Pamela Howard font

The Dark Outside

by Bernard Kops (2019)

Rehearsed Reading

The Dark Outside by Bernard Kops (2019)

17 January 2020, 18:30


Ondaatje Wing Theatre

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin’s Place




Bernard Kops, one of the greatest British writers of our time, presents a rehearsed reading of his new play, The Dark Outside, directed by Pamela Howard.


The Dark Outside is the latest play from the ever-creative 93-year-old writer Bernard Kops, presented as a rehearsed reading prior to an eventual fully staged production. Kops deals with the issue of our times - the conflicts and struggles of a family trying to keep together, while the world outside is ever increasingly chaotic and desperate. Sometimes, a writer and poet such as Kops can elucidate the state of the nation with astonishing clarity and find the words that many of us are feeling and thinking. Although the play appears to be a domestic drama, it is set against the visual metaphor of an ancient 400-year-old mulberry tree protecting the family in the garden. This ancient tree is a symbol of longevity and hope, often known as the Tree of Life, reminds us of the mystical healing power of Mother Nature.


Bernard Kops was born in the East End of London in 1926. He has written more than thirty plays, nine novels, two autobiographies and won many awards. "He mixes realism and fantasy in a way that recalls Chagall" - Financial Times

Bernard Kops by Ida Kar, 1957-1958, National Portrait Gallery, London.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Bernard Kops by Ida Kar, 1960, National Portrait Gallery, London.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Stephen Greif (Paul)

Stephen Greif  is an award winning,  Honours graduate from RADA in  Stage, Television, Film and Voicework .

He is most familiar for his roles as Travis in the cult BBC Sci –Fi series “Blake’s 7”, Harry Fenning the gangster publican in 3 series of the BBC sit-com “Citizen Smith”  Signor Donato the opulent Merchant in the Movie “Casanova” and as the Rich playboy in the series of Kenco Commercials.

A multi award nominated member of The National Theatre over many years) he has appeared with the RSC in Stratford and America and in numerous West end productions  including The Old Vic.

He has an impressive and extensive track record in  Voicework on Radio, Talking books and in the TV and Radio Advertising and Corporate worlds.

In  November  2019 played ‘The Philosopher ‘ in The Ballad of the Cosmo Café


Katharine G. Cullison (Helen)

Katharine is thrilled to be continuing her professional relationship with Bernard Kops, having played Leah in a staged reading of his play Rogues and Vagabonds in London and starring in Playing Sinatra opposite Austin Pendleton in New York.  About that performance, The New York Times wrote, “Katharine Cullison conveys a potent sense of foreboding. Sandra is...a complex character, given a stellar rendering here.”  Ms. Cullison trained in classical American realism at HB Studios, where she worked closely with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, Anne Jackson and Mr. Pendleton.  In London, Ms. Cullison trained with the late Doreen Cannon, former head of acting at RADA.


Miranda Keeling  (Penny)

THEATRE includes: Fatal Attraction (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Glass Menagerie (Chipping Norton Theatre), The Conquering Hero (Orange Tree Theatre), Imogen (UK tour), The Virgin (Hampstead Theatre), The Carbon Footprint Detective Agency (Arcola) and Hamlet (National Tour).

TV includes: Eastenders (BBC 1), Obsession (Discovery Channel), Emmerdale (ITV),  Doctors (BBC1), The Jigsaw Man (BBC1), Crisis Control (CBBC),  Innocent (BBC 1).

RADIO includes: Old Peter's Russian Tales, Brief Lives, Apes and Angels, The Midnight Folk (all for BBC Radio 4), Doctor Who (Big Finish).

Miranda is a winner of BBC Radio’s Norman Beaton Award and has been in over 30 plays for BBC Radio Drama.


Max Olesker (Ben)

Max is a writer-performer, and one half of Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning double-act Max & Ivan. Television credits include Peep Show(Channel 4) and W1A (BBC Two). He writes and stars in The Casebook of Max & Ivan (BBC Radio 4) and upcoming comedy thriller Max & Ivan: Fugitives (Apple Podcasts). He is Contributing Editor at Esquire Magazine.


Eleanor Crowe  (Sophie)

Eleanor is a Scottish graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, having previously studied Law at the University of Edinburgh. Credits include: Joan in Pardoned (Sterts Theatre), Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods (RCSSD), Wiggins in Ricky Riddlegang and the Riddlegang (Arcola Theatre), Heather in American Idiot (Edinburgh Fringe), Catherine in A View From the Bridge (Bedlam Theatre), Ensemble in Sunday In the Park With George (NYMT at The Other Palace), Hope Cladwell in Urinetown (Churchill Theatre), and Heidi in Heidi (Bedlam Theatre).



Honorary Visual Artist: Vincent van Gogh :

The Mulberry Tree 1889.

In the spring of 1889, following a series of nervous breakdowns, he committed himself to an asylum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. There his work evolved away from the hallucinatory color of his Arles period toward the ever more vigorous brushwork and ever more liberally applied paint of his late manner. (Simon Norton Museum USA )



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