The New Vic will open its spring season for 2024 with the stage premiere of a play that celebrates 100 years of the radio play, before continuing its innovative partnership with award-winning circus company Upswing fusing contemporary circus with theatre for The Princess and the Pea, in a reimagining of the classic fairytale.
The season includes:
New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “2024 is 100 years since the first ever radio play was commissioned for broadcast. At the time, the BBC had just come into being and this was a totally new prospect – a play where you would only hear the actors’ voices and some sound effects. Ron Hutchinson’s play tells the story of how this artform came into being. For this production, he’s worked with Gwenda Hughes, who will direct, to create a really wonderful comedy that’s fast-paced and hilarious, but that is also a really fantastic homage to the creation of this artform that we know is loved by audiences all over the world.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with Upswing and The Unicorn on The Princess and The Pea. Following on from our hugely ambitious production of Astley’s Astounding Adventures in the autumn, we’re continuing to develop our programme of circus theatre work, thanks to the very welcome support from Arts Council England, and looking for new ways we can push the boundaries of how we combine these two artforms together. For this play we need to navigate how to tell the story to families and young children, and how we create a massive tower out of mattresses!”
A Leap In The Dark will open on the New Vic stage on Friday 9 February, and run until Saturday 2 March. Written by Ron Hutchinson and directed by Gwenda Hughes (The Pitmen Painters, New Vic Theatre; The Archers), this fast-paced comedy caper will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the UK’s first ever radio play being commissioned and follows eight actors as they chart the story of how radio plays came to be.
Ladies Down Under,Amanda Whittington’s sequel that follows four women who audiences first met in a fish factory in Ladies’ Day, will be directed by Marieke Audsley (Julius Caesar, Royal Shakespeare Company; Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Salisbury Playhouse/Octagon Theatre) and will take to the stage from Friday 8 to Saturday 30 March. The heart-warming comedy picks up the action after the foursome’s big win at the races and sees them jet off on the adventure of a lifetime to Australia.
In June, the New Vic will then continue their exciting programme fusing the work of contemporary circus with theatre as they co-produce The Princess and The Pea with award-winning contemporary circus company Upswing, and London’s leading theatre for children, The Unicorn. On stage at the New Vic from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 June, this energetic co-production sees the classic story reimagined as a circus fairytale adventure. With breathtaking acrobatics, clowning and music, this show will bring Hans Christian Andersen’s story to life for ages 2+.
Tickets for the New Vic’s spring season go on sale on Friday 6 October 2023 at 12.00pm. For more information visit newvictheatre.org.uk.