KEEP THE CANDLE BURNING – NEW INTERACTIVE GHOSTLY AUDIO EXPERIENCES LAUNCHES IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN

ELECTRIC GOLDFISH – FROM THE CREATORS OFTHE PANDORA NETWORK – LAUNCHES NEW IMMERSIVE AUDIO EXPERIENCE:

KEEP THE CANDLE BURNING

AN INTERACTIVE GHOSTLY EXPERIENCE TO ENJOY AT HOME…IN THE DARK

TICKETS NOW ON SALE HERE

Electric Goldfish – the collective of immersive theatre companies that brought audiences at home the sell-out series of interactive mystery solving experiences The Pandora Network earlier this year – is launching a new online interactive audio experience, just in time for Halloween.

KEEP THE CANDLE BURNING is a series of three immersive ghost stories that participants can purchase for just £4.99, plug their headphones in and experience and play along with at home (ideally in the dark…).The stories can either be enjoyed individually, or in sequence, and for those that wish to play along, items required include a doll, a pendulum, a candle, some salt water and a knife…

Lee Conway from Electric Goldfish said, “As the autumn leaves are falling and we notice a distinct crispness in the air – it can mean only one thing – the Halloween season is upon us.  Normally at this time of year, we would be looking forward to visiting Halloween attractions such as haunted houses or scare mazes; we would be going to the cinema to watch horror films; and children would be preparing for Halloween parties or trick or treating.  But this year for many of us Halloween may look considerably different.

The Covid-19 virus and the related safety restrictions mean that many of our favourite attractions may not be able to open; and many of us may feel uncomfortable, or be unable to venture out to attend those that are, instead, seeking alternative ways to celebrate the spooky season.  The events of this year have hit theatre and the arts particularly hard, but for some creatives these challenges have inspired them to innovate new ways of presenting entertainment in Covid-restricted times, and this season – how they can help audiences celebrate Halloween in new ways.

Keep the Candle Burning has been written, produced and performed by Electric Goldfish, a creative partnership between immersive theatre companies Faceless Ventures; Incognito Experiences and Nick Hutson Music. 

Website: http://www.electricgoldfish.online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/electricgoldfish

Instagram: @elec_goldfish

Email: info@electricgoldfish.online

One-Man Comedy By Jonathan Harvey To Tour Starring Andrew Lancel And Re-Opens Live Performance At Unity Theatre

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★★★★

“A piece that is painstakingly crafted and superbly delivered”

North West End

ONE-MAN COMEDY BY JONATHAN HARVEY TO TOUR TO SOCIALLY DISTANCED VENUES

ANDREW LANCEL STARS IN SWAN SONG DIRECTED BY NOREEN KERSHAW

PLAY BRINGS AUDIENCES BACK TO LIVERPOOL’S UNITY THEATRE AND OPENS UK TOUR

Following its critically acclaimed sell-out premiere at Liverpool Theatre Festival in September, Swan Song, a revised comedy by acclaimed playwright Jonathan Harvey, will commence a short tour this year playing at venues opening to socially distanced audiences.

Swan Song, a one-man play starring TV and stage actor Andrew Lancel, is directed by BAFTA award-winning director Noreen Kershaw and produced by Bill Elms.

The play will open at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre for four performances over two nights, this will be the first live indoor performance at the theatre since closing in March. The show then moves on to Dukes Lancaster, Alty Fringe at the Garrick Playhouse in Altrincham, The Cresset in Peterborough and the Belgrade in Coventry. More dates are to be confirmed soon.

Swan Song was first staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1997, before transferring to Hampstead Theatre with award-winning comedy actress Rebecca Front in the lead role. Jonathan Harvey adapted the 70-minute play specially for Liverpool Theatre Festival for Andrew Lancel to play the solo role of Dave Titswell.  Due to critical acclaim, the play will now perform at venues this year, with a longer tour planned for Spring 2021.

Producer and the artistic director of Liverpool Theatre Festival, Bill Elms said: “Swan Song is a funny, clever and inspiring production which opened the inaugural Liverpool Theatre Festival.  Andrew Lancel, Jonathan Harvey, and Noreen Kershaw are an incredible blend of creative talent, and the play went down a storm in Liverpool. It is such a lovely piece that I approached Andrew and the team with the idea to tour. People are excited for the return of live theatre – and we’re excited to give them that experience back after such a long time with a really special production.”

Swan Song is a bittersweet comedy written by Jonathan Harvey. Set in Liverpool, it is Christmas 1997, the world is changing and in the staff room, Gay, forty-something, English teacher Dave Titswell finds that not all change is welcome. He has a crush, but life, love, and work are never straight forward for Dave. Will a school trip to The Lakes change things for the better, or make things decidedly worse? Swan Song will make audiences laugh, but equally pull at the heartstrings. Everyone knows someone like Dave – or could even be a Dave themselves.

Andrew Lancel is no stranger to audiences. Well established on the national theatre scene, Andrew is also widely known for his television roles as DI Neil Manson in The Bill and super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street. He has twice played Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein on stage to great critical acclaim, first in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles (also produced by Bill Elms) which premiered in Liverpool and went on to play London’s West End, as well as playing Epstein in the national tour of Cilla The Musical, Bill Kenwright’s stage adaptation of the TV series written by Jeff Pope.

Andrew Lancel commented: “The last play I saw before lockdown was Jonathan Harvey’s Our Lady of Blundellsands at The Everyman Liverpool, which I loved – so it’s very cool, and a little ironic, that my first play back is with Jonathan. We have known each other for years and worked together a lot but never on stage, so it’s humbling that he has adapted this play for me. It’s very funny, moving, and I think people will really relate to it today. His characters are literally gifts to play and to watch.

“This play is about reuniting too. Reuniting theatre and audiences with live performance is extra special. To be back with Epstein producer Bill Elms is a buzz, and I’ve worked on some very serious storylines on Corrie with Noreen Kershaw. It feels like coming home for us all in so many ways.”

Award-winning Jonathan Harvey’s credits include Gimme Gimme Gimme; Murder Most Horrid; Coronation Street; Call The Midwife; and Tracey Ullman’s Show. Hisplays include Beautiful Thing, Corrie, Canary, Hushabye Mountain, Babies, Boom Bang A Bang’ and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. He also wrote the 2001 stage musical Closer to Heaven with the Pet Shop Boys and its sequel Muzik. He has won the John Whiting Award, the George Devine Award, two Manchester Evening News Awards, an Evening Standard Award, two British Soap Awards and a Writers Guild of Great Britain Award.

Jonathan added: “Swan Song is a comedy about a teacher who’s trying to hold onto his dignity while the education system crumbles around him – and I’m thrilled Andrew is playing Dave. I’m delighted to also be working with Noreen again, she directed many of my Corrie scripts and my last episode of Call The Midwife. As the original Shirley Valentine, Noreen definitely knows a thing or two about one person shows.”

Noreen Kershaw’s directing credits include Our Girl, Moving On, Scott & Bailey, Emmerdale, Shameless, Heartbeat and Coronation Street. She is also known for acting in Life On Mars, Brookside, and Watching. Noreen also originated the title role of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre.

Facebook:       /SwanSong

Twitter:           @SwanSongPlay

Hashtags:        #DaveTitswell #SwanSong

LISTING INFORMATION

Andrew Lancel in

SWAN SONG

by Jonathan Harvey

UNITY THEATRE

Hope Place, Liverpool

Friday 20 – Saturday 21 November 2020

Performance times: 5pm / 7.45pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk ON SALE 12pm 19 OCT

DUKES LANCASTER

Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Performance times: 2.30pm / 7.30pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: www.dukeslancaster.org ON SALE NOW

ALTY FRINGE at The GARRICK PLAYHOUSE

Barrington Road, Altrincham, WA14 1HZ

Friday 27 November 2020

Performance times: 6pm / 9pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: www.altyfringe.co.uk ON SALE NOW

THE CRESSET THEATRE

Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 8DX

Thursday 3 December 2020

Performance times: 5pm / 8pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: www.cresset.co.uk ON SALE 12pm 19 OCT

BELGRADE THEATRE

Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS

Saturday 5 December 2020

Performance times: 2.30pm / 7.30pm

Show duration: 70 minutes (no interval)

How to book: www.belgrade.co.uk ON SALE 10AM ON THU 22 OCTOBER

Cut the Cord spearhead the conversation about Sustainable Leadership in the Arts | 16 – 19 November

Cut the Cord spearhead the conversation
about Sustainable Leadership in the Arts
Digital event: 16th – 19th November 2020

Cut the Cord will lead a trio of live-streamed panel discussions on Sustainable Leadership in the Arts, as part of International Leadership Week, in collaboration with the Nordic Ministry. Holding the arts to account on a global scale, the talks, featuring panellists such as Finn Kennedy (Artistic Director, Tamasha) and Bo Anders Sundstedt (Artistic Director, Unge Viken Teater), aim to highlight the importance of protecting the industry, and revitalising the status quo to encourage growth

Commissioned by the Nordic Ministry for their ongoing podcast series, Nordic Talks, the
conversations will enable artistic directors from theatres and cultural organisations in Nordic countries and the UK, to discuss sustainability and current affairs on a global scale. Audiences can submit their questions live to the panel during the event

Sustainable Leadership in the Arts will focus on three different areas: Climate Action, Diversity and Inclusivity, and the future of artistic leadership and development. Further panellists involved include Kate Atkinson (Clore Leadership), Christian Gade Bjerrum (Sustainable Performing Arts Now), Gunn Hernes (Nordic House), Ulricha Johnson (ScenSverige / Proud Performing Arts), Kay Michael (Culture Declares Emergency), Janne Saarakkala (Reality Research Centre), and Lars Werner Thomsen (Glad Teater)

Cut the Cord continue to work to promote social change and international collaboration in the arts and these discussions will seek to explore how the Nordic model of sustainability, openness and trust can be implemented on a grander scale in cultural institutions in the UK and abroad. At a time when the future of the industry is in question, it is important to consider new methods of sustainability to secure longevity for the creative sector

Camilla Gürtler, Cut The Cord’s Artistic Director, comments, We are at a pivotal point of change, with the response to Covid-19 and the long-term effects of global warming. As the creative sector and the rest of the world look at ways of rebuilding after the pandemic, we wanted to find a way to investigate how the arts can play a key part in a more sustainable world – both in terms of climate action, but also looking at equality and whose voices are being heard

Cultural leaders around the world are working hard to ensure better opportunities for artists and more sustainable working methods, and we wanted to amplify what they are doing and inspire others to follow their practices. For us, the arts hold the key to inspiration for positive change, and so sustainable leadership seemed crucial

Cut the Cord are also pioneering an exciting translation programme for emerging playwrights – New Nordic Voices. The scheme aims to enable Nordic talent to find an audience overseas, gaining further recognition through the translation of their text. The selected texts from the participating countries, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, will form part of a showcase in 2021 for industry experts, hoping to give the contemporary Nordic voices a platform.

THERE WILL BE A PANTO THIS YEAR!

TYNE THEATRE AND OPERA HOUSE

THERE WILL BE A PANTO THIS YEAR!

After the announcement that many theatres across the country are cancelling their Christmas pantomimes, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House have come to the rescue.

The Tyne Theatre and Opera House have announced that although they will be postponing their 2020 Pantomime; Sleeping Beauty, the theatre will be bringing a week-long, socially-distanced panto extravaganza to Newcastle.

Despite restrictions, the theatre promises a ‘GIANT of a show’, starring panto favourite Charlie Richmond as Simple Simon, with the rest of the cast of ‘North East’s best panto talent’ still to be announced.

The theatre will be seating audiences in socially distanced groups of 2, 4 and 6. Which will accompany a host of additional safety measures, details of which can be found on the Tyne Theatre website.

In a statement, the theatre have said:

“It’s clear that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional pantomime. We’ve been working incredibly hard to ensure that this can be done safely for our venue staff, panto cast and crew, as well as our audiences.

This year’s production is a specially designed 75 minute rib-tickling festive treat for all the family, with a reduced capacity and no interval to minimise crowding.”

Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk go on general sale at 10am on Monday 19th October 2020.

Theatre Director Joanne Johnson said:

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from our audiences to suggest that people really want to see a show at Christmas this year. It has been a difficult year for everyone and for many of our

customers, an opportunity for some panto fun and laughter in December is more important than ever.

Having hosted our first socially distanced shows this month, we have seen that it is possible to deliver live entertainment in a safe way.

We are expecting tickets to sell quickly due to high demand on a limited run, with limited capacity. We advise booking early to avoid missing out. We absolutely can’t wait to welcome our panto audience back into the Tyne Theatre this Christmas.”

The theatre have said that the decision to postpone Sleeping Beauty, with producers Enchanted Entertainment, was made to avoid the need to restrict capacity beyond what had already sold and make significant changes to the show itself.

In an announcement, they have said: “We have big plans for Sleeping Beauty and want you all to be able to see it as we had intended – for this reason we will be postponing the show until 2021.”

They have clarified that ticket holders will have their tickets transferred to December 2021, and should wait to be contacted by their point of purchase to arrange this.

Pre-sale tickets are available from 12 noon on Friday 16th October for Sleeping Beauty ticket holders. For full information on how to access the pre-sale, customers should see the Jack and the Beanstalk event page on the Tyne Theatre website.

As an independent venue, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House relies entirely on ticket sales and donations to survive and keep the theatre’s 150+ year heritage alive. In addition to buying tickets for upcoming shows, you can also support the theatre directly by donating to their #SaveOurTheatres Crowdfunder campaign launched earlier this month.

New Vic Theatre appoints Vicki Amedume as Associate Director

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Vicki Amedume - Photo by  Phil Adams.jpg

NEW VIC THEATRE APPOINTS VICKI AMEDUME AS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre has appointed Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing, as Associate Director to join the theatre-in-the-round’s team.

As Associate Director, Vicki will explore artistic opportunities, working alongside New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins, and look after the theatre’s artist development programme. In addition, she will support the New Vic’s Creative People and Places programme, Appetite, with her expertise; input into the theatre’s Education and Borderlines outreach programmes; and develop other projects.

Artistic Director of Upswing, a leading contemporary circus company, Vicki Amedume has previously worked with the New Vic Theatre bringing her unique creativity and circus expertise to much-loved New Vic productions including 2009’s The Wicked LadyDracula and most recently, Astley’s Astounding Adventures – a production created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the creation of modern circus. Her appointment as Associate Director is a continuation of her collaborative journey with the New Vic so far.

Associate Director, Vicki Amedume, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the fantastic team at the New Vic as an Associate Director. My own company Upswing has had an evolving collaborative relationship with the theatre since Artistic Director Theresa Heskins first invited us to work together on The Wicked Lady. Each collaboration since has explored new ground in the crossover of circus and theatre. I hope this appointment will support the ambition to keep the circus spirit growing and enriching the brilliant work produced both inside and outside the building.”

Artistic Director, Theresa Heskins, added: “Vicki has very much felt like one of the New Vic team for some time now, having worked with us many times over the last decade to make some extraordinary pieces of work including Dracula, Astley’s Astounding Adventures and an epic piece for the Olympic Torch relay. To me personally she has been an inspirational and generous collaborator. I am so thrilled that she is now formally joining the team. Her expertise in circus and outdoor arts reflect key preoccupations across our artistic programmes; her commitment to artist development will help us nurture programmes to support both emerging and established artists; her leadership skills will make a huge difference not only to our organisation but also across our sector. The New Vic is entering an exciting new phase.”

Vicki Amedume will continue her role as Artistic Director at Upswing alongside her post as Associate Director at the New Vic.

OUTSIDE EDGE THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SHORTLIST FOR THE INAUGURAL 2020 PHIL FOX PLAYWRITING AWARD

OUTSIDE EDGE THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SHORTLIST FOR THE INAUGURAL 2020 PHIL FOX PLAYWRITING AWARD

Outside Edge Theatre Company (OETC), the UK’s only theatre company and participatory arts charity focused on addiction, is delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Phil Fox Award for Playwriting. Selected from 350 entries, the award is named after OETC’s founder who passed away in 2014. In its inaugural year, the prize has been created to recognise original scripts by playwrights from all backgrounds and experience levels, tackling issues around addiction. The winning script will be announced on 4 November and the chosen playwright will receive a £6,000 commission and mentorship from chair of the judging panel, Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh.

Artistic Director of Outside Edge Theatre Company Matt Steinberg today said, “We have been overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response to Outside Edge’s inaugural script competition. Playwrights with a range of experience from across the country have sent us extraordinary plays about the varied aspects of addiction, with stories ranging from substance misuse to social media addiction. The creativity of the writers and ingenuity of these plays are a fitting tribute to the legacy of our founding Artistic Director, Phil Fox, whose lived experience of moving from addiction to recovery remains at the heart Outside Edge Theatre Company’s unique programme of work.”

“The exceptional quality of the plays selected for this year’s shortlist is an indication of the overall calibre of scripts submitted for the competition. I only wish that we could programme all of these incredible new plays! But with last week’s news that drug deaths in England and Wales have hit a record high, my sincere hope is that the Phil Fox Award will enable other theatres to see the urgent importance of programming stories that explore the complicated experience of addiction.”

Also on the 2020 judging panel are leading industry figures Matt Applewhite (Nick Hern Books Managing Director and Commissioning Editor), Barbara Broccoli OBE (Film Producer), Sonya Hale (OETC Associate Theatre Facilitator and Heretic Voices award-winning playwright), Indhu Rubasingham (Artistic Director of the Kiln Theatre), Matt Steinberg (OETC Artistic Director) and Simon Stephens (Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time).

The Longlist for the Phil Fox Playwriting Prize:

  • A is for Appy by Dominic McHale
  • A short guide to staying alive by Olga Nikora
  • Bitter by Louise Coulthard
  • Boomerang by Jack Stanley
  • Circle Game by Sophie Swithinbank
  • Daisies and iPhones by Daphne Di Cinto
  • Drift by Kristian Phillips
  • Empty Orchestra by Mark Fenton
  • Entropy by Kate Reid
  • Grotesque, Stupid and Ungrateful by Natalie Jones
  • Jerk by Nick Edgeworth
  • Lessons for Diving by Silas Parry
  • Necropolis by John Straiton
  • Nibble Nibble Gnaw by Isla Cowan
  • Parlour Games by Simon Glass
  • Pushing on Open Doors by Sarah Connors
  • Skinhead Moonstomp by Karen Brown
  • Squirrels by Ayse Evans
  • The Goodest Boys by Vikki Stone
  • Well Wishes by Matthew McGuigan
  • What’s Lost in the Gaps by Jack Robson

While the competition is open to anyone, writers with lived experience of addiction were encouraged to apply, and submitted scripts could explore any type of addiction from substance misuse to social media and sex addiction.

The Phil Fox Award for Playwriting is generously supported by An Anonymous Friend of OETC, The Carne Trust and Unity Theatre Trust.

A cast of West End performers is announced for Surrey’s ONLY family panto this winter, Beauty and the Beast, in Godalming

Guildford Fringe Theatre Company 

announces a talented line-up of West End performers  

will perform in Surrey’s ONLY family panto this winter,  

Beauty and the Beast, at The Borough Hall, Godalming  

Guildford Fringe Theatre Company is pleased to announce the talented line-up of West End performers who have been cast in Surrey’s ONLY family pantomime this winter, Beauty and the Beast, which plays The Borough Hall, Godalming, from 12 – 26 December.  

With countless West End credits behind them, the full pantomime cast will include Maria Coyne (Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Singin’ in the Rain) as Beauty with Lily de-la-Haye (CATS, The Phantom of the Opera) as Sybil, Paul Kemble (School of Rock, Top Hat, The Sound of Music) as Monsieur Bertrand, Ben Redfern (Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Potty Pascal and Jordan Wheatstone (The Little Princess, Disney’s Broadway Hits) as the Beast. As previously announced, Philip Day (Oliver!, The Mousetrap) will return as Godalming’s pantomime dame, playing Dame Dominique Derrière. 

Directed by Jo Kirkland, choreographed by Charlotte Bateup and produced by Nick Wyschna and Charlotte Bateup for Guildford Fringe, this professional production will feature spectacular song and dance routines, colourful costumes and lots of fun for the whole family. 

The venue will operate at a greatly reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Face coverings will be mandatory. Group bookings will allow a maximum of 6 people to sit together. The show’s duration will be approx. 1 hour 15 minutes with no interval. For full details of health and safety measures, visit www.GodalmingPanto.com.  

Producer Nick Wyschna said: “To say I am thrilled with the cast for Beauty and the Beast would be a huge understatement! Not only are we putting on Surrey’s only family pantomime, we also have a phenomenal cast, direct from London’s West End to perform it. I am very pleased to say that the show is selling incredibly well already. I am getting the feeling that people are pleased for something ‘normal’ to look forward to this Christmas and I am over the moon to be able to offer that. Although normal isn’t the word I would use to describe our show, it is going to be exceptional! I really hope you can join us for some Christmas magic this December.” 

The magical “tale as old as time” of Beauty and the Beast tells the story of an arrogant Prince who is turned into a beast as punishment for his vanity. He has only one chance to lift the curse: to find true love before the final petal falls…  

To book for Beauty and the Beast, visit www.GodalmingPanto.com or telephone the Box Office on 01483 361101. There is disabled access throughout the venue. The final few tickets are still available for the relaxed performance on Sunday 13 December at 4pm. This show will be specifically adapted for those on the autism spectrum, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Tickets for this performance have been reduced to £15 and can purchased by calling the Box Office only.  

LISTINGS 

Show: Beauty and the Beast 

Dates: Saturday 12 – Saturday 26 December 2020 

Times: Varies – matinee and evening performances; see website or call the Box Office 

Running Time: 1hr 15 mins (no interval) 

Venue address: Godalming Borough Hall, The Burys, Godalming, GU7 1HY 

Tickets: £22 (£20 concessions) including booking fees. Book at www.GodalmingPanto.com or call 01483 361101. 

Category: Theatre, pantomimes, family shows, professional theatre 

Age guidance: suitable for all ages 

Access: There is disabled access throughout the venue. On Sunday 13 December 2020 at 4pm there will be a relaxed performance specifically adapted for those on the autism spectrum, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Tickets for this performance have been reduced to £15 and can purchased by calling the Box Office only. 

Leeds born dancer, actor, and disability-rights advocate David Toole OBE passes away at the age of 56

Dancer, actor, and disability-rights advocate David Toole OBE passes away at the age of 56

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of the world- renowned dancer, actor, and advocate for equal opportunities for disabled people in society and the performing arts, David Toole OBE.  David passed away at St James University Hospital in Leeds on Friday 16 October. He was 56.

Born in Armley in Leeds in 1964, David was one of the founding members of Candoco Dance Company in the early 90s when they made an impact as a company of disabled and non-disabled professional dancers. In 1995, David had his first taste of theatre when he played the part of Puck in Benjamin Britten’s opera of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was followed a year later with an appearance in the Sally Potter film The Tango Lesson, playing the part of the Fashion Designer.

David performed with Graeae Theatre Company in 2000 and 2001, playing the parts of Edgar in The Fall of the House of Usher and Deflores in The Changeling, respectively. In the summer of 2000, he worked with DV8, creating, and performing the piece The Cost of Living  for the Sydney Arts Festival prior to the 2000 Olympics. This show was revived in 2003 and also led to the film version of the show being made that year. David made headlines in 2012 as a soloist at the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He went on to perform with prominent companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, DV8, and the Leeds based company Slung Low. For the past 10 years David worked with Stopgap Dance Company. As David said in a 2012 interview “I do have moments when I wonder, how did this dodgy postman from Leeds get to do all this?”

Throughout his career, David advocated for equal opportunities for disabled people in society and in the performing arts, providing mentoring support to many individuals who sought positive change.

In 2019 David was awarded an OBE for services to dance and for disabled people in recognition of his contribution to making Britain a world leader in disability arts.

Jenny Sealey artistic director of Graeae  and co-artistic director of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony: “Dave was so many things, our darling wonderful, grumpy, opinionated, glorious, silly, funny, kind, sexy, loving, and wise friend.  The most unique and left-field man ever and funny beyond words.  And of course, an extraordinary performer and a unique brilliant dancer. But above all, to all of us in Graeae, he was a dear friend and a cherished collaborator. We hope he is safe and pain free wherever he is”.

Alan Lane artistic director of Slung Low and friend said” We are all so sad to hear of Dave Toole’s passing. It was such a privilege to make so many adventures with him. He had an extraordinary talent; he was a brilliant actor and the very finest dancer we’ve ever seen”.

The family have asked for respect for their privacy at this incredibly sad time

Macbeth Review

Big Telly Theatre Company – until 17 October 2020

Reviewed by Samantha Reed

4****

In a world of dismay, as restrictions forbid us to visit the theatre, Big Telly productions capture us in this eerie, dark yet modern adaptation of Macbeth. As an audience we are invited via conference through the Zoom online app, which draws us in to be part of this magnificent Shakespeare play.

A modern twist on Macbeth led by Zoe Seaton as director, being filmed through each cast members own home, different back drops of dark forestry and grand halls set the picture to each scene of the play and technical dignitary from Big Telly NI. An eerie resemblance of somewhat towards the ‘Blair Witch Project’ with a cast of just five members portraying each character.

Lights down, candles burning. The show opens with the 3 witches portrayed by Aonghus Og McAnally, Lucia McAnespie and Dharmesh Patel, all displaying on separate screens, yet grafted together as the music entwines and begins this tale…..

Duncans entrance begins in a terraced house on this modern adaptation

We are drawn in by Dennis Herdman and Nicky Harley’s strong performance as ‘the Macbeths’. Lady Macbeth has us gripped. A scene filmed from a bedroom begins with her watching her laptop, giving way to this modern adaption, making us feel we are in the room with her, as she speaks unsaintly. Herdman creepily enthrals us through his close-up facial videos, scarily bringing us into Macbeth’s thoughts and emotional behaviour of what is going on inside his mind.

The performance between Macbeth and his Lady induce us into feeling as though we are in the theatre. Some small issues of sound and dropping signal do not withdraw from the pull towards watching this gripping adaptation.

A must see through this new online theatre production

Brian Conley to star as Ebenezer Scrooge with ‘A Christmas Carol’ set to play the Dominion Theatre in London

BRIAN CONLEY TO STAR AS

EBENEZER SCROOGE THIS CHRISTMAS

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Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s acclaimed musical of

A Christmas Carol to play limited season at Dominion Theatre

Performances begin Monday 7 December 2020

For tickets and information, see www.dominiontheatre.com/christmas-carol

Brian Conley will star as Ebenezer Scrooge this Christmas, as an exciting new, musical staged concert of Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s A Christmas Carolwill play a strictly limited season at the Dominion Theatre in London. Performances run from Monday 7 December 2020 to Saturday 2 January 2021 (Press Night: Monday 14 December at 7:00pm).

Tickets are on General Sale today, Friday 16 October. Please see www.dominiontheatre.com/christmas-carol

The musical brings Dickens’ timeless fable to glorious life: Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, does not believe in the power of Christmas. But on a Christmas Eve filled with memorable characters, spectacular songs, ghostly apparitions and journeys to the past, present and future, Scrooge acknowledges his mistakes and discovers the joy of redemption. With a sparkling Broadway score played by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra, an all-star cast and a touch of festive magic, A Christmas Carol at the Dominion is the must-see West End production this December.

The staged concert will feature TV comedy legend and West End star Brian Conley (9 to 5Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jolson [Olivier nomination], Hairspray) as Scrooge, who will be joined on stage by an orchestra and cast of over 50. 

Written by the critically acclaimed team of Alan Menken (AladdinBeauty and the Beast), Lynn Ahrens (AnastasiaRagtime) and Mike Ockrent (Me and My GirlCrazy for You), the stage musical of A Christmas Carol first premiered in 1994 at New York’s Paramount Theatre. It ran for a decade at Madison Square Garden, and was seen by over 5 million people, becoming a firm Christmas tradition. The London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO) have previously performed A Christmas Carol to sell-out audiences and five-star reviews in 2016, 2017 and 2018 at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End.                                                           

The creative team is led by director Shaun Kerrison, who helmed several previous concert productions for LMTO (A Christmas CarolMack and MabelCandide) as well as BBC Proms My Fair LadyKiss me, Kate and Freddie Tapner (founder of LMTO) as Musical Director. Casting is by Jim Arnold CDG (WickedThe Prince of Egypt).                                          

With soaring melodies, moving lyrics and a moral for our times, this will be a Christmas event to reunite families after the hardest year in living memory.

A Christmas Carol is produced by Freddie Tapner for The London Musical Theatre Orchestra and Gary England. LMTO isthe world’s only professional orchestra dedicated solely to performing works of musical theatre.

900 free tickets will be made available to Key Workers and their families at Alpha’s La Dolce Vita Key Workers Matinee on Thursday 10th December. Further information on how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks.

Covid safety measures and social distancing will be in place front of house, on stage, backstage and throughout the Dominion Theatre.

If you become unable to attend, unwell or are having to isolate, you will be able to exchange your tickets free of charge up to 24 hours before your performance.

The Producers of A Christmas Carol are delighted to be working in partnership with GeneMe UK https://geneme.uk to use FRANKD testing for cast, musicians and backstage crew members. Successfully implemented this summer at the Troubadour Theatre for the stage adaptation of Sleepless, FRANKD (Fast, Reliable, Accurate, Nucleic-based Kit for Covid-19 Diagnostic Detection) will be in place throughout the entire run of A Christmas Carol.  Test results will be sent directly to the phones of crew, cast and musicians via the Yoti secure app within an hour of a swab being taken.

A Christmas Carol is a strictly limited run from 7th December 2020 to 2nd January 2021. The hit musical THE PRINCE OF EGYPT will resume its run at the Dominion Theatre in the Spring of 2021 pending UK Government advice.