David Greig's MIDSUMMER [A PLAY WITH SONGS] Makes NY Premiere at Theatre Row, 1/9-26
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by BWW News Desk
The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation has announced the NY premiere of the critically-acclaimed production of MIDSUMMER [A PLAY WITH SONGS], written and directed by David Greig, with songs by Gordon McIntyre, from the Traverse Theatre in Scotland. MIDSUMMER comes to NY as the 2012 co-winner of the Best of Edinburgh Award given annually by the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation. (This year, the award is shared with Mies Julie, currently running at St. Ann’s Warehouse).
One of the Traverse Theatre’s biggest hits of recent years, MIDSUMMER [A PLAY WITH SONGS] is the story of Bob and Helena and a great lost weekend of bridge burning, car chases, wedding bust ups, bondage miscalculations, midnight trysts and a small fortune to redistribute by this pair of mismatched lovers.
MIDSUMMER was first produced at the Traverse in 2008. It won four nominations at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2009, including best play and best production. Since then, it has toured across the United Kingdom and Ireland, Canada and Australia. Midsummer has also played at the Kennedy Center in Washington in November 2010.
The NY premiere features the original cast (whose performances were called “heartmelting” by Variety) of Cora Bissett as Helena and Matthew Pidgeon as Bob.
The design team includes Georgia McGuinness (set and costume) and Claire Elliot (lighting).
This production of MIDSUMMER comes as the first of a number of year-long celebratory events of the Traverse’s 50th anniversary in 2013. The Traverse Theatre, based in the heart of Edinburgh, is Scotland’s new writing theater. It is currently led by Orla O’Loughlin (Artistic Director) and Linda Crooks (Executive Producer). From its conception in 1963, it has embraced a spirit of innovation and risk-taking that has launched the careers of many of Scotland's best-known writers including John Byrne, David Greig, David Harrower and Liz Lochhead. The Traverse is unique in Scotland in that it fulfills the crucial role of providing the infrastructure, professional support and expertise to ensure the development of a dynamic theatre culture for Scotland. It commissions, develops and produces new work from contemporary playwrights. It also presents productions from visiting companies with work ranging from new plays to dance, physical theatre, puppetry and contemporary music.
David Greig (Writer/Director) was born in Edinburgh in 1969. Since his first main stage production Europe at The Traverse in 1996, his plays have been produced by most of the major theatre companies in the UK. His plays have also been translated and produced throughout Europe, The USA and Canada, Brazil, Australia and Japan. From 2005 to 2007 he was the first dramaturg of The National Theatre of Scotland. Plays for the Traverse include: Midsummer [a play with songs], Gordon Brown: A Life in Theatre, Brewers Fayre, Damascus, When the Bulbul Stopped Singing, Outlying Islands, The Speculator, Danny 306+Me (4 Ever), The Architect, Europe. Other theatre includes: Fragile (Theatre Uncut); Dunsinane (Royal Shakespeare Company); Kyoto (Òran Mór); Being Norwegian (Paines Plough); The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, The Bacchae (co-produced with Edinburgh International Festival); Futurology (co-produced with Suspect Culture/Brighton Festival) and Gobbo (National Theatre of Scotland); The American Pilot, Victoria (Royal Shakespeare Company); Ramallah (Royal Court); San Diego (Edinburgh International Festival/Tron Theatre); 8000m, Lament, Casanova, Candide 2000, One Way Street, Airport, Timeless, Mainstream (Suspect Culture); Pyrenees, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (Tron Theatre); Caledonia Dreaming (7:84 Theatre Company); The Monster In The Hall, Yellow Moon, Dr Korcak’s Example, Petra (TAG Theatre Company); Stalinland (Citizens Theatre). Translations and adaptations include: Creditors, Caligua, (Donmar Warehouse); King Ubu (Dundee Rep) and Tintin In Tibet, (The Young Vic Theatre Company/Barbican). David directed four of the Traverse’s Fringe First-winning breakfast play series Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I’ll Never Write) as part of the Traverse August Festival 2012. David’s most recent play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical, directed by Sam Mendes, will open at the London Palladium in 2013.
Gordon McIntyre (Songwriter/Musician) is a member of the band ballboy, with whom he has released five albums. He also has a solo side project named Money Can’t Buy Music, which produced the album The Universe for Beginners and has released the album Midsummer (featuring songs from the show) under his own name. He has toured extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA and his music has been used in films and television shows in the UK, Australia and in the USA. He has recorded numerous radio sessions with the band and solo including five Peel Sessions as well as sessions for BBC Scotland, xfm and many other stations around the UK and Europe. For more information visit www.ballboymusic.com.
Cora Bissett (Helena) is an actress, theatre director and runs her own theatre company, Pachamama. Cora started out in bands as a singer, was signed to Phonogram at 17, survived a great rock n roll swindle to then study at the RSAMD and has worked across a diverse range of styles with theatre companies across Scotland and the UK. Cora won The Stage Award for Best Actress for her performance in Traverse Theatre Company production of Midsummer [a play with songs] at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. Cora has since toured with Midsummer [a play with songs] around the UK and to Ireland, Canada, Washington and Australia. Other theatre includes: Sub Rosa (Fire Exit in association With the Citizens Theatre); Slick (Vox Motus); Sunset Song (Prime Productions); A Streetcar Named Desire (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) A Comedy of Errors (The Lyceum) Electra (The Gate, london) Caledonian Road (The Almeida London). Film work includes; Red Road by Andrea Arnold, Pasty Faces, Reichenbach Falls and David Mackenzies’ new Festival feature You Instead. TV work includes regular roles in Bafta Winning High Times, River City, Rebus, Taggart and as the barmaid in Scottish Cult series Rab C Nesbitt. Her play Roadkill won the Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre Olivier Award in 2012. It had an overwhelming response at its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010, where it picked nine major awards as part of the Traverse Theatre Festival season. Roadkill played sold out runs in Paris, London (Barbican) and has toured internationally throughout 2012. Cora most recently directed a major new musical, The Glasgow Girls, written by David Greig, which opened in October 2012, a co-production from National Theatre of Scotland, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Citizens Theatre, Pachamama Productions and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd in association with Merrigong Theatre Company, Australia. Glasgow Girls will transfer to London in 2013.
Matthew Pidgeon (Bob) trained at RSAMD. Theatre work for the Traverse includes: Kyoto, The Nest. Other theatre work includes: This House (National Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, The Mysteries (Shakespeare's Globe); Caledonia, Realism, The Wonderful World of Dissocia (National Theatre of Scotland); The Cherry Orchard, The Man Who Had All The Luck, The Wizard of Oz, Vanity Fair, Pinocchio, The Glass Menagerie (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh); The Lying Kind (Royal Court); Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Theatre Royal Plymouth); The Big Lie (Royal Shakespeare Company at Latitude Festival); The Tempest (Tron Theatre Glasgow); 8000M (Suspect Culture); Born Guilty (7:84). Film work includes: The Winslow Boy, State and Main, A Shot at Glory, Chopsticks, The Americano. TV includes: Fiona's Story, Taggart, Casualty, Holby City, This Morning With Richard Not Judy. Radio includes: McLevy, Midsummer, The Cloths of Heaven, Kyoto, The Black Sheep, Kaffir Lillies, Devastated Areas, The Lion of Chechnya, The Holly and the Ivy (BBC).