The Gulf

Tristan Bates Theatre

Content by Chloe Nelkin Consulting.

The European Premiere of The Gulf by Audrey Cefaly is an honest representation of the challenges all relationships can endure, no matter the sexuality.  It looks at two women on a small fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico and what makes their relationship tick.

The divide between Kendra, played by Louisa Lytton (Eastenders, BBC1; Strictly Come Dancing, BBC1; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the British Shakespeare Company), and Betty, played by Anna Acton (Doctors, BBC; Casualty, BBC; Eastenders, BBC; The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Gillotts Theatre; Emmanuelle & Dick, Royal National Theatre), mimics the very world that devours them: a vast and polarizing abyss.  Stranded on a boat together, they are forced to confront their differences and untangle the issues they’re faced with.

The message in society that a ‘significant other’, preferably of the opposite sex, is the answer to feeling complete and happy, is always present. Through bickering, insults, selfhelp books and physical and emotional game playing the audience discover, along with Betty and Kendra, the substance to their relationship and their future together.

Director Matthew Gould comments, The Gulf is an exploration of relationships but it happens to be between two women in a boat on a fishing trip in Alabama and that is the importance of The Gulf… it’s characters are women. The presence of drama that has women, let alone lesbians, as their leading characters is minimal. As the shifting sands of the rights of LGBTQ+ people fluctuate from country to country, to then have such a strong drama featuring lesbian characters and set in the deep south of America is a testament to the talent of the writer Audrey Cefaly and her understanding of the need for Kendra and Betty’s voices to be heard. I hope that whoever comes to the play will see that whatever sexes a relationship is made up of the issues are the same the world over.

Originally a short play in August 2010 as part of the Silver Spring Stage One-Act Festival in Silver Spring, MD under the direction of Chris Curtis. This production won the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival Award. 

Since the 2010 production Audrey developed the play into a full-length play which premiered at Signature Theatre in Alexandria, VA in October 2016 under the direction of Joe Calarco. It received incredible reviews and amazing audience reaction.  This production won the 2016 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and was nominated for The Charles McArthur Award for Outstanding New Play (Helen Hayes Award)

Candid, honest and damn real
(★★★★★ DC Metro Theatre Arts)

Matthew Gould
Matthew Gould has been directing plays and musicals for a number of years. Most recently he adapted comedienne Janice Day’s book about getting over breast cancer for her onewoman show, which premiered at the Epsom Playhouse. He also directed the radio recording of
Adolf Killed my Sweetheart for ALL FM radio and explored at The King’s Head Shakespeare’s hidden messages of love in the new play Pricked Out by Nicholas de Jongh. 

Other theatre credits include: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Arts Theatre; The Secret Garden, The Anorak. He directed A Body to Diet For, Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  After a successful collaboration with Mitchell Green on the musical Pete n’ Keely Matthew is looking forward to directing the UK premier of the play The Gulf for him.

Louisa Lytton Since a young age, Louisa has had a love of performing, having been a pupil at London’s iconic Sylvia Young Theatre School.  It was this platform that led to Louisa securing her first professional role, as the innocent schoolgirl Ruby Allen,in BBC1’s BAFTA award winning Eastenders.  Louisa most recently played Rizzo in David Ian’s UK Number One Tour of GREASE.  Also appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, BBC1.  Recent TV credits include Murdoch Mysteries, CBC; Edge of Heaven, ITV; Casualty, BBC1 and The Bill, ITV.  Film credits include The Knot; Payback Season; Young; High & Dead and American Pie.  Stage credits include The Broken Rose, Cockpit Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the British Shakespeare Company; Much Ado About Nothing, the British Shakespeare Company.  Louisa is currently part of the LA BAFTA Newcomers program.

Anna Acton Anna has a degree in acting from Middlesex University.  TV credits include: Doctors, BBC; Casualty, BBC; Eastenders, BBC.  Film credits include: The Killers, Sugar Spun Pictures; Silver Birches, True Film; Degenerates, Cineglobe.  Noises Off, Liverpool Playhouse; Cor Blimey!, Watford Palace Theatre; Relatively Speaking, The English Theatre of Hamburg; Chez le Boucher, The Crucible, Simmonds Theatre; Daisy Pulls I Off, The Wycombe Swan; The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Gillotts Theatre; Emmanuelle & Dick, Royal National Theatre.

The Gulf

Tuesday 17th April – Saturday 5th May

Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower St
London, WC2H 9NP

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