Lost Musicals Charitable Trust to present ‘Lost Plays’ from Broadway’s Golden Age at RADA

Between June and November 2019, the Lost Musicals Charitable Trust will present a unique season of long-lost plays by some of Broadway’s greatest writers, thanks to a new project housed at RADA.

Director Ian Marshall Fisher will stage LOST PLAYS, an innovative new season of three important plays from Broadway’s past that are all but unknown to London audiences.

Rosalind Russell as Auntie Mame in the original Broadway production of AUNTIE MAME (1956)

The programme opens on 30 June with Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s entertaining comedy, Auntie Mame, not seen in London since its original West End production in 1958 with Beatrice Lillie.

Based on Patrick Dennis’ best-selling novel about his own wildly eccentric aunt, which also inspired Jerry Herman’s much loved musical, Mame, Lawrence and Lee’s swift, slashing comedy is set to be a revelation to those who know only the more leisurely musical.

Original Broadway production MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (1934)

From 8 September, Fisher will present George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart‘s 1934 tragicomedy, Merrily We Roll Along, which later inspired the award winning Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name.

Opening with a look at the corruption of a famous playwright, the play goes backward in time to show us how, with each false step, the former idealist came to value money over art and betrayed his two best friends.

Judith Evelyn & Jose Ferrer in THE SHRIKE (1952)

Closing this first season of the project from 3 November will be Joseph Kramm’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, The Shrike, an intimate psychological play “likely to scare the living daylights out of you” (New York Times).

Committed to a mental institution after he tried to commit suicide, the main character, a theatre director, quickly regains his sanity but finds that the doctors won’t believe him. They trust only his sweet but vindictive wife, who wants to keep him there.

LOST PLAYS will be presented as semi-staged performances at RADA’s Studio Theatre (formerly the Drill Hall) on Sunday afternoons.

The casts will include actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. Before each performance a celebrity guest speaker will give a brief talk on the piece.

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