New Diorama Theatre c. Richard Davenport
New Diorama Theatre c. Richard Davenport

New Diorama Theatre today announce a new season featuring its most ambitious shows ever from some of its most talented associate companies, and a programming model which could rewrite the rules of relationships between artists and theatres.

New Diorama’s Artistic Director, David Byrne, said: “At New Diorama we’re lucky enough to support many of the UK’s best theatre companies and ensembles.  This season we’re planning to turn the way Off-West End theatre works completely on its head and show what’s possible when companies are fully supported. I’ve had other artistic directors bet me that this new programming model won’t pay off – but when you look at the shows in this season and the ambition of the companies we’re backing, I think it’s paid off already, and then some!

Since announcing this new way of working, we’ve had so many people getting in touch asking how they can help. Well, there’s one way that’ll make a huge difference – book and come see a show, support what we’re doing, the artists we’re championing and the direction we’re going. I promise it’s going to be a blast.” 

The season opens with Nouveau Riche’s Queens of Sheba (4 – 8 September) an all-female show inspired by the scandal of DSTRKT nightclub’s alleged racist door-policy. The show transfers to New Diorama direct from a run at the Edinburgh Fringe, which Nouveau Riche secured being one of the three winners of the 2018 Untapped Award, run by NDT and Underbelly, to provide ground-breaking new support to early-mid career theatre companies wanting to showcase work in Edinburgh. The show is an hilarious and explosive look at misogynoir: where sexism and racism meet.

Deafinitely Theatre return, presenting the first ever bilingual production (English and British sign language) of Sarah Kane’s final play 4.48 Psychosis (18 September – 13 October). This highly stylised, highly subjective portrayal of suicidal depression will have new insight on the rarely discussed intersection between mental health and disability.

Fringe First and Total-Theatre award-winners, Breach Theatre follow with the London premiere of their new show (another Untapped Award winner) It’s True It’s True It’s True (16 October – 10 November). Based on the transcripts of the 1612 rape trial that shook renaissance Rome, Agostino Tassi is accused of raping fellow artist Artemisia Gentileschi, who is tortured for her testimony. An all-female cast lead this razor-sharp court drama as history echoes to us across 400 years.

Award-winning physical and visual theatre pioneers The PappyShow present Boys (27 November – 1 December), an unexpected dive into masculinity and manhood with a nine-strong company of male actors of colour.

2019 opens with Rhum & Clay. The LeCoq inspired creators of cinematic dreamscapes lend their unique eye to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (8 January – 9 February), examining the panic caused by Orson Welles’ legendary radio broadcast as the precursor to our age of fake news and internet trolls.

Peter Brook, Off-West End and Sunday Times Award-winning Kandinsky present Dinomania (19 February – 23 March), a story of the fervour that gripped the nation as scientists tried to explain the first dinosaur bones. The multi award-winning company lend their signature mix of sharp dialogue, unique physicality and original research to a story of scientific endeavour, bitter rivalry and terrible lizards.

Twice nominated for Best Ensemble at the Off-West End awards, Engineer Theatre Collective return to their roots of sharply observed, vigorously researched verbatim theatre with their own distinctive visual style with Keep Watching (2 April – 4 May), tackling the knife-edge debate around surveillance in modern life in a story about watching and being watched.

The final show in this ambitious season come from SpitLip, a new musical theatre collaboration between three members of award-winning comedy-horror masters Kill the Beast – Zoe Roberts, David Cumming and Natasha Hodgson – and glam-punk composer and band leader Felix Hagan, who will combine for an hilarious, action-packed and gloriously musical retelling of the astonishing true story that is Operation Mincemeat (14 May – 15 June) – the daring espionage operation, masterminded by Ian Fleming, centring on how a homeless man’s corpse helped us win World War II.

The season ends with New Diorama’s popular Incoming Festival (24 – 30 June) – details and line-up to be announced later in the year.

For every show in this new season, there are be £3 preview tickets available for those on Job Seeker’s Allowance. New Diorama will also host regular matinee performances for isolated older people in West Euston, allowing them to see every show in their main season free of charge. Thanks to continued support from Arts Council England and Season Sponsor ASOS, more of the season will have access performances than ever before with StageText captioned performances and relaxed shows available across the season. Full details can be found on the New Diorama website.

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