THE LATE HENRY MOSS
2 - 26 September 2015
Box office 02074070234 tickets from £10
‘When you’re alone like this – just sitting here – just the two of you – you can start to make stuff up.’
Two brothers, Earl and Ray, return to their home town in Bernalillo New Mexico upon the mysterious death of their estranged father, Henry. Over a bottle of bourbon and a box of old photographs, they try to reconcile their very different childhood memories. Earl's version of Henry's death doesn't add up; so Ray determines to find the truth. As Ray plays detective we encounter Henry's bizarre collection of friends as the story of his last days is uncovered. Family tensions are blown apart as Ray discovers more than he’d bargained for…
Sam Shepard is an award winning actor, director and playwright. His play Buried Child won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Late Henry Moss was written in 2000 and has been performed only once in London. The original production was described as "classic Shepard country that is at once familiar and heartbreakingly new" by The San Francisco Chronicle.
There are two post show talks scheduled. One on Tuesday 8 September with our director and some of the cast talking about the creative process. Also one on Monday 14 September with Professor Stephen Bottoms of Manchester University discussing the recurring themes in Sam Shepard's work particularly in his later plays.
I've recently come back from a wonderful 7 weeks making an opera with Katie Mitchell in Aix-en-Provence - the piece was Alcina an opera written by Handel in 1735 for his first season at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. It's got some beautiful arias in it and our singers were amazing; Patricia Petibon, Philippe Jaroussky, Anna Prohaska, Katarina Bradić, Anthony Gregory and Krzysztof Baczyk (also with Elias Mädler and Lionel Wunsch). Along with them were a fantastic ensemble of actors, who made it possible to create a rich and fascinating world around the main action. The production will go on to be performed at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow in 2017.
After a great run at the Young Vic at the end of last year, The Way Back Home is going to be revived at the Opéra National de Paris at the end of 2015. Although it's the same production, it's going to be an entirely new cast of young French singers from the National Opera Studio. Robin Tebutt, who was assistant director on the original production, will go out to run the beginning of the rehearsals, and then I'll go out to make sure that everything is as it should be in time for the opening on the 4th December. If you have friends with small children in Paris, then do let them know about it - here's a link.
In March and April I was out in Havana again, helping Ballet Rakatan develop a new show. We wanted to walk a line between the overtly commercial and something a bit more off-beat. We worked hard generating material that came from the dancers themselves; their own experiences, humour and imaginations. There are a lot of challenges around making work in Cuba and many unexpected things crop up which can be very frustrating - however, the company are amazingly talented and in the end we presented a work-in-progress to an important european producer who was very excited by the work. Hopefully the company will be able to go on and create a production that truly comes from them.
After working on Happy Days at the Young Vic, it was a short trip up the road to the National Theatre to work for the first time with Lyndsey Turner. She was putting together a spectacular production of Caryl Churchill's 'Light Shining in Buckinghamshire' with a cast of 18 actors and a community cast of about 35! It was a mind-blowingly complicated show to work on, but Lyndsey's ability to keep it all together was inspirational. It was fantastic to work on a piece that examined British history in ways that I'd never been exposed to at school - particularly at a time when the country was on the cusp of a general election - a moment when we can opt for change and the instability that brings with it, or be dictated to by fear and hang on to things the way they are... When the election result came through, Carolina and I were in the land of Cromwell's New Model Army - a movement which strove to subvert the existing order and build a fairer, more social and more democratic system, breaking down the structures that entrenched the divide between the haves and the have-nots...
At the end of February Carolina and I made a short film with artist Daria Martin. We'd been involved in the development of the project for some time and after a few delays we finally got to film it. As well as generating material, Carolina also performed and I worked as scene director. Simon Stephens had written a script based on development work we'd done and as well as Carolina, it also featured Anamaria Marinca and Myles Westman. It was the first time I'd worked with a proper film crew. I loved it. It was also amazing to work so in depth on the subject of synaesthesia, particularly the idea of mirror-touch synaesthesia. As soon as the film is going to be exhibited, we'll let you know.