Headlong has announced their 2022 Season – the first under new Artistic Director Holly Race Roughan, who will direct two of the upcoming productions this year. The season will celebrate the breadth of Headlong’s work as they present their provocative mix of innovative new writing, reimagined classics and influential 20th Century plays to audiences across the UK.
Holly Race Roughan, Artistic Director of Headlong said: “It has been no easy feat programming in a global pandemic, our industry has been brought to its knees by covid and we collectively continue to fire fight its devastating impact. So it is a privilege to be able to announce a season of work in these times, work that speaks to the political moment, exploits the liveness of theatre and has the audience – who we have sorely missed – at its heart.
We are fiercely committed to making work and collaborating with exceptional talent outside of London and I am proud to be kicking off my first season as Artistic Director with a new work from Liverpool-based playwright Chloe Moss which will see us continue our ongoing relationship with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. It’s a feminist thriller set on a container ship and promises to be a gripping and politically charged night out (did we mention it also has karaoke?).
August Wilson’s psychologically deft and moving portrayal of black male friendship, will be produced at The Old Vic in London under the astonishing direction of Tinuke Craig before it heads out on tour.
Finally, we will be closing the year in a co-production with the Globe as we take the intimate, candle lit Sam Wanamaker on tour, reinterpreting one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays within the context of the current political climate, in a show that embraces the relationship between actor and audience.”
In late Spring, Headlong will present the world premiere of Corrina, Corrina, a new play by Award-winning Liverpool-based playwright Chloe Moss (Run Sister, Run, Love Liverpool), at Liverpool Everyman. Directed by Holly Race Roughan (Metamorphoses) this gripping thriller set at sea explores the exploitation and power dynamics on board a cargo ship travelling from the UK to Singapore. The creative team is completed by Set Designer Moi Tran, Dramaturg Mingyu Lin, Composer and Sound Designer Max Perryment and Lighting and Video Design Josh Pharo. A co-production with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Corrina, Corrina, will have it’s opening night at Liverpool Everyman on the 19 May and run until 4 June.
A groundbreaking modern classic from one of America’s greatest and most ambitious writers, Tinuke Craig’s (The Colour Purple) searing production of August Wilson’s Jitney explores the fragile bond between eight men as they live, love and work in a racially segregated, post-Vietnam America. Jim Becker and his unlicensed drivers take the people of Pittsburgh Hill District where regular taxi cabs won’t venture – healing old wounds and tearing new ones as they pass the time in a condemned taxi rank between pick-ups. Following its premiere at Leeds Playhouse last Autumn, Craig’s critically acclaimed production will have its London premiere at The Old Vic (9 June – 9 July) ahead of runs at Oldham Coliseum Theatre (13 – 16 July), Worthing Connaught Theatre (19 – 23 July) and Bath Theatre Royal (26 – 30 July). A Headlong, Leeds Playhouse and Old Vic co-production.
This Autumn, Headlong will partner for the first time with Shakespeare’s Globe to present a new interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s great works, placing it firmly within the context of the current social/political climate. Directed by Holly Race Roughan, the production will open at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse later this year ahead of a UK tour in 2023.
Headlong works with some of the UK’s finest artists to commission groundbreaking new works for audiences across the country. Artists currently under commission include Winsome Pinnock, Joel Tan, Amanda Wilkin (Headlong’s writer-in-residence 20/21), Morgan Lloyd Malcom, Eve Leigh, Jordan Tannahill, Laura Lomas and Sami Ibrahim. Since 2019 Headlong has delivered gender parity across its commissions with at least one in four new works written by an artist from the global majority. Later this year Headlong will publish the company’s commitments to justice and equality focusing on the climate crisis, gender, class and LGBTQI+ communities. Headlong’s commitments on race and disability are available to view on the company’s website.
Continuing their commitment to support the next generation of theatre makers, Headlong will begin recruitment this Spring for the next wave of Headlong Origins Artists. Now entering its third year, the scheme aims to celebrate and nurture emerging theatre makers from across the UK, outside London. Artists will be invited to work closely with the company for 12 months, during which they will receive mentorship from the Artistic Director and the producing and creative team. The artists will join Headlong’s R&D sessions and workshops, engage with rehearsal processes and see work from theatres across the UK, as they develop their own work and artistic vision. Applications for Headlong Origins 2022 will open on the 7 February.
Playwright and actor Charlie Josephine (Joan, POPS, BLUSH) will join the company as Headlong’s Writer-in-residence for 2022/23. Charlie, whose work places the stories of working class and Queer people centre stage, will join Headlong for a 12 month residency during which they will work closely with the artistic and producing team to dream up a new play for Headlong, which will become a full length commission. Headlong’s Writer-in-residence programme looks to explore how the company can commission work differently, bringing freelance artists into the heart of the organisation, to mutually learn from each other, and help influence, inspire and evolve the way Headlong operates at every level.