Park Theatre have announced new shows in their Spring 2023 season, ranging from new productions about cancel culture and PTSD to revivals of classic plays by experimental writers Philip Ridley and Neil LaBute.
The new programme starts with Leaving Vietnam (14 March – 8 Apr). Running alongside the previously announced The Way Old Friends Do, directed by Mark Gatiss in Park200, the Park90 show is about the lived experience of a war veteran. Following a decorated Vietnam war veteran Jimmy Vandenberg who can’t move on when his sacrifice is not acknowledged, this thought-provoking and timely play shows how those who feel disillusioned and excluded can be seduced into supporting populist politicians.
Next in Park90 is cancel culture exploration Snowflakes (12 April – 6 May). Blending comedy, satire, sci-fi and drama, Snowflakes takes Cancel Culture quite literally to question ideas of morality, revenge and justice with gleeful, violent abandon. Marcus and Sarah work for a very special start-up. They do the job that so many people call out for in the comments section. So, outsource your rage, disgust and vitriol; they may not be based in a co-working space but they do have an app. The show runs alongside ANIMAL in Park200.
The first of two revivals, Leaves of Glass (11 May – 3 June) is a Philip Ridley play which returns for the first time in 16 years with a new production by long time collaborators, Lidless Theatre. Steven has always tried to be a good person. He works hard. He looks after his family. But, suddenly, everyone starts accusing him of things. His wife accuses him of being unfaithful. His mother accuses him of being coercive. And his brother, Barry, accuses him of...what exactly?
In Park200, a major new revival of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things (24 May – 1 July) will be presented by the producers of last year’s hit revival of Clybourne Park. A fast-moving and thrilling piece of theatre set on a college campus in small-town America, it's a play about relationships, art and friendship where nothing is quite what it seems.
Finally Paper Cut (7 June - 1 July) sees a young gay American soldier, returning from Afghanistan after being injured in an IED blast. Only a paper cut. Or that’s what he wants his friends, family, and a potential new love to believe. Paper Cut is a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of returning soldiers and how they navigate their way through another minefield – that of returning home.
Park Theatre presents exceptional theatre in the heart of Finsbury Park, boasting two world-class performance spaces: Park200 for predominantly larger scale productions by established talent, and Park90, a flexible studio space, for emerging artists. This year, the theatre celebrates its tenth year on the London stage. In this time, it has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty-five national tours, six Olivier Award nominations, has won multiple OffWestEnd Offie Awards and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage.
Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
14 March – 1 July
www.parktheatre.co.uk | 020 7870 6876*
* Telephone booking fee applies.
Park90 14 March – 8 April | Press night: Mon 20 March, 7pm
Leaving Vietnam | Presented by Andy Jordan Productions in association with Park Theatre
Written and performed by Richard Vergette
A gripping and moving play about the lived experiences of a war veteran.
Jimmy Vandenberg, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, works alone in his garage servicing the classic American cars of his youth while struggling to forget his battle experiences. He can’t move on when his sacrifice is not acknowledged in a nation still shamed by defeat. When Jimmy hears Trump’s call to ‘Make America Great Again’, it speaks to his anger and resentment - and he is hooked. His new-found politics drives a wedge between him and his wife, but a chance visit by the son of a fallen comrade makes him doubt his convictions and leads to a moment of understanding and redemption.
This thought-provoking and timely play shows how those who feel disillusioned and excluded can be seduced into supporting populist politicians. The play’s depiction of the personal trauma of war resonates with the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan and those currently fighting – and dying – in Ukraine.
70 mins | 12+
Mon – Thu 7.45pm, Fri 7pm & 9pm, Sat 3.15pm & 7.45pm | £18 - £16.50 (£9 access concs), previews 14 & 15 March £14.50 I £10 Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) throughout the run
Park200 15 March – 15 April | Press night: Fri 17 March at 7pm
The Way Old Friends Do | James Seabright in association with Jason Haigh-Ellery and Park Theatre present the Birmingham Rep production
Written by Ian Hallard | Directed by Mark Gatiss
A new comedy about devotion, desire and dancing queens.
In the late 1980s, two school friends from Birmingham tentatively come out to one another: one as gay, the other as an ABBA fan. Nearly thirty years later, a chance meeting sets them on an exciting new path, and they decide to form the world’s first ABBA tribute band – in drag. But can their friendship survive the tribulations of a life on the road; one full of platform boots, fake beards and a distractingly attractive stranger?
Tender and laugh-out loud funny in equal measure, this heartfelt story will appeal to anyone who understands how it feels to be a fan: of ABBA or of anyone.
The Way Old Friends Do is written by Ian Hallard (The Boys in the Band Park Theatre, Great Britain and Scenes From An Execution National Theatre), and directed by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula, Doctor Who, The League of Gentlemen).
2hrs, inc interval (approx) | 14+
Mon – Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thu and Sat 3pm | £44.50 - £20 (£17.50 access), previews 15 & 16 March £25 - £15, Access £17.50
Audio Described: Tue 4 Apr 7.30pm; Touch Tour 6.30pm
Park90 12 April – 6 May | Press night: Mon 17 April, 7pm
Snowflakes | Presented by Dissident Theatre Company and Chronic Insanity in association with Park Theatre
Written by Robert Boulton | Directed by Michael Cottrell
How far would you go to right a wrong?
Snowflakes takes Cancel Culture quite literally to question ideas of morality, revenge and justice with gleeful, violent abandon. Combining the technological nihilism of Black Mirror with the dark comedy and horror of Inside No. 9, it lacerates modern outrage and trial by social media.
Marcus and Sarah work for a very special start-up. They don’t work in a shared office. They don't sell locally sourced, gluten-free coconut water. They do the job that so many people call out for in the comments section. So, outsource your rage, disgust and vitriol and let’s get to the truth before the media storm blows over. They may not be based in a co-working space but they do have an app: Justice isn’t blind, it’s streamed to millions. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe!
This sci-fi black comedy resonates in various directions, implicating questions about the potency of social media, female empowerment and how characters earnestly confront trauma. Comedy, drama and satire; Snowflakes is presented by Dissident Theatre – a company with the goal of making theatre to confront the base, the repressed and ambiguous corners of the world we live in.
100 mins approx | 14+
Mon – Sat 7.45pm, matinees Thu & Sat 3.15pm | £20 - £12 (£9 access concs), previews 12 – 15 April I £10 Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) throughout the run
Relaxed performance Thu 27 April 3.15pm | Audio described Sat 29 April 7.45pm, with touch tour at 6.30pm
Park200 19 April – 20 May | Press night: 21 April at 7pm
ANIMAL | Presented by Park Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre
Written by Jon Bradfield from a story by Jon Bradfield and Josh Hepple
Needs must. Needs lust.
Meet David – gay, disabled and profoundly horny. He can’t eat, drink or shower by himself – let alone the rest. Totally inexperienced, he embarks on a sexual and romantic odyssey, armed with a fierce brain and impressive nudes (that he has to get someone else to take). But can David keep it casual whilst also relying on round-the-clock care? Can he manage the thrill and uncertainty of random hook-ups after a lifetime of knock-backs?
Hilarious, uncomfortable and heartbreaking, ANIMAL won the inaugural Through The Mill Prize (Hope Mill Theatre supported by Jonathan Harvey), and was shortlisted in the top five for the Papatango Prize out of more than 1,500 entries.
Jon Bradfield co-wrote Above The Stag Theatre's acclaimed series of queer adult pantomimes, most recently Dick Whittington – A New Dick in Town (★★★★The Guardian, ★★★★★The Stage), and he wrote Missing Alice for the BBC and Old Vic. Josh Hepple is an activist with severe cerebral palsy. He has a masters in law and teaches at various universities. He has been a theatre reviewer, and is an equality trainer and a writer-journalist at The Guardian and Huffington Post.
Everyone is welcome at any performance of ANIMAL: it will be an environment in which people can freely express themselves and experience the show according to their needs.
Park Theatre will be monitoring sensory triggers closely and we will update as soon as any have been confirmed by the show’s creative team.
We have created additional wheelchair spaces at each performance, and we will announce dates for specific relaxed or semi-relaxed performances soon.
If you require further information about access, including how to become and access member, please contact the Box Office on 020 780 6876 or at email@example.com.
2hrs, inc interval (approx) | 16+
Mon – Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thu and Sat 3pm | £44.50 - £20, previews 19 & 20 Apr £25 - £15, Access £17.50
Captioned: Fri 5 May 7.30pm | Audio Described: Fri 12 May 7.30pm; Touch Tour 6.30pm
Park90 11 May – 3 June | Press night: Mon 15 May 7pm
Leaves of Glass | Presented by Lidless Theatre & Zoe Weldon in association with Park Theatre and Theatre Deli
Written by Philip Ridley | Directed by Max Harrison
That’s the way it works in this family. Believe what you wanna believe. Twist this. Ignore the other. That’s how we survive.
East London. 2023.
Steven has always tried to be a good person. He works hard. He looks after his family. But, suddenly, everyone starts accusing him of things. His wife accuses him of being unfaithful. His mother accuses him of being coercive. And his brother, Barry, accuses him of...what exactly? Barry won't say. Or can't. Or perhaps...Steven hasn't done anything at all.
Following its critically acclaimed Soho Theatre premiere in 2007, Philip Ridley’s four-hander is a gripping narrative of memory, manipulation, and power - now regarded as a modern classic - returns for the first time in 16 years with a new production by long time collaborators, Lidless Theatre.
100 mins | 14+
Mon – Sat 7.45pm, matinees Thu & Sat 3.15pm | £18 - £16.50 (£9 access concs), previews 11 – 13 May, £10 Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) throughout the run
Relaxed performance Sat 20 May 3.15pm | Audio described Sat 27 May 7.45pm with touch tour 6.45pm
Park200 24 May – 1 July | Press night: Tue 30 May, 7pm
The Shape of Things | Presented by Trish Wadley Productions in association with Park Theatre
Written by Neil LaBute | Directed by Nicky Allpress
How far would you go for love? What would you be willing to change?
A fast-moving and thrilling piece of theatre set on a college campus in small-town America, it's a play about relationships, art and friendship where nothing is quite what it seems.
Adam, a geeky young student, drifts into an ever-changing romance with art major, Evelyn who encourages him to improve his appearance. As she instils in him a new-found confidence, his best friend’s engagement begins to crumble: so unleashing a drama that peels back the 'skin’ of two modern-day relationships.
Neil LaBute’s award-winning play received its world premiere at the Almeida Theatre in 2001, starring Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd and is revived by the producers of last year’s hit Clybourne Park.
Winner: Outstanding Play - Drama Desk Awards
Nominee: Best New Comedy – Olivier Awards
Running time tbc | 14+
Mon – Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thu and Sat 3pm | £44.50 - £20, previews 24 – 29 May (£25- £15), Access £17.50
Captioned performance Tue 13 June 7.30pm
Park90 7 June – 1 July | Press night: Mon 12 June, 7pm
Paper Cut | Presented by Ecclesia Production in association with Park Theatre
Written by Andrew Rosendorf | Directed by Scott Hurran
It’s the end of the Earth. And if I’m gonna fucking die, I at least want to die knowing I loved.
A young gay American soldier, Kyle, returns from Afghanistan after being injured in an IED blast. Only a paper cut. Or that’s what he wants his friends, family, and a potential new love to believe. Paper Cut is a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of returning soldiers and how they navigate their way through another minefield - returning home.
This is a love story through the prism of a soldier. Someone who will die for their country even when their country tells them every day - in small and large ways - that they are less than. It’s an examination of what it means to be man. And even more so: What it means to be a gay man?
1hr 45 mins (includes interval) | 15+
Mon – Sat 7.45pm, matinees Thu & Sat 3.15pm | £20 - £12 (£9 access concs), previews 7 – 10 June, £10 Park Up (16 – 26 yrs) throughout the run
Captioned performance Wed 28 June at 7.45pm