Pleasance Islington announces daring #YouWillKnowTheirNames season

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Pleasance Islington announces daring #YouWillKnowTheirNames season

Pleasance Theatre’s new season - titled #YouWillKnowTheirNames - is a game changing line-up of new writing fresh for 2019. These 10 newly announced productions showcase the most daring and original new voices and join the previously announced In Lipstick by Annie Jenkins (a co-production between award-winning theatre company Up In Arms, producer Ellie Keel and the Pleasance).

Together these productions mark an important contribution to the future of new writing, with UK, European and World premieres by some of the hottest emerging writers and companies from across the UK and beyond!

The season includes a bold new satire on climate change directed by the Pleasance’s own Head of Theatre, an incredible true story offering an unique insight into gender transitioning, a cathartic exposé of the modelling industry from a former model, and a riotous musical comedy celebrating curiosity and imagination.

Alongside this, Pleasance is piloting a radical new development scheme offering companies and artists up to 30 weeks of 100% subsidised development space and the opportunity to stage workshop and work-in-progress performances throughout the year. A development of the theatre’s Litmus Festival, the new Pleasance LABS will offer year-round opportunities to develop new work for both London and the Edinburgh Fringe!

Pleasance Islington is also looking to appoint three London Associate Artists or Companies. Pleasance London Associates will benefit from being part of one of London and Edinburgh’s most exciting theatres and communities, renowned for its mission of providing a platform for the talent of the future. In addition, Pleasance will offer four weeks of fully subsidised rehearsal and development space, and work and meeting space, practical year-round mentoring, and a slot in the 2020 Pleasance Islington programme!

Anthony Alderson, Director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, comments I’m delighted to announce that alongside these bold new shows, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting and nurturing emerging artists by piloting a new scheme offering up to 30 weeks of 100% subsidised rehearsal and development space, and opening applications for a revitalised London Associate Artist and Company Scheme. New plays and developing artists have always been central to what we do at Pleasance and together this represents an investment of over £60,000 to support the next generation of theatre makers. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome new artists and new audiences to experience excellent work in our Islington home!

Nic Connaughton, Head of Theatre for Pleasance Theatre Trust says, #YouWillKnowTheirNames is an ambitious and, we hope, significant contribution to the ongoing discussion around the development of emerging writers and text-led companies. This six-month season of ten plays and one festival is bursting with exciting, challenging, lyrical, daring, cheeky and compassionate new plays. All the playwrights and companies are taking risks in the way they tell stories to tackle some of the great themes of our time, as well as sharing beautifully crafted human tales. We are confident that, if you don’t know their names yet, you will soon!

The programme is as follows:

Neil-Michael Marriott presents

Lilies and Sweets

by Nathan Wright, directed by Spencer Noll

5th – 16th February 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 16th matinee at 3.30pm

Successful ageing novelist Les, and the less successful actor Terry, pore over Grindr. Reminiscing on life, they discuss Les’s new found desire for Al, a drug dealer Terry has recently brought into their lives. From Al’s very first delivery of ‘Sweets’, a unique and dangerous friendship takes hold.

Lilies and Sweets is the debut play by Nathan Wright who originally trained as an actor. His notable credits include series regular Nurse Chris Reid in Doctors, Hugh in Being Human, Colin Pitchfork in Code of Killer and Robert in The Musketeers. The play was originally developed as part of Pleasance Theatre’s Reading Week programme.

Post-It Productions presents

Call Me Vicky

by Stacey and Nicola Bland

19th February – 9th March 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 9th matinee at 3.30pm

Press Night: 21st February

It’s 1980 in Elephant and Castle. Sixteen-year-old Martin and his best friend Debbie are getting ready for another night out at Martin’s favourite night spot, ‘The Golden Girl’, one of Soho’s premier drag clubs. Tonight is not a regular night out. Tonight is the night that Martin’s life will change forever. Call Me Vicky tells the incredible true story of one woman’s journey to become the person she knows herself to be.

Based entirely on a true story, the debut play from East London sisters Nicola and Stacey Bland is an honest, frank and revealing insight into an important struggle that has been relevant for generations.

Call Me Vicky is supported by Arts Council England.

Marked Productions presents

Model Behaviour

by Issy Knowles, directed by Rachael Head

12th – 16th March 2019 Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sat matinee at 3.30pm

Fresh from a sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Model Behaviour is a cut-throat, cathartic unveiling of a brutal and idolised industry told entirely through the eyes of one hopeful young model. We are taken through the casting process, the pressure of fashion week and the heart-breaking narrative of one woman desperately unsure whether she can ever be anything more.

This all-female production is directed and produced by Rachael Head, and written and performed by former model Issy Knowles, there has never been a better time to lift the lid on one of the most secretive industries in the world.

Riddlestick Theatre presents

The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

19th – 23rd March 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm

This riotous musical comedy invites audiences to meet the eccentric 18th century explorer, Madame Fanny, and to take their pick from her cabinet of curiosities. For whichever curio they choose, Fanny and her servants perform the elaborate tale behind it, taking the audience on a voyage of hilarity. From battling with pirates to partying with Marie Antoinette, Fanny’s allegedly done it all. But, while she revels in telling her outrageously outlandish stories, somebody far more serious is on the way to bring her down to earth.

Riddlestick Theatre are dedicated to tickling fancies with weird and wonderful stories and enchanting live music. Roll up your sleeves and choose the tales we tell in this riotous celebration of curiosity and imagination.

Ali and Dahlia

by Tariq Jordan

26th March – 14th April, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 6th & 13th matinee at 3.30pm

Having been accused of rioting, Ali awaits his fate in an Israeli interrogation room. But, when an old lover steps in to question him, the two are forced to confront their past and find themselves torn between bitter loyalties. A harrowing Palestinian-Israeli love story set against the backdrop of the construction of the West Bank wall. A story of love, occupation, sacrifice, and redemption that looks unflinchingly at the loss of innocence in war, the longing for lost homelands, and the political forces that shape our lives.

Ali and Dahlia is the debut play of actor-playwright Tariq Jordan and was previously developed as part of Arcola Theatre’s PlayWROUGHT programme and at HighTide Walthamstow Festival.

Fledgling Theatre presents

Neck or Nothing

Written and Directed by Christopher Neels and Callum Cameron

23rd April – 4th May 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 4th matinee at 3.30pm

Neck Or Nothing is the story of Jens, a self-taught inventor, who sets out to create one of the most important technological advancements in history – a giant suit to fight bears. Fledgling Theatre’s latest show explores themes of PTSD and mental health. It is inspired by the cult documentary Project Grizzly (1998).

After its run at the Pleasance, Neck Or Nothing will transfer to Greenwich Theatre.

NOVAE theatre presents

Don’t Look Away

by Grace Chapman, directed by Nicholas Pitt

7th – 18th May 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 18th matinee at 3.30pm

2015. A young man enters a community centre, covered in flour and looking for help. He finds Cath, a cleaner, who reluctantly lets him stay in her son’s room. This split-second decision will change her life forever.

Don’t Look Away is a powerful new production from NOVAE theatre, sister company to internationally renowned ensemble Idle Motion. This is daring theatre inventive in its form and astonishing in its delivery - a critical tale of compassion and an investigation into our collective response to the international refugee crisis.

It is supported by Arts Council England.

Hope Theatre Company presents

#BeMoreMartyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo

Directed by Adam Zane

21st – 25th May 2018, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sat matinee at 3.30pm

#BeMoreMartyn trended on Twitter in the hours after the announcement of Martyn Hett’s death in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing – but what does it mean?

Manchester-based Hope Theatre Company posed this question to eight of Martyn’s closest friends and created a unique piece of verbatim theatre using their words. They give a remarkable insight into an extraordinary young man who transformed each and every one of them. Martyn’s friends take us on a journey from the cobbles of Canal Street to his legendary Eurovision parties, celebrating Coronation Street, Mariah Carey and Michelle McManus along the way.

This new play celebrates the power of friendship and encourages audiences to live life to the full, to be proud of who you are and to #BeMoreMartyn.

Horatio Productions presents

The Science Fiction Theatre Festival

Feat. ReGen by Juan Echenique, directed by Fumi Gomez

27th May – 1st June, Mon-Saturday at 7pm, Sat matinee at 3.30pm

How does science affect society? How does it affect drama? How can science inspire fiction and, in turn, playwriting? How does science fiction translate to theatre? The largest company specialised in new writing for science fiction theatre in the UK, Horatio Productions, bring their stellar second edition of The Science Fiction Theatre Festival to Pleasance Islington for a week-long futuristic extravaganza.

Alongside incredible short plays by writers from all over the world as well as talks and Q&As with industry experts in comic books, film, cosplay and science fiction culture, The Science Fiction Theatre Festival will stage the featured show ReGen each day.

ReGen: What is the future of stem cell research? The paths of two strangers meet at a crossroad between vanity, obsession and guilt. Gastronomy meets surgery in a world-changing clash of egos.

Maya Ellis and Pleasance presents

Kill Climate Deniers

by David Finnegan, Directed by Nic Connaughton

4th – 30th June 2019, Tues-Saturday at 8pm, Sun evening 6pm, Sat 15th, 22nd & 29th matinee at 3.30pm.

What would it take to stop climate change dead in its tracks? Science? Recycling? Experts? Manic techno, guns and revolution? Environment Minister Gwen Malkin’s plan to stop climate change is rudely interrupted by eco-terrorists storming Australian Parliament House during a Fleetwood Mac concert. Blending fact and fiction, David Finnegan’s bold new satire explores a world on the brink of turmoil and the effects of conversations inside the echo chamber.

An action film wrapped in a TED talk, Kill Climate Deniers won the Griffin Playwriting Award ahead of its 2018 premiere in Sydney, Australia, where it provoked, enraged and delighted audiences and critics alike. Prepare to experience the European premiere of one of the most daring and important plays of the decade, directed by Pleasance’s Head of Theatre Nic Connaughton.