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Theatre Royal Plymouth announces mini-season at Southwark Playhouse

Strange Tales

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Theatre Royal Plymouth has announced that Strange Tales( from the West Country), a mini-season of subversive visions celebrating originality, spirit and provocation in the modern world, will run in repertoire at Southwark Playhouse in early 2018.

Following their UK premieres in The Drum, the Theatre’s internationally renowned space for new writing, Theatre Royal Plymouth will take over The Little at Southwark Playhouse with Glenn Waldron’s chilling, dystopian comedy The Here and This and Now, which will run alongside Mikhail Durnenkov’s thrillingly anarchic The War Has Not Yet Started.

Artistic Director Simon Stokes said: ‘It’s exciting to show the most recent work of these two distinctive playwrights, one, a cosmopolitan Russian and the other a sophisticated, media-savvy Plymothian, to the wider audience beyond the far south west country. Individually, I think these stories are both a great night out. Taken together, they investigate our present uncertainty with incisive wit and intelligence while suggesting a future of perhaps ominous turbulence.”

The Here and This and Now runs from Wednesday, January 10 to Saturday, February 10.

Simon Stokes directs Glenn Waldron’s dark and enigmatic comedy, which takes an intriguing and intelligent look at the medical industry and asks in these politically uncertain times, how high is the price of progress?

An office away-day. A newly recruited sales team for a pharmaceutical company learns the ropes. But does their work really make a difference? What exactly is the drug they are selling? Change is swiftly coming and they are asking all the wrong questions…

Science and civilisation collide in Glenn Waldron’s darkly funny play. Described as fiendishly original, The Here and This and Now interrogates office workplace culture and the cataclysmic consequences of antibiotic resistance.

A former journalist and editor of i-D magazine, Waldron’s first play Forever House was also commissioned by Theatre Royal Plymouth and premiered at the Drum in 2013. Waldron’s Natives opened to great acclaim at Southwark Playhouse last year.

The cast includes Simon Darven as Niall, Becci Gemmell as Helen, Tala Gouveia as Gemma and Andy Rush as Robby.

The production is designed by Bob Bailey, with lighting by Andy Purves and sound by Adrienne Quartly.

The War Has Not Yet Started runs from Wednesday, January 17 to Saturday, February 10.

Gordon Anderson directs Mikhail Durnenkov’s provocative, surreal and at times unsettling comedy about everyday people fighting everyday wars.

In twelve twisted parables for the modern age, Durnenkov taps into the fears and strangeness of our daily lives – sexual gamesmanship, what to do with ageing parents, those lying politicians, tensions at the airport, those lying journalists, infidelity and the absurdity implant.

Things happen but no one can see the connections in this strangely, prophetic study of our collective unease about living in the modern world.

Russian playwright, Mikhail Durnenkov is a major stage, screen and television talent living in Moscow. His plays have been translated and staged all over the world and his play The Drunks, written with his brother, was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2009. Durnenkov is artistic director of the well-established young-playwrights festival Lubimovka.

Translated by Noah Birksted-Breen, The War Has Not Yet Started is designed by Bob Bailey, with lighting by Andy Purves.

Casting for both production will be announced shortly.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit

Mother Courage and Her Children, starring Josie Lawrence, continues at Southwark Playhouse until December 9, 2017.