Dated: 07/01/2016 Writer Torben Betts who has penned Northern Stage's dark and stylish new Northern Stage adaptation of Get Carter which opens in Newcastle (12 Feb - 5 March)  #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

The Original Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds will present the first national tour of Torben Betts’s INVINCIBLE, directed by Christopher Harper. The tour will begin at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds on 30 March.

With the recession biting hard, Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England. One night, they open their doors to their next door neighbours, Dawn and Alan. Over the course of a disastrous evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art, class and culture collide, resulting in consequences that are both tragic and hilarious.

Torben Betts said of the new production of his play, “I’ve always been impressed by Original Theatre Company. I’m delighted they are touring INVINCIBLE this year. It is, amongst other things, a play about the North/South divide so it will be interesting to see what audiences away from and north of London make of it.”

INVINCIBLE had its world premiere at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond in 2014 and transferred later that same year to St James Theatre, London. It received great critical acclaim.

Torben Betts was born in Lincolnshire and studied at Liverpool University. He became the resident dramatist at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1999. Poet and dramatist Liz Lochhead said Betts “is just about the most original and extraordinary writer of drama we have.” His play The Unconquered won Best New Play 2006/07 at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. 2015 saw a revival of his acclaimed 2012 play Muswell Hill at London’s Park Theatre, his latest work, What Falls Apart, opened at Newcastle’s Live Theatre, and his version of Chekhov’s The Seagull was staged at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.  He has adapted Get Carter for Northern Stage in Newcastle, where it opens in February this year, before embarking on a major national tour.

Director Christopher Harper is an Associate of the Original Theatre Company and directed their 2011 production of See How They Run. As an actor, he recently finished playing Benedick on a world tour of Much Ado About Nothing for the Globe, and starred as Victoria Wood’s son, Cliff Last, in the television film Housewife 49.

Christopher Harper said of INVINCIBLE, “In 2009, I was in a very dark and edgy play of Torben’s about a man and wife moving in together, just as my wife and I first moved in together.  And she was cast as the wife! INVINCIBLE is lighter and a brilliant, fast-moving story, but Torben’s uncanny ability to depict life and find both the dark and the hysterically funny hasn’t changed.  We all know people like the four in INVINCIBLE.  When you watch you’ll have your head in your hands, you’ll cover your eyes, you’ll grip your seat and punch the air.  It’s a masterpiece of comic timing, one-liners and heart-breaking loss.”

INVINCIBLE will be designed by Victoria Spearing, with sound by Dominic Bilkey. The national tour is produced by Tom Hackney for The Original Theatre Company and Adrian Grady for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Karen Simpson, Director of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, said, “Theatre Royal is delighted to be co-producing with Original Theatre again following our successful collaboration with Three Men in a Boat.  Torben Betts’s play is a great piece of new writing from one of the UK’s most talented contemporary playwrights and we are really excited about touring it nationally.”

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30 March – 2 April                     Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds                                             

                                                                               01284 769505

5 – 9 April                                 Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford                              

                                                                       01483 440000

12 – 14 April                              Hull Truck Theatre

                                                                                 01482 323638

19 – 23 April                              New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich              

                                                                         01473 295900

26 – 27 April                              South Hill Park, Bracknell

                                                                         01344 484 123

28 – 30 April                              Mercury Theatre, Colchester                            

                                                                       01206 573948

2 – 4 May                                  Gala Theatre, Durham

                                                                            03000 266600

6 – 7 May                                  Stamford Arts Centre

                                                                   01780 763203

10 – 14 May                              Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

                                                                 01323 412000   

17 – 21 May                              Birmingham Repertory Theatre                      

                                                                      0121 236 4455 

23 – 24 May                              Theatre Royal Winchester                                

                                                            01962 840440

26 – 28 May                              Key Theatre, Peterborough

                                                               01733 207239

7 – 11 June                               Exeter Northcott Theatre                                  

                                                                       01392 726 363

14 – 18 June                             Festival Theatre, Malvern                                            

                                                                     01684 892277