I am thrilled to have joined the board of directors of the Salisbury Playhouse as one of their new Trustees. Salisbury Playhouse is the leading producing theatre in the South West
The Autumn/Winter Season at Salisbury Playhouse opens with a real splash, with the Main House auditorium being re-configured to incorporate a large water tank, grandstand seating and a 20ft boat for Alan Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream (Thursday 8 September – Saturday 8 October).
Ayckbourn’s bittersweet comedy of two couples messing about on the river is directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace (The Importance of Being Earnest and Relative Values at Salisbury Playhouse) and opens a season of theatre that includes classic English costume drama, traditional family pantomime, new plays and leading visiting companies.
The Playhouse is delighted to premiére Tim Luscombe’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel Persuasion (Thursday 20 October – Saturday 12 November). This classic costume drama takes in rural Somerset, the Cobb at Lyme and the dance halls of Bath in its story of love lost but not forgotten. Kate Saxon directs, following her much-acclaimed production of Far From the Madding Crowd for English Touring Theatre. Design is by Libby Watson who designed the recent production of Guys and Dolls at the Playhouse.
Later in the season the Playhouse teams up with Out of Joint, the Royal Court, Bolton Octagon and Curve Theatre Leicester to co-produce Stella Feehily’s new play Bang Bang Bang (Tuesday 15 – Saturday 26 November). Directed by Out of Joint’s legendary Artistic Director Max Stafford-Clark, Feehily brings her trademark wit and emotional insight to this revealing play that goes behind the public face of charities, journalists and NGOs, and comes to Salisbury following a four week run at London’s Royal Court.
The new year sees the return of classic Coward to the Main House. Design for Living (Thursday 26 January – Saturday 25 February), Noël Coward’s witty and passionate 1930s comedy, centres on a group of bohemians for whom three is definitely not a crowd. Caroline Leslie (The Herbal Bed, Salisbury) directs this latest production in the Playhouse’s top-notch revivals of classic English drama that has included Private Lives, The Constant Wife and The Winslow Boy.
Continuing the success of close-up story-telling with Death and the Maiden, Blackbird and The Country, The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Monday 3 – Saturday 22 October) is the latest contemporary drama in the Salberg Studio. Rising South African playwright Craig Higginson’s gripping and erotically-charged drama was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010. This new production is directed by Tim Roseman, co-Artistic Director of London’s hot new-writing venue Theatre503. The production, and Bang Bang Bang, are kindly sponsored by Frank and Elizabeth Brenan.