Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman will star in a drama about a world rationed by words

Jenna Coleman and Aidan Turner are to star together in a play that imagines a world where people are limited to a daily limit of 140 words each.

Sam Steiner’s 2015 drama Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons will be revived by Josie Rourke at London’s Harold Pinter Theater in January before playing at Manchester Opera House and Brighton’s Theater Royal.

With two hands, the piece shows the impact on a couple of a “law of silence” imposed by the government. “As pure theatre, the central idea is a dazzling one,” Rourke said. “Here is a world in which you are limited to 140 words a day. You see these two characters before and after the word count restriction is in place. Are they a better or stronger couple with more words? »

In the simplest sense, it’s a play in which “two people meet, fall in love, grow together, break up, and fight to stay together,” she continued. “Like any great relationship drama, there’s the breathless risk of will/won’t they? It’s thrilling and especially dynamic when they do it within that word limit. It’s thrilling in this play because Sam Steiner play with this great idea and with time.

Coleman and Turner are “both brilliant at making complex things clear and moving,” Rourke said. Steiner praised the couple for combining “magnetic charisma with real humanity and nuance.” Coleman played Doctor Clara’s companion in Doctor Who and starred in both The Serpent and The Sandman on television; she appeared onstage in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the Old Vic in 2019. Turner, best known for playing the title role in BBC’s Poldark, starred earlier this year as a psychologist in The Suspect d ‘ITV; he appeared in a 2018 West End production of Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Steiner, who in later plays imagined the reincarnation of Kanye West as a middle-class Briton and built a story around a game of table tennis, described Lemons as “a romantic comedy about communication at the both personal and political. He added: “I think the piece’s central exploration of how we derive meaning from language, its ability to both liberate and limit us, to connect and separate us, has has only gained in resonance over the years since it was written.”

The impact of such a “law of silence” on everyday life and “the restriction of discussing big topics” makes the play “deeply funny, dangerous and moving”, Rourke said. “We are at a time when – albeit indirectly – theater must help us to digest how we have lived and changed through the extremes of recent years. Sam’s play allows us to find the humanity in the way people and couples go through extreme situations.There is potential here for great joy, pleasure, reflection and healing.

Steiner’s play premiered at the Warwick Arts Center in 2015 and won acclaim at the National Student Drama Festival before having three performances on the outskirts of Edinburgh. “The piece was written to be performed in small venues for friends of friends with no set, props, lighting, or sound design – a practical necessity that we turned into an aesthetic choice,” Steiner said. “So the idea of ​​revisiting the play in this context with such an alarming and inspiring creative team feels like a dizzying, ridiculous and deeply exciting creative challenge.”

  • Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons is at the Harold Pinter Theater in London from January 18th to March 18th. It then takes place at the Manchester Opera House (March 21-25) and the Theater Royal Brighton (March 28-April 1).

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