Arís Theatre Presents Trust Byron


“Trust Byron” by George Costigan will run for two weeks beginning November 14th at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Studio B, 260 14th Street NW Atlanta GA 30318.  (Preview on November 13th.

Tickets can be purchased at, or at the door, and are $15-$25.

About “Trust Byron”:  Aris is thrilled to announce this collaboration with British actor/playwright George Costigan and his wife Julia North who are making a special trip to Atlanta from their home in France to help produce and direct this positively entertaining one man show about one of the most notorious characters of the 19th century.

Just like its namesake, the evening is Mad, Bad and full of insights, thoughts and queries that are indeed dangerous to know. The show is a provocative and intelligent look at the present, and perhaps the future, through the eyes of a savage mind from the past. It’s funny, edgy and sexy, downright challenging at times, taking us back through the life of this flawed, passionate and indeed extreme human being. The stories are wonderful, the wit sharp and the romantic ghost who hits the stage fearless of approaching almost ANY subject. Whilst exploring the man’s life, the piece’s ambition is to reach for the same truths Byron was after, the ones that are just as valid in 2013 as they were in 1813. How would the modern westerner enjoy and benefit from a couple of hours in the company of this world-famous, hedonistic, modern, ravenously-bisexual, revolutionary, gorgeous, talented, brutally-honest radical libertine?

In the world we live in? – Surely that question answers itself.

About George Costigan (in his own words!)

I began my professional career alongside Aris Alumni Joanna Daniel!  She was an enchanting ‘Little Prince’ and I was a somewhat idiotically lisping snake. I believe we may also have world-premiered ‘Grasshopper Green and The Meadow Mice.’ Classic stuff – and it’s been downhill steadily since – to playing Willy Loman at York Theatre Royal and being directed by Clint Eastwood in ‘Hereafter’…

At college my first essay into directing was Edward Albee’s ‘The Zoo Story’ in a double-bill with Tennessee Williams’ ‘This Property Is Condemned’ – the beginnings of a life-long passion for both writers. I wrote my thesis on Albee, corresponded with him when I got to play George in ‘Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?’, and am at present reading the Collected Prose of Tennessee Williams – gorgeous lyric vignettes.

As an actor I’ve done far too much telly, not all of which I care to remember fondly, but ‘The Long Firm’ (BBC) and ‘Happy Valley’ (RED) are worth a look. Well worth a look.

‘Calendar Girls’, playing Mr. Penelope Wilton, was fun, as was ‘Shirley Valentine’.

In 1983 I created the role of Mickey Johnstone in Willy Russell’s musical ‘Blood Brothers’ and was nominated for a Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

In 1977 I was in a Willy Russell musical about The Beatles, ‘John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert’ and I went to an early morning ‘pro’s matinee’ of a show starring an actor I’ve never forgotten, Marty Brill (some seriously apposite surname), playing Lenny Bruce. I was never more transfixed, moved, destroyed and re-assembled by a piece of theatre. By a character I should say. (I was lucky enough to see Peter Brook’s production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’)

Finding Byron was the same experience and in a very real way – here is the play I always wanted to write about Lenny.

“Trust Byron” is directed by Julia North and features Winslow Thomas as Lord Byron.

Julia North (Director)

Julia North was born in Manchester England England, across the Atlantic sea – but she ain’t no genius genius.  She trained as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London and graduated in 1974.  Her first job was a play at The Bush Theatre London, directed by Mike Leigh.  She then joined the Liverpool Everyman Theatre Company, and three children later she turned to directing.  She was Assistant director at the Half Moon Theatre in London, for two years, and then directed ‘Red Devils’ at the Man in the Moon Theatre, Kings’ Road, London; and then moved to France.

Her work at The Manchester Arden School of Theatre, includes Pericles (Shakespeare), Ten Times Table (Alan Ayckbourn), Playboy of The Western World (J.M.Synge), Daisy Pulls it Off (Denise Deegan), The Rover (Aphra Behn), Stags and Hens (Willy Russell), The Mother-in-Law (D.H. Lawrence), Uncle Vanya (Checkov).

And, for the BFI’s Centenary celebration Of Cinema – The Living Picture Show.

And, most recently, in an open-air production in Stoke-on-Trent, Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.  Julia directed ‘Trust Byron’ at The Edinburgh Festival 2000 and at The Etc Club in London, 2008.  She is thrilled to be coming to Atlanta and directing for Aris.

Winslow Thomas (Lord Byron)

Winslow is one of the founders of Arís and has been a member of the Atlanta theatre community for over 30 years.  A native of Decatur, Georgia, he began his professional career with Frank Wittow and The Academy Theatre, and has performed with Aurora Theatre, The Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, Actor’s Express, Horizon Theatre, Theatre Gael, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Theatre in the Square, Synchronicity Performance Group, Soul-Stice and Savage Tree.  Some of his favorite roles include Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing”; Mountain McLintock in “Requiem For A Heavyweight”; and Trigorin in “The Seagull

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