A Very Expensive Poison

New-Theatre-A-Very-Expensive-PoisonAn imaginative deep dive into the terrifying world of the new Cold War, New Theatre presents the Australian premiere of the award-winning drama, A Very Expensive Poison by Lucy Prebble, this August.

London, 2006. A brazen political assassination is carried out in broad daylight. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, drinks green tea laced with radioactive poison.

Subsequent investigations uncover a conspiracy generated from the very heart of the Russian government, and a murder probably approved by President Vladimir Putin.

In this award-winning play, based on the facts as laid out by the investigative journalist Luke Harding in his book of the same name, acclaimed writer Lucy Prebble tells a complex story of espionage and mystery.

On a whirlwind journey from Moscow to Mayfair, it follows Litvinenko as he investigates his own death, and his wife Marina’s quest for justice, in the face of Russian corruption and British vacillation.

With a dazzling mix of vaudeville, thriller, romance and tragedy, this astonishing and imaginative drama deep dives into the terrifying world of the new Cold War.

Having presented the Australian premiere of Lucy Prebble’s play ENRON a decade ago, New Theatre is thrilled to now be producing A Very Expensive Poison – winner of the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Prebble won the George Devine Award in 2003 with her first play, The Sugar Syndrome, which marked the start of an illustrious career writing for both stage and television.

Most recently (2018 – 2023), Prebble was Co-Executive Producer and writer on the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning HBO drama Succession, for which she also won a WGA Award.

New Theatre welcomes director Margaret Thanos to helm this production, returning after being Assistant Director on Animal Farm in 2020. Margaret’s most recent directing credits include: A Grain of Sand by Declan Coyle (KXT Panimo Pandemonium Festival/Queen Hades Productions) and Labyrinth by Beth Steel (Flight Path Theatre/Dream Plane Productions).

“After reading this play, I immediately called up New Theatre’s Artistic Director, Lou Fischer, and told her that I HAD to be the one to direct it!” said Margaret.

“This play is so much fun to explore, and offers up a smorgasbord of theatrical styles: dance, musical numbers, puppets and everything in between. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll leave the theatre with a fire in your belly.”

The creative team includes Aloma Barnes (set and costume designer), Jasmin Borsovszky (lighting designer), Sam Cheng (sound designer/composer), Diana Paola Alvarado (movement director), Felicity Jurd (accent coach), Jess Zlotnick (assistant director), and an ensemble of sixteen actors!

“A Surprising, theatrical, watchable night ends with a whack of seriousness.” – The Sunday Times (UK)

Director: Margaret Thanos | Featuring: Matt Abotomy, Eliva Andriamora, Richard Cox, Ben Dewstow, Angus Evans, Hannah Forsyth, Tom Hanaee, Amelie James-Power, Madeline Kunstler, Tasha O’Brien, Ewan Peddley, Mason Phourimath, Diego Retamales, Chloe Schwank, Luke Vesentin, Cath Young | Set & Costume Designer: Aloma Barnes | Lighting Designer: Jasmin Borsovszky | Composer & Sound Designer: Sam Cheng | Movement Director: Diana Paola Alvarado | Accent Coach: Felicity Jurd | Singing Coach: Georgia Condon |  Assistant Director: Jess Zlotnick | Costume Assistant: Sabry Beshir Mohamed | Stage Manager: Lulu Barkell | Assistant Stage Manager: Liam Gascoigne | LX/SX Operators: Georgina Moore, Noah Cohen-Stoddart

A Very Expensive Poison
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 16 August – 16 September 2023 (preview: 15 August)
Information and Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au

Image: A Very Expensive Poison – photo by langdu | Canva