Latitude Festival 2010
'I like a challenge. And I love theatre when it's as alive as it can be - chaotic, engaging, entertaining and dangerous'
The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo
By Carl Grose
A New RSC Commission
Thursday 15 July, 12.10am (early hours of Friday 16) and Saturday 17 July, 10.50pm
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) camps out at the Latitude Festival in Henham Park, Suffolk with a darkly comic event performed late into the night on Thursday 15 and Saturday 17 July in the Theatre Arena.
Specially commissioned for the festival, The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo is written by playwright Carl Grose, well known for his work with internationally acclaimed Kneehigh Theatre. The production will be directed by Lu Kemp.
Carl said: "It's always good fun writing to a brief. The RSC had one of the more interesting ones when they offered me the Latitude slot. It's in a tent. It's at night. It's at a festival. There's close to a thousand people all crammed in, who are, by this time of the evening, 'quite jolly'. You can't have any set (the turn-around is quicker than Edinburgh), and whatever props you want you'll have to carry from the van through the fields, to the tent itself. (Hmm. Skimp on the props, then!) The technicals are limited. Oh, and you've only got half an hour to perform it in. Away you go!
"I like a challenge. And I love theatre when it's as alive as it can be - chaotic, engaging, entertaining, and dangerous.
"I've just finished writing the first draft of the script. It's called The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo, and I will reveal no more other than it's got a pig in a dress in it. I did my damnedest to surprise myself with how it turned out, in the hope that it'll surprise the crowds come that (hopefully) balmy, barmy July night. Guess I'll have to wait and see."
The RSC has developed a reputation for bringing the unexpected to Latitude and The Thirteen Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo follows the success of The Big Lie by RSC Literary Associate Anthony Neilson in 2008 and Phil Porter's chilling Here Lies Mary Spindler in 2009.
RSC Literary Manager Pippa Hill said: 'We put new work on all our stages but the Latitude Festival is unique – it gives us a great opportunity to commission a new piece of work and pull together a show in a few weeks. This is our chance to create a flashmob ensemble, pack a van and put it on in a field in Suffolk. We can have some mischief, unleash our actors and create a show for two performances only…'
On the RSC's Here Lies Mary Spindler at Latitude, 2009:
'A perfect, gory choice for a festival and its late night slot, and a great example of subverting the audience's expectations.' The Stage
'It was, no pun intended, spellbinding.' The Evening Standard
For further information or interviews please contact Alex Turner on 020 7845 0513 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
During the festival Alex will be available on 07867 802489.
Date of issue: 1 June 2010
Notes to Editors:
- For the first time the RSC will present a number of workshops at the Festival that offer an insight into the core work of the company. These will provide an opportunity for younger festival-goers to learn more about theatre craft through creating and writing scenes for the stage. On Friday 16 and Sunday 18 July in the Outdoor Theatre RSC actors and practitioners will lead practical workshops in how a scene gets put together through learning insults in Shakespeare's language and creating some basic stage fights (suitable for ages 10+). On Friday 16 July there is the opportunity to join the RSC writing team to explore ghost scenes and create a new piece of work using the language and dramatic techniques of Shakespeare (suitable for ages 8+).
- These free workshops have a limited capacity, allocated on a first come, first served basis. Further details can be found at www.latitudefestival.co.uk.
- Images of Carl Grose and of previous productions are available from the RSC Press Office on request.
- The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.
Carl Grose's plays include Quick Silver, 49 Donkeys Hanged, Superstition Mountain and Grand Guignol. For the past fifteen years he has worked extensively with the internationally acclaimed Kneehigh Theatre as both actor and writer. Writing for Kneehigh includes Tristan & Yseult, The Bacchae, Blast!, Cymbeline and, most recently, Hansel & Gretel. Carl has also written for Told By An Idiot, The National Theatre and Vesturport. He also co-founded the Cornish production company o-region. Carl is currently under commission for The Drum Theatre, National Theatre of Wales and the RSC.
Lu Kemp trained on the LEM at Lecoq, Paris and with Anne Bogart's SITI Company, New York. For the RSC Lu was Assistant Director on The Gods Weep by Dennis Kelly in 2010. As a theatre director her work includes If That's All There Is for Inspector Sands (Winner of the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize '09), One Thousand Paper Cranes, programmed at Imaginate International Children's Festival 2010 and Room at the Tron, Glasgow. She has previously directed for the Northampton Royal Theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre, at the Tron Theatre and the Riverside Studios. Lu was a radio drama director at the BBC between 2002 and 2007 and continues to freelance in radio; her recent piece Déjà-Vu - a bi-lingual collaboration between BBC London and Arte Radio Paris - was a finalist in the Prix Europa Radio Fiction Prize 2009.