Jinny - Part of Derby Theatre's RETOLD series
A Derby Theatre Production part of Derby Theatre’s RETOLD series
A new play by Jane Wainwright
Directed by Sarah Brigham
Performed by Joanna Simpkins
Monday 7 – Wednesday 23 March
A contemporary new play responding to Osborne’s iconic Look Back in Anger from a female Jimmy Porter of today
Derby Theatre is delighted to present Jinny, a new play by Jane Wainwright, which responds to John Osborne’s iconic Look Back in Anger from a female perspective, on selected dates between Mon 7 until Wed 23 March.
Jinny (directed by Sarah Brigham and performed by Joanna Simpkins, pictured left) is part of Derby Theatre’s RETOLD series, which aims to crack open the classics from the perspective of female characters, as well as giving exciting female contemporary writers the opportunity to have their work performed on the main stage at Derby Theatre. The new play is a humorous and poignant response piece to Osborne’s classic and has been built on research and development with women living in Derby today and is a story of a young woman trying to cope with the world she finds herself in. Jinny is the female Jimmy Porter from Look Back in Anger.
Jinny is 25 and going nowhere - unless being evicted is a destination? Jinny is all the things she feels she 'should' be: strong, outspoken and armed with a degree, but it turns out that isn't enough. In a world where your mate earns more than your dad and folk go to the supermarket with no bra on, Jinny wants more. But when everyone is promised everything, what happens when there's not enough to go round? Jinny puts Derby's women centre stage as the 'angry young man' becomes today's ‘angry young women’.
Originally from Derbyshire, Jane Wainwright was a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme, Invitation Group and 'Supergroup'. Jane writes for TV, theatre and radio and is currently developing a radio play for BBC Radio 4.
Sarah Brigham (Director of Jinny and Look Back in Anger) said: “Jinny takes the character of Jimmy Porter and looks at a female 2016 equivalent. We researched with women across Derby to see what challenges they face today and those findings have been the basis for the script. Joanna Simpkins who we've cast is a fantastic actor who I think will bring a real truth to the role. Expect to hear the story of a brassy woman living in Derby who was promised it all and still wondering what "all" is.
The idea behind the RETOLD series, of which Jinny is a part, was born out of me feeling there was a lack of female characters in the classic plays being staged in British Theatre and this series of plays would be a perfect way to rebalance this by producing contemporary pieces exploring the classics from the perspective of the female characters. I am also keen and passionate about profiling the work of today’s female writers who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to have their work performed on a main stage in a professional theatre.”
Other RETOLD plays in the Derby Theatre series have included: Penelope RETOLD (2014) by Caroline Horton, a companion piece to The Odyssey, and JOAN which premiered in the Derby Theatre Studio in July 2015 – written by Lucy Skilbeck and performed by Lucy Jane Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer Drag Idol Champion 2014.
Jinny is a curtain raiser and response piece to Look Back in Anger (which has been co-produced with Octagon Theatre Bolton). Jinny will run on selected days between Monday 7 and Wednesday 23 March, with Look Back in Anger running from Friday 4 until Sat 26 March.
Look Back in Anger smashed onto the scene and changed the face of British theatre in the mid-1950s, by placing on stage the voice of the ‘Angry Young Man’. The play has a huge local resonance in Derby, as it is a strongly autobiographical piece which suggests it is based on Osborne's unhappy marriage to actress Pamela Lane, and their life living in a cramped flat in Derby during the 50s.
In 2016, Derby Theatre looks forward to presenting both plays to the audiences of today.