Olivier Awards Winner 2017
By Jon Brittain
Directed by Donnacadh O’Briain
Designer Ellan Parry
Following three critically acclaimed runs in London and a highly successful transfer to New York, Donnacadh O’Briain’s Olivier award-winning production of Rotterdam comes to York Theatre Royal from 11 to 13 April.
This bittersweet comedy about gender, sexuality and being a long way from home is written by acclaimed playwright Jon Brittain, co-creator of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, writer of A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) and staff writer on The Crown.
It’s New Year in Rotterdam, and Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents and tell them she’s gay. But before she can hit send, her girlfriend Fiona reveals that he has always identified as male and now wants to start living as a man named Adrian. Now, as Adrian confronts the reality of his transition, Alice faces a question she never thought she’d ask… does this mean she’s straight?
Hartshorn – Hook Productions are committed to ensuring Rotterdam has equality and gender diversity among the cast and creatives. In the cast are Lucy Jane Parkinson (Fiona/Adrian), Elijah W Harris (Josh), Ellie Morris (Lelani) and Bethan Cullinane (Alice). Lucy Jane Parkinson is a non-binary actor who trained at MMU and Brunel where she obtained an MA in Contemporary Performance Making.
“I’m ecstatic to be playing Fiona/Adrian. From the moment I saw the casting and read the play I felt connected to the character’s journey through self-discovery. This show is a turning point for theatre both in terms of its subject matter and its casting of non-binary/trans actors. I can’t wait to use my queerness openly and proudly to retell their story.”
Director Donnacadh O’Briain comments: “We are delighted to be taking Rotterdam on its first UK tour. It’s a privilege to be able to share this funny, moving and beautiful story with audiences around the whole country.”
Jon Brittain was inspired to write Rotterdam after several of his friends transitioned in the late 2000s. He became aware of the absence of transgender stories in pop culture and wanted to address this on the stage. Through writing this show, he researched and consulted widely including talking to trans people and their partners, conducting a reading for members of trans communities and discussing the show with various organisations, including Trans Media Watch who then endorsed Rotterdam, and the charity Gendered Intelligence, who the company dedicated their Olivier award to.