2024 Season Announced
30 October 2023
- Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] returns with a different celebrity taking the role of Inspector each night, VIPs for 2024 include Benedict Cumberbatch, Beverley Knight, Adrian Lester, Brian Cox and Jodie Whittaker
- The Forsyte Saga will have its stage premiere in a two-part adaptation
- Vicki McKellar and Olivier Award-winning director Guy Masterson present a new thriller exploring the five hours immediately after the death of Marilyn Monroe
- Further shows include family dramas, a queer rom-com, international artists and emerging artists
We are delighted to announce a plethora of new shows for 2024, including the third instalment of a their hugely popular Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] series and a two-part adaptation of The Forsyte Saga. Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] 3 (27 Mar – 4 May) will see over 45 celebrities take the role of the Inspector without ever seeing the script and only hearing their lines via earpiece moments before speaking. The farcical murder mystery set aboard a train has a staggering line up comedians, actors and presenters returning to play the Inspector, including Clive Anderson, Gillian Anderson, David Baddiel, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Marcus Brigstocke, Simon Callow, Michelle Collins, Nina Conti, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Les Dennis, Adrian Dunbar, Mark Gatiss, Tamsin Greig, David Haig, Harry Hill, Adam Hills, Ronan Keating, Ross Kemp, Maureen Lipman, Gareth Malone, Jason Manford, Stephen Mangan, Tim McInnerny, David Mitchell, Neil Morrissey, Eddie Nestor, Sue Perkins, Clarke Peters, Daisy Ridley, Rob Rinder, Tony Robinson, Meera Syal, Catherine Tate, Sandi Toksvig, Meera Syal, Emma Thompson, Johnny Vegas, Tim Vine and Greg Wise, with new faces this year including Benedict Cumberbatch, Beverley Knight, Adrian Lester, Brian Cox and Jodie Whittaker, with more to be announced. The voice of Ian McKellen will once again feature in the fundraiser, which is presented by Park Theatre at the close of its 10th anniversary year to combat the rising costs of making live theatre and running the venue during the cost-of-living crisis.
The Forsyte Saga (11 Oct – 7 Dec) has been announced for Autumn 2024 as Park Theatre’s first two-part drama, adapted by Shaun McKenna and Lin Coghlan. Spanning 40 years from the last gasp of the Victorian age to the beginning of the roaring 1920s, this is an epic tale of sex, money and power. Wealthy solicitor Soames Forsyte is a man of property, and his beautiful wife Irene is his most prized possession. When he commissions an architect to build him a house in which to keep her, the cracks in their marriage finally begin to show, until something happens so shocking that it tears the Forsyte family apart. The Forsyte Saga Part 1: Irene and The Forsyte Saga Part 2: Fleur play across alternate nights and run consecutively on matinee days, featuring a cast of nine in a stylish period production.
Further shows in the 2024 programme, following the previously announced Kim’s Convenience (8 Jan – 10 Feb) and Philip Ridley’s Leaves of Glass (16 Jan – 10 Feb), include further family dramas, a queer romantic comedy, a double bill of work by emerging artists, international artists, and a meticulously researched thriller asking what happened in the five hours between Marilyn Monroe’s death and the call to report it to the police.
Hir (15 Feb – 16 Mar, Park200) is by Pulitzer and Tony-nominee Taylor Mac and directed in this new revival by Steven Kunis. Isaac, the prodigal son, has returned from the brutality of war, only to discover his family home transformed by domestic revolution. The patriarchy has fallen, and mother Paige has been liberated from an oppressive marriage. Enlisting Isaac’s newly-out transgender sibling as her ally, Paige is now on a crusade to tear apart the old regimes. Hir is a disarmingly funny, strikingly original comedy exploring a family in transition, forced to build a brave new world out of the pieces of the old.
Playing alongside this in Park90, Edinburgh Fringe hit Cowboys and Lesbians (21 Feb – 9 Mar) is Billie Esplen’s queer romantic comedy which examines the intersection between sexuality and fantasy through the eyes of two closeted teenage girls, highlighting just how much the stories we consume affect the ones we tell about ourselves. Nina and Noa are 17 and wasting their youth on flashcards and fantasies about their teachers. They’ve never been to a party, they’ve never been kissed, and they’re absolutely never going to admit that they fancy each other. That is, until they start writing a Hollywood romance, inventing a fantasy world of lust, betrayal, and sexy cowboys.
Next up in Park90, Hide and Seek (12 - 30 Mar) is a play about bullying, homophobia and the power of social media, exploring how discriminatory voices can deeply impact young minds. Gio, who has never felt accepted by anyone - not by parents, teachers or peers - decides to disappear and hide out in a secluded cave. When his popular classmate Mirko discovers him, Gio enlists him as an accomplice, convincing him to preserve his secret despite the media frenzy over his disappearance. Hide and Seek is by one of Italy’s foremost playwrights, Tobia Rossi, and transfers to Park Theatre from VAULT Festival 2023.
Running at the same time as Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] 3 plays in Park200, Park90 sees the return of Make Mine a Double (2 – 13 Apr), a double bill of shows that aims to give theatre makers a lower-cost and lower-risk way of producing new work in the Finsbury Park venue, as well as offering multi-buy tickets to encourage local audiences to see compelling new work. The first will be The Light House by Alys Williams, a real-life story of falling in love and staying in love, even when the lights go out and you’re lost in the dark, even when the person you love doesn’t want to be alive. It’s paired with Sun Bear, a one-woman comedy from Sarah Richardson about Katy, an office-worker who is drowning under the pressure of it all. Cold, cutting and out of control, Katy is one team-building lunch away from tearing the whole office apart, personalised mugs and all.
Jez Bond said, “We’re delighted to be bringing the third instalment of Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] to Park Theatre, and so grateful to the astonishing slate of guest performers who are once again donating their time to us. As a venue that receives no regular public subsidy, their ongoing support to fundraisers such as this are vital to keep the venue open as costs climb, and ensure we can keep supporting emerging artists with programmes such as Make Mine a Double, which returns in April, as well as the community outreach we do and our continuing efforts to make performances accessible for all. We are also thrilled to be announcing our first two-part drama series in The Forsyte Saga, and our Spring shows, Hir, Cowboys and Lesbians and Hide and Seek which come to us as a new revival, from Edinburgh Fringe and from VAULT Festival.”
A first glimpse of Park Theatre’s Summer season, A Song of Songs in Park200 (9 May – 15 June) is a musical play from an unprecedented collaboration of international artists, winner of The San Francisco Critics Award for the best new production. A Song of Songs fuses a world music score, Middle Eastern harmonics, dazzling choreography and an inspiring story of passion and awakening. Drawing on influences that span continents and millennia - from ancient feminist eroticism to the sounds of modern European Flamenco, Klezmer and the Middle-East.
In Park90 is the world premiere of Ostan (16 May – 8 June) by Arzhang Pezhman, a drama about Rebin, who has been stuck in the UK immigration system for almost a decade. Rebin has heard it all before. That is until the boss, Shapur, proposes using his struggling hand car wash business as a front for a human trafficking enterprise. Smuggling immigrants into the country in the boots of the carwash client’s cars.
In The Marilyn Conspiracy (19 Jun – 27 Jul, Park200), Vicki McKellar teams up with Olivier Award-winning director Guy Masterson in a meticulously researched thriller about the five hours after the death of Marilyn Monroe. All the facts are revealed, lies exposed, the myths debunked, and the shocking truth of what happened in those missing five hours is laid bare on stage.
Finally, before the Autumn run of The Forsyte Saga, 23.5 Hours (4 Sept – 5 Oct) is a deeply moving exploration of love, trust, truth and lies. Once a beloved high school teacher, Tom Hodges's world shatters after he is accused of a terrible crime. When he returns from prison, long-buried scars resurface, putting the bonds of marriage and loyalty to the ultimate test.