London’s Jermyn Street Theatre has revealed a new season of work – The Promise season – which covers the first half of 2023.
Continuing from where the current Temptation Season left off, it will explore the many sides of promise – vows made, kept and broken and the hope of great things to come.
The Promise season will feature four world premieres and a major rediscovery, and has been assembled by departing Artistic Director Tom Littler. The shows will be created by the new leadership team of Artistic Director Stella Powell-Jones and Executive Producer David Doyle, who join co-founder and Executive Director, Penny Horner.
The powerful programme includes Powell-Jones’ first production as Artistic Director, the world premiere of celebrated contemporary dramatist Timberlake Wertenbaker’s stage adaptation of Henri-Pierre Roché’s autobiographical novel Jules and Jim (20 April to 27 May). Telling the tale of a tragic love triangle set against the background of war, this study of obsession and fidelity was immortalised on film in 1962 by the New Wave master Françoise Truffaut. It is now brought to life on stage by one of our leading playwrights.
Maintaining the French theme, and also following Jermyn Street Theatre’s Christmas production – the comic adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary, Flaubert is explored more in a debut play by historian Orlando Figes. The Oyster Problem (9 February to 4 March) tells the story of Flaubert’s catastrophic search for a day job – an episode Figes discovered while researching his best-selling book The Europeans.
The first production in the Promise Season will be the world premiere of Misha Levkov’s In the Net (12 January to 4 February), which uses the image of a Jewish Eruv to weave together themes of faith and belonging. Vicky Moran directs this story of two half-sisters and a Syrian refugee, who together in their pursuit of justice, joy and safety, embark on a project to create a net stretching across the skyline of North London.
Also receiving its world premiere is Katherine Moar’s Farm Hall (9 March to 8 April), which is directed by Stephen Unwin. The work is based on the remarkable and true story of a group of German nuclear scientists held captive in a Cambridge stately home during the Pacific War and its aftermath of 1945 to ’46. This is a place in which, unbeknownst to the prisoners, every room is bugged, every word is overheard, and no secret is kept safe.
Rounding off the Promise Season and building on Jermyn Street Theatre’s reputation for staging rediscoveries, Miles Malleson’s drama, Yours Unfaithfully (1 June to 1 July) is a funny and moving study of an open marriage. The play was written in 1933 but only recently received a much-praised world premiere in New York.
The Promise Season is preceded by Jermyn Street Theatre’s current Temptation Season, which runs to the end of the year. Next up is Peter Gill’s Something in the Air, (13 October – 12 November), starring Ian Gelder (Game of Thrones) and Christopher Godwin (The Dig).
The Temptation Season concludes with the The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! (17 November – 17 December).
Both the Temptation Season and the Promise Season contain One Night Only Sunday Treats and a selection of pre-show debates around the themes of each production. Details can be found on the Jermyn Street Theatre website here.
Outgoing Artistic Director Tom Littler says: “It’s a bittersweet moment to end my time at Jermyn Street Theatre by announcing this season of work – five superb plays all brand new to UK audiences. As I pass the baton to a terrific new team bursting with promise of their own, I am looking forward to returning to watch these stories come to life. I have been so lucky to spend five years at this very special theatre, and I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has created and supported our work.”
Incoming Artistic Director Stella Powell Jones says: “The ambition and variety of the Promise Season at large is a fitting testament to Tom’s remarkable legacy in transforming Jermyn Street Theatre into a producing house. It’s a huge privilege to inherit such a strong starting season from Tom, and particularly one with so many world premieres. I can think of no better way to start my tenure as Artistic Director at Jermyn Street Theatre than directing the first production of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Jules and Jim. It’s the play we need now: three people determined to live their lives for love, even as war first looms and then devastates.”