Offie Award winning Two’s Company is staging another rediscovered jewel this January, Don’t Destroy Me by pioneering Jewish writer Michael Hastings. Known for reinvigorating forgotten masterpieces and bringing them to London theatres, this pivotal new production will share a tender and insightful story about Jewish refugees in post-war London.
Don’t Destroy Me will follow the story of Sammy, who comes to live with his father and stepmother, 15 years after they escaped Nazi Europe as refugees. Having grown up in Croydon, he is starting a new life as an apprentice in London; yet his arrival seems to shake the balance of the Jewish household. With no way to prepare him for what is to come, how will he forge these new relationships, and uncover hidden secrets to try to make life bearable?
Tricia Thorns (What the Women Did, Southwark Playhouse; Ex and Black ‘Ell, Soho Theatre) is Artistic Director of Two’s Company. Having started her career as an actress in the West End as part of John Neville’s company at the Fortune Theatre, she played leading roles in plays from Pinter to Ayckbourn in theatres all over Britain. She is also known for her on-screen work as an actress in A Touch of Frost (ITV) Captives (Mirimax) and The Bill (ITV). Alongside her direction, will be Producer of Two’s Company, Graham Cowley (The Weir, Wyndham’s Theatre; My Night
with Reg, The Criterion Theatre) who has produced all of the company’s previous productions. He has also worked across and produced shows at venues such as Paines Plough, The Royal Court Theatre and The London Palladium.
The fantastic cast will include: Game of Thrones star, Nell Williams (Blinded by the Light, Warner Brothers; Love and Information, The Royal Court Theatre) as Suki; Nathalie Barclay (Positive, Park Theatre; Killing Eve, BBC) as Shani; and Sue Kelvin (Doctor Who, BBC; A Streetcar Named Desire, The National Theatre) as Mrs Miller. Nicholas Day (Witness For The Prosecution, London County Hall; The Crown, Netflix) will play the role of The Rabbi, joined by Alix Dunmore (The 39 Steps, Criterion Theatre and West End; Call the Midwife, BBC) as Mrs Pond.
Timothy O’Hara (Shakespeare in Love, Noel Coward Theatre; Sherlock Holmes, Warner Brothers) will perform as George, as well as Paul Rider (The Comedy of Errors, The Globe; Dying for It, Almedia Theatre) recognised for his legendary work at The Globe and having performed over 60 plays across BBC Radio stations, who will play Leo. Eddie Boyce will be playing Sammy in their professional stage debut, having trained at The Royal Scottish Conservatory.
Director Tricia Thorns comments, What do you do when life throws unbearable things at you? Circumstances over which you have no control; when evil people, politicians, governments, tyrants take away your freedom, your right to live your life the way you want to? It still goes on. That’s why we are putting on Don’t Destroy Me – first seen in 1956 and not again till now.
This is the background to our play, and what is continually going on today as more and more refugees and migrants arrive on our shores. The play tries to fathom – what do you do? How do you cope? Everyone is in search of happiness – what strategies, what ways out, do you use to make life liveable again?