Sam Walters hopes swansong production helps Orange Tree Theatre into the future

Sam Walters: Leaving after many years of loyal service

Sam Walters: Leaving after many years of loyal service

First published in Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

The Orange Tree Theatre’s outgoing artistic director says he hopes his last production will give a nod to the future.

Three theatre programmes, including the return of popular lunchtime plays, make up the Orange Tree’s festival.

It includes revivals of plays by Stephen Jeffreys, Christopher Durang and Arlene Hutton as well as new works from David Lewis, Orlando Wells and Adam Barnard.

Currently working on War Horse, Andy Brunskill and Jimmy Grimes adapt short-story Death, Duck and the Tulip using puppetry.

National Theatre studio associate Amy Hodge devises a new physical dance piece about a woman aging from seven to 75.

All of the directors involved in the festival have been part of the Orange Tree’s trainee director scheme, which was established in 1986, with casting to be announced in due course.

Sam Walters, who founded the theatre in 1971 and is now Britain’s longest serving artistic director, is positive regarding the theatre’s future.

He says: “The final three weeks of June will see three programmes of theatre, offering nine pieces of work created and directed by 10 Orange Tree directors.

“I hope my final production celebrates the success of our trainee director scheme, draws on the work of writers known to us and others not and looks to the future.”

He received the Empty Space Peter Brook Award for Special Achievement last year and Paul Miller succeeds him in July.

For more details on the individual plays, visit

Orange Tree Theatre Festival; Orange Tree Theatre, Clarence Street, Richmond; June 9-29; tickets £15 evenings, £12 matinees, lunchtime plays £10, £5 for under 26s available for all performances, festival pass £30 (includes a ticket for programme one, programme two and the lunchtime programme); visit for more details.

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