Latymer School celebrates 400 years with a play at Richmond Theatre

Image above: Love. Liebe. Lyubov

Love. Liebe. Lyubov – a play by Ruby Thomas

Latymer Upper & Prep School in celebrating 400 years this year. Edward Latymer, a prosperous lawyer, left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith in 1624.

The tradition remains today, when Latymer is considered one of the leading co-educational day schools in the country, with one in four of their Year & students funded by a bursary.

As part of the celebrations for the anniversary the school has commissioned a play to be written about a particularly inspirational period in the school’s history. Love. Liebe. Lyubov has been written by playwright and screen writer Ruby Thomas and is being performed by Latymer students at Richmond theatre on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March.

‘Against the backdrop of World War II, a memory and an inspirational idea pull two schools together – Latymer Upper School and the Johanneum in Hamburg – an exchange which is still running today, 75 years later.’

Image above: Fred

The subject, though inspirational, was a little daunting at first, says Ruby Thomas:

“When Justin Joseph, Head of Drama, came to me with the idea of writing a play to celebrate Latymer’s 400th Anniversary, I felt a sense of trepidation.

“Spending time deepening my understanding of the relationship between these schools has genuinely changed my attitude to what embracing difference looks like. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to write about this pioneering ‘experiment in friendship’.”

Image above: Wilkie and exchange students

Ruby was a student at Latymer herself (2007-2009) and is both an actor and a writer. She joined the Soho Writers Lab 2016/17 and the Royal Court Supergroup 2018/19.

She became part of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme in 2020 and received a Jerwood Commission from the Royal Court in 2021. She is currently writing episodes for season two of Dangerous Liasons by Playground/Lionsgate for Starz and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, produced by Moonage for the BBC.

She is on commission for theatre and TV with Annapurna, The Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and Mam Tor.

Tickets to Love. Liebe. Lyubov are available for £10 from the Latymer Foundation’s website.

latymerfoundation.org

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