Former London Theatre Critic Nicholas de Jongh to Premiere New Play That Crosses Time Zones

By Mark Shenton
03 Jul 2014

Nicholas de Jongh, formerly the long-serving chief theatre critic of London's Evening Standard newspaper, is to have his latest play premiered at the Drayton Arms pub theatre in South Kensington.



The Unquiet Grave of Garcia Lorca will receive its world premiere in a production beginning performances Sept. 30 for a run through Oct. 25. Hamish MacDougall will direct the play, which crosses time zones between 1936 and 2009, and is set in London and Spain.

It is 1936 with Spain riven with violence and poised on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war. A respectable London publisher with undercover M16 connections helps arrange for two young blondes and one adventurous English man to commandeer a British plane to undertake a risky flight to the Canary Islands and collect a Very Important Person. It is 2008 and a minister in David Cameron's administration and his wife are drinking Sangria in the garden of their new Granadian holiday home when they receive a mighty shock. It is 2009 and Alex, a young theatre critic, travels to Madrid to pick up a gift for his friend Harry, a very old actor, that is too precious to be sent by post. What he discovers forges a vital link between the present and the past.

According to press materials, the play "creates a kaleidoscope of known facts, speculative fantasies and recent revelations. It offers a challenging new perspective on events leading up to the mysterious assassination of the famous gay Spanish playwright and poet, Garcia Lorca in August 1936 and spotlights Britain's covert, shameful role in Spain's civil war, a role fashioned by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden that both betrayed Spain's democratic government and turned a blind eye to Hitler and Mussolini's military support for General Franco, in defiance of a Non Intervention pact."

De Jongh, whose previous plays include Plague over England, which transferred to the West End's Duchess after its premiere at another West London pub theatre the Finborough, has stated that the play takes its inspiration from Peter Day's 2011 book, "Franco's Friends: How British Intelligence Helped Bring Franco to Power in Spain" and Spanish newspaper reports in which Lorca's last, secret lover revealed his identity. 



To book tickets and for further details, visit www.draytonsrmstheatre.co.uk.