HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS/CELIA ATKIN PRESENT
By DUSTY HUGHES
Directed by ALICE HAMILTON
Running time: 1 HOURS 50 MINUTES INCLUDING AN INTERVAL
£5 - £14 (See ticket information)
Live every day like your last, and garden as if you’re going to live forever
26 Dec 2018 - 2 Jan 2019
£5 - £14
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
‘Sara Kestelman is heart-rending’ | ★★★★ Sunday Express
‘Kestelman and Freshwater are Magnificent... this is a winner’ | ★★★★ WhatsOnStage
Elite Homes: offering the Platinum Package in luxury retirement living. Old friends Roddy Meakin and Amanda Goose are enjoying their twilight years on their own terms - outrageous pranks and clandestine gins in the garden, adult magazines at the dinner table and a healthy disregard for the other residents. All is idyllic – until, that is, new management is brought in to restore order…
Dusty Hughes’ new comedy looks at the cost of growing old and the joys of ageing disgracefully.
Dusty returns to Hampstead following Bad Language in 1983. His subsequent plays have been seen at the National Theatre, the RSC, the Royal Court, the Donmar and in the West End as well as in Europe and America. He writes extensively for television, including some of the BBC’s and ITV’s most popular dramas such as Lewis, Silent Witness, The Musketeers and Dalziel and Pascoe.
Sara Kestelman stars as Amanda. Sara returns to Hampstead following the critically acclaimed Filthy Business in 2017 and Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures in 2016. Her other theatre credits include Copenhagen (National Theatre) King Lear (RSC/Barbican) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC/New York). Her television and film credits include Lady Jane, Anna Karenina, Rome and In the Flesh.
Sara will be joined by Geoffrey Freshwater, Rebekah Hinds and Claire Lams.
'Hughes writes with great sensitivity about the ageing process, in particular as he charts Goose's confusion.'
'Alice Hamilton's production on Anna Reid's verdant set catches every nuance of Hughes's writing.'
'Geoffrey Freshwater is splendidly disdainful as Meakin and Rebekah Hinds and Claire Lams pitch-perfect as the long-suffering staff.'
'Above all, Sara Kestelman is heart-rending in her precise, unsentimental depiction of Miss Goose's mental and material plight.'
Michael Arditti, 13 January, 2019
'Dusty Hughes' name is probably unfamiliar to many younger theatregoers. For the best part of two decades he has concentrated on screenwriting but on the basis of this beautifully judged tragicomedy, it really has been theatre's loss.'
'If at the outset it looks as though we are in for a classy, camped-up stage version of One Foot In The Grave, Hughes – and Alice Hamilton's sure-footed direction – quickly go deeper, darker and more gripping.'
'Kestelman and Freshwater are magnificent: you'll never forget the way the expression on Kestelman's face changes as she dispenses another withering put-down then remembers the abyss she is staring into, or the gorgeously written speech – aria almost – that she delivers towards the end, asserting that all the women that this courageous spirit once was are still alive somewhere within this ageing, stroke-ravaged body. Opposite her, Freshwater strikes a perfect balance between irascible melancholy and outrageousness, spouting Polari and obscenities with gleeful venom, but never descending into caricature or sentimentality. They are a brilliant team.'
'There's terrific work too from Rebekah Hinds as a gossipy, free-spirited care worker.'
'Claire Lams performs it superbly, and is such a fine actress that she finds colours in a figure that seems crafted with rather less conviction and care than the others.'
'With its combination of robust characters, dialogue that veers between scabrously truthful to laugh-out-loud funny and almost always rings true, a glorious cast, and a set of issues that very much speak to the UK today, this is a winner.'
Alun Hood, 8 January, 2019
Michael Arditti awards Dusty Hughes' Paradise four stars.
Alun Hood Awards Dusty Hughes' Paradise four stars.
We caught up with Paradise Writer Dusty Hughes to talk favourite places in London, Alan Rickman and Hamilton...
Full casting is announced for the world premiere of Dusty Hughes’ Paradise at Hampstead Downstairs.
Alan Cox will take the title role of Vanya in Terry Johnson’s new version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Sara Kestelman returns to Hampstead Theatre to star in the world premiere of Dusty Hughes’ new comedy Paradise.
Featuring a Tony Award-winning Broadway hit and Maisie Williams' stage debut
First five performances: All tickets £5
The next twelve performances: £12
Performances thereafter: £14
Seniors: £10 (matinee only)
Under 30s and Students: £10
Groups: For every 9 tickets get the 10th free