Gregory Evans’ SHIRLEYMANDER rehearsed reading at the Playground Theatre

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A rehearsed reading of SHIRLEYMANDER by Gregory Evans is taking place at the brand new Playground Theatre this Thursday 30th November, ahead of a full run planned for May 2018.

The play was previously adapted for radio to critical acclaim ‘a vividly impressionistic play… brutally comic, unexpectedly sad.' Daily Telegraph, 'An atmosphere of poisonous paranoia ... Excellent fun.' The Times, broadcast on Radio 4, with esteemed actress Tracy-Ann Oberman playing the lead. This is the first time the play will be performed on stage as it was originally conceived, and Tracy will be reprising her lead role. The reading will also feature Patrick Ryecart and Michael Simkins.  

SHIRLEYMANDER tells the story of Dame Shirley Porter, leader of Westminster Council from 1983 to 1991. Bullying, autocratic, possessing boundless energy and vast wealth yet riddled with insecurities, Porter turned the Conservative flagship borough into a mire of paranoia, fear and skullduggery, as she pursued secret, illegal policies that destroyed communities, reputations, lives hopes… and finally herself.

The play’s venue, the brand new Playground Theatre, has special significance in regards to SHIRLEYMANDER’s subject matter, as it is a stone’s throw from Grenfell Tower, drawing parallels on how past and present governments have played a role in social housing crises. It is these similarities that have led the Playground Theatre’s co-artistic director Anthony Biggs to select the play as its first production.

You can find The Observer’s article on the upcoming production here.

You can follow Gregory on Twitter here.

Gregory Evans signed up by Amber Entertainment to write action-adventure movie

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Producer Ileen Maisel (INKHEART, THE GOLDEN COMPASS) commissioned the original screenplay, set in nineteenth century Paris and featuring Jules Verne.

Gregory Evans' previous work includes numerous literary adaptations and original plays for radio, including THE QUIET AMERICAN by Graham Greene for which he was shortlisted for a Sony Award, and over 40 television scripts for series such as THE BILL, CASUALTY, MURDER IN MIND and BUGS. Last year his original radio play, SHIRLEYMANDER, about Dame Shirley Porter, was very well received, with the Sunday Times describing it as "A taut, vicious, gripping play".

Jules Verne is the Victorian author famed for his groundbreaking novels TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS.