Controversial sexual harassment drama opens new Cambridge Arts Theatre season

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet. The production is coming to Cambridge Arts Theatre. - Credit: Nobby Clark

A controversial drama kicks off the new season at Cambridge Arts Theatre next month.

Oleanna by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet will be the first production to take the stage at the reopened theatre following the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

You can see the two-character play about sexual harassment at the venue in St Edward's Passage from Tuesday, June 8 to Saturday, June 12.

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna.

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna. - Credit: Nobby Clark

When David Mamet’s Oleanna opened nearly 30 years ago, it caused uproar among audiences from New York to London. 

Directed by Lucy Bailey, the production coming to Cambridge stars Jonathan Slinger (Trouble in Mind) as John and Rosie Sheehy (Uncle Vanya) as Carol.

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet.

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Set on an American campus, a seemingly innocuous conversation between a college professor and his female student warps into a nightmare which threatens to destroy them both, when she files a claim of sexual harassment against him.

With its take on the corrosive excesses of political correctness and exploration of the use and abuse of language, this is the ultimate drama of pupil power and student revenge.

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Addressing issues which are strikingly current, this new production is a fascinating opportunity to see this landmark play from the perspective of our #MeToo era, following its success at the Theatre Royal Bath. 

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna.

Jonathan Slinger as John and Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Oleanna was written in 1992 by American playwright, film director, screenwriter and author David Mamet, of Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow fame, and premiered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

In 1993, Harold Pinter directed the production at the Royal Court Theatre starring David Suchet and Lia Williams.

You can see the latest production of the play from Tuesday, June 8 in Cambridge, with performances at 7.30pm each night, along with matinees on the Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet.

Rosie Sheehy as Carol in Oleanna by David Mamet. The play can be seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre in June. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Tickets cost £20, £25, £30 and £35. All ticket prices include a £3 per ticket booking fee.

The show comes with a 12+ age guidance.

Call the box office on 01223 503333 or visit www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

Jonathan Slinger as John in Oleanna. David Mamet's play can be seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre in June.

Jonathan Slinger as John in Oleanna. David Mamet's play can be seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre in June. - Credit: Nobby Clark


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