20 March - 7 April 2012
by Greg Freeman
The playwright and creative team that brought you the Time Out Critics’ Choice shows of Doig – The Musical, with no singing, no dancing and very little music and Beak Street, return to the Tabard Theatre for Greg Freeman’s latest play – an allegorical comedy that explores the crisis of conscience of teddy bears.
Invited to a picnic in the woods, Alfie, Ludovic and Julius witness a disturbing incident that seriously alters their existence. In an unreal world that meets reality, three cuddly bears who cannot lie and a weird doll that can, embark on a precarious journey to save their skins.
No Picnic marks the third Greg Freeman show at the Tabard Theatre following the seminal critical smashes of Doig and Beak Street.
‘No Picnic is a rewarding piece of original theatre. It’s subversive, clever and leaves an audience satisfied they’ve seen a good story, well told: even if it’s not a story suitable for bedtime.’
– Entertainment Focus
‘No Picnic is another world premiere for the Tabard. It’s not hard to imagine this play being picked up by a bigger theatre interested in new writing. It is fresh, with a good blend of what is challenging, quirky, clever – and funny.’
‘Greg Freeman’s dark and funny play could be described as a mixture between Tim Burton, Terry Pratchett and The Simpsons, with its sudden twists and offbeat comic timings. The dialogue is fast and quick-witted but also looks at profound questions about morals, aging, self esteem and the human need to control others.’
Greg Freeman edited and adapted the only ever successful version of an American Sitcom ‘Who’s The Boss’ which became ‘The Upper Hand’ (ITV). He has since developed a career in the theatre. Writing credits include the Time Out Critics Choice shows of Doig… and Beak Street A (Tabard Theatre), Last Bus to Paradise (Underbelly, co-wrote and winner of the London New Play Festival), Take (Old Red Lion), Kathmandu (Menier Chocolate Factory and Pleasance Edinburgh) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (New End Theatre).
‘Theatre that from concept to execution is utterly bonkers but quite brilliant’
– Time Out Critics’ Choice for Greg Freeman’s Doig
‘a testament to Freeman’s faith in his imagination and ours’
– Time Out Critics’ Choice for Greg Freeman’s Beak Street
‘anyone who takes a seat at the Tabard, bringing their brain-box, with them will be proud to be one of the earliest to recognise its quality’
– Richmond & Twickenham Times on Greg Freeman’s Doig
‘a fine and powerful play that pulls no punches’
– Sutton Guardian on Greg Freeman’s Beak Street
No Picnic is directed by Ken McClymont who directed and designed Greg Freeman’s previous shows Doig… and Beak Street. He is also the former Artistic Director of The Old Red Lion Theatre. Whilst there he directed over thirty premieres incl: Waiting for the Angels, Murder In Bridgport, Diaspora Jigs and Life After Life. Revivals include: A Chaste Maid In Cheapside (Old Red Lion) and The Slab Boys (Old Red Lion) which won Best Production of a Comedy Award (LFA). In 1989-90 he won an Outstanding Contribution to Fringe Theatre Award for programming of an exceptional standard at the Old Red Lion.