Annie Siddons brings her trademark blend of spoken word, music and surreal humour to Ovalhouse and the Albany with Dennis of Penge

Content by Draper Conway

Following the hugely acclaimed How (Not) To Live in Suburbia (Summerhall, Soho Theatre, UK tour), Annie Siddons brings her trademark blend of spoken word, music and surreal humour to Ovalhouse and the Albany, returning to her roots with a new show set in her childhood neighbourhood of Penge.

Dennis of Penge will play at Ovalhouse from Wednesday 26 September to Saturday 6 October (press night Monday 1 October) before transferring to the Albany, Deptford from Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 October.

Directed by Laura Keefe, composed by Asaf Zohar, and written by Annie Siddons, Dennis of Penge is a show about friendship, poverty, love, loneliness, ecstasy and addiction. Set in and around the chicken shops, church halls and job centres of South London, it is loosely inspired by Euripides’ The Bacchae and informed by Annie’s own experiences of newfound sobriety.

Performed by Annie Siddons, Asaf Zohar and Jorell Coiffic-Kamall (The Wind in the WillowsRoss) as Dennis.

Dennis of Penge was co-commissioned by Ovalhouse and the Albany Deptford, supported by Camden People’s Theatre, Bristol Ferment and BAC, and funded by Arts Council England.

Annie Siddons – Writer/Performer
 
Annie Siddons is a Londoner and artist.
 
As writer/performer, Annie created Raymondo in 2014, which ran at Summerhall as part of Escalator East to Edinburgh, then returned in 2015 for the British Council Showcase, touring across the UK 2015-16.
 
She followed Raymondo with How (Not) to Live in Suburbia, her first foray into autobiographical work. The show, a hilarious look at her own chronic loneliness, featuring videos by performance artist Richard DeDomenici, played Summerhall 2016 before two sell-out runs at the Soho Theatre 2017. As part of making the show Annie trained as a Samaritan. Suburbia tours the UK in Spring/Autumn 2018/2019. How (Not) to Live in Suburbia is in development for TV, and has also been part of a cross-disciplinary symposium on loneliness at UCLAN in November 2016, with more symposia are planned for 2018/19.
 
As playwright/dramaturg, she has worked with Kneehigh, Bristol Old Vic, Battersea Arts Centre, Teater Sagohuset, the Gate, National Theatre Studio, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Unicorn, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, Fillament Theatre, Undercurrent Theatre. Her playRapunzel, written for her young daughters in 2005, was picked up by Kneehigh in 2006 and did two London runs at BAC and the Southbank Centre, before touring the UK and US. It’s since been remounted by several other theatres.
 
Annie regularly mentors younger and emerging artists, particularly those from challenging backgrounds, and works collaboratively and alone in a variety of settings. She has a fruitful long-term collaboration with director Justin Audibert. She is published by Oberon Books.

Asaf Zohar – Composer
 
Asaf is a London-based composer for theatre, film and television. 
 
Asaf’s music has been commissioned by BBC1, BBC3, Chanel 4, ABC, NBC, Richard Branson and the European Union. He has written music for long-running documentary series such as Reggie Yates’ Extreme RussiaExtreme UKExtreme South Africa, Race Riots USA and Dispatches
 
Asaf’s film scores have featured at Cannes, BAFTA, Raindance and Encounters film festivals. His music has been recorded and mixed at Pinewood, Abbey Road, Red Bull and AIR studios. In 2016 he was chosen as composer in residence for the Cohan Collective, composing music for choreographers Robert Cohan and Kim Brandstrup. In 2018, Alongside working on the score for Annie Siddons’ upcoming Dennis of Penge, Asaf composed an orchestral score for The Goose Who Flew, commissioned and shown at Half Moon Theatre.
 
Asaf’s practice is situated between various musical traditions. He studied classical composition at the Royal College of Music after years of professionally playing rock guitar. As a composer for film, television, dance and theatre, he has written scores in a multitude of genres and forms on commission, while specialising in contemporary production techniques.

Emma Bettridge – Producer

Emma Bettridge is a Producer, Director and Festival curator. 
Emma is the Producer for Bristol Old Vic Ferment and Consultant Producer for Annie Siddons, Tanuja Amarasuriya and Vic Llewellyn. She will direct Amy Mason’s Hollering Woman Creek this autumn. 
 
She is also chair of Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust. Prior to this she ran Pulse festival at the New Wolsey Theatre for three years and was part of the curatorial group for Caravan2014 (Farnham Maltings/Brighton Festival). 
 
She was an associate reader for the Soho Theatre, a consultant for East to Edinburgh (ACE East initiative) and a peer reviewer for the Wellcome Trust from 2010-2013. In 2010 she managed Gecko’s international tour of The Overcoat (China and the UK), produced the national tour of My Name is Sue (Northern Stage, Queer Up North, Soho theatre) and worked on the NSDF festival in Scarborough. Between 2004 and 2009 she ran the Pleasance London and Edinburgh programmes. 
 
Her passion lies in developing and commissioning new work. With a focus on creating and enabling artists to make the best work they can. Examples of this type of process are demonstrated in Stillhouse’s Ours Was the Fen CountryThe Bullet and the Bass Trombone (Sleepdogs), Exposure (Jo Bannon), Sue the Second Coming (Dafydd James & Co) and The Castle Builder (Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet).

 
Jen Smethurst – Producer 

Jen Smethurst is an independent producer/artist facilitator whose practice focuses on performance art, experimental theatre and practices of care. They were one of five producers selected for the first SPILL New Producers Programme and was the SPILL National Platform Project manager for the 2016 festival. They work with artists including: Sh!t Theatre (DollyWould), Louise Orwin (Oh Yes Oh No), la JohnJoseph (A Generous Lover), Tom Cassani (Someone Loves You Drive With Care), vFd (Femmetopia: Deeds Not Words festival), Jade Montserrat (Revue). They also provide in-kind producer consultancy support for early career artists. 

Laura Keefe – Director
 
As Director: Parakeet (Boundless Theatre); Robin Hood & One Million Tiny Plays About Britain (Watermill Theatre); My Beautiful Black Dog (Bush Theatre/Roundhouse/Southbank Centre); Turning a Little FurtherThe Lost (Young Vic); Used Blood Junkyard (Arcola Theatre); I Know Where the Dead are Buried (24/7 Theatre Festival) and Guilt and Shame (Edinburgh/Latitude/Bestival/Soho Theatre). 
 
As Associate Director: Mad About the Boy (Iron Shoes/Tour) and Is Everyone OK? (Nabokov/Tour). As Assistant Director Brief Encounter (Kneehigh); Romantics AnonymousThe Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); As You Like It (National Theatre); Feast (Young Vic); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park); Salt, Root and Roe (Donmar Warehouse/Trafalgar Studio); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal & Derngate, Northampton); Fen (Finborough/National Theatre Studio); Dr Faustus (Watford Palace); Roaring Trade (Paines Plough/Soho Theatre) and How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (Southwark Playhouse).
 
 
Jorell Coiffic-Kamall – Dennis
 
Theatre credits include: The Wind in The Willows (UK Tour/London Palladium), Ross(Chichester Festival Theatre), Bend it Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre), The Water Babies(Leicester Curve), The Jungle Book (Birmingham Rep & Camden Roundhouse), Jack & the Beanstalk and Beauty and the Beast (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Jungle Book(Citizens’ Theatre), The Warriors (Barbican), Jackson 5 Alive (UK Tour), Freaked (Helix Theatre, Dublin), Y@P-Breakin’ Out (The Unicorn Theatre & Butts Theatre), Be Aware(Mermaid Theatre), Connect ’05 (Sadler’s Wells).
 
Television credits include: Ahead Of The ClassTop Of The PopsBlue PeterThe Queen’s JubileeProms In The ParkMOBO Music Awards.

Dennis of Penge

9 - 13 October

26 Sep – Sat 6 Oct

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