Seven Dials Playhouse has unveiled three new productions, marking Steven Kavuma’s debut season as Head of Programming for the West End-based venue. Featuring two new female-led productions alongside a provocative and urgent LGBTQIA+ story, the season runs from June – November 2023.
Opening the season will be dark comedy Post Traumatic Slay Disorder (PTSD), running from Thursday 12th June to Saturday 1st July, which transfers from The King’s Head where it premiered as part of A Queer Interrogation season. Written and performed by Lois-Amber Toole, fresh from her nomination as an emerging writer by BBC New Writing North, PTSD follows twenty-something waitress Kit who moves to London with a fresh diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Directed by Florence Winter Hill, PTSD examines the generation that navigates mental illness through TikTok trends. When she isn’t pretending to be famous on the Tube, Kit spends each shift hoping she’ll collapse on the restaurant floor and never have to work again instead of having to slay another day. PTSD is presented by Oakland Road Productions in association with Seven Dials Playhouse, with dramaturgical support provided by Seven Dials Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Somebody Jones.
Weaving together live music, storytelling, and traditional pottery, Sankofa is a semi- autobiographical show written by and starring Nicole Acquah about legacy, heritage, and what it means to belong as part of the African diaspora, running from Monday 4th to Saturday 30th September. We meet Nicole as she tells us about her grand-uncle Asiedu, a playwright who helped shape the landscape of Ghanaian theatre. Nicole also writes plays, thousands of miles away in London, and discovering Asiedu’s work sets Nicole on a journey to learn more about her lineage. Touring her own work around Europe, she is faced with the significance of her heritage, her blackness and her art. Before she returns to England, Nicole will have to learn what it truly means to go back into the past in order to move forward into the future. The piece was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting and previously enjoyed a short run at The Bread & Roses Theatre.
Sankofa is presented by Acquah & Co in association with Seven Dials Playhouse with dramaturgical support provided by Seven Dials Playhouse’s Associate Artist, Somebody Jones.
Closing the season will be Jock Night, written and directed by Adam Zane, running from Monday 9th October to Saturday 4th November. Billed by Russell T. Davies as a razor-sharp skewering of modern gay life, but done with compassion, intelligence and hope, Jock Night presents a world fuelled by sex, drugs and jockstraps. Ben is a forty-something Victoria Wood fan searching for love in a world of chemsex and hook-ups. Kam is self-proclaimed ‘fabulous and undetectable’, hiding his struggles with addiction by being the life and soul of the party. Gym-bunny Russ is gaining Instagram followers but would rather follow Kam. Antony is 19 years old, just off the bus from Bury and thrown headfirst into a night he will never forget. With a Grindr message from a fading porn star, Ben must decide whether to follow his heart or keep the party going. Following the success of their critically acclaimed play Be More Martyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo, Hive North in association with Seven Dials Playhouse, presents this new comedy drama, based on interviews with Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ community.
The Associated Programme for each show, compromising workshops and events relating to the themes of each production will be announced in the coming weeks.
Amanda Davey, the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Seven Dials Playhouse, comments I am thrilled to welcome audiences back to Seven Dials Playhouse with a wonderful season of work that aligns with our vision of programming work that is bold, urgent and speaks to the important issues of the day. Spanning themes of love, lust, desire, fear and belonging, the season asks big questions on universal issues and we hope that it speaks as clearly to our audiences as it does to us.
Steven Kavuma, Head of Programming adds, For my debut season for Seven Dials Playhouse, I wanted to programme work that not only reflects the zeitgeist but also challenges it. Lois-Amber Toole’s Post Traumatic Slay Disorder offers a thoughtful and humorous commentary on navigating mental illness within an irrevocably patriarchal setting, while Nicole Acquah’s Sankofa takes us on a journey of self-discovery and legacy with a new take on the age-old adage of the past bearing on the present. In Jock Night, we are plunged into a feverish terrain through a story which simultaneously rejects heteronormative structures and deconstructs the monogamous idyll.
All three shows are now on sale and tickets can be booked via sevendialsplayhouse.co.uk