• English premiere of Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s An Arab Woman Speaks
• World premiere of play by pre-eminent South African playwright Jessica Siân: My Last Duchess
• Radical solo stagings of works by Ibsen, Cervantes, Lorca, Goethe, Schiller (the Faction’s acclaimed Joan of Arc) and Aeschylus

The Faction, pioneers of 21st Century repertory theatre and producers of critically acclaimed sell-out seasons as one of New Diorama’s associate ensembles, will present a brand new edition of their Off West End award-nominated Reptember Reloaded series of solo reinterpretations of classic and rarely-adapted plays in January 2016.

The epic rarely performed true story An Arab Woman Speaks will be seen in the England for the first time. Dario Fo – the celebrated Italian playwright and Nobel Laureate who originally brought the story to stage in 1972 – has given personal permission for the production to be staged after exploring The Faction’s work.

As the Middle East continues to descend into chaos, this story of one woman’s incredible struggle to define her place in society, and how the search leads her to be involved in the region’s political upheaval, adds rich context to the region’s 21st century turmoil. Fullbright scholar, director and actor Sahar Assaf will be joining the company from Lebanon especially to play this role.

Reptember Reloaded also sees acclaimed South African writer Jessica Siân write a new piece for The Faction, My Last Duchess, following her critically acclaimed debut with Klippies at the Southwark Playhouse for which she is an Off West End Award ‘Most Promising New Playwright’ nominee.

My Last Duchess explores the position of women in contemporary society, drawing influence from the tragedy of Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius.

Giving a total of five new writers the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of literary giants, Reptember Reloaded will also feature lucid, vivid revivals of works by Ibsen, Cervantes, Lorca, Goethe, Schiller (the company’s acclaimed Joan of Arc) and Aeschylus.

The Faction’s mission is to bridge the gap between classical theatre and new writing as Co-Artistic Director Rachel Valentine Smith, who is curating Reptember Reloaded, explains “These pieces celebrate the writer-actor-director alchemy. They speak of compelling, important and personal circumstances relating to the individual or a specific community. They are imperative pieces of theatre expressed through these exciting emerging talents, standing on the shoulders of literary giants. It’s a unique theatrical event giving audiences the opportunity to affordably curate their own theatregoing experience.”

All of this is part of The Faction’s vision to deliver a European repertory theatre model in the UK. “From the very beginning of The Faction we were inspired by the ensembles of Berlin: the Schaubühne, the Deutsches Theater, the Maxim Gorki Theater, and Ivo Van Hove’s Toneelgroep Amsterdam. We’re running for seven days per week for the first time, with a mixed and varied programme presenting 12 different productions across a five week season” says Artistic Director Mark Leipacher who is quick to acknowledge New Diorama Theatre’s role in the process. “They’re the only organisation of which I’m aware placing ensembles at the centre of their vision. Without their continued support and partnership none of this would have been possible. Everyone at The Faction will always be grateful to David, Sophie, Helen, Sharon, Penny and the whole team for their guidance and generosity.”

Reptember Reloaded runs in rep with The Faction’s dramatic new 21-strong production of the first ever play the company produced at New Diorama Theatre: Richard III

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