Marking Tennessee Williams’ 100th Birthday, The Print Room presents the playwright’s rarely performed Kingdom of Earth, which opened on Broadway in 1968 and was last staged in London in 1984 at the Hampstead Theatre Club. This savage, sexy and comic play is set in the 1960s in a decrepit farm house on the edge of the Mississippi Delta, a few hours before the valley is due to be flooded. A battle between two brothers, Lot and Chicken, over the inheritance of the farmhouse, becomes a battle for the affections of Lot’s new wife, Myrtle.Tennessee Williams was born on 26th March 1911 in Mississippi. He won many awards for his work as a playwright, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Street Car Named Desire (1948) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). He won New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for The Glass Menagerie (1944) and The Night of the Iguna (1961) and the Tony Award for best pay or The Rose Tattoo (1952). In total he wrote twenty five full length plays, as well as novels, short stories and screen plays, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest American playwrights.
Lot will be played by Joseph Drake, who has just made his London debut as Vernon in the Young Vic’s production of Vernon God Little. He has also appeared in New Earth (Bristol Old Vic), Unearth (Midland Arts Centre) and Trust Me (Loudmouth Theatre Co), and is a recent graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Fiona Glascott (Myrtle) recently played Lucienne in Richard Eyre’s A Flea in Her Ear at the Old Vic. She also recently played Margery Pinchwife in The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Maggie in Whipping it Up (Bush Theatre), Nicola in Hitchcock Blonde (Royal Court and West End) and Alma in Mahler’s Conversion (West End).
David Sturzaker plays Chicken, following recent appearances in War and Peace (Shared Experience); As You Like It (The Rose Kingston); Bash (Trafalgar Studios); Titus Andronicus, Comedy of Errors, Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure (all Shakespeare’s Globe), amongst others.
The show will be designed by Ruth Sutcliffe, winner of the 2009 Linbury Prize for Stage Design. Past work includes Bronte (Tricycle & tour); The Duchess of Malfi (Royal and Derngate); The Gypsy Bible (Opera North) and Elle (theatredelicatessen).
Kingdom of Earth is directed by the Print Room’s co Artistic Director, Lucy Bailey, who also directed Snake in the Grass and Fabrication at the venue, and whose production of Julius Caesar won critical acclaim during the recent RSC season at the Roundhouse. Lucy adapted and directed the stage version of Tennessee Williams’ screen play Baby Doll for Birmingham Repertory Company, which transferred to the National Theatre and then the West End in 2000. She then directed Tennessee Williams’ very early play Stairs to the Roof for Chichester Festival Theatre.
The Print Room, a new 80 seat theatre converted from a 1950’s printing warehouse in Notting Hill, is the culmination of three year’s development by its Co-Artistic Directors, the producer and designer Anda Winters and Lucy Bailey. They offer a diverse programme of work in this flexible space, featuring one off music and art events alongside theatre productions. Kingdom of Earth will be their third production, following on from Fabrication by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Snake in the Grass by Alan Ayckbourn.
“A show to savour” The Times (on Snake in the Grass)