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“The shows at Soho this spring include a play from a first-time playwright (who won our Verity Bargate Award), great young companies, boundary pushing dance, established writers and amazing actors. The heart of the work challenges the social conventions that surround us, as we cover subjects from gender politics and relationships, to artistic anarchy, TV and fame; to loss and emptiness – all shows with something to say that may challenge your views, but most importantly will entertain.”
Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre.
An unflinchingly honest look at the sexual politics of a relationship and a descent into emotional manipulation is this year’s Verity Bargate Award winning play The One. A hugely exciting play written by first time playwright Vicky Jones, The One is a tight and vicious three-hander with caustic and hilarious dialogue which will be directed by Soho Theatre’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion. The cast includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writer and star of Fleabag which was the winner of a Fringe First Award and The Stage Best Solo Performer. Phoebe has also been nominated as Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and as Best Female Performance and Best New Play in the Off West End Awards for her last show at Soho Theatre.
The Husbands flips gender roles and imagines a world where women have many husbands at the same time. Kali Theatre and Pentabus Theatre present Sharmila Chauhan’s tale of love, jealousy and a woman’s right to choose. Kali Theatre and Soho Theatre last presented My Daughter’s Trial in the old courtroom above Brown’s Restaurant.
Running on Empty challenges traditional theatre-making with physical content and narrative storytelling coming together. The collaborators have worked together with each discipline claiming equal standing in the creative process. Running on Empty is an absurd and devastating piece exploring loss, resilience, emptiness and our mechanisms for surviving. It brings together theatre director Jo McInnes, playwright Brad Birch, choreographer Charlie Morrissey and actor Lee Ross in his less familiar role as songwriter.
Next up, we challenge the editorial within classic stories as the multi-award-winning company RashDash present a new, messy and noisy perspective on the ugliest of fairytale sisters. The Ugly Sisters is a sinister and a sensuous cabaret full of fire, fury and joy.
Also revelling in debunking entertainment is Never Try This At Home. Produced by Told by an Idiot and Birmingham Rep in association with Soho Theatre, this is a hilarious, violent and disturbing expose of the world of TV and fame. Inspired by legendary Saturday morning shows such as Tiswas and Going Live, the show imagines Shushi, a programme so anarchic in its time that adults and children alike watched in their millions. Until one fatal transmission in which the female presenter was pushed over the edge, an obsessive fan resorted to desperate measures, and Phil Collins was locked in his dressing room. Written by former Soho Six member, and regular Told by an Idiot collaborator, Carl Grose with the company, it is directed by Told by an Idiot’s co-Artistic Director Paul Hunter.
Soho Theatre continues its relationship with HighTide Festival Theatre after 2013’s Pastoral and Bottleneckwith Smallholding by Chris Dunkley co-produced with Nuffield and directed by Patrick Sandford. A smouldering love story that unblinkingly dramatises the challenges of adult co-dependency as Jen and Andy start a new life brushing off the decade squandered in the city. Smallholding stars Chris New, from the acclaimed film Weekend.
Taking the decision-making from the characters and handing it to the audience, Choose Your Own Documentary by Nathan Penlington tells the incredible true story of a found diary, a film crew and a documentary. Using keypads to vote, every twist and turn is in your hands. With 1,500 paths and multiple endings, will you track down the diary’s mysterious writer? The piece won a Fringe First at Edinburgh 2013.
“Mark Twain said, ‘Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.’
It’s a diverse season across a range of genres with a recurring theme of tearing up the social script. Work that examines the institutions that bind us, or help structure our lives. Are they really what they seem? Are they still relevant and right for us today? The work we have created and brought together for you this spring questions this – from marriage and monogamy, friendship and fuckbuddies, even to the children’s stories that helped teach us our moral codes. Theatrical styles combine, genres are defied and new forms invented as we unpeel the public skin of perfect relationships, reverse the rules of sacred institutions, burst the bonds of love, and tell the real fairy tales to all the boys and girls.”
Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre.
This theme runs right through Soho Theatre’s theatre, comedy and cabaret programme.
Returning to London is social script-ripper Tommy Tiernan with Stray Sod where he explores how we as humans have somehow lost our spirits, identity and ‘inner lunatic’ in this joyful, uplifting and breathtakingly funny new show.
We are thrilled to be premiering poetic agitator Tim Key’s new show Single White Slut.
And with his first show in seven years is comedian, journalist, novelist and activist Robert Newman. Theory of Evolution challenges popular scientific thinking as he explains the 150-year controversy in evolutionary theory and how the latest science demonstrates that DNA is not destiny.
Celebrating the rising stars of comedy we present a season of the 2013 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomers headed by winner John Kearns with his absurd, bold and original Sight Gags for Perverts– taking its name from how one critic described Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, Kearns has a little wig and some false teeth, a few things to say about Berlin Zoo before wearing a dress and singing Bruce Springsteen. Alongside are fellow nominees, Aisling Bea, the charismatic Irish comic brings her brilliantly energetic and infectious C’est le Bea, unique, innovative and lyrical Liam Williams exciting debut hour and returning after a sell-out Autumn run and a string of TV appearances, Romesh Ranganathan blends social commentary with personal tribulations in his hugely accomplished Rom Com.
A huge hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Arthur Smith brings his new take on Leonard Cohen to London. He reflects on despair, dementia, enthusiasm and death in a performance that is moving, endlessly surprising and awash with big laughs. His rendition of the songs is hugely enhanced by his fabulous backing trio ‘the Smithereens.’
Making a welcome return to Soho with a brand new show, the plastic-bag headed Irish hip hop superstars The Rubberbandits will bring a brand new show made for Soho Downstairs. While appearing at Soho for the first time is TO&ST Award winner and octogenarian cabaret star, taking us through the things people in their 80s don’t talk about, is Lynn Ruth Miller.
With Dean Street attracting an annual audience of over 170,000, Soho Theatre is now stepping up its work outside of the capital. We take Blink on a two month tour which, as well as covering the length and breadth of the UK, kicking off at our associate venue the Jagriti Theatre, Bangalore, India. The company is currently presenting Pajama Men and Stewart Lee in other London venues whilst further afield we are presenting a series of festive comedy nights at the Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh, Suffolk and have been invited to the prestigious Lisinski Hall, Zagreb, Croatia to present a snapshot of our theatre and comedy programme which will feature Rich Hall and Bryony Kimmings.
All in all, this packed first spring installment, builds on Soho’s reputation for challenging social convention, theatrical tradition and audience expectation, with powerful, political, feminist, diverse, and un-championed voices. The artists on the stages and behind the work range in age from 18 to 80, in heritage from Africa to Australia, in genre from new writing to new cabaret, and in gender from man to women – and everything you could imagine in between.