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• Omnibus Theatre announces its new Spring programme. Highlights for the new season include four long-running plays, two revivals and the return of the month-long 96 Festival.

In chronological order;

• Award-winning playwright Philip Osment brings HEARING THINGS back to Omnibus Theatre by popular demand to headline our WELL/BEING mini-season of work exploring mental health. This production is based on lived experiences arising from PLAYING ON’s work with service users and NHS professionals. Here Osment asks fundamental questions about the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. 8 – 27 Jan.

• Acclaimed director and Tamasha Theatre co-founder Kristine Landon-Smith returns to Omnibus Theatre to direct THE ORCHESTRA, celebrated French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s neglected comedy. 29 Jan – 17 Feb.

96 FESTIVAL, a no holds barred extravaganza of queerness and theatre. Six productions spanning cabaret, drag, burlesque, theatre, music, art and activism returns. 96 FESTIVAL was conceived in remembrance and celebration of the iconic Pride party on Clapham Common in 1996. Headlining this month-long celebration is Sarah Chew’s vital play LIPSTICK: A FAIRY TALE OF IRAN, part theatre, part drag, a vital story of rage and redemption. Highlights also include REPUBLICA and THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE and THE COCOA BUTTER CLUB. 20 Feb -24 Mar.

TONY’S LAST TAPE based on the diaries of one of Britain’s most respected, divisive and celebrated politicians, this acclaimed Nottingham Playhouse production directed by Giles Croft (The Kite Runner) reveals the struggle of a man who – having found himself no longer ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ but something of a national treasure – realising that it is time to gracefully withdraw from the fight. 2– 20 April.

• Tickets for the new season are now on sale| Omnibus_theatre|0207 498 4699 Twitter: @Omnibus_Theatre |Instagram: omnibus_Theatre | Facebook @OmnibusTheatre.

Commenting on the Spring programme, artistic director Marie McCarthy said;

“My hope is that every show in our programme has the potential to immerse our audiences in stories that not only entertain but resonate and inspire meaningful conversations. The engaging voices in this season span drag performers, fathers and sons, service users to NHS professionals, socialists and channel swimmers.
The year opens with Well/Being, a panoramic mini-season exploring mental health unburdened from stigma. Playing On, Body Politic and Sarah Corbett unflinchingly confront lived experiences of mental health through new writing, dance and physical theatre.
Later in January award-winning director Kristine Landon-Smith radically revives Jean Anouilh’s The Orchestra in a stylised, comedic production, revealing what lies behind a seemingly respectable facade.
I’m delighted that 96 Festival is back by popular demand, this time with six glittering events that bring neo-burlesque, poetry, drag, dance, workshops and voguing together for one spectacular celebration of queerness and theatre. The festival is poignantly headlined by Sarah Chew’s vital play Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran, a fearless story of redemption that straddles Tehran, Derry and London.
In April we bring Britain’s most divisive and celebrated socialist Tony Benn to the stage, in Andy Barrett’s astute exposé, Tony’s Last Tape, chronicling the ever-changing political landscape of the past 50 years through the lens of the late politician. A production by Nottingham Playhouse and directed by Giles Croft, I am thrilled to be bringing this brilliant production to a London-wide audience.”

Presented by Body Politic
Fri 4 – Sat 5 Jan, 7:30pm. £13, £11 Conc.
With the current climate of mental health discussion, Father Figurine talks about the fragilities and vulnerabilities in men and young boys. Figures show young people are affected disproportionately with over half of mental health problems, starting by the age of 14 and 75% by 18.
This production combines poignant spoken word poetry with hip hop dance, to explore the fractured relationship between a father and his son and their inability to healthily deal with a traumatic event.
Will they be able to share their emotions with each other? Or will they fall into the statistic of nearly half of men believing they can’t express their feelings?

Presented by PLAYING ON
By Philip Osment
Directed by Jim Pope
Tue 8 – Sun 27 Jan, Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4pm. £16, £13 Conc.
Writer’s Guild award winner Philip Osment’s moving and provocative drama follows the journey of six characters’ struggles with mental health. Nicholas, a psychiatrist battling with the demands of his work tries to keep his marriage alive. His father is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s and is finding it increasingly hard to cope. When an “SUI” (serious untoward incident) occurs to one of Nicholas’ patients his life is turned upside down.
Created after 5 years of ground-breaking research and development at some of the UK’s leading mental health care facilities, Hearing Things, directed by Jim Pope, explores the relationships between psychiatry and medication, doctor and patient.

“This is a rare and timely piece of drama on this increasingly urgent subject. It comments sensitively and astutely on the mental health system, exposing the ways in which its flaws and its inherent complexities affect both professionals and those receiving treatment.” Disability Arts Online on Hearing Things

“Its impact on the audience was startling and, for me, it was a most convincing theatrical representation of life in prison” Sir Ian McKellan on Inside

THE ORCHESTRA – PRESS NIGHT – Thurs 31 Jan, 7.30pm
Presented by TeatroLatino and 15 Degrees
By Jean Anouilh
Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith
29 Jan –17 Feb, Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4pm. Ticket prices £16, £13 Conc.
‘BANG, BANG, BANG. That’s love for you…’
Fizzing comedy and catastrophe collide in Multi award-winning director Kristine Landon-Smith’s revival of The Orchestra, the neglected classic by celebrated French dramatist Jean Anouilh.

A third-rate orchestra in a French spa town play time worn musical arrangements to an indifferent audience. In between the musical interludes, idle chit chat reveal the power struggles that lurk behind the ensemble’s shiny veneer.

As the overture descends into an intoxicating symphony of piercing jealousy, bizarre gossip and thwarted emotions, the musicians reach an unexpected climax – but the music goes jauntily on…

96 Festival – A no holds barred extravaganza of cabaret, drag, burlesque, theatre, music, art and activism; 96 Festival has been conceived in remembrance and celebration of the iconic Pride party on Clapham Common in 1996.


Presented by Juan Carlos Otero, Keir Cooper and Lola Rueda
In collaboration with Emma Frankland
Wed 20 – Fri 22 Feb, 7.30pm. £16, £13 Conc.
An energetic and sexy lament for the untold story of the Spanish Revolution, as seen through the eyes of a stripper, a flamenco dancer and a punk guitarist.
Inspired by the historical events that immediately precede the Spanish Civil War, Republica celebrates the achievements and ideals of The Second Republic (1931-1936). This period represents the most extreme of social and political transitions, from feudal monarchist dictatorship to arguably the most progressive government ever. With the rise of divisive politics across the world, this show promises to forever break The Pact of Forgetting and is a timely examination of the last time the idealist actually won.
Republica is a multi-disciplined and frenetic deconstruction of history brought to you by Juan Carlos Otero, Keir Cooper and Lola Rueda in collaboration with Emma Frankland.
★★★★ The Guardian on Don Quijote

★★★★ “A whirlwind of joyous disintegration” Time Out on Don Quijote

Presented by Gúna Nua, directed by Paul Meade
Wed 20 – Fri 22 Feb, 7.30pm. £13, £11 Conc.
A groggy Sunday morning, May 24th 2015 as 62% of Ireland is #hungoverforequality, Ann gets a text from her brother: “How’s the morning after the life before?”
Gúna Nua presents the internationally acclaimed and multi award winning, The Morning After The Life Before. A personal, entertaining tale of weddings, ‘coming out’ and arguments over who takes out the bins.
Written by Ann Blake, directed by Paul Meade, performed by Ann Blake and Lucia Smyth, The Morning After The Life Before is a light-hearted, playful telling of a true story. Be prepared for music, cake and equality.
Winner of Best Production, London Ontario Fringe 2017
Winner of The Centaur Award: Best English Language Production, Montreal Fringe 2017
Nomination LGBTQ+ Award, Brighton Fringe 2018

Fri 22 Feb, 9pm, £13, £11
The Cocoa Butter Club presents a one-off Queer Cabaret showcasing and celebrating performers of colour, from neo-burlesque and poetry, to drag, hoops and voguing.
February can be hard so come and let your hair down and celebrate QTIPOC at our best!!!
Lotion up, baby, because Sadie Sinner The Songbird will bring you a night bold enough to have you screaming ‘yaaaaas queen, smell like cocoa butter up in hurr!’

Presented by Critical Mass and Paul Virides Productions
Written and directed by Sarah Chew
Tue 26 Feb-Sun 24 Mar, Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4pm. £16, £13 Conc.
So, I live with this geeky, kind of brilliant boy.
Every night, the clock chimes midnight, and this boy turns into the most beautiful woman in all the world.
It’s gorgeous.
Just, it’s a fairytale.
And that makes me scared that it’s bollocks.
London, Summer 2010. Orla and Mark cordially invite you to the grand opening of their fabulous new drag bar.
There’s one problem. Orla has just returned from witnessing a failed revolution. By accident.
Part theatre, part drag cabaret, Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran is a story of rage, redemption and weaponised whimsy, which straddles Tehran, Derry and London.

Excavate presents the Nottingham Playhouse production
By Andy Barrett
Directed by Giles Croft
Tue 2 – Sat 20 Apr
Tue-Sat 7.30Ppm, Sun 4pm. £16, £13
‘There is no final victory, there is no final defeat. Just the same battles which have to be fought over and over and over again.’
An old man sits in a room faced with a collection of recording devices that he has collected over his long and eventful life. He opens a drawer, takes out a pipe, unscrews his flask and pours himself the first cup of tea of the day. For more than fifty years he has been recording everything that has happened to and around him, but today he has decided to make his last tape.
Based on the diaries of one of Britain’s most respected, divisive and celebrated politicians, Philip Bretherton’s acclaimed performance as Tony Benn reveals the struggle of a man who – having found himself no longer ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ but something of a national treasure – realises that it is time to gracefully withdraw from the fight. If only it was that easy.


For more information, interviews or images please contact Diana Whitehead, Omnibus Theatre PR on 07939 149887 or email

About Omnibus
Omnibus Theatre is a multi-award winning independent theatre in Clapham, South London. A recipient of the Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2016 and Offie winner 2018. The heart of our ambitious programme, inspired by our building’s literary heritage, lies in both classics re-imagined and contemporary storytelling. We provide a platform for new writing and interdisciplinary work, aiming to give voice to the underrepresented and challenge perceptions. We believe in affordable tickets and theatre for all. Since opening in 2013 notable in-house productions include Woyzeck (2013), Macbeth (2014), Colour (2015), Mule (2016), Spring Offensive(2017) and Zeraffa Giraffa (2017). Omnibus Theatre is led by Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. Patrons include Sir Michael Gambon, Matthew Warchus, Sir Richard Eyre and Maggi Hambling. We are a registered charity and receive no core funding. Omnibus_theatre | @Omnibus_Theatre


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