The Hope Theatre announces first new spring season of work under new artistic director Phil Bartlett

The season will open with the world premiere of Measures by Emma O’Brien. A play about the hidden consequences of living with an eating disorder. The production will be accompanied by Measured Festival, a selection of electric late-evening events celebrating mental health awareness, including stand-up, improv and comedy.

This will also marks the world-premiere of A Good Time Was Had By All, a dark satire about a group of friends who discover disturbing information about one of their group.

Up in Town, a new stage adaptation which marks the twentieth anniversary of the cult TV series about an older woman’s desire to be visible.

Emma Zadow’s new play Fridge will also play from Tuesday 15 March to Saturday 2 April alongside If. Destroyed. Still. True., the debut script from Jack Condon, exploring male friendship in rural Essex. The season will close with 100 Paintings, a dystopian comedy about a young artist and his mother which comes to the Hope after a successful shorter run at the Bread and Roses Theatre last year.

There is also the return of the popular Sunday-Monday programme, which offers emerging theatre-makers the opportunity to present their work without having to commit to a full three-week run.

Ticket prices will rise from £15 (£12 concessions) to £16 (£13 concessions) for performances taking place from April 2022 onwards. This reflects the rise in national living wage and the theatre’s ongoing commitment to ensuring all performers, stage management and box office staff are paid a legal wage.

See below for more details on each production :

MEASURED / MEASURED FESTIVAL

Written by Emma O’Brien, directed by Cat Robey, starring Juliette Burton. Tuesday 22 February – Saturday 11 March @ 7.00pm. PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 24 February @ 7.00pm

 “Well, its not a party ’til someones crying in the toilets.”

Sophie’s sister, Lucy, is at that age where her friends are throwing yoghurt around at school. Sophie’s boyfriend, Tom, runs a catering company for picky wedding planners. And Sophie? Sophie has an eating disorder – which she sees as a rather large inconvenience. Now that she’s in recovery, Sophie is hopeful she can reconnect with Lucy and Tom, but she knows that after hiding within her illness for so long, it’s not going to be easy to cope without it.

MEASURED is a witty and moving new play examining the hidden consequences of an eating disorder for the sufferer and those who love them. Exposing the emotional turmoil of the illness without glamorising its dangers, MEASURED questions how effective recovery can be in a society that still wants women to be as ‘little’ as possible.

Full line-up will be announced soon.

FRIDGE

Written by Emma Zadow, performed by Emma Zadow, Gabrielle De Saumarez, and Edward Watchman, directed by Anoushka Bonwick. Tuesday 15 March – Saturday 2 April. PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 17 March @ 9pm @ 7.45pm

Alice hasn’t been home for a while. Seven years in fact. But when her little sister, Lo, attempts to take her own life, the journey from South London to Norfolk proves to be more than just a simple change of pace. Disney VHS tapes, walkmans and shared memories fill the family home where Alice must confront what she left behind and what exactly brought her back. With the help of their friend Charlie, together, the three try to rekindle a family broken in the Norfolk wilderness.

“When it’s this silent, it’s easy to hear voices.”

FRIDGE is a play about familial ties and the importance of giving support to those we love. In the wake of mental health cuts to the NHS, over 81,000 people in the Norfolk area are experiencing mental health difficulties, with suicide rates presenting as particularly high. This is a show with magic realist writing at the heart of a story about a broken family that are brought back together in Norfolk, despite themselves and their past trauma.

A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL

Written and directed by Sam Smithson, performed by Hattie Kemish, Holly McComish, Bethany Monk Lane, and Cameron Wilson. Tuesday 5 – Saturday 23 April @ 7.45pm. PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 7 April @ 7.45pm

A dinner party. A dark secret. A damn good time. When university friends re-unite over dinner, they are forced to make an uncomfortable decision about one of their oldest friends..

“People aren’t always what they show you, do you understand? People hide things.”

A darkly satirical play exploring justice and who has access to it.

IF.DESTROYED. STILL. TRUE.

The debut production from JAWBONES Theatre, telling the epic stories in everyday lives. Written by Jack Condon, directed by Sarah Stacey. Tuesday 26 April – Saturday 2 May @ 7.45pm. PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 28 April @ 7.45pm

“But where the fuck have you actually been though? What have you really done? It’s been… I hardly recognise you mate.”

A cliffside hangout. A friendship. A forgotten town. Summer 2012, a warm evening by the sea. James is home from University with his new girlfriend Charlotte. John, James’ best friend, can’t wait to reunite.

Until they do. Something is changing, something seismic. And none of them knows how significant this day will be for the rest of their lives…

A story spanning ten years, IF. DESTROYED. STILL. TRUE. shines a stark light on life between the cracks, and asks what happens when the place you were born can no longer be called home. Identity, class and cultures clash as life pulls childhood best mates apart. We bear witness to what we stand to lose when we cannot truly communicate, and the lengths to which we must go to find peace…

100 PAINTINGS

A new tragic comedy by Jack Stacey (The Play That Goes Wrong, West End), directed by Zachary Hart (Julius Caesar, The Bridge). Tuesday 17 May – Saturday 4 June @ 7.45pm. PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 19 May @ 7.45pm

Set in a dystopian future, 100 PAINTINGS tells the story of a young artist and his mother struggling to survive in the crumbling Savoy Hotel.

“How am I supposed to be a professional artist with my mother barging in offering hot beverages and food every five minutes?”

Battling mountains of unpaid hotel bills, the young artist has three days to produce one-hundred original paintings and deliver them to the new hotel manager or he and his mother face being turned out onto the street. With hilarious distractions coming in full force, he struggles to keep on course to meet the deadline, but help often comes from the most unexpected of places…

Visit www.thehopetheatre.com for more information.

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