LOVE, a new play about the housing crisis by Alexander Zeldin, which premiered at the National Theatre to critical acclaim in late 2016, will transfer to the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 25 – 27 October 2018.
It’s the run up to Christmas. In a city where over 50,000 households are living in temporary accommodation, three families find themselves without a home. A middle-aged man and his elderly mum, a young family with a baby on the way, a newly arrived woman from Sudan. Strangers. Forced together. No space is personal.
This piercing new play is a timely reflection on an often overlooked crisis and an intimate story of family love for our times.
Alexander Zeldin said, “During one of those meetings that seem to be more than simple chance, Bill Rashleigh, who works for Shelter, the UK’s biggest housing charity, gave me a report titled “Christmas families in Bed and Breakfasts”. These are families living in limbo, in emergency housing in the run up to Christmas. Here, in a very direct kind of language, were testimonies, voices that spoke truthfully about families, fear, about an individual’s struggle with society, and above all, about love. A crucial step in the creation of LOVE was meeting these families, visiting them at home and over two years, involving them at various stages in rehearsals, in improvisations based on the scenes in the play. The stories I seek to tell are those of the everyday, of apparently simple struggles in Britain today. I’m delighted that LOVE will visit the Queen’s Theatre to continue to tell this story.”
LOVE will continue the NT’s partnership with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch established with Public Acts: a nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community. The NT is currently working with the Queen’s Theatre and a number of community organisations across Greater London that share the NT’s vision for theatre as a force for change. Through these partnerships the NT will invite members of London’s diverse communities to take part in regular creative activity and join the NT in the creation of theatre productions. The first of these will be a new production of Pericles in the Olivier Theatre in August 2018.
Douglas Rintoul, Artistic Director of the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch said, “We’re thrilled to be one of the first partners collaborating with the National Theatre on Theatre Nation. The Public Acts programme is enabling us to engage new community groups in a way that will have a long lasting impact. Presenting Alexander Zeldin’s LOVE will give us an opportunity to target and inspire new audiences with an ambitious piece of programming that, at this stage, we could not produce ourselves. Bringing the National Theatre to Outer East London audiences, schools and participants will create a cultural meeting place, connecting Inner and Outer London at a time of a growing disconnect between the two, whilst also enhancing a sense of local pride through the celebration of our community and the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch itself.”
LOVE is designed by Natasha Jenkins, lighting by Marc Williams, and sound design by Josh Anio Grigg. Casting to be announced.
Alexander Zeldin’s work includes the critically acclaimed Beyond Caring, which premiered at the Yard Theatre in Hackney before playing in the National Theatre’s Temporary Theatre in 2015. In 2015 Alexander was the recipient of the Quercus Trust Award and was appointed as Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Beyond Caring toured the UK and a new US production, re-developed for the US by Alexander and produced by Looking Glass Theater in conjunction with David Schwimmer’s company Dark Harbour Stories, opened in Chicago in April 2017. In 2017 Alexander was named Artist in Residence at the National Theatre and in 2018, was the winner of the Arts Foundation twenty-fifth anniversary Fellowship for Literature.
Tickets for LOVE at the Queen’s Theatre are now on sale.