Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Royal & Derngate Northampton present the world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel BRAVE NEW WORLD, at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 November.
It is announced today that Sophie Ward will star as ‘Margaret Mond – the Regional World Controller for Western Europe’, which in Huxley’s novel is a male character.
About the casting, adapter and playwright Dawn King said, “I took this decision primarily because as a feminist, I wanted to increase the gender equality of the show. I also felt that having a female world controller of Western Europe is more representative of our world today, and of a world of the future. In the novel the character is called ‘Mustapha Mond’, but in my adaptation I chose the name Margaret, for its obvious allusions. I think Sophie Ward is a great choice to play the role because ‘Mond’ is a person who has had to make hard decisions, has a strong sense of her own personal morality, and has real steely authority – qualities I think Sophie will accentuate.”
Sophie Ward’s extensive screen credits include series regular roles in Land Girls, Heartbeat and Holby City, and appearances in acclaimed TV dramas Dinotopia, A Dark Adapted Eye (opposite Helena Bonham Carter), A Village Affair and Secret State, and films including Jane Eyre, Book of Blood, Out of Bounds, Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights, and Young Sherlock Holmes. Her theatre work includes: Go Back For Murder (tour); Private Lives; One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (tour); An Ideal Husband (Theatre Clwyd); Nothing (59th Street, New York); Electricity (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Semi Monde (Lyric Theatre, London); The Three Sisters (Chichester); The Turn Of The Screw (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); Flare Path (King’s Head, London); and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (tour)
Olivier Award-winning Abigail McKern, last seen in Northampton in A Tale of Two Cities and fresh from Shakespeare in Love in the West End, takes the role of ‘Linda’. The ensemble cast also includes Olivia Morgan (Macbeth, West End, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s Globe), William Postlethwaite (King Lear, Bath Theatre Royal, Collaborators, National Theatre) as John the Savage, Scott Karim (The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s Globe, Great Britain, National Theatre) as Helmholtz Watson, and Gruffudd Glyn (Three Sisters, Young Vic, Hamlet, RSC) as Bernard. The cast also includes Theo Ogundipe as Benito, Samantha Pearl as Polly, James Howard as the Director and David Burnett as Henry.
BRAVE NEW WORLD, widely considered to be one of the finest and most prophetic dystopian novels of the twentieth century, bursts into life on stage in an adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King, directed by James Dacre and designed by Naomi Dawson, with an original new music by the ground breaking British band These New Puritans.
Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD was first published in 1932, and is widely seen to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century, anticipating developments in reproductive technology, psychological manipulation and behavioural conditioning. Set 600 years in the future human life has been almost entirely industrialised, and humans are created and conditioned in a lab according to a strict caste system, in a World State whose motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”. Monogamy, the family unit and the ‘natural’ process of giving birth, are considered horrific and unnatural, and material comfort and physical pleasure – provided by the drug soma and recreational sex — represent society’s highest good.
Dawn King also said, “Huxley’s novel is over eighty years old, but his vision of the future is shockingly familiar. In many ways, we already live in Brave New World: a glittering dystopia built on inequality, where people keep themselves distracted with empty pleasures, chemical stimulants and consumer goods. Adapting this huge work for the stage has been as tough and stimulating as anything I’ve ever done and a huge pleasure.”
Dawn King is currently working on a film adaptation of her most recent stage play Ciphers, which was a co-production between Out Of Joint Theatre Company, The Bush theatre and Exeter Northcott. It toured the UK in 2013 and enjoyed a sell out run at The Bush in 2014. She is also under commission to write a new play for The Bush. Her award-wining short film The Karman Line, starring Olivia Colman and Shaun Dooley, played at film festivals around the world, won thirteen awards, and was BAFTA nominated. Dawn’s play Foxfinder won the Papatango Theatre Company new writing competition in 2011 and the Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright award 2013. It ran at The Finborough in 2011 where it sold out and Dawn won the Offie Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2012.
This adaptation of Brave New World is based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, presented through special arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the Aldous and Laura Huxley Literary Trust, Mark Trevenen Huxley and Teresa Huxley. All rights reserved.
Brave New World is the fifth Touring Consortium Theatre Company production funded by the Arts Council of England‘s Strategic Touring Programme, and the third co-production with Royal & Derngate, Northampton. See more at: Theatrecloud.com
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Tue 03 – Sat 07 November 2015
Evenings at 7:30pm, Wed & Sat matinees at 2:30pm
Tickets £10.50 – £25.50