Jermyn Street Theatre has joined forces with leading internet theatre platform Digital Theatre for a major new online project to be produced this autumn.
15 Heroines sees fifteen female and non-binary playwrights re-telling the stories of the women of classical myth. Inspired by Ovid’s The Heroines (Heroides), a collection of fifteen fictional letters written in the first century BCE, the project is produced and directed by Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Tom Littler. The writers comprise April De Angelis, Stella Duffy, Samantha Ellis, Lorna French, Juliet Gilkes Romero, Natalie Haynes, Charlotte Jones, Hannah Khalil, Bryony Lavery, Isley Lynn, Lettie Precious, Sabrina Mahfouz, Chinonyerem Odimba, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Abi Zakarian.
The fifteen new plays will be performed in three productions: The War, The Desert, and The Labyrinth. The plays will be performed, filmed and streamed from the empty Jermyn Street Theatre from 9 to 14 November and will be exclusively available to education audiences via Digital Theatre+ from 2021.
The War is inspired by the Trojan War and features five plays by Lettie Precious, Sabrina Mahfouz, Charlotte Jones, Abi Zakarian and Hannah Khalil.
The Desert features five plays about women alone by April De Angelis, Isley Lynn, Chinonyerem Odimba, Stella Duffy and Lorna French.
The Labyrinth dramatises the women who encountered Theseus and Jason, and has five plays by Bryony Lavery, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Samantha Ellis, Natalie Haynes and Juliet Gilkes Romero.
Full creative teams and casting is to be announced. There will be three performances of each work with a limited online audience capacity of 250 people for each with tickets at £20. https://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/show/15-heroines/
OENONE by Lettie Precious
HERMIONE by Sabrina Mahfouz
LAODAMIA by Charlotte Jones
BRISEIS by Abi Zakarian
PENELOPE by Hannah Khalil
War takes many forms, as shown in these five entertaining and gripping plays, all set during the Trojan War. When Paris triggered the war by abducting Helen of Troy, he left behind him a Trojan wife, Oenone. His new bride Helen left behind her daughter, Hermione. Laodamia was married to the first Greek soldier to die in combat, and the fight to possess the captured Briseis is at the centre of Homer’s Iliad. Long after the war is over, Penelope awaits the return of her husband Odysseus.
7:30pm, Monday 9 November
7:30pm, Thursday 12 November
3:00pm, Saturday 14 November
DEIANARIA by April De Angelis
CANACE by Isley Lynn
HYPERMESTRA by Chinonyerem Odimba
DIDO by Stella Duffy
SAPPHO by Lorna French
Deserted but not defeated, five women confront their futures and the people who have wronged them. Now is the time to put the story straight. Deianaria tries to save her husband Heracles from his own nature. Canace defends an incestuous passion. Hypermestra is alone among her sisters – she spared her husband’s life. Dido is ruler of a city, founder of an empire – so why won’t Aeneas stay? Sappho is the greatest poet of her age, but her inspiration has run out.
3:00pm, Tuesday 10 November
7:30pm, Wednesday 11 November
7:30pm, Friday 13 November
ARIADNE by Bryony Lavery
PHAEDRA by Timberlake Wertenbaker
PHYLLIS by Samantha Ellis
HYPSIPYLE by Natalie Haynes
MEDEA by Juliet Gilkes Romero
Ariadne gave Theseus everything, guiding him through the Labyrinth to kill her brother, the Minotaur. Later, Theseus married Phaedra, who fell in love with Theseus’ son Hippolytus. Another of Theseus’ sons, Demophoon, is accused by his lover Phyllis of inheriting his father’s infidelity. Another hero, Jason, has abandoned the queen of Lemnos, Hypsipyle, and is now living with Medea – a woman he should know not to cross…
7:30pm, Tuesday 10 November
3:00pm Thursday 12 November
7:30pm Saturday 14 November