The cast has been announced for the thought-provoking triptych coming to The Old Red Lion, spearheaded by award-winning Simon Stephens’ (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) soul-stopping Nuclear War, with the harrowing Buried and the darkly comic Graceland.
Directed by Alexander Knott, Nuclear War will be brought to life by Zöe Grain (Oneness, Southwark Playhouse; Hedgehog, BoxLess; LOOP, tour) and Freya Sharp (Cockroached, Pleasance; Twelfth Night, Box Clever Theatre; A Christmas Carol, Albany Theatre). This revival of Stephens’ suggestive and experimental Nuclear War follows a woman trying to experience everything life has to offer, just to feel something again.
Based on the nerve-racking true story of Max Spencer who was buried alive in World War II, Buried, written by Max’s son David Spencer, will be performed by Max’s grandson James Demaine (Bath, The Bread & Roses Theatre; LOOP, tour; Beauty and the Beast, Square Chapel Arts Centre). This groundbreaking anti-war play takes an honest look at the human condition.
Darkness looms over the classroom in Graceland, by emerging talent Max Saunders-Singer, which will be performed by TV regular Anthony Cozens (Doctor Who, Sherlock and The Last Kingdom, BBC). Pushed to the edge by his wife – and Elvis Presley – Cozens’ overworked and harassed science teacher is just one small spark away from combustion.
These plays find commonality in the exploration of human suffering and how we survive the unimaginable, resonating with today’s fraught social divisions in a not-so-United Kingdom.
Alexander Knott, Artistic Director of The Old Red Lion, comments, I’m thrilled to bring together an exceptional cast from across BoxLess, Bag of Beard and Grindstone. Zoe & Freya are hugely physical performers and encapsulate the fusion of text and movement that BoxLess strives for. Buried was written for James, and as grandson of the protagonist of Buried, this hugely prescient, family story can only be told by him. Finally, we’re thrilled to be working with Anthony Cozens, who will bring an edge of unsettling mania to a darkly comic monologue.
The triptych is a new model for The Old Red Lion, following current demand for ‘box-set theatre’, with a world-renowned playwright to support brilliant emerging talent, while building a new way of seeing and supporting new writing.