The Lost Estate present

The world première of


By Juliet Gilkes Romero

Directed by Josie Daxter; Composer: Steffan Ress; Set Design: Abby and Alice

Lighting Design: Matt Whale; Sound Design: Chris Murray; Costume Design: Chloe Doherty

Design Consultants: Elise Edge and Harriet Darling

A secret London location

10 May – 30 June 2019

Following the sell-out success of The Great Christmas FeastThe Lost Estate today announces its latest experience, The Lost Love Speakeasy. Written by award-winning playwright Juliet Gilkes Romero and set within an illicit world built by designers Abby and Alice, it is a Jazz Age tale that sweeps audiences from the African American fishing villages of South Carolina to the glittering lights of Broadway. Woven into the story are classic songs from the era arranged by Steffan Rees, and decadent plates from Temper Restaurants’ Executive Chef Neil Rankin each inspired by this epic journey.

The Lost Love Speakeasy stars Samson Ajewole (Shorty) and April Koyejo-Audiger (Stella). It features music from The Lost Love Rhythm Kings, led by Jamie Cullum’s MD, Rory Simmons, flamboyant prohibition cocktails and dancing till late. Opening at a secret London location on 14 May, with previews from 10 May, and running until 30 June.

It is summer 1929, just months before the end of the Jazz Age.

The Lost Love Speakeasy is Manhattan’s hottest joint, famous for its jazz and glamour, kitchen and cocktails and, above all, its legendary discretion. Stella, the Lost Love’s patroness, together with her house band, The Lost Love Rhythm Kings entertain Hollywood A-listers, sports stars, mobsters and struggling artists alike, creating the city’s most infamous and desired nights out.

Things have gone from strength to strength for Stella. But tonight a ghost from her past appears, conjuring memories of a lost love in the heartlands of the Deep South. As New York is replaced by South Carolina, it turns out Stella was not always the glamorous star she is today…

Enter Manhattan’s infamous secret speakeasy, dress to the nines for one glittering, illicit night and become the beautiful and damned of 1920s New York. Indulge in food from the streets of Manhattan, sip illicit prohibition cocktails and lose yourself in a heart-breaking tale from the height of the Jazz Age.

William Kunhardt, Artistic Director of The Lost Estate, said today, “From Gershwin to Berlin to Armstrong, we’ve always wanted to tell a story with the music of the Roaring ‘20s. When we discovered Neil’s open-fire cooking and fell in love with Juliet’s writing, we knew we had everything we needed to create that experience. We hope – as with all our work – that guests will enjoy both a brilliant night out, live art of the highest quality and a deeply moving story.”

Juliet Gilkes Romero is a playwright and journalist. She has reported for the BBC from countries including Ethiopia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Her theatre credits include Upper CutRazing Cane – which was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award, At the Gates of Gaza – which won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Best Play Award in 2009, Bilad Al-Sudan and the forthcoming The Whip (RSC). Her television credits includeSoon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle. She is also under commission with the Stephen Joseph Theatre and Eclipse Theatre.

Samson Ajewole plays Shorty. His theatre credits include The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre), Damn Yankees (The Landor Theatre), The Life (English Theatre, Frankfurt) and La Cage Aux Folles (UK tour).

April Koyejo-Audiger plays Stella. Her credits include Porgy and Bess (English National Opera) and A Yoruba Opera (Opera in the City Festival). As a soloist she has performed at venues including London Coliseum, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Westminster Cathedral, and the Dutch National Opera.

Josie Daxter directs. As Revival Director her credits include The Magic Flute (Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam/English National Opera/Aix-en-Provence Festival) and A Dog’s Heart (Dutch National Opera/English National Opera/La Scala, Milan/Opéra de Lyon); and as Assistant Director, The Rake’s Progress (Dutch National Opera/Aix-en-Provence Festival). Her Movement Direction credits include Why is the Sky Blue? (Southwark Playhouse) and James and the Giant Peach (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Neil Rankin is London’s leading open fire cook. He is Executive Chef of Temper Restaurants Group, a series of barbecue joints filled with smoking open fire pits, mouth-watering tacos and steak, heady mezcal and fine wines. Rankin honed his skills in many of London’s leading Michelin starred kitchens. He then rose to the top of the open fire scene as Head Chef at both Pitt Cue Co. and The Smokehouse in Islington. He has an Observer Food Award, a place on BBC’s Great British Menu and is author of Low and Slow: How to Cook Meat.

THE LOST ESTATE                                                                                                                                             LISTINGS


A secret London location

10 May – 30 June 2019

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