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BLT’s 2017 SEASON

Main House

Fri 13-Sat 21 Jan 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 15)
The 39 Steps
by John Buchan. Adapted by Patrick Barlow • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Wayne Sheridan

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller is brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage. A small team of fearless actors play 139 roles in this wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller. Follow the incredible adventures of our handsome hero, Richard Hannay, complete with stiff upper lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache, as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, dangerously beautiful women.

All the legendary scenes are included in this stage version: the chase on the Flying Scotsman; the escape on the Forth Bridge and the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged. An astonishing theatrical tour de force!

In The Bar

Wed 25-Sun 29 January 2017 at 7.45pm
Colder Than Here
by Laura Wade • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Phil Cairns

Nobody can ignore the fact that Myra is dying, but in the meantime life goes on. There are boilers to be fixed, cats to be fed and the perfect funeral to be planned. As a mother researches burial spots and biodegradable coffins, her family are finally forced to communicate with her, and each other, as they face up to an unpredictable future.

Laura Wade’s beautifully poised family drama was first performed at the Soho Theatre, London, in 2005.

This is Phil Cairn’s directorial debut at BLT after being involved in many productions as an actor and back stage.

Main House

Fri 10-Sat 18 Feb 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 12)
The Heresy Of Love
by Helen Edmundson • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Mark Bullock

First performed by the RSC in 2012, this powerful historical drama set in late 17th century Mexico, is inspired by the extraordinary life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a young nun who was also a gifted and progressive playwright, much admired by the Spanish aristocracy. Edmundson’s play explores the conundrum of a nun who wrote comic plays and secular poetry and dramatically portrays the clash between organised religion and personal faith, full of intrigue, danger, ruthless ambition and illicit desire.

This is Mark Bullock’s directorial debut at BLT. He has directed in the past for various local groups including South London Theatre.

Main House

JumpyFri 10-Sat 18 Mar 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 12)
Jumpy
by April De Angelis • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Colleen Batson

A frank and very funny family comedy which premiered at the Royal Court in 2011 with Tamsin Greig playing the role of Hilary, a woman who once protested at Greenham Common. Nowadays, Hilary’s protests tend to focus on her teenage daughter’s scant attire. Every day’s a crisis – it’s called being fifty!

This is Colleen Batson’s first main house production at BLT. It follows her intriguing production of Old Times in the bar earlier this year.

In The Bar

Double TopWed 29 Mar-Sun 2 Apr 2017 at 7.45pm
Double Top
by Ron Rose • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Jessica-Ann Jenner

Double Top is a hilarious comedy about a ladies’ darts team in Yorkshire. Ron Rose, a successful TV script writer (The Bill and Heartbeat), wrote the play in 1976 and, thirty years later, it premiered at the Hull Truck, with  John Godber directing. Ron has given permission for BLT to perform his play and this will be an amateur premiere. Although a comedy, raucously funny and punctuated by popular music of the period, it is also a celebration of the courage and lives of five working class women.

You can expect lots of tears of laughter and sadness, but above all, a great night out! And perhaps the odd surprise.

Main House

PowerFri 14-Sat 22 Apr 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 16)
Power
by Nick Dear • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Hilary Cordery

First performed at the National Theatre in 2003, Power is set in the court of the young Louis XIV and charts the early years of his tempestuous reign, his relationship with his flamboyant brother, and his passion for his brother’s wife. The question is who really holds ‘the power’ and to what lengths does Louis have to go to establish himself as the absolute monarch.

Nick Dear makes his history constantly entertaining and shows his audience how the legend of ‘the Sun King’ developed and how Versailles was born. Bawdy, passionate, intriguing and strongly comic.

Power will be BLT’s entry for the 2017 Bromley Theatre Guild and Kent Drama Association Full Length Play Festivals.

Main House

Fri 12-Sat 20 May 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 14)
People
by Alan Bennett • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Mike Darbon

First performed at the National Theatre in 2012, People is Alan Bennett at his best: elegaic yet satiric, provocative yet poignant and wickedly funny. Like its owner, Lady Dorothy Stacpoole’s stately home has seen better days. Both are in an advanced state of decay. The house is cold, damp and neglected, while Dorothy – once a successful fashion model – now sports a moth-eaten fur coat and plimsolls. Her younger sister, a bossy archdeacon, wants to hand the house over to the National Trust, but Dorothy has more radical ideas, such as selling it to a sinister commercial concern or renting it out as a location for porn films.

This is Mike Darbon’s first main house production at BLT and follows his compelling production of Doubt in the bar in 2015.

In The Bar

Wed 24- Sun 28 May 2017 at 7.45pm
The Breath Of Life
by David Hare • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Mike Weaver

Frances was the dutiful wife of Martin. Madeleine was his not-so-dutiful mistress of 25 years. Now Martin has moved to America with a younger woman, so the two enemies meet face to face at last, to discuss their relationships with the elusive man by whom they refuse to be defined. Together they explore the past, realising they must learn to feel the breath of life again. This is a riveting play packed with electric tension, quick wit and raw humour.

Staged in London’s West End in 2002 with Maggie Smith and Judy Dench, it received great critical acclaim and is regarded as one of Hare’s finest pieces of writing.

This is Mike Weaver’s first production at BLT. In January 2017, he directs Patrick Marber’s Dealer’s Choice at the Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre.

Main House

Fri 9-Sat 17 Jun 2017  at 7.45pm (not Sun 11)
Of Mice And Men
by John Steinbeck • PREVIEW • REVIEW
Directed by Mike Savill

Steinbeck’s own stage version of his classic award-winning novel, tells the moving story of George and Lenny – the fast-talking farm hand and the simple giant who accompanies him on a life of casual labour in 1930s California. Their dream is to have ‘a little place of their own’ and ‘to live off the fat of the land’ but ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’ often go awry and lives change irrevocably.

A powerfully absorbing portrait of the American spirit and a heart-breaking testament to the bonds of friendship.

Main House

Fri 7-Sat 15 Jul 2017at 7.45pm (not Sun 9)
Nell Gwynn
by Jessica Swale • PREVIEW. REVIEW
Directed by Jessica-Ann Jenner

London, 1660: King Charles II has exploded on to the scene with a love of all things loud, extravagant and sexy. And at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is causing stirrings amongst the theatregoers. Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress and her hard-won place in the heart of the King. But at a time when women were second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the Court?

Jessica Swale’s exhilarating take on the heady world of Restoration theatre premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, in September 2015, before transferring to the West End in February 2016 and won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for that year.

Main House

Thu 20-Sat 22 July 2017 at 7.45pm
Youth Theatre Show
Arabian Nights
By Dominic Cooke • PREVIEW . REVIEW
Directed by Jessica-Ann Jenner, Richard Stewart and Hazal Han

When King Shahrayar discovers his wife has been unfaithful he vows to marry a new wife a night before beheading them at sunrise.  A thousand girls perish until Shaharazad volunteers to marry the King.  On their wedding night she asks one favour of her new husband: to tell her sister one last story…

Main House

Fri 15-Sat 23 Sep 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 17)
Four Nights In Knaresborough
by Paul Webb • PREVIEW REVIEW
Directed by Tony Jenner

First performed at the Tricycle Theatre in 1999, Four Knights In Knaresborough is a dark comedy that recounts the aftermath of the murder of Thomas Becket by four knights who made the ‘worst career choice in history’. The knights are being hunted, their lives and careers are ruined and one of them even has excruciating toothache.

Dramatic, funny, touching and intelligent, the four knights fight, freeze and fornicate through the worst year of their lives.

In The Bar

Wed 27-Sun 1 Oct 2017 at 7.45pm
Jezebel
by Mark Cantan • PREVIEW
Directed by Paul Ackroyd

Winner of the prestigious 2012 Stewart Parker Trust New Playwright Award, Jezebel is a very funny comedy about the dumb consequences of hot sex meeting cold statistics. Alan and Robin are a go-getting couple who want to spice up their sex life. Jezebel is a woe-fretting singleton who’s looking to get one. Could a threesome be the answer to all their problems? A fast-paced adventure of misunderstandings and unexpected complications. A light-hearted lesson in what not to do when your sex life needs saving.

This is Paul Ackroyd’s debut as a director for BLT, after appearing in many plays, as well as leading the box office team.

Main House

Fri 13-Sat 21 Oct 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 15)
Great Britain
by Richard Bean • PREVIEW
Directed by Pauline Armour

Following a triumphant premiere at the National Theatre and rave reviews in the West End in 2014, Bean’s play, inspired by the phone hacking trial, provides a hefty kick up the backside of modern Britain. The cosily corrupt connections between the press, police and politics are the key targets providing a loud, rambunctious, foul-mouthed entertainment, packed with lurid characters and vulgar jokes.

You’ll laugh – you’ll be appalled – but you’ll have a memorable evening out. Please note: this play is not for the faint-hearted!

Main House


Fri 10-Sat 18 Nov 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 12)
Talking Heads.
By Alan Bennett PREVIEW
Co-directed by Dan Armour and Pauline Armour

The show features three of Bennett’s brilliant and much-loved monologues: A chip in the Sugar, Her Big Chance and Bed among the Lentils

 

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In The Bar

Wed 22-Sun 26 Nov 2017 at 7.45pm
DNA
By Dennis Kelly • PREVIEW
Directed by Jessica-Ann Jenner

A group of teenagers do something bad – really bad – then panic and cover the whole thing up. But when they find that the cover-up unites them and brings harmony to their otherwise fractious lives, where is the incentive to put things right? DNA is a poignant and sometimes hilarious tale with a very dark heart.

Main House

Fri 8-Sat 16 Dec 2017 at 7.45pm (not Sun 10)
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson. Adapted by Bryony Lavery • PREVIEW
Directed by Jane Buckland

Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny was brought to life in a thrilling production at the National Theatre in 2014. On a dark, stormy night, Jim, the innkeeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At his feet, sits a huge sea chest full of secrets, and so a most dangerous and exciting voyage begins!

A large cast, playing multiple roles, brings this great adventure to the BLT stage!