Preludes in Concert Review

Southwark Playhouse – livestream 8 – 9 May

5*****

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Sitting in the auditorium watching Southwark Playhouse’s production of Preludes in 2019 was a mind-blowing experience, with the set design playing a huge part in immersing the audience in the tormented mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff. This concert version, directed by Alex Sutton and livestreamed from Southwark Playhouse is a stripped back production that still packs a disturbing punch, with the close camera work creating a more intimate and intense connection with the characters.

Described as a musical fantasia set in the hypnotised mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Dave Malloy’s musical imagines the events of the three years following the shock when his first symphony failed to set the musical world alight and Rachmaninoff spiralled into depression, unable to compose until his therapy with Nicolai Dahl, following which his glorious Piano Concerto no.2 was completed.

As wild-eyed Rach, tortured by his feelings of failure and struggling to find music or joy in his life, Keith Ramsey is simply superb, staring into the camera and skewering your soul. His sessions with Dahl (the wonderful Rebecca Caine) guide him through his memories and traumas as they work to find a form of peace. Watching over this is Rachmaninoff (Tom Noyes) expertly playing the grand piano and maintaining a calm and composed persona in contrast to Rach’s erratic behaviour. Natalya (Georgia Louise), his fiancée/cousin, and Chaliapin (Norton James), his opera singer friend and constant supporter are shown to be present at pivotal moments in Rach’s composing career through flashbacks/therapy, alongside The Master (Steven Serlin), who takes on the personas of Rach’s (and Russia’s) heroes, always disappointing Rach, and never giving him the affirmation he so desperately needs.

Sound designer Andrew Johnson and musical director Jordan Li-Smith weave magic with Malloy’s score – Rachmaninoff’s music is performed as solos by Noyes on the piano, but also overlain with electronic keys and electro beats depending on Rach’s mental state. Some of the arrangements are beautiful, making your heart soar, while others set your teeth on edge and are very uncomfortable to listen to, with Andrew Exeter’s lighting design adding to the sometimes surreal energy.

The cast give incredible performances, from Georgia Louise’s astonishingly raw delivery of Natalya, Norton James’s unforgettable insane delivery Loop to the hauntingly beautiful duets of Georgia Louise and Keith Ramsey. Malloy’s mixture of his own and classical compositions is unique and enthralling, plummeting from ecstatic highs to devastating lows as Rach explores his feelings, and the audience is swept along on this exhausting journey, but the ride is exhilarating and rewarding – and much more personal in this format. A stunning show.

A Killer Party review

Streaming on-demand 3 – 30 May – book via www.akillerparty.co.uk

5*****

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

A Killer Party is a hilarious treat full of wonderfully OTT comic performances and fantastic musical numbers. All the familiar ingredients of the classic murder mystery are thrown into the ridiculous plot, and when the killer is revealed, all the throwaway lines and images that should have led you to the truth are explained. After success in the US last year, A Killer Party has been gleefully adapted for the UK. Rachel Axler and Kait Kerrigan’s characters are moved to Blackpool, preparing for Varthur McArthur’s (Jason Manford) latest self-penned show “The Circus Steamboat Murder – Death on the High Seas Trapeze”. The awful McArthur invites the cast to a dinner party, but someone doesn’t survive the first course.

Harriet Thorpe’s Detective Justine Case, struggling to write her memoirs, recalls the crime – her first investigation as a detective, and Emma Salvo plays the younger version of Case. The assembled suspects are ex-leading lady Vivika Orsonwelles (Debbie Kurup), leading man George Murderer (Cedric Neal), Varthur’s latest young actress Lily Wright (Amara Okereke), chorus member Cameron Mitchelljohn (Ashley Samuels), stage manager Clarke Staples (Lucas Rush) and designer Shea Crescendo (Oscar Conlon-Morrey).

The story is split into 9 short episodes, but it’s so infectiously funny you’ll probably want to binge the whole 90 minutes. With the cast filmed at home, there are plenty of in jokes about the suspects being put in isolation and the familiar looking rooms. Director Benji Sperring keeps the pace brisk, with conversations flowing smoothly as Justine Case moves around the house. An animation shows the layout of the house and the position of each character to help the audience keep track in a nice touch.

The plot and characters are ridiculous, and the cast are obviously having a great time. The musical numbers are a triumph, with music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Nathan Tysen. Each character gets a solo, which moves the plot along in varying degrees. Cedric Neal and Debbie Kurup’s sultry duet is a highlight, with Rachel Tucker as Varthur’s wife Joan almost stealing the show with her gleeful song about her newfound freedom as a widow. But it’s Oscar Conlan-Morrey who will make your jaw drop, first with his fantastic costume, and then with his brilliantly unhinged performance as Shea remains in character as Rosetta Stone, trapeze artist, determined to solve the murder of her beloved husband. Wonderful stuff – guaranteed to have you howling with laughter. Ben Forster pops up to give inspiration to Lucas Rush in the fantastically funny Big Cat, while Emma Salvo’s explanation in song of how she solved the murder is a joy. A Killer Party is wonderful entertainment with a stellar cast revelling in the silliness and gleeful energy.

DarlingtonOS Come Back Home

LIVE THEATRE IS ON ITS WAY BACK HOME

A local north east theatre company will herald the return of live theatre with a specially devised, socially distanced ‘Come Back Home’ musical theatre concert at Darlington Hippodrome in June.

Following one of the most difficult periods for theatres worldwide there are glimmers of hope for a return to normality just around the corner.

Having been just five weeks away from opening night of a show back in March 2020, Darlington Operatic Society are now poised to be the first to bring live theatre back to Darlington Hippodrome with a specially conceived concert they are calling their Come Back Home show.

Audiences are promised over two hours of musical theatre hit after hit with a fusion of live performance and video projection following all the social distancing guidelines for performance currently in place. The show will feature songs from the likes of Les Miserables, Cabaret, Dear Evan Hansen, The Book of Mormon, Six, The Bodyguard and many, many more.

Spokesman Julian Cound said “We have been working on this production since September of 2020 – we originally hoped we could present it in December last year but the third lockdown put a halt to that. We are in a great position to be one of the first companies to bring the thrill and joy of live theatre to Darlington audiences in a safe atmosphere.”

Julian continued “Come Back Home will run for just six performances from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 June to a socially distanced auditorium. Almost a quarter of the tickets have already been snapped up and we have only been on sale for a couple of weeks so it would be advisable to book early. We are so grateful to Creative Darlington and Darlington For Culture for their financial assistance with this production.”

Come Back Home runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 June with matinee performances on the Saturday and Sunday.

To book call the Darlington Hippodrome Box Office on 01325 405405 or book online at www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

Statement from Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre


Statement from Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre

Reacting to today’s Government announcement, SOLT & UK Theatre Chief Executive Julian Bird has issued the following statement:

‘Today’s confirmation that Step 3 of the Government roadmap will go ahead on 17 May is very good news, allowing England’s theatre industry to begin the process of reopening. A number of theatres will be welcoming audiences back to socially distanced performances while also creating work for our world leading workforce. Theatres will be following our industry wide See it Safely protocols to ensure a consistency of customer experience and that the latest government Covid guidelines are being followed.

‘We are optimistic that this announcement paves the way for a full reopening from 21 June, and it is hugely encouraging to see audience confidence growing, reflected in increasing ticket sales.’

Edgy new rock musical Dorian launches on Stream.Theatre | 4 – 26 June 2021

Edgy new rock musical Dorian
launches on stream.theatre
Streaming: Friday 4th – Saturday 26th June 2021

Following the success of their Gatsby A Musical, filmed and streamed at Cadogan Hall, Ruby in the Dust now present Dorian A Rock Musical. This exciting new production gives Oscar Wilde’s classic an epic, modern twist with a newly composed score that sears through the action, propelled by influences from Bowie to Brecht.

A rock star, trapped in eternal adolescence, wants to change the course of his life and discover love. But, can you find love if you’ve sold your soul to the Devil? Whilst sitting for the eccentric society painter, Basil Hallward, Dorian is discovered by the influential Lord Henry and is soon under the spell of this dangerous, charismatic music impresario. Dorian, the secret child of love and death, is suddenly thrust into a confusing world where love dare not speak its name.

With Keith Ramsay fresh from his critically acclaimed performance as Sergei Rachmaninoff in Preludes at Southwark Playhouse as the titular character (Armour, Charing Cross Theatre; Julius Caesar, The Globe), the cast comprises John Addison (The Life, Southwark Playhouse; A Little Night Music, Garrick Theatre), Fia Houston-Hamilton (Mamma Mia!, UK Tour; Wolf of Wall Street, Immersive London), Robert Grose (Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre; EastEnders, BBC), Lewis Rae (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Regents Park Open Air Theatre; Mame, Hope Mill Theatre), Johanna Stanton (The Rocky Horror Show, No. 1 UK Tour; The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Apollo Theatre), Sophie Jugé (Coppelia, Birmingham Royal Ballet; Good Omens, BBC) and Tristan Pegg (The Merry Wives of Windsor, RSC; The Shape of the Impossible, National Theatre).

Although The Picture of Dorian Gray was written over one hundred and twenty years ago, its themes of vanity, mortality, and corruption still resonate. The show began life as a reading at Cafe Royal, in the very room where Oscar Wilde used to stage his own readings. Its run at the Other Palace was cancelled just two days before opening night as the pandemic forced the first lockdown in March 2020. Now, filmed at a secret location in the heart of the West End, it will be brought to audiences online

Composer Joe Evans comments, This is a fantastic opportunity to present Oscar Wilde’s iconic fairy tale in a timeless setting. Oscar Wilde, if not a rock star, would have definitely floated in those circles if he were around today. His Gothic prose lends itself perfectly to a rock score, without losing the sense of irony and fun inherent in the text. I am thrilled to be working with such a dream cast who will bring this musical to life.

MATTHEW BOURNE – WORLD PREMIERE – THE MIDNIGHT BELL – OPENS SEPTEMBER 2021

NEW ADVENTURES

ANNOUNCE
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

Intoxicated tales from darkest Soho

UK TOUR OPENS AT CHELTENHAM EVERYMAN
ON 9 SEPTEMBER 2021

New Adventures is delighted to announce the World Premiere of Matthew Bourne’s THE MIDNIGHT BELL opening at Cheltenham Everyman on 9 September 2021, as part of a UK tour to 13 venues including a season at Sadler’s Wells from 4 to 9 October 2021. Full tour schedule below.

Exploring the under-belly of 1930s London life where ordinary people emerge from cheap boarding houses nightly to pour out their passions, hopes and dreams in the pubs and bars of fog-bound Soho and Fitzrovia.  Step inside The Midnight Bell, a tavern where one particular lonely-hearts club gather to play out their lovelorn affairs of the heart; bitter comedies of longing, frustration, betrayal and redemption.

Matthew Bourne’s THE MIDNIGHT BELL is inspired by the great English novelist Patrick Hamilton (Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Hangover Square) who created some of the most authentic fiction of his era; stories borne out of years of social interactions with the working man and woman at his favourite location – the London Pub. 

Matthew Bourne said today “Patrick Hamilton’s literary world could be seen as the flip-side of his close contemporary, Noel Coward, whose witty and glamorous world of cocktails and high society made him so fashionable and successful. Hamilton, on the other hand, wrote about the lives of everyday people, full of pathos, comedy and thwarted romance. Indeed his own personal setbacks and increasingly serious drinking problem became the source from which he created his finest and most individual work. More than any other author of the time, Hamilton’s characters speak with the authentic voice of the era and it’s the raw passion and secret lives that lie beneath the conventional exterior that appeals to me so much”

Master storyteller Bourne once again joins forces with the Olivier and Tony award-winning team of Terry Davies (music), Lez Brotherston (set and costume design), Paule Constable (lighting design) and Paul Groothuis (sound design) for this brand new production.

The cast will feature twelve of New Adventures’ finest performers in roles that will challenge and reveal the darker reaches of the human heart. The cast for THE MIDNIGHT BELL are Paris Fitzpatrick, Glenn Graham, Bryony Harrison, Daisy May Kemp, Kate Lyons, Michela Meazza, Andrew Monaghan, Liam Mower, Danny Reubens, Christopher Thomas, Richard Winsor and  Bryony Wood.

This is a Dance Theatre event not to be missed.

The World Premiere tour of THE MIDNIGHT BELL combined with the forthcoming national tour and Sadler’s Wells’ Christmas season of NUTCRACKER! will see New Adventures visit 26 mid and large-scale venues throughout the UK, firmly cementing the company’s return to the stage.

New Adventures is a National Portfolio Organisation supported using public funds by Arts Council England.

For more information please visit:

www.new-adventures.net

Facebook /MBNewAdventures    Twitter @New_Adventures     Instagram @MBNewAdventures

LISTINGS

MATTHEW BOURNE’S THE MIDNIGHT BELL – 2021 UK TOUR

9 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2021

CHELTENHAM EVERYMAN

www.everymantheatre.org.uk

ON SALE 24 MAY 2021

14 – 18 SEPTEMBER 2021

BRIGHTON THEATRE ROYAL

www.atgtickets.com

ON SALE 17 MAY 2021

20 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2021

SHEFFIELD LYCEUM

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

ON SALE 17 JULY 2021

27 – 29 SEPTEMBER 2021

ORCHARD THEATRE, DARTFORD

www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

ON SALE 10 MAY 2021

30 SEPTEMBER – 2 OCTOBER 2021

YORK THEATRE ROYAL

www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

ON SALE 21 JUNE 2021

4 – 9 OCTOBER 2021

SADLER’S WELLS

www.sadlerswells.com

ON SALE SOON

11 – 16 OCTOBER 2021
CURVE, LEICESTER
www.curveonline.co.uk

ON SALE 20 MAY 2021

19 – 23 OCTOBER 2021

LIVERPOOL PLAYHOUSE

www.everymanplayhouse.com

ON SALE 19 MAY 2021

28 – 30 OCTOBER 2021

OXFORD PLAYHOUSE

www.oxfordplayhouse.com

ON SALE 18 MAY 2021

4 – 6 NOVEMBER 2021

HALL FOR CORNWALL, TRURO

www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

ON SALE SOON

10 – 13 NOVEMBER 2021

WARWICK ARTS CENTRE

www.warwickartscentre.co.uk

ON SALE 30 JUNE 2021

18 – 20 NOVEMBER 2021
EDEN COURT, INVERNESS

www.eden-court.co.uk

ON SALE 14 MAY 2021

23 – 27 NOVEMBER 2021
BATH THEATRE ROYAL
www.theatreroyal.org.uk

ON SALE 17 MAY 2021

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL Announces UK and Ireland Tour

SELLADOOR WORLDWIDE ANNOUNCES

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL

TO EMBARK ON UK AND IRELAND TOUR

OPENING AT WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE

WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY 2022

FOLLOWING A LONDON CHRISTMAS SEASON AT

SOUTHBANK CENTRE’S QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL

Selladoor Worldwide is delighted to announce that BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL will embark on a UK and Ireland Tour following a Christmas season at London’s Southbank Centre. The tour will open at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Wednesday 26 January 2022 before visiting Southampton, Edinburgh, Blackpool, Aberdeen, Manchester, Cheltenham, Nottingham, Birmingham, Dublin, Woking, Sheffield, Cardiff, Sunderland, Glasgow, Bradford and Milton Keynes.

The production will be led by West End and Love Island star Amber Davies as ‘Campbell’ and four-time Olympic medallist and Strictly Come Dancing winner, Louis Smith as ‘Cameron’. Full casting to be announced soon.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL takes audiences on a high-flying, energy-fuelled journey which tackles friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness – wrapped up in explosive choreography and tricks.

Cheer-royalty and newly crowned Squad Captain, Campbell, should be embarking on her most cheertastic senior year at Truman High School. When she’s forced to move to the neighbouring hard-knock Jackson High, Campbell fears her life is over.  But an unlikely friendship catapults Campbell back into contention with a powerhouse squad and the fire to achieve the impossible.

Inspired by the 2000 film of the same name, BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL features an original score by the multi award winning creator of “Hamilton”, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Pulitzer Prize winning Tom Kitt, composer of “Next To Normal”. The book is written by the Tony Award winning writer of “Avenue Q”, Jeff Whitty and the lyrics are by both Lin-Manuel Miranda and writer of the stage adaptation of “High Fidelity”, Amanda Green.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL is directed by Guy Unsworth and choreographed by Fabian Aloise, with set design by Libby Watson, costume design by Susan Kulkarni, lighting design by Matt Daw, sound design by Ross Portway, music supervision by Mark Crossland and musical direction from Sarah Burrell. They will be joined by Danny MacDonald as acrobatic director and Aundrea Fudge as dialect coach.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL is produced by Selladoor Worldwide, has a libretto by Jeff Whitty, a score by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda lyrics by Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel MirandaBRING IT ON THE MUSICAL is inspired by the motion picture Bring It On written by Jessica Bendinger. Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL

Website            www.bringitonthemusicaluk.com

Twitter             @bringitonuktour

Instagram        @bringitonuktour

Listings Information

2021 PETERBOROUGH AND LONDON

FRIDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2021 – SATURDAY 4 DECEMBER 2021

NEW THEATRE, PETERBOROUGH

www.newtheatre-peterborough.com

Tickets ON SALE NOW

WEDNESDAY 8 DECEMBER 2021 – SATURDAY 22 JANUARY 2022

QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XX

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/venues/queen-elizabeth-hall

Tickets ON SALE NOW

2022 UK TOUR

WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY – SATURDAY 29 JANUARY 2022

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

www.grandtheatre.co.uk

TUESDAY 1 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2022

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

www.mayflower.org.uk

TUESDAY 15 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2022

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

www.capitaltheatres.com

TUESDAY 22 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2022

Blackpool Grand Theatre

www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

TUESDAY 5 APRIL – SATURDAY 9 APRIL 2022

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/his-majestys-theatre

TUESDAY 12 APRIL – SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2022

Opera House, Manchester

www.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester

TUESDAY 19 APRIL – SATURDAY 23 APRIL 2022

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

www.everymantheatre.org.uk

TUESDAY 3 MAY – SATURDAY 7 MAY 2022

Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

www.trch.co.uk

TUESDAY 10 MAY – SATURDAY 14 MAY 2022

The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

TUESDAY 24 MAY – SATURDAY 28 MAY 2022

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

TUESDAY 31 MAY – SATURDAY 4 JUNE 2022

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre

TUESDAY 7 JUNE – SATURDAY 11 JUNE 2022

Sheffield Lyceum

www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

TUESDAY 14 JUNE – SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2022

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

www.wmc.org.uk

TUESDAY 21 JUNE – SATURDAY 25 JUNE 2022

Sunderland Empire

www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

TUESDAY 28 JUNE – SATURDAY 2 JULY 2022

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre-glasgow

TUESDAY 5 JULY – SATURDAY 9 JULY 2022

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

www.bradford-theatres.co.uk/  

TUESDAY 26 JULY – SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022

Milton Keynes Theatre

www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

Casting Update for Bach & Sons

FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR

WORLD PREMIERE OF NINA RAINE’S

B A C H   &   S O N S

AS REHEARSALS BEGIN

Joining Simon Russell Beale who will play Johann Sebastian Bach in the world premiere of Nina Raine’s Bach & Sons are Samuel Blenkin as Carl, Pandora Colin as Maria Barbara, Ruth Lass as Katharina, Douggie McMeekin as Wilhelm, Racheal Ofori as Anna Magdalena and Pravessh Rana as Frederick the Great.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, performances at The Bridge are from 23 June – 9 September 2021 .  The associate director is James Cousins, with set designs by Vicki Mortimer, costumes designed by Khadija Raza, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry and music supervised by George Fenton

Johann Sebastian Bach, irascible and turbulent, writes music of sensuous delight for his aristocratic patrons, and gives voice to his deep religious faith in music for the church.  He’s touchy, he’s fabulously rude, he has high standards (he stabs a bassoonist for playing badly) and he’s constantly in trouble with his employers.  Music is the family business – both his wives and all his children are musicians.  His eldest son, Wilhelm, is brilliant, chaotic and paralysed by his father’s genius.  Tense, industrious Carl is less talented than his father but more successful.  As the years pass, their gripping family drama provokes furious arguments about love, God and above all music.  What is it for – to give pleasure, like a cup of coffee in the sun, or to reveal the divine order that gives life its meaning?  Nina Raine’s play is an anthem to the art that draws us together and sings of our common humanity.

Simon Russell Beale made his Bridge debut last year in A Christmas Carol, also directed by Nicholas Hytner whom he has previously collaborated with on The Alchemist, Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, Collaborators, London Assurance and Timon of Athens all at the National Theatre.  In 2019 he was seen in The Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre and in the West End and later reprised the role in 2020 on Broadway.  As well as being the recipient of multiple theatre awards, in 2003 he was made a CBE for his services to the Arts and in 2019 he was made a Knight Bachelor. 

Samuel Blenkin’s theatre credits include The Ocean at the End of the Lane for the National Theatre and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.  His film credits include The French Dispatch and Misbehaviour.  On television his credits include AtlantaDraculaPennyworthPeaky Blinders, Grantchester and Doctors.

Pandora Colin’s theatre credits include 8 Hotels for Chichester Festival Theatre, Our Town for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar for Sheffield Theatres, The Vote for the Donmar Warehouse and After the DanceEvery Good Boy Deserves FavorWomen of Troy and Some Trace of Her all for the National Theatre.  On film her credits include Earwig and The Witch, Aftermath and The Lady in the Van.  On television her credits include Master of None, Chernobyl, Delicious, Penny Dreadful and Toast of London.

Ruth Lass’ theatre credits include Crooked Dances for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Equus for Theatre Royal Stratford East and Great Apes for the Arcola Theatre.  She also played Ariel in The Tempest at the Barbican and Gertrude in Hamlet at Riverside Studios.  Her film credits include Disobedience, The Book of Gabrielle, Indian Summer/ Alive and Kicking and Mad Cows.  Her television credits include Strike: Lethal White, Silent Witness, Houdini and Doyle and White Teeth.

Douggie McMeekin’s theatre credits include Dirty Crusty at the Yard Theatre, The Night Before Christmas for Southward Playhouse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Young Vic and Wendy & Peter for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His film credits include Nasty Women, The Hustle and The Call Up.  On television his credits include The Beast Must Die, Harlots, Chernobyl, Traitors and The Crown.

Writer and performer Racheal Ofori’s theatre credits include Rare Earth Mettle for the Royal Court Theatre, Three Sisters for the National Theatre for which she received an Ian Charleson special commendation, Pygmalion for Headlong and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick and The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe. Her one-woman shows are Portrait, which played to sell-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe prior to a UK Tour and So Many Reasons which ran at Soho Theatre.  Her television credits include Sliced, In The Long Run, Treadstone and Entreprice. Ofori’s film credits include Artemis Fowl, Guns Akimbo and Ready Player One.

Pravessh Rana is making his professional stage debut in Bach & Sons having graduated from LAMDA.  His television credits include The Serpent and Foundation. 

Nina Raine’s other plays include Stories, Consent, Tiger Country, Rabbit and Tribes as well as an adaptation of The Drunks by the Durnenkov Brothers.  She was shortlisted for the 2004 Verity Bargate Award and awarded the 2006 Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Most Promising Playwright for her debut play Rabbit.  Tribes won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play and has been performed in eighteen different countries. Raine was nominated for a Susan Blackburn Smith Award for Stories and Consent

Nicholas Hytner co-founded London Theatre Company with Nick Starr.  For the Bridge Theatre he has directed Young Marx, Julius CaesarAllelujah!Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, The Shrine, Bed Among the Lentils and A Christmas Carol.  Previously he was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015. Hisbook Balancing Acts is published by Jonathan Cape

BRIDGE THEATRE FAQ’s RE COVID-19

www.bridgetheatre.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/

Performances of Bach & Sons have gone on sale with socially distanced seating; when government guidelines allow, these performances will move to full seating capacity.  All customers will be notified of any necessary changes to their bookings.  

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Address:                  Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Box Office:               0333 320 0051 or boxoffice@bridgetheatre.co.uk

Access:                    0333 320 0051 or access@bridgetheatre.co.uk

Website:                  www.bridgetheatre.co.uk

Twitter:                    @_bridgetheatre

Instagram:                _bridgetheatre

Facebook:                 facebook.com/bridgetheatrelondon

Without Walls responds to the government’s announcement of lockdown easing from 17 May

With today’s announcement expected to state that lockdown restrictions will be easing on 17th May, Josephine Burns, Chair of Without Walls, has provided a comment about the Outdoor Arts sector. Without Walls is a consortium of over 30 festivals and arts organisations that bring fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK.

She comments:

Without Walls and its 35 partner organisations welcome the recent news from the government that entertainment venues and visitor attractions will be reopening on 17th May. With an abundance of fresh air and because they aren’t confined, outdoor arts are as safe as shopping. We’re excited to bring extraordinary outdoor art back to public spaces this summer, with artists returning to our streets, festivals and venues.

Without Walls has an important role to play in supporting artists and organisations to get back outdoors in ways that are safe, responsible and celebratory for everyone. In that context, we were pleased to be invited to government roundtable discussions with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, to offer guidance on the possibilities outdoor arts presents for organisations and businesses across the country.

Public safety at our events is paramount, and Without Walls partners have worked together over the last year to develop a range of resources and guidelines for artists and organisations to have the confidence to present work in outdoor settings.

This year is an important one for the outdoor arts sector in supporting cultural recovery after the pandemic. We recently announced our largest programme ever for 2021, with £650k invested in supporting artists to develop and tour 21 new ambitious projects across the country.

The Outdoor Arts sector prides itself on making extraordinary things happen in a huge range of contexts, spaces and places, and we’re delighted to bring outdoor work back to UK audiences this year.

LONDON CLASSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR OF ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR

LONDON CLASSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR OF ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR

London Classic Theatre present

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR

Written by Alan Ayckbourn 

Directed by Michael Cabot;Set design by Simon Scullion; Costume design by Kate Lyons

Lighting design by Andy Grange

UK Tour

16 June – 16 October 2021

London Classic Theatre today announce a new UK tour of their postponed 20th anniversary production of Absurd Person Singular by Alan AyckbournMichael Cabot directs returning cast, John Dorney (Geoffrey Jackson), Felicity Houlbrooke (Jane Hopcroft), Helen Keeley (Eva Jackson), Rosanna Miles (Marion Brewster-Wright), Graham O’Mara (Ronald Brewster-Wright) and Paul Sandys (Sidney Hopcroft).

The production opens at Derby Theatre on 16 June, before touring to CoventryMalvernGuildfordPeterboroughWeston-Super-Mare, CheltenhamBury St Edmunds, Bath, DoncasterWinchesterIlfracombeChelmsford and Exeter, concluding at Theatr Clwyd on 16 October. All performances will be staged in line with current government guidelines.

Artistic Director Michael Cabot said today “We are thrilled to be getting back on the road again. After such a turbulent and challenging year, we are looking forward to reconnecting with audiences and playing our part in the return of live theatre around the UK. We have been in regular contact with our cast and stage management throughout the shutdown and I’m delighted that they are all returning for the new tour. They are a fantastic team and it will be wonderful to see them all back at work, doing what they do best. Rehearsals start in four weeks and we can’t wait!”

Three married couples. Three kitchens. Three Christmas parties.

Sidney Hopcroft, a small-time tradesman, persuades wife Jane to throw a party hoping to find favour with a bank manager and local architect. As celebrations begin, class differences and naked ambition combine to hilarious effect as, one by one, the characters seek refuge in Jane’s kitchen.

Over the next two years, the Jacksons and Brewster-Wrights take turns to host festivities. But Sidney’s star has begun to rise and roles are increasingly reversed as the cracks in the other couples’ marriages begin to show.

Absurd Person Singular first premièred in 1972 and was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.   

Alan Ayckbourn is an award-winning playwright. His theatre credits include The Norman Conquests (Evening Standard Best Play Award and Tony Award For Best Revival Of A Play), Bedroom FarceJust Between Ourselves (Evening Standard Best Play Award), A Chorus of Disapproval (Olivier Award for Best Comedy and Evening Standard Best Comedy Award), Woman in MindA Small Family Business (Evening Standard Best Play Award), Henceforward (Evening Standard Best Comedy Award), Man of the Moment (Evening Standard Best Comedy Award), House & Garden and Private Fears in Public Places, among others.

John Dorney plays Geoffrey Jackson. Previous credits for the company include HysteriaAbsent FriendsThe Caretaker and Humble Boy. Other theatre credits include FlightPeter Pan (National Theatre), Better Watch Out (Hampstead Theatre), At the Back, Out of Focus (Soho Theatre), Volpone (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Revenger’s TragedyThe Stranger (Southwark Playhouse), A-Team: The Musical (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh), Coalition (Pleasance, Edinburgh and Islington) and Seasons Greetings (Union Theatre).

Felicity Houlbrooke plays Jane Hopcroft. Previous credits for the company include My Mother Said I Never Should and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include Hard Times (Oldham Coliseum), The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre), Echoes (Arcola Theatre) The King’s Speech (Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Black Coffee (UK tour), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal/UK tour) and Gore (Charing Cross Theatre).

Helen Keeley plays Eva Jackson. Previous credits for the company include Private Lives and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (Trafalgar Studios/UK tour), Yap Yap Yap (Battersea Arts Centre), HalfTo the End (Southwark Playhouse) and A Summer Day’s Dream (Finborough Theatre).

Rosanna Miles plays Marion Brewster-Wright. Previous theatre credits include Below Stairs (Arts Theatre), The Crucible (UK tour), When Holly Met Ivy (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Cinderella (Winchester Theatre Royal), Walking the Tightrope (Arcola Theatre), Beyond Nora (Exeter Northcott Theatre), Le Jardin (Bath Theatre Royal) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK tour). Television credits include The GrimleysTeachers and Specials.

Graham O’Mara plays Ronald Brewster-Wright. Previous credits for the company include No Man’s Land. Other theatre credits include Government Inspector and The Three Musketeers (Young Vic), Borders (Arcola Theatre), BU21 (Trafalgar Studios), Romeo and JulietThe Merry Wives of WindsorOthelloA Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Wind in the Willows (Storyhouse, Chester), Sense and Sensibility (The Watermill Theatre), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), A Man of Letters (Orange Tree Theatre) and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds). For television, his credits include Friday Night DinnerSirens and The Queen: 1974.

Paul Sandys plays Sidney Hopcroft. Previous credits for the company include Private LivesEntertaining Mr Sloane and The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre credits include Peter Pan (New Vic Theatre) and Friend or Foe (UK tour). For television, his credits include Apple Tree House and for film, his credits include The Sprint King.

Michael Cabot directs and is the founder and Artistic Director of London Classic Theatre. He has directed all forty-one LCT productions since their touring debut in 2000, including No Man’s LandMy Mother Said I Never Should, Private Lives, Hysteria, The Birthday Party, Waiting for Godot, Absent Friends, Entertaining Mr Sloane and Equus. His freelance work as director includes three recent collaborations with award-winning playwright Henry Naylor, The Collector (Arcola Theatre & UK tour), Angel and Borders (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR LISTINGS

Derby Theatre

16 – 19 June

Box Office: www.derbytheatre.co.uk01332 593939

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

23 – 26 June                         

Box Office: www.belgrade.co.uk/ 024 7655 3055

Malvern Theatres

29 June – 3 July

Box Office: www.malvern-theatres.co.uk/ 01684 892277

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

6 – 10 July                              

Box Office: www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk01483 440000

Key Theatre, Peterborough

13 – 14 July                           

Box Office: www.vivacity.org/theatres/key-theatre01733 207239

The Playhouse, Weston-Super-Mare

16 – 18 July                           

Box Office: www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Playhouse-Theatre/ 01934 645544

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

3 – 7 August                         

Box Office: www.everymantheatre.org.uk/ 01242 572573

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

10 – 14 August                     

Box Office: www.theatreroyal.org/ 01284 769505

Theatre Royal Bath

31 August – 4 September                             

Box Office: www.theatreroyal.org.uk/ 01225 448844

Cast, Doncaster

14 – 15 September

Box Office: www.castindoncaster.com01302 303959

Theatre Royal Winchester

21 – 25 September

Box Office: www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk/ 01962 840440

The Landmark, Ilfracombe

28 – 29 September

Box Office: www.landmark-ilfracombe.com/ 01271 316523

Civic Theatre, Chelmsford

1 – 2 October

Box Office: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres/ 01245 606505

Exeter Northcott Theatre

5 – 9 October

Box Office: www.exeternorthcott.co.uk/ 01392 726363

Theatr Clwyd

12 – 16 October

Box Office: www.theatrclwyd.com/ 01352 344101