Fertile ground: The Stable brings arts & science together in The Rhythm Method

02 May
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Staff
The Rhythm Method

The Stable has announced casting and dates for THE RHYTHM METHOD, a new British musical in the making about fertility, which has limited London dates in May at the Bush and Landor Theatres with a series of post-show expert discussions...

A show about the stuff that’s difficult to talk about - sex, relationships and contraception. THE RHYTHM METHOD headlines Fertility Fest (12-13 May 2018) at The Bush Theatre and then transfers to The Landor for a run of six performance showcases with audience discussions from 14 to 18 May 2018. The cast of top West End actors comprises Fra Fee, Melanie Marshall, Emile Ruddock, Jennifer Caldwell and Annie Wensak.

THE RHYTHM METHOD is set in the near future where family planning no longer receives state support, telling the emotional and physical journey of the friends that meet at Lady Pearl Grey’s (Melanie Marshall) cosy little Tea House, where the brew is hot and the eggs are freshly laid – and all served with love and understanding. After all, the Tea House sports a weathered green plaque outside, for it was once the first Marie Stopes’ Mothers’ Clinic founded in 1921.

As the welfare state fades and austerity kicks in, the Tea House is a lifeline for the ever-changing facts (and fictions) of life. Pearl and her dearest friend Mimi (Annie Wensak) have shared a lifetime of experience in family-planning, and now they are needed more than ever. When grand-daughter Flick (Jennifer Caldwell) arrives and meets Fra Fee‘s young scientist Sol who is on the brink of medical greatness, can each find their true rhythm and the best method by which to live it? 

With only six performances at The Landor, the audience will be given a unique musical theatre experience to see THE RHYTHM METHOD showcase, directed by Titania Krimpas. The audience will then play an important role themselves in helping to inform and evolve the musical to the next stage of the show’s life, by joining the creative team and the fertility experts contributing to the development of the project, for a lively discussion. 

THE RHYTHM METHOD is the small and perfectly formed chamber musical, by the writing partnership of singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Gwyneth Herbert and playwright Diane Samuels. Their first musical collaboration was The A-Z Of Mrs P, about the pioneering Phyllis Pearsall mapping an entire city into her 1936 pocket-sized A-Z Street Guide at Southwark Playhouse (2014). Gwyneth is currently touring Letters I Haven’t Written with her band, and Diane's hauntingly moving play Kindertransport is currently on national tour. 

Fertility experts joining THE RHYTHM METHOD discussions include: Lesley Hall (retired curator at the Wellcome Trust, specialist in Family Planning history); Alana Harris (Catholic academic specialising in religion and contraception); Ann Eady (pioneering family planning nurse, coil specialist) and John Guillebaud (academic in reproductive medicine / population activist). The musical is produced by The Stable with development support from The Wellcome Trust.