Translation by Martin Crimp And announces new funding project

Extant, Britain’s only professional performing arts company of visually impaired, presents the classic drama The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco, translation by Martin Crimp. The play will open at Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton on Wednesday 16 April – Friday 18, 7.30pm. And then transfer to the Albany Theatre, Deptford London from Tuesday 29 April – Friday 2 May, 7.30pm.

The Chairs focuses on an elderly couple who welcome a series of invisible guests to their isolated house. Their home is an undefined space where anarchy, ageing and anxiety collide, scattering a chaos of comic pathos.

The play will be directed by Maria Oshodi, Artistic Director of Extant with a cast of blind and visually impaired actors, creating a new and exhilarating interpretation of this classic text. It will offer an exciting and thought provoking twist of performances from visually impaired actors interacting with what is visible and what is not.

“standout theatre experience of the year’’ The Guardian (on The Question)

The cast includes Heather Gilmore whose long association with Extant includes Sheer tour in 2012 and also with Clean Break theatre; And John Wilson Goddard whose stage-work includes Noel Greig’s ‘Working Hearts’ for Graeae Theatre Company and ‘Resistance’ for Extant Theatre. His television roles include The Bill (ITV), Changing Step (BBC Scotland) and The Day of The Triffids (BBC1).

Director Maria Oshodi’s first play, ‘The S Bend’ was produced by Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Festival and later by The Cockpit Theatre. She has written a variety of plays including, ‘Blood, Sweat and Fears’, ‘From Choices to Chocolate’ and ‘Here Comes a Candle’ which all toured nationally. Maria also wrote the screenplay ‘Mug’ for Channel 4 and this summer will embark on the British Council fellowship to Los Angeles working with Watts Village Theatre Company.

“Not only is she someone to watch, she is someone who should be applauded.”
The Stage (on Maria Oshodi)

The innovative sound design by Peter Bosher promises to create a dynamic theatrical experience for sighted and visually impaired audiences alike. The Chairs Assistant Director is Julie Osman, set and costume designer is Andrea Carr and Lighting design by Steve Lowe.

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