Toby Jones in The Painter at Arcola from 12 Jan 2011

The world premiere of Rebecca Lenkiewicz's The Painter, which tells the story of celebrated British artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner, is at the new Arcola, a fringe venue in east London, from 12 Jan to 12 Feb 2011

Toby Jones plays 'Joseph Turner,' joined by Niamh Cusack, playing the role of 'Sarah Danby,' the mistress that Turner had two daughters with, yet never publically acknowledged. The cast also includes Amanda Boxer, Jim Bywater, Denise Gough and Ian Midlane.

It directed by Arcola Theatre’s Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen, with design by Ben Stones and lighting by Emma Chapman.

At the start of the 19th century, a young Turner was on his way from being just a working class Cockney to a painter who would change the landscape of British and international art forever. Turner was a man obsessed. Heavily reliant on his father and deeply affected by his mother’s rejection, the intensely prolific painter was isolated from the usual breed of artists. The Painter explores the relationships, the competition with Constable and the passion of the artist on the threshold of superstardom.

Note: Arcola Theatre relocates to 24 Ashwin Street in Jan 2011 after ten years at Arcola Street. Its new home at the Colourworks factory, directly opposite Dalston Junction station, which was the former home of Reeves, whose colour blocks were made famous by artists such as Turner and Constable.

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