A trio of new Made at Curve productions for 2020 have been revealed, with an enchanting musical, classic drama and brand new dance piece set to take to the theatre’s stages.
The announcements were made by Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster at Curve’s Season Preview event, where audiences enjoyed exclusive discussions and performances at the theatre.
Speaking about Curve’s plans for 2020 productions, Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster said: “Diversity and eclecticism sit at the heart of our theatre and city and we are excited to present a new slate of projects stretching across 2020.
“Alongside our already announced shows, we are thrilled to announce the return of Associate Artist Aakash Odedra with a brand new Curve co-commission, Samsara. And it’s made all the more exciting by Aakash’s collaboration with Chinese artist Hu Shenyuan.
“Musicals continue to play a huge part in our journey and Kirsten Guenther & Paul Blake’s adaptation of Roman Holiday will bring Italian chic, the great songs of Cole Porter and a bit of la dolce vita to our stage this summer.
“It’s been a joy working with Royal Theatrical Support Trust, colleagues at English Touring Theatre, Rose Theatre Kingston and Alexandra Palace and we are delighted to be working with rising star director Anthony Almeida on his bold reimagining of Williams’s magnificent play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
From 15 Jul – 1 Aug, Curve will create a brand new UK premiere production of musical Roman Holiday, based on the 1953 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Directed by Nikolai Foster (West Side Story, White Christmas), the musical will feature songs from American Composer Cole Porter including Easy to Love, Just One Of Those Things and Night and Day.
Roman Holiday’s book is written by Kirsten Guenther and Paul Blake. Blake’s previous work includes the book for White Christmas. Speaking about this announcement he said:
“I, Paramount and the Cole Porter Estate are so honored that the UK premiere of Roman Holiday will be at the Curve Theatre in Leicester and that it will be directed by Nikolai Foster. Years ago I co-wrote Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and this Christmas I got to see first-hand the loving care and joy Nikolai’s direction brought to that show. I’m sure Roman Holiday is in the hands of one of England’s best directors and theatres – I couldn’t be happier.”
Adapted from the Oscar-winning film, Roman Holiday is a whirlwind 24-hour adventure of romance, European old-world glamour and royal charm, as a privileged princess escapes her diplomatic dinners and duties whilst on a tour of Europe.
A chance encounter with an American reporter sends the royal rebel on a scooter ride through Rome. Whilst Princess Anne enjoys her first taste of freedom – his first thought is a career-changing tabloid scoop at the Princess’s expense.
This Made at Curve musical captures the golden age of Hollywood on stage, as the Princess and her not-so-Prince Charming experience la dolce vita in one magical and unforgettable day.
It was also announced that Anthony Almeida, winner of the 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award, will direct a production of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with set and costume design by Rosanna Vize (Hedda Gabler, Sherman Theatre). A Made at Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston, English Touring Theatre (ETT) and Alexandra Palace co-production supported by grant funding from the Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST), the drama will run at Curve 11 – 26 Sep. The production will then visit Alexandra Palace and Rose Theatre Kingston ahead of a UK tour.
On a sweltering Mississippi night, the lies are as stifling as the heat.
Maggie has fought up from poverty, only to find herself in a passionless, burning marriage. Her husband Brick, a former pro footballer, drinks to drown out the hurt he has bottled up inside.
When the entire Pollitt family meet for Big Daddy’s 65th birthday, the claws are out. As shattering truths threaten to spiral out of control, the family set out to protect themselves, and each other, from falling apart.
This bold new revival of Tennessee Williams’s lyrical Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a blazing portrayal of what it takes to survive in a society where we’re all desperate to feel free.
Curve is also co-commissioning a new major dance collaboration from Curve Associate Artist Aakash Odedra and Hu Shenyuan, two of the greatest champions of culturally-specific dance forms from their respective countries of origin, India and China. The international tour of Samsara from the Aakash Odedra Company and Bagri Foundation, co-commissioned with Birmingham Hippodrome, begins in Melbourne, Australia this March and comes to Curve 20 – 21 October.
Enter the world of Samsara and journey through the vast histories, philosophies and cultures of China and India.
Created and performed by Curve Associate Artist Aakash Odedra (UK/India) and Hu Shenyuan (China), Samsara merges mythological storytelling with personal anecdotes. The piece is inspired by the 16th century classic Chinese novel Journey to the West which depicts the epic journey of a monk’s travels through China and India in search of original Buddhist scripture.
Samsara is a touching story of cultural exchange, drawing upon ballet, Chinese folk, kathak and contemporary dance.
Anand Bhatt, Aakash Odedra Company’s producer, said: “When two exceptional dancers like Aakash and Hu make a decision to work together, it really feels like you had the best day in the office. This very special project exemplifies the creative case for diversity. Aakash and Hu will work with exceptional collaborators and we are very excited by the range of international and home partners and supporters engaging with us. In particular support from London-based Bagri Foundation has enabled us to work with exceptional artistic collaborators and given us technical resources we would not otherwise have had. Our other partners in England include Arts Council England, Curve in Leicester (always special as it is where we started and we are based in the City); Birmingham Hippodrome (Aakash’s original home town) and the Royal Ballet in London.”
Curve also revealed that its hit Made at Curve production of Hairspray would be returning on 20 – 29 August to open a new UK tour.
Tickets for all shows go on sale to Curve Friends and Supporters Tue 14 Jan, Members Wed 15 Jan, Groups Fri 17 Jan and on general sale on 21 Jan, all at 12pm.
For more information and to book, visit www.curveonline.co.uk
Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz