London's Barbican Plans for 2014 Include Appearance by Toni Servillo, Seasons by RSC and Cheek by Jowl and More
By Mark Shenton
Plans for 2014 at London's Barbican include Toni Servillo, Italian star of the films "The Great Beauty," "Il Divo" and "Gomorrah," in Eduardo de Filippo's Inner Voices, and seasons by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cheek by Jowl, plus a new play by Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee.
Toni Servillo will direct and star in Eduardo de Filippo's Inner Voices (Le voci di dentro), which will begin performances March 26, 2014, for a run of four performances through March 29.
Previously produced in London at the National Theatre, de Filippo's play highlights the corruption of human relationships in the aftermath of the Second World War. Confusing a dream with reality, protagonist Alberto accuses the family next door of murder. His mistake triggers a chaotic chain of events. Husband turns against wife, sister against brother, as suspicion and betrayal beset an impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood.
Servillo, best known for the films "The Great Beauty" (nominated for a Palme d’Or in 2013), "Il Divo" (winner of the Prix du Jury at Cannes in 2008) and "Gomorrah" (winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2008), directs as well as plays Alberto, leading a 14-strong ensemble. It is performed in Italian with English surtitles.
Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl will reprise its productions of John Ford's ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (running April 9-26 in the Silk Street Theatre) and Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (running June 18-22 in the Barbican Theatre).
Transposed to a contemporary, visceral setting, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore charts an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. This production was previously seen at the Barbican in 2012.
Ubi Roi, which is described in press materials as a menacing depiction of a despot, shows the worst excesses of greed and abuse of power. Ubu has seized control of a kingdom, abetted by his equally monstrous wife. But an invading army threatens his petty dictatorship. Cheek by Jowl’s version is set within the civilized chic of a bourgeois dinner party. Any veneer of respectability soon fades into a hallucinatory parade of the grotesque.
The Royal Shakespeare Company will continue its new three-year collaboration with the company's former London home at the Barbican Theatre by transferring its productions of Henry IV, Parts I & II, following their premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon and subsequent U.K. tour, there in December 2014, as previously announced.
As part of 2014's LIFT Festival, the Barbican will host Russian director Dmitry Krymov's Opus No. 7 (performed June 4-8 in the Barbican Theatre in Russian with English surtitles), German performance collective She She Pop in Testament, in which they take to the stage with their real dads (performed June 3-7 in the Pit, in German with English surtitles), and New York Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee's The Shipment (performed June 10-14 in the Pit).
Tickets will go on sale to Barbican Red and Orange members Oct. 30, with tickets on general sale from Nov. 6.
To book tickets and for more details, visit www.barbican.org.uk.
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