Actor and author Martin Foreman is premiering four one-man plays, "Loss," this July at the Lord Stanley Theatre in Camden. The plays form part of the 2012 Solo Festival – the annual season of one-man/one-woman shows at the Lord Stanley from 9 to 29 July.
"I'm excited about this opportunity of working with very talented actors who are bringing very different characters to life, from the Venice of a hundred years ago to the London and Los Angeles today," Foreman said. "I hope that these glimpses into men's lives will engage both the hearts and the minds of the audience."
The characters in Martin's plays come from different backgrounds – a young man in Los Angeles meets the woman who gives meaning to his life, a priest tries to reconcile his desire with his faith, and an older gay men recalls the group of friends he once knew. Finally there is the well-known story of obsession, Death in Venice, told from the perspective of Tadzio in middle-age.
Each of the plays explores the idea of Loss from very different and very personal perspectives, and each is performed by a talented actor who brings life and depth to the character he portrays.
A Sense of Loss retells Death Venice. In the original novella by Thomas Mann, famously filmed by Luchino Visconti with Dirk Bogarde, we follow Gustav von Aschenbach's obsession with the handsome teenager Tadzio. Years later, Tadzio remembers that summer and tells his story. A Sense of Loss is performed by Chris Annus, returning to the stage after several years' absence.
Angel opens with a priest praying to the Virgin. Then a visitor arrives and the man of God finds himself laying bare his soul. Angel is performed by the author, Martin Foreman, whose recent stage appearances include The Duchess of Malfi at the Greenwich Playhouse and the central role of Luka in Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths in the Lord Stanley.
Ben and Joe's is a bar in the San Fernando Valley where every afternoon a group of gay men escape from the heat and dull lives. Everything changes when one of their number brings in a young companion. Ben and Joe's is performed by Barry Clarke whose prolific career in the theatre includes Shakespeare, Webster and Joe Orton. His awards include playing Alan Turing in Breaking the Code.
In Los Feliz, a man separated from his wife and child, in a small apartment and a dead-end job, meets the woman who comes to mean everything to him. The actor is Robin Holden, whose stage credits include Hamlet, Iago and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde; he has also appeared in several films.
All four plays are based on short stories by Martin. A Sense of Loss is the title story in a collection originally published by Gay Men's Press and now available through Paradise Press (www.paradisepress.org.uk). The other stories appeared in First and Fiftieth (Paradise Press), a collection of first-person narratives spanning the globe, genders and sexualities.
Sat 14th July: Robin Holden in Los Feliz (16.00 and 17.30)
Sat 21st July: Barry Clarke in Ben and Joe's (13.00 and 17.30); Chris Annus in A Sense of Loss (14.30 and 19.00); Martin Foreman in Angel (16.00 and 20.30)
Sat 28th July: All four plays (13.00 / 14.30 / 16.00 / 17.30)
One play: £7 two plays: £12 three plays: £16 four plays: £20. Book via: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0798 965 5482. Prices and booking for these four plays only: for other Solo Festival performances, contact email@example.com.
The Lord Stanley Theatre is located at 51 Camden Park Road, London NW1 9BH. For information about Martin Foreman, the actors, the schedule, and more, visit www.martinforeman.me.uk/loss-at-solofestival.htm or www.solofestival.net.