A group of talented students from Leicester’s De Montfort University will bring two of Steven Berkoff’s great plays to life at Curve this month.
East and Greek were created by the iconic British playwright, who played General Orlov in James Bond’s Octopussy, and will be directed by Curve’s Associate and Artistic directors with 11 students working with them on these challenging pieces.
The 11 lucky drama students were chosen during a rigorous audition process in December.
Included in the cast line-up for East will be Robert Callery, James Coldrick, Douglas Deans, Matthew Forey and Kara John.
And, the Greek cast consists of Rebecca Cooper, Laurie Cusack, Mark Halliday, Jonathan McClean, Kelly Scargill and Jennifer Smith.
Greek, which will be directed by Curve’s Associate director Adel Al-Salloum, is a wildly humorous twist on the Oedipus legend and a powerful account of the state of a selfish society. Berkoff recreated the various Sophocles myths and applied them to 1980s London; riots, filth, decay, mobs and bombings. The characters suffer from an emotional plague and inhabit a world under Thatcher’s government, suffering from moral decline. Greek is a love story set in the wasteland of modern society.
Adel Al-Salloum, director of Greek and Head of Participation and Learning at Curve said, “We are thrilled to be working with DMU on this project. The strong script and stripped-down nature of the pieces lend themselves to developing the craft of performance.
“They are two provocative, unsettling and humorous texts, which will push their performers to verbal and physical extremes. Paul and I are privileged to be working with local emerging acting talent and offering them the opportunity to perform at Curve.”
East, which will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director, Paul Kerryson, is shameless, sexy and beautiful. Gang members Les and Mike take the audience on a raucous and viciously funny ride through the East End. In their cockney tongue, a dysfunctional family tell each of their stories to build up a picture of their unconventional lives.
Both East and Greek are unsuitable for children and contain scenes and language of a graphic sexual and violent nature which may cause offence.
James Coldrick, who plays Mike in East said, “Paul is a brilliant director and has encouraged us all the way, helping us get every word, every action perfected. I haven’t felt like a student swamped by professionals, because we have all been treated like professionals, and I hope my performance, along with everyone else’s, can be compared with other professional work occurring at the Curve right now.”
Rob Brannen, Head of Performance and Digital Arts Department at De Montfort University, has said how delighted he is to have their students working in a professional theatre.
He said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for this student group to gain first hand experience of Curve, Leicester’s state-of-the-art performance facility. We are looking forward to similar exciting theatre performance collaborations in the future between Curve and DMU.”
As well as the 11 students in the cast, the performers are also supported by two assistant directors, Toni Martell, a final year Drama student and Natalie Raven, who returned to DMU this year to undertake our MA in Drama Studies.
And, several students are also gaining valuable behind-the-scenes experience alongside Curve’s professional production team.
Greek will be shown in Curve’s studio at 7.45pm on 8, 10, 12 March.
East will be shown in Curve’s studio at 7.45pm on 7, 9, 11 March.
Ticket price: £5
To book tickets or for more information call 0116 242 3595 or visit http://www.curveonline.co.uk/