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"Toast" by Richard Bean, at Park Theatre in London, in 2014. (Photo by Ben Broomfield)

59E59 Announces Brits Off Broadway Lineup

A slew of new British plays will make their way from across the pond to the Upper East Side.

NEW YORK CITY: 59E59 Theaters has announced the lineup for Brits Off Broadway, continuing its 12-year tradition of bringing provocative British theatre to the U.S.

The festival will begin with Henry Naylor’s Echoes (April 19–May 1), about a Victorian pioneer woman and an Islamist schoolgirl, born 175 years apart, who both travel to the East to impose their ideals. Filipa Braganca and Felicity Houlbrooke will star, and Emma Butler and Naylor will direct. The show will be produced by Redbeard Theatre Ltd and Gilded Balloon Productions.

Next will be Richard Bean’s Toast (April 10–May 22), about a crisis at a bread factory. Matthew Kelly, Simon Greenall, Steve Nicolson, Will Barton, Kieran Knowles, Matt Sutton, and John Wark will star, and Eleanor Rhode will direct. The show will be produced by Snapdragon Productions, in association with Jagged Fence Theatre.

Following will be Butterfly (April 23–May 14), by Ramesh Meyyappan, about  a kite-maker whose lover has left her. The puppet show will feature Chris Alexander and Nicola Daly. Meyyappan will direct.

Next will be James Fritz’s Ross & Rachel (May 17–June 5), produced by MOTOR, about what happens when a couple who is meant to be together finally gets together. Molly Vevers will star, and Thomas Martin will direct.

Next up will be Tales of Love and Magic in London (May 10–May 29), part of the City Stories series by James Phillips, a sequence of interwoven love stories in London, featuring original music by Rosabella Gregory. The production will feature Daphne Alexander, Alan Cox, Louisa Clein, Tom Gordon, Phoebe Sparrow, Jay Villiers, and Sarah Quintrell. Phillips will direct.

Following will be Philip Ridley’s Radiant Vermin (June 2–July 3), about a young couple who are offered their dream house through a mysterious scheme. Debra Baker, Sean Michael Verey, and Gemma Whelan will star, and David Mercatali will direct. The show will be produced by Supporting Wall, Metal Rabbit Productions, and Soho Theatre.

Next will be Hello Dillie! (June 6–July 3), by Dillie Keane and Adele Anderson, a one-woman show starring Keane about love, friendship, and addictions to psychics. Simon Green will direct. Hello Dillie! will be produced by Pleasance Theatre Trust Ltd.

Following will be Alan Ayckbourn’s Hero’s Welcome (May 26–July 2), about a man who returns to his old neighborhood with a new wife, and fights old demons in the place where he left another woman standing at the altar years ago. Stephen Billington, Elizabeth Boag, Russell Dixon, Evelyn Hoskins, Charlotte Harwood, and Richard Stacey will star, and Ayckbourn will direct.

Running in repertory with Hero’s Welcome will be Ayckbourn’s Confusions (May 28–July 3), about the intersection of four people’s lives which ultimately connect on a park bench. The production will feature the same cast as Hero’s Welcome, and Ayckbourn will direct. Stephen Joseph Theatre Company will produce both of Ayckbourn’s productions.

59E59 Theaters, founded in 2002, presents Off-Broadway productions from non-profits theatres. The company produces five plays each season, in addition to its annual Brits Off Broadway festival.


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