(Beverly Hills, CA January 19) The brilliant theatricality of Kneehigh, the innovative United Kingdom-based theater company, will be on display at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts once again when 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips has its Los Angeles premiere. Based on the beloved book by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, 946 explores everything we thought we knew about the D-Day landings in this tender musical tale of love and war. Adapted by Morpurgo and Emma Rice, who also directs, 946 is a Kneehigh production presented in association with Birmingham Repertory and Berkeley Repertory Theatres. Performances begin February 9 with the opening on February 10.
Kneehigh are the theatrical alchemists whose Brief Encounter wowed audiences on The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater stage in 2014. Originally produced by The Wallis’ Artistic Director—and former Kneehigh Executive Producer—Paul Crewes, 946 is a tender coming-of-age tale that uncovers the secrets behind World War II’s D-Day landings. Set in the idyllic seaside village of Slapton Sands, the lives of Lily, her family, and her fiercely independent cat Tips are barely touched by war until American soldiers occupy their house and surrounding land. With a live onstage swing band, enchanting puppetry and Kneehigh’s signature stage sorcery, director Emma Rice configures a story of love, war and prejudice that crosses borders both geographical and generational.
“946 was the last large scale piece of work that I produced in the UK,” says Crewes. “It is a real honor to now bring it to The Wallis in 2017 and reunite with my longtime theatre partners Emma Rice and Mike Shepherd. I certainly hope the audience loves 946 as much as Brief Encounter, which was the last production that Kneehigh brought to The Wallis and my first time working on this wonderful stage.”
“What thrill to return to The Wallis! Not only will we present a piece of work that we know will bring joy, tenderness and hope, but we will be joining forces again with our dear friend and colleague, Paul Crewes,” said Rice. “I am smiling as I write as it feels a little like coming home; a theme that is explored in our beloved 946. Expect a meeting of hearts and minds, onstage and off, when Kneehigh return – we can’t wait!”
946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips is a fantastical and celebratory piece that brings together English and American actors and musicians to tell a true story of the relationships between English villagers and American GIs. Based on Morpurgo’s young adult novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, the story was adapted into a theatrical presentation by Morpurgo and the show’s director Emma Rice. It received its world premiere at Kneehigh Asylum in Cornwall, UK, in 2015 and performed to great acclaim at Shakespeare’s Globe in London in September 2016. Following its Southern California run, the production moves to St. Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY.
LAArtsOnline.com is the media sponsor for 946.
Single tickets for 946 are now available for $29 – $129. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
About Michael Morpurgo (Adaptor):
Michael is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers. He was appointed Children’s Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2007. He has written over 130 books with world sales of over 34 million copies, including Kensuke’s Kingdom, which won the Children’s Book Award 2000 and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2000. His novel, Private Peaceful, a harrowing story about the First World War was published in autumn 2003. It won the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2005. His novel Shadow about a boy from Afghanistan and the dog he befriends won the Red House Children’s Book Award 2011, voted for by children. Pinocchio by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clark, was published in September 2013. Many of Michael’s books have been adapted for the stage. These include Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, and most notably, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse. This production of Michael’s moving and powerful story of survival on the Western Front reached number one in the Observer’s top ten theatre performances and was also awarded the best design prize in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. This production moved to New York where it has been awarded five Tony Awards. The film of War Horse by Steven Spielberg was released in January 2012. In 1976, Michael and his wife Clare started the charity Farms for City Children. They help to run three farms around the country—in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience
About Emma Rice (Director/Adaptor/Choreographer):
Emma is Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe and directed the recent productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 946: The Amazing Story of AdolphusTips. For the last 20 years she has worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions for Kneehigh include The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Tristan & Yseult, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Production), Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic), Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Wild Bride, Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages) and Steptoe and Son. Other work includes: the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey), The Empress (RSC) and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).
About the 946 cast:
Nandi Bhebhe (Tips the Cat/Harry) trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Previous theater credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); 5,6,7,8 (Royal Court); Episodes of Blackness (Vocab Dance Company); Fela! (National Theatre/Broadway/US Tour); A Season in the Congo (Young Vic Theatre); and White Out (Barrowland Ballet Dance Company).
Seamas Carey (Musician) is a performer, composer and silent film pianist who grew up in Cornwall. Theater credits include Hetty Feather (Kenny Wax, Novel Theatre & William Archer); Neptunalia (Cscape Dance); Wolf’s Child, Yule-Tide Ark-Ive, 100: The Day Our World Changed (Wild Works); Two Punks and a Tandem, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Ballad of a Thin Man, The Tallest Horse on Earth (Silly Boys); The Ugly Sisters (Bec Applebee); The Giants (Wassail Theatre); Dracula, Great Expectations (Rabbit Theatre); The Winter’s Tale, Moominland Midwinter, Heidi: A Goat’s Tale (The Egg, Theatre Royal Bath); The Little Match Girl (Dot & Ethel Theatre); Griselda’s Grandad (Shanty Theatre); The Last Illusion, The Strongman and The Lion Tamer (Bash Street Theatre). He has also facilitated workshops with Travelling Light Theatre and guest lectured on silent film music at Falmouth University. Silent film compositions include: One Week, The High Sign, Steamboat Bill Jr, Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton); The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene); The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lottie Reiniger); Easy Street (Charlie Chaplin); Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock) and Sunrise (F.W. Murnau).
Emma Darlow (Madame Bounine) trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Theater credits include Pinocchio (Iris Theatre); Playing for Time (Sheffield Crucible Theatre); Grimeborn: Napoleon Blown Apart (Arcola Theatre); Here is Where We Meet (Marlowe Theatre Studio); The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (Bouffes du Nord); Stitched Up and As You Like It (Broken Holmes Productions). Film includes Planted Evidence, After a Home Tie and Taking the Light.
Ncuti Gatwa (Adi) trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Previous theater credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Victoria, Hecuba, The BFG, And Then There Were None, Cars + Boys, A Woman in Mind (Dundee Rep); Romeo and Juliet (Home, Manchester); Shakespeare in Love (West End) and Lines (Yard Theatre). Television credits includes “Bob Servant” and “Stonemouth.”
Kyla Goodey (Lily’s Mum) trained at Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre and Clowning. Theater credits include A Curious Evening of Trance and Rap (Brighton Festival/UK Tour); Charity Shop Cabaret (Trifle Gathering, Edinburgh Fringe); Don Quixote, Tregeagle (Kneehigh, UK/European Tour); Gastronomic (Hoodwink, UK/European Tour); Hamlet (Cube, UK Tour); Hamlet, Quasimodo, Twelfth Night (Miracle, Minack Theatre); Streaming (Pipeline, The Pleasance); Sex and Docks and Rock and Roll (Red Ladder, City Variety Leeds); The Thing about Psychopaths (Red Ladder, The Park); and Wolf’s Child (Wild Works, Norfolk and Norwich Festival). Film credits include A to B, Worag, Wind, and Spat de Wertha. Television credits include “Doc Martin.”
Chris Jared (Grandad Present/Vicar/Lily’s Dad) trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Theater credits include Hamlet, As You Like It, All’s Well that Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew (RSC); Coriolan/us, Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales); The Duchess of Malfi (Nottingham Playhouse); The Late Henry Moss (Southwark Playhouse); Cyrano de Bergerac (Royal and Derngate, Northern Stage); The Revenger’s Tragedy (Hoxton Hall); Three Sisters (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Much Ado About Nothing (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); and Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre). Film credits include Robin Hood, The Drop, and Clown Café.
Craig Johnson (Lord Something-or-Others/Mrs. Turner) has been an actor with Kneehigh for the last 15 years, performing in major national and international tours such as Tristan & Yseult, Cymbeline, Don John, A Matter Of Life And Death and The Bacchae, as well as small-scale village hall shows, including directing and acting in Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. Craig also recently appeared in Alaska (Blackfish Theatre), One Darke Night (o-region) and the Cornish feature film Tin (Dir. Bill Scott). Craig has also created and directed several theatre performances for The Eden Project, Cornwall. As a solo artist Craig performs under the name Squashbox Theatre, creating marvellous, quirky and inventive shows that incorporate puppetry, storytelling, natural history, live music and comedy, touring all over the UK.
Pat Moran (Music Director/Musician) trained at California Institute of the Arts, earning a Performer/ Composer MFA. Recent credits include Music Director and multi-instrumentalist in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe); Tristan & Yseult (Kneehigh/US Tour); Sleeping Beauty (Bristol Old Vic) and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Pat has written original music and lyrics for over a dozen professional produced theatre productions and served as resident composer/lyricist/musical director/multi-instrumentalist for the San Francisco Mime Troupe from 2007–2013. He currently writes and records as a solo artist and with the duo Yesterday’s Camel.
Katy Owen (Lily Tregenza) trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Previous theater credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Rebecca (Kneehigh), The World of Work (Difficult Stage), Apparitions of Spirits with the Forsythe Sisters (Gaggle Babble), Maudie’s Rooms, Plum and Cinders (Sherman Cymru) and Under Milk Wood (Royal and Derngate, Northampton). Film and television credits include Daddy’s Girl, Shopping for Happiness, What We Did on Our Holidays, A Certain Date and The Devil’s Violin.
Mike Shepherd (Grandma Present/Grandad Past) is an actor, director, teacher and the artistic director of Kneehigh. He started Kneehigh in 1980 and has worked almost exclusively for the company ever since. Mike is a pioneer of Kneehigh’s transportable venue the Asylum and actively involved in the Kneehigh Rambles Programme. Rambles are currently themed ‘Run for Your Life,’ and as well as working with community groups and individuals in Cornwall, have been working with refugees in the Calais Jungle and the homeless in Bogota, Colombia. His work as a director include Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) (Kneehigh, UK and International Tour), A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (Little Angel Theatre, Islington) and The Tin Drum (Kneehigh, 2017 Tour). His work as an actor include Tristan & Yseult, Steptoe and Son, Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Red Shoes, The Bacchae, Cymbeline, The Wooden Frock, A Matter of Life and Death and Don John (Kneehigh). Film credits include Anna Karenina and Pan. Mike is a member of the Globe’s Creative Cabinet and looks forward to Kneehigh’s ongoing association with this exciting powerhouse of a theatre.
Adam Sopp (Boowie/Barry) trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theater credits include Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead/West End); Symphony (Waterloo Vaults); The El Train (Hoxton Hall); Backbeat (West End/World Tour); This Place Means (Greenwich & Docklands International Festival); Naked Soldiers (Warehouse Theatre); The Daughter-in-Law (New Vic); A Chorus of Disapproval (Ipswich Wolsey/UK Tour); All Quiet on the Western Front (Nottingham Playhouse/UK Tour); (In Parenthesis) (Churchill Theatre, Bromley); Les Misérables and Oliver! (West End). Television and film credits include “Stan Lee’s Lucky Man,” “The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries,” “Father Brown,” “WPC 56,” “Holby City,” “Doctors,” “Casualty 1907,” “Teenage Kicks,” “Abroad” and “Grange Hill.” Alongside acting, Adam is an accomplished musician and has written music for theater and computer games.
Akpore Uzoh (Blues Man/Old Adi) trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and previous theater credits include A Day in the Life (STET the English Theatre); Go Make You Ready (China Tour); The Lights (The Spring); Cherry Pickin’ Your Blossom (Albany Theatre); Rebellion (Hackney Empire); Blacks (Stratford Theatre); and Torn (Arcola Theatre). As director: What’s Beneath the Hoodie (Stratford Circus Theatre). Film credit as a writer/director: A Day in the Life.
About the Production Team:
The creative team includes: Stu Barker (composer), Lez Brotherston (set & costume designer), Malcolm Rippeth (lighting designer), Simon Baker (sound designer), Simon Harvey (associate director), Pat Moran (music director), Alex Shenton-Parkin (associate lighting designer), Jay Jones (associate sound designer) and Etta Murfitt (choreographer).
About Berkeley Repertory Theatre:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to a national leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. With two stages, a school, and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Berkeley Rep is proud to premiere exhilarating new plays. Nine shows seen at Berkeley Rep have ended up on Broadway. More than 12 arrived off Broadway, two moved to London, two turned into films and others have toured the nation. Come see tomorrow’s plays today at Berkeley Rep. Artistic Director: Tony Taccone. Managing Director: Susan Medak. berkeleyrep.org
About Birmingham Repertory Theatre:
Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company is one of Britain s leading producing theatre companies. Founded in 1913 by Sir Barry Jackson, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company rapidly became one of the most famous and exciting theatre companies in the country launching the careers of an array of many great British actors including Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Edith Evans, Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Elizabeth Spriggs, Albert Finney and many more. The REP’s aim is to inspire a lifelong love of theatre in the diverse communities of Birmingham and beyond. As well as presenting over 60 productions on its three stages every year, the theatre tours its productions nationally and internationally, showcasing theatre made in Birmingham. The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The REP’s programme and over the last 15 years the company has produced more than 130 new plays. The theatre’s outreach programme is the best of any cultural organisation in the city and engages with over 7,000 young people and adults through its learning and participation programme equating to 30,000 individual educational sessions. The REP is also committed to nurturing new talent through its youth theatre groups and training for up-and-coming writers, directors and artists through its REP Foundry initiative. Many of The REP’s productions go on to have lives beyond Birmingham, transferring to the West End and touring nationally and internationally. Recent transfers and tours include Of Mice And Men (2016 UK Tour), Anita And Me (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Back Down (UK Tour), The Kings Speech (National Tour), Rudy’s Rare Records (Hackney Empire), Khandan (Family) (Royal Court), Twelve Angry Men (West End), Philip Pullman’s I Was A Rat! (National Tour) and Kate Tempest’s Hopelessly Devoted (National Tour). Artistic Director: Roxana Silbert. Executive Director: Stuart Rogers. birmingham-rep.co.uk
Kneehigh are a Cornwall based theatre company with a local, national and international profile. For over 30 years they have created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre and perform with joyful anarchy. Kneehigh tell stories. Based in breathtaking barns on the south coast of Cornwall, Kneehigh create theatre of humanity on an epic and tiny scale. They work with an ever-changing ensemble of performers, artists, technicians, administrators, makers and musicians, and are passionate about their multi-disciplined creative process. In 2010 Kneehigh launched the Asylum, a beautiful and flexible nomadic structure, which means they now have a venue to call home as well as being one of the leading touring theatre companies in the UK. They have now presented six Asylum seasons and will continue to reinvent the space and explore new locations in future years. Alongside their national and international touring and Asylum seasons, they run the Kneehigh Rambles, aiming to engage creatively with communities in Cornwall and beyond through event and adventure.
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946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Bram Goldsmith Theater
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
February 9 – March 5, 2017
February 9, 2017 (Preview)
February 10, 2017 (Opening Night)
Performance Schedule: Tues – Fri at 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm; Sun 2pm & 7pm
Single tickets: $29 – $129 (prices subject to change)
Online – TheWallis.org
By Phone – 310.746.4000
Box Office – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Service
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210