Mark Rylance & friends to interpret Myths of War at Park Theatre

Park Theatre and Stop The War Coalition present



In support of Stop The War Coalition

Featuring the work of Howard Zinn, Erich Maria Remarque and more

Sunday 18th June 2017 | Park Theatre


Mark Rylance, Kika Markham and other special friends are to present Myths of War: a series of dramatic readings that question why some wars have become sacrosanct in our collective consciousness. Asking if we can take a fresh view of history in order to end the wars of today, Mark Rylance brings to the London stage Howard Zinn’s seminal oration on the Three Holy Wars. Kika Markham reads from Erich Maria Remarque’s The Road Back. All proceeds from the readings will go to the Stop The War Coalition.

“Hope can only come if you have some historical perspective”

Howard Zinn


Howard Zinn was an American historian, playwright, and famed anti-war activist who wrote more than twenty books about the Civil Rights Movement, US labor history and the stupidity of war. Erich Maria Remarque was a German novelist and screen writer, famous amongst other things for the classic antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front about soldiers’ experiences of World War One.


Melli Marie, Creative Director of Park Theatre, said: “As a theatre, it is important for us to create the space for all conversations to take place, no matter how uncomfortable, controversial or unpopular. We believe that by bringing Howard’s work to light at Park Theatre we are giving our audience a chance to think about this global issue from a personal perspective.”


Lindsey German, Convenor of Stop the War, said: “Howard Zinn was a great writer and historian of the 20th century who spent his life opposing wars and the militarised societies that give rise to them. His body of work is a enduring reminder that it is ordinary people who suffer in wars. We face a choice between further wars, involving the use of ever more catastrophic weapons of mass destruction, which will cause untold misery to millions, or the creation of a society based on peace, justice and cooperation. The Stop the War Coalition is committed to campaigning to end these wars. We must do everything we can to end them.”


Mark Rylance has been an actor since 1976. He is best known for his artistic direction of Shakespeare’s Globe and for playing Rooster Byron in Jerusalem (Royal Court Theatre), Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall (BBC), the BFG in The BFG (Walt Disney Studios) and Colonel Abel in Bridge of Spies (20th Century Fox).


MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY To Apply for Planning Permission in Waterloo





When Björn Ulvaeus watched people at the musical MAMMA MIA! having such a good time, getting into party mood by the end of the show, he thought to himself, “What if this could continue somewhere else?” The obvious place would be in a typical Greek taverna. Björn, director Roine Söderlundh and writer Calle Norlén came up with new characters and a new story, using some of the songs from the musical, but mostly other ABBA songs, and thus MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY was born.  Opening in Stockholm on 20 January 2016, it has been a huge sell-out success, and now Björn wants to bring the party to London.

Björn Ulvaeus and producer Ingrid Sutej are therefore in the process of applying for planning permission to build a temporary venue in London’s Waterloo area, where they can recreate a taverna with a courtyard, olive trees, a fountain and lots of bougainvillea – just like the ones on the island of Skopelos, where the film was shot.  Björn and Ingrid, along with their architects Haworth Tompkins, are working with the local community to make sure they create something that is acceptable to them as well as to Lambeth Council. 


Björn said, “The South Bank is the perfect place for MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY. The building could be used for other activities as well, outside Party hours, so we hope it would be an asset for the whole community.”


Local social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders has been approached about a currently undeveloped site adjacent to the Coin Street neighbourhood centre on Stamford Street, London SE1.  The plan will be to create a wonderfully exotic Greek taverna, where the audience will be served great Mediterranean food and entertained by a cast of actors and musicians, who will transport them to the Greek island paradise.

“MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is an exciting temporary use for a currently undeveloped site of ours.  The permanent use for the site will be Phase 2 of our neighbourhood centre.  But until we’re ready to move forward with that, we believe this to be a creative and interesting use.  We anticipate working with the creators to use the space for community activities at times when it is not open to the public, says deputy group director of Coin Street Community Builders, Alison Pinner.


To keep up to date with MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY as our planning application develops, please visit


Mamma Mia Review

Leeds Grand Theatre – 30 May to 8 July 2017.

Mamma Mia – here we go to Leeds for the first time ever.  Entering the theatre on the blue carpet the heat from the packed auditorium made us all feel as if we were really on a Greek Island.  And how can you fail to be entertained by a show that warns patrons of a nervous disposition that the show contains platform boots and white lycra.

The story – a captivating yet hilarious tale of family and friendship set on a Greek island is instantly enchanting whilst the iconic music and lyrics prove not just beautiful, but utterly relatable.  That’s mainly thanks to the brilliant Abba songs, well sung and cleverly used, not just shoehorned in – The Name of the Game becomes a father/daughter song, and Does Your Mother know is a high energy dance number with a lot of laughs.

On the day before her wedding to Sky (Phillip Ryan), it transpires that Sophie (Lucy May Barker) has invited all three of her potential fathers to watch her marry.  She shares the news with her best friends Ali (Fia Houston-Hamilton) and Lisa (Blaise Conlangelo) who are both appalled she read her mother’s diary and intrigued with what they find out.

Sophie’s mother Donna (Helen Hobson) is unsurprisingly shocked to discover her three past lovers – Harry (Jamie Hogarth), Bill (Christopher Hollis) and Sam (Jon Boydon) – in her taverna, the day before the wedding of the daughter they didn’t know existed.  She shares her anger, fear and confusion with best friends and band mates Rosie (Gillian Hardie) and Tanya (Emma Clifford)

This show is full of strong women and the strong relationships they have:  Mother and Daughter is covered through the tear inspiring song Slipping Through My Fingers, and friendship via Dancing Queen.  Hobson’s rendition of Winner Takes It All is a gut wrenching, emotional powerhouse of a performance which deserved the applause it received

The set is simple but versatile with only a few moves turning it from beach bar, church, taverna and bedroom. The lighting is various shades of blue to represent the sun and sea and day and night.

Its a camp, boisterous, cheesy and exuberant show, filled with laughter and moments of great poignancy but by the end of the show the audience was up on its feet, singing and dancing to the encore version of Dancing Queen and Waterloo, whilst confetti was launched over the audience.   With an array of sequined lycra, platform boots, ABBA melodies and an infectious story – this is a production that pulls out all the stops.

In Leeds until 8 July and on tour around the UK – grab your daughter, grab yours friends or go alone and make friends there – one of the best nights out you’ll have this year