THREE of the greatest plays of the late 20th century have been chosen for the reopening season at Bath’s historic Theatre Royal. The Welcome Back Season will run from 14th October to 12th December.
The first of the three modern classics chosen to reopen the main house is Harold Pinter’s masterpiece of adultery and guilt, Betrayal, from 14th to 31st October. It will be directed by Jonathan Church and will be performed by Nancy Carroll, Joseph Millson, Edward Bennett and Christopher Bianchi.
It will be followed by Michael Frayn’s award-winning Copenhagen, directed by Polly Findlay, from 4th to 21st November. The cast will be Haydn Gwynne, Michael Gould and Philip Arditti.
David Mamet’s provocative drama Oleanna, directed by Nicole Charles, ends the season, on stage from 25th November to 12th December. Casting will be announced later.
Theatre Royal Bath director Danny Moar says: “We’re very excited about the prospect of welcoming our audience back to Bath in just a matter of weeks. The plays we have chosen are modern classics which we know will offer the audience the quality theatre they have been craving for the last six months.
“The health and safety of our patrons is our most important priority, and we will be abiding by all the government’s guidance on indoor performances. We have been overwhelmed with the generosity and understanding from our patrons during this difficult time, and we look forward to sharing our beautiful building with the public once again.”
Following government guidance and in consultation with health and safety advisors RB Health and Safety Solutions, the capacity of the theatre has been reduced by more than half from 888 to 375, to allow for socially distanced seating. Further covid-secure measures will include mandatory face coverings (unless exempt), hand sanitiser units, thermal temperature checks, dedicated entry points, staggered arrivals and audience flow, fresh air circulation and enhanced cleaning.
Tickets for the Welcome Back Season will go on sale at 10am on Friday 4th September 2020 for priority bookers and from 10am on Friday 11th September. Visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk
PLANS for Nigel Havers to open his new company with a production of Private Lives at Bath Theatre Royal have been put back until 2021.
Wiltshire resident Havers will play Elyot Chase opposite Patricia Hodge’s Amanda Prynne. It’s the first time either has performed in this legendary portrait of a love-hate relationship.
Nigel Havers, who was persuaded by producer David Pugh to set up the company, is delighted to be able to choose the plays he will tour across the country for up to four months each year, and promises to bring entertaining shows to as wide an audience as possible – at affordable prices. In this inaugural year the company, which includes Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Victor and Natalie Walter as Sibyl, visits eight theatres.
The production will be directed by Christopher Luscombe and designed by Simon Higlett.
Coward’s dazzling comic masterpiece is both a scintillatingly witty and scathingly vitriolic study of the rich and reckless in love. Elyot and Amanda, who were once married, find themselves in adjoining rooms in the same hotel on the French Riviera, both on honeymoon with their new partners. Their initial horror quickly evaporates and soon they’re sharing cocktails and a romantic serenade.
It is the perfect play for the times. Noel Coward was on tour in Asia when he contracted influenza. During his fortnight-long convalescence he sketched out the skeleton of Private Lives, and wrote the final draft in just four days. Who knows what masterpieces might emerge from our lockdowns and isolations?