ASKING Jemima Levick to pick her favourite play from the new season of A Play A Pie and A Pint is like asking her to “choose between my children,” she laughs.

“They are all highlights,” says the artistic director of the legendary lunchtime theatre series which kicks off its autumn run at Oran Mor in the west end in September.

Glasgow Times: Artistic director of A Play Apie and A Pint, Jemima Levick, pictured at Oran Mor, venue for the lunchtime series. STY..Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..19/7/22.

“I’m really excited about this programme – we spent last year bringing people incredible stories from all over Scotland and this time, we are telling stories from all around the globe.”

The season is packed with treats but an undoubted coup for PPP is the Scottish premiere of He Who Opens the Door by Neda Nezhdana, one of Ukraine’s leading contemporary playwrights.

Translated by John Farndon, this black comedy, in which two women awake in a morgue – neither dead nor alive – reflects the limbo for many in the country, caught between opposing forces during the current war with Russia.

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Neda is still in Ukraine, living in exile in the west of the country, but has sent warm wishes to the Oran Mor team as they prepare to perform her play.

“She is a fantastic playwright, and He Who Opens the Door feels exactly like a PPP play – it’s funny and slightly obscure, and I think it really speaks to us all,” says Jemima.

Glasgow Times: Artistic director of A Play Apie and A Pint, Jemima Levick, pictured at Oran Mor, venue for the lunchtime series. STY..Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..19/7/22.

“And it feels important, particularly now, to help get her voice out there.”

Last year, PPP donated more than £6000 to efforts to help the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

“Lots of theatres were lighting up blue and yellow, and while that’s a great idea, I wanted to do something more pragmatic, something that would really help the people on the ground,” explains Jemima.

“We held collections at the plays and were really grateful for everyone’s generosity.”

The autumn season will also include a live broadcast from Palestine, as part of a new work called The Peace Piece.

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Writer Joe Douglas has teamed up with Palestinian performer Faisal Abu Alhayjaa to address the century of volatile events in the region since the Balfour Declaration.

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In addition, the season, which features 12 pieces of new writing and is co-presented with The Citizens Theatre, The Traverse, Aberdeen Performing Arts and Ayr Gaiety, travels to Hungary, China, through Canada, Pakistan and France, before visiting the Golden Age of Hollywood and the far-flung reaches of the Siberian wilderness.

Casting has yet to be announced for this new run, but last year saw top Scottish talent such as Julie Wilson Nimmo, Jonathan Watson and Karen Dunbar take part.

Things kick off on September 5 with Sally, by James Ley, in which the title character imagines a world where one actor’s soaring success as Sally Bowles is inextricably tied to the rise of 21st century, far-right populism.

“It is daunting, putting on 20 plays, and at the halfway point last year I didn’t know if I was coming or going,” she says, frankly.

“But it was a really, really great season. I think I’m at that ‘difficult second album’ stage now, where people are thinking okay, first season was good, what can she do now? I start this run not without some nervousness.”

The season is packed with gems from some of Scottish theatre’s leading lights, such as Johnny McKnight and Morna Pearson.

“I’m delighted Morna has chosen to adapt Moliere in the 400th anniversary of his birth – I think just about every theatre in France is doing something by him so it felt right to include him in our globe-trotting season,” smiles Jemima.

“Impromptu at Oran Mor is a farcical, madcap story about Moliere turning up here to do a show at the last minute and his attempts to get actors together and make it work.”

She grins: “It’s maybe just a bit too realistic, in fact…”

Elswehere, Johnny McKnight shines a feminist light on the feud between Golden Age gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons in The Golden Rage and Frances Poet invites us into a world where one hapless man’s premonitions may be the only thing standing between Britain and total ruin.

This is a season with comedy, drama, politics and even some proper horror, with Taqi Nazeer’s supernatural story Jinnistan, which opens, appropriately, on Halloween.

There are new works, too, from Hilary Brooks and Clive King, who explore the midnight world of the remarkable and inimitable Kiki of Montparnasse in Kiki; and Morna Young, who debuts BABS, a tale of friendship and self-discovery.

Joe McCann examines misogyny, politics and racism through the lens of an interracial couple living in Orbán’s Hungary in the dark comedy Alföld, a co-presentation with The Citz; and Alice Clark (a BBC Scottish Voice of 2022) draws heart-warming parallels between two women, worlds apart in Scotland and China in Made in China, which seeks to lift the lid on the West’s material and capital dependency on the East.

In addition, in October, PPP will announce the three finalists from The David MacLennan Award, which provides first-time writers with the opportunity to have their work professionally produced and performed at PPP.

Prolific producer and director Jemima admits working in theatre was never on her radar growing up in Bristol.

“It wasn’t something me and my friends did, to be honest, it felt like something only the posh kids were into,” she says.

“I did drama at school for a bit of a skive, but acting was never for me. I sort of fell into it, I suppose, and it was only when I got to Edinburgh, to study at Queen Margaret College, that I learned a bit about directing and thought – ah, yes, that’s what I want to do.”

Jemima joined PPP after spells at the helm of Dundee Rep and Stellar Quines.

“It was the variety of PPP which appealed to me, and the challenge of doing something I’d never done before,” she explains.

“And there is something about Oran Mor...I can’t explain it. I directed my first play here in 2007, and the spirit of the place is like nowhere else. There is so much joy – one minute you can be doing a Japanese drama, then a musical comedy – it is wonderful.”

Tickets are on sale now - to find out more about the autumn season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, visit