Emily Schwend's Utility and the State of America

21 June 2018

By Laura Collins Hughes

The store-bought birthday cake in Utility gets me every time: sliding to the kitchen floor still in its box, ruined on the eve of a little girl’s party.

New Season Announced

8 June 2018

September 2018 - March 2019 at the Orange Tree

Major revivals of plays by Jo Clifford, Martin Crimp and William Congreve, alongside the world premiere of a play by Rose Lewenstein and a new family Christmas show feature in the first half of the fifth Orange Tree season from Artistic Director Paul Miller and Executive Director Sarah Nicholson

Q&A with Utility writer Emily Schwend

7 June 2018

We talk to American playwright Emily Schwend, recipient of the Yale Drama Prize for her play Utility, which is receiving its European premiere here at the Orange Tree. 

Cast announced for Utility by Emily Schwend

26 April 2018

Robyn Addison, Jackie Clune, Robert Lonsdale and Matt Sutton will appear in the European premiere of Emily Schwend’s Yale Drama Prize-winning play Utility, directed by Caitlin McLeod.

Q&A with actress Evelyn Hoskins

19 April 2018

Evelyn Hoskins is playing Loops in Joe White's new play Mayfly. We asked her a few questions about the play, about acting and the theatre.

Joe White on his play Mayfly

18 April 2018

Joe White is an alumnus of the Orange Tree Writers Collective, part of the lifeblood of the OT, working to nurture exceptional talent. He was a member of the prestigious Old Vic 12, a group of the country's most highly regarded young writers, directors and producers. He was also selected to be the Channel 4 Playwright on Attachment at Pentabus Theatre Company.

Here he talks about his debut play Mayfly.

Q&A with actor Simon Scardifield

12 April 2018

Simon Scardifield is playing Ben in Joe White's new play Mayfly. We asked him a few questions about the play, about acting and the theatre.

Directors' Festival 2018 announced

4 April 2018

Plays announced for the Directors’ Festival, showcasing three directors on the Orange Tree and St Mary’s University’s MA Theatre Directing. They feature a new play by Luke Barnes and revivals of plays by Ella Hickson and Nina Segal in repertoire from 13 - 21 July.

Cast announced for Mayfly

15 March 2018

Evelyn Hoskins, Simon Scardifield, Irfan Shamji and Niky Wardley will appear in the world premiere of Joe White’s debut play Mayfly, which previews from 19 April.

Orange Tree wins 3 Offies

5 March 2018

We're thrilled to have won 3 Off West End Awards (Offies) last night. 

Introducing the OT Writers Collective 2018

28 February 2018

We are proud to be able to announce the six writers who will be joining the Orange Tree for the rest of the season, as part of the theatre’s Writers Collective.

Cast announced for Humble Boy

5 February 2018

Paul Bradley, Jonathan Broadbent, Selina Cadell, Rebekah Hinds, Belinda Lang and Christopher Ravenscroft will appear in the first major London revival of Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones, with previews from 8 March. Directed by OT Artistic Director Paul Miller, the production is designed by Simon Daw, with lighting design by Mark Doubleday and the sound designer and composer is Max Pappenheim.

Celebrating a raft of major awards for playwrights at the Orange Tree Theatre

2 February 2018

The Critics’ Circle Award, Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, The Sonia Friedman Production Award, Evening Standard Theatre Award and Off West End Awards and nominations have all been given to playwrights working at the Orange Tree.

Q&A with Sally Messham

26 January 2018

Sally Messham is apppearing in the three Roundabout plays at the Orange Tree following a critically acclaimed tour including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The plays are Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook and How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, which we've co-produced with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd.

 

Q&A with Hasan Dixon

24 January 2018

Hasan Dixon is apppearing in the three Roundabout plays at the Orange Tree following a critically acclaimed tour including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The plays are Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook and How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, which we've co-produced with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd.

Q&A with Katie Elin-Salt

22 January 2018

Katie Elin-Salt is apppearing in the three Roundabout plays at the Orange Tree following a critically acclaimed tour including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The plays are Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook and How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, which we've co-produced with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd.

Spring 2018 Season Announced

16 November 2017

Announcing January to July 2018 at the Orange Tree Theatre

A world premiere, European premiere, 3 London premieres and a major contemporary revival form the second half of Artistic Director Paul Miller’s fourth season. Since taking over in 2014, the Orange Tree has won 18 industry awards, most recently London’s Most Welcoming Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards    

Joint Statement on the Theatre Industry

23 October 2017

Following the reports and allegations of the last two weeks, first in America and, more recently, closer to home, we have come together to make clear that there can be no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our industry. 

Cast announced for Bernard Shaw's Misalliance

17 October 2017

Paul Miller directs Pip Donaghy (The Lottery of Love, Orange Tree), Tom Hanson (French Without Tears, OT), Rhys Isaac-Jones (Jess and Joe Forever, OT), Jordan Mifsúd (The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, OT), Gabrielle Lloyd (The Lady in the Van, Theatre Royal Bath), Lara Rossi (Persuasion, Royal Exchange), Simon Shepherd (Posh, Royal Court/West End), Marli Siu (Much Ado About Nothing, Dundee Rep) and Luke Thallon (Albion, Almeida) in the first major revival in 30 years of one of Shaw’s most playful and inventive early comedies about class and Feminism. It follows his hugely successful productions of Shaw’s The Philanderer and Widowers’ Houses at the Orange Tree.

An Octoroon to transfer to the National Theatre

3 October 2017

An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins will transfer to the National Theatre in June 2018 following its extended critically acclaimed European premiere at the Orange Tree. It's directed by Ned Bennett, whose OT production of Alistair McDowall's Pomona played at the National Theatre in 2015.

Orange Tree wins London's Most Welcoming Theatre

26 September 2017

We're thrilled to have won the UK Theatre Award for Most Welcoming Theatre in London for the second year running.

Cast announced for UK premiere of Poison

19 September 2017

Paul Miller will direct Claire Price and Zubin Varla in the UK premiere of Poison by Dutch writer Lot Vekemans following huge European success and a critically acclaimed New York run.

Richard Bean on David Storey and The March on Russia

11 September 2017

What I look for in a playwright is soul. What is soul? I guess it’s my shorthand for the real thing, the authentic, someone who writes from experience, and whose character’s scars are their own scars. A writer who learned to write by living and not by attending a Play Writing PhD. David Storey had soul.

Cast announced for David Storey's The March on Russia

1 August 2017

Alice Hamilton (Visitors and Eventide, Bush Theatre) returns to the Orange Tree following Robert Holman’s German Skerries to direct Sarah Belcher (Medea, Almeida; Twelfth Night, Filter/RSC), Ian Gelder (The Treatment, Almeida; Kevan Lannister in four series of Game of Thrones), Colin Tierney (The Father, Theatre Royal Bath/Tricycle), Connie Walker (Death of a Salesman, Northampton/tour) and Sue Wallace (Husbands and Sons, Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre).

Casting announced for the Directors' Festival

21 June 2017

Casting is announced for a festival of five plays directed by students from the inaugural year of the Orange Tree Theatre and St Mary’s University’s MA in Theatre Directing. They are playing in repertoire from 20 to 29 July with all tickets £7.50.

Autumn 2017 announced

15 June 2017

Today Artistic Director Paul Miller announces productions for September 2017 - March 2018 featuring new plays by Brad Birch, Elinor Cook, Sarah McDonald-Hughes and Lot Vekemans, major revivals of David Storey and Bernard Shaw, plus Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, and a new family show Kika's Birthday by John & Danyah Miller. Plus Shakespeare for young people and OT Extras brings back Lemn Sissay and Barb Jungr and welcomes Martin Jarvis and Mark Lockyer.

Orange Tree Connections company to perform at the National Theatre

25 May 2017

We are delighted that the National Theatre has selected the Orange Tree Theatre Connections Company to perform Alistair McDowall’s Zero for the Young Dudes! in the Olivier Theatre at the National on Monday 3 July.

Cast announced for An Octoroon

18 April 2017

The cast for the European premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ OBIE Award-winning play is Cassie Clare, Emmanuella Cole, Celeste Dodwell, Iola Evans, Ken Nwosu, Vivian Oparah, Alistair Toovey, and Kevin Trainor. They are joined by cellist James Douglas.

5 Off West End Award wins for the Orange Tree

27 February 2017

We're delighted to have won five Offies. In the Twitter ceremony hosted by Patrick Stewart last night Chris Urch won Best New Play for The Rolling Stone, Zoe Cooper won Most Promising New Playwright for Jess and Joe Forever, John Ramm won Best Male for playing the title role in Sheppey, and Dickie Beau and Josh Dylan jointly won Best Supporting Male, also for for Sheppey.

Panic Over? Not Quite by Zoe Williams

20 February 2017

This article was written for the programme of Clare McIntyre’s Low Level Panic, playing until 25 March

In the mid-nineties, which was the bit before Tony Blair, and the bit before Things Can Only Get Better, so was effectively the Eighties, a vast survey was carried out. It was called What Women Want. 

Casting announced for The Lottery of Love

17 February 2017

Marivaux’s greatest comedy is translated by novelist John Fowles (The French Lieutenant’s Woman) to the Regency England of Jane Austen in this previously unseen version. Orange Tree Artistic Director Paul Miller directs Keir Charles (The Roaring Girl and The White Devil at the RSC), Pip Donaghy (Taken at Midnight at Chichester and Theatre Royal Haymarket), Claire Lams (One Man, Two Guvnors at the National Theatre, West End and Broadway), Dorothea Myer-Bennett (The Philanderer at the Orange Tree), Tam Williams (Sunny Afternoon and Chariots of Fire at Hampstead and in the West End) and Ashley Zhangazha (Human Animals, Belong and Truth and Reconciliation at the Royal Court).

Directors' Festival plays announced

9 February 2017

Announcing a festival of plays from 20 - 29 July, directed by students from the first year of the Orange Tree Theatre and St Mary’s University’s MA in Theatre Directing. Five plays by five directors playing in repertoire over 10 days with all tickets £7.50. 

The plays are:
Albert’s Boy by James Graham, directed by Kate Campbell
Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against a Brick Wall by Brad Birch, directed by Hannah de Ville
The End of Hope by David Ireland, directed by Max Elton
Misterman by Enda Walsh, directed by Grace Vaughan
Wasted by Kate Tempest, directed by Jamie Woods

Priority booking for Members of the Orange Tree Theatre is now open.
Public booking opens 15 February 10.00am.

Find out more about the Festival

Read the press release about the MA Theatre Directing course and the Festival

8 Offie nominations for the Orange Tree

6 February 2017

We're delighted to have 8 finalists in the Offie Award nominations for 2017.

Funding Update

26 January 2017

Artistic Director Paul Miller, Executive Director Sarah Nicholson and Chair of the Board Richard Humphreys issue a statement on the future of funding at the Orange Tree Theatre

We wanted to give all those with an interest in the future of the Orange Tree an update on our funding. The last two and a half years have seen plenty of good news at the OT with consistently strong audience figures averaging 85% capacity, including very high numbers of newcomers and under 30s. Our reach also extends to the active engagement with 10,000 young people each year through our Education and Participation programme. We have won 11 major industry awards. And in 2016 alone our work played in 24 other towns and cities.

Cast announced for Low Level Panic

4 January 2017

The cast for the first major revival of Clare McIntyre’s Low Level Panic, directed by Chelsea Walker, is Sophie Melville, Katherine Pearce and Samantha Pearl.

Cast announced for Winter Solstice

28 November 2016

The cast for the UK premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s new play which explores the resurgence of the far right is Kate Fahy, Nicholas Le Prevost, Laura Rogers, Dominic Rowan and Milo Twomey. Winter Solstice is a co-production with Actors Touring Company it is directed by their Artistic Director Ramin Gray.

Cast announced for Christmas show Extra Yarn

14 November 2016

We're delighted to announce the cast for Extra Yarn, our enchanting Christmas show for everyone aged 3+

Spring 2017 season announced

10 November 2016

Paul Miller announces the remaining productions in his third season as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree. Plus the launch of the :DISCOVER campaign, with match funding from Arts Council England from the Catalyst:Evolve programme. In 2015-16 the Orange Tree had its biggest ever audience with 68,657 tickets sold nationwide. 27% visited for the first time. Full details in the OT’s Annual Review which can be downloaded here. This autumn alone the OT has toured Elsewhere to 21 other towns and cities.

 

Casting announced for Somerset Maugham’s final play Sheppey

21 October 2016

John Ramm will play the title role in Sheppey, the first major production in over 50 years of Somerset Maugham’s warm-hearted, beguiling last play. It is directed by Artistic Director Paul Miller, following his hugely popular revivals of plays by Bernard Shaw, Terence Rattigan, Doris Lessing and DH Lawrence. Joining John Ramm in the cast are Sarah Ball, Dickie Beau, Josh Dylan, Geff Francis, Brendan Hooper, Katie Moore and Tom Peters.

Orange Tree has won UK Theatre Award for Most Welcoming Theatre in London

29 September 2016

We are delighted to have won the UK Theatre Award for Most Welcoming Theatre in London 2016.

Announcing Orange Tree Ambassadors

28 September 2016

The Orange Tree Theatre announces fourteen new Ambassadors – leading figures in the Arts and beyond – who will champion the work of the Theatre. They are Michael Attenborough, Samantha Bond and Alex Hanson, Gyles and Michele Brandreth, Judith Coke, Peter Davison and Elizabeth Heery, Philip Glenister and Beth Goddard, Baroness Susan Kramer, Sally Phillips, Paulette Randall and Fionn Whitehead.

Casting for Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart announced

16 August 2016

Tobacco Factory Theatres and the Orange Tree Theatre are delighted to be embarking on a new co-producing partnership to stage the first major revival of Caryl Churchill’s Blue Heart. Tobacco Factory Theatres and Orange Tree Theatre are thrilled to make the link between the two organisations as they each expand their individual in-house production portfolios. Blue Heart brings both organisations together to work again with key creatives David Mercatali and Angela Davies, who have worked on previous projects with both organisations.

 

Orange Tree Theatre awarded £75,000 in Arts Council England funding over 3 years

27 July 2016

Today Arts Council England announced an award of £75,000 over 3 years to the Orange Tree Theatre as part of the Catalyst: Evolve fund. This investment will enable the OT to revolutionise its fundraising with the aim to increase its fundraised income by 159% by the end of June 2019.

Cast announced for return of Terence Rattigan's French Without Tears

26 May 2016

Tim Delap, Ariane Gray, Ziggy Heath, Alex Large, Florence Roberts, Beatriz Romilly and Alistair Toovey join original cast members Joe Eyre and David Whitworth in the return of Paul Miller's sell-out production of Terence Rattigan’s sparkling 1936 comedy at the Orange Tree for just 33 performances from 30 June followed by a UK tour in Autumn 2016 with English Touring Theatre to Exeter, Harrogate, Barnstable, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Oldham, Warwick, Poole and Huddersfield. 

New Season Announced - Autumn 2016

5 May 2016

Paul Miller's third season as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre features the first major revivals of Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart and Somerset Maugham's last play Sheppey, plus the English language premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig's Winter Solstice, Zoe Cooper's new play Jess and Joe Forever and Mac Barnett's children's story Extra Yarn adapted by Elinor Cook for Christmas, plus French Without Tears returns prior to a national tour.

MA Theatre Directing course launched

22 April 2016

St Mary’s University, Twickenham London, in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre are launching an MA in Theatre Directing.

This course – the only one of its kind in the UK – to be predominantly housed in a producing theatre sees MA students based at the multi-award winning Orange Tree Theatre and is designed to explore the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making.

Cast announced for The Philanderer

11 April 2016

Rupert Young will play Leonard Charterris, the philanderer of the title in Bernard Shaw's early comedy about a man in love with two women. Joining him in the cast are Helen Bradbury, Joe Idris-Roberts, Michael Lumsden, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Christopher Staines, Mark Tandy and Paksie Vernon. The production is directed by Paul Miller, following his acclaimed sell-out production of Shaw's first play Widowers' Houses.

Cast announced for the world premiere of The Brink

2 March 2016

   

Alice Haig, Vince Leigh, Shvorne Marks and Ciarán Owens will appear in the world premiere of Brad Birch's new play The Brink, directed by Mel Hillyard as recipient of the J.P. Morgan Emerging Director Award 2015.

Cast announced for Robert Holman's German Skerries

27 January 2016

George Evans, Henry Everett, Katie Moore and Howard Ward will appear in the first major revival of Robert Holman's 1977 play German Skerries from 3 March. Directed by Alice Hamilton it is a co-production with award-winning touring company Up in Arms who produced Barney Norris' Eventide and Visitors, which picked up nine Off West End Award nominations between them. It will then go on tour in the round to Reading Rep, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Dukes Theatre Lancaster and Hull Truck Theatre. 

 

Announcing Orange Tree Extras: theatre, comedy, music and more

14 January 2016

Continuing our new series of one-night theatre, comedy, music and spoken word events, we announce a week of Orange Tree Extras from 24 - 27 February, featuring Barb Jungr, Tim Crouch, Wendy Cope, Dickie Beau, Simon Lipkin, Jon Robyns and Giles Terera. A series of intimate, close-up performances from theatremakers, singers and poets making their Orange Tree debuts. 

Full casting announced for The Rolling Stone and Romeo & Juliet

9 December 2015

Faith Alabi, Fiston Barek, Jo Martin, Julian Moore-Cooke, Faith Omole and Sule Rimi will appear in the London premiere of Chris Urch’s acclaimed play The Rolling Stone directed by Ellen McDougall from 14 January while David Ahmad, Lia Burge, Maria Gray, Tony Hasnath, Tanya Lattul and John Leader appear in our Shakespeare Up Close production of Romeo & Juliet directed by Gemma Fairlie from 27 January. The two productions play in repertoire until 20 February.

 

 

Giving Tuesday

1 December 2015

#GivingTuesday (1st December in 2015) is a global celebration of giving. After the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to come together and give something back to the charities close to your heart.

So whether you have taken advantage of this year’s sales, or avoided the experience altogether, please demonstrate your support this #GivingTuesday for the Orange Tree. 

Return of FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS

30 November 2015

Following a sell-out run, Paul Miller's critically-acclaimed production of Rattigan's French Without Tears returns to the Orange Tree and will tour the UK with English Touring Theatre

Best Website Award winners

16 November 2015

We're delighted to have won the Best Website Award at the Richmond Business Awards 2015.

Winner of the Peter Brook Empty Space Award

3 November 2015

We're delighted to have won the 2015 Peter Brook Empty Space Award! This follows 2 UK Theatre Awards and 5 Off West End Awards this year.

The award recognises smaller theatre spaces for their pioneering concepts and innovations. Voted for by leading critics, The Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish said at the Awards ceremony: 

Spring 2016 Season announced

22 October 2015

The Orange Tree's new season features plays by Chris Urch, Robert Holman, Brad Birch and Bernard Shaw, directed by Ellen McDougall, Alice Hamilton, Mel Hillyard and Artistic Director Paul Miller

 

UK Theatre Award wins

19 October 2015

The Orange Tree has been nominated for 2 UK Theatre Awards recognising outstanding achievement in regional theatre. You can also vote for us now as Most Welcoming Theatre until 25 September.

Ned Bennett is nominated for Best Director for his production of Pomona at the OT, which has just played a sell-out run at the National Theatre and opens at the Royal Exchange Theatre on 29 October. 

Joel MacCormack is nominated for Best Performer in a Play for Doris Lessing's Each His Own Wilderness, which was directed by Artistic Director Paul Miller in April 2015.

 

Cast announced for the return of The Distance

18 September 2015

Charlotte Gwinner directs Michelle Duncan (Grantchester, Call The Midwife, Luther, Atonement) as Bea, with Charlotte Emmerson (From Darkness, DCI Banks, Peak Practice) as Alex. Returning to the roles they played in the original production of The Distance at the Orange Tree Theatre, Daniel Hawksford (Waking The Dead, Colditz) plays Dewi and Timothy Knightley (The Inbetweeners 2) returns to the role of Simon. Charlotte Lucas (Jamaica Inn, Not Going Out) plays Kate, Steven Meo (Drifters, The Slate) plays Vinnie and, in his professional stage debut, Joshua Sinclair-Evans, plays Liam. 

French Without Tears cast announced

4 September 2015

In its first full London run in a generation, Orange Tree Artistic Director Paul Miller directs Laila Alj, William Belchambers, Alex Bhat, Joe Eyre, Genevieve Gaunt, Tom Hanson, Patrick McNamee, David Whitworth and Sarah Winter.

Play Mas nominated for the Alfred Fagon Audience Award

2 September 2015

The Alfred Fagon Award is launching the Alfred Fagon Audience Award to recognize and celebrate the depth of talented Black British playwrights of Caribbean and African descent writing in Britain today. 

Cast announced for When We Were Women

31 July 2015

Abigail Lawrie makes her stage debut as Isla following her acclaimed performance in JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy on BBC One. In the first major revival of Sharman Macdonald's play, Lorraine Pilkington (Monarch of the Glen, Outnumbered) and Steve Nicolson (Toast at the Park Theatre, War Horse in the West End) play her parents Maggie and Alec, with Mark Edel-Hunt (Chariots of Fire in the West End, Call the Midwife on TV) as Mackenzie and Sarah-Jayne Butler (Thark at Park Theatre, This House at the National Theatre) as Cath.

 

Autumn 2015 season announced

27 May 2015

Artistic Director Paul Miller announces a season of collaborations, rediscoveries and new work, building on the success of his inaugural season which attracted over 40,000 people to the Orange Tree, with nearly 1 in 3 people new to the Theatre (45% for Pomona) and over 2,000 discounted seats sold to under 30s.

 

 

 

Cast announced for new play buckets by Adam Barnard

23 April 2015

The Orange Tree’s commitment to new writing alongside rare revivals continues with Adam Barnard’s new play buckets. The final play in Paul Miller’s first season as Artistic Director follows hit productions of Alistair McDowall’s Pomona (transferring to the National Theatre and Royal Exchange in the Autumn) and Deborah Bruce’s The Distance (returning to the Orange Tree in a co-production with Sheffield Theatres, playing in the Crucible Studio).

Cast announced for Doris Lessing's Each His Own Wilderness

12 March 2015

Artistic Director Paul Miller announces the cast for his production of Each His Own Wilderness will be Susannah Harker, Rosie Holden, Clare Holman, John Lightbody, Joel MacCormack, Roger Ringrose and Josh Taylor.