Amazing news has just been announced!
Associate Artist Maxine Peake opens the Royal Exchange’s 40th anniversary season with her portrayal of iconic female protagonist Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE.
This production sees Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom and long-term collaborator Peake join forces once again to tackle one of modern dramas greatest plays. The production opens at the Royal Exchange on the 8 September and runs until 15 October.
Peake said of taking on the role…
Blanche DuBois is a monumental woman, complex, multi-layered and beautifully painted by Williams in this staggering play. Finding out who she is and developing her in a rehearsal room with a brilliant and generous director like Sarah is a thrilling journey to go on. I can’t wait to start.
This production reunites the incredible creative partnership behind acclaimed productions THE SKRIKER, HAMLET (Royal Exchange) and THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY (MIF 2013).
Sarah Frankcom commented…
This is an earthquake of a play that lays bare the extremes and contradictions of being human: desire and love, truth and delusion, hope and despair. I’m thrilled that this production will build on my creative collaboration with Maxine Peake. She’s a rare and fearless actor. I am positive we will create something electrifying for our intimate and unique space.
“Long before that, long before England was an idea, a country of snow and wolves where trees sang and birds talked and people knew we mattered…”
In a broken world, two sisters Lily and Josie meet an extraordinary creature. The Skriker is a shape-shifter, an ancient fairy. She can be an old woman, a child, a man, a death portent. She has come from the Underworld to pursue, seduce and entrap them, through time and space, through this world and her own.
Whilst speaking English in its human incarnations, the Skriker’s own language consists of broken and fragmented word play. Blending naturalism, horror and magical realism, it is a story of love, loss and revenge.
The Skriker….Maxine Peake
Lily…. Danusia Samal
Josie…. Laura Elsworthy
Choir Master…. Stuart Overington
The Hag…. Jessica Walker
Choir….Alaka Prodhun, Charlie Green, Charlotte Beale, Elizabeth Barry, Joanna Griffins, Justina Aina, Olivia Avouris and Rebekah Davies
The Skriker by Caryl Churchill was first produced by The Royal Exchange Theatre as part of the 2015 Manchester International Festival directed by Sarah Frankcom. It was adapted for radio by Caryl Churchill and directed by Sarah Frankcom.
Producer/Susan Roberts for the BBC
EDIT: You can listen to the broadcast on the BBC website again: click me.
Saturday 27 February
BBC RADIO 4 EXTRA
Starring Maxine Peake and Trystan Gravelle, Lilo is Katie Him’s play about love, loss and trying to make sense of the past.
Childhood sweethearts meet up after nearly 20 years, wondering should they have stayed together? But a childhood act of violence somehow attracts and repels them in equal measure.
Trystan and Simone haven’t seen each other for 18 years. They went to school together, grew up together and fell in love, but it ended badly and then Trystan went off to university. To Trystan’s disappointment Simone is still married, to his arch enemy no less – they even have kids.
Trystan has no family but a successful career. They both claim to be happy; they both claim to have no regrets. But as the evening progresses they get down to the heart of the matter. Have they wasted the last 18 years? Should they be together now? And how much did Simone’s childhood act of violence in the swimming pool change the shape of both their lives?
When the pub kicks them out they make their way to Trystan’s hotel room. They have never slept together – are they going to sleep together now?
We meet Trystan and Simone at 11, 18 and 36 and piece together the story of their friendship which seems to have foundered on an incident in the pool that completely alters the course of their lives.
Katie Hims writes for radio, stage and television. She has written on the BBC’s long-running series Casualty as well as penning numerous radio plays, including her award winning debut, Earthquake Girl, which won the Richard Imison Award 1998, and an adaptation of the best selling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
A Sparklab production for BBC Radio
First heard on Radio 4 in 2011.