Being presented in London for the first time in 30 years, the King's Head Theatre presents the first ever London revival of Tennessee Williams' autobiographical play Vieux Carré, about an aspiring young writer, and the bizarre, poignant and funny characters he encounters at a New Orleans boarding house.
Vieux Carré previews from Tuesday July 10 and the production runs to Saturday August 4. Opening night is Friday July 13 at 7.15pm.
Written with his characteristic passion and compassion for the damaged and dispossessed, Vieux Carré is in many ways the condensation of all Tennessee Williams' plays, yet it is unique in its depiction of his loneliness, despair and longing for something new. Many of his other great plays delve into his mother's story, or the events of his sister Rose's tragic life – this one is a search for Williams' own truth as he tried to understand it.
Stripped bare of the huge sets and endless scene changes that have dwarfed previous productions, the inmates of '722 Toulouse Street' in the French Quarter of New Orleans will come into dazzlingly sharp focus. They include Mrs Wire, the young writer's demented, manipulative landlady; Nightingale, an older, predatory, tubercular artist who refuses to accept his condition; Jane, a New Rochelle society girl dying of leukemia; her sexually ambiguous, drug-addicted lover Tye, who works as a bouncer in a strip club; Mary Maud and Miss Carrie, two eccentric elderly women who literally are starving to death; and a gay photographer with a passion for orgies.
In the intimate confines of the King's Head Theatre, this production offers a thrilling opportunity to re-engage with one of the most influential and inspirational voices of 20th Century Theatre's last great masterpiece.
The production is directed by Robert Chevara and produced by the King's Head Theatre, whose previous productions include the world premiers of two Tennessee Williams plays - I Never get dressed till after dark on Sundays and A Cavalier For Milady, the London premiere of Arnold Wesker's Denial, the Peter Gill season at Riverside Studios, the Edward Bond season 2010 at The Cock Tavern and the Olivier award-winning La Boheme at The Cock Tavern, King's Head Theatre and Soho Theatre.
Directed by Robert Chevara, the production boasts designs by Nicolai Hart-Hansen and costumes by Jonathan Lipman.
The cast are Samantha Coughlan, Nancy Crane, Eva Fontaine, Anna Kirke, Jack McMillan, Hildegard Neil, Paul Standell, David Whitworth and Tom Ross Williams.
The show runs Tuesday 10 July to Saturday 4 August with performances Tuesday - Saturday at 7.15pm and Sunday at 3.00pm at The King's Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, London N1 1QN.
Tickets are £10.00 - £25.00 from www.kingsheadtheatre.com or 020 7478 0160.