Gemma Lawrence and Remmie Milner. Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli.
Following the sold-out live run of Gemma Lawrence’s Sunnymead Court at The Actors Centre in September, the critically acclaimed production is set to return as part of The Actors Centre’s On Demand programme, available to stream from 7.30pm on Friday 18 December until Sunday 3 January 2021.
Presented by Defibrillator in association with The Actors Centre, Sunnymead Court marked the first socially distanced live theatre production back in the West End in over six months and alongside the original live run, the production was also live-streamed and followed by a digital extension. Now, audiences have another opportunity to catch this “unmissable” piece of new writing when it becomes available to stream for the entire festive period.
Starring the playwright Gemma Lawrence (Not Talking, Arcola Theatre) as Marie alongside Remmie Milner (His Dark Materials, BBC One) as Stella, Sunnymead Court presents an uplifting and heart-warming queer romance, with critics hailing it as a "sensational" piece of new writing that "needs to be seen", featuring "knockout" performances from its two lead stars.
Speaking about Sunnymead Court On Demand, James Hillier, Artistic Director of Defibrillator said: “2020 has been a dreadful year but we’ve all found moments of joy here and there. Working on Sunnymead Court with such a creative and generous team was certainly one of those for me. How wonderful that The Actors Centre are giving Gemma Lawrence’s funny and utterly brilliant play another chance to shine. We hope it brightens up you Christmas.”
Mitchell Reeve, Theatre Programme Manager at The Actors Centre added: “As theatres are forced to closed once more, we all need a glimmer of light and hope — and Sunnymead Court has that in spades. It is a testament to the power of human connection but also a towering symbol of the immense creativity that emerged from this very difficult year. We are thrilled to give audiences another opportunity to catch this magnificent production.”
Sunnymead Court will be available to stream here from 7.30pm on Friday 18 December until 23.59pm on Sunday 3 January.
About Sunnymead Court
"It’s been hot for days and now the air is heavy with the promise of something else. Thick. With something else."
From her balcony, Marie blasts out the same tune, every day at 11am. On hers, Stella tends to red geraniums bursting with colour and life.
Sometimes the hardest thing is to say hello.
After a chance encounter in a hailstorm, they start to embark on a new relationship conducted from the safety of their balconies. But when a flurry of miscommunication jeopardises their relationship, will they have the courage to make it work in a world that is changing faster than ever?
Praise for Sunnymead Court:
"A fleet 45-minutes of wonderful creativity."
"Intricately crafted ... sensational."
"Another glimmer of light in this godawful year."
The Arts Desk
"A breath of fresh air ... needs to be seen."
A Younger Theatre
"Remind[s] us of the joys of love – and of live theatre."
"Sincere and funny."
"A play for our times."
About the Creative Team
Gemma Lawrence is a writer and actor, and plays Marie. Previous writing includes straight vodka for Theatre503's Rapid Write Response, Ribbons performed at Bloom Theatre's SAPLINGS, and REWILD, performed at Omnibus Theatre and now being developed into a full-length piece as part of the London Playwrights 2020 programme. Homecoming was commissioned for The Space's Locked Down Looking Up season, and starred Patsy Ferran. As an actor, her theatre work includes Not Talking (Arcola Theatre), Five Plays: Nuclear (Young Vic), Wasted (Orange Tree Theatre), All My Sons (Hong Kong Arts Festival), The Tempest (Southwark Playhouse), As You Like It, Children of the Sun (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Gaslight (Salisbury Playhouse), Lee Harvey Oswald (Finborough Theatre), XY: Hopelessly Devoted To You (Theatre503), The Cherry Orchard (Bristol Tobacco Factory, Rose Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Redgrave Theatre), The Wild Party (Bristol Tobacco Factory), and Rough Cuts: The Lion’s Mouth (Royal Court Theatre). Her television credits include Shakespeare and Hathaway, 18 – Clash of Futures, Luther, Misfits, 1066, Waking the Dead, Time of Your Life, Stir it Up, All About George, and Ahead of the Class. For film, her credits include Frail, A Bunch of Amateurs, and Enlightenment.
Remmie Milner plays Stella. For theatre, her work includes Coriolanus, Chicken Soup. (Sheffield Theatres), Terror (Lyric Hammersmith), To Kill a Mockingbird, The Winter’s Tale, #chipshopthemusical (Octagon Theatre, Bolton), Home Theatre (Theatre Royal Stratford East), I Started a Fire, Air Travel (Arcola Theatre), Melody Loses Her Mojo (Liverpool Playhouse), Contractions, Henry V (Trafalgar Studios) and Richard III (RSC Complete Works Festival). Her television work includes Save Me and Save Me Too (as series regular Daisy), A Christmas Carol, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams: The Hood Maker, Whitechapel, Trollied and The Hour.
James Hillier established Defibrillator Theatre Company in 2011. His directing credits include, most recently Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (site specific production at Norman’s Coach & Horses) , the world première of Mike Bartlett’s Not Talking (Arcola Theatre - OFFIE Nomination for Best Director), A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard (Southwark Playhouse), Terry Johnson’s Insignificance at Langham Place, New York, the Premiere production of Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays at the Grange Hotel in 2012 and The Langham, London in 2014. The Armour by Ben Ellis at The Langham in 2015 which won the Audience Experience Award at Le Miami Rebels, Doug Lucie’s Hard Feelings at the Finborough in 2013. He has directed a number of short films, including How To Make A Good First Impression Part 1 went on to win awards at Tribecca Film Festival and Cannes. He was due to direct the world première of Dexter Flanders at Theatre503 when the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced. He trained as an actor at RADA. In theatre he has worked in the West End and Broadway, and venues including the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. For television, he was a series regular in season 1 and 2 of The Crown for NETFLIX.
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