Orange Tree Theatre 31 Aug 2011 to 4 Feb 2012

The Orange Tree Theatre, London’s only permanent theatre-in-the-round venue, in Richmond, south London, celebratres its 40th anniversary season with 4 productions...

31 Aug to 1 Oct 2011
The Conspirators
by Vaclav Havel, Translated by Tomas Rychetsky and Carol Rocamora. Directed by Sam Walters. The revolution has taken place. The dictator has fled. The new government is in power. But the prime minister’s secretary is under arrest and there are demonstrators on the streets and concern that the ideals of the revolution are about to be betrayed. The chiefs of the police, the army, the law and the intelligence services, aided and abetted by Helga, a rich and attractive widow known to them all, decide that action must be taken to protect the fledgling democracy. They must form a new, secret, Revolutionary Council – and just at that moment they hear that there is indeed a ‘conspiracy’.

5 Oct to 5 Nov 2011
How To Be happy
written & directed by David Lewis. We all want to be happy. We all know what it feels like. But what if it keeps slipping through our fingers? Paul is a former happiness guru. As a young man he wrote self-help books and appeared on the television as ‘Mr Happy’. But now his marriage has failed and his career as a serious novelist is faltering, while his ex-wife has remarried a wealthy advertising executive to the dismay of their troubled teenage daughter. Paul is now concerned about the state of his health, the size of his mortgage and the monthly payments on his iPhone. Mr Happy is not happy. But surely if anyone can unlock the secret of perpetual happiness, he must be the man?

9 Nov to 10 Dec 2011
Next Time I’ll Sing To You
by James Saunders, directed by Anthony Clark. Each evening Rudge, the director (or is he the writer or a philosopher?) along with Meff, the joker, Dust, the cynic, and either Lizzie or her twin sister, gather to examine the life of the hermit of Great Canfield. Their quest is not made any easier by the actor hired to play the hermit wanting to know his ‘motivation’ Why did James Alexander Mason decide in 1906 at the age of 48 to sell his cottage, build a hut in field beyond his village, surround it with ditches, hives of wild bees, barbed wire and two tons of corrugated iron fence and take up solitary residence? His brother left him food every day, but he was not seen again until at the age of 84 he was brought out dead.

14 Dec 2011 to 4 Feb 2012
The Charity That Began At Home
by St John Hankin, directed by Auriol Smith. It is a house party with a difference when the guests have been invited not because they are liked, but because the hostess feels them to be in need. Lady Denison has learned the lesson preached by Mr Hylton, the founder of the Church of Humanity, that ‘false hospitality is inviting people because you like them. True hospitality is inviting them because they’d like to be asked’. And although her daughter is of the same mind, she has a sister who thinks very differently.

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