Follow Us:


Follow theatre503 on Twitter

Extra Performance added for The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Craig Higginson

April 12th, 2012

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from audiences and the press to The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Craig Higginson, so much so that we’ve added a matinee performance on Sunday 14th April at 3pm due to popular demand. Book tickets here.

Audiences have been taking to twitter to share their thoughts here are just a few:

“#YellowDress503 @theatre503 is hysterical, insane, inspired. Free this week? Then go. Go see. Go now … I don’t think i’m being clear. GO!”

“The girl in the yellow dress was AMAZING @theatre503 today. I urge you to see it before it closes, just breathtaking theatre.”

For more audience response take a look at our Storify

Critical acclaim has include ★★★★ Reviews from The Times, The Evening Standard and Exeunt.

“An intricate, erotic dance through a minefield of race, power politics, desire and deception”
★★★★ The Times

“It’s the sort of performance that deserves to be rewarded come awards season”
★★★★ The Evening Standard CRITICS CHOICE

“Tim Roseman’s direction is seamless and energetic, his actors electric.”
★★★★ The Public Reviews

“Craig Higginson’s play is an absorbing study in the potency of language, delivered with verve in Tim Roseman’s shattering production.”
★★★★ Exeunt Magazine

We hope to see you soon.

The Girl in the Yellow Dress Rehearsal Diary

April 2nd, 2012

We’ve seen a fantastic response to Craig Higginson’s The Girl in the Yellow Dress which is currently playing at Theatre503, including nominations for both Fiona Button and Clifford Samuel in the Offies. As well as ★★★★ Reviews from The Times, The Evening Standard and Exeunt.

We thought you might like a peek behind the scenes, so we asked Theatre503’s Resident Assistant Director, Bethany Pitts to give us an insight into rehearsals….

The first day of rehearsals is always nerve wracking for all concerned, and it seems it doesn’t make any difference if you’ve done the show before. Joining on to a show being remounted with the same cast, (Fiona Button and Clifford Samuel) and director (Tim Roseman) was a bit like turning up mid term at school – except for immediately being bowled over by how open and welcoming everyone was, and how keen they were to achieve more than before with this new production.

Craig Higginson’s play has multiple layers which bear plenty of fruit a second time around, and what has been great about this rehearsal period is the opportunity to delve deeper into a text than is usually possible within the constraints of the conventional 4 week rehearsal schedule. Tim’s method for this re-rehearsal period has been to reinvestigate the work done before, to try new things and add an extra, beautifully intricate level of detail. With only a week to get it ready for the new space, time has of course been an issue but it has felt almost luxurious to be able to spend time closely examining each individual scene with fresh eyes, and of course, one new pair of eyes (my own).

Something that became apparent to me in our first week of round the table readings is that the delicacy of the play must be preserved above all. Each part is incredibly tightly structured and paced and finding the right rhythm, weaving the lightness and darkness together is key to discovering the arc of the play and taking the audience on the journey. We have run scenes with different objectives and intentions for the actors, testing what combination allows us to keep the audience on tenterhooks.

From an audience perspective, we enter into a two hander with a male and a female, and immediately, in the first scene, we know that Pierre has been following a “beautiful girl” around Paris. The enjoyment of the play therefore, particularly for a sophisticated London audience, is the unexpected twists and turns that this set up takes us to.

The nature of a two hander, and particularly a two hander covering the themes that this play does, is that it is incredibly intense, even more so that I had previously thought. This play is hugely demanding of the stamina of the actors as they are on stage almost all the time. ‘Off topic’ interludes are needed to ensure that it doesn’t all get too much at points, so conversations have ranged from the benefits of ASOS and zumba to the quality of Pimlico’s cafes (thumbs up for the falafel from Sand Café) and more dubious off licences (not so much for the off licence with the teetotal owner) .

Playing for a different space makes an immeasurable difference of course, and the early signs from the tech and dress period are that the intimacy of 503 really helps this play and the world of the play. James Perkins has reimagined his abstract Parisian set beautifully and the cast have enjoyed getting to know it as we have got into the theatre. Previews have shown so far too that the London audience really responds to this tautly constructed piece and these uncompromising characters. As Celia says, “We must make up stories to represent ourselves”; we look forward to seeing Pierre and Celia’s stories develop over the coming weeks.

The Girl in the Yellow Dress is presented by Theatre503 in Association with Salisbury Playhouse, and runs at Theatre503 until Saturday 14th April.

Photographs by Flavia Fraser Cannon

We’ve got some news…

March 29th, 2012

After five and a half years at the helm of this now acclaimed new writing theatre there will be a change of leadership at Theatre503. Tim Roseman, joint Artistic Director with Paul Robinson, will be leaving at the beginning of September 2012 to return to his freelance career; Paul will be staying at Theatre503 assuming the role of sole Artistic Director. Paul and Tim will end their tenure with a jointly-directed production of a new commission by several of Theatre503’s most exciting playwrights.

Tim and Paul in 2006

The pair joined the theatre in November 2006 and have since transformed the venue into an integral London theatre. Theatre503 has now become one of the most important venues for emerging writers in the country. The team have premiered full productions of 48 new plays and staged work by 140 first time writers. In 2010 the theatre became the smallest theatre ever to win the Olivier Award for Best New Play for their production of The Mountaintop. Their work has also been nominated for a further 17 major awards, including a further Olivier, two Evening Standard and two WhatsOnStage Awards.

The theatre is now enjoying a 300% audience increase, turnover has increased tenfold, and, crucially, writers are at the centre of every decision at Theatre503, led by the team of in-house playwrights, the 503Five.

Tim Roseman leaves to direct projects in Sydney and the West End. He said: “I am honoured to have played a small part in making Theatre503 a beacon for new writing. I have been privileged to lead this organisation with my dear friend Paul, and am delighted that he will take the helm to reinvent and re-imagine the theatre moving forward. I can think of no one better to take 503 to its next stage. I’d like to take this moment to thank everyone who has been so supportive during our time together here, to the teams who have worked so hard for little reward and to the breathtaking collection of artists, especially the playwrights, who have trusted us with their vision.”

Paul Robinson said: “I shall miss Tim hugely but wish him so much love and luck for the future. I gain immense strength from the artistic vision, energy and commitment Tim has injected into the theatre and the work we have created together. Now that we have worked so hard to establish 503 I’m thrilled by a raft of new possibilities and will relish making the theatre bolder and braver than ever. I’m really excited about a new era and can promise that 503 will continue to be a vital destination for the most exhilarating new writing.”

Emma Stenning, Chair of Theatre503 said: “Tim and Paul have proved to be a triumphant leadership team for Theatre503, making it an essential home for first time playwrights, producing work of the very highest calibre and securing the future of the organisation. This autumn is a time to celebrate that leadership and all it has achieved, whilst bidding Tim a fond farewell and raising a glass to a future under Paul’s solo Artistic Directorship.”

Currently playing at Theatre503 is Tim Roseman’s acclaimed production of Craig Higginson’s The Girl in the Yellow Dress, in association with Salisbury Playhouse, running until 14 April. It is followed by James Sheldon’s Shiverman, Jimmy Osborne’s Meat and LabFest, Theatre503’s annual festival of the hottest new plays.

Let us know your thoughts on twitter @Theatre503 or on Facebook

Beautiful shots of Girl in the Yellow Dress cast by Idil Sukan

March 7th, 2012

We had a fantastic photoshoot a couple of weeks ago to find the perfect image for our The Girl in the Yellow Dress posters. We thought you might like to see some more of the stunning photographs taken by Idil Sukan.

Craig Higginson’s beautifully crafted play is set in Paris where we met a young English woman Celia, who is teaching Pierre, a French-Congolese student.

As the lessons continue they leave the student-teacher relationship behind exposing their secrets and desires.

Following the success of the show in Salisbury in October last year, Fiona Button reprises her role as Celia, and Clifford Samuel returns as Pierre, directed by Theatre503’s own Tim Roseman.

“The two actors are superb … making their characters’ inner demons both believable and disturbing … Tim Roseman’s tight direction does not allow the audience a moment to relax their attention”

The Girl in the Yellow Dress is presented by Theatre503 in asssociation with Salisbury Playhouse will be at Theatre503 from Tuesday 20th March until Saturday 14th April.

For more information about Cast and Creatives and to book tickets take a look here.


Theatre503 in association with Salisbury Playhouse presents The Girl in the Yellow Dress

March 6th, 2012

Following its recent success at Salisbury Playhouse, Theatre503 presents The Girl in the Yellow Dress by South African playwright Craig Higginson. A heady mix of eroticism, racial tension and voyeurism, Higginson’s mesmerising play will run between 20 March and 14 April 2012. This will be the London debut for Higginson’s play, which will be directed by our Joint Artistic Director Tim Roseman.

Fiona Button as Celia, and Clifford Samuel as Pierre. Image by Idil Sukan

“You’re beautiful, clever, rich. Most of all you’re white. You can go anywhere.”

In the sultry Parisian summer, French-Congolese student Pierre begins learning grammar with young English tutor Celia and the seeds of an unexpected, erotically-charged relationship are sown. As the lessons progress, the teacher-pupil relationship is blurred, exposing dark motives, dangerous secrets and deep desire.

Originally receiving great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2010; The Girl in the Yellow Dress is Craig Higginson’s second original play, following Dream of the Dog, which opened in Grahamstown and the Market Theatre, South Africa in 2007. It then transferred to the Finborough in London and the Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End. Craig’s third play, Little Foot, will feature as part of the National Theatre’s 2012 Connections Festival this

Fiona Button who plays Celia returns as Tess Roberts in BBC 3’s highly anticipated second series of Lip Service this spring. Her theatre credits include Posh (Royal Court), Madame de Sade (Donmar at the Wyndham’s Theatre), Hayfever (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll (Duke of Yorks.) She was recently seen opposite Doctor Who star Karen Gillan in the BBC 4’s David Bailey biopic We’ll Take Manhattan.

Clifford Samuel’s theatre credits include Mother Courage and Her Children (National Theatre); Chasing the Movement (Arcola); The Changeling (Cheek by Jowl/Barbican) and Julius Caesar (RSC). Television credits include Tyrone Brooks in The Bill and BBC’s Roman Empire.

Following our fruitful co-production with Liverpool Everyman Playhouse that brough The Swallowing Dark by Lizzie Nunnery we’re very excited to be working again with a leading regional theatre, presenting The Girl in the Yellow Dress in Association with Salisbury Playhouse.

Book before 20th March with discount code EARLYBIRD to get 2 FOR 1 on all tickets.