Formerly London's chintziest theatre, the Orange Tree is now one of its hippest
Starting life as a lunchtime pub venue in Richmond in 1971, the Orange Tree Theatre graduated to a bigger, 170-seat space across the road in the early ’90s, with a permanently in-the-round set up. Founder Sam Waters, who ran the theatre for 42 years, deserves an enormous amount of credit, and in its day the theatre gave a leg-up to everyone from Martin Crimp to Sean Holmes.
However, the later days of Waters's reign saw the Orange Tree become rather moribund, with a programme based upon revivals of obscure period dramas that played well with the loyal, elderly audience but seriously lacked diversity, and probably played a large amount in the Arts Council scrapping all funding to the theatre.
This turned out to be a mistake that will surely be reversed, as his successor Paul Miller has completely turned the theatre around, with a programme that still makes the odd nod to the period works of the past, but combines it with a formidable commitment to new writing and reaching out to younger and more diverse audiences. Alistair McDowell's mad dystopian thriller 'Pomona' scored acres of acclaim and tranferred to the National Theatre, sealing the theatre's resurrection.
In 2016 the Arts Council awarded the Orange Tree £75,000 in funding.
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Low Level Panic
Long, long ago, when Carrie Bradshaw was barely out of braces and Lena Dunham was in nappies, Clare McIntyre made her Royal Court debut with ‘Low Level Panic’, a play that takes a totally candid look at twenty-something women’s views on sex and themselves....Drama Until Saturday March 25 2017
This stripped-down 90 minute production of Shakespeare's dark comedy 'Twelfth Night' is aimed at secondary school students. Class politics, broken egoes, and tense encounters make it a fizzing first encounter with the bard's story.Shakespeare Saturday March 18 2017 - Saturday March 25 2017
Shakespeare Up Close: Twelfth Night
Orange Tree's popular Shakespeare Up Close productions put young people eyeball-to-eyeball with the bard's works. This staging of 'Twelfth Night' is a pared down, exciting 90 minute version of the classic comedy of shipwrecked lovers, directed by Alex...Shakespeare Sunday March 19 2017 - Friday March 24 2017
Kieran Hodgson: Maestro
Back in 2015, we were much taken with Kieran Hodgson's 'Lance', a beautifully written, knowing hour focusing on his teenage hero Lance Armstrong who helps the cycle-mad Yorkshire boy through tough times. It deservedly bagged him an Edinburgh Comedy Award...Stand-up Thursday March 23 2017 - Sunday May 7 2017
The Lottery of Love
Orange Tree boss Paul Miller directs a classic French comedy, translated by John Fowles. Sylvia worries she hardly knows her husband-to-be, so she snoops on him in disguise as a maid. Unfortunately, he has the same idea... Marivaux’s play, 'Le Jeu de...Drama Thursday March 30 2017 - Saturday May 13 2017
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins award-winning drama is a look at slavery in America, seen through the lens of Irish playwright Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama 'The Octoroon'. A plantation is in ruins, and its dead owners' handsome nephew arrives to take over,...Drama Thursday May 18 2017 - Saturday June 24 2017
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