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- And your husband forgave you. But what did you do? Decided that forgiveness was offensive and walked out on your marriage. With nothing. Into nothing.
- Into everything, I think.
It's 1959. Robert leaves Ibsen's A Doll's House outraged by its attack on the sanctity of marriage; his wife Daisy dashes round to the stage door, in love with both Nora and the actress who plays her, thrilled by their promise of escape.
Daisy is at the crossroads. Her moral compass tells her to go one way, society the other. What she chooses to do next will have consequences not just for her and Robert, but for four couples who come after them over ninety years.
The truth is we have to give up parts of ourselves if we want to be with someone. And what if, before you know this, you run away from the wrong person?
Samuel Adamson's Wife premiered at Kiln Theatre, London, in May 2019.
For Lilly and her mother, going to Indonesia isn't just another holiday. It's an escape and a new start. But when Will takes a gentle ride along the beach on an elephant called Oona, calamity strikes. As a tsunami comes crashing towards them, Oona charges deep into the jungle, her young rider desperately clinging on. Miles from civilisation, there's wonder, discovery and treetop adventures among the orang-utans. But then as Lilly's thoughts turn to his mother left behind on the beach, tigers prowl, hunger hits, and she must learn to survive the rainforest. Samuel Adamson's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's novel Running Wild was premiered by the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre in 2015. It received its professional premiere in May 2016, in a Regent's Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre co-production. Running Wild was winner of Best Show for Children and Young People at the 2015 UK Theatre Awards.
Samuel Adamson's plays include: Some Kind of Bliss (Trafalgar Studios), All About My Mother (from Almodovar; Old Vic), Fish and Company (Soho Theatre/National Youth Theatre), Southwark Fair (National Theatre), Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie (Bush Theatre/Channel 4), Grace Note (Peter Hall Company/Old Vic), Clocks and Whistles (Bush Theatre) and contributions to the 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), A Chain Play (Almeida Theatre) and Urban Scrawl (TheatreVoice/Theatre 503). Adaptations include: Ibsen's Pillars of the Community and Mrs Affleck, from Ibsen's Little Eyolf, (both at the National Theatre) A Doll's House (Southwark Playhouse); Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (Oxford Stage Company/Riverside Studios) and Three Sisters (OSC/Whitehall Theatre); Schnitzler's Professor Bernhardi (Dumbfounded Theatre/Arcola Theatre/Radio 3) and Bernhard Studlar's Vienna Dreaming (National Theatre Studio). Radio includes: Tomorrow Week (Radio 3). Film includes Running for River (Directional Studios/Krug). He was Pearson Writer in Residence at the Bush in 1997-8.
The Value of Something is Never its Price. In a trading town on the banks of the river, penniless Larisa is desperate to marry and escape heartbreak and humiliation. But in this brutal world of transactions true love has no worth. Larisa is up for sale and the local merchants want a bargain. Samuel Adamson's version of Alexander Ostrovsky's rarely seen, sharp and darkly funny play Larisa and the Merchants, premiered at the Arcola in May 2013, produced by InSite Performance.
Small-time hack Rachel sets off down the Thames Path for an interview. But between London Bridge and the celebrity lies a series of unpredicted events. This is a play about how a walk on an everyday Wednesday can become an odyssey that turns your life upside down.
Tea's cold, lunch is late and the great Professor has turned out to be a fraud - for Uncle Vanya, life has gone wonky, it's gone to hell. Only one thing can save him - a glamorous woman's love. But she's not interested either. And what's worse, she's married to the Professor. Samuel Adamson new version of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya - a dark and funny exploration of cross-purposed love, bitter jealousy and a dysfunctional family - opened at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, in February 2015.
I know. No country matters. Not in the kitchen. Not on a Sunday. Not in England. After six lonely weeks with nobody but her disabled boy for company, Rita Affleck, wealthy, beautiful and consumed by jealous love, welcomes home her husband Alfred. But, far from the passionate reunion she so craves, there is only torment as Alfred's possessive half-sister arrives, and he announces his great revelation. I want things how they were ... My perfect poet ... 1945, one afternoon in London - on the floor, every last undiluted drop of you. Taking Ibsen's Little Eyolf as the inspiration for a passionate and tragic tale of obsessive love, set in 1950s England, Samuel Adamson's Mrs Affleck opened at the National Theatre, London, in January 2009.
Past misdemeanours bear down on the present when Patrick calls up one lover with another in mind. When his wife discovers what he's up to, she pursues his discarded date through the maelstrom of the South Bank, where a Bird Whistler flogs his wares, a trainee barista primes himself for his wedding, and an elderly actress stalks the Deputy Mayor of London. Unexpectedly connected by time and place, a tangle of lost souls fight, fall in love and lay their private fears bare in this extraordinary, evocative, metropolitan comedy.
No one has recognised Reade Collins in the street for over a decade. Suddenly everyone seems to know who he is again - things are looking up. But there's a flip side to second-hand fame - and Reade discovers that there's more than one way of getting shafted. Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie is a wildly entertaining look at the nature of celebrity. Drink, Dance, Laugh and Lie premiered at the Bush Theatre, London, in 1999.
I'm done, Father, Keep your crown, I swear you'll never bring me down! I am not queen material! Once, in opposing kingdoms lived a princess and a prince who had lost their mothers. Althea, unable to cry, became light with grief and floated, and so was locked away. Digby, so heavy-hearted that he could never smile, one day declares war. Althea, forced out of hiding, escapes, only to encounter the solemn prince on contested land and the warring heirs begin a passionate affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must first face her own deepest fears.
Characters: 3 males, 4 females, 2 boys (aged 9) plus Extras
Scenery: A house, a tea-house, a beach
Samuel Adamson takes Ibsen's Little Eyolf, a haunting psychodrama of guilt, sexual frustration and self-deceit, and re-locates it to 1950s England. Rita Affleck is a sensual, intelligent woman, stifled by circumstances. Her troubled ex -serviceman husband Alfred returns home after six weeks in the Scottish Highlands and vows to devote himself to their disabled son Olly. Rita decides that Olly has stolen Alfred from her and claims her right to her husband's unconditional love. When he overhears their arguments, Olly - who was crippled whilst his parents were preoccupied with lovemaking - follows the mysterious Flea into the sea, and tragedy ensues. Mrs Affleck was presented at the National Theatre in 2009, directed by Marianne Elliott and starring Claire Skinner and Angus Wright.
"Laden with fine writing (and) a keen dramatic intelligence... " The Independent
..". a powerful re-working of this bleak indictment of parental egocentricity." Daily Express
"Three Sisters" is Anton Chekhov's dramatic play written in 1900 and first performed in 1901. The story concerns the lives of an aristocratic family, the Prozorovs, who struggle to search for meaning in the modern world. The three sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, along with their brother Andrei, are living in a small provincial town, yet they long to return to the urban sophistication of Moscow where they grew up. Chekhov's "Three Sisters" brilliantly depicts the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family as they struggle to contend with the decline of the privileged class in Russia at the turn of the 20th century. A classic of Russian drama, "Three Sisters" is considered one of Chekhov's major works and remains one of his most popular plays.
"Vienna, 1900. A Jewish doctor prevents a Catholic priest from absolving a dying patient. A witchhunt ensues.Arthur Schnitzler's work has come to define Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century. Written in 1912, Professor Bernhardi exposes the violent prejudices lurking beneath the city's glittering surface. Schnitzler's ""serious comedy"", in a spiky new version by award-winning playwright Samuel Adamson, made its first appearance in London since 1936 as the third and final production in the The Last Waltz Season at the Arcola Theatre, London in March 2005."
Shipbuilder Karsten Bernick is a respected, highly successful businessman in a small Norwegian coastal town but his wealth has been founded on a lie and now he is threatened with exposure. As the wily, unscrupulous Berniock struggles to preserve his standing in the community, he sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to destroy all he holds most dear.Samuel Adamson's highly-acclaimed new version of the Ibsen classic was presented at the National Theatre in 2005, directed by Marianne Elliott and starring Damian Lewis.
Specially commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Southwark Playhouse, Samuel Adamson's new version of A Doll's House brings zest to this classic play. Thus, the story of Nora, the delicate and over-protected wife of Torvald Helmer, who bravely walks away from her confined marriage in a quest for freedom and self-enlightenment, remains poignant and real for modern-day audiences. Naively, Nora has secretly borrowed money for her husband by forging her father's signature. Krogstad, her creditor, has discovered her fraud and threatens to expose her in order to ruin Torvald. When Torvald finally finds out, Nora is appalled that he would protect his own reputation rather than support her.
Calamity strikes when Bernick's business prowess and pristine reputation are threatened by the revelation of a long-buried secret. Desperate to dodge exposure in the kowtowing local community, Bernick devises a pitiless plan which, by a shocking twist of fate, risks the one life he holds dear. The centenary of Ibsen's death is marked with a vital new version of this rarely performed thriller, set amid a society struggling against the rush of capitalism, the lure of America and the passionate beginnings of the fight for female emancipation. Samuel Adamson version of Pillars of the Community premiered at the National Theatre, London, in October 2005.
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