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Theatre of Europe Launches six new works from the continent

Theatre of EuropeTheatre of Europe, a new UK producing company programming Europe’s most innovative theatre directors in the English language, today announced the first artists with whom it will be working on six new productions.

Theatre of Europe was founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Henriette Morrison, to commission leading theatre directors from the continent to premiere European work with British creatives for a UK audience.

The finished projects will be performed in the UK in 2015 and 2016.

The six projects currently in development, and the artists behind them, are:

Nicolas Stemann (Germany) who has just completed a week of R&D at the Lyric Hammersmith working with actors Finbar Lynch, Geraldine Alexander, Vinette Robinson and James Musgrave, choreographer Seke Chimutengwende, visual artist Kate Pelen and composer and musician Harry Blake. The Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek has written a new script about the UK especially for this event.

Stéphane Olry and Sandrine Buring (France), with Neil Bartlett, are developing an English version of their show Ch(ose)/Hic Sunt Leones. Co-production with Print Room.

Athina Kasiou (Cyprus), in collaboration with the visual artist Leandro Erlich, is developing Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search Of An Author.

Claudio Cirri and Sara Bonaventura (Italy) are working on a new project with British teenagers.
Tue Biering (Denmark) is developing a site-specific production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House staged in real homes and performed by the inhabitants of each home unrehearsed until the moment of the audience’s arrival.

Radu Afrim (Romania) recently came to the UK for an initial phase of R&D to meet with Artistic Directors around the country. These directors will now have the opportunity to see Radu’s work at the National Theatre Festival in Bucharest.

Artistic Director Henriette Morrison said: “On each project our aim is to widen access to the works of outstanding theatre directors from the continent and to internationalise the careers of the creative players involved. Our overarching aim is to encourage the periodic return of these international partners.

The company:
Theatre of Europe was formed in 2013, supported by the European Commission and led by Henriette Morrison (Artistic Director) with five Trustees: Edward Drury (KPMG), Howard Gooding (Judy Daish Associates Ltd.), Emilie Janvrin (Manchester University), Fiona Amusin (Brands2Life) and Jonathan Treadway (Holtzbrinck Publishing Group).

The artists
Nicolas Stemann (Germany)
Stemann comes from a highly productive generation of Hamburg director students (Falk Richter, Sandra Strunz and Matthias von Hartz all studied together with him). Whether his work is devised or it is the staging of a text by Goethe, Büchner, Schiller, Shakespeare or Sophocles it is always an energetic and engaging dialogue with the audience. His work is often open for improvisation and the unforeseen and also contained by a musical structure. His award-winning creations have been staged all over the world (Japan, Moscow, Paris, Montreal, Zagreb, Prague, Vienna, Avignon, Budapest, Sarajevo, Bogota, Rome, Belgrade, Liechtenstein, Zurich etc) and he is a regular feature of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Vienna Burgtheater, Cologne Theatre, Thalia Theater in Hamburg and at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Since 2002, Nicolas Stemann has frequently collaborated with the Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek. After an initial visit organised by Theatre of Europe to London last October Stemann returns to lead a one week phase of R&D at the Lyric Hammersmith with a British cast and creatives on an English translation of Jelinek’s The Merchant’s Contracts. An Economic Comedy. The play follows the evolution of the economic crisis and is a text that Jelinek has been continuously working on since 2008.

Stéphane Olry and Sandrine Buring (France)
Olry’s writing and productions have been staged all over France (Espace Pierre Cardin, Usine Pali-Kao, Théâtre de la Bastille, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord). Stéphane founded la Revue Eclair in 1987 and has been working with Corine Miret since 1998 on developing work inspired through archival research and their own detective enquiries.

Sandrine Buring has collaborated on a number of productions with La Revue Eclair and with other theatre companies (Théâtre à Grande Vitesse, Mandrake). She also regularly collaborates with the visual artist Nicolas Cesbron. Buring is a specialist of body mind centering.

The duo will revisit Ch(ose)/Hic Sunt Leones for the Print Room theatre (www.the-print-room.org). This piece was initially created for Festival d’Avignon 2012 following two years (on and off) in residence at a hospice for children with multiple disabilities in La Roche-Guyon, France – out of this experience came two very complimentary and uplifting creations.

Renowned British playwright and director, Neil Bartlett, is translating the piece and the play will be staged in 2015.

Athina Kasiou (Cyprus)
Kasiou specialises in large-scale site-specific projects with the National Theatre of Cyprus and her company, Open Arts. She recently staged Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in an abandoned theme park in Nicosia and an adaptation of Bulgakov’s Diaboliad around the new building of the National Theatre of Cyprus. She will be developing a new adaptation of Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search Of An Author in collaboration with visual artist Leandro Erlich (Dalston House, Barbican) and a British playwright.

Claudio Cirri and Sara Bonaventura (Italy).
Cirri and Bonaventura artistically lead Teatro Sotterraneo, an award-winning theatre company (including the BEFestival Award 2012). Their work is sensitively audacious, meticulously researched and full of humour and they will be developing a project with a group of 15-18 year olds in London.

Tue Biering (Denmark)
Biering specialises in making docufictional drama. Some of his latest performances, in collaboration with dramaturge Jeppe Kristensen, include Pretty Woman A/S, a reenactment of the Hollywood movie, starring real life prostitutes, and Friends -The One With The Asylum Seekers And Some Rejected Ones; their take on the hit comedy series, starring asylum seekers. His way of staging is bold and provocative, and deals with modern societal taboos.

Radu Afrim (Romania)
Afrim, an emblematic figure and enfant terrible of a new generation of Romanian theatre directors, has gained international recognition for his bold and sometimes controversial creations. In Romania, Afrim has been instrumental for premiering contemporary classics such as the works of Dea Loher, Vassili Sigarev, Hanoch Levin, Jon Fosse, Jean-Luc Lagarce, Martin McDonogh and David Greig.

Theatre of Europe is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK, EUNIC London, the Goethe Institut, the Institut Français du Royaume Uni, the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Denmark. The European Theatre Research Network is also working in partnership with Theatre of Europe on education events alongside each production.

Further news of productions to be announced.

Tuesday 30th September 2014


  • 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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