European premiere of Aherns and Flaherty's DESSA ROSE opens at Trafalgar Studios this Summer


Trafalgar Studios (Studio 2)
14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY 
Tuesday 29th July – Saturday 30th August 2014
Press Night: Thursday 31st July, 7pm 

This July, the European premiere of the uniquely stirring musical drama Dessa Rose is coming to London’s West End. Dessa Rose is based on the book by Sherley Anne Williams with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once On This Island, Seussical and Rocky The Musical) who have won Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards and been nominated for Grammys, Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.

This powerful and moving story, set in 1846 in the ante-bellum South, follows two young women on their journey to acceptance. With elements of blues, folk, hymns and gospel, Dessa Rose perfectly blends history and fiction. The storytelling for which Ahrens and Flaherty are most famous is masterfully exhibited throughout. Passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave faced with a barrage of hardships because of the colour of her skin. While Ruth, a young white mother, faces difficulties because of her gender.

Ruth and Dessa ‘hand down the story’ to their grandchildren, reliving the adventure they experienced together. Through their extraordinary tale we see their deep and lasting bond and how this makes them part of a ‘long, strong line of women’.

Multi-award winning director Andrew Keates, who recently spoke at this year’s West End Eurovision challenging the stigma surrounding HIV in support of the MAD Trust, said: ‘In our current political climate, I can think of no better time to tell this visceral story of how we can learn from those that are different to us and also form lifelong relationships indiscriminate of age, gender and race.’

Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios is produced by Arion Productions, acclaimed for Passing By, As Is, Rooms – A Rock Romance and Howard Goodall’s A Winter’s Tale. Arion work with the primary goal of presenting theatrical pieces based entirely on their artistic merit, regardless of form. At Arion, ‘the work’ is what matters the most.

Listings Info

Dessa Rose

Tuesday 29th July – Saturday 30th August 2014 Monday to Saturday, 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees, 3pm

Tuesday 5th August, Tuesday 12th August and Tuesday 19th August. Discussions will include the director and members of the cast

2 hours including interval
Studio 2, Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY

Trafalgar Studios is located on Whitehall. The nearest underground stations are Charing Cross (on the Bakerloo and Northern lines), Embankment (on the Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines), Westminster (on the Jubilee, Circle and District lines) and Leicester Square (on the Northern and Piccadilly lines). The nearest rail station is Charing Cross.

@DessaRoseUK, @ArionProds, @TrafStudios
Tickets are available priced £15, £22.50 and £30 from Trafalgar Studios