Saturday, 21 March 2015

Rolling Stone at Manchester Royal Exchange

By Chris Urch 
Directed by Ellen McDougall
Designed by Joanna Scotcher 
The Royal Exchange Theatre
St Ann’s Square, Manchester
Tuesday 21 April – Friday 1 May 2015

MANCHESTER Royal Exchange Theatre is set to stage the world premiere of Chris Urch’s Bruntwood Prize winning play THE ROLLING STONE 

Playing in rep alongside ANNA KARENINA - and drawing from the same cast and creative team – the production runs from Tuesday 21 April to Friday 1 May 2015. 

It tells a very different story of lovers at odds with society. The play’s central characters, Dembe and Sam, have been seeing each other for a while. They should be wondering where it is going and when to introduce each other to their families. 

But they’re gay and this is Uganda and the consequences of being discovered will be violent and explosive - especially for Dembe, whose brother goes into the pulpit each week to denounce the evils of one man loving another. 

THE ROLLING STONE won writer Chris Urch a Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting in 2013.

His previous credits include short plays performed at the Bush, Arcola, Soho Theatre, Latitude and the Old Vic (24Hr Plays). He was the first playwright handpicked by Howard Brenton to launch PLAYWRIGHT PRESENTS - a new initiative in which established writers use their stature to help launch the career of a promising new writer.  

From 2012 to 2013 he was resident writer at Theatre 503 where his first full-length play, LAND OF OUR FATHERS, was performed before transferring to the West End - playing at The Trafalgar Studios in 2014.  He is currently on attachment to the National Theatre Studio. 

The cast for THE ROLLING STONE includes Fiston Barek as Dembe; Donna Berlin as Mama Kyeyune; Robert Gilbert as Sam; Faith Omole as Wummie; Sule Rimi as Joe and Ony Uhiara as Naome. 

Director Ellen McDougall received an Olivier nomination for her 2010 production of IVAN AND THE DOGS (ATC, Soho, UK tour and Rustaveli Theatre, Georgia). As well as ANNA KARENINA at the Royal Exchange, recent credits include TELLING TALES (Almeida); PHILOCTETES (Unicorn) SHOWS 1 and 2 (Secret Theatre) for Lyric Theatre Hammersmith; SPRING AWAKENING and IDOMENEUS (Gate Theatre) and NOT NOW BERNARD (Unicorn Theatre and touring). 

The production is designed by Joanna Scotcher and the creative team is completed by Richard Owen (lighting designer), Dave Norton (sound designer) and James Fortune (musical director).

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