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New Earth Theatre AND Arcola Theatre

New Earth Theatre AND Arcola Theatre

Announce  WORLD PREMIÈRE of The Apology

New Earth Theatre and Arcola Theatre, in association with The North Wall, today announce the world première of Kyo Choi’s The Apology, which explores the ‘comfort women’ of the Second World War and the subsequent political cover-up.

Based on true accounts by survivors, The Apology is a play about the meaning of justice in the face of atrocity. Directed by Ria Parry, the new production opens at Arcola Theatre on 19 September and runs until 8 October, with previews from 15 September.

Kumiko Mendl, Artistic Director of New Earth Theatre, said today, “I’m thrilled that New Earth will finally present Kyo Choi’s The Apology at the Arcola this autumn. When Kyo first began this play, there were less than fifty registered ‘comfort women’ still alive in South Korea. Now there are only fourteen, lending an urgency to a story that directly affected up to an estimated 200,000 women, not only from Korea. Developed through New Earth’s Professional Writers Programme, Kyo’s play brings this buried story to life. The quest for justice in the face of government sponsored atrocities against women continues to be as relevant today as it has ever been.”

Kyo Choi, writer, also said, “New Earth’s remit has been to champion BESEA talent, representation and voices. I didn’t want to write the classic historical trauma story but rather look at the subject through the lens of big geopolitics and the larger issue of personal and collective memories versus revisionism, how those dynamics play out when individuals are marginalised for a larger agenda. The core of the story is three women who address violence against women in different ways but with a common goal: to speak truth to power. It’s a timeless story and one that’s important, for me, on both a personal level – the strength and courage it takes to speak out – and global level where right-wing extremism, tyranny and censorship are destabilising democracies all over the world.”

New Earth Theatre and Arcola Theatre

In association with The North Wall present the world première of

The Apology

Written by Kyo Choi

Directed by Ria Parry

15 September – 8 October 2022

Press night: Monday 19 September at 7pm

A powerful human story which asks how a nation can apologise for the crimes of its past.

Seoul, 1991. Priyanka is beginning the UN investigation into the ‘comfort women’ of the Second World War, and the subsequent political cover-up. Yuna is about to learn the family secret her father has shamefully concealed for her whole life. And Sun-Hee, having kept her silence for over forty years, is on the brink of speaking out – an act which will ignite a fire that could spread across the world. Three women’s lives intertwine as they campaign for the truth against those who would rather it remain forgotten.

Kyo Choi is a South Korean playwright and screenwriter based in London. Her first play Empowered was selected for Arcola Theatre’s PlayWROUGHT Festival in 2016. Previously, her play readings were staged at the Soho and Arcola Theatres. She was a writer on attachment at the National Theatre Studio where there was a sharing of her play in development. As a screenwriter, she has recently written a landmark Lunar New Year episode for Hollyoaks and is also working with Little House Productions on a biopic film about Wendi Murdoch. Last year, she was commissioned by Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to write a play for a large cast, resulting in Galapagos, performed at Bridewell Theatre in March 2022. She is currently writing ICON – The K-Pop Musical, with a UK and South Korea-based creative team.

Co-Director of The North Wall, Oxford, Ria Parry directs. Her previous work at Arcola Theatre includes The Island Nation and Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern. Her other directing credits include Love and Money (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), Spring Awakening (LAMDA), The Girl Who Never Looked Up (National Theatre Learning), Albion (Bush Theatre), BikeOn Golden Pond (Salisbury Playhouse), The Winter’s Tale Re-imagined (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Dr Korczak’s Example (Unicorn Theatre), Tales of Winter (Southbank Centre) and Fen (Finborough Theatre). She was awarded the Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Directors in 2010, becoming Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio.

The Apology was developed as part of the New Earth Theatre Professional Writers Programme with support from the National Theatre.


See Also

Arcola Theatre

24 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL

15 September – 8 October 2022

Press night: Monday 19 September at 7pm

Relaxed performance: 28 September at 3pm

Touch tour: 5 October at 7:30pm

Box Office: 020 7503 1646

Tickets from £12