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Avant-garde company the Phenomenological Theatre to continue work of Richard Foreman

Company founder Patrick Kennedy directed Richard Foreman's Hotel for Criminals at New Wimbledon Theatre, London, in 2016
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A new avant-garde theatre company in London is set to continue the work of US playwright and pioneer Richard Foreman.

The Phenomenological Theatre will create “impulsive, chimerical theatre productions” incorporating vaudeville, philosophy, slapstick, dadaism and surrealism.

It will continue the work of theatre pioneer Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater, founded in 1968. Its opening production will be a 50th-anniversary staging of Foreman and Stanley Silverman’s opera Elephant Steps. Full details of the production are to announced.

The company is being set up by Patrick Kennedy, who said: “50 years after Richard Foreman founded his Ontological-Hysteric Theater, I thought it critical that we answer London’s need for a new avant-garde theatre company that continues Richard’s work in the exploration of consciousness. This is especially important given the perilous social, economic and political times we live in.”

Before founding the Phenomenological Theatre Company, Kennedy brought several Foreman premieres to the UK including last summer’s King Cowboy Rufus Rules The Universe! and 2016’s Hotel For Criminals.

Kennedy added: “We have seen time and again over the past four years that there is an appetite for multi-layered, deeply complex theatre pieces. While it may never pander to the masses (as Foreman once wrote) nor be highly commercial, it is nevertheless important that we give audiences the opportunity to experience this evocative kind of theatre.”

Kennedy is the founder of PK Productions, which has premiered seven productions for a UK audience including Arthur Miller’s only musical Up from Paradise and all-female Weimar cabaret Halbwelt Kultur.

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