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Soho Theatre celebrates the return of its theatre programme with the Verity Bargate Award winning play
17 JUNE – 17 JULY 2021
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY AMANDA WILKIN
DIRECTED BY ELAYCE ISMAIL
A SOHO THEATRE PRODUCTION
PRESS NIGHT TUESDAY 22 JUNE, 7.30PM
New skin honouring old skin. A play about joy, healing and protest.
And having a good belly laugh.
Soho Theatre celebrates the relaunch of its theatre programme this summer with an exhilarating new play. Shedding A Skin, written by Amanda Wilkin, the 2020 winner of the acclaimed Verity Bargate Award, sponsored by Character 7, introduces audiences to a fresh and fierce new voice. Shedding A Skin is a Soho Theatre production sponsored by NJA.
A story for our times, Shedding A Skin is a play about finding kindness in unexpected places, moments of connection, intergenerational friendship and joy. It will be the first new play staged in front of live audiences at Soho Theatre since the pandemic and brings together the creative talents of Amanda Wilkin and Elayce Ismail, who also directed the sell-out hit GIRLS (Soho Theatre 2016).
Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge described this award-winning drama as ‘profound, modern, funny, stark and hopeful’ and it was also singled out for its excellence by fellow Verity Bargate Award judges including Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin), Lolita Chakrabati (Hymn), Laura Wade (The Watsons) and Stephen Garrett of Character 7, the hitmakers behind The Night Manager and The Undoing.
Wilkin, who starred in Morgan Lloyd Malcom’s hit show Emilia and will also be performing in this solo play, says she wanted to create a universal story that was “intrinsically hopeful” and “speaks to people no matter what gender, colour or age”. She also says: “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I’d want to see when I go back to the theatre and I want belly laughs and to feel invigorated.”
Elayce Ismail adds: “It’s rare to find a story that has weight and depth but is ultimately very joyful and positive. The friendship at the heart of Shedding A Skin is so beautiful and poignant. It’s the unsung moments that happen between people in real spaces that are the fabric of our lives and they can be just as informative and important as the big wider world stuff.”
The Verity Bargate Award is Soho Theatre’s flagship new-writing award, sponsored by Character 7. Since 1982, the biennial playwriting award competition has uncovered the best new play by an emerging UK and Irish writer and launched the careers of some of Britain’s most established writers. From a record number of 1493 entries for the 2020 Verity Bargate Award, Amanda Wilkin’s spellbinding play captivated the Award’s readers and judges and was announced as the Award winner in October.
Shedding A Skin will run for 5 weeks in Soho Theatre’s Main House from 17 June to 17 July.
Dates: 17 June – 17 July
Times: 7.30pm (3pm matinees)
Prices: From £10
Booking Link: https://sohotheatre.com/shows/shedding-a-skin/
On sale: Soho Theatre Friends, Monday 19 April at 12noon
General on sale, Tuesday 20 April at 10am
Shedding A Skin will be creating a relaxed, inclusive environment in Soho Theatre’s Main House for all performances.
Sat 26 June, immediately following the matinee.
Free with purchase to matinee performance on the same day.
Parent and baby-friendly performance (for parents of babies up to around 15 months): Sat 3 July at 3pm
Mon 5 July at 7.30pm (preceded by socially distanced Touch Tour at 6pm)
Audio Described by Miranda Yates
Wed 7 July at 7.30pm – Captioned by Alex Romeo
Sat 10 July at 7.30pm – BSL interpreted by Jacqui Beckford
PRAISE FROM THE VERITY BARGATE AWARD 2020 JUDGING PANEL FOR AMANDA WILKIN’S SHEDDING A SKIN
‘…beautifully written, contemporary, poetic and delicate. The world she creates in the play is familiar and surprising all at once. She’s definitely a talent to watch.’
‘I was not prepared to be kidnapped by a play and a voice so completely.’
Russell T Davies
…’It’s heartfelt, it’s mysterious, it says a lot about the world, it’s really, really brilliant.’
‘She’s captured a generation. It’s a work of incredible beauty and great wit, she will go far.’
CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TEAM
Writer and Performer Amanda Wilkin
Director Elayce Ismail
Set and Costume Designer Rosanna Vize
Lighting Designer Jess Bernberg
Projection Designer Nina Dunn
Sound Designer and Composer Richard Hammarton
Assistant Director Nimmo Ismail
Producer Ameena Hamid
Photography credit Helen Murray
Produced by Soho Theatre
Sponsored by NJA, Core Values & Creative Management
VERITY BARGATE AWARD
Sponsored by Character 7
For all media enquiries and to reserve a press night seat please contact Diana Whitehead at: email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
SOHO THEATRE is London’s most vibrant producer for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. We pursue creative excellence, harnessing an artistic spirit that is based in our new writing roots, the radical ethos of the fringe and the traditions of punk culture and queer performance. We champion voices that challenge from outside of the mainstream, and sometimes from within it too. We value entertainment, accessibility and enjoy a good show. We are a registered charity and social enterprise and our audiences are diverse in age, background and outlook.
Ordinarily our work plays to live audiences of 250,000 audiences a year in our Dean Street venue, at the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond. Since our temporary closure due to Covid-19 we have re-launched our online platform Soho Theatre On Demand, which hosted the phenomenally successful live recording of Fleabag and recently released the critically acclaimed Typical. We’ve partnered with Amazon Prime Video (UK) for a three-series deal, bringing existing and new comedy shows to the platform (2020-21). We are also working towards the opening of an exciting second venue, a “local theatre with a national profile” in Walthamstow, currently slated to open in 2022.
Soho Theatre’s board is chaired by Dame Heather Rabbatts DBE and the company is led by Executive Director Mark Godfrey and Creative Director David Luff. sohotheatre.com | sohotheatreondemand.com | @sohotheatre
AMANDA WILKIN – Playwright, Actor
Amanda Wilkin is a playwright, actress and jazz and blues singer-songwriter from London. In 2017 she was on the Royal Court and BBC London Writers’ Groups. After touring Hamlet to 188 countries with Shakespeare’s Globe, she wrote her first play And I Dreamt I Was Drowning, which was developed as part of the Talawa Firsts Festival 2018. She has since written and performed short pieces at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, The Little Sob as part of Dark Night of the Soul in early 2019, and Bessie Coleman as part of Notes to the Forgotten She-Wolves in early 2020. She is under commission to Audible as part of their Emerging Playwrights Programme 2020 and to Headlong Theatre Company, where she is also Writer in Residence 2021/22. She is also part of the Young Women Opera Makers Aix-en Provence’s Opera residency 2021/22. Recent work includes the audio play Recognition about the C19th’s famous mixed race composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor for 45North Ltd/Ellie Keel Productions (released 2021).
ELAYCE ISMAIL – Director
Elayce Ismail is a director and dramaturg, working in the UK and internationally across theatre, opera and film. She is the Artistic Associate at Music Theatre Wales and in 2021 will be part of the Opera Creation Workshop at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. She has previously been the Head of New Work at the Donmar Warehouse; the inaugural RTYDS Associate Director at Northern Stage; and a Resident Director at the National Theatre as the recipient of the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors. Theatre direction includes: Nanjing (Shakespeare’s Globe); If Not Now, When? (National Theatre); Under Milk Wood, The War of the Worlds (Northern Stage); Girls (Soho Theatre/HighTide Festival/British Council Edinburgh Showcase); The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Chorus, Spooky Action at a Distance (Gate); The Lost Ring (Deutsches Theater Berlin); Stay Another Song (Young Vic). Opera includes: Our Dark Side and The Moon (creator/librettist; Royal Opera House); They Whisper Don’t Gaze at the Stars… (director; ENO); 4:48 Psychosis (revival director; Opéra national du Rhin/Royal Opera House); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (associate director; Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier); The Virtues of Things (assistant director; Royal Opera House). Film includes: Nanjing (director; Theatertreffen Stückemarkt); AMAZON (creator/writer; MTW/London Sinfonietta); Simone (director; Young Vic).