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As a Man Grows Younger - Jack Studio Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Howard Colyer and performed by David Bromley, As a Man Grows Younger runs at the Jack Studio Theatre from Tuesday, February 19 to Saturday, February 23, 2019.

A man is looking out to sea, and waiting for a knock on his door, and he fears he will be taken on a boat ride by the not-so-secret police, and that he’ll be diving deep.

A writer tries to remain true to himself under Fascism. As a Man Grows Younger is a dramatic monologue set in Italy in the 1920s, inspired by the friendship of two writers, Svevo and Joyce, and their roads from obscurity to fame.

My parents gave me the name Ettore Schmitz.
I gave myself the name Italo Svevo.
James Joyce named me Leopold Bloom.
I’m his Ulysses, people are reading about me far and wide,
only they don’t know it’s me when they read his novel.

Italo Svevo (1861-1928) was the pen-name of Ettore Schmitz of Trieste, who was a businessman, a student and friend of James Joyce and ultimately one of Italy’s most famous twentieth century authors. He was an Austrian-Italian, Catholic-Jew, socialist-capitalist, and a liberal who endured the Fascism of Mussolini, and like many others wondered as to his own security under the rule of the Blackshirts. Through writing he did what he could to reconcile the contradictions of his character and circumstances.

Howard Colyer was born near Brixton Hill in London in 1961. He has written many stories and plays. His work for the theatre includes several translations and adaptations, among them: Naked, Diary of a Madman, Boris Godunov, Trojan Women, Mandrake, Kafka v Kafka and The Trial. Before he moved to Hastings he was the Playwright in Residence at the Jack Studio Theatre. In addition, he is a haiku poet and has published three collections including Millwall Haiku.

David Bromley was most recently seen originating the role of Abe Simon in Arthur Miller’s No Villain in its world premiere at Trafalgar Studios. His numerous other theatre credits include Baron Trotta in Howard Colyer’s 1938 – Hitler Takes Vienna (Ballast Theatre Company), Poprischin in Diary Of A Madman (Jack Studio Theatre and Omnibus Theatre); Giles in The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre); Gerald Thornton in Time And The Conways (The Old Vic and Royal Alexandra, Toronto); John Barrett in Dangerous Obsession (Leeds Grand and Ashcroft Theatre) and Bernard in Don’t Dress For Dinner (Wimbledon Theatre and Devonshire Park Theatre).

As a Man Grows Younger is presented by in-words, a company dedicated to the promotion of poetry, fiction and theatre by voices from South East London. By commissioning and producing this play, its director, Irena Hill, is helping to achieve her ambition of promoting original works that present the lesser known aspects of Italian culture, particularly those that connect her native city, Trieste, with the district of London where she now lives.

The production is directed by Kate Bannister and designed by Karl Swinyard, with sound design by Philip Matejtschuk.

As a Man Grows Younger is suitable for ages 14+.

Tickets: £16, £13 concessions. To book, call the box office on 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 fee for phone bookings only) or visit brockleyjack.co.uk/.

Time: 7.30pm.

Also at the Jack Studio Theatre: Arrows and Traps Rep Season (Gentleman Jack and Shooting With Light) – January 15 to February 16, 2019.