Yesterday we announced our bold plans for Summer / Autumn 2011.
We start with the Almeida Festival including companies Greyscale and Belarus Free Theatre, celebrating the best of new and international theatre. This is followed by a World Premiere of My City, Stephen Polikoff’s (Capturing Mary, The Lost Prince) first new play in 12 years, and the UK Premiere of Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things, In a Forest Dark and Deep).
Public booking will open for everything in this season on Monday 9 May so make sure you get it in your diary! If you can’t wait until then, Supporters’ priority booking opens on Tuesday 19 April.
We will be posting more information about productions on here and through Twitter (@almeidatheatre) and Facebook so do keep in touch.
To hear our Artistic Director Michael Attenborough talking about the new programme here is a snippet from his exclusive interview with Dominic Cavendish from The Times:
“And ‘not to be safe’. The joy of running the Almeida is being paid to be eclectic, being paid to take risks.” But come on: how unsafe is an Ibsen revival, or a Shakespeare revival starring Anna Maxwell Martin and Rory Kinnear? “You could say safe in terms of box office,” he says. “But if you’re going to tackle, under the microscopic lens of the Almeida, a play as tough as Measure for Measure, you take a big breath. Of course, something would be wrong if the place emptied when we did a Shakespeare. If I ran six unknown plays by six unknown authors, that would be a risk — and you could argue foolhardy. It’s about getting a balance.”
Hence the shows to follow this year. In September, Stephen Poliakoff arrives to direct a play about teaching, My City, his first for 12 years. Then Neil LaBute directs the British premiere of his play Reasons to be Pretty, the third of a trilogy about body image that he began at the Almeida in 2001 with The Shape of Things. Before these titans arrive, though, there is the Summer Festival. Not such an obvious box-office bonanza, it includes appearances from the Belarus Free Theatre (“polemical, hard-nosed”), a site-specific piece by a company called Greyscale and a Young Almeida strand based on the work that the theatre does with schools. Yes, it’s an attempt at diversity — but not, Attenborough insists, box-ticking. “We all say this, but it doesn’t make it any less true: you want the composition of your audience to reflect the composition of your neighbourhood. So I’ve consciously done plays like Big White Fog, like Ruined [both featuring black casts] that will appeal to a particular audience.”
Read the full article (you will need to subscribe to The Times online to view)
PS we’ve also just uploaded production photos from The Knot of the Heart view the gallery here