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Bloody Poetry

by Howard Brenton

Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street SW1 Y 6ST.
Box Office 020 7287 2875
Tube: Piccadilly Circus;

will be at Jermyn Street Theatre from Wed 1 Feb for a 4 week season to Sat 25 Feb 2012. The press performance will be on Friday 3 February at 7.30pm.

Jermyn Street Theatre is the Fringe Theatre of the Year 2011 Stage 100 Awards and was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award in 2011.

In the cast are David Sturzaker (Byron), Joanna Christie (Claire Clairemont), Joe Bannister (Shelley) Rhiannon Sommers (Mary Shelley), Emily Glenister (Harriet Westbrook) and Nick Trumble (Dr William Polidori). It is directed by Tom Littler, design by Will Reynolds, lighting by Tim Mascall, costumes by Emily Stuart with sound by George Dennis. BLOODY POETRY is produced by Primavera, presented by Paul Deavin in association with Jermyn Street Theatre.

The play takes place between the summers of 1816 and 1822 in Switzerland, England and Italy. BLOODY POETRY was first seen in 1984 at Leicester Haymarket and subsequently at Hampstead Theatre. It was revived at the Royal Court in 1988.

The Shelleys and Claire Clairemont fled from scandal in London to Lake Geneva, where Claire introduced the Shelleys to her lover, Lord Byron. Byron was already world famous both for his writing and for his love life, including affairs with his sister Augusta and Lady Caroline Lamb.

Byron’s challenge to the company one evening to recount ghost stories produced Mary Shelley’s masterpiece ‘Frankenstein’. The convocation also produced Byron’s daughter Allegra and cemented a friendship between the two great poets which provided the inspiration for Shelley’s ‘Mont Blanc’, and ‘The Mask of Anarchy’ and Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’.

Howard Brenton is one of Britain’s most controversial dramatists. His many plays include ‘Anne Boleyn’ at the Globe, ‘Danton’s Death’, ‘Never So Good’, ‘The Romans in Britain’ and ‘Weapons of Happiness’ (all National Theatre), ‘Pravda’ (with David Hare), ‘The Churchill Play’, and ‘Epsom Downs’. He won a whatonstage Best New Play award for ‘Anne Boleyn’ and Evening Standard awards for ‘Pravda’ and ‘Weapons of Happiness’. His 14 episodes of ‘Spooks’ won a BAFTA Best Drama Series in 2003. There is a UK tour of ‘Anne Boleyn’ from 15 March for 8 weeks. There will be a revival of ‘Epsom Downs’ in May at the Salisbury Playhouse.

Tom Littler, Artistic Director of Primavera, has also directed ‘ A Little Night Music’ in Budapest and ‘Antigone’ at Southwark Playhouse, He was associate director of the Peter Hall Company from 2007-9 and was Trevor Nunn’s associate for ‘Flare Path’.

David Sturzaker will be in the tour of ‘Anne Boleyn’. His stage work includes in productions directed by Lucy Bailey including in ‘Kingdom of Earth’ and ‘Titus Andronicus’ with Douglas Hodge at the Globe. Joanna Christie was in ‘Equus’ with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Ratcliffe at the Gielgud. She has just written and appeared in ‘The Girl and The Fish’ Cannes 2011. She was in the last series of Channel 4’s ‘Misfits’ with Robert Sheehan. Joe Bannister is currently in ‘The Lion In Winter’ company at The Theatre Royal Haymarket. Rhiannon Sommers was in Tom Littler’s production of Sondheim’s ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ at Jermyn Street and most recently in ‘Butley’ at the Duchess, Emily Glenister has recently been in BBC’s ‘New Tricks’ and in ‘The Misanthrope’ at Bristol Old Vic. Nick Trumble has been in Tom Littler’s productions of ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘Anyone Can Whistle’.

Wed 1 – Sat 25 Feb 2012 Mon -Sat 7.30pm, Sat mats 3.30pm.
Press Perf Fri 3 Feb 7.30pm Running time 2 hours.
Tickets £18, £14 Conc. £13 Early Bird tickets available till Fri 20 Jan

17 January 2012