Talawa’s new verbatim project with Black key and frontline workers: Tales from the Front Line | Autumn 2020

Presented by Talawa Theatre Company
Tales from the Front Line
Autumn 2020

Talawa Theatre Company are creating an online experience featuring six brand new short pieces using verbatim interviews from Black key and frontline workers which explore the historic moment of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on them. The pandemic has had a starkly divergent impact on communities; Black people are four times more likely to die from Covid-19, according to Public Health England’s figures in May for England and Wales.

What has been learned, challenged and changed forever? What might life in the UK look like in a year’s time? Tales from the Front Line will document the contribution of Black workers at the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, creating a lasting historical record. It will explore their relationships with British society and how the pandemic has challenged their perceptions of belonging, especially in the wake of the Windrush Scandal and the global Black Lives Matter movement. With humour and hope, Tales from the Front Line will be an interrogation of the society that is being impacted greatest by Covid-19, and the society that will emerge from it.

Talawa are speaking to people from a wide spectrum of key and frontline workers, including Transport for London employees, supermarket staff, teachers, teaching assistants and delivery drivers, and draws contributors from Talawa’s Croydon home and across the UK. The interviews are intended to provide a space for these workers to share their experiences, and articulate their concerns and hopes for the future.

Artists will be given the freedom to use the testimonies to create a dramatised work featuring music, photography, movement, soundscapes and animations – whatever they feel best conveys the story. With support from Croydon Council’s Culture Relief Fund, the pieces will be available on Talawa’s website this Autumn.

Michael Buffong, Talawa’s Artistic Director, comments, If not for Covid-19, we would find our lives dominated by BREXIT and the Windrush scandal. Covid-19 has exposed the fact those people most affected by these hostilities are the ones who are keeping the country alive, sustained and functioning. We want to gather and share these powerful stories from the front line to ensure that these contributions by Black British people cannot be erased
from the historical record.

Talawa are an Arts Council England NPO.



Lambert Jackson Productions in association with The Other Palace, today announces a “virtual lockdown production” of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World. Filmed entirely in isolation, Séimí Campbell directs Rachel John (Hamilton), Ramin Karimloo (Phantom of The Opera), Cedric Neal (Motown) and Rachel Tucker (Come From Away), with musical supervision by Adam Hoskins and musical direction from Josh Winstone. The production will be streamed on The Other Palace – Digital Venue, for £12.50.

“It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice… or take a stand… or turn around and go back.”

Written by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and sitting between musical and song cycle, this moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love, and the choices that we make as it transports audiences through time and space.

An exclusive presale for subscribers will take place from midday on Thursday 2 July – please visit www.theotherpalace.co.uk. Tickets will go on general on sale at midday on Friday 3 July

Rachel John plays Woman 1.Her previous theatre credits include Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre), The Color Purple – In Concert (Cadogan Hall), The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre/UK tour), Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre), Rent (UK tour), We Will Rock You, Sister Act (London Palladium) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre/international tour).Ramin Karimloo plays Man 2. Hisprevious concert credits for Lambert Jackson Productions include Dr Zhivago (Cadogan Hall). His other theatre credits include Chess in Concert (Umeda Arts Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar in ConcertEvita (Theatre Orb Tokyo), Chess (The Kennedy Centre), Anastasia (Broadhurst Theatre), Murder Ballad (Arts Theatre), Les Miserables (Imperial Theatre/Princess of Wales Theatre/Queens Theatre/Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre), Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert (O2 Arena), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) and Miss Saigon (UK tour).

Cedric Neal plays Man 1. His previous theatre credits include Back To The Future (Manchester Opera House), The View Upstairs (Soho Theatre), Stagger Lee, Death of a Salesman (Dallas Theater Center), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and Dreamgirls (Signature Theatre). His credits for television include Friday Night Lights and The Good Guys.

Rachel Tucker plays Woman 2. Her previous theatre credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria/The Gershwin Theater), Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Last Ship (Neil Simon Theatre), Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Dusty (Leicester Square Theatre), The Wizard of OzTo Be SureMerry Christmas Betty Ford (Belfast Lyric Theatre), Tonight’s The NightTommy and The Full Monty (UK tour).

Séimí Campbell directs. His previous credits include My Son Pinocchio (Southwark Playhouse). As an assistant director his credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); and as resident director credits include Amour (Charing Cross Theatre), Cereal Café (The Other Palace) and Sweeney Todd (Shoreditch Town Hall).








Lambert Jackson Productions

The Other Palace

Malvern Theatres Public Appeal Update

Malvern Theatres Public Appeal Update

Malvern Theatres is delighted to announce that its Covid public appeal has now reached an astonishing £100,000 thanks to its audiences and supporters. In recognition of this feat, a formal ‘thank you’ page will soon be launched on the theatre’s website to publicly acknowledge every individual who has contributed to the appeal, be it through a donation, a monthly direct debit or through the gift of refunded tickets.

Chief Executive Nic Lloyd said: “This amount has exceeded all of our expectations and we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

“Your generosity has bought us valuable time and will ensure that we reach the autumn before losing our reserves. With no end to the crisis in sight for theatres however, we cannot relax our efforts and our next target is to secure the theatre through to the New Year.

“We aim to raise a further £100,000 between now and Christmas. Every step that we take now will make a huge difference to our reserves, offering a lifeline to our future sustainability.”

There are a number of ways people can support the theatre without making a donation, including supporting them on social media, setting the theatre as your designated Amazon Smile charity, hosting your own fundraiser, or purchasing a membership or gift voucher for future use.

To donate to the fund, please visit malvern-theatres.co.uk/support-us

Yorkshire based Mikron Theatre Company start fundraising appeal for 50th anniversary year with future of acclaimed company at risk

Mikron award winning Logo + Strapline.jpg

Yorkshire based Mikron start fundraising appeal for 50th anniversary year with future of company at risk

The unique canal-based Yorkshire theatre company, Mikron Theatre, are launching a new fundraising appeal that aims to help them reach their incredible 50th year of touring.  

Mikron Theatre Company, who have been touring the UK’s canals, rivers and roads for the past 48 years, have had to cancel their entire 2020 season, but with help from their supporters and the general public they aim to be back in 2021 for the 50th year of touring. 

In April this year, the Huddersfield based company were due to tour two new plays to over 130 dates and were busy planning their 50th year of touring in 2021. Then the Coronavirus epidemic hit.

Since making the decision not to tour, Mikron took Arts Council England’s advice and have been helping the community in their home village of Marsden, West Yorkshire. They have repurposed their office and van to assist with the village COVID-19 mutual aid group ‘Marsden Help’ and have delivered hundreds of food parcels and prescriptions to self-isolating and vulnerable families.

The company’s Artistic Director Marianne McNamara said:

We’re so incredibly sad not to be touring. In the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak we looked at every possible combination, but none of them were practical.

What I would not give to see Mikron performing at a Canalside venue to a large crowd with the sun setting behind us. We see the same faces in different places year on year and we really miss them but the safety of the cast and crew, venues and of course our loyal audiences, had to come first.”

Based in the village of Marsden, at the foot of the Yorkshire Pennines, Mikron Theatre Company are like no other. For starters, they tour for most of the year on board a vintage narrowboat, secondly, they put on their shows in places that other theatre companies wouldn’t dream of; a play about growing-your-own shown in allotments, a play about bees performed next to hives, a play about chips to audiences in a fish and chips restaurant, as well as plays about hostelling in YHA Youth hostels and the RNLI at several Lifeboat stations around the UK.

2021 will, with the success of this appeal, see Mikron tour two brand new shows; Amanda Whittington’s Atalanta Forever which tells the story of Women’s football in the 1920s and Polly Hollman’s  canine comedy caper A Dog’s Tale.

Since they were formed in 1972 they have written 64 original shows, composed and written 384 songs, issued over 236 actor musician contracts, spent 30,000 boating hours on the inland waterways, covered 530,000 road miles, performed over 5060 times and performed to over 428,000 people 

COVID19 has dealt the Yorkshire based theatre company a potentially catastrophic blow and they need help to ensure that they get back on their feet, back on the road, and back on the water.

With no income from shows, no merchandise, no programmes, or raffle in the budget, Mikron are currently looking at a shortfall of £48,337.49. The entire management team is doing as much as they can to reduce costs month by month, but this simply is not enough. On current budgets the company will run out of money before their 50th year of touring in 2021.   

With this in mind the acclaimed and much loved theatre company  had no choice but to launch an appeal to raise £48,337.49 by the end of December 2020 to ensure that their 50th year of touring can go ahead and that Mikron has a future within the theatre industry. 

For further information and to donate please visit www.mikron.org.uk/appeal . Donations can also be sent to Mikron Theatre, Marsden Huddersfield, HD7 6BW).

Blackeyed Theatre streaming Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four for free

Blackeyed Theatre streaming popular
Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Nick Lane
Sunday 5th July – Wednesday 15th July 2020

As theatres face extended closure due to Covid-19, Blackeyed Theatre is making its acclaimed 2018 production of Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four available to watch online for free, from Sunday 5th July – Wednesday 15th July.

Crammed full of adventure, romance, comedy and of course one or two rather brilliant deductions, The Sign of Four is a breath-taking yarn brough to life in this spectacular stage adaptation. When Mary Morstan arrives at 221B Baker Street to request help with the mystery of her missing father, Holmes takes the case and together with his companion Dr Watson enters a murky world of deception and trickery, unravelling a complex plot involving murder, corruption and stolen jewels. Original live music, stylish theatricality and magical story-telling combine for an unforgettable theatrical experience. The game’s afoot!

The world premiere production, adapted by Nick Lane from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s epic second Sherlock Holmes novel, played to over 50,000 people in 70 towns and cities across the UK, the Netherlands and China between September 2018 and June 2019, ending with a week of performances at the Shanghai Grand

The performance will premiere on YouTube on Sunday 5 July at 19:30 and it will be available to watch free of charge until Wednesday 15 July at 23:30 (BST) –
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeQAlhAAFYu-fW59bug4DZA. While the show will be available to watch free of charge, Blackeyed Theatre welcomes donations – http://www.blackeyedtheatre.co.uk/donate/

Artistic Director Adrian McDougall said, Like any Sherlock Holmes tale, The Sign of Four is so much more than a detective story. As well as being a cracking adventure, it offers audiences today a glimpse of Victorian attitudes towards Empire and ‘otherness’ that have largely (though not entirely) disappeared, lending the play particular resonance in the light of recent world events. I’m delighted that through each of our online shows, we are managing to offer some financial support to our artists, but we need public support in the form of donations to be able to continue doing so. Going forward we will be looking at increasingly sustainable ways to engage and entertain audiences.