Lisa Maxwell has joined the cast of the West End premiere of CHICKEN, a dark and devilish comedy –which opens at the Trafalgar Studio 2 from Monday 25 June 2012.
Lisa is very excited to be appearing in her first straight theatre role, in a contemporary and topical play. She says: "The play is relevant today and being a London girl I grew up with the same sense of humour as these city characters. There is nothing polite about them, and at times CHICKEN is hilarious. This is my first serious role in the theatre so a lot of new challenges for me - and nowhere to hide in such an intimate space!"
Set in the Bronx, CHICKEN is a gritty play full of street-smart humour about two childhood pals, Wendall and Floyd, an unhappy wife - and a sickly rooster they are grooming for an illegal cockfight.
Wendall (Craig Kelly, Coronation Street, Queer As Folk) and his pregnant wife Lina, (Lisa Maxwell, Loose Women, The Bill) live in a stifling and cramped apartment, full of the mess of desperate people. Floyd (George Georgiou, Mamma Mia!-The Movie) is kipping down on the sofa, and a visit from his father (Andy Lucas), his brash ex wife (Amy Tez) and the local hustler (Daniel Yabut), clearly shows what an unstable upbringing and a burning desire for money can do – but will the cock be their meal ticket?
CHICKEN is an acute observation of modern life in the city, as the dysfunctional friends scrabble and strut like cocks, fighting in the grimy, slightly desperate world they inhabit. There is no working class – this is the world of the new underclass.
CHICKEN, is written by new playwright, New Yorker Mike Batistick. CHICKEN opened off Broadway starring The Sopranos actor Michael Imperioli, at his theatre, Studio Dante.
Imperioli says: "I loved the play from the first time I read it. I love the way Batistick handles New York: by setting it in this melting-pot environment it reflects any major modern city. The play is of our time, as it is filled with multi-cultural characters put in this pressure-cooker environment".
The production is led by director Sam Neophytou (Bodega Lung Fat, Hackney Empire). CHICKEN is co-produced by Inner City Productions and Amy Tez. Inner City Productions is devoted to developing new works that reflect the multi-cultural and multi-faceted nature of city life and was founded in 2008 by George Georgiou and Sam Neophytou - patrons include: Christopher Fettes (The Drama Centre) and the writer Martin Sherman. Casting for CHICKEN by Urvashi Chugani Chand and the set design will incorporate the innovative print and design gallery Jealous, who will be creating screen prints by new artist David Illari.
Inner City Productions makes its West End debut with CHICKEN and aims to "make good theatre public and public theatre good" (Joan Littlewood) – starting with their realistic ticket pricing from £17.50 in the intimate 98 seat Trafalgar Studio 2.
CHICKEN will play in the West End, at the Trafalgar Studio 2, Whitehall, from Monday 25 June 2012 to Saturday 21 July 2012. The press night is on Tuesday 26 June at 7pm.