World Stages

Tags: New Writing

World Stages is the first collaboration between eight London producing venues and 12 UK and international co-producers. Together they have created a series of outstanding theatre events that evoke the uniquely rich cultural mix that is London.

We have been supporting the international research and development of World Stages. The countries from which the productions draw their inspiration include India, China, France, South Africa, Germany, Estonia, Brazil, Cuba, Nigeria, Israel, Palestine and the USA.

The World Stages series of shows ran from 13 April – 23 June 2012: 

Wild Swans
13 April – 13 May 2012 @ Young Vic 

By Jung Chang
Adapted by Alexandra Wood
Directed by Sacha Wares

In a major international collaboration, the Young Vic, American Repertory Theatre and the Actors Touring Company present the first ever stage version of Jung Chang's Wild Swans, a sweeping narrative which takes the audience on a journey from the earliest days of communist hope and struggle, through the chaos and confusion of Mao's Cultural Revolution to the birth of a superpower. 

Three Kingdoms
3 – 19 May 2012 @ Lyric Hammersmith

By Simon Stephens
Directed by Sebastian Nübling

The Lyric Hammersmith presents the premiere of Three Kingdoms, a play by Simon Stephens about the European vice trade, in a major European co-production with TEATER NO99 and Munich Kammerspiele. The play tracks a nightmarish journey through the underbelly of modern Europe, spanning England, Germany and Estonia. It is performed in all three languages by an international cast. 

8 – 20 May 2012 @ Caledonian Park, Islington

Directed by Bill Mitchell

In a unique collaboration between Lyric Hammersmith, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Stratford East, WildWorks and Battersea Arts Centre present BABEL, a production of intimate but epic proportions. BABEL has been developed over two years and has involved a thousand Londoners from a wide range of communities in participatory projects exploring language, culture, ethnicity and identity. It will be performed by a cast of 500 community and professional actors and musicians. 

The Suit
21 May – 16 June 2012 @ Young Vic 

Written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne

The Suit is a musical play by Peter Brook and Marie-Helene Estienne based on the hauntingly beautiful fable by South African journalist and writer Can Themba. With an original score by Franck Krwczyk, it will be performed by a company of South African and French actors, singers and musicians. 

The Beloved
21 May – 9 June @ The Bush Theatre

Written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi

Inspired by the Biblical and Koranic story of Abraham and Isaac/Ishmael, trailblazing Palestinian theatre company ShiberHur returns to London for the world premiere of The Beloved. The story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son is a meeting place of three great religions and has been the subject of literature, art and philosophy throughout the ages.

Wah! Wah! Girls
24th May – 23 June 2012 @ Peacock Theatre

By Tanika Gupta
Directed by Emma Rice

East London meets Bollywood in a sparkling new musical, the first collaboration between Sadler's Wells, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Kneehigh. The show is a passionate and playful story of love against the odds, inspired by the world of the Mujira dancers who for generations entertained the rich and powerful.

World Stages Showcase weekends

The British Council will be collaborating with Arts Council England and World Stages on the organisation of two weekend showcases in May. These showcases are intended for UK and international producers and programmers interested in international collaboration and co-production possibilities. As well as World Stages performances, there will be writer and artists talks, seminars and post-show discussions. Dates are 11 - 13 May and 25 - 27 May. 

Forthcoming productions in 2013

Yoruba (working title)

A Royal Court/Young Vic collaboration exploring the journey of Yoruba culture, tradition and religion, as it moved through slavery from west Africa to the Americas. This powerful story will be told by playwrights from Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba, the USA and the UK.

Climate Refugees - the Opera (working title)

A new piece of musical theatre by Jonathan Dove, specially written to be performed across and between three continents in real time. In May 2013, the internet and large scale screens will be used to link stories sung by three communities, on open-air stages in Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and London.

Find out more on the World Stages website


  • London, UK

    13th Apr 2012 - 23rd Jun 2012
  • London, UK

    13th Apr 2012 - 16th Jun 2012

    Young Vic
    66 The Cut
    London SE1 8LZ

  • London, UK

    3rd May 2012 - 19th May 2012

    Lyric Hammersmith
    Kings Mall
    Lyric Square
    London W6 0QL

  • London, UK

    8th May 2012 - 20th May 2012

    Caledonian Park
    Market Road

  • London, UK

    21st May 2012 - 9th Jun 2012

    Bush Theatre
    7 Uxbridge Road
    London W12 8LJ

  • London, UK

    24th May 2012 - 23rd Jun 2012

    Peacock Theatre
    Portugal Street
    London WC2A 2HT

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