Kneehigh are making an epic return to Leeds with The Tin Drum, a West Yorkshire Playhouse, Kneehigh and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse coproduction directed by Kneehigh Artistic Director Mike Shepherd. A new adaptation of Günter Grass’ surreal seminal 20th century novel, The Tin Drum is brought to thrilling theatrical life in a visually dazzling, dark and daringly provocative production playing at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 17 – 28 October.
On Oskar’s third birthday he rails against the adult world and decides to remain a child forever. Armed with a heart full of rage, a singing voice that shatters glass and a seemingly indestructible tin drum, Oskar sets about to reveal the world for what it truly is. However, the world has other plans for our hero…
Exploring the rise of fascism through the eyes of a child, Günter Grass’ post-war masterpiece has never been more prescient. His classic novel, which presents anti-hero Oskar refusing to grow up as he watches the growth of ugly and suffocating totalitarianism around him, is reimagined by Kneehigh as part Baroque opera, part psychedelic white-out and part epic poem: a burlesque, a blitzkrieg and a tsunami.
West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Bringing said: “We’re delighted to welcome Kneehigh back to the Playhouse, and thrilled to be collaborating on this project with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. Kneehigh’s popularity is certainly well justified, and I can’t wait to share this dazzling new production with the people of Leeds. Combining the Playhouse’s ability to tell truly epic stories with Kneehigh’s enduring inventiveness and imitable style, The Tin Drum will be an extravaganza of psychedelic music and theatre exploring and re-evaluating the conflicts of the 20th century through a contemporary lens.”
Kneehigh’s Artistic Director Mike Shepherd said: “I am thrilled to have reassembled the creative team behind Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) for Günter Grass’ extraordinary novel The Tin Drum. Our iconic anti-hero, Oskar, will lead us through a world as delicate as moth’s wings and as incandescent as a blazing saw mill. A grand musical satire, it promises to be furious, funny and fiercely full of hope – a story very much for now.”
Written by Kneehigh regular Carl Grose, with music by award-winning composer and Kneehigh Associate Artist Charles Hazlewood, the ensemble cast include British mime artist Les Bubb, long time Kneehigh collaborator and composer Dom Coyote (The Night Before Christmas, West Yorkshire Playhouse), Kneehigh Associate Artist, puppeteer and puppet designer Sarah Wright, Nandi Bhebhe (946 – The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Kneehigh), Damon Daunno (Beardo, Pipeline Theatre Company), Bettrys Jones (Life of Galileo, Young Vic), and previous Kneehigh collaborators on Dead Dog In A Suitcase (and Other Love Songs) Rina Fatania, Angela Hardie, Patrycja Kujawska, Beverly Rudd. The cast are joined by musicians Ross Hughes, Alex Lupo and Ruth Wall.