On a deserted road, a woman sees a man. In her confrontation with him, she unearths her own dark motives and uncovers unspoken desires.

Exploring the nature of desire and the possibilities of self-knowledge, Desire won the Catalan Literature National Prize when it was first performed in Barcelona in 1991.

20 South Street presents the UK Premiere of


by Josep Maria Benet i Jornet

translated by Sharon G. Feldman

13-31 July 2010 at the White Bear Theatre, London

With: Annabel Cleare | Stephen Connery Brown | Simon de Deney | and Isabelle Gregson.

Director: Julia Stubbs | Designer: Mike Lees | Lighting: Rei Kurosaki | Sound: Damian Reynolds | Photographer: Timothy Hughes.

Josep Maria Benet i Jornet is a theatre and television dramatist and scriptwriter. Born in Barcelona, he is the author of more than 40 works for the stage and has been a leading contributor to the striking revitalisation of Catalan theatre in the post-Franco era. Desire (Desig in Catalan) is considered by many to be one of his seminal pieces of work.

Sharon G. Feldman has translated a number of plays by prominent Catalan writers including Sergi Belbel, Pau Miró, Carles Batlle and Josep Maria Benet i Jornet.

The other international production following Remembering You like something I’d Forgotten that I have had the privilege to direct was the UK Premiere of Desire by the landmark Catalan playwright Josep Maria Benet i Jornet.

I had originally come across the play as an actor in 1999 when I played the lead character of ‘She’ in the premiere of the reading of the English translation by Sharon G. Feldman at the Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester.

Fascinated by the play ever since because of its almost real-time depiction a woman descending into madness, after I had directed In My Name I felt I wanted to take on the challenge of directing the piece and so began a correspondence with Feldman and Benet i Jornet, initially to acquire the rights. Travelling to Barcelona to meet both Josep Maria Benet i Jornet and Sharon G. Feldman in the summer of 2009 was a phenomenal experience for me and I returned from the trip determined to create a production worthy of them and the play.

Finding a cast of impressive actors – Annabel Cleare, Stephen Connery Brown, Simon de Deney, and Isabelle Gregson – to portray the four characters, the UK production of Desire premiered at the White Bear Theatre, London in July 2010.

Reviews for Desire

“20 South Street deserve praise for bringing the work of award-winning Catalan writer Josep M. Benet i Jornet to a wider audience… each of the unnamed characters in the four-piece cast, from the couple hiding their true urges (Annabel Cleare and Simon de Deney) to Stephen Connery-Brown’s creepy, cold-loving roadside lurker and Isabelle Gregson’s over-sharing femme fatale, are consistently intriguing and well-executed.” Remotegoat

“There is much to admire in Jornet’s deep analysis of the fundamental questions and problems implicit within relationships. The feeling of a lurking unseen terror is superbly impressed on the audience, heightened by the well-illustrated themes and the use of ticking, ringing, and scratching that provide the soundtrack to the mounting frustrations and sense of panic.” Spoonfed

“Stubbs’ production of Desire manages to effectively capture a mysterious sense of confusion as Cleare frustratingly searches to unravel her own desire… Gregson and Connery-Brown fit the enigmatic couple with just the right balance of apparent innocence and cryptic statements… Lees’ design for the set in the black box theatre is roughly a road, with three white dashes running, slanted along the middle… Gregson’s openness appropriately conforms to this barren roadside, and it also echoes the stark sense of Cleare being inwardly lost.” Extra! Extra!