Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Frozen Scream at Birmingham Hippodrome


Wales Millennium Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome and Christopher Green

present brand new show for the winter season

The Frozen Scream

co-written by novelist Sarah Waters

Based on a largely forgotten murder-mystery novel, The Frozen Scream brings the chilling tale back to life for the stage, offering a unique show this festive season co-written by Olivier-award winning performer and writer Christopher Green and best-selling novelist Sarah Waters.

 
Directed by Christopher Green, who will also perform in the show, The Frozen Scream tells the story of a group of friends stranded in an abandoned lodge in the heart of winter. Attempting to entertain themselves with the tale of Jack Frost, fictional horror quickly slips into reality as events escalate in unexpected ways. The original novel, written by English novelist CC Gilbert, while popular when it was published in 1928, rapidly fell out of favour when a series of mysterious deaths led to the belief that the novel was cursed.
 
This creative collaboration between Wales Millennium Centre and Birmingham Hippodrome arose from a shared desire to offer audiences an alternative form of Christmas entertainment. This month the two venues have also collaborated on the UK Tour of the Wales Millennium Centre and Cape Town Opera presentation of Show Boat, showing at Wales Millennium Centre this month (22 – 26 July).

With both Cardiff and Birmingham set to present an extensive programme of family orientated shows, musicals and pantomimes this winter, The Frozen Scream will offer an exciting alternative for local audiences.

The Frozen Scream will premiere at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (11 – 20 Dec 2014), followed by Birmingham Hippodrome (7 - 17 Jan 2015).

The Frozen Scream is the first play to be written by acclaimed novelist Sarah Waters, well-known for her award wining novels including Tipping the Velvet (1998), Fingersmith (2002), and The Little Stranger (2009). Her latest novel, The Paying Guests, is due to be published this autumn.

Christopher Green, co-writer and director of The Frozen Scream, said: ‘When I started thinking about the show, my ideas kept resonating with my memories of Sarah’s book, The Little Stranger. Having been a fan of Sarah’s work since reading Tipping the Velvet, I was very keen to collaborate with her. Although this feels like such a new way of working for us both, it's remarkable how smooth the creative process has been so far.  As long as the curse doesn't kick in, we'll be rocking, I reckon. I love to constantly surprise my audiences and The Frozen Scream will definitely do that, sending good old-fashioned chills up the spine!’

An award-winning performer and writer, Christopher Green has created numerous pieces of experimental theatre including Office Party, VIP, The Razzle and This Show Has No Name. He is also well-known as a character comedian, playing under numerous personas including country music singer, Tina C, and rapping pensioner, Ida Barr.

Sarah Waters, co-writer of The Frozen Scream, said: ‘Chris has been great to work with - really inspirational - and it's been incredibly productive having someone to brainstorm with. I wasn't sure how I'd take to writing for the stage. I'm a great theatre-goer, but plays and novels are such different things: working on The Frozen Scream was a bit of a leap into the dark for me. But it's proved to be a real adventure, and tremendous fun. I'm thrilled to be working in a new medium, with such a talented writer and performer as Chris. I'm looking forward to giving our audiences some scares, and some fun. I'm also excited to be working in my homeland, Wales.’

Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre, Graeme Farrow, said: ‘It's thrilling to be premiering this unique production, written and directed by world-class artists, and to be able to offer an exciting, alternative form of Christmas entertainment for our audiences. I believe there is a great deal of synergy between Wales Millennium Centre and Birmingham Hippodrome, and I am hopeful that the present collaboration will help nurture a creative partnership that will see many more exciting collaborations.’

Paul Kaynes, Creative Programme Director, Birmingham Hippodrome added: ‘We are delighted to be working with Wales Millennium Centre on this joint commission bringing together two writers of the highest calibre to create The Frozen Scream.   Christopher Green  - already presenting Ida Barr’s Mash Up at our forthcoming Summer in Southside – and the award winning novelist Sarah Waters  is an extremely exciting creative combination providing an alternative evening out at the theatre over the Festive season.’

The Frozen Scream is the first collaboration between Waters and Green.

The Frozen Scream runs at Wales Millennium Centre from Thursday 11 – Tuesday 20 December 2015. Tickets go on sale to Wales Millennium Centre Promise Platinum & Gold members today (Friday 18 July) and Promise members on 25 July, with general on sale on Friday 1 August. Tickets are priced at £16. Age guidance: 16+. For more information and to book tickets visit www.wmc.org.uk or call 029 2063 6464.

The Frozen Scream runs at Birmingham Hippodrome from Wednesday 7 - Saturday 17 January 2015.  Tickets go on sale to Birmingham Hippodrome Friends today (Friday 18 July) with general on sale on Tuesday 22 July.    Tickets are priced £15.00-£18.50 and are available online www.birminghamhippodrome.com or phone 0844 338 5000.

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