Rock musical Vinegar Tom coming to Maltings Theatre in St Albans

OVO presents Vinegar Tom at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans.

OVO presents Vinegar Tom at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: OVO

A seminal 1970s feminist drama opens at the Maltings Theatre this week.

Caryl Churchill’s bold musical drama Vinegar Tom can be seen on stage in St Albans from Thursday, October 28 to Saturday, November 6.

Directed by Matthew Parker, Vinegar Tom examines gender and power relationships through the lens of 17th-century witchcraft trials in England.

OVO presents Vinegar Tom at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans.

OVO presents Vinegar Tom at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: OVO

Matthew Parker said: “I first read Vinegar Tom at college in the 90s and immediately loved its blunt humour jutting up against high stakes drama and its potent mix of period drama and modern music.

"Caryl Churchill wrote the play in 1976 and set it in the 17th century, actively celebrating the juxtaposition between the feminist movement of the 1970s and the witch trials of 17th century England.

“She provides the lyrics within the text and I’m collaborating with composer Maria Haik Escudero on the songs.

"Maria has composed music for productions I've directed of The Cherry Orchard (with an onstage orchestra of actor-musicians), Antigone with the Chorus speeches reimagined for five female a cappella voices, and JM Barrie's Mary Rose with an ensemble cast of ghosts underscoring the piece.

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"We’ll have an onstage electric rock band, inspired by the folk-rock style of PJ Harvey's Let England Shake meets early Kate Bush meets Blondie with a dash of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac."

Following the run of Vinegar Tom, Janet Podd will direct Hedda Gabler.

Henrik Ibsen's 1891 masterpiece will be brought to life in OVO’s bold new production from November 16 to November 27.

Faith Turner as Hedda Gabler

Faith Turner as Hedda Gabler. Henrik Ibsen's play can be seen at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: OVO

Talking about the play, Janet Podd said: “Few female characters have fascinated audiences, performers and directors as strongly as Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler.

"Conflicted, confined and increasingly controlled by the men in her life, Hedda exudes a desperate desire for autonomy in a society which denies it.

“I’m setting our production in 1890, when it was written. Hedda is raised by her father, General Gabler, like a boy of that period.

"She learns to shoot and ride and believes that she could have an important position in the world… until she becomes trapped in an unhappy marriage."

To book tickets for either production, visit https://ovo.org.uk/

Hedda Gabler can be seen at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans.

Hedda Gabler can be seen at the Maltings Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: OVO


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