‘Top Girls’ heads for West End

Stafford-Clark production leads Out of Joint slate

Max Stafford-Clark’s new SRO production of Caryl Churchill’s classic “Top Girls” will transfer to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios starting Aug. 5, with an Aug. 16 opening.

It is the first of an unprecedented four London productions in a single season for the helmer’s theater company Out of Joint, which is dedicated to new writing.

Despite a recent 27.9% cut in its Arts Council funding, the company has brokered a succession of co-production deals to present all four plays.

“Top Girls” premiered at the Royal Court in 1982 in a production helmed by Stafford-Clark. Sonia Friedman, who co-founded Out of Joint with Stafford-Clark in 1993, will produce the London transfer when it completes its run at the Minerva theater, part of regional powerhouse Chichester Festival Theater. The cast is Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.

Stafford-Clark will also direct the West End transfer of “A Dish of Tea With Dr. Johnson” at the Arts Theater (Aug. 31-Sept. 24), following its successful U.K. tour. Adapted by Russell Bar, Ian Redford and Stafford-Clark from the writings of James Boswell, the production is presented by Karl Sydow and stars Barr, Redford and Trudie Styler.

“Bang Bang Bang,” Stella Feehily’s new play about the secret lives of humanitarian workers in war-torn central Africa, will receive its London preem at the Royal Court Upstairs, also directed by Stafford-Clark. Running Oct. 11-Nov. 5, the Out of Joint production is co-produced with the Octagon Bolton, Curve Theater Leicester, the Royal Court and Salisbury Playhouse.

“How the World Began,” by U.S. scribe Catherine Trieschmann, will receive its European premiere at the off West End venue the Arcola (Nov. 15-Dec. 10). Helmed by Des Kennedy, winner of Out of Joint’s director’s award, the play is produced by Tom Atkins with support from the Arcola.

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