Park Theatre announces its reopening season and refurbished building
- Bruntwood Prize-shortlisted co-production with Talawa, and a new in-house play that starts online and continues onstage are part of the Finsbury Park venue’s reopening season
- Other shows include a double bill celebrating women’s strength, and the premiere of a ghost story based on true events
- Improvements to the building include a new, improved box office with greater accessibility, a mezzanine extension and an open kitchen pizzeria
- Online masterclasses for underrepresented voices to be announced
22 June – 6 November
Twitter: @ParkTheatre | facebook: ParkTheatreLondon | Instagram: ParkTheatreLondon | www.parktheatre.co.uk
Park Theatre is delighted to announce its reopening, starting today with a two-act drama commissioned by the venue that starts online and ends live in Park200, reopening the building on 4th August. The season will include aBruntwood Prize- and Alfred Fagon Award-shortlisted co-production with Talawa, the premiere of a ghost story based on true events, and a double bill of shows celebrating women’s strength. Committed to nurturing new voices, Park Theatre will also be offering free masterclasses for underrepresented creatives. Audiences will enjoy a newly refurbished building, which includes better front of house facilities and an open kitchen pizzeria.
The season starts withan in house production ofPark Bench (22 June – 14 Aug), a piece of new writing by Tori-Allen Martin commissioned over the pandemic and supported by Arts Council England. After a year apart, each other’s ‘ride-or-die’ Liv and Theo reconnect online, but they both have questions too big for small screens. Act one is a free ten-minute drama available online, and act two will see the couple meet face to face in Park200, reopening the building on 4th August. The show is followed by ghost story When Darkness Falls (18 Aug – 4 Sept) byJames Milton and Paul Morrissey. Based on a true story, the chilling tale sees a history talk on Guernsey’s paranormal past reveal horrors in the island’s more immediate present.
Postponed from the 2020 Spring Season, Park Theatre have partnered with leading Black British theatre company Talawa to co-produce A Place for We (7 Oct – 6 Nov) by Archie Maddocks.Shortlisted in 2017 for both the Bruntwood Prize and Alfred Fagon Award, Archie Maddocks’ bittersweet comedy holds a mirror up to the ever-changing face of London’s communities in search of their common beating heart through Trinidadian funeral director Clarence and fifth generation Irish pub owner George.
Also in the season, Oxford School of Drama students will perform new work 39 and Counting (8-11 Sept) by Shireen Mula which aims to dispel many of the myths around violence to women, and women’s strength will be celebrated in the Park90 double bill Say it, Women (12 Oct – 6 Nov). The double bill is made up of Flushed by Catherine Cranfield, which centres around two sisters grappling with the implications of a recent diagnosis of one’s rare medical condition, and Soldfrom Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective, the extraordinary journey of Mary Prince who was born into slavery in the British Colony of Bermuda and went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom.
Artistic Director Jez Bond said, “We can’t wait to reopen our doors this August – not only with a brilliant programme of shows, but with a newly refurbished building too. We’re particularly excited to be working on A Place for We with Talawa once again, after the postponement of the original run from spring 2020, and to be working with playwright Tori Allen-Martin on her new play Park Bench which takes the audience on a journey from the world of digital theatre back to the live stage. Audiences coming back to the venue will be able to enjoy the new mezzanine seating area, a more accessible box office and enjoy the theatricality of the new open plan pizza kitchen. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and I look forward to giving audiences the warm and safe welcome back they deserve.”
Park Theatre has been refurbished during lockdown to improve the audience experience. The front of house area has been enlarged with a new mezzanine extension providing more space to eat and drink as well as improved flow of customer traffic. The downstairs bar has also been treated to an extension with an open plan pizza kitchen, adding extra theatricality to your evening. The old kitchen has been transformed into a new, dedicated box office space with improved accessibility for staff and customers, and TV screens have been installed for both Park200 and Park90 spaces so that latecomers will miss as little as possible before being admitted at an appropriate moment. Improved accessibility has been provided with enhanced signage throughout the building and modifications to the toilets. Building staff, volunteers and visiting companies will also benefit from a new stage management office and improved backstage offices.
Taking heart from evidence so far that shows theatre to be at low risk from Covid-19, Park Theatre will be reopening in line with government and UKTheatre guidelines, making sure audiences can See It Safely.
Executive Director Rachael Williams said, “We’re thrilled to be reopening our venue after over a year of closure. We have always prided ourselves on being a warm and welcoming venue to visit, and that’s why we’ve ensured we have appropriate measures in place to make sure audiences are safe and comfortable. We’ve invested in hand sanitising stations, an enhanced cleaning regime and contactless ticket technology and will be requiring all audience members to wear face coverings unless exempt. We’ll be publishing all this information in our pre-show email and on our website so customers know what to expect and, as always, our friendly team will be happy to help with any additional questions. We’ll be proudly displaying the SOLT See It Safely mark and are so looking forward to having audiences back in our newly refurbished theatre.”
To nurture creatives and to encourage a more diverse industry, Park Theatre will be offering free workshops, called Park Sessions, for underrepresented voices in July. The schedule – soon to be announced following its postponement from original dates in January – will cover a range of topics from fundraising to devising to lighting. Led by experts in their fields, these in person workshops (virtual tickets also available) are free to those who identify as working class, working class LGBTQ+, D/deaf or disabled, and those from a culturally diverse heritage.
Park Theatre presents exceptional theatre in the heart of Finsbury Park, boasting two world-class performance spaces: Park200 for predominantly larger scale productions by established talent, and Park90, a flexible studio space, for emerging artists. In eight years, it has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty-five national tours, four Olivier Award nominations, has won Offie Awards for Best New Play and Best Foodie Experience and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage. Park Theatre are grateful to all those who have donated to the Park Life fund, supporting the venue through the pandemic.
Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
August – November
www.parktheatre.co.uk | 020 7870 6876*
*No booking fee online. Telephone booking fee applies.
By Tori Allen-Martin | Directed by Christa Harris (Act 1: Digital) | Co-directed by Sarah Henley & Timothy O’Hara (Act 2: Live)
Cast includes: Tori Allen Martin & Tim Bowie
Presented by Park Theatre with the support of Arts Council England
Digital (Act 1): 22 June – 14 Aug
Live (Act 2): 4 – 14 Aug
Sometimes conversations are just better had face-to-face. Liv and Theo know that. They used to be each other’s ride-or-die but that was back then… After more than a year of distance from their situationship, it’s time to talk – so they reconnect online.
What happened to being mates? How’s his new life working out? Why did she just vanish? These are big questions for small screens. Will meeting up in person on ‘their’ park bench reignite an old flame or finally put out the flickering embers of feelings?
Park Bench is an innovative digital-come-live-theatre play by Tori Allen-Martin. Commissioned by Park Theatre during lockdown with the concept of creating a piece of drama that audiences follow from a digital first act online to a live second act on our Park200 stage.
Act One: online | FREE
Act Two: Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri 7pm & 8.30pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 3pm and evening 7.30 | £10 – £7.50 | Running time: 50 mins (approx.)
Captioned 12 Aug 7.30pm
When Darkness Falls
By James Milton & Paul Morrissey | Directed by Paul Morrissey
Presented by Paul Morrissey Ltd, Christopher Wheeler and Molly Morris in association with Jason Haigh-Ellery, Glynis Henderson Productions, Dawn Smalberg, Bev Ragovoy and Park Theatre
18 Aug – 4 Sept
When Darkness Falls is the brand new spine-chilling ghost story that delivers a twisted, terrifying and thrilling tale that will haunt you forever.
Set on the island of Guernsey, When Darkness Falls tells the story of a teacher who runs the local Historical Society. Tonight, as part of the weekly Vlog, a young paranormal expert is giving a talk on the island’s incredible folklore and paranormal history. As the teacher films, the speaker regales horrifying stories. Stories that can only occur on a small, isolated island. Tonight, the teacher will learn exactly what happens when the wind blows, the seas swell and darkness falls.
Based on true events, this powerful new production by James Milton and Paul Morrissey draws us into dark pasts, revealing disturbing truths and unforgettable terrors that never die.
Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 3pm | £27 – £18.50 | Running time: 90 mins (approx.)
Captioned 28 Aug 7.30pm
Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) £10 tickets 18 – 21 Aug
39 and Counting
By Shireen Mula | Directed by Gemma Aked-Priestley
Cast includes Oxford School of Drama One Year Acting Course
Presented by The Oxford School of Drama
8 – 11 Sept
39 and Counting features 18 characters who loved women that were killed by men. They are the brothers, sisters, best friends, nieces, nephews and cousins of the deceased whose lives have been disrupted and torn apart by violence. 18 characters navigating their way through the trauma. Wanting justice to be done, the grief to end and to reach a place of acceptance. To feel in control again.
Written by Shireen Mula (Why is the Sky Blue? Southwark Playhouse) and directed by Gemma Aked-Priestley (My Dad’s Blind, Abbey Theatre/Irish Tour) this shattering new play aims to dispel many of the myths around violence to women and puts the violence we do not speak about absolutely centre stage.
Performed by the Oxford School of Drama One-Year Acting Course graduates, this is a great opportunity to see emerging talent from one of the UK’s top Drama Schools. Graduates of this course include the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Claire Foy; BAFTA nominee Babou Ceesay; Eastern Eye Best Actress Award winner Kiran Sonia Sawar and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd.
Weds – Sat 7.30pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 3pm | £15 – £10 | Running time: 90 mins (approx.)
Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) £10 tickets 8 – 11 Sep
A Place for We
By Archie Maddocks | Directed by Michael Buffong
Park Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company present the World Premiere
7 Oct – 6 Nov
A pub. A funeral parlour. An urban-zen enoteca and conscious eatery. One building in Brixton tells the story of London’s changing communities over three very different generations.
Trinidadian funeral director Clarence and fifth generation pub owner George don’t want things to change. But everything around them is changing. Do they adapt to survive? Or stay true to their roots and risk it all… family, tradition, business?
In the wake of the Windrush scandal, Archie Maddocks‘ bittersweet comedy holds a mirror up to the ever-changing face of London’s communities in search of their common beating heart.
A Place for We was shortlisted in 2017 for both the Bruntwood Prize and Alfred Fagon Award, it was first performed as a staged reading at Talawa Firsts 2018 and is directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director Michael Buffong.
Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 3pm | £32.50 – £15 | Running time: 2hr 15 (approx.)
Audio described 20 Oct 19.30, Touch Tour 18.00 | Captioned 28 Oct 19.30
Park Up (16-26 yrs) £10 tickets 7 – 13 Oct
Double Bill: Say it, Women 12 Oct – 6 Nov
Two stories celebrating women’s strength
Women – rejoice in our time to say it, own it, share it. In this Park Theatre first, the Say it, Women double bill features two untold stories celebrating women’s strength. Two plays that not only find an unheard female voice, but sing it from the rooftops, beaconing the listener. Book for both shows with our multi buy offer.
Written and Directed by Catherine Cranfield
Cast includes: Elizabeth Hammerton& Iona Champain
Presented by Theatre Unlocked in association with Grace Dickson Productions and Park Theatre
12 Oct – 6 Nov
When Marnie is diagnosed with a rare medical condition, she and younger sister Jen grapple to come to terms with its life-changing impacts.
Flushed is a play about the everlasting bond developed between the cubicle walls.
Theatre Unlocked are proud to present Flushed – a multi award-winning (53Two ‘FOUNDation’ Award, 2018, Voice Magazine ‘Pick of the Fringe’ Award, 2018), five-star play, set entirely in various different bathrooms. It’s a unique and important story, with a lot of humour and a lot of heart.
Catherine Cranfield is a writer and director, who wrote Flushed after graduating from the University of Manchester in 2017. Since then, Flushed has toured venues such as the Barbican Centre, as part of Fertility Fest 2019, and Underbelly, for the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. In 2019, Catherine completed an MA in Theatre Directing from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Theatre Unlocked was founded by Elis Shotton and Catherine Cranfield in Manchester in 2017. Since then, the two have been working to create and promote exciting and essential new writing. Theatre Unlocked’s other work includes Zucchini by Elis Shotton, which premiered at Manchester’s 53Two Theatre.
Mon – Sat 7.15pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 3.15pm | £12.50 or £20 for both shows | Running time: 60 mins (approx.)
Captioned 4 Nov 7.15pm
Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) £10 tickets 12 – 18 Oct
By Amantha Edmead | Directed by Euton Daley
Cast includes Amantha Edmead and Angie ‘Amra’ Anderson
Presented by Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective in association with Park Theatre
18 Oct – 6 Nov
When one woman tells of her extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti-slavery movement. Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom. Mary’s words of the harsh realities of enslavement and how it felt to be separated from family, loved ones and to be owned, bought and sold gave voice to those that are often silent, silenced, ignored or spoken for. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage.
A forgotten true story told through theatre, song, live drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot.
Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective share and celebrate African and Caribbean heritage, culture experience and stories.
Mon – Sat 8.30pm, Thurs & Sat matinees 4.30pm | £12.50 or £20 for both shows | Running time: 60 mins (approx.)
Captioned 4 Nov 8.30pm
Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) £10 tickets 18 – 23 Oct