Eight newly commissioned short plays inspired by the passions, absurdities, exhilaration and despair of elections around the world.
In January 2005 New Company commissioned eight of the world’s most exciting new writers to create short plays inspired by elections in their countries.
From highly charged, black farce to clinical, magical realism, the plays explore, in one evening, some of the extraordinary stories and dilemma that elections breed.
“an astonishingly bold idea from a young, unsubsidised company; and, under the joint direction of Simon de Deney and Anouke Brook, the show is buoyantly performed at the Actors’ Centre by a five-strong cast in which Emma Buckley and Grant Gillespie shine.
“An excellent piece from the Ukraine’s Natalya Vorozhbit charts the excitements of the recent orange revolution “ — Michael Billington, Guardian
“…refreshingly oblique and imaginative…“ — Sam Marlowe, The Times
“Here’s a particularly ambitious project for a young fringe company, all the more to be admired for the extent of its success. “Acting, by Emma Buckley, Kyla Davis, Grant Gillespie, Gracy Goldman and Anthony Lewis and direction, by Simon de Deney and Anouke Brook, are excellent throughout.” — Gerald Berkowitz, London Theatre Guide
SCOTCH AND WATER by Brett C. Leonard and PONIES by Mike Batistick
Scotch and Water and Ponies make a powerful double bill. High octane, darkly funny, they take an angry and compassionate look at the modern American dream. Fuelled by booze and betting, addicted to hope, the characters square up to events with a combustible mix of courage and despair.
Directed by: SIMON de DENEY. Set Designer: Kate Klinger; Costume Designer: Belle Mundy; Lighting: Alex Watson; Sound: Matt Downing. Assistant Director: Anouka Brook Cast: Laura Brook, Glenn Conroy, Eddie Daniels, Ann-Marguerite Devlina, Simon Holmes, Kit Jackson, Trevor Long, Mitchell Mullen, Jimmy Roussounis and Mike Sarne
New Company’s first season, RUSSIAN SNAPSHOTS at The Troubadour comprised four new plays, charting Russia’s history in the twentieth century: ‘A Cloud in Trousers’ by Ed O’Regan, ‘Madame Zoyka’ by Bulgakov, ‘Blood So Cheap’ by Clare Booker and ‘Music Lessons’ by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. The season sold out and won two local Arts Council awards for Special Achievement and New Creative Work. It featured the late Sir Michael Horden’s only fringe appearance.
In July 2003, New Company staged a season of readings, ‘American Psyche’ of four new American plays at London’s Arts Theatre. They were chosen on the basis of being inspired in some way by the events of September 11, 2001. The four plays were ‘A Taste of Rain’ by P Seth Bauer, ‘Ponies’ by Mike Batistick, ‘Sweetness’ by Gary Sunshine and ‘Late Fragment’ by Francine Volpe.
Matthew escapes from the World Trade Centre attacks to offers of cake from his wife and cheese baskets from a grateful nation. The media want him to be a hero, his wife wants him to pay the mortgage. But something strange is happening to Matthew’s body. And nobody wants to understand. Francine Volpe’s Late Fragment is a dark, comic exploration of the personal aftershocks of one of the defining events of the twenty-first century.
“Francine Volpe is a native New Yorker, and her play fizzes with the edgy, fractured dialogue we associate with that city – and the theatre that comes from it. With its stylish set, Simon de Deney’s production for New Company plays firmly to our expectations. Alex Zorbas and Kelli Kerslake give strong performances as Matthew and Martha, and Louis Lourens’s Dorian is charmingly repellent…” — Time Out
“Simon de Deney’s staging grips like a malign hallucination. Unexpectedly well worth a look.” — Daily Telegraph