All the world's a stage - especially in Camden Town

THE course of a Saturday night in Camden Town never did run smooth – and is now the subject of a new play opening at The Globe theatre.

Katie Davies

THE course of a Saturday night in Camden Town never did run smooth - and is now the subject of a new play opening at The Globe theatre.

The Frontline follows a busy night outside Camden Town tube station and is to be performed at the iconic theatre this summer.

It has been penned by actor Che Walker who is from Gospel Oak, and wrote his ideas backstage while appearing in the more traditional Globe fare of Othello.

"I've had the idea for many, many years," he explained. "It came from waiting for the night bus in Camden Town around 1am and seeing the incredible swirl of humanity.

"Othello's a long show. I would be offstage for nearly two hours and during that time I would go up to the attic, in full Elizabethan regalia with boots, frilly shirt, a big sword and write The Frontline by hand.

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"I could hear Othello coming through the floorboards, and it was quite trippy at times."

Mr Walker's black comedy intertwines the stories of several Camden characters including a drug addict, a hot dog seller and an actor.

The piece may come with a warning for bad language and strong content but it is eagerly awaited by even the most uptight critics, given Walker's CV.

His first play, Been So Long, opened at the Royal Court Theatre in 1998 and was runner-up for the Meyer-Whitworth and the John Whitting Awards.

In 2003 his play Flesh Wound won him the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright.

"I wanted to write it for years but was always afraid to because I knew that it needed a huge canvas and I knew that it needed lots of actors - we have 22 and they're on all the time, they very rarely go off stage. We're still working on a 20-piece gospel choir and string section.

"It's very, very diverse. There's a bare knuckle boxer, quite an unsuccessful bare knuckle boxer, there's a very meditative, peaceful bouncer, some strippers, an actor, a hot dog salesman, heroin addicts, singers, Christians and an Afghan radical."

The Frontline will run at The Globe from July 6 until August 17 and is being directed by Matthew Dunster.

Artistic Director of the theatre Dominic Dromgoole said: "It's a fantastic play and it'll be a big surprise here because it's very modern. It's full of wild and exciting events and stuff that hasn't been seen on stage here before but stuff which has been on stage here 400 years ago in any of those fantastic, wild, London comedies they used to put on here. We're very excited about it."

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