Arcola Theatre, Atticist and Ellie Keel Productions have released production images for the UK première of Anna Bella Eema by Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour. Jessica Lazar directs Natasha Cottriall, Gabrielle Brooks and Beverley Rudd. The new production opens at Arcola Theatre on 16 September, with previews from 11 September, and runs until 12 October.
‘Something is coming. It’s either the interstate or the end of the world.’
Precocious Annabella lives in a deserted trailer park. Schooled by her eccentric mother Irene, she learns to co-exist with the vampires, werewolves and monsters that lurk in the world outside.
Desperate to ward off the new highway that threatens the demolition of their home, Annabella steps outside to build a girl out of mud. The girl comes to life. The girl is Anna Bella Eema.
Part ghost story, part fairytale, part coming-of-age fantasy, Anna Bella Eema is a dazzling burst of storytelling from the dark heart of American Gothic.
Lisa D’Amour’s wildly inventive, spoken-and-sung odyssey makes its UK premiere in a new and updated version, with original score by Chris Sidorfsky.
Lisa D’Amour is an award-winning US playwright and New Dramatists alumnus. Her theatre credits include Detroit (National Theatre – which won the Obie Award for Best New American Play, was a finalist for both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), and Airline Highway (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago/Samuel J. Friedman Theater – receiving a 2015 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Play.)
Natasha Cottriall plays Three (Anna Bella Eema). Her theatre credits include The Lovely Bones, Dancing in the Streets (UK tour), Future Conditional (The Old Vic), Into the Woods (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Busker’s Opera, Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] (Park Theatre), Here Lie the Remains of Mercy (Theatre Delicatessen), Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), The Secret Garden (Theatre by the Lake), The Selfish Giant (Vaudeville Theatre) and Oklahoma! (Grange Park Opera). Her television credits include as recurring character Rosie Griffiths in Doctors, Grantchester and Vera.
Gabrielle Brooks plays Two (Annabella). Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Twelfth Night (Young Vic), Our Lady of Kibeho (Royal & Derngate Northampton), The Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse), The Wizard of Oz, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Sheffield Theatres), Queen Anne (RSC/Theatre Royal Haymarket), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre), The Stranger’s Case (Liverpool Everyman), The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), I Can’t Sing (The London Palladium), Our House 10th Anniversary (Savoy Theatre), Avenue Q, Hairspray (UK tour) and Red Snapper (Belgrade Theatre).
Beverley Rudd plays One (Irene). Her theatre credits include Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh UK/international tour), Brief Encounter, Tin Drum (Kneehigh UK tour), The Twits (Curve), Peter Pan, The Beggars Opera, Into The Woods (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Theatre), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Bristol Old Vic), Acorn Antiques, Girls Just Want To Have Fun (UK tour), The Magistrate (National Theatre), Days of Significance (RSC/Tricycle Theatre) and The Hole Story (Paines Plough). Her television credits include as series regular Lisa in Trollied, Massive – for which she won the 2009 RTS Award for Best Performance in a Comedy, Shameless, Him & Her, Inn Mates and Scallywagga.
Jessica Lazar directs. She is a co-founder of Atticist and is currently an Oxford Playhouse Evolve Artist in Residence. Her theatre credits include Life According to Saki (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Fourth Street Theater, New York – winner of Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award 2016), Dangerous Giant Animals (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Park Theatre – winner of the inaugural SIT-Up Award 2018), East (nominated for Off West End Best Director 2018), For Reasons that Remain Unclear and Outlying Islands (King’s Head Theatre).