Alice Hamilton directs the world premiere of Judith Burnley’s Anything That Flies, starring Clive Merrison and Issy van Randwyck.

The Berlin Wall has fallen. German reunification has begun. Otto Huberman – a Jewish inventor and musician – has lived in Belsize Park almost all his life, but his past contains more secrets than he likes to admit. One day, his peaceful life is turned upside down by the arrival of a German visitor.  Judith Burnley’s new play explores what it means to be to be a citizen of nowhere.

Judith Burnley has written best-selling novels including The Wife, Unrepentant Woman, The Woman Herself. This is her first work for the theatre.  We caught up with Issy Van Randwyck to find out more.

You’re starring in Anything That Flies, what can you tell us about the play?

The play is set in London in the very early 1990’s shortly after the Berlin Wall came down.

How did you get involved with the play?

I worked with the new Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, Tom Littler when he directed me in Anyone Can Whistle at Jermyn Street several years ago and when the play came across his desk, I was thrilled that he thought of me and that I have been given the opportunity to work in his inaugural season.

Anything That Flies is Judith Burnley’s first work for the stage, how has her background as a novelist helped when you’ve been rehearsing?

Having a living playwright in the rehearsal room with us, collaborating so closely with our brilliantly talented director, Alice Hamilton, has led to a very organic and creative rehearsal process.  Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of Judith’s novels before and because of the nature of the play, I have to do quite a lot research reading on what life was like in East Germany during the Cold War.  So I’m saving Judith’s novels for when the play is finished!

It’s set at the time of German reunification, what parallels are there with current affairs?

I do feel that there are some parallels with Brexit and the immigrant/refugee debate.  When I initially read the play I was struck by how topical it seemed to be and was amazed to find Judith had written the play 10 years ago.

What are you most looking forward to about performing at The Jermyn Street Theatre?

I have been working at The Jermyn Street Theatre since the mid 90’s in shows such as The Betrayal of Nora Blake, Dead Diva’s, Anyone Can Whistle (as mentioned before), The Jermyn Street Revue, Closer Than Ever to mention but a few shows – so its always like coming home for me.

Anything That Flies is at The Jermyn Street Theatre October 18th – November 11th 2017


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