Stella Powell-Jones directs Timberlake Wertenbaker’s adaptation of Henri-Pierre Roché’s autobiographical wartime novel Jules and Jim at Jermyn Street Theatre.
Sex Education star Patricia Allison is to take the role of Kath. The star of the hit Netflix comedy drama series will be joined by Samuel Collings as Jules and Alex Mugnaioni as Jim in this romantic and emotionally compelling world premiere.
Directed by Stella Powell-Jones in her first production as Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, Jules and Jim charts three friends over three decades, in one great story of love.
Exploring the themes of love, fidelity and obsession, Jules and Jim tells a story of what it is to live with honesty and freedom at whatever cost.
You’re directing Jules and Jim, what can you tell us about the play?
It’s such a thrill to be directing a world premiere by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Jules and Jim tells the story of three people Kath, Jules and Jim. The trio meet in Paris in 1907. They’re coming of age in a strange, unsettled time. Against a backdrop of war, this trio dedicate their lives to love. This is a great adventure that takes place over three decades and roams all over Europe.
What was it about Timberlake Wertenbaker’s adaptation of Henri-Pierre Roché’s autobiographical wartime novel that really appealed to you as a director?
Timberlake is obviously one of the living writers who’s had most impact on British theatre. But I think talking about her stature in those terms sort of makes it about the past. And the thing about Timberlake’s writing is that it’s electric NOW. Her writing disarms, reveals itself, surprises. We’ve been so lucky to have Timberlake in the room throughout.
This is your first production as Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, what are you enjoying most about the role?
Having always been a freelancer, one of the great privileges of this job is to invite artists in and to give them a home where they can tell the stories they want to tell. We’re such a small team and the work we make is inherently personal. I want Jermyn Street Theatre to be a place where the artists and audience can find a home in one another.
And what have you found most challenging?
As a Freelancer, as I was for many years, makes you feel like you’re always banging on the door and getting someone to answer your questions. Being inside a building you have a responsibility to ‘open the door’ as wide as possible. In the current climate it’s clear that it’s harder than ever for people to even get to the door, never mind bang on it. Our Creative Associates programme recognises the need to create more routes into the industry. Theatre will perish without new voices.
What can you tell us about the cast of Jules and Jim?
Patricia Allison plays Kath, Samuel Collings plays Jules and Alex Mugnaioni plays Jim. They’re agile, magnetic, playful and have formed such a close company. They’re storytellers in their bones.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see Jules and Jim?
I’d say it’s a play to see if you need to be reminded of just how wondrous life can be…
Jules and Jim is at Jermyn Street Theatre from 24 April to 27 May. For tickets – 020 7287 2875 and online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk