SHE

A new play by Anthony Clark

Directed by Maddy Corner and Poppy Sutch

Designed by Jessica Curtis, Lighting Amy Mae, Sound Federica Lippi

 

‘If she could find herself, she could be herself.
Be whoever she wanted to be’

 

 

 

Will ‘She’ ever stop the baby crying, exact revenge on the school bully, fall in love and be loved, protest to change the world, accept professional advice, come to terms with an unexpected illness, and grow old with dignity?

 

Loosely inspired by The Seven Ages of Man speech in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, SHE comprises 7 short plays, in which two young women of mixed heritage, play fourteen different parts.

 

Each scene tells a separate story. Each is written in a different style - the tone veering from the intriguing to the wildly humorous, from the unsettling to the reassuring.

 

For further information about the play and a script please contact:

TheatreAccord@gmail.com

 

 

THE STORY SO FAR

 

SHE, produced by THEATRE ACCORD in Partnership with TARA ARTS   and in association with THE BELGRADE COVENTRY and THE PRODUCTION EXCHANGE with financial support from the Arts Council, was booked to tour for four weeks in the Autumn of 2019. It was postponed twice because of Covid before I decided to rethink the project, in the light of what was going on in the world politically, and changes to the artistic leadership of two of our partners, The Belgrade, Coventry and Tara Theatre.

 

The play has been substantially rewritten after further development work with two early- career directors, Maddy Corner and Poppy Sutch, a few different actors, and the designer Jessica Curtis. I have decided to stand down as director and Maddy and Poppy will share the seven scenes between them. This is in line with Theatre Accord’s avowed policy to support young freelance artists who share the company’s ethos.  I will have more of an artistic-producer role. Apart from me the whole creative team will now be female. (Anthony Clark)

 

Target Audiences:

 

Experience seekers

People from as many constituencies as can be encouraged to come!

BAME audiences

Secondary Schools, Further Education Colleges and Universities

Mothers, daughters, sisters

Drama Schools and Youth Theatres

New Work Enthusiasts

14+

 

RUNNING TIME

2hrs including interval

 

THEATRE ACCORD

Founded in 2016 by director / playwright Anthony Clark, the company is committed to progressing inclusivity and representation, through the presentation of challenging stories full of real hope. The company celebrates the imagination and pushes boundaries with its innovative high-quality work.

 

Its inaugural production was an adaptation of Paradise of the Assassins by Abdul Halim Sharar, commissioned by Tara Arts, and was a co-pro with Tara, Theatre Accords and the Belgrade.

 

Cast included:

Rina Fatania, Ralph Birtwhistle, Asif Khan, Karl Seth, Skye Hallam, Tripti Tripuraneni, Mitesh Soni

 

It was designed by Matilde Marangoni with original music by Danyal Dhondy.

 

What the Press said about Paradise of the Assassins:

 

“Anthony Clark’s intriguing adaptation creates an entire world in a small space, and the performances ensure that we relate to the story rather than simply see it as a remote fable from long ago” The Guardian

“A potent love story…Parallels with current extremism are all too apparent, with very strong performances”. The Stage

 “A superb piece, especially outstanding is Clark’s adaptation and direction, revealing an analysis of terrorist extremism, with humour, music and philosophy to form a thought-provoking and highly entertaining work.” The Upcoming

“There is great resonance in the play with events happening in the world today. Paradise of Assassins is an ambitious almost Shakespearean grand adventure”.   London Theatre 1

“You cannot help but think of today’s recruits to terrorism”.  British Theatre Guide

 “Paradise of the Assassins brings the ancient and the modern together in spectacular form.”  Lemington Spa Courier

 

TARA ARTS

Established with a clear mission to connect worlds following the racist murder in London of 17-year old Gurdip Singh Chaggar in June 1976, the company’s inaugural production – Sacrifice, by Rabindranath Tagore – was staged in August 1977 at Battersea Arts Centre. Directed by founder-member and long-time Artistic Director, Jatinder Verma. The Company’s new Artistic Director Abdul Shayek was appointed in 2020. The name ‘Tara’ was chosen because its meaning in several languages connects with the company’s mission. In Hindustani/Urdu, the word means ‘star’. In Buddhism, it is the name of the Goddess of Love and Art. While in Irish culture, the Hill of Tara was an ancient seat of power. In September 2016, London Mayor Sadiq Khan opened the new Tara Theatre – the country’s first multi-cultural theatre building, committed to promoting cross-cultural theatre. Across four decades, the company has produced a remarkable range of work for modern audiences, encouraging and helping develop the talents of diverse artists, producing 4 shows with the National Theatre.It has toured extensively around the UK and overseas, recently leading on the ground-breaking 3-year initiative, Black Theatre Live – a consortium of 8 theatres committed to touring BAME work around the country.

 

 “Over the years Tara Arts has proved itself a uniquely seductive British theatre company. Its blend of East and West continues to inspire an alluring vision of modern Britain”

Hanif Kureishi CBE

This is TARA’s second collaboration with THEATRE ACCORD.

“The Tara spell seldom falters”

Financial Times

 

 

 

CREATIVE TEAM:

Anthony Clark (Artistic Producer/Writer) is a multi-award-winning director/writer with over four decades of experience. His jobs have included two years as Resident Director at The Orange Tree Theatre, London; six years as Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester; twelve years as Associate, and then Artistic Associate Director at The Birmingham Rep and seven years as Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, London. Throughout his career he has freelanced extensively including at The National Theatre, RSC, Bristol Old Vic, The Young Vic, Nottingham Playhouse, Watford Palace, Leicester Haymarket and Tara Arts. He is the founder of Theatre Accord.

His writing credits include: PARADISE OF THE ASSASSINS (2016 Theatre Accord & Tara Arts National Tour) OUR BROTHER DAVID (Watford Palace 2012)  NAKED NOT NUDE (Linbury Studio LAMDA 2014 & Platform Theatre, CSM 2018), THE EIGHTH CONTINENT (Tristan Bates 2013)  Earlier plays include: THE POWER OF DARKNESS  trans Tolstoy(The Orange Tree1983), WAKE (The Orange Tree 1983)TIDE MARK (RSC Pit Thought Crimes Festival1984) GREEN (Contact Theatre1985)MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (50th Anniversary Lorca Lyttleton Theatre NT 1986) And several adaptations for children including THE LITTLE PRINCE (Contact Theatre), the award winning RED BALLOON (Contact, BOV, Olivier Theatre NT) THE PIED PIPER, PINOCCHIO, WINNIE THE WITCH (Birmingham Rep), LITTLE WOLF’S BOOK OF BADNESS (Hampstead Theatre). Several of plays have been published and produced throughout Britain and internationally. THE RED BALLOON was produced as a Boxing Day Special on Radio 4.

 

Poppy Sutch (Director) has recently completed an integrated MA in directing at the Drama Centre, where she directed for the stage and film. Whilst at the DCL she assisted professional directors Donnacadh O’Briain on WE LIVE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT (London Tour supported by Ice and Fire) and Owen Horsley on THIS RESTLRESS HOUSE, Michelle Chadwick on ROAD, Harry Burton on DEALING WITH CLAIRE, and David Jackson on THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR. She has co-founded her own company Scorn’er Theatre. Their debut show ‘RIGHT, SO BABES…’ was due to be performed at the Space Theatre, Isle of Dogs, but because of Covid was filmed. Poppy has just completed a short film: A WOMAN SAT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SWIMMING POOL (2022). She is interested in classical and contemporary theatre, and social realist cinema. Her work focuses on the female gaze – looking at stories through women’s experience.

 

Maddy Corner’s (Director) work is inherently political, with a strong emphasis on female experience and telling underrepresented stories. In 2018 she founded Wove, a theatre company specialising in verbatim. Their debut production, MOTHER [singular] was hailed as being ‘visionary’ for its portrayal of single mothers through their own words. After sell-out shows in London, they are planning to tour the play around the UK. In 2019, her play SHE, created with young people from Croydon, received 4 star reviews  at  the Edinburgh Fringe.  With Poppy Sutch she co-founded Scorn’er Theatre. In the lockdown, they made a film about female sexuality called ‘Right, So Babes’ which was screened as part of The Space Theatre’s Locked Down Looking Up online season.  In her training at Drama Centre she has assisted the following professional directors, Kane Husband’s  DOIYOU SEE ME, Richard Williams THE PLAGUE,  and Michelle Chadwick ROAD. Her production of TRADE was accepted for this years Vaults Festival (2022) but at short notice, because of covid was transferred to the Omnibus Theatre., where it sold out, and received four star reviews.

 

 

Jessica Curtis (Designer)

Jess is a set and costume designer for theatre, opera and ballet. She trained at the Motley Theatre Design Course and is based in North London.

She was nominated for Design at the UK Theatre Design Awards 2018 for “A Little Night Music” at Storyhouse. Work includes :GENESIS INC. (Hampstead Theatre) LOSING VENICE (The Orange Tree Theatre) UNCLE VANYA (The Almeida) VILLETTE (West Yorkshire Playhouse) ONE FOR THE ROAD, GLASS CAGE, FOLLIES (Royal and Derngate, Northampton) THE HOLY ROSENBERGS (National Theatre) HOTEL CERISE (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) ANOTHER DOOR CLOSED (Theatre Royal Bath) ENDGAME (Liverpool Everyman), DANGEROUS CORNER (West Yorkshire Playhouse and West End), FRANKENSTEIN (Frantic Assembly, Northampton), BURIAL AT THEBES (Nottingham Playhouse/Barbican/US Tour) and RHAPSODY and FANTASY (Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House).

She has also designed the Grovesnor Park Open Air Season 2013- 2016 and the opening season at  Storyhouse, as well as bar interiors for Underbelly at the South Bank, Hyde Park and Leicester Squa

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

SHE’ is a two hander for two female actors of colour. SHE comprises seven stand-alone playlets, on contemporary themes.:

Play 1: SHE. ‘She’ won’t stop crying. Her mother has ‘apocalyptic anxiety’. Her aunt doesn’t know what to do when she discovers the identity of the baby’s father. Themes: mental illness, and what constitutes an act of kindness. Minimal realism. Drama.

Play 2: NUNKHEAD. Two environmentalist Phd students decide to exact revenge on the school bully. Things don’t go according to plan. Themes: Friendship, success, bullying. Black comedy. 

Play 3: LOVERS.  ‘The path of true love never did run smoothly’. And it doesn’t for two young women, who try to struggle with their fears of being taken advantage of. ‘Spoken word poetry’. Themes: Love, betrayal, harassment. Comedy.

Play 4: WARRIORS FOR HUMANITY.  A liberal on a mission to put an end to war  to halt climate change, meets a veteran in an MPs surgery. Themes: idealism, pragmatism and capitulation, climate change.  Drama.

Play 5: MOTHER’S FRIENDS. Fuelled by alcohol, two friends worried that life will pass them by if they don’t do something to change what they’re doing,  arrange a séance with some  remarkable women. Themes: Careers. Remarkable women. A Comedy.

Play 6:  WIDOWED. Two sisters and a sat nav, driving to their Mum’s house have some bad news to break. Themes: Sibling love.  Mothers and daughters. Drama.

Play 7: CHILDISHNESS AND MERE OBLIVION. Two drama students explore the indignities of old age in an improvisation exercise when calamity strikes.  Themes: Old Age. Black Comedy.