59E59 TheatersÂ (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) is thrilled to launch the 10th annualÂ Brits Off BroadwayÂ festival withÂ THE TAILOR OF INVERNESS, writtenÂ byÂ Matthew Zajac, and directed byÂ Ben HarrisonÂ (of Scotland’s famed Grid Iron Theatre Company). Produced by Dogstar Theatre (Inverness, Scotland),Â THE TAILOR OF INVERNESSÂ begins performances onÂ Tuesday, April 14Â for a limited engagement throughÂ Sunday, May 3.Â Â Press opening is Sunday, April 19 at 3:30 PM.Â Â The performance schedule isÂ Tuesday â€“ Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturday at 2:30 PM & 8:30Â PM; andÂ Sunday atÂ 3:30 PM. Performances are atÂ 59E59 TheatersÂ (59 East 59thÂ Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets areÂ $25Â ($17.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, callÂ Ticket CentralÂ at (212) 279-4200Â or go toÂ www.59e59.org.
“I come from the Soviets and the Nazis. Now I am here. I am from here. I speak the language of here.â€
Matthew Zajacâ€™s internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning play is a story of a sonâ€™s search for his father, a story of 20th century Europe, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) came to be a tailor in northern Scotland. Called “a resonant meditation on what can become of families when countries shift beneath their feet” by The Guardian,Â THE TAILOR OF INVERNESSÂ is a poignant storyÂ of deception, identity and survival.
Actor/writerÂ Matthew ZajacÂ (whose performance was called “a triumph of evocative staging and storytelling” by The Observer) is joined onstage by one of Scotland’s leading fiddlers,Â Aidan O’RourkeÂ (who with his band Lau, was named ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards).
The set and costume designer isÂ Ali Maclaurin; the lighting designer isÂ Kai Fischer.Â Tim ReidÂ is the video designer. The sound designer isÂ Timothy Brinkhurst. The musical directors areÂ Jonny HardieÂ andÂ Gavin Marwick. The production stage manager isÂ Katie Kavett.
As an actor,Â Matthew ZajacÂ (playwright/performer) has worked at the Citizens Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, the Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre and the Young Vic. He was a founding member of Plain Clothes Productions, producing, acting and directing for the company’s six productions, including George Devine Award-winnerÂ Blue Night in the Heart of the West,Â A Prick-Song for the New Leviathan,Â WolfÂ andÂ Her Sisters Tongue. Matthew has produced two films,Â The Beauty of the Common ToolÂ (1st Prize at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival) and the digital featureÂ Gordon Bennett. Other recent work includes Creon inÂ AntigoneÂ (TAG),Â Karl Marxs BeardÂ (Arches/Traverse),Â MonksÂ (Royal Lyceum) and screen appearances inÂ The Planman,Â Taggart,Â Inspector George Gently,Â ShetlandÂ (ITV),Â Still Game,Â Fiona’sÂ Story,Â Garrow’s LawÂ (BBC),Â High TimesÂ (STV),Â Low Winter SunÂ (C4), and the feature filmsÂ Young Adam,Â Man To ManÂ andÂ Valhalla Rising. Zajac wrote and performedÂ The Tailor of InvernessÂ for Dogstar, winning both a Scotsman Fringe First and the Stage Award for Best Solo Performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as the Best Actor Award at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland.Â The Tailor of InvernessÂ went on to run for a month at the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival, winning nominations for Best Production and Best Performance. This production has now had four sell-out Scottish tours and has also toured to Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine (twice), USA, Germany, Wales, and Ireland. The Tailor of InvernessÂ was adapted into a book that was published in 2013 by Sandstone Press.
Ben HarrisonÂ (director)Â has been Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron since 1996, since which time the company won 28 awards. His productions for Grid Iron include:Â Letters HomeÂ (Fringe First Award);Â The Authorised Kate Bane;Â What Remains;Â Spring AwakeningÂ (co-production with the Traverse Theatre);Â Decky Does a BroncoÂ (2010; 2000-2001 Scottish, Irish and English tours, the latter with the Almeida Theatre, Fringe First Award),Â Huxleyâ€™s LabÂ (co-production with Lung Haâ€™s Theatre Company),Â Barflies (Fringe First Award); TrystÂ (a commission from Stavanger 2008);Â YarnÂ (co-produced with Dundee Rep);Â Once Upon A DragonÂ (Grid Iron/Imaginate/Edinburgh International Childrenâ€™s Festival);Â RoamÂ (Grid Iron/NTS/BAA Edinburgh International Airport, multiple awards including CATS Best Production),Â The Devilâ€™s LarderÂ (multiple awards including Fringe First);Â Those Eyes, That MouthÂ (multiple awards including Fringe First); Variety; Fermentation; Monumental; GargantuaÂ (Fringe First);Â The Bloody ChamberÂ (Herald Angel Award);Â andÂ Clearance.Â From 2000-2002 he was Associate Director (Education) of the Almeida Theatre in London, where he directedÂ Caledonian Road; A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; The Whizzkid; Decky Does A BroncoÂ (co-produced with Grid Iron);Â Ghost Ward; The Last ValentineÂ andÂ Into Our Dreams. Other work includesÂ The Tree of KnowledgeÂ for the Traverse Theatre,Â Hadda and Hassan Lekliches!Â For NTS/Oran Mor,Â Bint JbeilÂ for NTS Workshop, andÂ You Tell Us What Was We Tell You What IsÂ for NTS Learn. In 2008 he directedÂ The Tailor of InvernessÂ at the Edinburgh Fringe for Dogstar which won four awards including a Fringe First and has subsequently toured to Australia, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, USA, Denmark, Poland and Ukraine and played 200 times. He is also the Director of the global smash-hitÂ Peter PanÂ for 360 Entertainment (Kensington Gardens and the O2; US tour). His playÂ Vertical TransmissionÂ is currently in development at the National Theatre Studio.