Arcola Theatre today announces the full cast for the London première of The Cutting Edge, a tragicomedy about life, money and art written and directed by Jack Shepherd.
The play stars James Clyde (Peter), Michael Feast (Zak), Jasmine Hyde (Anna), Maggie Steed (Elvira) and David Sturzaker (Chris). The creative team includes Louie Whitemore (Designer), Richard Williamson (Lighting Designer) and Lex Kosanke (Sound Designer).
Previews begin on 13 February, and the run ends on 21 March 2020.
Olivier Award-winner Jack Shepherd has collaborated with Arcola as an actor, writer and director over 20 years. Jack originally studied at art school before becoming an actor, and this brand new play examines the impact of the rise of commercialism on art and life.
It is the follow-up to his acclaimed 1998 play Half Moon, about London’s bohemian artists during the Falklands war. One of those artists, Elvira Bentham, is depicted several years later in The Cutting Edge, visiting a couple who have chosen to abandon art criticism for a self-sustainable life in the country.
The Cutting Edge opens Arcola Theatre’s 20th anniversary season, a year-long programme which includes new work by Barney Norris, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Leyla Nazli, David Farr and Tena Štivičić, and from a new generation of writers. Tickets for the 2020 Season start from £12, with over 27,000 tickets available for £20 or less across the year, plus Pay What You Can tickets every Tuesday.
Writer and director of The Cutting Edge Jack Shepherd said: “I studied art at the University of Durham from 1958 to 1962, under Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. When I started, the predominant influence was Pasmore’s and his essentially constructivist style. By the time I left, the building was filled with brightly-coloured pictures like Hamilton’s – straight out of American pop art. A spirit had been unleashed which was increasingly about capital and the market; adverts, poster art and celebrity. The Cutting Edge is my attempt to understand what happened to me in that period of education, and to evaluate the modernist movement in art.”
Arcola’s co-founder and Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said: “Jack Shepherd is an exceptional theatre maker and one of the people who helped to shape Arcola’s first two decades, so it is very special that he will be opening our 20th anniversary season. I can’t wait to welcome him back to Arcola with this new play which asks important questions about the value of art in our society.”