World Premiere of Gemma Lawrence’s Sunnymead Court to Open at Tristan Bates Theatre

Sunnymead Court to Open at Tristan Bates Theatre
Sunnymead Court to Open at Tristan Bates Theatre

Following the announcement from government that indoor theatre can return with social distancing, Defibrillator, in association with The Actors Centre, announces the world première of Gemma Lawrence’s new play Sunnymead Court. The production continues the collaboration between Lawrence and Defibrillator’s James Hillier following the critically acclaimed Not Talking at the Arcola Theatre.

The production opens at the Tristan Bates Theatre at The Actors Centre on 24 September, with previews from 22 September, and runs until 3 October. Social distancing measures will be in operation at the Tristan Bates Theatre and throughout The Actors Centre, with a maximum capacity of 28 seats for each performance, with tickets available in singles or pairs only.

All patrons, unless they have a known medical condition, will be required to wear a mask at the venue, and for the duration of the 45minute performance. For full details on the measures implemented to ensure audience safety and wellbeing, please see: Also, acknowledging the new normal, an online version of Sunnymead Court will also be available during its run, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Artistic Director of Defibrillator James Hillier said today, “After months of uncertainty across the theatre industry, it’s an utter joy to announce a return to live theatre, and to reunite with the extraordinary talent that is Gemma Lawrence on her debut play Sunnymead Court – a piece that has been written specifically for these times.”

Mitchell Reeve, Theatre Programme Manager at The Actors Centre added, “The last number of months have been devastating for our industry and at The Actors Centre, we stand in solidarity with the thousands of creatives whose livelihoods have been decimated by Covid-19. At The Actors Centre, like many unsubsidised organisations, this pandemic has forced us to explore new ways of working so that we can remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting artists.

“We are honoured to be working alongside Defibrillator to present this truly unique piece of theatre, which will mark the first production at The Actors Centre since our closure in March. A tale for the times we find ourselves in — which has been created with social distancing at its core — Sunnymead Court is a powerful piece of new writing which stands as a testament to the resilience of creativity despite these incredibly difficult times. We have been dreaming of the day we could welcome audiences back to our building, and we know that Sunnymead Court is a production which will resonate deeply and profoundly.

“We also want to take this opportunity to reassure audiences that the appropriate Covid-19 safety measures will be in operation throughout our building to ensure a seamless, enjoyable and safe theatre experience. Our online programmes will continue throughout this time and the building will open only for this production.”

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