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Ovalhouse 33% London presents

If the Lights Are Too Bright by Alex Rand

Ovalhouse is delighted to present two new 33% London commissions for 2015 created by emerging young artists.

This event is part of the FiRST BiTES season
  • Wed 11 Mar – Sat 14 Mar, 7:00pm

Venue: Upstairs

Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs theatre is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

It’s September 2014, Felix is travelling to the Philippines to visit his mother but ends up stranded in Hong Kong for one weekend. Felix meets Bunny and through a haze of sight-seeing, wild nights and the pulsing undercurrent of political change, these two philosophize on chance encounters with a stranger on the other side of the world.

If the Lights Are Too Bright is Canadian-born, Alex Rand’s first full length play. Set against the backdrop of the recent Hong Kong protests, it explores questions about citizenship, where your true “home” is, and how a little document such a passport can hold so much power in deciding your fate and who has the control?

33% London is our unique Commission offered by our highly acclaimed Creative Youth programme that supports participants making the transition from participation to professional work.
If the Lights Are Too Bright is presented as an Ovalhouse FiRST BiTES work-in-development.

  • Wed 11 Mar, 7:00pm
  • Thu 12 Mar, 7:00pm
  • Fri 13 Mar, 7:00pm
  • Sat 14 Mar, 7:00pm

Written and Co-directed by Alex Rand

Alex Rand is a Canadian-born Theatre Director and Writer. Recent Directing credits include The Butterfly Defect (Theatre503) and Keep Your Coins (National Theatre Studio). He spent a year working with the National Theatre Young Studio, making work at the NT Shed and with Punchdrunk. He is currently a playwright on the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab, and a Young Associate at Ovalhouse.

Co-Directed by Amy Insole

Amy studied at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Since graduating Amy has worked extensively at Queens Theatre Hornchurch, as well as the Tristan Bates Theatre, Roundhouse, Theatre 503, Etcetera Theatre and National Studios. Amy is also a member of National Theatre: Young Studio, an emerging artist programme affiliated with National Theatre Studio.

Dramaturgy by Joseph Wilde

Joseph trained on the Young Writers Programs at the Royal Court and Chichester Festival Theatre, and was one of the first writers chosen for HighTide Festival Theatre’s Escalator attachment. ‘Cuddles', Joseph’s first full-length play, opened at the Ovalhouse in 2013 and this year will tour nationally before transferring to New York. His second play, ‘The Pier’ opened at the Oxford Playhouse Studio and The Marlowe Theatre in early 2015 and is now gearing up for a national tour. Other theatre includes: 'The Van Dyck Vanishments', an interactive family show for Marine Studios/Turner Gallery Margate; ‘Kaleidoscope’ co-created with and performed by the Ovalhouse Young Company; and various short plays including ‘The Hard Part’ (Chichester Festival) and ‘The Big Ask’ (Offcut Festival, Riverside Studios). Joseph has also written two radio plays: ‘Wildsong’ (BBC Radio 4) and ‘The Loving Ballad of Captain Bateman’ (BBC Radio 4, winner of the Imison Award for New Writing). He writes regularly for television for BBC Drama. His work as a dramaturg includes: Osama Bin Laden: The One Man Play (Ed Fringe/Knaive Theatre/Teater Katapult) and The View From Down Here (Ovalhouse Theatre) 

Stage Manager Emily Ida

Emily Ida is excited to be stage managing with Ovalhouse once again, having previously worked with them on Our Four Walls, last year. Other productions she has worked on include Quentin Crisp with Seabright Productions I Peaseblossom, I Caliban with Company Of Angels and most recently Mountview’s BA Acting Showcase at The Criterion.

Produced by Maeve O'Neill

Maeve O’Neill is an independent arts producer and coordinator. Maeve is currently creative producer for the Truth about Youth Program at Ovalhouse. She produced the national tour of Simon Mole’s debut show, ‘Indiana Jones and the extra chair’ and the first production of Blind Summit’s award winning show, ‘The Table’ at Edinburgh 2011. She works on a freelance basis with artists, theatre companies and venues including; NIE Theatre, Novus Theatre and Jacksons Lane Theatre. She trained at The Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin and completed a BA in Modern Drama Studies at Brunel University. Maeve has worked as a performer, facilitator and director before finding her niche as a producer.


Felix - Blair Anderson

Blair recently graduated from ArtsEd. Theatre includes: Seussical (Hong Kong), Blockbuster the Musical (UK tour), In Lambeth (Southwark Playhouse), Kerry Ellis at the London Palladium (Palladium), My Name is Richard (Edinburgh Festival) - nominated for Best Actor by The Stage. Blair was working in Hong Kong during the Occupy Central protests.

Bunny - Mei Mac

Mei is a theatre maker and actor based in London. She is of Hong Kong and South China, Guang Dong heritage and was born and raised in Birmingham. Last September, Mei joined 3,000 people in the London sit-in to show support and solidarity for friends and family on the streets of Hong Kong during the Umbrella Movement. Training: Rep Theatre Training, Circus Space (NCCA), CBSO Chorus, Birmingham Royal Ballet. Previous credits include: The BFG (Birmingham Rep); Nowhere To Go (Roundhouse); The Future We Want (UN Palais de Nations Geneva); Princess Mononoke International Tour (AiiA Theatre Tokyo); Princess Mononoke (New Diorama); Wild Swans (Young Vic); Backbone Bistro (Bush Theatre).

Additional information

If The Lights Are Too Bright was developed with the support of the National Theatre Young Studio, supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

33% London represents the percentage of Londoners under the age of 26.
33% London is supported by The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Garrick Charitable Trust, The Joanies Fund and The John Thaw Foundation.

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