Workshop on Desperate Writers by Catherine Schneider and Joshua Grenrock. Pre production work on the hit USA show before a UK production takes place in London in November.
Tour rehearsals for the 2018 tour of TPTGW begin in December!
The Tenants by Dave Hanson
I am very excited to be working again with Dave (Waiting For Waiting for Godot) on his news play - a modern ghost story set in a grand old New York Apartment. I like to think of it as Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf meets Beetlejuice.
Albert and Lillian, unable to leave their old and empty New York City apartment, exist to bicker and tease each other as they try to remember details about their lives. But when a young married couple moves in, Albert and Lillian find their existence turned upside down. By experiencing things vicariously through the young couple, they begin to remember their own lives. What is a ghost or a haunt? Are they spirits or the left over memories of a life unforgiven?
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf meets Beetlejuice In a new tragicomedy, The Tenants, by Dave Hanson.
Albert (60s) – Married to Lillian. Once a successful businessman, a polite and funny host to a party. A good spirited man. The only person who gets under his skin is his wife.
Lillian (50) – Married to Albert. A fun snob at times, who works a room with practiced elegance. Will do anything to get a rise out of her husband and enjoys a great fight. Often slips into moments of bitterness and anger.
Anne Worth (late 20’s/early 30’s) – Married to Jackson. A nice woman, who gave up her life and career in Chicago to see her husband succeed in New York. A great sense of humor with an honest approach to life.
Jackson Worth (mid 30’s) – Married to Anne. Ambitious and excited about his career in New York. Recognizes his wife’s sacrifices to get him here but is intoxicated by the city. He is the type of man who requires validation.
An old, but spacious New York apartment. Probably in the Gramercy Park neighborhood, in an old high rise building, something that has always been a luxury and status symbol.
The main characters, Albert & Lillian, are outside of time, and the transitions between scenes represent a movement around time as we fast forward through the linear time line that Anne & Jackson are a part of. This is helped with the transitional lighting & sound cues, which should implement an effect of a time lapse, as seen in film. I envision this with a unique lighting design and choreography of the actors during the transition. Another solution is to film these movements on stage from a bird’s eye view, and present, on a screen, an actual time laps to the audience. Other ‘ghostly’ effects will be used throughout the show as Albert and Lillian struggle to find out who are what they actually are. These with be both comic moments and great stage illusions.
Adapted for the stage by Hywel John,
from the novel ‘The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse’ by Iván Repila
It looks impossible to get out. We’ll get out.
The Well by Hywel John
An adaptation of the Spanish novel 'The Boy Who Stole Atilla's Horse'. Very exciting experimental piece involving two boys stuck in a well, a singing chorus, succulent bugs and a very dark twist.
Two brothers, Big and Small, are trapped at the bottom of a well. They have no food and little chance of rescue. Only the tempting spectre of insanity offers a way out.
As Small’s wits fail, Big formulates a desperate plan, and the well itself becomes a theatrical chorus of their crumbling selves, the world they once walked in and their dreams of what was, what could be and what might once be again.
In the well, all things are possible… but will they ever get out?
The Well (a chorus)
Big and Small are brothers, but the story exists in a world of shape-shifting invention, so there is a possibility of gender flexible casting. Certainly, given the universal nature of the story, they could be any ethnicity.
The Well is a chorus of actors, of all shapes and sizes. There needs to be enough of them to feel they could enclose Big and Small (as a well) and also to create the wild stage pictures the story demands. 5+ actors, able to move and sing and play other ‘characters’ and enviroment in the storytelling style.
The Well is a fable about the wild varieties and depths of human experience we all can discover when we are in a fight to survive. So the style of storytelling will be theatre at its most choral and physical: utilising just bodies, voices and language to create a wild theatrical encounter with the possibilities of humanity at its most extreme. Although it is tale of suffering, the production will be surprisingly funny and moving, with moments of true magic and a terrifying ending.
While Big and Small remain ‘themselves’ however extreme there suffering and mental states become, the Chorus will morph from the Well itself, to the tiny creatures living in it, to the characters and demons in the flights of fancy the boys experience.
We imagine song and music being central to how the chorus tell the story of Big and Small.
The set design and how the chorus appear and disappear within it will be crucial to the production.
Praise for Iván Repila
‘A masterpiece… the sort of book that you don’t put down.’
- France Inter
‘Ivan Repila’s language is superb; it carries with it all the spells of fairytales with their ogres, wolves and evil stepmothers, but also manages to evoke the much less fantastical universe of camps, prisons and caves, where hostages waste away.’
- Le Monde
About Hywel John
Hywel is a playwright and screenwriter. His work has been professionally staged all around the world: in London, New York City, Wales, Scotland, Finland and Denmark. His plays are published by Nick Hern Books (UK), Oberon (UK) and the Dramatist Play Service (USA).
“Hywel John's subtle and compelling script”
- Evening Standard
‘Hywel John’s very fine play… A great piece of theatre art.’
– Theatre in Wales
“Exquisitely nuanced…Hywel John's first play is a fascinating piece, always gripping, often very funny, beautifully paced.”
- The Stage
“It’s psychological surety will leave you in pieces”
- The Guardian
About Mark Bell
Mark is an English director whose most recent shows are The Play That Goes Wrong (West End, Broadway, Rome and Budapest), Waiting For Waiting For Godot (off West End) and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (West End)
‘the exceptional direction of the piece, by Mark Bell, embraces risk and danger to an extraordinary extent’
‘…the extremely talented director Mark Bell… Without a doubt, “The Play That Goes Wrong” is the funniest play Broadway has ever seen.’
- The Huffington Post