Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Robin French will premiere Crooked Dances in June.

Crooked Dances, a new play written by Robin French and directed by Elizabeth Freestone, is coming to The Other Place this summer.

Known for his work with the Birmingham Rep and as co-writer of BBC sitcom Cuckoo, Robin found inspiration on a train while listening to Crooked Dances (Danses de travers) by the French avant-garde composer Erik Satie. The resulting play combines the concerns of modern digital society with his fascination with the music to tell the story of an ambitious journalist interviewing a world famous concert pianist in Paris.

Elizabeth Freestone, who is directing the play, says she was "hooked" as soon as she started reading it: “Nothing you are told is quite as straightforward as it seems and nothing you see is quite what you expect. It’s a fantastic challenge to realise the ideas and images Robin is exploring – the power of music, the nature of time, the fragility of real human connection... We’ll be using projection, live music and possibly a few surprises to create a full and theatrical experience for the audience.”

Crooked Dances will run in the Studio Theatre from Thursday 20 June to Saturday 13 July.

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Beware the Cat

There will also be a special one-hour performance inspired by William Baldwin's 1552 novel, Beware the Cat. Believed to be the first ever English novel, this is a story of witchcraft, religious controversy, and talking cats designed to help us imagine what animals might say about the world.

Academics from the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex have worked with theatre ensemble Forced Entertainment's Terry O'Connor on adapting the novel for the stage. You can see their work for the first time in our preview performance on Saturday 6 July in The Other Place.