Tom Littler vows to turn Jermyn Street into full-time producing theatre
London’s Jermyn Street Theatre is to be ‘relaunched’ as a full-time producing house under new artistic director Tom Littler as he announces his first season.
Previously the theatre had produced an average of two shows each year, with the rest of its programme made up of received productions. Now, all shows will be fully produced or co-produced by Jermyn Street Theatre.
Littler succeeds Anthony Biggs as artistic director, who announced in February that he would be stepping down to pursue other projects.
Littler has committed the theatre to the Equity Fringe Agreement, which ensures that performers are paid a legal wage, and has promised that across each year of work women will make up at least 50% of all performers and backstage teams.
Stella Powell-Jones will become deputy director at the theatre, Julia Mucko joins as resident producer and Natasha Rickman, who founded the Women at RADA scheme to promote gender equality, will be artistic associate.
The season will open with the premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Blinding Light, which looks at the life of playwright August Strindberg.
Brenton’s adaptation of Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, directed by Littler, will also play at the theatre after its run at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
Alice Hamilton directs the world premiere of Judith Burnley’s play Anything That Flies, and Jermyn Street will co-produce Peepolykus’ adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles with English Theatre Frankfurt, directed by Lotte Wakeham.
In his first year, Littler aims to raise £300,000 for the theatre.
Littler said: “Jermyn Street Theatre is an art-house jewel in the West End’s crown. Over the next few years, our audiences will see outstanding plays and musicals – both revivals and new writing.
“Our work will be bolder and more ambitious than ever before. It will be intellectually curious, international and liberal in outlook: plays to make you think, laugh, and cry.”
Executive director Penny Horner added: “After four brilliant years, we are sad to say goodbye to Anthony Biggs, but excited to welcome Tom Littler as our new artistic director. For the past 23 years we have been a home to outstanding plays and musicals in the middle of the West End.
“We are very excited to be working with Tom as this new chapter begins, and look forward to celebrating our 25th birthday in 2019 as a thriving producing theatre.”
Season at a glance
The Blinding Light by Howard Brenton
Directed by Tom Littler
September 6 to October 14, press night September 12
Anything That Flies by Judith Burnley
Directed by Alice Hamilton
October 18 to November 11, press night October 20
Miss Julie by August Strindberg, adapted by Howard Brenton
Directed by Tom Littler
November 14 to December 2, press night November 14
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by Peepolykus
Directed by Lotte Wakeham
December 6 to 20, press night December 8