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Soho Theatre’s world premiere production of curious, written and performed by the award-winning Jasmine Lee-Jones, opens 16 September – 16 October. Press nights on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 September with BSL interpreted, audio-described and captioned performances Saturday 25 September, Monday 4 and Wednesday 6 October respectively.
curious is Lee-Jones’ second play following her critically-acclaimed seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Royal Court), for which she won the Evening Standard Award 2019 and Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright. Set against the sprawling backdrop of urban London across centuries, curious is a frank, funny and moving excavation of the lives of two actresses who are young, Black, queer and trying to find out who they are.
Jasmine Lee-Jones, curious playwright and performer said: ‘To me, curious is a deeply personal story of excavation past and present. Words can’t express how excited I am to be sharing it with Soho audiences in the coming months.
I was still at drama school when I first shared the play with an audience nearly three years ago. I always sensed the show needed a second life and as such it feels like an immense privilege to be putting it out into the world again. After debuting as a writer with my first play seven methods of killing kylie jenner in 2019, it feels super exciting to be coming to this production as a performer too.’
Directed by Anna Himali Howard (Inside, Orange Tree Theatre and I Wanna Be Yours, Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), Soho Theatre’s production brings together a hugely talented creative team including Co-Set and Costume Designers Camilla Clarke (La Traviata, Nevill Holt Opera, and La bohème, ENO: Drive & Live) and Rosie Elnile (Prayer, Gate Theatre and [Blank], Donmar Warehouse), Sound Designer Xana (…cake, Theatre Peckham and Fairview, Young Vic), Composer Dominique Le Gendre (Richard II, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Waris Hussain’s Sixth Happiness) Assistant Director and Dramaturg Myah Jeffers (Hope Project, Clean Break Theatre and Really Real Teenz, The Yard Theatre), Production Manager Seb Cannings (The Last Five Years, Southwark Playhouse and The Entertainer, UK Tour) and Producer Ameena Hamid (Death Drop, Garrick Theatre and Shedding a Skin, Soho Theatre)
David Luff, Soho Theatre’s Creative Director, said: ‘Jasmine is a phenomenal talent and her writing is extraordinary: sophistication, wit, guile and power.
I’m so delighted that Soho Theatre is producing curious this autumn and we’re so excited to support her stage debut as a performer.
We’re also thrilled to welcome a fresh, new creative team to Dean Street, with multiple creatives making their Soho Theatre debuts.’
curious listings Information:
Produced by: Soho Theatre
Dates: Thursday 16 September – Saturday 16 October, 7.30pm
Matinees, 3pm Thursday and Saturday
Price: From £12
Press Nights: Wednesday 22 September and Thursday 23 September
BSL Interpreted: Saturday 25 September
Audio Described: Monday 4 October
Captioned: Wednesday 6 October
Jaz is in her second year at drama school. Jaz is tired of performing. Hence her conundrum. But when she stumbles across a piece of forgotten history – her life is changed forever…
fifty-seven minutes of ecstasy, cum, sweat and tears
all erased in a heartbeat
all of it gone
Except if you’re like me and you know how to backlog…
What does it mean to find yourself? Especially when it seems the world you live in is diametrically set against you doing just that?
Set against the sprawling backdrop of urban London across centuries, curious is a frank, funny and moving excavation of the lives of two actresses who are young, Black, queer and trying to find out who they are.
Writer and Performer Jasmine Lee-Jones
Director Anna Himali Howard
Co-Set and Costume Designers Camilla Clarke & Rosie Elnile
Lighting Designer Laura Howard
Sound Designer Xana
Composer Dominique Le Gendre
Assistant Director & Dramaturg Myah Jeffers
Production Manager Seb Cannings
Producer Ameena Hamid
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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. During our temporary closure due to Covid-19 we 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 and Sunrise. We’ve partnered with Amazon Prime Video (UK) for a three-series deal, bringing existing and new comedy shows to the platform. 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 | stream.sohotheatre.com | @sohotheatre
Writer and Performer
JASMINE LEE-JONES is a writer and actor based in North London. Her first full-length play SEVEN METHODS OF KILLING KYLIE JENNER opened at The Royal Court in July 2019 and won the 2019 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, the 2019 Stage Debut Award for Best Writer, the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award, the 2020 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the European New Talent Drama Award 2020. Other writing credits include LIVING NEWSPAPER (Royal Court Theatre, 2020); MY WHITE BEST FRIEND (Bunker Theatre, 2019), CURIOUS… (Guildhall/Brainchild), DARK MATTER (Beyond the Court), SAY HER NAME, DRINKING CONCRETE [co-writer] (Open Court). Training includes Royal Court Supergroup (2018-2019), Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2016-2019), the BBC London Writers’ Group (2017), The Andrea Project Writing Group (2017), and Soho Young Writers’ Lab (2016). In theatre, she is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre and Headlong Theatre, and was a finalist for the Golden & Ruth Harris Commission 2021. Screen work includes a short community-led film produced by the Young Vic (2020), adapting a major novel into a TV series for Potboiler/BBC, and an original TV drama with Matimba Kabalika/Drama Republic. She is also part of BFI Flare’s BAFTA Crew 2021.
ANNA HIMALI HOWARD is a director, theatremaker and dramaturg. Her work has been staged at theatres including the Bush Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Orange Tree and Birmingham REP. She trained on the Birmingham REP Foundry, as the Paines Plough Trainee Director, on the NT Studio Directors’ Programme and the Royal Opera House Directors’ Course. She was a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre and is currently an Associate Artist at Brixton House. Her work with international companies includes directing for BE Festival, New Nordics, and the Royal Court International Playwrights Residency. She is interested in new writing, co-creation and working across genres to uproot classic texts.
Anna’s work as a Director includes I Stand For What I Stand On (upcoming, Strike A Light), Inside (Orange Tree Theatre), I Wanna Be Yours by Zia Ahmed (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), Yours Sincerely by Will Jackson (Birmingham REP), A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and Season Butler (Gate Theatre), Albatross by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre).
As a theatremaker work includes Jane Anger (Yard Theatre Live Drafts), Mahabharat/a by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhammad (Camden People’s Theatre), The Beanfield by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, National tour 2016).
Anna was Associate Director on Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour), Staff Director on Small Island (National Theatre) and Assistant Director on Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is a visiting tutor on MA Dramaturgy at Birkbeck. Anna was Senior Reader at the Royal Court and is a reader for theatres and awards including the Royal Court, Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Bruntwood Prize.
Co-Set and Costume Designer
CAMILLA CLARKE was the winner of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design in 2015. Other Awards include the Lord Williams Prize for Design and The Prince of Wales Design Scholarship
Designs include: La traviata (Nevill Holt), La boheme (ENO: Drive & Live), The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (Co-Designed with Chloe Lamford for The New Zealand Festival Theatre); Yolk and Aliens (Co-Created with Jane Horrocks, Molly Vivian and Francesca Levi for Brighton Festival); Mr Burns and Gone Too Far (Guildhall); There Are No Beginnings (Leeds Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Youth Theatre); Europe, You Got Older (LAMDA); Inside Bitch, Bad Roads, B and Human Animals (Royal Court); A Small Place (Gate Theatre); Beginners (Unicorn Theatre); Elephant (Birmingham Rep); Outside and Out of Water (Orange Tree Theatre); The Tide Whisperer (National Theatre Wales); Highway One (August 012 & Wales Millennium Centre); Frogman (Curious Directive, Traverse Theatre); Paul Bunyan, The Day After, Trial by Jury (English National Opera). Other designs include: No Place for a Woman (Theatre 503); Yuri (Chapter, Cardiff)
Camilla trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating with a first class BA hons degree in Theatre Design
Co-Set and Costume Designer
ROSIE ELNILE is a performance designer and artist based between the UK and Portugal , in 2017 she was awarded the Stage Debut Award for best design, she is also a recipient of the 2020 Jerwood Live Art Fund.
Her Theatre credits include: Prayer (2020) The Ridiculous Darkness, Unknown Island, The Convert ( Gate) Thirst Trap (Rachel Young / Fuel) Run Sister Run (Sheffield Crucible) [Blank] (Donmar Warehouse); Our Town (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); The American Clock (Old Vic); The Wolves (Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Mysteries, Three Sisters (Royal Exchange); Abandon (Lyric Hammersmith); Returning to Haifa (Finborough Theatre); Goats (Royal Court); Prime Time (Royal Court Schools Tour); BIG GUNS (Yard).
XANA is a freestyle live loop musician, sound artist, sound and vibration designer, archival audio producer, audio researcher, theatremaker and performer. As a performer they deconstruct words and sound to make improvisational performances and compose scores for spaces through Xanas genres orchestral noise and thicc bass.
Xana blends Caribbean Afrofuturism in their live sets as a channel to burn down and build anew, inventing new streams of sonic layering and inviting people to be a part of making protest music.
Xana is the instigator of Soulcase collective, a sound research, inventors and music archive label for Black African and Caribbean people who want to invent new forms of musical creation and develop as sound makers in the field of sound art/design.
Theatre credits: …cake (Theatre Peckham) Changing Destiny, Twenty, Twenty, Fairview, Ivan and the Dogs (Young Vic) The Body Remembers (Fuel Theatre); Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre); Blood Knot (Orange Tree Theatre); Burgerz (Hackney Showroom)
Installation credits: Joy Inside Our Tears (Harold Offeh, Joy Exhibition, Wellcome Collection)
Film credits: A Reunion of Hands (Sonny Nwachukwu, dir. Myah Jeffers Brownton Abbey), Reset the Stage (Mono Box Productions), House Made of Tin (Raisa Kabir), Hope and Her Two Daughters (dir. Tobore Dafiaga), A Response to your message (Somalia Seaton)
DOMINIQUE LE GENDRE: Composer, Music Producer and co-founder/Artistic Director of StrongBack Productions, Dominique was born and brought up in Trinidad and Tobago. She trained as a classical guitarist in Paris, France while studying Musicology.
A Londoner for over 30 years, she is a former Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House and Manning Camerata and has composed prolifically for chamber music, opera, theatre, dance, drama for BBC radio 3 and 4, independent films and television including Waris Hussain’s Sixth Happiness, Mike Hodges’ The Healer and the award winning Arkangel Complete Shakespeare, Frances-Ann Solomon’s radio adaptations of Grace Nicholls’ poem I Is a Long-Memoried Woman and Jackie Kay’s Adoption Papers, Karen Martinez-Lambert’s independent film Dreams in Transit and the critically acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe production of Richard II directed by Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton. In 2012, with Melanie Abrahams, she co-produced and co-curated the London is the Place for me festival of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture in celebration of the country’s 50th Anniversary of independence at the Tricycle Theatre.
Assistant Director & Dramaturg
MYAH JEFFERS is a Barbadian-British dramaturg, director and photographer, living in London and working across the UK and internationally.
She is the former Literary Associate at the Royal Court and the former New Work Coordinator for Talawa Theatre Company.
Jeffers is the 2019 Portrait of Britain winner, and her work in both theatre and photography interrogates themes of diasporic identity, mental health, Queer existence, and intergenerational dynamics within Black communities.
She has directed work for Living Newspaper at the Royal Court and is currently co-directing The Hope project for Clean Break Theatre.
Jeffers’ previous photographic projects and commissions include work for The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Empathy Museum x NHS, Cambridge University and Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
Theatre Credits: Co-Director, Hope Project (2021, Clean Break Theatre), Dramaturg, curious by Jasmine Lee Jones, dir. Anna Himali Howard (2021, Soho Theatre), Dramaturg, Never Have I Ever by Deborah Frances-White, dir. Emma Butler (2019, Almeida Theatre), Assistant Director, Really Real Teenz, dir. Lauren Barri Holstein (2019, The Yard Theatre), Assistant Director, Company Three Residential, dir. Ned Glasier (2019, Company Three), Assistant Director, Rallying Cry, dir. Rob Watt (2019, Apples and Snakes and Battersea Arts Centre)
SEB CANNINGS: A graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Seb started his career as Assistant Production Manager on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now working in theatre, comedy, events and digital, Seb is Production Manager for a range of projects. His recent credits include London Palladium Pantomimes (Qdos Entertainment), The Entertainer (SFE – UK Tour), The Last Five Years (Katy Lipson – Southwark Playhouse), SLS London (Sara Donaldson – Copperbox Arena) and Soho Theatre Live (Amazon Prime Video). Seb is also trained in IOSH Managing Safely, and is an IPAF License Holder and CIEH Level 2 Award in Fire Safety & First Aid at Work.
AMEENA HAMID is a London based creative producer, general manager, festival curator and facilitator. Her work focuses on increasing inclusivity and representation in theatre. She has been heralded as “a true role model to the future generations” by Official London Theatre. Ameena was an EdFringe and British Council Emerging Producer and one of Stage One’s Bridge the Gap Producers. She is on the Board of the League of Independent Producers and part of the Creative Freelances Shaping London’s Recovery Advisory Group. At just 20, Ameena earnt the accolade of youngest ever female producer on the West End as Associate Producer on Death Drop (Garrick Theatre). Previously for Soho, she worked as Line Producer on Shedding A Skin by Amanda Wilkin.
Other credits include: Co-Producer The Wiz (Hope Mill Theatre Manchester), General Manager on Wonderment Magic And Illusion (Palace Theatre), Assistant Producer to The Show Must Go On Live (Palace Theatre), Producer on Graduates at Cadogan Hall, Producer on Eating Myself (Applecart Arts and FAE Lima, Peru), Producer on Killing It and Since U Been Gone (VAULT Festival).