Full casting and creative team have been announced for the world premiere of Exhibitionists by Shaun McKenna and Andrew Van Sickle, a dazzling new gay romantic comedy about love, sex, happiness and freedom set in the San Francisco art world, directed by Bronagh Lagan. Exhibitionists is the opening production at the King’s Head Theatre’s new purpose built 200-seat theatre, playing from Friday 5 January – Saturday 10 February 2024, with a press night on Monday 8 January.
When ex-partners collide at an exhibition, sparks fly and their new boyfriends are caught in the blast, igniting a series of comic crises involving a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway that leads them to a mysterious hotelier and new beginnings…
The role of ‘Conor’ will be played by Ashley D Gayle who has worked extensively with the RSC, played Caliban in The Tempest at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer and filmed Hamlet with Sir Ian McKellen; Jake Mitchell-Jones takes the role of ‘Mal’, Jake most recently played iconic costume designer Bob Mackie in The Cher Show, directed by Arlene Phillips and choreographed by Oti Mabuse; Robert Rees appears as ‘Robbie’, and is known for his work on The Mousetrap in the West End, and more recently Beirut at Park Theatre; ‘Rayyan’ is played by Italian-Thai actor Rolando Montecalvo, who has worked internationally before moving to the UK, appearing this summer in The Grammar Of Witchcraft at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; whilst Exhibitionists marks the professional debut of recent graduate Øystein Lode, as ‘Sebastian’.
Exhibitionists is written by Shaun McKenna (The Lord of the Rings, Watermill & Drury Lane; Ladies in Lavender, Royal & Derngate and Tour, Radio 4’s Eleanor Rising and the forthcoming The Forsyte Saga, Park Theatre) and Andrew Van Sickle, a journalist making his playwriting debut. Directing the piece will be Bronagh Lagan (Cruise, West End; Flowers For Mrs Harris, Riverside Studios; Tick, Tick… Boom, Park Theatre). Set and costumes are designed by Gregor Donnelly, a three-time Offies nominee who worked with Bronagh Lagan on Rags at Park Theatre. Casting is by Jane Deitch, sound is by Max Pappenheim, lighting by Clancy Flynn and video by Matt Powell.
Exihibitionists is produced by Seabright Live and Elphin Productions. Producer James Seabright said “As co-producer of Exhibitionists and chair of trustees at the King’s Head Theatre, I am doubly excited to announce this brilliant cast for the world premiere of this sparkling comedy by Shaun McKenna and Andrew Van Sickle, as the first new production at the new King’s Head Theatre. Director Bronagh Lagan and casting director Jane Deitch have brought the perfect ensemble together to explore this comedy of modern gay manners set in the art world of America’s west coast. It promises audiences an ideal escape from the London winter.”
Following an extensive programme of building works with support from the third round of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, the new King’s Head Theatre in Islington Square is located immediately behind the original pub theatre, and features an accessible, flexible auditorium, offices, and rehearsal space, as well as two bars, one of which will double as a 50-seat cabaret, drag and comedy space as well as for rehearsals and readings. The theatre will continue to focus on creating work with, by and for the LGBTQ+ community, with a renewed priority on community, educational and artist development programmes.