Interview and Preview The Wild Party
Mingled Yarn Theatre Revive Grimy Jazz Age Masterpiece THE WILD PARTY in a Lusty Adaptation of Joseph Moncure March’s Classic Poem at The Hope Theatre
First published in 1928, Joseph Moncure March’s classic poem THE WILD PARTY was widely banned for its lust-fuelled story of an affair between two cabaret stars, and the final, fatal party they throw in their seedy Hollywood apartment. Its twice been presented as a musical and is about to return to the West End as such, but Mingled Yarn Theatre are taking a different approach with their raw romantic revival staged by The Hope Theatre in Islington in January.
Maintaining its poetic prose and Jazz-age roots, this production will be accompanied by newly recorded music, and will be performed by just two actors playing multiple roles.
Producer David Ralf explains why he was so drawn to this particular book-length poem, what audiences can expect and why The Hope is the perfect space to present their refreshing take on this classic piece of literature.
DR: “I discovered The Wild Party a few years ago – and it’s a poem that once started you gobble up voraciously. It’s got this incredible rhythm and fantastic Twenties language. It’s also filthy, which is great – it was banned when it was first published – and it’s got these larger-than-life characters lusting after each other and turning on each other.”
DR: “It’s inspired two musicals but having worked with director Rafaella Marcus in the past with Mingled Yarn I knew she’d be able to make the text sing as it does on the page. She’s brought in clowning and vaudeville elements, so we’re doing something exciting and new and different, but it’s all still grounded in this stonking piece of writing.”
What is it about The Hope Theatre that makes it the perfect space for this production?
DR: “After a fantastic year working with Matthew Parker at the Hope on Her Aching Heart, Steel Magnolias and Sea Life as their Associate Producer and knowing just how flexible it can be, I was so keen to bring something else into that space, and I leapt at the chance to bring this new version of The Wild Party in to start The Hope’s 2017 off with a boozy, sexy bang!”
Sarah Tinsley will be reviewing this for team CTP on Tuesday so watch out for her thoughts soon after!
Mingled Yarn Theatre Revive Grimy Jazz Age Masterpiece THE WILD PARTY
in a Lusty Adaptation of Joseph Moncure March’s Classic Poem at The Hope Theatre
Writer: JOSEPH MONCURE MARCH
Director: RAFAELLA MARCUS
THE WILD PARTY 10th – 29th January 2017
At The Hope Theatre, Islington, N1 1RL
Grimy Jazz Age masterpiece THE WILD PARTY is the lust-fuelled story of an affair between two cabaret stars, and the final, fatal party they throw in their seedy Hollywood apartment.
Queenie dances twice a night in the vaudeville, and Burrs is the clown who goes on after her act. In the apartment they share Queenie toys dangerously with Burrs affections, but when they throw a party they drag everyone into their ugly games. Brothers Phil and Oscar play the piano while Jack eyes both of them from the corner, and Queenie’s best pal Kate arrives late with a handsome new man on her arm.
Brought to life by just two actors, the syncopated rhythms and rhymes of Joseph Moncure March’s classic poem weave in and out of live music, songs and dancing in this new production that’s served soused in gin, jazz and sex.
“The Wild Party? … It’s the book that made me want to be a writer” – William Burroughs
Mingled Yarn Theatre return to The Hope Theatre following 2015’s The Window/Blank Pages with a lascivious tale of the Roaring Twenties.
Creatives: Producer David Ralf
Director Rafaella Marcus
Set & Costume Designer Minglu Wang
Lighting & Sound Designer Will Alder
Casting Director Gabriella Shimeld-Fenn
Company Information From Penelope’s loom to Charlotte’s Web, stories have been strung and woven for thousands of years. Mingled Yarn aims to continue the tradition in which drama began by taking old stories and new-minting them for our times. In exploring the oldest and most fundamental stories and plays, we have produced renovations and re-imaginings of classical texts, new plays devised from old tales, and adaptations of myths and books. Our work has taken place all over the country in a range of theatres, workshops and sitespecific locations. Working mostly with small, young casts we aim to create theatre that captures the thrill of being told a tale.
Artistic Director Rafaella Marcus trained in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck. She has directed at theatres across the country including Theatre503, the Arcola, Southwark Playhouse, the St James, Sheffield Theatres, and the Oxford Playhouse. She was long-listed for the JMK Award 2016.
Associate Producer David Ralf is a Stage One producer, an Associate Producer of The Hope Theatre and a recipient of the 2016 Michael Grandage Company Futures Bursary.