New Diorama Theatre Announces 2019/20 Season

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

New Diorama Theatre, described by Lyn Gardner as “theatre’s most significant enabler of new talent”, today announces its new season with a diverse and multi-talented range of companies forming a hugely ambitious 2019-20 programme.

On stage the season kicks off with a trilogy of London premieres for the three recipients of New Diorama and Underbelly’s prestigious Untapped Award.

The first to land in London is Barrel Organ’s Conspiracy…or is it? The acclaimed company are renowned for lacing their intelligent and dynamic take on complex social issues with a trademark brand of postmodern chaos and this new show sees them train their distinctive eye on the anatomy of conspiracies, the people who create them and the manner in which they proliferate. (10 Sep – 5 Oct).

Then Burnt Lemon Theatre make their New Diorama main season debut with Tokyo Rose – an electrifying explosion of feminist gig theatre telling the story of Iva Toguri D’Aquino – the woman convicted and then pardoned of treason having been accused of being the infamous Japanese World War II propagandist who gives the show its name. (8-12 Oct)

Rounding off the trilogy is Poltergeist’s freewheeling Ealing-comedy-for-the-stage Art Heist. In which their form-hopping blend of techniques- from experimentation with sound, movement and music, to monologue, to interactive gameplay – converges on a museum where three thieves decide to steal the same painting on the same night. (15-26 Oct)

Following this Deafinitely’s ground-breaking bilingual (BSL and English) production of Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis directed by Definitely Artistic Director Paula Garfield returns to New Diorama after a sold-out run last season. (29 Oct – 6 Nov)

Rounding off the year Breach Theatre follow up their tour de force It’s True It’s True It’s True with a different kind of historical play: alt-festive Christmas show Joan of Leeds – an obscene medieval mystery play with live music, based on the farcical true story of a nun on the run. (3-21 Dec)

Breach have also been announced as a new New Diorama Associate Ensemble alongside Kandinsky and The PappyShow, alongside continuing associates Lost Watch and Rhum and Clay.

2020 launches with the first ever production by new company Holy What – which reunites the creative team behind 2018’s acclaimed A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar): playwright Lulu Raczka and director Ali Pidsley. They present a brand-new Antigone which hands the reins of Sophocles’ classic text to the young people at the heart of the play, creating something messy, irreverent and full of life. (7 Jan – 1 Feb)

In February there’s a London premiere of New Diorama’s in-house production The Incident Room, a thrilling new play about the real-life police investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper murders and how it both gave birth to modern policing and changed British society forever. (11 Feb – 14 March)

Lost Watch then return to New Diorama with Shorts and Socks Included which takes us into the world of football post 1966, and Don Revie’s all-conquering Leeds United FC who are in search of a new kit. With trademark wit, humanity and curveball imagination Lost Watch tell the true story of how a Lindsey, a young art school graduate, helped trigger the dawn of football’s transformation from mere sport to commercial juggernaut. (31 March – 2 May)

Rounding off the season is new associate ensemble The PappyShow whose totally unique mix of play-inspired physicality, vibrant and poignant direct address and irrepressible, fun-filled energy created hit shows BOYS and GIRLS. They now turn their attention to death in brand new show Wait til the End. (19 May – 6 June), directed by Kane Husbands, written by Aaron Gordon.

New Diorama’s Radical Programming Model was the winner of The Stage Innovation Award in 2019 and this year sees it continue, after their 2018/19 Season played to record audiences and an over-all capacity of over 90%.

New Diorama continues to strengthen links with their local community and, as part of the season, are guaranteeing a free ticket for every Primary school child in West Euston to see an ensemble-led show, specifically for young audiences. Production to be announced.

Finally, following a hit run of their last in-house production Secret Life of Humans at New York’s 59E59 (Artistic Director, Val Day; Managing Director, Brian Beirne) in the summer of 2018, New Diorama is delighted to be co-curating the theatre’s Brits Off Broadway season in 2020. The acclaimed festival is designed to give the UK’s most innovative and provocative a home in New York and runs form April – June each year. New Diorama will be programming alongside 59E59’s Artistic Director, Val Day, and is aiming to showcase a mix of New Diorama shows alongside new productions, new to NDT.

Artistic and Executive Director, David Byrne, says: “Last season we wanted to turn the way Off-West End theatres support companies completely on its head. The result was our best ever season of work, selling at over 90% capacity, with record audiences for our supported companies.

We’re delighted to be continuing this model for a second season. And, with £3 preview tickets to all show for those unemployed – the cheapest tickets in London, a low standard price across the season, and with all INCOMING Festival tickets still just £5 – it’s a great deal for curious audiences as well as artists.

Continuing New Diorama’s influence across the sector, we’re continuing our partnership with Underbelly, showcasing work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we’re anticipating that INCOMING Festival will be visiting a record number of cities, and the chance to showcase work Off-Broadway will boost our artists internationally. Also, it’s a chance to work with 59E59’s Artistic Director, Val Day, one of my favourite fellow Artistic Directors.”

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