Hampstead Theatre has announced the remaining two world premieres for its Downstairs space in 2021.
Katie Mitchell will direct Miriam Battye’s compelling adaptation of little scratch. Adapted from Rebecca Watson’s debut novel, little scratch is a fearless and exhilarating account of a woman’s consciousness over the course of 24 hours. Moronkẹ Akinola, Eleanor Henderson, Eve Ponsonby and Ragevan Vasan will perform in this production from 5 November until 11 December.
The theatre’s Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert, will direct Nell Leyshon’s new play Folk. Inspired by a true story and set in Leyshon’s home county of Somerset, this beautiful new play will feature live folk song. Ben Allen, Sasha Frost, Mariam Haque and Simon Robson will perform in Folk from 18 December until 5 February 2022.
Tickets will go on sale from Wednesday 6 October at 10.30am at hampsteadtheatre.com.
Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre and director of Folk said: “Sound takes centre stage in both of our new Downstairs shows, as we welcome audiences to full capacity in the studio. When Katie Mitchell suggested I read Rebecca Watson’s debut novel Little Scratch, I was unprepared for how dazzled I would be by its form and sensibility. I am so excited to see how this extraordinary trio, which now includes the brilliant playwright Miriam Battye, bring this compelling story to life onstage.
Folk, is a play with a lot of local resonance for us given that Cecil Sharpe House, the first dedicated folk arts centre in the UK named as a memorial to him, is just down the road from us in Camden. It’s also a very personal story to Nell who was brought up in the same village as Louie Hooper who furnished Sharpe with 300 folk songs and we’re lucky to have members of the cast and the creative team also from that village. It’s my privilege to collaborate with them in bringing to the stage a rural culture and voice that is rarely seen or heard and which asks pressing contemporary questions about nationalism and national identity.”
Rebecca Watson writer of little scratch said: “I am so thrilled that little scratch has been adapted for stage. I’m a long-time fan of Katie Mitchell and have always thought of my novel as a kind of performance so this is a real dream for me. I can’t wait to see what Katie, Miriam and the team come up with.”
Nell Leyshon, playwright of Folk said: “Folk was inspired by the true story of two sisters who lived near my village, in the landscape which has influenced much of my work. I am so excited to be returning to Hampstead Theatre where I’ve loved working over many years, and look forward to seeing what Roxana and the incredible cast and team bring to the script.”