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Ustinov Studio

Agnes Colander

  • March & April 2018
Agnes Colander

Event Information

World Premiere
Ustinov Studio
15 March - 14 April 2018

“We should all have been taught more of life and less good manners” Agnes Colander

The role played by Harley Granville Barker in the development of modern British Theatre is impossible to overestimate. The first ever performance of a new comedy by Granville Barker is without doubt a remarkable occasion. As Trevor Nunn makes his Ustinov debut, Bath audiences will be the first in the world to enjoy this thrilling new discovery written by one of the great playwrights of the age.

It is three years since Agnes, an artist, left her unfaithful husband Henry. Now he writes to her in her Kensington studio begging to reunite, but Agnes married young; her innocence has gone and her ambition and independence is growing. As she travels from London to France, Agnes finds herself torn between Otho, a worldly Danish artist and Alec, an infatuated younger suitor, between a longing to paint and be an independent woman and a yearning to be loved.

This witty and compelling exploration of love, sexual attraction and independence was written in 1900 and unearthed among Granville Barker’s papers in the British Library a century later.

The author of the masterpieces The Voysey Inheritance and Waste, Barker was a champion of contemporary realism. Like his influences Ibsen and Shaw, his work gave an urgent voice to women on the cusp of suffrage. Decades ahead of its time, Agnes Colander reflects a female independence and a determination for change that still resonates today.

World Premiere
Ustinov Studio
15 March – 14 April 2018

Written by Harley Granville Barker

Revised by Richard Nelson

Directed by Trevor Nunn

Cast includes Naomi Frederick as Agnes, Sally Scott as Emmeline Marjoribanks and Freddy Carter as Alexander Flint.

Trevor Nunn is a former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. His extensive and multi award-winning repertoire ranges from Les Miserables to The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

Richard Nelson is a multi award-winning playwright and librettist. He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels “Master Playwright” Award.

Naomi Frederick was hugely acclaimed for her performances in Bath and the West End opposite Martin Shaw in Hobson’s Choice and F. Murray Abraham in The Mentor. Other recent stage credits include The Heresy of Love at the Globe and the West End musical Made in Dagenham.