ARCOLA THEATRE Announces SPANISH GOLDEN AGE SEASON

Arcola TheatreTheatre Royal Bath and Belgrade Theatre Coventry

present

A Lady of Little Sense. Photo Credit Jane Hobson
A Lady of Little Sense. Photo: Jane Hobson

THE SPANISH GOLDEN AGE SEASON

FROM THURSDAY 9 JANUARY TO SATURDAY 15 MARCH 2014

AT ARCOLA THEATRE

Arcola Theatre is delighted to present the Spanish Golden Age Season, a repertory season celebrating one of the most prolific periods in the history of Spanish theatre and art, from Thursday 9 January to Saturday 15 March 2014.

The Spanish Golden Age Season will present three passionate classics – two outrageous comedies, one devastating tragedy, and all three extraordinary discoveries. Brought to the stage in brand new translations, performed by a repertory company of 10 actors and directed by Mehmet Ergen and Laurence Boswell, Artistic Directors of Arcola Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio respectively, this exciting and innovative season promises to be the most audacious and ambitious ever staged at Arcola Theatre. A celebration of the last unopened treasure chest of world drama, the Season is a significant theatrical event for 2014 and a major innovation in the history of Spanish Golden Age translation and performance.

Mehmet Ergen said today: “I am thrilled to be able to bring a festival of such scale and ambition to Arcola’s stage. The Spanish Golden Age was an incredibly creative and significant period in the history of theatre, and this season celebrates three of its greatest, funniest, and most passionate plays, performed by an exceptionally talented repertory cast. The plays are the heart of a 10 week festival including readings of classic and contemporary Spanish plays, discussions, music, dance and food.”

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DON GIL OF THE GREEN BREECHES

Don Gil de las Calzas Verdes (1615)

By Tirso de Molina in a new translation by Sean O’Brien

Directed by Mehmet Ergen

Thursday 9 January – Saturday 15 March 2014

Dona Juana has fallen for the oldest trick in the book. The dashing Don Martin, the man she thought she was going to marry, has left her for the wealthy Dona Ines. However Dona Juana is not the sort of woman to take this lying down. She pulls on a pair of green breeches and sets off to Madrid in hot pursuit of Don Martin, assuming the same name he is using to woo his new lover – a strategy which will either cause a change of heart or complete chaos.

Blending mistaken identity, role-reversal, ghosts and green trousers, Don Gil of the Green Breeches is a deliciously anarchic and exuberant comedy which has been newly translated by Sean O’Brien, an award-winning English poet, critic and playwright. Sean’s prizes include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Forward Poetry Prize and the T. S.Eliot Prize.

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A LADY OF LITTLE SENSE

La Dama Boba (1613) 

By Lope de Vega in a new translation by David Johnston

Directed by Laurence Boswell

Saturday 11 January – Saturday 15 March 2014

Nise and Finea are famous beauties. Their father, Don Octavio, a wealthy businessman, is doing his best to marry them off and an exotic collection of determined young suitors are competing for the prizes. The sticking point? Nise, the elder sister, is too clever for her own good, whilst younger sister Finea is notoriously stupid. Can the family hide Finea’s shortcomings long enough to hoodwink a suitor into marriage? Surely the combination of a dancing master and a huge dowry will do the trick? The ploy is more successful than anyone might have anticipated.

A Lady of Little Sense is a big-hearted and hilarious romantic comedy which celebrates the power of love.

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PUNISHMENT WITHOUT REVENGE

El Castigo sin Venganza (1631)

By Lope de Vega in a new translation by Meredith Oakes

Directed by Laurence Boswell.

Friday 10 January – Friday 14 March 2014

Regarded as the greatest tragedy of the Spanish Golden Age and the finest play of its presiding genius, Lope de Vega, this elegant work is set in the dangerous and glamorous world of Renaissance Italy. The Duke of Ferrara has lived a wild and unconventional life. An infamous womaniser, his only son Federico is a bastard whom he dreams will one day succeed him.  When his subjects demand that he marry and provide them with the stability of a legitimate heir, the proud and beautiful Cassandra, Duchess of Mantua, is sent to be his bride. But everything does not fall happily into place. A passionate love develops – but not between the Duke and his Duchess – and, in a culture where honour is the highest virtue, there can be only one outcome. A dark and thrilling drama, Punishment without Revenge is an audacious blend of unbearable tension and delicious comedy which both terrifies and delights.

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The Spanish Golden Age Company are Nick BarberJim BywaterHedydd DylanAnnie HemingwayWilliam HoylandKatie LightfootFrances McNameeChris Andrew MellonDoug Rao and Simon Scardifield.

The Spanish Golden Age Season has Set and Costume Design by Mark Bailey, Lighting Design by Ben Ormerod, Composition and Sound Design by Jon Nicholls and Movement Direction by Lucy Cullingford. The Costume Supervisor is Lisa Aitken.

It is presented by Arcola TheatreTheatre Royal Bath and Belgrade Theatre Coventry.

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

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