1. “Freddie’s Last Finale” is a new, original work based on Chekhov’s “Swansong” which we have performed many times. An old actor is retiring after his last show and there is a party. He gets drunk, everyone goes home and he awakes in the middle of the night in a dark theatre. He thinks of his career and suddenly characters appear on stage. It is a great theatrical conceit. Chekhov’s original script dates from about 1880 and we are working to transpose the show for today’s stage, particularly through music and comedy. There are themes that run through this short play that were provocative in its day – the main character’s journey from hetero to homosexuality, his loneliness and vulnerability and his indomitable sense of being a ‘theatrical’, his relationships with his prompter and musicians. Through re – living all he has played and all the audiences he has entertained, he can finally laugh at himself and understand that he will never retire.
2. Anton Chekhov Comedies – over the last five years we have worked on the short comedies Chekhov wrote in the early part of his career, when he lived in St. Petersburg. The playwright realised the extraordinary opportunity in the new railways traversing Russia. He designed these comedies with the vast network of small town, rural Russia in mind, where actors would tour by train for up to eighteen months. Often, there was no municipal theatre in market towns but open squares in summer and barns in winter. His comedies lampooned the russian bourgeousie and were immensely popular.
2. “The Dumb Waiter”, together with “Playing Pinter”, giving a full evening’s theatre.
4. Harold Pinter – “The Caretaker” – getting back to this sell-out classic for the 2012 season
5. Scenario for Tom Paine in ‘Paine’s Progress”, to be reworked both for the theatre and a libretto for an Opera.