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Trevor Nunn's world premiere production of Agnes Colander comes to Jermyn Street Theatre

James N Lee - At The Easel

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WHEN it premiered at The Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath in the spring of 2018, in a production directed by Trevor Nunn, Harley Granville Barker’s Agnes Colander: An Attempt At Life was hailed as a lost masterpiece.

Now Nunn’s production is to receive its London premiere in a five week run at Jermyn Street Theatre (Tuesday, February 12 to Saturday, March 16, 2019) as part of their PORTRAIT season.

Three years after leaving her unfaithful husband and striking out as an artist, Agnes receives his letter ordering her home. But Agnes married young; her innocence has gone and her ambition is growing. Fleeing to France to find a new future, Agnes is pursued by the besotted Alec and worldly-wise Otho. Beset on all sides, can Agnes seize the chance to shape her own life?

Written in 1900 and unearthed a century later Agnes Colander: An Attempt At Life is a witty and compelling exploration of love and sexual attraction.

Trevor Nunn said: “Through revivals of his plays like Waste, The Voysey Inheritance and The Madras House, we have come to recognise Harley Granville-Barker as one of the great dramatists of the previous century. So when a totally unknown, unpublished, full-length play by Barker was discovered recently, it was a momentous development.

“Having presented the play at the Ustinov Theatre in Bath, we are now able to bring this world premiere production of a new play by a great writer, to the London stage. We hope everybody who cares about the history of English drama will be as excited as we are.”

Playwright, actor, director and critic, Harley Granville Barker is a giant of Edwardian theatre and with his revolutionary approach to stage design and ensemble acting, is widely regarded as the first modern British theatre director.

Revised by Richard Nelson, Agnes Colander: An Attempt At Life is designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Paul Pyant, sound by Fergus O’Hare and music by Steve Edis.

Richard Nelson is a multi award-winning playwright and librettist. He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Trevor Nunn returns to Jermyn Street Theatre following Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall, which transferred to the West End and off-Broadway. He is a former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.

Tickets: £10 – £30. Preview tickets from £15. 100 tickets at £10 for under-30s. Please note that after Saturday, February 23 tickets are full price. To book, call the box office on 0207 287 2875 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm, with 3.30pm matinees on Saturday and Tuesday.

Running time: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval).

Also at Jermyn Street Theatre: Burke and Hare, a new black comedy that is as hysterical as it is historical (November 28 to December 21, 2018).