As the year-end roles around thoughts have naturally turned to all things festive, and we begin to look back at all of the fantastic shows that have opened in London this past year. Aside from the usual Christmas fare and traditional shows that are opening this December, there's also an exciting opening from the Michael Grandage Company, who earlier this year brought the West End 'Photograph 51' starring Nicole Kidman.
The Dazzle is written by Tony Award-winner Richard Greenberg and has its UK première at a brand new performance venue in Central London named Found 111. The site-specific drama takes place in the site of the old Central St Martin's Art School building on Charing Cross Road – opposite the Phoenix Theatre. We put together our top five reasons why this show should have you rushing to see it when it opens on 10 December.
For those who feel that traditional West End Theatres lack a certain 'pop up' charm, prepare to experience the West End's newest and most unique commercial performance space. Situated in the heart of the West End, just off Charing Cross Road, Found 111has an edgy and undiscovered vibe that will appeal to urban theatregoers and those looking for something a little off the beaten track. The old Central St Martins building has been transformed to house this special production, with the space reflecting the hoarded junk room in which the characters inhabit. Staged in the round and with unreserved seating, Found 111 will provide a perfect hidden environment for this intriguing new play. Make sure you're the first of your friends to discover this gem of a venue.
Richard Greenberg's play won an Outer Critics Circle Award when it opened in New York back in 2000. The play takes place in New York City at the beginning of the 20th century, and is a snapshot into the lives of two brothers, who sit in their home surrounded by 136 tons of hoarded junk. When a beautiful guest arrives, everybody's lives are thrown into sharp focus.
Greenberg is a celebrated American writer, best known for his 2003 Tony Award-winning play 'Take Me Out' which premièred at the Donmar Warehouse before transferring to New York's Public Theater and later Broadway. His other credits include 'The Assembled Parties' which premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club and the book of the musical 'Far From Heaven' which opened at Playwrights Horizons in 2013. The Dazzle remains one of his most popular plays, and this eagerly anticipated London production is set to bring his remarkable writing to a brand new audience.
Actor Andrew Scott couldn't be hotter right now if he tried. Currently starring in the brand new Bond film 'Spectre' alongside Daniel Craig, the celebrated actor makes a welcome return to the London stage, following his screen successes with films such as 'Pride' and the hit TV series 'Sherlock' for which he won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
His work on stage has seen him win two Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his roles in 'A Girl in a Car with a Man' and 'Cock' at the Royal Court Theatre. He returned to the Royal Court last year for their hit play 'Birdland', and has appeared at the National Theatre in productions of 'Emperor and Galilean' and 'Aristocrats'. He appeared on Broadway in Sam Mendes' production of 'The Vertical Hour', and continues to work internationally with a number of films currently in post-production.
This new production is produced by the Michael Grandage Company, and marks the first time the company have produced away from a traditional West End venue. The company was set up by Michael Grandage, a previous Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, and enjoyed a year-long residency at the Noel Coward Theatre where it produced hits such as 'Henry V' starring Jude Law and 'Peter and Alice' starring Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench. More recently, its production of 'Photograph 51' starring Nicole Kidman just completed a sell-out run in the West End. The affiliation with the company means that The Dazzle is set to reach the same high standards set by the award-winning creative team.
With so many wonderfully festive offerings at the theatre this time of year, some audiences relish the opportunity to see a piece of drama that concerns a brand new and totally original topic. The Dazzle will appeal to those who are looking for an alternative outing this December and perhaps need a break from the fairy lights and tinsel. This is the perfect antidote to frothy Christmas cheer, and is a play that will make you think as well as entertain.