Rose Theatre’s Artistic Director, Christopher Haydon, has announced his inaugural season. Having been appointed Artistic Director in January 2020, he was prevented from announcing his plans until now due to COVID-19. With an emphasis on the female voice, the season will include five Rose Original productions – including two world premieres and a new version of an epic Brechtian masterpiece.
Under Haydon’s stewardship, the Rose’s own work will be the priority, as demonstrated by the five Rose Originals in this upcoming season, but there will always be room on the theatre’s stage for the country’s leading touring shows as well. This season’s Rose Originals are a blend of new plays tackling significant contemporary issues and well-known titles reinvented for today.
Christopher Haydon is very keen for the Rose to support and mentor emerging and established artists, with a focus on writers. The Rose is developing projects with Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Lulu Raczka, Onjali Q. Raúf, Nina Segal and Roy Williams. He is enlarging the creative family around the Rose, appointing new partners and advisers including Lucian Msamati as an Associate Artist, Poltergeist as an Associate Company and this year’s recipient of the Peter Hall Emerging Artists Fellowship, Layla Madanat.
Christopher Haydon said of his first season, “I have been hugely proud to work with the amazing Rose team to devise my first season, in spite of the extraordinary challenges presented by the past year. These shows combine uplifting stories which bring some much needed joy, with plays that ask provocative, searching questions about the society we live in. Alongside the productions, we are expanding the creative family that surrounds the Rose with our new group of associates. I am delighted to be working with both experienced artists who will help guide the vision of the theatre and emerging talent whom we will mentor and support in every way we can. I’m also really excited to have some of the UK’s best playwrights under commission.”
The season opens with Leopards 2nd – 25th September 2021. An unmissable new thriller from the Olivier Award-winning producer of Fleabag and Baby Reindeer to open the Rose’s 2021/22 season. Written by fast rising talent Alys Metcalf (You Only Live Forever, Unearthed) and directed by Christopher Haydon.
This is followed by The Seven Pomegranate Seeds 4th – 20th November 2021. From the director of My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre transfer, 2019) and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (West End transfer, 2019), comes the world premiere of Colin Teevan’s (The Emperor, Doctor Faustus, Rebellion, Das Boot) The Seven Pomegranate Seeds; seven contemporary stories grounded in prominent, mythical origins.
Persephone, Hypsipyle, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, Creusa and Demeter: the women of Euripides’ plays are reimagined as people of today in an unexpected fusion of celebrity, inappropriate desires, historical police investigations and missing children.
From 3rd December 2021 to 3rd January 2022, a new version of Beauty and the Beast will open. On her eighteenth birthday, Bella learns that her father is the victim of a terrible curse. She sets out across the mountains to a mysterious valley, determined to face the Beast who condemned her father. Instead, she finds a community confronting its own sorrows with love, laughter and hope. In a race to learn the truth, Bella must question everything she’s been told and find humanity in the least expected places.
Persuasion runs 26th February to 19th march 2022, Jeff James (La Musica at Young Vic) and James Yeatman’s bold and brilliant adaptation, first seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2017, brings all the sharp observation and quick wit of Jane Austen’s novel to the stage, without a bonnet in sight.
When Captain Wentworth proposed to Anne Elliot eight years ago, he was penniless and had only love and ambition to offer. Persuaded out of accepting his proposal by her family, Anne’s never quite got over her first love.
Finally, The Caucasian Chalk Circle will run 23rd April to 14th May 2022. Bertolt Brecht’s epic tale about justice and humanity is propelled into the present day, in a new version by Steve Waters (The Last King of Scotland, Limehouse, Temple) with original songs by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles, Mr Burns, They Drink it in the Congo).
Full listings and ticket details for all productions can be found here.