The critically acclaimed Brits Off Broadway festival, host to the UK's most innovative and provocative theater in New York City, returns this year with a line up of eight sensational productions, including its first ever musical. Presented by 59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer), Brits Off Broadway launches on Wednesday, April 23 and runs through Sunday, June 29. The single ticket price for each show ranges from $27.50 - $50 ($19.25 – $35 for 59E59 members). A 4- show Brit Pass (two shows in Theater A; choice of one in B and one in C) is available for $125. Single tickets to Brits Off Broadway are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com. Brit Passes cannot be purchased on line, only over the phone or in person at the 59E59 Theaters Box Office. For more information on Brits Off Broadway, visit www.59E59.org or www.britsoffbroadway.com.
The 2008 Brits Off Broadway line up is:
Wednesday, April 23 – Sunday, May 18
YELLOW MOON The Ballad of Leila and Lee, written by David Greig and directed by Guy Hollands. From TAG Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland This critically acclaimed show, which sold out its entire Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, is a fast-paced modern Bonnie and Clyde tale of two teenagers on the run in the Highlands of Scotland. Silent Leila is an introverted girl who has a passion for celebrity magazines. Stag Lee Macalinden is the deadest of dead end kids in a dead end town. They never meant to get mixed up in murder… The first of two plays in Brits Off Broadway from Scotland's finest playwright David Greig.
Thursday, May 1 – Sunday, May 18
THE UNCONQUERED, written by Torben Betts and directed by Muriel Romanes. From the Stellar Quines Theatre Company, Edinburgh, Scotland Torben Betts' powerful poetic language, dark humor and provocative ideas build a hard-hitting and enthralling story around a fiercely intelligent young girl and her relentless refusal of the establishment. When a people's revolution breaks out and a mercenary soldier intrudes the family home, the conflict between the regime and the unconquered girl is revealed.
Wednesday, May 7 – Sunday, June 1
DAMASCUS written by David Greig, directed by Philip Howard. From the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland Ewen Bremner ("Trainspotting," "Black Hawk Down") stars as an English anguage textbook salesman on assignment to the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. Grappling with language and love, meanings and misconceptions, DAMASCUS is a sophisticated, stylish and remarkable new comedy.
Tuesday, May 20 – Sunday, June 8
ARTEFACTS written Mike Bartlett, directed by James Grieve. From nabokov and the Bush Theatre, London Sixteen-year-old Kelly is having a normal Saturday when her unknown father, who is Iraqi, turns up out of the blue. He's smuggled a priceless antique from the Baghdad Museum and wants Kelly to look after it. He's got a plane to catch, but Kelly threatens to smash it unless he stays and gets to know her, launching an epic journey of discovery in a tender and provocative play about family, identity and the clash of cultures from rising star playwright Mike Bartlett, writer-in-residence at the Royal Court and recipient of a 2007 London Evening Standard nomination for best new playwright.
Wednesday, May 21 – Sunday, June 8
BLINK written Ian Rowlands and directed by Steve Fisher. From the F.A.B. Theatre in Cardiff, Wales Set in Wales, UK, the initial inspiration for BLINK was the events surrounding the Clywch enquiry - a report into the systematic abuse of children at a Welsh language school. BLINK is an edgy examination of the close-knit lives and lies of a small south Wales community, whose secrets start with the rudey club and end with '1 words that ruined a life.'
Thursday, June 5 – Sunday, June 29
THE HIRED MAN music and lyrics by Howard Goodall, Book by Melvyn Bragg, directed by Daniel Buckroyd. From New Perspectives Theatre Company, Nottingham Set in rural Cumbria in the early part of the twentieth century, THE HIRED MAN tells the timeless, moving stor of a young married couple and their struggle to carve a living from the land, just as the rhythms of English country life are being interrupted by the gathering storm of war in Europe. Featuring stunning traditional British chamber music, this haunting, thrilling and stirring production is unlike any musical on the NY stage.
Tuesday, June 10 – Sunday, June 29
VINCENT RIVER written by Philip Ridley and directed by Steve Marmion. From Old Vic Productions, London Philip Ridley's (The Pitchfork Disney; Fastest Clock in the Universe) gripping play about a woman visited by a teenager who has some connection with the death of her son. Engrossing, savage and darkly humorous, VINCENT RIVER explores the classic Ridley themes of loss, sexual identity, the power of narrative, the family as a destructive force and East London.
Tuesday, June 10 – Sunday, June 29
SOME KIND OF BLISS written by Samuel Adamson, directed by Toby Frow and starring Lucy Briers. From the Trafalgar Studios, London. Rachel, a small-time hack and seeker of minor adventure, sets off down the Thames Path to Greenwich to interview British pop legend Lulu for
her tabloid's glossy supplement. But between London Bridge and Lulu's mirrored hallway lies a series of unpredicted and comic events. Some Kind of Bliss is a play about how a walk on an everyday Wednesday can become an odyssey that turns your life upside down. It stars one of London's finest young comedic actresses, Lucy Briers (who gave a scene- stealingly wry performance as Mary Bennet in the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice," with Colin Firth).