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Dateline: 5th September, 2007

Daring Pairings publicity image

Daring Pairings at Hampstead

Hampstead Theatre's second new writing festival is what the theatre describes as "something of a cross-breeding experiment". It's called Daring Pairings and, as the publicity says, "instead of crossing a sheep with a kangaroo and getting a woolly jumper, or a centipede with a parrot and getting a walkie-talkie, we've been cross-breeding writers, artists and theatre companies."

The "daring pairings" are:

Wednesday 12 September
Thank God It's Friday
By Amy Rosenthal and Cosh Omar
Directed by Noah Birkstead-Breen
Cast: Emma Cunniffe, Michael Higgs, David Horovitch, Jonathan McGuinness, Joseph Millson, Lisa Stevenson, Susannah Wise

Thursday 13 September
Waiting for Leroy
By Tanika Gupta and Atiha Sen-Gupta
Directed by Maria Aberg
Cast includes Claire-Louise Cordwell, Emmanuel Idowu, Stephenjohn Holgate, Marcel McCalla, Luke Norris, Ray Panthaki and Ony Uhiara

Friday 14 September
Playtime
By Gary Owen and Gabriel Bisset-Smith
Directed by Tamara Harvey
Cast includes Kirsty Bushell, Fiona Button, Simon Darwen, Richard Shanks

After each Daring Pairing audiences will see a work-in-progress and will be asked to give their feedback to develop these twenty-minute extracts further. They are:

Wednesday 12 September
One In Five
By Penelope Skinner
Directed by Michael Longhurst
Performed by Simon Darwen, Sian Hutchinson, James Kermack, Alison O'Donnell, Gary Shelford, this quirky new play explores chance and misfortune in the lives of five very different characters.

Thursday 13 September
Settled
By George Gotts
Directed by Chris White
Cast includes James Chalmers, Charlotte Pyke
An unsettling atmospheric play extract about a couple who try to feel comfortable in their new country home.

Friday 14 September
Burning Cars
By Matt Hartley
Directed by Nick Bagnall
Cast includes Alicia Davies, David Hartley, Sarah Solemani, Tom Stuart
This black comedy follows a couple whose relationship break-up within a house-share results in a terrible accident that will unite the house-mates forever.

Monday 10th December sees Talawa Dares, in which emerging writers Ashmeed Sohoye and David Hermanstein work on cross-art collaborations to create electric pieces of new writing. Originally written for Talawa's UNZIPPED festival, the two writers will continue to develop these short plays at Hampstead, incorporating music and dance to explore new political and cultural identities within their work.

On Tuesday 11th September Paines Plough presents Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (part one) by Mark Ravenhill, directed by Roxana Silbert, the first reading of Mark Ravenhill's epic new play cycle which is drawn from his Edinburgh Festival series Ravenhill For Breakfast, and is a collage of scenes exploring the personal and political effect of war on modern life.

On Saturday 15th September members of the heat&light Company will present Pupation by Dennis Kelly and Natasha Bell, Georgia Lester, Indiana Seresin and Joey Sims. Drawing on the imaginations of four young writers, Dennis Kelly has written a ten-minute play which those same writers have gone on to complete. Selected on the basis of originality, imagination and raw talent, these young writers have a unique opportunity to inspire, and be inspired by, an Olivier and Bafta Award-nominated writer.

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©Peter Lathan 2007