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The Barn Theatre have announced today that they will be releasing an archive recording of their 2019 Built by Barn production ofthe musical Daddy Long Legs for a limited number of dates over the Valentine’s Day and February half term weekends.

The Built by Barn productionwhich stars Ryan Bennett (Jersey Boys, The Importance of Being Earnest) as Jervis Pendleton and Rebecca Jayne-Davies (Half a Sixpence, Singing in the Rain) as Jerusha Abbott, originally ran at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester from 2 October – 2 November 2019 and marked the first time that a UK theatre had produced the Drama Desk award-winning musical.

Daddy Long Legs is set in turn-of-the-century New England and tells the story of orphan Jerusha Abbott and her mysterious benefactor who agrees to send her to college, who she dubs ‘Daddy Long Legs’ after seeing his elongated shadow.

With a score of stunning musical numbers, Daddy Long Legs is the tale of two lives colliding and unfolding through Jerusha’s letters addressing her Daddy Long Legs, working as an insight into her innermost thoughts of the world. Daddy Long Legs is an uplifting piece of theatre that questions identity whilst highlighting the importance of education, imagination and love.

The award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and a book by John Caird, isbased on the classic novel by Jean Webster that inspired the 1955 film starring Fred Astaire. The production is directed by Kirstie Davis, with set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly, musical direction by Charlie Ingles, lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner, sound design by Harry Smith. The onstage band comprises of Alex CrawfordRosalind Ford and Charlie Ingles.

The recording has been produced by post-production lead editor Ben Evans and post-production sound designer Harry Smith.

The recording will be available internationally on the following select dates and times (in GMT):

  • Friday 12th Feb – 7:30pm
  • Sat 13th Feb – 10am & 7:30pm
  • Sun 14th Feb – 5:30pm
  • Friday 19th Feb – 7:30pm
  • Sat 20th Feb – 10am & 7:30pm
  • Sun 21st Feb – 5:30pm

This latest digital announcement follows the Barn Theatre’s recent acclaimed stream runs of both their productions of Marry Me A Little and Peter Pan, both directed by Kirk Jameson,and their critically acclaimed digital co-production of Henry Filloux-Bennett’s adaptation of What a Carve Up!, directed by Tamara Harvey.

The Barn Theatre also recently announced that they would be reuniting with the team behind What a Carve Up! to co-produce a contemporary adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic The Picture of Dorian Gray, once again written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Tamara Harvey. The production will run from 16-31 March 2020 and will star Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) in the title role.

Tickets for the production at the Barn Theatre are now on sale internationally at £12 and can be purchased at

Outdoor arts experts Without Walls grow their network as Covid-19 continues to challenge the arts sector

Without Walls grows its collaborative network for the Outdoor
Arts, helping to counter the challenges posed by Covid-19

Without Walls, a unique network of over 30 festivals that brings fantastic outdoor arts to people across the UK, opens 2021 by welcoming three new partners: Timber Festival, Certain Blacks and The Culture House. With collaboration at the heart of Without Walls’ work, this national network aims to raise the artistic bar of the Outdoor Arts – an industry that is paramount as we anticipate moving beyond Covid-19.

Collaboration during Covid-19 is more vital than ever for the survival of the arts; the Without Walls Artistic Directorate includes the UK’s most highly regarded outdoor arts and performance specialists who, in 2021, will invest over £650k to support artists to develop and tour ambitious new outdoor projects. This process, spearheaded by the Artistic Directorate, ensures an influx of new shows for the Outdoor Arts sector

Certain Blacks are joining the Artistic Directorate this year – an arts development organisation that was formed to support the growth of diverse artists. They present performance, live art, music and theatre from the creative voices of our diverse society, aiming to challenge the norms of performance and what is seen as diverse. Certain Blacks showcases art from the ‘margins into the mainstream’ and work this year will explore ideas around our post-pandemic nation and the idea of being ‘British’ following Brexit and Black Lives Matters.

Also new to the Artistic Directorate is Timber Festival – it is an immersive and revitalising festival that takes place in the heart of the National Forest celebrating our relationship with trees and forests through music, art and ideas. For one weekend in July, new thinkers, activists, makers, artists, musicians and writers will gather to play, provoke and inspire our complex and rewarding relationship with the natural world. Timber offers the chance to recharge and reconnect. Run by Wild Rumpus, a rural social enterprise working at the intersection of arts and nature, Timber explores their founding principles to take audiences outdoors to reimagine their relationship with the world around them, using the arts to help imagine a more sustainable future. Timber is a joint venture between the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus.

Without Walls also work with partners who are dedicated to creating an appetite for outdoor arts in communities without regular arts activity and low levels of cultural engagement, such as The Culture House who are joining the Touring Network Partnership branch of the organisation in 2021. Based in Grimsby, The Culture House aim to positively impact on everyday life by presenting work in a wide range of indoor and outdoor local spaces. Other new partners who have recently joined the Without Walls network include The Arches Festivals in Worcester and Historic England. This increasing geographical reach reflects Without Walls’ growing impact.

Outdoor work has never been more important as the entire arts industry seeks to rebuild confidence in audiences wanting to attend events. Without Walls leads excellence in outdoor arts – commissioning work from the intimate to the epic, which tours to reach large, diverse and new audiences across the country and internationally. The consortium makes high-quality arts experiences accessible to all regardless of personal, social or economic circumstances.

Josephine Burns, Chair of Without Walls, comments, Without Walls is an undeniable success story for the UK Outdoor Arts sector; our collective decision-making model has led to pioneering outdoor work being presented across the country for free. We are delighted to welcome our new partners to Without Walls – these appointments continue to broaden our collective voice and expertise to ensure our work can be even more transformative on a local, regional and national level.

The Without Walls 2021 programme, to be announced in March, will be their biggest to date showing the innovation and resilience of those working in the Outdoor Arts sector. Many consider Outdoor Arts to be one of the safest ways to experience arts, and a way to restart cultural recovery. Without Walls have engaged a dedicated Covid-safety production manager who worked with artists at GDIF in 2020 (the first and one of the only festivals to go ahead) – and is continuing to work with artists to ensure shows are safe for presentation. 2021 is a year to break boundaries and ensure hungry audiences have access to the arts, in the safest way possible – outdoors!







Written and performed by Gabrielle MacPherson

Director: Karis Crimson; Set and Costume Design: Ica Niemz;Sound Design: Laura Howard

18 – 20 February 2021, 7.30pm 

Minty Fresh Productions today announcesthe world première of Outside, written and performed by Gabrielle MacPherson. Directed by Karis Crimson, the production will be performed live and streamed from The Space between 18 – 20 February 2021.

Willa hasn’t ever left her house until now. For 30 years, each moment of her life has been controlled, and she spent every night locked in her room. Now, she finds herself in a witness questioning suite, searching for evidence of her existence. She has slipped through the cracks of society and her only reality outside the house exists between the pages of the books her semi-absent father publishes.

But she can’t be hidden away anymore. A dark secret is about to come to light. Willa’s attempt at freedom can lead to nothing but more horrific revelations. Can revenge ever be justified? 

Gabrielle MacPherson today said “I am so excited about Outside’s première at The Space. In such a difficult and uncertain time for everyone, the team and I feel so fortunate to tell Willa’s story.

I worked on Outside throughout 2020, a year where none of us could go out, so it’s really wonderful that in 2021 Willa and I get to venture outside our homes and into yours – from a safe distance, of course.”

Gabrielle MacPherson is a writer, performer and a co-founder of Degenerate Fox Theatre. As a writer she has been shortlisted for The Charlie Harthill Special Reserve Fund. Her credits as an actor include Fokin’ Bring It On Lads (Vault Festival), The Dirty Thirty (Rosemary Branch Theatre), What’s In The Box?, Our Time (Haringay Shed) and The Beasts (Courtyard Theatre).

Karis Crimson directs. Her previous theatre credits include Bette and Joan (Sundial Theatre), Cry, Blueberry (The Cockpit Theatre) and The Resistance Collection (The Embassy Theatre). She is the co-founder of Pelvic Films with upcoming releases including Jan + The Gang



269 Westferry Road, London, E14 3RS



18 – 20 February 2021


Pay what you choose: £5/£10/£15


Mentions of child and animal abuse and Child Protection Services.

Graphic images of violence.

National Theatre releases first-look image of Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley in Romeo & Juliet and announces full casting including Adrian Lester as the Prince

National Theatre releases first-look image of Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley in Romeo & Juliet and announces full casting including Adrian Lester as the Prince 

– Premiere dates are confirmed as Easter Sunday 4 April at 9pm on Sky Arts in the UK and Friday 23 April at 9pm on PBS in the US.  

A first-look image has today been released for the National Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet, a feature film for broadcast on Sky Arts and PBS this April. The image features Romeo, played by Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country) and Juliet, played by Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Judy), as they meet by moonlight at Juliet’s balcony. The image was taken during filming at the National Theatre.  

The NT also announces today that Olivier Award winner Adrian Lester (Life, Undercover) will play the Prince in the film. Also joining the cast is Lloyd Hutchinson as Lord Capulet, Colin Tierney as Lord Montague and Ella Dacres as Peta. As previously announced, the cast includes Fisayo Akinade as Mercutio, Deborah Findlay as the Nurse, Tamsin Greig as Lady Capulet, Lucian Msamati as the Friar, Shubham Saraf as Benvolio, David Judge as Tybalt, Alex Mugnaioni as Paris and Ellis Howard as Sampson. 

Directed by Simon Godwin (Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra), Romeo & Juliet has been reconceived for the screen and this new 90-minute version was filmed over three weeks in the NT’s Lyttelton theatre. It was adapted for screen by Emily Burns.  

Filming took place in December under the COVID-19 safe working filming guidance and code of practices.  

The premiere is today confirmed as Easter Sunday 4 April at 9pm on Sky Arts in the UK and Friday 23 April 9pm on PBS in the US. Sky Arts is free-to-air and available for everyone in the UK on Freeview channel 11.  

Learning resources and digital content are also being produced by the NT for young people to explore the production of Romeo & Juliet and its creation, as well as an in-depth programme with schools across the UK as part of the NT’s Theatre Nation Partnerships initiative. Further details to be announced. To find out more about the NT’s digital learning resources, click here

Uniting key talent from both theatre and film, the Director of Photography is Tim Sidell (I Hate Suzie), with production and costume design by Soutra Gilmour, movement direction by Jonathan Goddard and Shelley Maxwell, fight direction by Kate Waters and composition by Michael Bruce.  

Produced by David Sabel, who created the National Theatre Live programme at the NT, at Sabel Productions. Executive Producers are Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre; Dixie Linder, Cuba Pictures (London Road, McMafia); David Horn, Great Performances; Christine Schwarzman & Darren Johnston, No Guarantees; and Philip Edgar Jones, Sky Arts.  

Romeo & Juliet is a 1 x 90’ film, presented by Sky Arts, PBS and No Guarantees, produced by the National Theatre, in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures. 

Filming of Romeo & Juliet in the Lyttelton theatre has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Graham and Joanna Barker, and Leila Maw Straus. 

WOW announces programme of festivals and events addressing gender inequality in 2021


  • From 1st March digital WOW Festivals go live from the UK, New York, Nepal, Pakistan, Istanbul, and Bangladesh, and WOW Think Ins take place in Taiwan and Western Australia
  • 2021’s WOW Festival UK takes place 1-21st March to mark International Women’s Day and includes:
    • Over 30 digital events
    • Guest speakers Kimberlé Crenshaw, Ruby Wax, Arundhati Roy, Sheila Heti, Avni Doshi, Bryony Kimmings
    • WOW pioneers new networks for different groups and generations – from grandmothers to mothers in covid and under 10s feminists
    • Workshops and discussions on themes including mental health, sex in lockdown, women in Greek myths, grief and intersectionality
    • Available to book worldwide, WOW UK 2021’s programme includes special sessions from WOW Australia and WOW Rio de Janeiro
  • WOW and Google Arts & Culture to launch an online exhibition featuring 100 trailblazing women from 10 cities and countries around the world
  • WOW and BBC Children in Need launch a major new project connecting over 100 marginalised girls aged 8-16 across the UK
  • WOW launches Shameless!, a new festival in November to confront attitudes towards sexual violence – a partnership with Birkbeck and The Wellcome Trust

Jude Kelly, Founder and Director of The WOW Foundation says: “Throughout 2021, WOW is bringing together courageous women and girls from across the globe who are driven by a desire to change the world. These brilliant activists will join WOW Festivals around the world in groundbreaking conversations, workshops and projects; focusing on gender, racial and social inequality, all of which have been exacerbated in the past 12 months.

“We can already see that women and girls have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 finding themselves in ever more precarious positions, especially those already marginalised. With cases of domestic abuse rising and access to education diminishing, the impact of the pandemic is being felt in both domestic spaces and the labour markets with devastating social and economic consequences.

“COVID-19 looks as if it could set gender equality and women’s rights back a staggering 25 years, without immediate and direct action. We must act now to build a post pandemic world which is inclusive, supportive and where the UN’s goal of gender equality by 2030 can be achieved.”

With the support of our global founding partner, Bloomberg, The WOW Foundation pivoted to an immensely successful, virtual event in 2020. From 1st March, WOW Festivals and events will take place across the world from festivals in regions including Australia, Bangladesh, Istanbul, Nepal, New York, Pakistan, Taiwan and the UK.

For the first time ever, The WOW Foundation’s flagship UK festival, which is usually live at the Southbank Centre, London, will present events online daily from 1st-21st March. Recognising recent global events, 2021’s WOW UK programme will take a frank look at new obstacles women, girls and non-binary people now face; discussing creative solutions for change whilst celebrating amazing stories of resistance and progress. As in all WOW Festivals, it will be packed with challenging conversations but also moments of joy, spontaneity, laughter and optimism. This year’s opening session will bring together voices from across the globe to highlight the need for us to work together to build a more inclusive and sustainable post pandemic world.

WOW UK 2021 will include a series of In Conversations exploring themes such as sex during lockdown, radical childcare and gender equality in the tech industries. All events will be BSL interpreted and captioned, with tickets starting from £1 or audiences can buy a pass to watch the whole season from £25.

Highlights include: intersectionality pioneer Kimberlé Crenshaw on the Black Lives Matter movement and her #SayHerName campaign; writers Arundhati Roy and V (formerly Eve Ensler) join forces to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism and on the role of creativity and alternative imaginations; Ruby Wax on mental health and how recent developments in technology, education, business are turning our world into a better place; Founder of the Women’s Equality Party, Catherine Mayer and her mother Anne Mayer Bird will discuss personal and communal grief and their book Good Grief, after they lost their beloved husbands just 41 days apart on the eve of the pandemic; Genre defining author of MotherhoodSheila Heti joins Avni Doshi, author of Burnt Sugar for a conversation on locating the complexity, trauma and joy in an ambivalence towards motherhood.

Elsewhere WOW has invited writers and  sexperts including Lucy-Anne Holmes to host an honest and positive conversation about sex and social distancing and how life under lockdown has impacted our  intimate lives; Tabitha Goldstaub brings a girls guide to AI; a special event in partnership with The Working Class Writers Festival; and author and comedian Natalie Haynes and historian Bettany Hughes tell us what we can learn from Ancient Greek goddess and the injustices in how their stories have been passed down to us. 

Yemeni Human Rights Defender Radhya Al-Mutawakel, Sky News Special Correspondent Alex Crawford and Gulalai Ismail, a threatened women’s rights and peace activist from Pakistan, will join RAW in WAR founder Mariana Katzarova, to shine a spotlight on abuses – exacerbated by the pandemic – committed against women and girls in conflict areas, and the price of speaking truth to power.

There will be an interactive digital workshop programme as part of this year’s UK Festival for those who want to actively take part. Key workshops include Performance Artist, Musician and Screenwriter Bryony Kimmings on how to find daily joy in creativity. Speakers Corner Collective’s I Am Perfect As Me: Gratitude Workshop led by women but created for everyone; Selina Flavius, founder and author of Black Girl Finance, will present her practical steps for resetting your ‘Money Mindset’ for financial success in 2021; and WOW Australia will lead two sessions: Decolonising Songwriting with Emily Wurramara, an Anindilyakwa singer-songwriter and Irish singer-songwriter Áine Tyrrell, and The Bystander Approach to Addressing Inequality, exploring ways of calling out problematic behaviour in a safe wayOther workshops include Gabby EdlinSeyi Akiwowo and Becca Bunce on activism, friendship, and radical empathy; All Cisterns Go, a WOW plumbing workshop; WOW’s Virtual Big Sing; and a lesson in finding your personal power in a virtual environment with Sarah Blumenau.

As part of the three week festival, WOW will create discussion groups for those wanting to participate in conversations around specific subjects such as radical childcare and intersectionality. These will begin at WOW and then go on to form networks around the UK and world connecting strangers with things in common. Grandmothers, often overlooked in their needs, will have an opportunity to connect, as will girls and boys interested in gender equality with the return of Under 10s Feminist Corner.

WOW UK 2021 will also feature WOW Sounds, a series of performances from musical artists who are also known for their activism from around the globe. In addition, a special online event to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March will be announced shortly. The previously announced WOW Live at the Royal Albert Hall, which was due to take place on 8th March, has been postponed due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. We are working on a new date for this event later in the year.

For more information and the full WOW Festival 2021 programme, visit or book on

Alongside WOW’s own UK programme of events, WOW UK plans to create solidarity and celebration with organisations across the nation who are celebrating International Women’s Day throughout the month of March. Launching today, WOW’s International Women’s Day Map will bring together inspiring events, talks, workshops, performances and more – from the huge and important to the more niche, unusual and unmissable – from all across the UK. Event producers are encouraged to submit their events via the WOW website. 

Also launching from 1st March are WOW Festivals in Nepal (1st-7th March) and WOW Pakistan (5th-8th March), both presented by British Council. The first ever WOW Festival in Istanbul, presented by British Council and Sabanci Foundation, runs over the International Women’s Day weekend from 5th-7th March. The fourth WOW Apollo, presented by New York’s Apollo Theater, runs from 21st-22nd March.

Adding to the festival line-up, WOW Think Ins will take place for the first time in Taiwan, ahead of a full festival later in the year with National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). WOW Australia’s 2021 festivals and events, presented in partnership with Of One Mind, have been re-imagined into a series of smaller, scalable events in response to possible on-going restrictions. These will take place in regional and rural areas of the State, and include four mini festivals in Western Queensland (Charleville 5th-6th June and Longreach 7th-8th July), Cairns 6th-7th August and Logan 8th-9th October, as well as partnerships with other events in the Channel Country, Scenic Rim and Katherine, and a new version of WOW Australia’s DomestiCITY created for the Brisbane Festival.

WOW and Google Arts & Culture to launch online exhibition featuring 100 trailblazing women from 10 cities and countries around the world

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, WOW and Google Arts & Culture will launch a major online exhibition in March featuring 100 women from 10 cities and countries around the world, from Kurdistan region of Iraq to Rio de Janeiro.

Across the 10 countries and regions, WOW’s exhibition – photographed by 10 up and coming female photographers – will tell a story of global feminisms and women’s movements through the stories of 10 women from each region, each looking at 10 themes including Peace and Justice, Finance and Culture. These significant female stories will chart the changes they have seen in their own world and cast a light of the global picture, but more importantly they will act as a catalyst for the work that has to be done in the upcoming decade to keep the issue of gender equality at the forefront of everyone’s minds. You will be able to explore the online exhibition and read the incredible stories via Google Arts & Culture.

WOW launches major new project connecting over 100 girls from communities across the UK

The WOW Foundation has been awarded a 10 month grant of £88,800 from BBC Children in Need. The funding has been awarded through BBC Children in Need’s impact programme focused on children’s mental health, A Million & Me.

The funding award will support the WOW Foundation to deliver a 10 month project designed to engage 120 girls and non-binary young people aged 8-16 from communities across the UK who have benefited from support from BBC Children in Need funded projects that address local disadvantage. The project will encourage participants to explore activism and gender equality in a fun and accessible way. They will convene monthly online to discuss the issues that matter most to them regarding gender equality and will use these discussions as stimulus to create new artworks that will form the world’s first ever Lending Library curated with, by and for girls. Through taking part in the project the girls will officially become WOWsers and ambassadors for WOW.

Paddy Sloan, Project Director for A Million & Me, said: “WOW shares our ambition to empower and inspire young people whilst building their emotional wellbeing, and we are pleased  to  support this work with girls who have creative contributions to make in re-setting norms.  Now is an important time to support opportunities for collective activity and sharing stories can be a powerful medium for innovation and positive action.  We look forward to seeing the impact of this funding on young lives.”

WOW to collaborate on a new festival to confront attitudes towards sexual violence

The WOW Foundation is partnering with Birkbeck, University of London and The Wellcome Trust on Shameless! Festivals of Activism Against Sexual Violence (26th-27th November), a series of cross-arts festivals combining academic research, activism and art. The festivals will bring together national, international and grassroots organisations and charities as well as local artists and wellness practitioners, to confront and change societal attitudes towards sexual violence. Produced in partnership with WOW, the festivals will take place over three years in the UK and Brazil, with the first taking place in London from 26th-27th November. Shameless! Festivals of Activism Against Sexual Violence is part of Birkbeck’s SHaME Project, a research hub for scholarship on the interlinks between sexual violence, medicine and psychiatry. Placing medical professionals at the heart of the debates, the project seeks to address the global crisis and help move beyond the shame often attached to sexual violence.

The WOW Foundation is proudly supported by its Global Founding Partner Bloomberg, and Global Partner Mastercard.

WOW festivals are presented by arrangement with the Southbank Centre.

Rufus Norris appoints Clint Dyer as Deputy Artistic Director of the National Theatre


The National Theatre has announced today that Clint Dyer has been appointed Deputy Artistic Director. He will work closely with Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive, and Emily McLaughlin, Director of New Work to support and shape the NT’s creative output.  

Over the course of his award-winning career Clint has worked across theatre, film and TV as an actor, writer and director. He was a longstanding board member and an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East, where he acted in and directed work. At the Royal Court Theatre, Clint has worked frequently as an actor, director and writer he has also acted, written and directed for Complicité. 

His work at the National Theatre includes the role of Cutler in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in 2016 and co-writer and director of Death of England and Death of England: Delroy which played in the Dorfman and Olivier theatres last year. He was appointed as an NT Associate last year.  

Clint is one of only a very small number of people, and the only Black British artist, to have worked at the NT as an actor, writer and director on full-scale productions. His breadth of experience and creative work will be invaluable as the organisation adapts following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and focuses on the future. 

Clint will continue to act, write and direct his own work away from the NT. His next project will be directing Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical which opens at the Lyric Theatre in the West End this year. 

Speaking about the appointment Rufus Norris, Director of the NT said, “I’m extremely happy to be welcoming Clint to the National as Deputy Artistic Director. He’s a remarkable artist and has so much to contribute at a time when we need brilliant creative brains the most. Over the last few years, we have been working with a greater number and range of theatre-makers than at any other time in the NT’s history; as well as making his own work, Clint will play a vital role in supporting these artists to create world-leading theatre for the NT’s stages and beyond. I’m looking forward hugely to working closely together and having him join the team as we focus on shaping the future of the NT.” 

Speaking about the role Clint Dyer said, “I was delighted when Rufus offered me this role. To be joining the National Theatre at such a crucial time for our sector is incredibly stimulating. I was lucky enough last year to experience first-hand the hard work and dedication from every single member of staff at the NT that went into achieving so much against all the odds. This is a time when our industry is still very much feeling the impact from the pandemic and the events of 2020, I know that the National is looking to emerge from this period with a renewed commitment to make world-class theatre that celebrates the breadth of our nation. I am thrilled and honoured to be part of the team that will be making that happen. 



The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is offering a large number of free Shakespeare-related resources to students currently learning at home, and to teachers looking to create lesson plans to deliver online.

Amongst the resources are celebrated author, Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare, fresh retellings of six of Shakespeare’s timeless stories. They are free for UK schools, with a new Tale being available on demand at 10am every Friday until 5 February.

Other online content includes RSC Activity Toolkits, focussing on six of Shakespeare’s most studied plays.  The toolkits have been designed specifically for home learning, with short 15-minute tasks that can be completed by students at home, or set as part of a remote lesson.  With supporting videos from RSC actors, the toolkits will take students deeper into the world of each play.  Actors, including Niamh Cusack, Paapa Essiedu and David Tennant have also created video responses to questions sent in from students as part of Homework Help.

All resources – a list of which is below – are accessible via the Education section of the RSC website:

Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education, said:

“We know that this next phase of national lockdown is incredibly challenging for students, teachers and families. It can also be isolating and demotivating for many young people. So as children and families adjust to their new virtual classrooms we have created a range of different resources designed to stimulate their creativity and imagination, and support their wellbeing.

“Members of our acting company have developed activity toolkits that set challenges for students to complete on well-known plays, from creating plot storyboards to designing sets to performing key speeches and scenes.  Our Shakespeare Learning Zone contains lots of interactive games and quizzes for students to enjoy as well as video content featuring RSC actors performing scenes and speeches, and talking about their approach to playing different characters. Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare are free to schools in the UK, with a new tale being released every Friday at 10am until 5 February.  Schools can sign up to register and the content is available on demand for teachers and students, at home or in school, for 3 months.”



Aimed at young people aged 6 to 16, former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo has relocated six of Shakespeare’s plays and their characters to contemporary settings, unlocking the vivid drama at the heart of the tales.  The six stories – Twelfth NightMacbethRomeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest – are told by both Michael himself and members of the RSC acting company. 

Tales from Shakespeare are free for UK schools, with a new Tale being available from 10am every Friday until 5 February.  All registered schools and students will be able to access the Tales on demand, with each Tale being available for 3 months from date of its initial release.  They will be supported by a series of new literacy resources for Key Stages 1-3, released in February 2021.

To access the videos schools need to register here


The RSC has created Activity Toolkits for Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice.  Each toolkit contains twenty short 15-minute activities for each play, designed to help students revise and refresh their knowledge of these texts. They can also be used by teachers when planning remote lessons. Topics include the Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet, the To Be or Not to Be speech from Hamlet, and the role of the witches in Macbeth. The toolkits are supported by videos of RSC actors completing some of the tasks in their own homes as an inspiration.


In 2020 the RSC asked students to send the RSC their Shakespeare questions through #RSCHomeworkHelp. Hundreds of questions were received, and students can now access video responses from actors including David Bradley, Niamh Cusack, Paapa Essiedu, David Tennant and David Threlfall, along with the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran.


In 2019 and 2020 the RSC broadcast live lessons into schools about Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.  These lessons are now available for students to view at any time.  Each lesson features contributions from RSC directors and actors, including RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, who directed Romeo and Juliet in 2019; Niamh Cusack, who played Lady Macbeth in 2019; and Karen Fishwick, who played Juliet in 2019.  The lessons explore the characters, themes and language of each play. 

Other resources available include Shakespeare Unlocked, where students can watch videos exploring key moments, relationships and speeches from MacbethRomeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Shakespeare Learning Zone contains an informative and interactive catalogue of games, videos and galleries, arranged by play title, giving students the chance to find more about each play or revise ones they know well.

Teachers can search the RSC’s Teacher Resources database, full of activities and inspiration to help them plan online lessons for 30 of Shakespeare plays.

Sheffield Arena opens as NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Centre

Sheffield Arena opens as


Vaccination Centre

Husband and wife, Colin (aged 78) and Rita (aged 79) Moss from Barnsley will be among the first people to get their COVID-19 vaccination at the new NHS Vaccination Centre within Sheffield Arena when it opens at 10am on Monday 25th January 2021.

The Arena venue is in addition to over 30 primary care sites across the region where GPs and their teams are already working around the clock vaccinating some of the region’s most vulnerable residents.

In the first instance people aged 75 and over within a 45 minute drive of the Arena will receive a letter from the national NHS booking service inviting them to either book a vaccination at the arena or if they already have an appointment at their local GP vaccination hub they can disregard the letter. Equally if it is more convenient to wait and have their vaccination at their local primary care centre then individuals can also choose not to book at the Arena.

The Arena will be open 7 days a week and will be run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals on behalf of the NHS national vaccination programme.

Rita said: “Colin and I feel really lucky to be getting our vaccines and I’ve never looked forward to getting an injection in my arm as much as I have over the past few days even though I don’t like needles. I would definitely encourage others to have their jab when it’s their turn; not just to save themselves, but to save others from this horrible virus too. The vaccine is a brilliant, brilliant thing. It will give us peace of mind and make us feel a lot safer but we won’t be changing what we do or who we see in the short term because we know how important it is to keep following the guidelines until more people have been vaccinated. I take my hat off to everyone who has helped us get to this point.”

Dr Jennifer Hill, Medical Director (Operations) at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“GPs, nurses, pharmacists and countless other NHS staff, partners and volunteers are pulling out all the stops to deliver the vaccination programme as quickly as we can across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. It is tribute to their hard work that we have already vaccinated thousands of our most vulnerable residents. The Arena opening today is another step forward in rolling out the vaccination programme and it has been fantastic to see people like Rita and Colin getting their vaccinations and being protected against this awful virus.

We are asking people to help us by not turning up at the Arena unless they have an appointment as we cannot vaccinate people ad hoc. The teams at the arena, at our hospitals or GP surgeries cannot make appointments for the Arena and so by calling or turning up turning up it will simply take time away from the staff who are vaccinating and that is the last thing anyone wants to happen.”

As well as NHS colleagues, I would also like to thank the team at the Arena who have been simply amazing. First they supported us to create a drive through blood testing service so that our most vulnerable patients could still have their blood tests safely and now they have been instrumental in our planning for the vaccination programme roll out.”

Finally a plea that over these next few months, even if you have had your vaccine, you must continue to wash your hands regularly, limit contact with other people unless it is essential and wear a mask when required. Our hospitals are fuller than ever before with patients who have COVID-19 and if we are to get control of this awful virus we need everyone to do all they can to limit transmission to others whilst we continue to vaccinate the population.”

Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Trust, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, Sheffield City Trust has worked closely with the National Health Service to provide a range of support.  We’re very proud of the role Sheffield Arena has played as part of the City’s response; from providing extra storage for equipment to providing a drive-through blood testing facility used by over 50,000 cars. As an organisation, our core values are promoting and enhancing the health and wellbeing of communities, so we’re happy to support Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, the NHS and the Government, in being able to provide whatever is required to deliver this vaccination programme.”

Jon Culshaw, Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave & Adrian Scarborough star in Barnes’ People







Original Theatre Company – the production company behind the critically acclaimed lockdown productions of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong Online, Louise Coulthard’s Watching Rosie, Torben Betts’s Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon and Philip Franks’s The Haunting of Alice Bowles – andPerfectly Normal Productions are delighted to present the first revival of Barnes’ People, a series of four theatrical monologues starring Jon Culshaw, Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and Adrian Scarborough and directed by Philip Franks and Charlotte Peters.  The production will be streamed from 18 February to 31 July 2021 via, with tickets available from 10.00am today, Monday 25 January.

From writer Peter Barnes (The Ruling Class) comes a selection of four exquisitely crafted monologues, performed by four of our leading actors and filmed on stage at the Theatre Royal Windsor. 

Billy & Me starring Jon Culshaw

Directed by Charlotte Peters

For Michael Jennings, the only way to fight the voices in his head is to bring them to life. In fact he’s made a career from it.  Now, seemingly alone on an empty stage, Billy, his stage partner of 25 years, keeps interrupting him.  Which would be fine, except that Billy is a puppet.  Billy and Me is a hilarious and daring examination exploring what happens when a ventriloquist lets the puppets take control.

Losing Myself starring Matthew Kelly

Directed by Philip Franks

Adams used to have everything, with the world at his feet.  Now he’s lost his faith… and his rocking horse.  On a solitary bench within the hallowed confines of one of London’s forgotten churchyards, Adams sits on a bench for his final conversation with an old friend.  With poignancy and profundity he must come to terms with who he has become and where he is going, but it’s going to rain and the bulldozers are moving in. 

Rosa starring Jemma Redgrave

Directed by Philip Franks

Dr Rosa Hamilton is tired.  After twenty years of battling the system, drowning in paperwork and watching patients fade away in care homes, she’s tired, she’s angry and she really wants a drink.  Especially as she’s about to dictate the most important letter of her life. 

True Born Englishman starring Adrian Scarborough

A World Premiere

Directed by Philip Franks

Leslie has been a footman at Buckingham Palace for thirty years.  A life of service, a life of discretion and a lifetime of secrets.  Originally banned from broadcast by the BBC and never seen before, this world premiere takes you behind the scenes of the most famous of royal palaces for an unforgettable audience with a true born Englishman.

Co-producer David Morley of Perfectly Normal Productions said of the the monologues, “All our monologues are from Peter Barnes’s work commissioned by BBC Radio 3.  Rosa is from a series called Barnes’ People, broadcast in 1981 and was originally performed by Judi Dench.  Losing Myself and Billy And Me were from a second series on BBC Radio 3, called More Barnes’ People.  These aired between 1989 and 1990.  Jeremy Irons was in Losing Myself and Alan Rickman played Jennings in Billy And Me.  The controversial play in our four is A True Born Englishman.  This was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 as part of More Barnes’ People.  It was cast with Antony Sher in the role and scheduled, but when the production team referred the script to higher management, they decided not to go ahead.  Peter Barnes described this as ‘banning’ the play, because of its Royal Family theme, which the BBC denied.”

Director Philip Franks added, “Peter Barnes’ monologues have all the qualities of his plays— all the passion, wit, anger and compassion- condensed into urgent 20 minute plays. They feel like they could have been written yesterday.”

Barnes’ People is directed by Philip Franks & Charlotte Peters, with film direction and editing by Tristan Shepherd.  Sound design is by Max Pappenheim, digital production design by David Woodhead, costume supervision by Siobhan Boyd and production management by Felix Dunning.

Barnes’ People is filmed at Theatre Royal Windsor with the assistance of the theatre’s co-directors, Anne-Marie Woodley and Jon Woodley, technical and production manager Andi Manzi and head of lighting Will Brann.

Barnes’ People is produced by Alastair Whatley and Tom Hackney for Original Theatre Company and David Morley for Perfectly Normal Productions.



Barnes’ People

by Peter Barnes

Dates: 18 February – 31 July 2021

Age guidance: suitable for all ages

Running time: approx. 20 mins per play

English subtitles are available


Early Bird (when purchased by 16 February 2021)

Individual monologue

Standard – £7.50

With programme – £10

Package of 4 monologues

Standard – £20 (£5 each)

Supporter Package – £40 (programme and credit on the final films)

Premium Package – £100 (signed script by a creative team member of your choice and a credit on the final films)

Standard Ticket Pricing (from 17 February 2021)

Individual monologue

Standard – £10

With programme – £12.50

Package of 4 monologues

Standard – £35 (£5 discount)

With programme – £37.50

Premium Package – £100 (signed script by a creative team member of your choice)




Paul-Ryan Carberry, Artistic Director of Iris Theatre, today announces the online stream of Platform in the Gardens, a series of performances recorded in the gardens of the Actors’ Church during the company’s outdoor summer festival in 2020.

The series includes the new play Dear Peter by Evangeline Dickson, available now until 31 January; Reuben Johnson performing spoken-word focusing on the current experience, available now until 15 February; and folk music concert fromNick Hart available 1 – 28 February. Each Platform in the Gardens event is available to stream on a pay-what-you-can basis here.

Artistic Director of Iris Theatre, Paul-Ryan Carberry said today,“We wanted to find a way to continue to support artists we’ve worked with and provide our audiences with performances to enjoy from their own homes during this necessary period of lockdown. We are really delighted to share work from an incredible and varied group of artists including spoken-word, music and a wonderful new play, and all on a pay-what-you-can basis.

“As always, a huge, huge thank you to all our audience and patrons, without your support we would not have been able to make it through this last year.”



Written and performed by Evangeline Dickson

Until Sunday 31 January 2021

Join Ash on her 25th birthday as J.M. Barrie’s seminal hero Peter Pan plummets her into a spiral of first love, first loss, and every story that makes us who we are. Set to a nostalgia-infused soundtrack, Dear Peter explores whether anyone is truly free from growing up, through a collection of fragmented memories, poetic frankness and darkly comedic storytelling. 

Dear Peter bursts with heart and imagination, riffing on childhood innocence and emancipation in a truly magical setting.

Evangeline Dickson is an actor, voiceover artist and writer. Since graduating from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2017, she has toured internationally with the Young Shakespeare Company, appeared in Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience and is a member of award-winning physical theatre company Spies Like Us. Evangeline has also written pieces for Iris Theatre and All The Web’s A Stage.



Until Monday 15 February 2021

Reuben Johnson evokes the challenges of the here and now through plosive, northern verse. An urgent and energetic solo performance which draws into focus the nation in which we live. 

Reuben Johnson is a spoken word artist, actor and writer. His credits include Being Jess (Mac’s Arcadian/Unicorn Theatre), Territory (Edinburgh Festival Fringe – winner of the NSDF Best Emerging Artist Award). His work has also been seen at venues such as The Lowry, Pleasance Islington, Pleasance Edinburgh and Theatre503. His work has also been seen on BBC iPlayer and Radio and is featured on the advert for Volkswagen. 



Available: Monday 1 – Sunday 28 February 2021

Nick Hart leads audiences on a musical journey through stories of old in this stunning folk music concert.

Nick Hart is fast acquiring a reputation as one of the most accomplished interpreters of English folk song. His love of the nuances of traditional singing informs his minimal guitar accompaniment, and his songs are delivered with a great emphasis on storytelling. His repertoire of songs, drawn largely from his native East Anglia, reflects his understanding of both the depth and breadth of material within the English tradition and his engaging performance style has made him a hit with audiences up and down the country. He has released two studio albums, both of which have gained widespread critical acclaim, with a third set for release in March 2021.



St Paul’s Church Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9ED


Until 31 January 2021

Ticket prices: Pay What You Can



Until 15 February 2021

Ticket prices: Pay What You Can



1 – 28 February 2021

Ticket prices: Pay What You Can


Actors’ Church

12 – 17 April 2021

Age Guidance: 12+ (includes themes of alcoholism)

Ticket prices: £20 individual (limited availability), £40 bubble (seats two)


Actors’ Church

27 – 29 May 2021

Ticket prices: £25 individual (limited availability), £50 bubble (seats two)