Orange Tree Theatre Festival

9 June 2014 — 29 June 2014

"An exemplary champion of new works, Sam Walters has curated an ambitious, wide-ranging festival." The Guardian

The final production of the season and the last under the stewardship of Sam Walters will be a festival of new work from new directors.

Programme One

SKELETONS
a new play by David Lewis 

directed by Alexander Lass                          
"there are echoes of both Ayckbourn and Orton in the writing... Alexander Lass's production has a boisterous vigour." The Guardian

From the author of Orange Tree hits Seven Year Twitch and Monkey’s Uncle, we meet a family gathering for the first time in decades, and in the unforgiving glare of a birthday cake with forty-five flaming candles, maturity gives way to rancour and recrimination.                              

DUCK, DEATH AND THE TULIP
by Wolf Erlbruch 
adapted, created and directed by Andy Brunskill & Jimmy Grimes 

FIVE STARS "This dream-like adaptation, using puppets, of Wolf Erlbruch’s illustrated story is captivating from start to finish." Plays to See 

"I found the piece unexpectedly touching in its idea that death is something to be stoically, and even cheerfully, accepted rather than denied or fled from in terror."Michael Billington, The Guardian

Currently working on War Horse, Andy Brunskill and Jimmy Grimes use puppetry to tell this classic short story of death and the afterlife.

CLOSER SCRUTINY
a new play written & directed by Adam Barnard

"an assured and ingenious work" The Guardian

At a crucial time in their lives, George, an astrophysicist, and his daughter, who is a molecular cell biologist, meet under the watchful gaze of her 8-year-old son.

Programme Two

FOUR DAYS IN HONG KONG
a new play by Orlando Wells 
directed by Phoebe Barran

Former CIA employee Edward Snowden meets with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen Macaskill on the eve of the most devastating intelligence breach in history.   

"with great performances from Laurence Dobiesz, Karen Archer and Nicholas Cass-Beggs, Phoebe Barron’s taut production has style, wit and assurance as it lucidly brings out the play’s concern with privacy in the digital age and the moral implications of Snowden’s actions."
Boycotting Trends

7 to 75
created & conceived by Amy Hodge and the company

7-75 asks questions about how women on the cusp of change are perceived by society. It invites five women from the ages of 7-75 to share their experiences and explore being in the shoes of a generation they might not understand.

"Amy Hodge’s thrilling, beautiful work-in-progress devised piece 7 to 75 suggests Caryl Churchill and Pina Baush collaborating on a reimagining of Albee’s Three Tall Women" Boycotting Trends

I DREAM BEFORE I TAKE THE STAND
by Arlene Hutton 
directed by Katie Henry

From the writer of Last Train to Nibroc, a defense lawyer cross-examines a woman during her testimony in a sexual assault case - and in doing so, horribly distorts her perfectly innocent walk in the park. 

MOBILE 4 
by Stephen Jeffreys 
directed by John Terry

From the writer of The Libertine, and an acclaimed adaptation of Dickens’ Hard Timesat the Orange Tree, which toured Europe in the 1980s. Set at the time of the Orange Tree’s inception in the 1970s, during an era of creative idealism and experiments in alternative living, Mobile 4 follows the late-night unravelling and disintegration of an artistic commune. As they install their artwork in a gallery, will their idealism, hopes and friendships last until morning?

Lunchtime Plays

The Orange Tree began as a lunchtime theatre on the last day of 1971. 
Especially for the Festival, lunchtime performances return with a double-bill of plays.

NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL
a new play by Caitlin Shannon 
directed by Nadia Papachronopoulou
  
A newly widowed mother and her 17-year-old son try to come to terms with the past and the future. A new play from Caitlin Shannon, who has emerged through the Orange Tree’s Writers’ Group.

"It’s a tender, intimate piece with lovely details, and Papachronopoulou’s sensitive production features a quiet heartbreaker of a turn from Rebecca Egan as the Mum." Boycotting Trends
                                         
THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE 
by Christopher Durang 
directed by David Siebert

The archetypal actor’s nightmare is finding oneself on stage, but with no idea what the play is. George, who thinks he is an accountant, finds himself with a bevy of famous actresses in Private Lives, Hamlet, a Beckett play and A Man for All Seasons, which rather worryingly has a hovering executioner.