Next Time I’ll Sing To You
by James Saunders | Directed by Anthony Clark
9th November to 10th December 2011
The Orange Tree’s 40th birthday season
The 1963 debut of this ground breaking and now neglected work launched a young Michael Caine, spotted at Michael Codron’s Criterion production and asked to star in Zulu, as well as the careers ofother future household names; Michael Bryant and Barry Foster. The production won Saunders the Evening Standard award for most promising playwright that year and theatre found a wholly original new voice.
A huge influence on Stoppard, James Saunders latterly worked closely with Sam Walters with the Orange Tree as his playwriting home from 1973, with even a spell on the board. His second play, A Scent of Flowers brought a young Ian McKellan to London for the first time.
“All I want to do is to understand the purpose of existence of one man, not of the population of Liverpool, you understand, just one man…examine him and we shall know ourselves.”
While seemingly influenced by Theatre of the Absurd, James Saunders’ extraordinary breadth of imagination defies easy classification. The plot finds director / writer / philosopher figure Rudge meeting Meff (the joker), Dust (the cynic) and Lizzie (or her twin) to examine the life of the hermit of Great Canfield. Their task is complicated further as the actor playing the hermit questions his “motivation”. Why did James Alexander Mason sell his cottage, and live in a hut in field beyond his village, surrounding it with ditches, hives of bees, barbed wire and two tons of corrugated iron fence? His brother left him food every day, but he was not seen again until found dead at the age of 84.
Orange Tree Artistic Director Sam Walters comments:“Next Time I’ll Sing to You was a startling, innovative and hugely successful first play when it burst on to the scene in 1963. Unjustly neglected today – as Saunders is in general – Next Time… has the power, intelligence and the theatricality to excite new audiences perhaps unfamiliar with his work. A chance to see this ground breaking play should not be missed.
“The best play in London” Harold Hobson, Sunday Times
Lizzie Holly Elmes | Rudge Aden Gillet | Meff Roger Parkins | HermitJamie Newall | Dust Brendan Patricks
Written byJames Saunders |Directed by Anthony Clark Designed by Katy Mils| Lighting byJohn Harris
Venue: Orange Tree Theatre
Address: Clarence Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SA
Times: Mon to Sat at 7.45pm, Sat mats at 3pm
Thurs mats + discussion 2.30pm: 10, 17, 24 Nov and 1
Dates: 9th November to 10th December 2011
Prices: Mon, Sat mats & previews(1st Weds and Thurs): £14 (£12 concs)
Thurs mats(& post show discussion): £11
Tues, Weds & Thurs eves: £16 (£14 concs)
Fri: £18 (£16 concs) | Sat eves: £21 Limited £5 tickets for U26s available on Thurs eves.
Audio described performances:Tue 29 Nov 7.45pm, Sat 3 Dec 3pm
Box Office: www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk | 020 8940 3633 (open 10am to 7pm Mon to Sat)
Transport: Richmond (District Line, London Overground and SouthWest Trains to/from Waterloo