Shawn originally intended The Fever to be performed outside of a theatrical setting. Honouring this and showing a bold creative move the show will be performed in an as yet unspecified suite at the May Fair Hotel to only 28 people each night. The trend for site-specific performances is growing, with companies such as LIFT utilising city spaces as stages and SHUNT creating their own theatrical realms. This is experimental territory, though not completely new ground, for the Almeida: in August 2013 they presented I Do, which was performed in a series of rooms at the Hilton Hotel. We are excited to see how the hotel setting figures in this production, though undoubtedly the tiny capacity will work to reduce the sense of performance, and emphasise the relationship between speaker and audience.
Cast and Creatives
Tobias Menzies will perform the monologue in a heavy, intense ninety minutes of theatre. As a one man show, it is heavily reliant on the lead's charisma and willingness to engage the audience in critiquing the capitalist system of which we are a part. Menzies is a familiar small screen presence, most famous as Brutus in Rome and his tragic-comic minor turn as Catelyn Stark's younger brother in Game of Thrones. Although he has been on stage several times in his career, the weight of a one man show will be a real test of his ability, particularly as he has some big shoes to fill. When last staged in the U.K, Fever was performed by Claire Higgins to rave reviews, and in the first run of performances, Wallace Shawn himself took on the role.
Robert Icke directs following fresh from epic dystopias of Mr Burns and 1984, both of which had large casts and big stages. It will be interesting to see how Icke adapts his direction to draw out the directness of a monologue. Thematically, however, Icke is in his element: the strong dystopian lean of The Fever should be handled with expertise. And this is a sense of the disconcerting that doesn't stop at the stage: the play works to convince its audience that the dystopia is happening now, and we are either too ignorant or too scared to acknowledge it.
|What||The Fever, Almeida at the May Fair Hotel|
|Where||May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, , London, W1J 8LT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
07 Jan 15 – 07 Feb 15, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book via the Almeida|