European Premiere of The Girl in the Yellow Dress

The Citizens Theatre, one of Scotland’s most iconic theatre companies, is proud to be collaborating with Live Theatre, Newcastle, and The Market Theatre, South Africa, to present the European premiere of Craig Higginson’s new play – THE GIRL IN THE YELLOW DRESS.

Originally inspired by Ovid’s story ‘Echo and Narcissus’ and psychoanalytic writings on narcissism, The Girl in the Yellow Dress is set in contemporary Paris and deals with the exchanges between a beautiful English teacher in her late twenties and her younger, black, French-Congolese pupil. 

The play explores issues around language, power, identity, sex, past trauma, class, exile and refugees.  The new South Africa drama is part psychological thriller, part State of the Nation analysis of the tensions between the ‘first’ and ‘third’ worlds. Although set in Paris it is, at its core, an exploration of some of the tensions that run through South African society and beyond.

The cast includes UK actress MARIANNE OLDHAM and emerging South African actor NAT RAMABULANA.  Marianne has worked with many of the UK’s leading theatre companies, including The Barbican, West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Finborough Theatre, and was most recently seen in BBC’s The Impressionists.  Nat is best known in South Africa for his roles in TV sitcoms Askies and The Mating Game, as well as appearances in the film Blood Diamond and forthcoming feature film, The Bang Bang Club.  He is making a name for himself as a theatre actor with his work for The Market Theatre, working with acclaimed director James Ngcobo.

The play will be directed by the Artistic Director of the Market Theatre, MALCOLM PURKEY, best known for his international hit Sophiatown. The Girl in the Yellow Dress will be published by Oberon Books in London. 

Playwright CRAIG HIGGINSON is Literary Manager and dramaturg for The Market Theatre.  His play Dream of the Dog has just been staged at the Finborough Theatre where it was met with critical acclaim, described by The Independent as ‘‘One of the most perfect one act plays I’ve seen in ages”. 

The play will have its world premiere at the Main Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, before transferring to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for its European premiere, then embarking on a tour of venues in the UK, South Africa and Sweden.

ENDS


For further information, press tickets, interview and picture requests, please contact:

Cat McNaught - Marketing Manager, Citizens Theatre
0141 418 6233 / cat@citz.co.uk

Alison Martin – Head of Marketing & Communication, Citizens Theatre
0141 418 6235 / alison@citz.co.uk


NOTES TO EDITORS

Credits:
The Girl in the Yellow Dress
By Craig Higginson
Directed by Malcolm Purkey
Design by Gary McCann
Lighting Design by Nomvula Molepo
Cast : Marianne Oldham and Nat Ramabulana

Venue Details:
Traverse 2
Venue 15 - Traverse Theatre,
Cambridge Street,
0131 228 1404
www.traverse.co.uk

Performance Details:
Times vary (10.15am / 1pm / 3.45pm / 6.30pm / 9.15pm / 9.30pm)
Thu 5 – Sun 29 August
Preview: Thu 5 August
Press performance: Fri 6 Aug, 10.15am

Ticket prices:
Previews: £11 (£6 conc)
Sun – Thu : £15 (£11 conc.  / £6 unemployed)
Fri – Sun: £17 (£12 conc.)

More info:
citz.co.uk
live.org.uk
markettheatre.co.za

BIOGRAPHIES

Marianne Oldham – Celia
Marianne trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  Her theatre credits include Stephen Daldry’s An Inspector Calls (UK tour, Novello and Wyndhams Theatre),  Mimi and the Stalker at Theatre 503, Troilus and Cressida (Cheek by Jowl - Barbican Theatre and European tour),  Hamlet and The Seagull (The Factory), The Changeling (English Touring Theatre), Relatively Speaking (English Playhouse Theatre), Sweethearts (The Finborough Theatre), How Many Miles to Basra (West Yorkshire Playhouse),  The Cherry Orchard (Southwark Playhouse), Present Laughter (Theatre Royal Bath Productions), Finally the Girl (The Old Red Lion Theatre),  The Gentleman from Olmedo and The Venetian Twins (The Watermill Theatre, Berkshire) and We Happy Few (Malvern Theatre).  TV credits include The Impressionists (BBC) and Doctors (BBC).

Nat Ramabulana – Pierre
Nat is a South African actor best known for his role as Blessing in the SABC2 sitcom Askies as well as his portrayal of Elphas in the SABC2 drama The Mating Game.  Nat’s theatre credits include working with director James Ngcobo on Master Harold and the Boys, as well as ID Pending and Hayani which he wrote and performed with Atandkwa Kani.  Other TV credits include Isidingo, Home Affairs, Nomzamo, Jozi – H, and Life is Wild.  His film credits include The Trail (2006), Blood Diamond (2006), and The Bang Bang Club (2010). Nat received a Dramatic Arts Honours Degree from University of Witwatersrand and was awarded the Richard Haines Prize for the most exceptional student in Dramatic Art. He is multilingual, speaking Venda, English, Zulu, Sotho and Afrikaans.

Craig Higginson - Writer
Craig Higginson is Literary Manager and dramaturg at the Market Theatre, as well as being a playwright, novelist, editor and university lecturer. Craig’s writing and directing have been nominated for and won several awards in South Africa and the United Kingdom. In 2010, he will begin his PhD in Creative Writing at University of Witwatersrand.  His first play, Laughter in the Dark, an adaptation of Nabokov’s novel, opened at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 2000. He later adapted it as a radio play for BBC Radio 3 and it won the Sony Gold Award for Best Radio Drama in the UK for 2004-5. His first original play, Dream of the Dog, opened in Grahamstown and the Market Theatre in 2007 and was at the Hilton Festival in 2008. In 2010, Dream of the Dog opened at the Finborough in London and transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End. Dream of the Dog has been published by Wits Press and Oberon Books.  Craig’s second original play, The Girl in the Yellow Dress, will open in Grahamstown in 2010, before touring in both South Africa and the UK. This play is also being published by Oberon Books. Craig co-wrote Truth in Translation (Edinburgh Fringe First) and Ten Bush, both of which have toured widely internationally, and adapted several other works into plays for the Market Theatre. Craig’s published novels include The Hill (2005, Jacana) and Last Summer (2010, Picador Africa). His next novel, The Landscape Painter, will appear in 2011 (Picador Africa). 

Malcolm Purkey – Director
Malcolm Purkey became Artistic Director of Market Theatre, Johannesburg, in January 2005. He previously served as Associate Professor of Drama at the University of the Witwatersrand where he also was a leader of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company. He has also been active in film and television programme development. Purkey has a long list of productions to his credit, including such highly regarded drama as Sophiatown (Broadway tour).

Gary McCann– Set Designer

Gary trained at Nottingham Trent University, gaining a First Class honours degree in Theatre Design, and is now based in Greenwich, South East London.  Recent design work includes A Northern Odyssey (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Morma (National Opera of Moldova), Fidelio (Garsington Opera) and The Pitman Painters ( National Theatre, Broadway, UK and Irish tour).  Other design work includes Guys and Dolls (Theater Beilefeld), Grimm Tales (Library Theatre, Manchester), Me and Cilla, Top Girls (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Home By Now (Baltic, Gateshead), Hurricane (Arts Theatre London / 59th St Theatre, New York) and new opera Promised Land (Canterbury Festival).  Gary is lecturer in Design with the Drama Department at the University of Kent.  He has exhibited several times with the Society of British Theatre Designers, most recently having two designs on display at the V&A Museum as part of the Collaborators Exhibition.

Nomvula Molepo – Sound & Lighting Designer
Nomvula Molepo started her career as a Trainee Stage Manager and Lighting Technician at the Market Theatre, before becoming Assistant Stage Manager and later a lighting technician. In 2000 she worked as an Assistant Lighting Designer for The Blacks which toured to Sweden. The highlights of Nomvula’s career as a lighting designer include Hostile Takeover, The House of Bernada Alba (tour to Sweden), Shreds and Dreams, Skin deep, Third Coming, Nongogo, Acropolis Café, Dream of the Dog, Women’s Arts Festival, Joy of Jazz and Go Aphelwa.  Design credits include Woza Albert, the musical Kgwadi Yamarumo, The Lion and the Jewel, The Hill and The Game for Pretoria State Theatre;  My Bum is Genetic, Deal With It (and tour to UK), Itsoseng, Jungle Book (Naledi Award 2008, Best Lighting Designer), Don’t Look Away,  Joy of Jazz, The Fat Black Women Sing, Jazz for Juniors ,The Best of Zwakala (Sekwatlapa and 13), Thursday’s Child (tour to Vienna) and Olive Tree (Grahamstown Festival / Windybrow Theatre) all for Wits Theatre . Recently she did Lighting Design for The Pen, Closer, Madi, 8Minuet and The Offside Rules for Market Theatre.

PRAISE FOR CRAIG HIGGINSON
Recent praise for Craig Higginson’s Dream of the Dog, which is due to transfer from the Finborough Theatre (London) to London’s West End:

The Finborough has a massive, unmissable hit on its hands with Dream of the Dog…An evening fit to grab you by the throat” The Telegraph *****

‘One of the most perfect one act plays I’ve seen in ages
” The Independent ****

“A masterful memory play by Craig Higginson”
Time Out (Critic’s Choice) ****

“One of the best post-apartheid new dramas we’ve seen in London”
What’s on Stage ****

“The projection of the issues troubling post apartheid South Africa…is beautifully delivered by Craig Higginson ’s writing, filled with the brooding tension of the time yet also containing warmth and dark humour…90 minutes of compelling drama” The Public Reviews ****

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