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Three One Act Plays by Eugene O’Neill

Hoxton Hall • 6th – 30th December 2013

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THE EXPERIENCE

Ruth Wilson (Anna Christie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Luther, The Lone Ranger) will star in the London premiere of  The El. Train: three one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill (The Web, Before Breakfast and The Dreamy Kid).

Combining live music with totally immersive design, all housed in the intimate setting of Grade II listed Hoxton Hall, and for one short and exclusive run only, the event will begin with the three short plays, performed in the old music hall and featuring passionate tales of low-life, impoverished New York in the 1910s.

These intensely dramatic plays, with their themes of heaven and hell, of sin and redemption, will be followed by a night of hard liquor and live music at O’Neill’s very own New York watering hole, the Hell Hole Saloon.

Press To Date: 

Ruth on BBC Breakfast | The Observer, 5* | The Guardian, 4*
The Daily Telegraph, 4* | The Independent, 4*Guardian Preview | Daily Mail Preview
On Stage Preview | West End Frame Preview | London Theatre Guide Preview | Broadway World Preview

The Plays

Three one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill (The Web, Before Breakfast and The Dreamy Kid). The plays, written between 1913 and 1918, are being presented together for the first time. Ruth will act in The Web and Before Breakfast, directed by Sam Yates, and will make her directorial debut with The Dreamy Kid.

Hoxton Hall, largely untouched since it was built in 1863, will be transformed into a New York tenement block in the pre-prohibition era, with exposed brickwork, iron fire escapes and el. Train tracks, juxtaposed alongside exquisitely detailed representations of the homes of O’Neill’s characters.

Before Breakfast

directed by Sam Yates

Mrs Rowland’s marriage to Alfred is reaching its bitter resolution. Once destined for great things, Alfred’s early promise as a poet has dwindled. Mrs Rowland’s struggle to support him reaches breaking point in this blackly comic work.

The Web

directed by Sam Yates

On a stormy night, Rose, a prostitute suffering with advanced consumption, argues violently with her pimp. A neighbour, Tim, decides that tonight is the night when enough is enough. A violent, passionate and romantic melodrama about two characters struggling to escape their past and imagine a brighter future.

The Dreamy Kid

directed by Ruth Wilson

As Mammy Saunders lies dying, her only wish is to see her grandson Abe, the Dreamy Kid, a young man drawn into gang violence, and on the run from the law for murder. A thrilling play about a family, faith and redemption.

THE HELL HOLE SALOON

The El. Train design team are transforming the bar area, the Hell Hole Saloon, into an extension of the world of the plays, as if the audience has been invited backstage to drink with the characters – and with O’Neill himself.

The bar was Eugene O’Neill’s pre-prohibition drinking haunt in New York, the raunchy and unruly Golden Swan, referred to by everyone who went there as the ‘Hell Hole’. It was here, in the 1910s, that O’Neill held court among fellow drinkers who represented a comprehensive cross section of the New York “low-life”: thieves, truck drivers and the Hudson Dusters, a tough Irish gang.

The Hell Hole was owned by Tom Wallace, a former prizefighter, and was overseen by his bouncers John Bull and Lefty Louis. Inside, gas burners provided poor lighting and the Sixth Avenue El. Train ran past shaking the whole bar and drowning out conversation.

The lives and personalities O’Neill glimpsed in his time as a regular at the saloon were a rich source for his writing, indeed twenty-five years later O’Neill wrote about the Hell Hole in The Iceman Cometh, renaming it Harry Hope’s “No Chance Saloon”.

The live music will continue as re-workings of period cocktails, from this exciting and turbulent era in American history, are served by Joe Stokoe’s team.

The Hell Hole Saloon Cocktail Menu

Hot Buttered Rum: Golden rum, honey, lemon, butter, cloudy apple juice, cinnamon & nutmeg

Bronx Before Breakfast: Gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, clementinejuice, orange bitters

Dreamy Kid: Gin, lemon, cream, homemade pineapple syrup, orange flower water, soda

Rose’s Web: Vodka, homemade rose & raspberry syrup, vermouth, fresh lemon

Pizzas: Margherita £6 | Pepperoni £8 | Fiorentina £8 | Siciliana £8

Joe & Seph’s Popcorn

The Hell Hole opens 1 hour before the show. Last orders 10.30pm, Sunday to Wednesday.
Late nights at the Hell Hole on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Liquor license until 2am. DJs on the main stage.
* Please note: The Hell Hole will be closed during the performance and between matinee and evening shows *

CREATIVE

EUGENE O’NEILL
Playwright

Eugene O’Neill is one of the most celebrated playwrights of the 20th Century. His plays were amongst the first to include speeches in the American vernacular and to involve characters on the fringes of society, struggling to maintain their hopes and aspirations and often, ultimately, sliding into disillusionment and despair.

His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize, 1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (Pulitzer Prize, 1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), The Iceman Cometh (1946) and a Moon for the Misbegotten (1947). In 1936 O’Neill received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

SAM YATES
Director

Directing credits include Cornelius by J.B. Priestley (Finborough Theatre and 59E59 Theatre, New York), Mixed Marriage (Finborough Theatre), Flesh and Blood by William Gaminara (Chichester Festival Theatre, rehearsed reading), Electra and Oedipus (Garrick Theatre, Stockport) and The Turke (Arcola Theatre). Sam was Artistic Associate at Royal and Derngate Theatres, under Laurie Sansom from 2011-2013. He trained with directors Michael Grandage, Jamie Lloyd, Trevor Nunn, Josie Rourke and Phyllida Lloyd. In 2014 he directs Billy Liar at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, his home town.

RUTH WILSON
Director / Cast

Ruth won the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in the title role “Anne Christie” and the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Stella in “A Streetcar Named Desire” both at the Donmar Warehouse.

Ruth’s Other stage credits include Philistines at the National Theatre and Through A Glass Darkly at the Almeida Theatre. Ruth’s most recognised roles on television include playing Jane in Jane Eyre and Alice Morgan in BBC’s Luther. Her film credits include Anna Karenina, The Lone Ranger, and most recently Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

TICKETS

Previews:
Fri 6th Dec  | Sat 7th Dec  | Sun 8th Dec  | Weds 11th Dec
Opening Night: Thurs 12th Dec

Fri 13th Dec | Sat 14th Dec  (Mat) | Sat 14th Dec | Sun 15th Dec  (Mat) | Sun 15th Dec

8:30pm Weds 18th Dec  Tickets | 3pm Thurs 19th Dec  Tickets | 8pm Thurs 19th Dec  Tickets | 8pm Fri 20th Dec  Tickets

3pm Sat 21st Dec  Tickets | 8pm Sat 21st Dec  Tickets | 7pm Sun 22nd Dec  Tickets | 8pm Mon 23rd Dec  Tickets

8pm Fri 27th Dec  Tickets | 3pm Sat 28th Dec  Tickets | 8pm Sat 28th Dec  Tickets | 7pm Sun 29th Dec  Tickets

3pm Mon 30th Dec  Tickets | 8pm Mon 30th Dec  Tickets | 8pm Tues 31st Dec - New Years Eve Party Tickets

Please go to the Hoxton Hall website for tickets from £10.

NO LATECOMERS ARE PERMITTED. WE UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS A DIFFICULT VENUE TO FIND BUT IT IS SIMPLY TOO DISRUPTIVE TO THE SHOW TO HAVE PEOPLE COMING IN LATE. WE HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND. YOU ARE WELCOME TO COME AND ENJOY THE HELL HOLE FROM 10PM.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.