Hobson’s Choice

TANIKA GUPTA’S FRESH TAKE ON HARI HOBSON SEES HIM SET UP SHOP IN MANCHESTER’S NORTHERN QUARTER  

A Royal Exchange Theatre production

HOBSON’S CHOICE
By Harold Brighouse
In a new adaptation by Tanika Gupta
Directed by Atri Banerjee

31 May – 6 July 

Multi-award-winning writer Tanika Gupta has reimagined her 2003 adaptation of HOBSON’S CHOICE for the Exchange. In this sharp and witty retelling of Harold Brighouse’s classic take on family loyalty, we meet Hari Hobson, played by Tony Jayawardena (Ackley Bridge), who has fled Uganda to make a new life for his family in Manchester’s ever-changing Northern Quarter of the 1980s. This universal story explores family relationships and reflects the hopes, aspirations and disappointments of families everywhere who are trying to build a new life. Set in a city with a complex history of cotton and a striking feminist past we meet Durga Hobson (Shalini Peiris) who is determined to challenge the patriarchy and change the status quo. The Hobson family is completed by Maimuna Memon as Sunita Hobson and Safiyya Ingar as Ruby Hobson. HOBSON’S CHOICE runs in the Theatre from 31 May – 6 July.

Regrettably, due to unforeseen personal circumstances director Pooja Ghai has had to step away from this production, Atri Banerjee will take over as director. HOBSON’S CHOICE will be his directorial debut for the Exchange’s main-house. The Royal Exchange looks forward to welcoming Pooja back to Manchester in the future. Pooja commented…

“It’s been a delight to be able to assemble this exceptional cast and creative team, and it’s been a privilege to work for the Royal Exchange. I have full confidence that Atri will take the lead and fully realise Tanika’s wonderful adaptation.”

The HOBSON’S CHOICE cast is completed by Esh Alladi (Ali Mossop) who returns to the Exchange following his role in WIT, Raj Bajaj (Steve Da Silva), Tony Hirst (Jim Heeler), Gurjeet Singh (Robbie Singh), Avin Shah (Tubby Mohammed) and Yasmin Wilde (Dr Bannerjee/Pinky Khan).

Stage and screen actor Tony Jayawardena’s theatre credits have included WHITE TEETH (Kiln Theatre); YOUNG MARX (The Bridge Theatre); LIONS AND TIGERS (The Globe); TWELFTH NIGHT (The Globe) and THE TEMPEST (The RSC). His television credits include: ACKLEY BRIDGE, THE TUNNEL, HOLBY CITY, THE WINDSORS; STRIKEBACK and CUCKOO.

Director Atri Banerjee trained at Birkbeck and was previously Trainee Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre. His associate director credits for the Exchange include: WEST SIDE STORY, THE MYSTERIES and JUBILEE; and his assistant director credits include: HAPPY DAYS, THE ALMIGHTY SOMETIMES and OUR TOWN. He has also just finished an assisting role on THE SON (Kiln Theatre). His directing credits include: TAMASHA SCRATCH NIGHT: THE PLAYWRIGHTS 2018 (Soho Theatre), A PIECE OF MONOLOGUE (Royal Exchange Theatre), THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (Japan and UK tour), SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (C Venues, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and ADC), BIG MAC (Sweet ECA, Edinburgh Festival Fringe). He is currently on the Almeida Resident Director Scheme.

Over the past 15 years Tanika Gupta has written over 20 stage plays that have been produced in major theatres across the UK and has written extensively for BBC Radio drama. Her play LIONS AND TIGERS (Globe Theatre) directed by Pooja Ghai received the James Tait Black Award for Drama 2018. Her other theatre credits include: MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Globe Theatre –Dramaturg); ANITA AND ME (Birmingham Rep); LOVE N STUFF (Theatre Royal Stratford East); THE EMPRESS (Royal Shakespeare Company), WAH! WAH! GIRLS – A BRITISH BOLLYWOOD MUSICAL (Sadler’s Wells); MINDWALKING (Bandbazi Theatre); GREAT EXPECTATIONS (Watford Palace Theatre/English Touring Theatre); MEET THE MUKHERJEES (Bolton Octagon Theatre); WHITE BOY (National Youth Theatre/Soho Theatre); SUGAR MUMMIES (Royal Court Theatre); GLADIATOR GAMES (Sheffield Crucible Theatre); HOBSON’S CHOICE (Young Vic); FRAGILE LAND (Hampstead Theatre); INSIDE OUT (Clean Break); SANCTUARY, BRECHT’S THE GOOD WOMAN OF SETZUAN and THE WAITING ROOM (National Theatre); SKELETON (Soho Theatre) and A RIVER SUTRA (Indoza).

PETER PAN GOES WRONG RETURNS FOR A UK TOUR & CHRISTMAS SEASON AT ALEXANDRA PALACE THEATRE

MULTI AWARD-WINNING MISCHIEF THEATRE RETURN ON TOURWITH ANOTHER COMEDY DISASTER ‘PETER PAN GOES WRONG’

UK TOUR FROM 19 OCT 2019 UNTIL SPRING 2020

CHRISTMAS SEASON AT ALEXANDRA PALACE THEATRE, LONDON: 13 DEC 2019 – 5 JAN 2020

Mischief Theatre, the multi award-winning theatre company responsible for the worldwide smash hit The Play That Goes Wrong, today announces a new national tour of their other West End comedy calamity, Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Opening at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham on Saturday 19 October 2019, the production will tour to over 15 venues nationwide through to Spring 2020, including a Christmas season at Alexandra Palace Theatre in London from Friday 13 December 2019 to Sunday 5 January 2020. Tickets for Alexandra Palace Theatre go on sale from today.

Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play sees the ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M Barrie’s much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland?

‘We are going to do it again and again and again until the cast finally get it right’ – Producer Kenny Wax

Nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘Best New Comedy’ in 2016, Peter Pan Goes Wrong has enjoyed two West End seasons, a tour of Australia and New Zealand and a UK tour. A one-hour version of the show was broadcast on primetime BBC One in December 2016, starring David Suchet as the guest narrator and watched by an audience
of over six million worldwide.

Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work. Current productions include: The Play That Goes Wrong which is now booking into its 5th year in the West End at the Duchess Theatre and also touring the United States, following a two year run on Broadway and two sold out UK tours; The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which is now in its 3rd year in the West End at the Criterion Theatre and also touring the UK. Their forthcoming ‘Mischief Season’, a year-long West End residency at the Vaudeville Theatre, will premiere three new comedies: Groan Ups from September 2019 and Magic Goes Wrong from 14 December. The third production has yet to be revealed. Mischief have also recently announced a brand new six-part television series for BBC One, The Goes Wrong Show, written and starring the original founding Mischief Theatre members. Filming begins in March 2019, broadcast dates yet to be announced. Mischief Theatre is led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido, with set designs by Simon Scullion, costumes by Roberto Surace, lighting by Matt Haskins and sound by Ella Wahlstrom. Casting to be announced. Peter Pan Goes Wrong is produced by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd. A donation from every ticket sold is given to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tour Listings Information:

PETER PAN GOES WRONG – UK TOUR 2019/20

Sat 19 Oct – Sat 2 Nov CHELTENHAM Everyman Theatre
Mon – Sat eves: 7.30pm Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ
Thu & Sat mats: 2pm (exc 19 Oct) Box Office: 01242 572573 | everymantheatre.org.uk
Tue 5 – Sun 10 Nov CARDIFF New Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3LN
Thu, Sat, Sun mats: 2.30pm Box Office: 029 2087 8889 | newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
Tue 12 – Sat 16 Nov CAMBRIDGE Arts Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.45pm 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ
Thu & Sat mats: 2.30pm Box Office 01223 503333 | cambridgeartstheatre.com
Tue 19 – Sun 24 Nov BRIGHTON Theatre Royal
Tue – Sat eves: 7.45pm New Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1SD
Thu, Sat, Sun mats: 2.30pm Box Office 0844 871 7650 | atgtickets.com/brighton
Tue 26 Nov – Sun 1 Dec BATH Theatre Royal
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET
Wed, Thu, Sat & Sun mats: 2.30pm Box Office: 01225 448844 | theatreroyal.org.uk

Tue 3 – Sat 7 Dec SALFORD QUAYS The Lowry
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm Pier 8, Salford Quays M50 3AZ
Wed, Thu & Sat mats: 2.00pm Box Office: 0843 208 6000 | thelowry.com
———————— CHRISTMAS SEASON ———————
Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan LONDON Alexandra Palace Theatre
See full listings below Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

Box Office: 0871 220 0260 | theatre.alexandrapalace.com

Tue 14 – Sat 18 Jan WOKING New Victoria Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm The Ambassadors, The Peacocks Centre, Woking GU21 6GQ
Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm Box Office: 0844 871 7645 | atgtickets.com/woking

Tue 21 – Sun 26 Jan CHESTER Storyhouse
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm Hunter Street, Chester CH1 2AR
Wed, Sat & Sun mats 2.30pm Box Office: 0844 815 7202 | storyhouse.com
Tue 28 Jan – Sat 1 Feb SHEFFIELD Lyceum Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.45pm 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 1DA
Wed, Thu mats 2pm; Sat mat 3pm Box Office: 0114 249 6000 | sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Tue 4 – Sat 8 Feb MILTON KEYNES Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 3NZ
Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm Box Office: 0844 871 7652 | atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes
Tue 11 – Sun 16 Feb EDINBURGH Festival Theatre
Tue – Sat eves: 7.30pm 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT
Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm; Sun mat 2pm Box Office: 0131 529 6000 | capitaltheatres.com
Further tour dates for 2020 to be announced.
London Christmas Season Listings Information:
PETER PAN GOES WRONG
Alexandra Palace Theatre
Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY
Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Box Office: 0871 220 0260*
*Calls cost 13p per minute plus network extras
Website: peterpangoeswronglive.com | theatre.alexandrapalace.com
Performance Times:
Fri 13 Dec 7:30pm
Sat 14 Dec 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Sun 15 Dec 3pm | 7pm
Mon 16 Dec No performance
Tue 17 Dec No performance
Wed 18 Dec 7:30pm
Thu 19 Dec 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Fri 20 Dec 7:30pm
Sat 21 Dec 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Sun 22 Dec 3pm | 7pm
Mon 23 Dec 7:30pm
Thu 26 Dec 3pm | 7pm
Fri 27 Dec 7:30pm
Sat 28 Dec 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Sun 29 Dec 3pm | 7pm
Mon 30 Dec 7:30pm
Tue 31 Dec No performance
Wed 1 Jan 7:30pm
Thu 2 Jan 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Fri 3 Jan 7:30pm
Sat 4 Jan 2:30pm | 7:30pm
Sun 5 Jan 3pm | 7pm
Prices: Tickets from £20
Age: recommended 8+
Running Time: 2 hrs 10 (inc a 20 minute interval)

Björn Ulvaeus’s MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY Holds Open Auditions

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY

TO HOLD OPEN AUDITIONS

TO FIND YOUNG MALE LEAD

Executive producer Björn Ulvaeus and producer Ingrid Sutej are looking to find a young male performer to play ‘Adam’, one of the lead roles in MAMMA
MIA! THE PARTY at London’s O2.  Open Auditions will be held on Thursday 2 May 2019.  The exciting new immersive theatrical dining experience will begin performances in London from 29 August 2019.

Björn Ulvaeus, Executive Producer, said, “We are excited to bring this new entertainment experience to London and we are looking to find a young male lead with a pop music background who has natural charm and charisma along with just the right amount of ‘cheeky’ humour.  If you think that you are the right person and sing, act and dance, please come and meet us on Thursday 2 May.”

AUDITION DETAILS

If you like to entertain and get the party started, then this is the show for you.  If you are interested in the role, you will need to be able to sing, act and move just a little.  An ability to play the guitar would be useful but not essential.

Vocal Range:   Baritone/Tenor

Playing Age:    22 – 28 yearsCharacter:      Adam is a cool, charismatic, charming guy with pop idol looks and a strong pop voice (not musical theatre).  Adam is visiting his aunt Kate                             and her husband Nikos on the island of Skopelos.  He is the type of ‘bad boy’ women love and has been known to break a few hearts in his                          time.  He is staying on the island for a couple of months, working as a bartender in Nikos’s taverna.  He is enjoying his summer and is young,                     free and single until he meets Konstantina.  As they get to know each other, they fall in love and Adam realises that his heart belongs to                                her…..  much to her father’s horror.

Date:            Thursday 2 May 2019

Venue:          Pineapple Dance Studios, 7 Langley St, London WC2H 9JA

Please bring a pop song of your choice that shows off your voice (with sheet music – no backing tracks or acapella songs please), along with a CV and headshot stapled back to back.

Please email any questions or submissions to info@mammamiatheparty.co.uk with subject line “Adam Auditions”.

REGISTRATION COMMENCES AT 10:00 AND CLOSES AT 13:00

PRODUCTION DATES

Rehearsals:       Monday 15 July 2019

1st Preview:       Thursday 29 August 2019

Opening Night:  Thursday 19 September 2019

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday to Monday Evenings:       Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm performance

Saturday and Sunday Matinees:          Doors open at 12.00noon for a 1.00pm performance

Home, I’m Darling Review

The Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester – until Saturday April 27th 2019

Reviewed by Julie Noller

4****

Home, I’m Darling written by award winning playwright and screenwriter Laura Wade is a multi dimensional at times slapstick at others sad but always clever and extremely witty backwards and upside view of the lives of two couples. It’s impossible to dissect fully, and you’ll find yourself using the words maybe and perhaps more than once. If you are, or know, an amateur psychologist or even enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine drinking coffee and gazing around as people go about their lives then Home, I’m Darling like me you will absolutely adore.

First premiered on July 3rd 2018 at Theatre Clwyd it’s slowly building a reputation not only for wonderful dialog but the set and costume designs overseen by Tamara Harvey are deliciously kitsch, there’s doors and walls that revolve and disappear, fluffy swishing skirts. Home, I’m Darling shines the spotlight on relationships and at times pops them under a microscope to highlight those cracks that may lie under the surface.

As we took to our seats the music playing is 1950’s Rock and Roll, my teenage daughter actually said she liked it and according to her all music over a year old is outdated. She was worried she wouldn’t understand the humour yet she did telling me of Judy’s many glares that’s the look you give Dad when he’s in a mood – whoops. There are only six characters throught out the play not all interact together but they highlight perfectly how different we all are, how boring life would be if we were mini robots going along each day but that’s an idealised belief and somehow for Judy she becomes fixated in her groundhog day life.

Poor Judy who grew up in a commune with lentil lasagne and women’s rights, where it became the norm to disagree against any sense of rhythm or routine. Where her Mother protected her from her Fathers wondering eye and she idolises him. Judy is played wondrously by Katharine Parkinson who’s head turns and glares are sometimes all it is needed to have the audience in stitches. The one liners throughout the whole play are intelligent quips that bring about a sense of reality.

Judy who found herself redundant from her high flying, high paying career. Sells herself to husband Johnny the downtrodden and dedicated Jo Stone-Fewings, she wants to be a 1950’s housewife. Staying at home mixing cocktails and warming his slippers before serving dinner for when he returns from work. It will be an experiment for three months see how it goes, alas a year later and it’s become an obsession. As Johnny finally breaks and points out when did they start living for the 1950’s and less about themselves as a couple. It’s interesting to note how instead of feeling poor downtrodden Judy the audience is seeing poor downtrodden Johnny; almost controlled by Judy not allowed to even take his wife a cup of tea in bed and he always enjoyed that simple thing. He isn’t a chauvinist and yet he feels exactly that.

Susan Brown is Sylvia, Judy’s freedom loving Mother, wanting her daughter to rise to the top, this experimental rebellious lifestyle isn’t what she fought for. She and Judy are so alike in being fixated, set in their views. Sylvia’s rousing speech towards the end deserved it’s round of applause, she tells Judy how even the 1950’s wasn’t like the movies, how Judy believes in a comic book world, the 1950’s were cold and depressing how girls only helped their Mothers in the kitchen to stand by the oven to get warm. She speaks so many home truths, it’s scary to hear the reality. It is even more scary to watch as Judy fails to respond instead she hasn’t even heard her Mother perhaps years of failing to listen has affected them both.

Then there’s Fran and Marcus (Siubhan Harrison and Hywel Morgan) close friends and fellow 1950’s enthusiasts yet for them everything is more relaxed more of a hobby, money means they enjoy the time more but it’s not a fixation. However things are not always as they seem and we are reminded once again in life that things behind closed doors are not always as they appear or we would like. Finally there’s Alex, the yuppy-esq Sara Gregory who is everything Judy used to be and no wonder Johnny feels himself drawn to her, Judy he says has lost her sharpness. He loved her mind how she used to argue with him and keep him on his toes.

Ultimately I think Home, I’m Darling is too clever for itself, its backwards title hinting at how mixed up life can become. Those little one liners having the different sections of the audience laughing and giggling. At one point the immortal sentence ‘but what do you do all day’ is uttered and you inhale just in case chairs will be ripped up and the collective females will riot. At the end you realise that life is all about give and take and for any of us to succeed at it, we need to live a little embracing change and allowing our love of something or someone to become intertwined with us but not be our essence.

ROLL UP ROLL UP… Circus 1903 comes to town!

ROLL UP ROLL UP… Circus 1903 comes to town!

The Works Entertainment and Fiery Angel Entertainment will present Circus 1903 at The Lowry Tue 19 – Sun 24 November 2019.

Circus 1903 will feature an array of jaw-dropping new performers from around the world alongside many of the extraordinary acts from last year at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

The international smash-hit phenomenon brings all the glamour and romance of the circus to the stage, along with two very loveable elephants, to delight all members of the family with new acts for 2019, including the Brazilian Wheel of Death.

The performance puts elephants back in the ring as never seen before, with sensational puppetry from the award-winning team behind War Horse, alongside a huge cast of the most unique, jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all four corners of the globe.

From strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more, Circus 1903 will amaze, captivate, and transport audiences of all ages to the mesmerising Golden Age of circus.

The show at The Lowry will feature many of the best loved acts from last year, including Peanut and Queenie, undoubtedly the most charming elephants on any stage around the world, alongside ringmaster David Williamson. A range of new acts from around the world will join the troupe to astound and delight Salford audiences.

Full details of the company will be announced in due course.

Listings Information 
Circus 1903
Dates: Tue 19 – Sun 24 November 2019
Times: Tue – Sun 7.30pm. Thu 2pm. Sat 3pm. Sat – Sun 11am.
Tickets: £18 – £45.50
Website

Brawn Review

Kings Head Theatre – 21st April 2019

Reviewed by Prachya van de Gevel

4****

Brawn is a one man play about a young man Christopher Wollaton, writer and actor of the play that delves into the dark world, of body Dis-morphia. Where I think it really did well was the acting and the set was simple, a chair and a pair of dumbbells and that was all that was needed to draw you in.

The acting, by and large, was superb with so many lines, there was a few times lines were misspoke and repeated, but I am just being picky and in reality it added to the tension of and the neurosis of the character. Now I do no know if the play was based on real life experience, but I did find it hard to believe that Christopher had been bullied in school, and that someones whole career and fall in grades would have resulted from jealousy of another guy dating a girl he felt he had a connection with. Now maybe I am being cynical by that, and it’s not something that I feel empathetic towards. Where he did create moments of lucidness was in his love of science and quantum theory and these were things that really drew me in, the stage lighting really did a great job of setting the scene and drawing you in.

There is a lot to be said about the perspective of self perception in today’s youth of appearance based on easy access to Social Media and Hollywood Stars, that can really perceive the reality of maintaining the perfect technique, and his youth and generation really shows in his style of speech he uses many profanities and colloquialisms. The character is not part of the LGBTQ community but yet showcases at a predominately LGBTQ venue is interesting to watch as many including myself made an assumption the character was gay, and that would have added a whole new dimension to the story as that is something that really hits the community.

Christopher is rightly the star of the show, but I think we could have delved deeper into the character’s motivations and gave him some redeeming qualities, but then with those in place maybe you would loose how messed up your mind can be when you can only see imperfections in your perfect body.

Beauty and the Beast Review

The Plaza, Stockport – until 22 April 2019

Reviewed by Carla Whittaker

4****

Regal Entertainments brings this year’s Easter pantomime of Beauty and the Beast to the Stockport Plaza, staring Kiera-Nicole Brennan from Channel 5’s Milkshake as Belle. I was really excited about this as Beauty and the Beast is my favourite, and so I was happy to be starting our Easter weekend with this magical fairy tale which was certainly delivered at Stockport’s Plaza!

The curtains lift and the show is opened with sparkle and glamour by the wonderful Sarah Walker as Fairy Rose. The story follows Belle in the French village of Petit Pois. Belle is pursued by the egotistic Garston played by the hilarious Philip McGuinness who storms around the stages determined to win the hand of Belle, with the audience eliciting boo’s throughout. However, Belle had her sights on the handsome Prince (James Lacey) which Madam Botox (Hannah Potts) takes it upon herself to sabotage this by giving the unknowing Prince a poison which turns him into a hideous beast with the intention that Belle will not fall for the beastly creature. Will Belle be able to see passed the unsightly exterior of the Prince or, will Belle live an intolerable life with Gaston and his wicked mother? With the help of the long standing duo Simon Foster as Potty Polly, Lewis Devine as French Frank and Fairy Rose the Prince is resurrected and Belle gets her dream of falling in love with the Prince, with the traditional ending of all panto’s of a glitzy wedding.

The acts of Potty Polly . . . . yooo’hooo are French Frank were hilarious and definitely stole the show for me. There were buckets of classic and modern comedy which created a lighthearted ambience and atmosphere that only a panto can conjure. My son was particularly fond of the scene when French Frank is turned into a frog, and a member of the audience has to help him back onto the wall multiple times – it was hilarious! The atmosphere was uplifting, and my son was laughing out loud throughout the whole performance.  The content was perfect for both adults and children, with plenty of audience participation making it the perfect must see performance.

Panto is definitely something which everyone should experience, which I really enjoy as does my son. Beauty and the Beast is running until Monday 22nd April and I highly recommend if you have not got tickets that you go and get them for some traditional Easter entertainment!

AARON SIDWELL & LAUREN SAMUELS LEAD THE CAST IN THE BARN THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF HENRY V WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S CLASSIC HISTORY DIRECTED BY HAL CHAMBERS RUNNING FROM 22 MAY ­ 22 JUNE

AARON SIDWELL & LAUREN SAMUELS

LEAD THE CAST IN THE BARN THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF

HENRY V

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S CLASSIC HISTORY

DIRECTED BY HAL CHAMBERS

RUNNING FROM 22 MAY – 22 JUNE

From musical theatre to Shakespeare, Aaron Sidwell (WickedAmerican IdiotLoservilleGhost,EastEnders) and Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like BeckhamRomantics AnonymousWe Will Rock You,GreaseWater BabiesOver The Rainbow) will star as Henry and Katherine respectively, in The Barn Theatre’s (Best Fringe Theatre  – The Stage Awards 2019) upcoming production of the Bard’s timeless historical classic, Henry V.

The production runs at The Barn from 22 May – 22 June, with press night on Friday 24 May 2019.Henry V will be directed by Hal Chambers, with designs by Emily Leonard, fight direction by Christos Dante, movement direction by Kate Webster, composition by Harry Smith, projection designs byBenjamin Collins, sound design by Chris Cleal and lighting by Sam Rowcliffe Tanner.

Set in modern surroundings, this enduring classic of Shakespeare’s tale of war, its victors and victims, is cleverly brought up to date and explores the conflict between tradition and modernity in Britain through the lens of a nation at war.

The production will feature an atmospheric neon scenography to place the audience in the current moment, whilst maintaining the beauty of the text. This will be set alongside a beautiful original score to transform Shakespeare’s work into a modern, mesmerizing spectacle of tension and excitement.

The play hopes to cleverly preserve Shakespeare’s questioning of the symbolism of monarchy whilst investigating current British Nationalism and explores what it means to be a great leader.

The full cast comprises of: Matt Ray Brown (Exeter/Orleans), Alicia Charles (Bardolph/Williams), Elin Philips (Fluellen), Lauren Samuels (Katherine/Boy), Aaron Sidwell (Henry), Adam Sopp(Pistol/Constable), Sarah Waddell (Queen of France) and Jonathan Woolf (Nym/Dauphin).

Henry V follows The Butterfly Lion, which is currently running at The Barn until 4 May. The 2019 season then continues with a brand new production of the comic thriller, The 39 Steps (10 July – 10 August 2019), the award-winning musical Daddy Long Legs (2 October – 2 November 2019), and a reimagining of Charles Dickens’ festive masterpiece, A Christmas Carol (27 November 2019 – 4 January 2020). 

New productions and further casting announced for Theatre Royal Bath’s summer season 2019

NEW PRODUCTIONS AND FURTHER CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THEATRE ROYAL BATH’S SUMMER SEASON 2019
 

  • JONATHAN CHURCH, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THEATRE ROYAL BATH’S SUMMER SEASON, TODAY ANNOUNCES FURTHER PRODUCTIONS AND NEW CASTING FOR THE 2019 PROGRAMME
     
  • KATHERINE PARKINSON, CLÉMENCE POÉSY, ANN MITCHELL, JOHN LIGHT, JOHN STANDING AND MARTY CRUICKSHANK TO JOIN RUPERT EVERETT IN THE CAST OF UNCLE VANYA WHICH HE ALSO DIRECTS
     
  • JANIE DEE, MICHELLE ASANTE, AYSHA KALA AND LEWIS REEVES TO STAR IN THE TONY AWARD WINNING COMEDY VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
     
  • EMMA NAOMI, GEOFFREY STREATFEILD, SIMON COATES, LUCY ROBINSON AND ROSE WARDLAW TO JOIN THE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED JENNIFER SAUNDERS AND LISA DILLON IN BLITHE SPIRIT
     
  • VANESSA REDGRAVE WILL STAR IN VIENNA 1934 – MUNICH 1938 WHICH SHE WROTE AND DIRECTED, JOINED ON STAGE BY ROBERT BOULTER AND PAUL HILTON 
     
  • DAVID EDGAR IN HIS PROFESSIONAL ON-STAGE DEBUT IN TRYING IT ON,DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER HAYDON
     
  • THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT STARRING STEPHEN MANGAN AND KARA TOINTON TO PREVIEW IN BATH PRIOR TO THE WEST END 
     
  • JAMES KETTLE’S THE LIFE I LEAD STARRING MILES JUPP TO PLAY IN THE MAIN HOUSE FOLLOWING A LONDON RUN
     
  • TICKETS NOW ON SALE AT WWW.THEATREROYAL.ORG.UK 


Theatre Royal Bath today announces four additional productions – Vienna 1934-Munich 1938, The Life I Lead, Trying It On and The Man in the White Suit, to complete its Summer Season 2019 programme and further casting with Katherine Parkinson, Janie Dee as well as Vanessa Redgrave, Miles Jupp and David Edgar among the stars set to take to the stage in both treasured classics and acclaimed new works. 

The Summer Season runs from June through to September and will open with the UK premiere ofVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in the Ustinov Studio, starring Janie Dee (Follies),Michelle Asante (Our Lady of Kibeho), Aysha Kala (Obsession) and Lewis Reeves (My Night with Reg).

The production will be followed by Blithe Spirit, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders and Lisa Dillon as previously announced, with Emma Naomi (Pinter at the Pinter), Geoffrey Streatfeild (Spooks), Simon Coates (Richard III), Lucy Robinson (Cold Feet) andRose Wardlaw (Outlying Islands) completing the cast.

Further casting is also revealed for Uncle Vanya in which Rupert Everett makes his directorial debut and stars in the title role. He will be joined by Katherine Parkinson (Home, I’m Darling),Clémence Poésy (In Bruges, Harry Potter), Ann Mitchell (Widows, EastEnders), John Light(Mary Stuart), John Standing (The First Churchills) and Marty Cruickshank (Call the Midwife).

New plays added to Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season line-up will see Vanessa Redgrave’sVienna 1934 – Munich 1938, A Family Album in which she also stars alongside Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton, followed by Trying It On written by acclaimed dramatist David Edgarand which will mark his professional debut as a performer, directed by Christopher Haydon, both in the Ustinov Studio. Main House productions include The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp and directed by Didi Hopkins and Selina Cadell, and The Man in the White Suit adapted by Sean Foley and starring Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon immediately prior to a West End transfer.

As previously announced, the summer programme will also include William Boyd’s The Argument (7-24 August) starring Felicity Kendal, with further casting to be announced in due course.

Tickets for all productions are now on sale at www.theatreroyal.org.uk.


VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Thursday 6 June – Saturday 6 July
Press Night: Wednesday 12 June

Tony Award-winning Walter Bobbie directs Christopher Durang’s comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in the Ustinov Studio to open the Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season 2019 starring Janie Dee, Michelle Asante, Aysha Kala and Lewis Reeves. 

The original production premiered at the McCarter Theatre and Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and after a successful run it transferred to Broadway where it received six Tony Award nominations and won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. 

Vanya and his sister Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they grew up. But their sister Masha escaped many years ago and became a famous movie star. When Masha returns unannounced with her twenty-something boy toy, Spike, so begins a rollicking weekend of rivalry, regret and all-too true premonitions. 

Michelle Asante most recently performed on stage in Our Lady of Kibeho (Royal and Derngate) and previously in Things of Dry Hours (Young Vic), Welcome Home Captain Fox (Donmar), Ruined(Almeida) and Torn (Arcola). Michelle’s TV credits include Dr WhoHolby City, Casualty, Our Girl 2and Father Brown.

Janie Dee recently completed a critically acclaimed run in the title role of Linda (Manhattan Theatre Club), for which she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, and Follies (National Theatre), for which she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Janie has also appeared in Channel 4’s Chimerica and Crashing as well as the BBC’s The Murder Room andMidsomer Murders.

Aysha Kala was named BAFTA breakthrough Brit of 2015. She has performed on stage in An Adventure (Bush Theatre), Obsession (Barbican), Punkplay (Southwark Playhouse), Djinns of Eidgah(Royal Court) and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC). Television appearances include Channel 4’sIndian Summers and Shameless.

Lewis Reeves’ theatre credits include My Night with Reg (West End), Our Boys (Duchess Theatre) and The Wider Earth (The Dead Puppet Society). Television credits also include DC Jake Collier inUnforgotten, Crazyhead, and Misfits.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is produced by special arrangement with Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschorn, Sue Wagner and John Johnson. 


BLITHE SPIRIT
Friday 14 June – Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June

Jennifer Saunders, one of the UK’s most popular comic actors, makes her Theatre Royal Bath debut as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit. She is joined by Lisa Dillon as Ruth Condomine with Emma Naomi, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Simon Coates, Lucy Robinson and Rose Wardlaw completing the cast.

The production brings together a multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Richard Eyre with design by Anthony Ward and lighting by Howard Harrison

Written in 1941, Coward’s inventive comedy proved light relief at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright’s most popular works.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated.

Simon Coates’s stage credits include Richard III (Almeida), 1984 (West End), The Cherry Orchard(Royal Exchange, Bristol Old Vic), King John (Shakespeare’s Globe). He has also toured the UK withRegeneration, The Misanthrope, Romeo & Juliet and The Hypochondriac.

Emma Naomi starred recently in Pinter at the Pinter (Jamie Lloyd Productions/ATG), Bread and Roses (Oldham Coliseum), The Cherry Orchard (Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange), Dead Don’t Floss (National Theatre), Don Juan in Soho (Wyndham’s Theatre) and, for television, Channel 4’s Chimerica

Lucy Robinson’s stage credits include Waste, The Hard Problem (National Theatre), Handbagged(Vaudeville), Sweet Bird of Youth (Old Vic), In the Next Room (Theatre Royal Bath). Her many TV credits include Cold Feet, Coronation StreetCall the Midwife, Doc Martin, Doctor and Pride and Prejudice.

Geoffrey Streatfeild has appeared on TV in Spooks, The Hollow Crown, The Thick of It and The Other Boleyn Girl, and on film in Making Noise Quietly, The Lady in the Van, Kinky Boots and A Royal Night Out. Stage credits include the Histories Cycle (RSC), Cell Mates (Hampstead), The Beaux Stratagem (National Theatre) and My Night with Reg (Donmar). 

Rose Wardlaw recently performed in Outlying Islands at the King’s Head. She has previously appeared in Eyam, The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe), Jubilee (Lyric Hammersmith) and Great Expectations (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and, for television, Call the Midwife and Doctors.

Blithe Spirit is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.


VIENNA 1934 – MUNICH 1938, A FAMILY ALBUM
Thursday 11 July – Saturday 3 August

Theatre Royal Bath presents a Rose Theatre Kingston Production, Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938, A Family Album, written, directed by and starring Vanessa Redgrave in the Ustinov Studio. She will be joined on stage by Robert Boulter and Paul Hilton.

In the late 1930s, the illustrious actor Michael Redgrave became close friends with the celebrated poet Stephen Spender. Through their families’ notebooks, journals and memoirs, and Stephen’s poems, Vanessa Redgrave discovers the love affairs they remembered, and the hopes and fears of a generation that confronted the rise of fascism in Europe. Among these was the German writer Thomas Mann. As Stephen’s love and respect for a young American woman studying psychology in Vienna grew deeper, he and his secretary Tony Hyndman tried to assist her in obtaining false visas and passports for socialist Jews and their families to escape from fascist Austria.

Written and directed by Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Michael Redgrave, the play highlights the affectionate and intimate thoughts of individuals during these years of political and social disaster.

Vanessa Redgrave is regarded as one of the greatest actors of her generation. She has won a plethora of awards including an Olivier Award for The Aspern Papers and a Tony Award for Long Day’s Journey into Night. She also received Tony nominations for The Year of Magical Thinking andDriving Miss Daisy. She is a is a six-time Oscar nominee, winning for Julia. Her narration of Call the Midwife has brought her voice to millions. She recently appeared in The Inheritance in the West End for which she was nominated for a 2019 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Robert Boulter most recently appeared in the multi-Olivier Award winning The Inheritance (Young Vic, Noël Coward) and previously in Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (RSC), The Odyssey, Karamazoo(National Theatre) and How to Curse (Bush). Screen credits include Star Wars Episode IX, Star Wars Episode VII and TV series’ Evidence and Father Brown.

Paul Hilton has also recently performed in the four-times Olivier Award winning The Inheritance(Young Vic, Noël Coward) with other stage credits including Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court),Mosquitoes (National Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Young Vic), A Mad World My Masters(Shakespeare’s Globe) and All New People (Duke of York’s). Television credits include The Crown, A Very English Scandal and Silent Witness.


UNCLE VANYA
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August
Press Night: Wednesday 24 July

Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath where he last appeared in The Judas Kiss in 2012 and which went on to transfer to the West End, and following recent critical acclaim as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince which he also wrote and directed. Everett will direct his first stage play and lead the cast in Anton Chekhov’s theatrical masterpiece Uncle Vanya, a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, in a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare. Further cast includes Katherine Parkinson, Clémence Poésy, Ann Mitchell, John Light, John Standingand Marty Cruickshank, with additional casting to be announced. 

It’s late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil.

Marty Cruickshank’s television appearances include Catastrophe, Call the Midwife, Line of Dutyand Lewis. On stage she has performed in Richard II (RSC), London Wall (Finborough), Pygmalion(Garrick), The Tinkers Wedding (Southwark Playhouse) and Charley’s Aunt (Theatre Royal Bath and National Tour).

John Light was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role inTaken at Midnight at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Theatre credits also include Mary Stuart (Almeida),The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Blackest Black (Hampstead Theatre) and Luise Miller(Donmar). TV credits include Silk and Endeavour.

Ann Mitchell recently appeared in the film Farming, as well as Widows, Dragonfly and The Deep Blue Sea. Her many TV credits include Call the Midwife, Hetty Feather, EastEnders, Casualty, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Summer in the Suburbs. Previous stage credits include A View from Islington North (Arts Theatre), The Stock Da’wa (Hampstead Theatre), Innocence (Arcola) and a national tour of Angels in America.

Katherine Parkinson is a BAFTA-winning actress well known for starring in Channel 4’s The IT Crowd and the Olivier Award winning comedy Home, I’m Darling (National Theatre). Stage credits also include Dead Funny (Vaudeville Theatre), Before The Party (Almeida), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), School For Scandal (Barbican Theatre), Season’s Greetings(National Theatre), Cock, The Seagull (Royal Court).

Clémence Poésy’s film credits include Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter films, 127 Hours, In Bruges, Tito Il Piccolo, Final Portrait, The Ones Below and Mr Morgan’s Last Love. For TV, Clémence has also appeared in Gossip Girl, War and Peace, Birdsong and The Tunnel.

John Standing has performed extensively across theatre, television and film. TV credits include The First Churchills, Game of Thrones, NYPD Blue, In Deep and Murder She Wrote and V for Vendettafor film. Stage credits include Shadowlands (Wyndham’s), A Delicate Balance (Haymarket), Son of Man (RSC) and Plunder (National Theatre). 


THE LIFE I LEAD
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August

The Life I Lead sees leading stand-up comedian Miles Jupp (Rev, The Thick of It, The News Quiz) bring to life the remarkable story of David Tomlinson, the actor best remembered for his performance as Mr Banks in the classic Disney film Mary Poppins. Didi Hopkins and Selina Cadell direct this richly comic and moving tale of fathers and sons across different generations.

David Tomlinson was renowned for playing the classic English gent, forthright, proper, and a loveable fool. His meeting with Walt Disney came to encapsulate his incredible life full of adventure and heartbreak. The man who portrayed one of cinema’s most famous patriarchs was defined by his relationship with his own father – a remote eccentric, who was hiding an extraordinary tragicomic secret.

Miles Jupp’s stage credits include Rules for Living and People (National Theatre) and Neville’s Island (Chichester Festival Theatre). He frequently performs stand-up comedy, including UK tours ofMiles Jupp is the Chap You’re Thinking of, Miles Jupp: Songs of Freedom, Miles Jupp: Fibber in the Heat. For television, Miles has been seen in Howards End, Outumbered and Watership Down.

Didi Hopkins has worked across film, theatre, television and radioShe is a senior member of the National Theatre’s Theatre Works team. She was consultant to Richard Bean on the award-winningOne Man Two Guvnors which ran in the West End and on Broadway. 

Selina Cadell directed the RSC in their first performance of Love for Love by William Congreve. She has performed extensively on stage including The Cherry Orchard (Old Vic, BAM New York), Twelfth Night (Donmar), A Monster Calls (Old Vic), The Dresser (Duke of York’s) and People (National Theatre). TV include Queens of Mystery and Doc Martin.


TRYING IT ON
Tuesday 3 September – Saturday 7 September

After 50 years of writing, Trying It On marks playwright and contemporary political commentatorDavid Edgar’s professional debut as a performer in this fascinating deliberation on how, why and whether our opinions change in the course of time. The production is directed by Christopher Haydon.

It’s 1968. David Edgar is 20 and in his second year at university. It is the height of the world-wide student revolt. The Vietnam war rages, Enoch Powell delivers his “rivers of blood” speech, Martin Luther King is assassinated. These events will define David’s politics and give focus to his writing. It’s 50 years on. The 70-year-old is confronted by the 20-year-old. Do they share the same beliefs? If not, is it the world that’s changed, or him? Why did his generation vote Brexit? Has he sold in or sold out?

David Edgar has been writing critically acclaimed plays since 1971. His name is synonymous with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he is the venue’s most performed living playwright and for whom his numerous plays include Destiny, winner of the John Whiting Award; The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, winner of a Tony Award and the Society of West End Theatres Best Play award; Maydays, winner of the Plays and Players Award for Best Play and Pentecost, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year.

Christopher Haydon is the former Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre. His recent directing credits include the world premiere of The Remains of the DayOn The Exhale which won a Fringe First andGrounded, winner of the Off West End Best Production award.


THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT
Friday 6 September – Saturday 21 September

Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon will star in the world premiere of the classic Ealing comedyThe Man in the White Suit which previews in Bath prior to a West End transfer, presented by Jenny King, Jonathan Church, Matthew Gale and Mark Goucher. It is adapted for the stage by Sean Foley, based on the play “The Flower Within the Bud” by Roger MacDougall and the screenplay by Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick, by special arrangement with STUDIO CANAL.

When Sidney Stratton invents a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out, manufacturers and trades unions are terrified by the threat it poses to their industry and their jobs. Only Daphne the mill owner’s daughter, shows Sidney any support as his world gradually falls apart before he finds love. This fast-moving comedy reunites Stephen Mangan and Sean Foley who also created the Olivier award-winning production Jeeves and Wooster.

Stephen Mangan’s many stage appearances include The Birthday PartyJeeves and Wooster andThe Norman Conquests, for which he received a Tony nomination. His many screen credits include the lead as Sean in Episodes for the BBC, and for the Bafta winning Green Wing.

Kara Tointon is best known for playing Dawn Swann in EastEnders, as the 2010 winner of Strictly Come Dancing and as Maria in ITV’s The Sound of Music Live. Her West End credits includePygmalion, Absent Friends and Relatively Speaking and she played Olivia in Twelfth Night for the RSC.

Sean Foley’s many productions include most recently in the West End, The DresserThe Miser andThe Painkiller. He is a double Olivier Award winner and has recently been appointed as the next Artistic Director at Birmingham Rep. For The Man in the White Suit, he joins forces with designer Michael Taylor, with whom he also created The Ladykillers.

We’re BACK with a new 48-Hour Musical for 2019!

Showtime Challenge 48-Hour Musicals is BACK with a production of Singin’ in the Rain at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 13 October in aid of The Lewy Body Society.

Rehearsals for Singin’ in the Rain will begin in the evening of Friday 11 October, then after 48 intense, exhausting hours, the curtain will rise at the Adelphi Theatre at 7pm on Sunday 13 October and – ready or not – the show WILL go on!

Audition booking is now open to recruit a sensational cast made up of West End professionals and super-talented amateurs, with a 30-piece orchestra, production team and a celebrity host. Everyone involved with the fully-staged, costumed and choreographed show gives up their time for free in support of the chosen charity.

Auditions will take place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June.
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Tickets are on sale now, available from the Adelphi Theatre. \
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