Kneehigh to Return to St. Ann's Warehouse with THE WILD BRIDE, 2/23-3/17
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by BWW News Desk
St. Ann's Warehouse welcomes back Kneehigh and director Emma Rice for the New York premiere of The Wild Bride. In this adaptation of The Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Girl Without Hands," narrated by Satan himself, a father accidentally sells his daughter to the Devil. When our heroine cleverly escapes, a lyrical love story laced with devilish humor unfolds. The production features a bluegrass score by longtime Kneehigh composer Stu Barker, performed by live musicians and the cast.
Performances of The Wild Bride will take place at the new St. Ann's Warehouse (29 Jay Street) February 23-March 17 (see above schedule). Critics are welcome as of Tuesday, February 26 for an official opening on Wednesday, February 27.
The Wild Bride comes to St. Ann's Warehouse on the heels of tremendous acclaim internationally and at Berkeley Rep, where it made its American premiere last year, and where the production is in the midst of an encore run until it comes to Brooklyn.
The Wild Bride is classic Kneehigh: an adaptation of a canonical work for which Rice and her collaborators bring to bear lush design, live bluegrass music (by Stu Barker, with lyrics by Carl Grose), movement (by Etta Murfitt) and other theatrical tools to create a world at once dark and humorous. The designers-including Bill Mitchell (sets), Myriddin Wannell (costumes), Malcolm Rippeth (lighting) and Simon Baker (sound)-produce a stunning elemental landscape of dust, clay and fire. Rippeth and Baker were on the award-winning design team for Brief Encounter.
Our heroine, over the course of her life, continually finds herself at a crossroads. Betrayed by her father, she chooses to walk into the wilderness, rejecting not only the Devil, but her home as well. In the wild she meets a prince and becomes pregnant, but when he is called to war, her heart breaks. She brings up her child in the cool green of the forest and, miraculously, her broken heart grows back. It's a tale of love, loss, betrayal, desire, obsession, sin and redemption.
The cast features three brides: Audrey Brisson as the Girl, Patrycja Kujawska as the Wild and Etta Murfitt as the Woman; as well as Stuart Goodwin as the Father and the Prince; Andrew Durand (the lead from Warhorse on Broadway) as the Devil; and the musicians Ian Ross and Damon Daunno.
St. Ann's Warehouse has become the New York home of Cornwall-based Kneehigh, to which The New York Times has ascribed "ingenious story-theater stagecraft." The relationship began in 2009, when St. Ann's premiered director Emma Rice's adaptation of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter, which went on to a successful run on Broadway at Studio 54. In 2010, the company returned to St. Ann's with The Red Shoes, an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale in which Patrycja Kujawska gave a tour-de-force performance as The Girl.
Tickets $35-$55 can be purchased online at www.stannswarehouse.org, by phone at 718.254.8779 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-7pm) or 866.811.4111 (Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm; Sat and Sun, 10am-6pm) and in person at the St. Ann's Warehouse Box Office at 29 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn (Tue-Sat, 1pm-7pm).
Audrey Brisson (The Girl) trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 2009. She also studied Classical Singing at Cegep St-Laurent, Canada. As a child and teenager, Brisson worked extensively with Cirque du Soleil as a vocalist and performer. She performed in their international tours of Réinventé (1989) and Quidam (1996-2000). She also performed in the papal event at Yankee Stadium (2008). Since graduation, Brisson has appeared in films including Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood, W.E. directed by Madonna, and for television, a new drama adaptation of Martin Amis' novel Money (BBC).
Patrycja Kujawska (The Wild) studied at the Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland, graduating in violin performance. She has performed with Dada von Bzdulow Theatre since 1994 and composed the music to Dada's The Doom of the People or My Liver Has No Sense. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from Arts Council England, Yorkshire to compose music inspired by French sculptor Sabrina Gruss. She was worked with Kneehigh since 2008, in the leading role of The Girl in the company's production The Red Shoes, in the RSC coproduction Don John, and in Midnight's Pumpkin, in addition to The Wild Bride. Other theater credits include roles in Motherland (2012), If We Go On (2009), Test Run (2008 and 2006), Fairy Tale (2006), Broken Chords (2005), Punch Drunk (2004), Let The Mountains Lead You To Love (2003) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (2001). Kujawska lives in Bristol.
Andrew Durand (The Devil) previously worked with Rice and Kneehigh on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in which he played the role of Guy in London's West End. On Broadway he has appeared in War Horse as Albert Narracott, and in Spring Awakening as Georg. His Off-Broadway credits include The Burnt Part Boys (Vineyard Theater, Playwrights Horizons) and Yank! (York Theater), and his regional work includes The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Goodspeed). He earned a BFA from the Boston Conservatory.
Damon Daunno (Musician) is an actor and musician from New Jersey. He previously worked with Kneehigh on the Broadway run of Encounter. Other credits include The Last Goodbye (Williamstown) and Jesus in India (Magic Theater). He is a Tisch graduate.
Stuart Goodwin (The Father and The Prince) has worked on a variety of projects including Peak Practice, The Three Musketeers (The Young Vic, London), The Lieutenant Of Inishmore (Royal Shakespeare Company), Two Clouds Over Eden (Royal Exchange, Manchester, State of Play, BAFTA winner), Cashback (Oscar nominee) and Midnight's Pumpkin (Asylum, Cornwall and Battersea Arts Centre, London). He graduated from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Ian Ross (Musician) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. With Bristol-based ska/hip-hop phenomenon Babyhead, the swing ska group the Zen Hussies, Anoushka Shankar and others, Ross has performed extensively at venues ranging from New York Fashion Week to the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury Festival. As a composer, his theater credits include Hansel & Gretel (Kneehigh), A VERY OLD Man with Enormous Wings (Kneehigh and The Little Angel), Frankenspine / Mayday Mayday (Damfino), When the Shops Shut (Cscape) and Universerama (Squashbox). As a musician: Brief Encounter (Kneehigh), Don John (Kneehigh), Hansel & Gretel (Kneehigh), The Red Shoes (Kneehigh), The King of Prussia (Kneehigh), Midnight's Pumpkin (Kneehigh), The Wild Bride (Kneehigh) and Peter Pan (Bristol Old Vic). As a film composer: Weekend Retreat (O-region).
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Emma Rice (Adaptor & Director) is the Joint Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre. For Kneehigh, she has directed The Red Shoes (2002 Theatrical Management Association (TMA) Theatre Award for Best Director), The Wooden Frock (2004 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production), The Bacchae (2005 TMA Theatre Award for Best Touring Production), Tristan & Yseult (2006 TMA Theatre Award nomination for Best Touring Production), Cymbeline (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company, for The Complete Works festival), A Matter of Life and Death (Royal National Theatre production in association with Kneehigh Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (tour and West End; Studio 54, Broadway a David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Production in association with Kneehigh Theatre), Don John (in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic), Midnight's Pumpkin and The Wild Bride. Rice was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Director for Brief Encounter. Her latest work includes the West End production of Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy for Spymonkey, Wah! Wah! Girls for World Stages (Sadler's Wells, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Kneehigh) and Steptoe and Son, which continues its UK tour this spring. This year she will direct The Empress for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Stu Barker (Composer & Performer) has worked extensively as composer/musical director with Kneehigh Theatre over the last sixteen years. Shows as composer/MD include A Matter of Life and Death / Tristan And Yseult (Royal National Theatre), Brief Encounter (Broadway/West End), Cymbeline / Don John (RSC), Hansel And Gretel (Bristol Old Vic), The Bacchae / The Wooden Frock (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Nights At The Circus / The Red Shoes (Lyric Hammersmith), The Wild Bride, Rapunzel (BAC), Pandora's Box (Northern Stage) and Midnight Pumpkin. As a composer and MD, Barker has also worked with Shakespeare's Globe, Bristol Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Welfare State International, Contact Theatre, Liverpool Lantern Company, Travelling Light and Horse And Bamboo. Recently, Barker has been touring as trombonist with C. W Stoneking & His Primitive Horn Orchestra.
Carl Grose (Text & Lyrics) has worked extensively with Kneehigh for the past seventeen years, as both a writer and an actor. His writing for the company includes Quick Silver, Tristan & Yseult, The Bacchae, Wagstaffe the Wind-Up Boy, Blast!, Cymbeline and Hansel & Gretel. Grose has also written for BBC TV and Radio, Vesturport, Told By An Idiot, o-region, Spymonkey, the RSC and The National Theatre. His plays include Grand Guignol, Superstition Mountain, 49 Donkeys Hanged, Gargantua and Horse Piss For Blood. Grose is currently writing shows for Bristol Old Vic, the National and the RSC, and a new version of The Beggar's Opera for Kneehigh.
Etta Murfitt (Choreographer & Performer) trained at London Contemporary Dance School. She created roles for Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP) between 1991 and 2002 and became Assistant Artistic Director in 1995. Upon its conception in 2002 Etta was appointed Associate Director of Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. She has performed with the company in various productions, such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Car Man and Swan Lake.
Other choreography and movement direction credits include: A Chorus of Disapproval (Harold Pinter Theatre, dir. Trevor Nunn), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West Yorkshire Playhouse, dir. Sarah Esdaille), Steptoe & Son (Kneehigh Theatre), Rufus Norris' Sleeping Beauty (Birmingham Rep), The Wild Bride & Midnight's Pumpkin (Kneehigh Theatre); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (dir. Sir Trevor Nunn for Chichester Festival Theatre 2011 & Theatre Royal Haymarket), Le nozze di Figaro (diR. Martin Lloyd-Evans for Holland Park Opera), The Way of the World (dir. Selina Cadell at Wilton's Music Hall), AMP's Nutcracker! (Sadler's Wells), AMP's The Infernal Galop (for Images of Dance and Sarasota Ballet, Florida), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (with Dawn French, dir. Matthew Francis at the Albery Theatre).
TV and film credits include Clara in Nutcracker! (BBC/NVC), Rita in The Car Man (Channel 4), Rehearsal Director for Swan Lake (BBC), Late Flowering Lust (BBC), Roald Dahl's Red Riding Hood (BBC), Mrs Hartley and the Growth Centre (BBC) and Storm (Aletta Collins/BBC Dance for the Camera)
Murfitt teaches throughout the UK and abroad for dance companies and dance institutions, and is a freelance faculty member of the London Contemporary Dance School and Young Place.
Malcolm Rippeth (Lighting Designer) has worked with Kneehigh since 2002, lighting Brief Encounter, The Red Shoes, Steptoe & Son, Wah! Wah! Girls, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Midnight's Pumpkin, Blast!, The King of Prussia, Don John, Cymbeline, Nights at the Circus, The Bacchae and Pandora's Box. His work with other companies and venues includes The Dead (Abbey, Dublin), The Promise (Donmar Warehouse), London (Paines Plough), West Side Story (The Sage Gateshead), Stones in His Pockets (Tricycle), Decade (Headlong Theatre at St. Katharine Docks), Spur of the Moment (Royal Court), Six Characters in Search of an Author (West End), HMS Pinafore (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis), Calendar Girls (West End/Australia/Canada), The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola), The Field (Dublin), The Devil Inside Him (National Theatre Wales), The Winslow Boy (Kingston), His Dark Materials (Birmingham Rep), Crash (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Bloody Chamber (Northern Stage), The Seven Year Itch (Salisbury), Hamlet (English Touring Theatre), Copenhagen (Edinburgh Royal Lyceum), Tutti Frutti (National Theatre of Scotland), A VERY OLD Man with Enormous Wings (Little Angel), Armida (Garsington Opera), Carmen Jones (Royal Festival Hall), Seven Deadly Sins (Welsh National Opera) and Designer Body (balletLORENT). Rippeth won a 2010 OBIE as a member of the design team for Brief Encounter in New York and the 2009 Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Lighting Designer for his work on Brief Encounter and Six Characters in Search of an Author in the West End.
Bill Mitchell (Set Designer) joined Kneehigh in 1987 and was Artistic Director from 1997 to 2005, when he left to establish WILDWORKS, a site specific/landscape theater company whose works include A VERY OLD Man with Enormous Wings (2005), Souterrain (2006-07) and The Beautiful Journey (2009). In 2010 WILDWORKS created a series of installations called The Enchanted Palace inside 23 rooms for Kensington Palace, and in 2011 made The Passion in Port Talbot with National Theatre Wales (TMA award best director 2011 with Michael Sheen). Among the many Kneehigh productions on which Mitchell has collaborated with Emma Rice are The Red Shoes, Tristan & Yseult, The Bacchae, Wooden Frock, Nights at the Circus and A Matter of Life and Death.
Myriddin Wannell (Costume Designer) is a theater designer and visual artist based in Cornwall. After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art, he went to Cornwall to work toward a second degree, in Fine Art, at University College Falmouth. Wannell has worked alongside Bill Mitchell as associate designer for WILDWORKS since the company's creation in 2005. Shows to his include A VERY OLD Man with Enormous Wings (2005), Souterrain (2006-07), The Beautiful Journey (2009) and The Memory Projector (2009). Recent projects include a two-year residency at Kensington Palace with The Enchanted Palace and The Passion, a site-specific collaboration between WILDWORKS, Michael Sheen and National Theatre Wales. Wannell has worked extensively in the UK, France, Germany, Romania, Australia and Africa.
Simon Baker's (Sound Designer) recent credits include Matilda The Musical (RSC and Cambridge Theatre, 2012 Olivier Award for Best Sound), Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), Steptoe & Son (Kneehigh Theatre, UK tour), Looserville (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Garrick Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Old Vic), Wah! Wah! Girls (Saddlers Wells), Angus Thongs and Even More Snogging (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Batman Live (World Arena Tour), Me and My Girl (Sheffield), The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Lyric Theatre), The Real Thing (Old Vic), The Norman Conquests (Old Vic and Broadway), Late Middle Classes (Donmar), La Bête (Comedy Theatre and Broadway), Lord Of The Rings (Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Toronto, 2007 Olivier Nomination for Best Sound), Deathtrap (Noel Coward Theatre), Boeing Boeing (Comedy Theatre and Broadway, 2007 Tony Nomination for Best Sound) and Di and Viv and Rose (Hampstead Downstairs). He worked on the Bridge Project for BAM/Old Vic Theatre in 2009, The Birds (Dublin) and Closer To Heaven (Arts Theatre). His Kneehigh work includes Brief Encounter (London, WYP, UK and U.S. tours, Broadway and St. Ann's Warehouse, 2011 Tony Nomination for Best Sound), Don John (RSC and international tour), The Red Shoes (international tour), Midnights Pumpkin and all three years of Kneehigh's Asylum Season.
Andy Graham (Associate Sound Designer) graduated from Mountview Theatre School in 2001 with a BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre. As a sound operator, he has worked on West End productions of The King & I, The Full Monty, Contact, Jerry Springer The Opera (Olivier Award for Best Sound), Guys And Dolls (Olivier Nomination), The Lord Of The Rings (Olivier Nomination) and Loserville. He also worked on Our House (UK tour and 10th Anniversary Production). For Kneehigh, Graham has worked as an operator and Associate Sound Designer on Brief Encounter (UK tour, US tour and Broadway - Tony Nomination for Best Sound), The Red Shoes (UK, US and Australia), and The Wild Bride (UK, US and New Zealand). Recent solo design work and collaborations include Oedipussy for Spymonkey, Mary Rose for Dog Orange, Allegro for LSMT, and Jekyll and Hyde for Vienna's English Theatre (Vienna and European Tour). Graham was also a sound operator for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Paul Crewes' (Producer) role at Kneehigh follows his position as a producer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, where he set up over 40 productions as well as collaborations with Kneehigh (The Wooden Frock and The Bacchae), Improbable Theatre, Teatre Romea, National Theatre and with commercial and West End producers. Other work includes producing the UK tour of Doorman, with his own company in 2005; serving as Associate Producer for the Lowry, including producing King Cotton in 2007; and working for Metal with Jude Kelly. Crewes has worked for Kneehigh since 2005 and has produced Tristan & Yseult (UK, Sydney, New Zealand and the U.S), Cymbeline (UK, Columbia and Brazil), Rapunzel (UK and the U.S.), Don John (UK and the U.S.), Hansel & Gretel, Brief Encounter (U.S. tour), the launch of the Kneehigh Asylum (featuring The Red Shoes, Blast!, The King of Prussia), the 2010 tour of The Red Shoes (UK, the U.S. and Australia), Midnight's Pumpkin (Kneehigh Asylum 2011 & BAC 2012), The Wild Bride (Kneehigh Asylum 2011, UK & U.S. tours) and Steptoe & Son (UK tour 2012).
Based in Cornwall, Kneehigh is celebrated as one of the UK's most exciting theatre companies. For over 30 years, the company has created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre for audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Using a multi-talented team of performers, directors, designers, sculptors, administrators, engineers, musicians and writers, Kneehigh perform with the joyful anarchy that audiences have come to expect from a ground-breaking theatre company.
Kneehigh productions include Steptoe and Son (UK Tour 2012/13) The Wild Bride (UK Tour, San Francisco, New York, New Zealand 2011/12/13); Midnight's Pumpkin (The Asylum, Cornwall 2011, Battersea Arts Centre, 2012); The Red Shoes (UK Tour 2001/2, Winner of TMA for Best Director 2002, UK Tour, USA and Australia 2010/11), Hansel & Gretel (UK Tour 2010/11), Don John (UK Tour 2008/9), Brief Encounter (West End 2008, UK Tour and USA Tour 2009, Broadway 2010), A Matter of Life and Death (Royal National Theatre 2007), Rapunzel (BAC, UK Tour and New York 2007/8), Cymbeline (UK and International Tour 2007/2008) and Tristan and Yseult (Royal National Theatre and UK Tour 2006).
Forthcoming productions include Steptoe and Son (UK Tour 2013), A VERY OLD Man With Enormous Wings (in association with Little Angel Theatre, UK tour 2013), The Wild Bride (US tour 2013), Tristan & Yseult (UK and US tour 2013), Brief Encounter (Australia & US tour 2013/14), and a new version of The Beggar's Opera (opening in the UK in 2014).
Through its signature multi-artist concerts and groundbreaking music/theater collaborations, St. Ann's Warehouse has become the artistic home for the American avant-garde, international companies of stature and award-winning emerging artists. Highly acclaimed landmark productions include Lou Reed's and John Cale's Songs for 'Drella; Marianne Faithfull's Seven Deadly Sins; Artistic Director Susan Feldman's Band in Berlin; Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers' Theater of the New Ear; The Royal Court Theater's 4:48 Psychosis; The Globe Theatre of London's Measure for Measure; Druid Company's The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope; Enda Walsh's Misterman, featuring Cillian Murphy; Lou Reed's Berlin; the National Theater of Scotland's acclaimed Black Watch, and Kneehigh Theatre's Brief Encounter; The Baxter Theatre Centre's Mies Julie; and Dmitry Krymov Lab's Opus No. 7. St. Ann's has championed such artists as The Wooster Group, Jeff Buckley, Cynthia Hopkins, Enda Walsh, Emma Rice, and Daniel Kitson.
St. Ann's Warehouse has been awarded the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE Award for the development of new work. The OBIE Award Committee honored St. Ann's for "inviting artists to treat their cavernous DUMBO space as both an inspiring laboratory and a sleek venue where its super-informed audience charges the atmosphere with hip vitality."