The Hope Theatre has announced details of its Autumn season, which runs from September to November and includes a wide range of new writing, plus a new production of Marius von Mayenburg’s comedy The Ugly One.
Phil Bartlett, Artistic Director of the Hope, said, Storytelling is always what we’ve focussed on at the Hope, and for the autumn season we’ve brought together a brilliant selection of stories to enthral audiences as the nights draw in. Incisive comedy, gripping drama, and incredible real-life narratives – it’s all at the Hope this autumn, and we hope you’ll join us on Upper Street for a tale or two.
The season opens with My First Time Was in a Car Park (5th – 9th September) by Phoebe Wood. Telling the story of Mira, who lives by the sea with her mum and loses her virginity to her teacher, the production invites the audience into the abstract spaces of a young woman’s psyche. My First Time Was in a Car Park was runner-up for Best Play at Brighton Festival this year.
In German playwright Marius von Mayenburg’s scalpel-sharp comedy The Ugly One (12th – 23rd September), an unspeakably ugly man turns to a surgeon who offers him a dramatic yet miraculous transformation – but is it possible to become too beautiful? Directed by Natalie Simone and performed by a company of recent graduates from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, The Ugly One is an anarchic, playful and profound comment on the brutality of capitalism.
Lessons on Revolution (26th September – 7th October) sees theatre-makers Samuel Rees and Gabriele Uboldi team up for a daring new piece of documentary theatre. In 1968, 3,000 students occupied the London School of Economics, in the most significant act of protest in a generation. In 2023, Samuel and Gabriele try to work out what radical change means today, searching through archives, photographs and first-hand accounts. Lessons on Revolution is an immersive journey through global and personal history for a new age of inequality and injustice.
Premiering at the Hope this October, Kath Haling’s drama The Least We Could Do (10th – 28th October) shines a spotlight on the unravelling of individuals caught in the unforgiving gaze of the public eye. Exploring the dark side of fame and the consequences of our collective actions, The Least We Could Do is an original narrative about the power of personal choice and the responsibility individuals bear in shaping the lives of others.
In The Words Are There (14th – 25th November), Mick awaits Trish in his seaside bedsit in dreamy Bettystown, Ireland. They’ve agreed to start over again, so it’s party time! Will it be bubbles for a happy ever after or will sparks fly? A sensitive but powerful exploration of a modern day taboo, The Words Are There sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe, was shortlisted for the Edinburgh Bobby Award and named a Top 5 Edinburgh show by The List Magazine.
Week-long runs at the Hope this autumn include Love Sicks (31st October – 4th November), an unflinching exploration of sex, love, trauma and dating in which Alexis’ never-ending quest for a man leads to him to some very dark rooms; and Pram Talk (7th – 11th November), a new monologue which follows a new mum who has kept her baby a secret from the toxic father.
The autumn season also features the continuation of the theatre’ popular Sunday-Monday programme of two-night runs, which gives companies the opportunity to present work professionally in a low-risk environment. Sunday-Monday productions in the autumn season include Ralph & Elliot (2nd & 3rd September), a slice-of-life drama about heartbreak and hope; Shell (17th & 18th September), a new comedy about mortality and the challenges of keeping a tortoise as a pet; The Trial of Agatha Christie (1st & 2nd October), in which the Queen of Crime is herself put in the dock; Thought Monster (15th & 16th October), a mile-a-minute portrayal of living with OCD; and Vigilante (19th & 20th November), a taut drama in which a woman arrives at her enemy’s prison cell to avenge the murder of her family.
Tickets for autumn season productions are now on-sale via the Hope Theatre website.