Jemma Redgrave and Ewan Miller are to star in the world première of Marek Horn’s Octopolis at Hampstead Theatre.
Directed by Ed Madden, Octopolis will play Hampstead Downstairs from 15 September to 28 October 2023.
Octopolis is a fascinating and funny exploration of love, grief and what makes us human.
Jemma Redgrave’s extensive TV credits include Holby City, Doctor Who, Grantchester, Silent Witness and Midsomer Murders. Jemma Redgrave returns to Hampstead Theatre, where she was last seen in Farewell to the Theatre, to play Professor George Grey a brilliant behavioural biologist world-renowned for her pioneering research into octopus intelligence.
Recently seen on stage in Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre), The Comedy of Errors and A Christmas Carol (both Citizens Theatre, Glasgow) and on screen in ITV’s Crime, Ewan Miller makes his debut at Hampstead playing Harry, an ambitious anthropologist.
Director Ed Madden said: “I’m so pleased that Jemma Redgrave and Ewan Miller will star in Marek’s fiercely smart and soulful play, as scientists from differing disciplines who form an intense bond as they study the same octopus. Octopolis is a proper theatrical workout for the heart and mind and needs two stage animals at its centre; the whole team feel very lucky to have Jemma and Ewan on board, and to be the opening play in the new Downstairs season at Hampstead Theatre this autumn.”
What is Octopolis about?
The play follows Professor George Grey, a behavioural biologist who studies octopus cognition with her late husband. She lives with Frances, an octopus who is the subject of their research, in a campus accommodation. One day, Harry, an ambitious anthropologist, arrives with a shocking proposal: to test his new theory on Frances, which involves exposing her to a simulated alien invasion. George is appalled by Harry’s idea, but he is determined to prove his hypothesis and gain fame. As the experiment unfolds, George and Harry clash over their views on octopus culture, communication, and consciousness.