); and at The National Theatre, Translations by Brian Friel, Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn, The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, The Hothouse by Harold Pinter and The Day I Stood Still by Kevin Elyot. Productions at The Old Vic include Electra by Sophocles. Productions at the Young Vic include The Nest, Now We Are Here and Hamlet. Productions at the Almeida Theatre include Against by Christopher Shinn and Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth. Work on screen includes Fallout (Company Pictures for Channel 4) and Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett (BBC4), and on radio In Therapy (BBC Radio 4). Rickson also works with PJ Harvey and Kae Tempest on their music and poetry shows.
A new play by Yasmin Joseph
Cast: Annice Boparai, Gabrielle Brooks, Sapphire Joy, Zuyane Russell
Directed by Rebekah Murrell; Designed by Sandra Falase in collaboration with Chloe Lamford
Lighting Design by Simisola Majekodunmi; Sound Design by Beth Duke
Movement by Shelley Maxwell; Casting by Isabella Odoffin
“What people you know can party through all of the earth’s elements?”
Carnival is here. The streets of Notting Hill are alive with history and amongst the pulsating soca, dazzling colour, and endless sequins and feathers, Jade and Nadine are fighting for space in a world they thought was theirs. A timely reflection on the Black British experience and sexual politics of Carnival, J’Ouvert is a piercing, hilarious and fearless story of two best friends, battling to preserve tradition in a society where women’s bodies are frequently under threat.
J’Ouvert originated at Theatre503 in a co-production with Bad Breed and Tobi Kyeremateng.
Yasmin Joseph is a London-based writer. Her debut play J’Ouvert premièred at Theatre503 in 2019 and she was nominated for the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award, and most recently won the 2020 James Tait Black Prize For Drama. She is the current writer-in-residence at Sister Pictures, and is on attachment at the Royal Court Theatre as a winner of the Channel 4 Playwrights scheme. She is also under co-commission with Soho Theatre and The Actors Touring Company as part of the Soho Six, The Place Theatre in Bedford with the Retired Caribbean Nurses Association and Clean Break.
Annice Boparai plays Nisha. Her theatre credits include Border Control, 17 (The Vaults), Hear Me Now Monologues, Behind the Blast Wall (Theatre503), Service Ellandar Productions (White Bear), Tamasha Scratch Night (Leicester Curve/Soho), J’Ouvert (Theatre503), Trojan Horse (Summerhall Main Hall, Edinburgh), The Canary and the Crow and 17 (Gig), Silently Hoping (Arcola Theatre), Earlsfield Stories (Tara Arts), If and When (SohoTheatre) and The Lights (Royal Court Theatre/Oxford School of Drama).
Sapphire Joy plays Jade. Her theatre credits include Anansi The Spider (Unicorn Theatre), Grey (Ovalhouse), J’Ouvert (Theatre503), Twelfth Night (Southwark Playhouse), Our Country’s Good (Nottingham Playhouse), The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre) and Imogen (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include Speak For Herself, Casualty, Seconds From Disaster: Jonestown Cult Suicide and Crimewatch.
Gabrielle Brooks plays Nadine. Her theatre credits include Anna Bella Eema (Arcola Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Twelfth Night (Young Vic), The Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse), The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Theatres), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Sheffield Crucible), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), The Strangers Case (Liverpool Everyman Theatre), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), I Can’t Sing (London Palladium) and Our House (Savoy Theatre). For television her credits include Shadow and Bone and Coming Down The Mountain. For film, her credits include Notes on A Scandal. She has created and produced BlackStage UK – an emotional and educational exposé on what it means to be Black in the UK Arts industry, featuring 30 Black and Black mixed-raced workers from across the sector and from all over the UK.
Zuyane Russell is a DJ, and has been involved with carnival since the age of eleven in a variety of roles. In addition to DJing, she has worked as a choreographer, MC, and as a costume designer. Outside the carnival world, Zuyane has a career in law. J’Ouvert marks her professional stage debut.
Rebekah Murrell directs. She is an actor and director from London. She made her professional directing debut with J’Ouvert by Yasmin Joseph which premièred at Theatre503 in 2019. She is currently directing a community project for The Place Theatre in Bedford with the Retired Caribbean Nurses Association, and an audio drama for Audible with students at LAMDA.
J’Ouvert will be adapted for the screen as part of BBC Lights Up, an unprecedented season of plays for BBC radio and TV, produced in partnership with theatres across the UK and continuing BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative. The film will be screened on BBC Four and iPlayer this Spring.
A new play by Joseph Charlton
Cast: Emma Corrin, Nabhaan Rizwan
Directed by Daniel Raggett; Set and Video Design by Mikaela Liakata and Tal Yarden
Lighting Design by Jessica Hung Han Yun; Sound Design by Mike Winship
Costume Design by Natalie Pryce
Anna. 25. Curator. Retired intern. Previously @RAW magazine. I ♥ art, fashion, NYC.
Ariel. 32. CEO of @GenesisApp. A social and dating network by invitation only. SF-NYC-LDN.
Immersed in an addictive world of front-row fashion shows, private views, and endless parties, Anna and Ariel find themselves struggling to keep up with New York’s dazzling social elite. How far will two outsiders go to construct the identities they want? And at what price?
Golden Globe Award-winner Emma Corrin and Royal Television Society’s 2019 Breakthrough star Nabhaan Rizwan make their West End debuts in this searing tale of self-invention, determination, and deceit. Inspired by real events, ANNA X is a new play by Joseph Charlton, directed by Daniel Raggett which originally ran at the Vault Festival in 2019.
Joseph Charlton is a multi-award-winning writer from the north east of England. He is currently adapting his play Brilliant Jerks into an eight-part series for the BBC. He worked previously as a journalist.
Emma Corrin makes her professional stage debut playing Anna. For television, her credits include playing Lady Diana Spencer in the award-winning The Crown – for which she recently won a Golden Globe and a SAG nomination, and Pennyworth. For film her credits include Misbehaviour, and the forthcoming My Policeman.
Nabhaan Rizwan plays Ariel. His theatre credits include Little Revolution (Almeida Theatre) and The Undergrowth (Royal Court Theatre). For television his credits include Informer (RTS Breakthrough Award), Industry, The Accident and the forthcoming Station Eleven; and for film, Mogul Mowgli, 1917 and the forthcoming Last Letters From Your Lover.
Daniel Raggett is a director who has worked with theatres including the Young Vic, Headlong, the Almeida and the National Theatre; and as an associate director on productions in the West End and on Broadway. His recent work includes Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice at the Gate (also adapted) and, as associate, All About Eve in the West End and West Side Story and Network on Broadway.
SEE IT SAFELY
The venue has been granted the use of Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s See It Safely mark. The mark certifies that they are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of their staff and audiences. Ticket holders can find out more here [https://officiallondontheatre.com/see-it-safely/] about the measures that have been put in place ahead of their visit, and what they will need to know beforehand.
Listings Information RE:EMERGE Season
Harold Pinter Theatre
Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN
Box Office: 0844 871 7622
Preview tickets from £5 to £44.50
Post press night tickets from £10 to £49.50
Over 600 tickets per week £15 or less