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The Playground Theatre in Collaboration with UCA-UK Presents: 

Love & Destruction

A production in two halves that celebrates the work of Female Ukrainian Artists through Piano and Poetry and questions the role of Authoritarian Male Dictatorship through drama.  
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LOVE & DESTRUCTION will contribute a donation from each ticket sold via UCA-UK. This is supporting the British Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal through donations specifically to purchase a second Ambulance for children in Ukraine. Further donations are also welcomed through our website.

Love and Destruction
The Playground Theatre is proud to invite you to our new Production - Love & Destruction, a production in two halves that celebrates the work of Female Ukrainian Artists through Piano and Poetry and questions the role of Authoritarian Male Dictatorship through drama. 

The evening will open with the original compositions of Ukrainian pianist Alla Sirenko, the only Ukrainian composer to have their work performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. These will be interlaced with readings by the actor Maryam d'Abo of the compelling poetry by Lesya Ukrainka and Lyuba Yakimchuk.

The second half is the world première, ONE MAN, a play in one act by Peter Efthymiou.

Both parts Directed by Christian Holder

Alla Sirenko (Piano) and Maryam d'Abo 


ONE MAN by Peter Efthymiou
The tyrant and his lackey, the man of love and his follower. A battle to the death or to love flooding the world.

Cast: Anthony Cozens | Wilf Scolding | Peter Tate | Joshua Ward |
Creative Team
Director: Christian Holder
Producer: Sarah Lawrie
Lighting/Sound Design: Simon Beyer
Stage Manager: Rebecca Natalini


Creative Team 

Christian Holder 
Christian Holder has had several theatrical careers, from being a child actor/dancer in London, to a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet in New York, to costume designer and choreographer, and most recently as a solo cabaret vocalist. He has worked with choreographers Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, and Leonid Massine. As a child he was directed by Orson Welles. Private ballet lesson began at age seven and continued when he enrolled at the Corona Academy Stage School in London at eleven.

Dance took him to New York at the age of fifteen. He simultaneously attended the New York High School of Performing Arts, where Robert Joffrey saw him dance. Joffrey offered him an apprenticeship to his new cutting-edge company, The Joffrey Ballet, and Christian signed his first company contract in October 1966. He danced with Joffrey for thirteen years before transferring his talents to costume design and choreography. He also taught ballet in several Manhattan studios, and for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.

Christian returned to London in 2009, and for a while was content to lead a semi-retired life. Soon, however, momentum for a new artistic existence began to mount. In August 2016 Christian was given an evening in the Lecture Theatre of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum: Christian Holder - A Life in Performance, New York and London.

Christian designed stage wardrobe for Tina Turner from 1973 to 1984, as well as costumes for ballets he has choreographed for American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and companies in the US and France.

He has written and directed a play titled, IDA RUBINSTEIN: The Final Act, that heralds a fertile and inspired collaboration with his colleague, Naomi Sorkin.

His paintings, together with some of his father’s (Boscoe Holder) are being exhibited in 2020 at the South Kensington gallery, Campbells of London.


Alla Sirenko
Pianist | Composer | Founder and President of UCA - UK

Alla Sirenko, has studied at Cambridge, Lubeck and Moscow and graduated from three conservatoires: Kyiv as a Pianist, Lviv as a Composer, Tallinn as an organist.

She made history for being the first Ukrainian composer to have her opera-fantasy, The Golden Penguin, premiered at London’s Royal Opera House.

For ten years she was the Composer in Residence for the Lviv Opera House of Ukraine, where her productions were in the main repertoire.

Alla has successfully composed film music for EMI, Sony and Warner Brothers. A performance and composition of her ‘Ave Maria’ was commissioned for the late Pope John Paul II, and televised to several million people.

For the last six years, she has been the Composer in Residence, Producer and Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Cathedral Concert Hall in London Mayfair. She regularly organised classical concerts and various cultural events for local and international communities.

Recently, she founded the Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK, and secured its exclusive membership to FIWAL.

She is also a full member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians in Great Britain; The Composers Union of Ukraine; Novello Academy, Worshipful Company of Musicians of City of London.

Maryam d'Abo 

Was born in London from a British father and Georgian mother and grew up in London, Paris & Geneva.
She returned to England in 1978 to study acting.
From 1981-1982 she played on the French stage:
Varinia in Spartacus, director Jacques Weber in Lyon and Roxane in Cyrano de Berjerac in Toulouse –
For French television: Les Idiots by Gerard Brach with Jean-Pierre Marielle & Jean Carmet.
She worked in many TV co-productions between France and the UK until 1986.
In 1987 she played opposite Timothy Dalton James Bond in ‘The Living Daylights’.
In 1988 she went to Los Angeles to do a TV series for NBC and ended up living in LA. She worked in the US for Showtime, HBO, CBS and USA Network.
In 1989 she appeared in an independent British Jewish comedy ‘Leon the Pig Farmer’ written by Gary Seyniour.
In 1995 she produced & starred with Myriam Cyr in Abundance, a play by Beth Henley performed at the Riverside Studios in London.
In 2001, she played Amalia in Dr. Zhivago for Granada TV.
In 2002, she produced with John Watkin; ‘Bond Girls are Forever’ which premiered at the Hampton Film Festival and aired on AMC in the US.
In 2003 she co-wrote with John Cork a book “Bond Girls are Forever ''.
In 2005, she wrote and co-produced ‘Bearing Witness’ a documentary on five female war reporters, directed and produced by Barbara Kopple.
In 2006 she played in the Danis Tanovic film ‘l’Enfer’ , an original screenplay by Kiezlowski.
In 2007, Maryam suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and made a documentary about survivors of brain injuries directed by Hugh Hudson called Rupture - Living With my Broken Brain, which premiered on BBC4 in 2012.
In 2014 she appeared in Danis Tanovic’s film ‘Tigers’ based on a true story in Pakistan.
In 2016, she did a cameo in ‘Finding Altamira’ directed by Hugh Hudson about the discovery of ancient cave paintings in Altamira.
She is currently developing two film projects and resides in the UK with her husband Hugh Hudson.

ONE MAN, a play in one act
Anthony Cozens

Anthony graduated from The Oxford School of Drama in 2002. Film credits include Legend, AmStarDam, Dementamania, and Van Wilder 2 - The Rise of Taj. His most recent television credits include The Great, The Last Kingdom, Gentleman Jack, Pennyworth, Dr Who, Sherlock, Casualty, Holby, and Cider With Rosie. Theatre credits include The Castle (The Space Theatre),Treehouse (Tour), Square (Tristan Bates Theatre), Buster Keaton at the Hollywood Canteen (The Space Theatre), Hanging Out (Oldham Coliseum) Art (Edinburgh Festival), Hacked (Theatre 503) and The Exonerated (Charing Cross Theatre). He likes his job very much. 

Wilf Scolding 

Wilf Scolding has just wrapped on the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars television series, and can currently be seen in the new Fantastic Beasts film. Recent television includes Netflix’s hit show The One playing series regular ‘Ethan’. Other screen work includes; Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of Martin’s Close; Mrs Wilson and portraying ‘Rhaegar Targaryen’ in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Peter Tate 

British actor Peter Tate was trained at Webber Douglas in London and with Stella Adler in New York, where he began his career. Credits there included The Bacchae directed by Michael Cacoyannis, on Broadway and Richard the Third with the American Shakespeare Company. He returned to London to play a leading role at The National Theatre opposite Alan Bates. An invitation by the Actors Studio New York, brought him back to the US to play the co-lead, as Prince Felix Yussopov, in Rasputin opposite Peter Stormare, who was then Ingmar Bergman’s leading actor. More recently played the lead in Tabloid Caligula at the Brits Off-Broadway at 59E59th St theatre.

Peter has worked in different theatrical forms including with dance companies (Public Theatre, NYC), and Multimedia Theatre (the Pompidou Centre, Paris). This experience has led to an eclectic taste and to an openness to experimentation between the forms. In 2001 he formed the Playground Studio set in a large warehouse space in west London so that this experimentation could have a home. It was conceived as an arena for artists to explore new theatrical ideas without the need to rush headlong into product with the obvious danger of leaving potent ideas half-baked. Awards won included the Samuel Beckett Award with performances at the Barbican. The Playground Theatre opened, as a theatre, in November 2017 with Picasso in which he played Picasso. The Playground has hosted many great emerging artists as well as luminaries like Stephen Berkoff, Brian Cox, Maureen Lipman, and Nina Conti.

Joshua Ward

Joshua trained at the Drama Studio London. Theatre credits include Robert Graves’ But It Still Goes On at the Finborough Theatre, James Purdy’s Paradise Circus at the Playground and Rena Brannan’s Mount Vernon at the King’s Head.

Sarah Lawrie

Sarah has been making theatre since 2013. Most recently she produced Arts Council funded web series LEAR ALONE which won Best Series at Off West End’s OnComm Awards 2022. Other recent work includes THE QUALITY OF MERCY (Courtyard Theatre), LEAVES (Jermyn Street Theatre), POWER LUNCHEON (Hope Theatre) SCROUNGER (Finborough Theatre – winner of Best New Play at the Off West End Awards 2021), web series LATE NIGHT STARING AT HIGH RES PIXELS (winner of London Pub Theatre’s Standing Ovation Award for Best Theatre Online) and TIMELESS (Space Theatre and touring). Sarah is a founding member of And Tomorrow Theatre Company, whose inaugural production, DEATH OF A HUNTER, premiered at the Finborough Theatre in 2018 and transferred to the Brighton Fringe Festival. In 2019 she produced the world premiere of EDRED, THE VAMPYRE for The London Horror Festival. Co-producing credits include MY ROMANTIC HISTORY (Old Red Lion), TREE HOUSE (Brewhouse Theatre Taunton and touring), MADAME BOVARY (Hope Theatre), ORANGES & INK (Tristan Bates Theatre and touring) and THE MARVELLOUS ADVENTURES OF MARY SEACOLE (C Venues, Edinburgh Festival). Sarah is also the co-creator and sole producer of Rula Lenska’s one woman show FROM DZIKOW TO WILLESDEN GREEN and is currently developing SHUTTERS: A LESBIAN ROCK OPERA for The Vindicate Company.
Simon Beyer 
Lighting | Sound Design | Production Management

Simon Beyer is a freelance theatre multi-disciplinarian: director, writer of plays and musicals, producer, composer, songwriter, and lighting and sound designer.
Some previous show credits include: Studies For A Portrait by Daniel Reitz, Oval House Theatre (Producer); My Fifteen Minutes The Musical, New Wimbledon Studio ATG (Writer - book, music, lyrics); When The Lilac Blooms My Love by Jane Huxley, Leicester Square Theatre (Director and Co-Producer); The Tempest, The Cock Tavern Theatre (Director/Adaptor); The Werewolf of Washington Heights by Christie Williams (Lighting Designer and Sound Composer/Designer), and many more.
He is currently Artistic Director of Paper Breadcrumbs and former roles include Executive Producer and Co-Founder of The Cock Tavern Theatre, Chair of The Board of Trustees for Stone Crabs Theatre Company, General Manager at The Playground Theatre, Producer for Good Night Out Presents and Artistic Director of The Ant Theatre Company. 

Rebecca Natalini
Stage Manager

Rebecca is a third-year student about to graduate from the Stage Management course of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Credits include: Stage Manager on Extremist - written and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, Stage Manager on London Road - directed by Julia Locascio, Deputy Stage Manager on Antigone - directed by Bethany Pitts, and Assistant Stage Manager Dep on Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at the Criterion Theatre.

Alla Sirenko
Founder and President of UCA - UK

Alla Sirenko, pianist, composer, writer, has studied at Cambridge, Lubeck and Moscow and graduated from three conservatoires: Kyiv as a Pianist, Lviv as a Composer, Tallinn as an organist.

About UCA - UK 

Ukraine and it’s culture is tremendously underrepresented in the UK and internationally.

We at the UCA - UK have made it our mission to change this country’s narrative and perceptions. We do this in order to bring positive recognition of Ukraine and its culture, and provide a brighter future for its people.

Our aims are simple, to:

Promote Ukrainian culture, traditions and history to Ukrainian’s and non-Ukrainian’s in the UK and beyond, fostering a sense of community.
Drive charitable and humanitarian efforts, improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable in the UK and Ukraine.
Showcase exceptionally gifted Ukrainian professionals from all over the world, providing a platform for their talents and artistry.
Advocate women’s equality and cultural collaboration with Ukrainian, UK and global communities, providing more opportunities for all women. ​

We achieve these by communicating and raising awareness of our rich culture amongst the general public through our physical and virtual community events:
Musical and Theatre Performances | Art shows | Literature and Poetry recitals | Lectures | Fundraising and Social events

Our events are open to everyone, whether you are a member or non-member, Ukrainian or non-Ukrainian, we are inclusive of everyone.

We are also a member of the Federation of International Women’s Associations in London (FIWAL). Here, we represent Ukraine in an international forum, supporting and advocating women’s equality in a way which is non-political, non-religious, non-profit and non-partisan. If you choose the UCA - UK Women’s Club Membership, you will have access to FIWAL’s events and member benefits.

We hope you will be part of our community, forge partnerships, and join our events - both virtual and physical - in the near future.

Photos by Jonathan Phang
LOVE with Alla Sirenko and Maryam d'Ado 
ONE MAN, a play in one act
For more information about the venue and our COVID-19 Health and Safety policy, please see our your-visit page.
We do not accept Amex.
Running time  80 mins, 15 interval.
Recommended for ages 15 + 
25-28 May, 7.30pm
Matinee 29 May 5pm
Tickets (All unreserved)

General Admission £22

Concession £18

Ten at £10 (Discounted tickets to support access to the arts)

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