Stories to inspire and transform
The first two Ustinov Studio seasons of UK premieres from artistic director Laurence Boswell have received huge acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The theme for the third will be The Transformation Season in which three great literary texts are brought to life on stage.
The season opens with The Welsh Boy, an adaptation by Julian Mitchell of James Parry's memoirs written in 1741. This is the true story of Parry, a young man from South Wales who was blessed with a wonderful singing voice. The Welsh Boy takes this true account of sex and betrayal and turns it into a rollicking play with music, a Tom Jones style romp which features a versatile cast of five. When he sings in the choirs of Bath and Bristol he is known as 'The Welsh Boy'. Mary Powell, a wealthy and beautiful heiress, is so entranced by his singing that she engages Jem as her music master and little by little their lessons at the spinet turn into tutorials in the most heavenly pleasures. But love is one thing, sex another and marriage yet a third…
The production will be directed by Matthew Lloyd, reuniting the creative team behind Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier which was a hit at the Ustinov Studio in 2010. Julian Mitchell, the author of Another Country which won the SWET award for best play of 1981, teams up again with director Matthew Lloyd, whose productions include Duet For One with Juliet Stevenson and Henry Goodman, which sold out the Theatre Royal Main House in 2009, the world premiere of Family Business (by Julian Mitchell), and The Lucky Ones by Charlotte Eilenberg, winner of Olivier and Critics' Circle awards. The second show will be deadkidsongs, adapted by Gary Sefton from Toby Litt's thrilling 2001 novel. This black comedy is set in the summer of the Silver Jubilee year in the British countryside where four boys plan their revenge against the adults they hold responsible for the death of one of their gang members. This extraordinarily haunting novel will be transformed into a fast-paced and highly imaginative piece of theatre.
The third show will be The Double, a bold new adaptation of Dostoevsky's intriguing 1846 novella about a mild-mannered clerk who wakes up one morning to discover a person who is his exact replica is causing havoc.
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This production has been adapted and will be directed by Laurence Boswell, who also adapted The Phoenix of Madrid in the opening season. Filled with special effects, this hilarious story also features 19th century music and dance.