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Broadway veteran Ben Whishaw is set to play Brutus in Julius Caesar and Rory Kinnear will star in the new comedy Young Marx at London Theatre Company’s new Bridge Theatre, which opens this October on the river by Tower Bridge and City Hall.
The venue opens with the new comedy Young Marx by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, directed by Nicholas Hytner, with Rory Kinnear in the title role. Previews will begin October 18, 2017 with opening night set for October 26, 2017. The run will play through December 31, 2017. This production will be followed by Julius Caesar, staged in promenade by Hytner, with Ben Whishaw as Brutus. Previews begin January 20, 2018, with opening night set for January 30, 2018, for a run through April 15, 2018. The new play Nightfall by rising playwright and novelist Barney Norris, directed by Laurie Sansom, will begin January 20, 2018, with opening scheduled for January 30, 2018. The run is set to conclude April 15, 2018.
Beginning in the summer of 2018, productions will include a new play by Lucinda Coxon based on the novel Alys, Always by Harriet Lane; an untitled new play by Nina Raine about JS Bach, starring Simon Russell Beale; Flatpack, a new play by John Hodge; The Black Cloud, a new play by Sam Holcroft from the novel by Fred Hoyle; and Carmen Havana, a version of Bizet’s opera by Lucy Prebble with choreography by Miguel Altunaga and directed by Hytner. Dates for these productions will be announced.
London Theatre Company, which was founded by Hytner and Nick Starr on leaving the National Theatre after twelve years, will focus on the commissioning and production of new shows, as well as staging the occasional classic. At The Bridge, it will present four or five new productions year-round, playing Tuesday to Sunday, plus a Monday night programme which will include intimate gigs, the live recording of a new podcast series and conversations on food, fashion, politics and science.
The Bridge is the first wholly new theatre of scale to be added to London’s commercial theatre sector in 80 years[ii], and the first to be built outside the historic West End. It has a stunning riverside location at the foot of Tower Bridge next to City Hall and is 5-10 minutes’ walk from the transport hub of London Bridge, whose new concourse opens onto Tooley Street in spring next year. The Bridge is situated in Berkeley Homes’ One Tower Bridge development amongst ten new restaurants opening this year.
Hytner said, “We want to make bold popular theatre. We’ve commissioned ambitious plays that reach out to embrace the audience, and we’ve built an environment for them that is exciting, welcoming and flexible: a theatre that can be changed to suit the show. We reckon that London needs new theatres, designed for the shows that people make in the 21st century and the expectations that audiences have for a really good night out.”