OMNIBUS THEATRE NEW SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER 2019
• The new Autumn Winter season at Omnibus Theatre sees nine productions featuring new writing, four of which are returning companies. We welcome three touring shows, a programme of Irish work which includes a revival by one of Ireleand’s greatest playwrights, the fifth annual instalment of Perception Festival celebrating Nasty Women, and a Winter production, directed by Omnibus Theatre’s Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. The season also sees Omnibus Theatre producing the national tour of an award-winning play.
Highlights in chronological order;
• HighTide and Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company find a new home at Omnibus Theatre to stage LIT by Sophie Ellerby. New writing that explores the turbulent teenage years of a girl looking for love in all the wrong places. The production came from the writer’s experience studying young women and mothers in the prison system. 17 -21 Sep.
• Omnibus Theatre’s fifth annual instalment of PERCEPTION FESTIVAL: NASTY WOMEN takes inspiration from the international rally cry as its theme with six plays programmed across four weeks. Returning Future’s Theatre open the festival with the final instalment of a triology of plays inspired and informed by women who have lived through the criminal justice system. I’D RATHER GO BLIND by Somalia Seaton is a new tender piece of writing exploring what it takes to be a mother. 1 -5 Oct. Festival headliners Fireraisers by Polly Wiseman bring their touring production of FEMME FATALE, an unconventional dark comedy about fame, failure and feminism to London. 8 – 27 Oct.
• Following 50 year’s of writing, David Edgar’s TRYING IT ON, presented by Warwick Arts Centre and China Plate, sees the playwright making his professional debut performing and looking back at his revolutionary 20s. 11 – 13 Oct.
• GUTTED by Sharon Byrne is a poignant Irish black comedy. Exhilarating and life-affirming, the touring play explores the lives of three strong women who work in a fish factory in 1980’s Dublin. 29 – 30 Oct.
• Acclaimed Irish theatre company Strange Fish revive Irish playwright Frank McGuinness’ THE MATCH BOX, which is in turns shocking, humorous and moving. 29 Oct – 17 Nov.
• Winners of the Pleasance Futures Award 2018, Clay Party team up with Cork’s Conflicted Theatre to present FIJI, the most unorthodox of love stories. A relationship so off-limits it’s enticing and horrifying in equal measure. 19 – 24 Nov.
• Following the success of crafting winter shows for all the family and its 2018 OFFIE winning co-production Omnibus Theatre announces a production of THE LITTLE PRINCE, a contemporary adaptation, directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. 4 – 30 Dec.
• An exciting new collaboration with one of our associate artists takes place this season. Omnibus Theatre will be co-producing a national 10 venue tour of Nouveau Riché’s critically-acclaimed play QUEENS OF SHEBA, winner of the Untapped Award 2018 and Edinburgh Stage Award 2018. Queens of Sheba tells the hilarious, moving and uplifting stories of four passionate Black Women battling everyday misogynoir – where sexism meets racism. Written by Jessica L. Hagan and devised by the company. 26 Sep – 29 Nov
• Tickets for the new season are now on sale| Omnibus_theatre|Box office: 0207 498 4699. Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0LH.
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Commenting on the new season, artistic director Marie McCarthy said;
“This Autumn, we continue to champion stories untapped and unheard, made by brilliant theatre makers both new and returning to Omnibus Theatre. I’m a huge fan of HighTide, Fireraisers and China Plate and I’m so pleased to welcome them to Omnibus Theatre for the first time. I’m also delighted that Futures Theatre, The Cocoa Butter Club, Strange Fish, Little Angel Theatre and Nouveau Riché are returning to us.
All of these artists and their productions tap in to the conversations we’re having as an organisation and a community; Who are we? What do we identify with? Which voices do we need to hear more of?
The phrase Nasty woman, now universally reclaimed, is the inspiration for our 5th Perception Festival (Oct) and we welcome a bunch of incredible women making work that inspires and challenges.
I’m proud to provide a London home to Irish theatre-makers and their perspectives, this year looking at gang warfare, grief and redemption. Irish Theatre Company Strange Fish whose critically-acclaimed hit Quietly ran concurrently with Lizzy Nunnery’s captivating To Have To Shoot Irishman, return with playwright Frank McGuinness’ The Match Box. The Irish line-up also includes Gutted, a black comedy, which tells the story of three women who work in a fish factory in 1980s Dublin and Conflicted Theatre and Clay Party’s Fiji, which is gripping and gruesome in equal measure. Both new pieces of writing have raw and powerful narratives.
Our reach as an organisation entering its sixth year is continuing to grow. Our new-found London-wide audiences are responding positively to the challenging work we are staging in South London, from re-imagined classics and contemporary new writing to productions that champion unheard voices and provide a platform for the right to speak
With this in mind, I’m proud to announce our co-production with Nouveau Riché, and being able to support their vital and award-winning play Queens of Sheba, which interrogates the dual themes of racism and sexism, on a national tour, connecting up our theatre with ten fantastic regional venues.
Rounding off the season, Omnibus Theatre is reclaiming The Little Prince story, taking one of the most widely read pieces of children’s literature and contemporising it, confronting stereotypes and looking at the story anew.”
BY SOPHIE ELLERBY
DIRECTED BY STEF O’DRISCOLL
PRESENTED BY HIGHTIDE AND NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE THEATRE COMPANY
TUE 17 – SAT 21 SEP, 7.30PM, SAT MATINEE, 2.30PM , £16 | £13
“When I think about you my chest feels like it’s about to explode and this energy pulses through me, heat, rising all the way up through my veins from my heart.”
The problem with love is that it’s different for everyone. For Bex, love is a flirt in detention and the promise of a date at a Chinese buffet. She doesn’t even like Chinese. How long can she keep searching for love before she ends up burnt?
LIT explores the turbulent teenage years of a girl looking for love in all the wrong places.
Sophie Ellerby’s writing revives a proud British tradition of placing complex working class people at the heart of her work. Sophie is an actor and a writer, and the spark of LIT came from her experience studying young women and mothers in the prison system. Originally developed through HighTide’s First Commissions programme, we are proud to be co-producing the full production after presenting it as a reading in 2017.
Director Stef O’Driscoll, Artistic Director of nabokov, director of Paines Plough Roundabout season, is a leading innovator in British theatre.
“Creates an alternative experience for people who don’t think theatre is for them.” The Stage on Stef O’Driscoll
PERCEPTION FESTIVAL: NASTY WOMEN
BY POLLY WISEMAN
DIRECTED BY NATHAN EVANS
PRESENTED BY FIRERAISERS
TUE 8 – 27 OCT, TUE – SAT 7.30PM, SUN 4PM, £16 | £13 | £10 PREVIEWS
PRESS NIGHT – WED 9 OCT
1968, New York. Andy Warhol’s muse and his would-be assassin collide in this unconventional dark comedy about fame, failure, and feminism. “Writing that sears and burns” (The Guardian) meets live music and super-8 film in a cabaret set up for an evening of intimate entertainment.
Nico, The Velvet Underground’s glamorous front woman, is waiting to shoot Any Warhol’s latest movie, when her room is invaded by Valerie Solanas, writer of the radical feminist SCUM Manifesto. Despite their contrasting personalities, they have one thing in common: they give precisely zero fucks.
Valerie wants the celebrity’s help to spread her message of female revolution – but Nico craves only drugs, to insulate her from her stalled career and traumatic past. A darkly comic battle begins. Can these two iron-willed opponents become allies and change their futures?
As humourous as they are uncompromising, the pair’s views on men, music, fame and feminism are outrageous and deadpan.
The time seems ripe for this reimagining of two female pop culture icons at the epicenter of 60s cool, battling for control of their own destinies. With women’s ownership of their stories and bodies still firmly on the news agenda, Femme Fatale draws parallels between 1960s feminism and today.
PERCEPTION FESTIVAL: NASTY WOMEN
I’D RATHER GO BLIND
BY SOMALIA SEATON
DIRECTED BY CAROLINE BRYANT
PRESENTED BY FUTURES THEATRE
TUE 1 – 5 OCT, 7.30PM , £16 | £13
PRESS NIGHT – THUR 3 OCT
“I see you strong, I see you spinning on your own axis – full of life – full of joy. I see you like me when I turned 18 – unfiltered – ready to conquer the world head held high – heart strong – I see you growing everyday.”
Michelle and Ruby look like any other mother and daughter.
They dance together, they sing together, fight with each other and hide from each other.
But as it approaches Ruby’s birthday, Michelle wonders if perhaps she has been too hidden.
Inspired and informed by women who have lived through the criminal justice system, Somalia Seaton’s latest play, I’d Rather Go Blind, is a tender exploration of what it takes to be a mother in a world that is closing in around you.
I’d Rather Go Blind is produced in celebration of the extraordinary women Futures Theatre and Somalia Seaton worked with throughout 2017.
“a fierce, pulsating and galvanising play!” The Guardian (on Somalia Seaton’s Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Footsoldier)
“Tough, taut and precise” The Scotsman (on Futures Theatres’s Offside)
TRYING IT ON
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY DAVID EDGAR
DIRECTED BY CHRIS HAYDON
PRESENTED BY WARWICK ARTS CENTRE AND CHINA PLATE
FRI 11 – SUN 13 OCT, FRI & SAT 7.45PM, SUN 4.15PM, £16 | £13
“Are we the same person? If not, when and why not? If so, can either of us bear it?”
It’s 1968. David is 20 and in his second year at University. It is the height of the worldwide student revolt. The Vietnam war rages. Powell delivers his “rivers of blood” speech. Martin Luther King is assassinated. These events will define David’s politics and give focus to his writing.
It’s 50 years on. The 70-year-old is confronted by the 20-year-old. Do they share the same beliefs? If not, is it the world that’s changed, or him? Why did his generation vote Brexit? Has he sold in or sold out?
After 50 years of writing, Trying It On marks David Edgar’s professional debut as a performer.
BY SHARON BYRNE
DIRECTED BY CHRIS WHITE
TUE 29 – WED 30 OCT, 7.30PM, £13 | £11
A poignant Irish black comedy
Gutted a black comedy explores the lives of three strong women who work in a fish factory in 1980’s Dublin. Told through comic monologue, raw powerful language, movement and dance, the women give us a snapshot of the characters and challenges in their lives at the time. In light of Ireland’s recent referendum on abortion, these issues remain as relevant today as they were over 30 years ago.
THE MATCH BOX
BY FRANK MCGUINNESS
PRESENTED BY STRANGE FISH THEATRE COMPANY
TUE 29 OCT – SUN 17 NOV, TUE – SAT 7.30PM, SUN 4PM, £16 | £13
PRESS NIGHT – FRI 1 NOV
And she grew to be a girl, my daughter, my Mary. Sing a song, Mary. Sing a song for Grandma and Granda. Sing.
The ties that bind us can never be broken and a potent flame burns in the heart of a mother. Why is Londoner Sal hiding out on a remote Irish island? Her compelling story is one of love, hate and the desire for revenge. She must face her demons alone and her tale begs only one question: what would you be prepared to do for the ones you love?
All I do know is that I am going to be different from others who’ve suffered like this.
The acclaimed Strange Fish Theatre Company (Quietly, The Turn of the Screw) returns with an extraordinary play by one of Ireland’s greatest playwrights. Frank McGuinness has written a constantly surprising tale that is by turns shocking, humorous and moving.
PRESENTED BY CLAY PARTY AND CONFLICTED THEATRE
WRITTEN BY EDWARD STONE, PEDRO LEANDRO AND EVAN LORDAN
TUE 19 – SUN 24 NOV, 7.30PM, SUN 4PM, £11 | £13
PRESS NIGHT (tbc)
Where does everyone think you are right now?
Fiji. I said I had a one-way ticket, I’ve never been.
It’s a shame you never will.
Like most of us, Nick and Sam are hiding something. Except this is something taboo, even for you. This is something so appalling and pure it could never be acted on, until this weekend. This weekend will be the first and last time they’ll ever see each other, for one a blissful beginning, for the other a euphoric end. So everyone’s a winner… aren’t they?
Grisly and gripping, Fiji is a dark comedy about a relationship that is gorgeous and gruesome in equal measure, and a love not defined by sex or blood, so to speak.
How far will two consenting adults go for their desire?
Winners of the Pleasance Futures Award 2018, Clay Party team up with Cork’s ‘vividly stark’ Conflicted Theatre to tell the most unorthodox of love stories. It’s one you may have caught on the news or heard in a horror story; a relationship so off-limits it’s enticing, and so enticing it’s horrifying.
THE LITTLE PRINCE
AN OMNIBUS PRODUCTION
DIRECTED BY MARIE MCCARTHY
WED 4 – MON 30 DEC (EXCL. 9, 16, & 25 DEC)
10.30AM & 1.30PM – WEEKDAYS, 11AM & 2PM – WEEKENDS, £10 ADULTS | £8 CHILDREN & CONC,
FOR AGES 4 – 104
PRESS SHOW – SAT 7 DEC
The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched.
They are felt with the heart
On a quest to save the asteroid that he calls home, The Little Prince encounters a stranded pilot and her crashed plane. Their adventure is one that will take you and your family across the galaxy, from the Sahara Desert to the Moon.
Following Omnibus Theatre’s award-winning success of crafting beautiful Winter shows for all ages comes The Little Prince, a brilliant blend of enchanting storytelling, delightful puppetry, live music and a dash of festive magic.
Meet the wise Snake who speaks in riddles, the wild Fox who loves to rhyme and the lost pilot in need of a friend. Will the pilot fix her plane? Will the Little Prince ever see Rose again? Can your imagination unlock the galaxy?
Joyously adapted for the stage by critically acclaimed writer Sally Pomme Clayton (“Who can bring the wonder of the most powerful stories to life for audiences of any age.” – The Guardian) and directed by Omnibus Theatre’s Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s childhood classic, which has sold more than 150 million copies world-wide and been translated into over 300 languages.
For details of the full programme, please click on the link – https://www.omnibus-clapham.org
For more press night invitations, interviews or images please contact Diana Whitehead, Omnibus Theatre on 07939 149887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Omnibus Theatre is a multi-award-winning independent theatre in Clapham, South London. Finalist Fringe Theatre of the Year 2019, The Stage Awards, Offie winner 2018 and recipient of the Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award 2016. 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 Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon, Lord Michael Cashman Matthew Warchus, Sir Richard Eyre and Maggi Hambling. We are a registered charity and receive no core funding.