Hampstead Theatre: Four new plays announced

Four new plays revealed by Hampstead Theatre: Sons of the Prophet, Linck and Mülhahn, The Art of Illusion, Akedah

Hampstead Theatre in North London has announced four new plays for its Autumn 2022 / Winter 2023 season.

In the main theatre, Stephen Karam’s play Sons of the Prophet gets its European premiere, directed by Bijan Sheibani. The play runs from 2 December 2022 to 14 January 2023.

Sons of Prophet centres on Joseph Douaihy, a gay American-Lebanese Maronite Christian in rural Pennsylvania, who has a pretty complicated life! When his father dies as the result of a prank, life truly spirals towards the bizarre… With unexplained pain blocking his athletics career, a desperate new boss who wants to capitalize on his grief, a dependent uncle who thinks he’s his legal guardian and a very wayward younger brother, Joseph has a lot on his plate… So he really should not be spending time with the attractive journalist who’s looking for the inside scoop on his father’s accident…

Also in the main theatre, Hampstead is staging the world premiere of Linck and Mülhahn by Ruby Thomas, directed by Owen Horsley. This plays from 27 January to Saturday 4 March 2023.

Linck and Mülhahn is set in Prussia in 1720. Dashing musketeer and skilled seducer Anastasius Linck has no intention of falling in love. But when he meets passionate young Catharina Mülhahn, so strong is the attraction that the match becomes inevitable. As the couple strive to build a radical kind of marriage, Catharina’s mother becomes obsessed with her mysterious son-in-law and sets out to uncover his secret – a secret that, if revealed, would threaten to engulf them all…

The Hampstead Downstairs theatre will also showcase two new plays, with the UK premiere of Alexis Michalik’s The Art of Illusion, directed by Tom Jackson Greaves, and running from 17 December 2022 to 28 January 2023.

In The Art of Illusion it is 1984, and as the France vs Yugoslavia match unfolds on TV, a man meets a woman in a Parisian café. He is returning a bag that she lost on the Paris Métro, but he doesn’t reveal he stole it… Instead, he tells her the story of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, watchmaker, inventor, and master magician of the 19th century. Together they set out to find a vanished theatre beneath a bank vault in the Boulevard des Italiens, to break into a museum in the Trocadero, to uncover the mystery of the Mechanical Turk, to witness the birth of the kinetograph… and to delve ever deeper into the art of illusion.

And also Downstairs, the world premiere of Akedah by Michael John O’Neill, directed by Lucy Morrison. Akedah will run from 10 February to 18 March 2023.

In Akedah, Gill has come to a remote part of the coast of Northern Ireland – a place that was once her home but has since become the base of a slowly expanding mega-church called Harvest. She’s on a mission to persuade her younger sister Kelly to leave her new found family in the church… But she also wants to confront their mother, whose abandonment and betrayal of her daughters set them on their divergent paths…

The full casts and creative teams for these plays will be announced soon.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, said: “Our autumn/winter season celebrates Hampstead Theatre’s cosmopolitan roots with a range of international playwrights from Scotland to the USA, Northern Ireland to France and some great homegrown talent in between. Stephen Karam’s The Humans was playing at Hampstead when I was applying for the job of Artistic Director and I was blown away by it. So it’s a privilege to be producing Sons of the Prophet directed by the brilliant Bijan Sheibani. Meanwhile our Downstairs Christmas show The Art of Illusion by Alexis Michalik has been playing in Paris since 2014, having won a clutch of Molières, and started off in a studio not unlike ours. One of the joys of running a new writing theatre is seeing writers develop and I’m delighted that having produced her first ever play, Either, and following a highly successful run of her second play The Animal Kingdom, we will be producing her first Main House show Linck and Mülhahan. And following the tradition of the studio being a launching pad for playwrights, we are introducing Michael John O’Neill to London audiences with his first full length play Akedah.”

Today, Hampstead also announced casting for its productions of Rona Munro’s Mary and Blackout Songs by Joe White.

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