Experience West End Musical Drive In digitally with streamed concerts on Stream.Theatre Streaming from Friday 19th February to Sunday 21st March 2021
From the Drive-In to your home, relive the biggest musical concert series of 2020. With 10 hours of incredible live performances from over 25 of the greatest West End stars, including Layton Williams (Everyone’s Talking About Jamie), Lucie Jones (Waitress), and Alice Fearn (Come From Away), this exciting digital series will bring five fantastic West End Musical Drive In concerts directly to you. A different concert will be available to stream each week from Friday 19th February to Sunday 21st March via Stream.Theatre.
Additional casting includes, Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton), Shanay Holmes (The Bodyguard), Emma Hatton (Wicked), Shan Ako (Les Misérables), Sophie Evans (Wicked), Maiya Quansah Breed (Rent), Laura Pick (Wicked), Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Jon Robyns (Les Misérables), Kelly Agbowu (Waitress), Hiba Elchikhe (Aladdin), Jodie Steele (Heathers) and 12 previous cast members of Six The Musical.
The first of its kind in the UK, West End Musical Drive In is a much-loved and unique series of immersive concerts, which last year provided many performers with their first live opportunity to perform during the pandemic. Thousands of fans took to their cars to support and celebrate the magic of musical theatre and now, through streaming, more people can experience these amazing events and relish in the electric festival atmosphere from the comfort of their home.
Performer and Co Producer Shanay Holmes says, There were so many fans from all over the country that were unable to attend these sell out events. We are so happy to invite you all to join us now, to experience this musical phenomenon from your homes! You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll have one hell of a party. It’s the perfect antidote to your lockdown blues!
Cases returns in new album release after cancelled run in 2020
Following sell-out performances at the Phoenix Arts Club, new musical CASES was scheduled to return to the London stage at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace with a revamped score, additional songs and an exciting new West End cast. However – COVID-19 stopped the performances going ahead, and so the new production now returns through a full album set to be released in all online music stores from February 12th 2021, on the 4-year anniversary of the show’s premiere at the Phoenix Arts Club, and available to pre-order from February 1st 2021.
CASES explores unforeseen circumstances and unexpected crises inspired by journeys and careers within the arts and entertainment industry. Four artists experience the heartbreaks, sacrifices and triumphs during their pursuit of pure artistry as they balance fame with obscurity and try to establish a career amidst the prospect of financial instability.
In a time of global crises, CASES resonates and strikes a new chord with audiences today who follow characters with differing levels of career prospects, juggling life-changing events.
Comprised of ‘terrific numbers’ and ‘marvellous compositions’ (British Theatre), CASES is created by Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and BRIT School graduated writer and composer Dominic Powell. This album release is produced by Pioneer Arts (with the support of Katy Galloway Productions and Grey Area Theatre), an events and production company producing innovative original theatre, film and television for both commercial and community sectors. The company was founded in 2012 by Artistic Director and CASES creator Dominic Powell, whose musical theatre repertoire is featured as part of New UK Musicals and was recently showcased online through Adam Lenson’s Signal and Barn Presents: The Music of Dominic Powell in collaboration with The Barn Theatre. Pioneer Arts have produced and premiered new writing across London at venues, including The Other Palace, Phoenix Artist Club, The Vaults, Cockpit Theatre, Park Theatre, Landor Theatre, Above the Arts and the Theatre Café on Shaftesbury Avenue.
The CASES studio album features a dynamic new score, with new band and orchestral arrangements, and additional songs performed by a new West End cast including Olivier nominee Maiya Quansah-Breed (Six, UK Tour/West End; Rent, Hope Mill Theatre), Bobbie Little (High Fidelity, Turbine Theatre; Mamma Mia!, West End), Andrew Patrick-Walker (Brooklyn – The Musical, Greenwich Theatre; Bat out of Hell, London Coliseum/Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto) and Waylon Jacobs (Hamilton, West End; Memphis, West End).
FUNDING FOR FLAGSHIP IGNITION PROGRAMME IS AT RISK
IGNITION GRADUATE PAAPA ESSIEDU ANNOUNCED AS PROGRAMME’S FIRST EVER AMBASSADOR
An urgent fundraising campaign was launched at the end of 2020 to save Frantic Assembly’s Ignition programme. New data released today highlights the significance of this ground-breaking free, nationwide talent development programme for young people aged 16-24.
Frantic Assembly asks whose voices will be silenced and which doors permanently closed if young people’s access to the arts is restricted even more?
It is also announced today that actor Paapa Essiedu (Hamlet, RSC, I May Destroy You, BBC1) will be Ignition’s first ever ambassador. Paapa said “I am delighted to be Ignition’s ambassador. Ignition was such a formative period in my artistic development and one of the first spaces I had to explore creatively. I am so excited to help the next generation of Ignition graduates discover their own journeys.”
Ignition has touched the lives of over 6000 young people since it began in 2008. In 2019 alone it engaged nearly 900 young men from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and was about to roll out its first Ignition for women after a successful pilot.
Other well-known graduates of the programme include Karl Queensborough who is currently starring as the lead role in Hamilton (West End), BBC Young Dancer 2019 Max Revell and actor Joe Layton (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Tatau, BBC Three). Many behind-the-scenes and non-acting careers are also borne out of Ignition with graduates working as directors, writers, producers, designers, teachers and technical staff.
For the past twelve years Ignition has sought out talent in unexpected places; from sports groups to youth centres, connecting with hundreds of young people from areas of low artistic engagement. Of the 144 Ignition graduates to date – who have all completed a weeklong theatre-making residency with Frantic Assembly – the majority have gone on to have careers in the creative industries or take up further education.
Frantic Assembly recently surveyed its Ignition graduates and had the following responses:
97% of graduates are currently working or in further education.
90% said they strongly felt that Ignition had made a positive impact on their career choices.
80% of graduates believed it had positively and significantly impacted their education choices.
92% attributed Ignition to having made a significant impact on their well-being.
The survey received feedback from many graduates who felt that without access to the programme they would not have had the financial capability to pursue their chosen career.
One 2019 graduate wrote:
“I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Ignition. There are more people like me who aren’t financially able to fund their career due to where they live and don’t have any experience. They [Frantic Assembly] make such an impact and open up so many branches to people in low arts funded communities.”
One of the aims of Ignition is to support meaningful social mobility amongst its participants. The programme has played a key role in increasing young people’s individual levels of aspiration and attainment, as reflected in the words that this 2012 graduate shared with the survey:
“Ignition has given me the confidence to step into any room and feel like a professional, to open any door. Ignition has shown me that my potential is a lot greater than first believed. It has given me the desire to create opportunities for others and to raise the self-confidence of those around me. Ignition has taught me to always go forward and never back.”
“The ethos, soul and generosity of spirit at the heart of Frantic Assembly was probably the most crucial building block for me as I started my career as an actor. At 18, I’d never done a play. Never seen a Shakespeare. Didn’t know what drama school was. Without doubt, [Ignition] gave me the confidence I needed to go on and have a go of it in the industry.”
This sense of boosting young people’s self-esteem and educating them about the theatre industry is a key part of Ignition’s work. For example, graduate Kieton Saunders-Browne, who appeared in Frantic Assembly’s 2018 touring production The Unreturning told the survey:
“I have worked professionally as an actor, writer and producer since finishing Ignition. I decided to apply for drama school and I am now at LAMDA on the BA Acting course.”
Each year Frantic brings together a diverse and dynamic group of participants, with a focus on ensuring access for those with social, financial, cultural and geographical barriers to the arts. Ignition seeks to unlock undiscovered creative potential and level up the future of British theatre. It is not simply a vocational training programme though. Participants forge deep bonds, receive boosts to their confidence and self-esteem, and develop a stronger work ethic through the experience.
The annual programme sees twelve young men and twelve young women selected through taster and trial workshops, who are then invited to London where they spend a week making their own shows with theatre professionals, performed to a public audience. Throughout this period the 24 participants are pushed creatively and physically to understand the process of devising and creating work from scratch. The process is intense, the experience transformational and the effect lasting.
The Frantic team work with nine regional partners to deliver more than 50 workshops across the country each year. The partner venues are Leeds Playhouse, The Core (Corby), The Sherman Theatre (Cardiff), Dance Base (Edinburgh), Lyric Theatre (Belfast), Theatre Royal Plymouth, Theatre Royal Norwich, Old Rep Theatre (Birmingham) and Liverpool Everyman. These venues lead on recruiting young people, provide expert knowledge on their local areas and continue their engagement with individuals who did not progress to the Intensive stage in order to provide a sustainable and long term arts offer. Frantic also continues to support Ignition graduates. Through the Re:Ignite programme the participants continue to receive training, career development and employment opportunities after the Intensive residency.
Donations can be made on the WE ARE IGNITION page on the Frantic Assembly website: franticassembly.co.uk or by text:
To donate £5 text IGNITION 5 to 70085
To donate £10 text IGNITION 10 to 70085
To donate £20 text IGNITION 20 to 70085
Texts are charged at the cost of your donation plus a standard message rate.
Anyone interested in making a major donation to support Ignition can contact Frantic Assembly executive director Kerry Whelan firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets on-sale 8am, Thursday 4th Feb From www.carparkparty.com starting from £49.50 (+ £2.50 booking fee)
The bestselling children’s author David Walliams, the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company and Coalition Agency have teamed up for a brand-new COVID-safe CAR PARK PARTYproduction of Billionaire Boy, coming to a site near you this Easter!
Billionaire Boy started life as a David Walliams novel for children in 2010, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. In 2016 it was adapted into a BBC production and has since become a firm Christmas television favourite.
Billionaire Boy tells the story of Joe Spud, who is twelve years old and the richest boy in the country. He has his own sports car, £100k a week pocket money and two crocodiles as pets. But what Joe doesn’t have is a friend. So he decides to leave his posh school and start at the local comprehensive. But things don’t go as planned for Joe and life becomes a rollercoaster as he tries find the one thing money can’t buy.
David Walliams said: “I am delighted that families will have the opportunity to see some live theatre again. The show is hilarious and I hope spreads some happiness in these difficult times.”
CAR PARK PARTY was launched summer 2020 and quickly became the nation’s favourite family drive in with Horrible Histories ‘Barmy Britain’. It then helped to save Christmas with the hugely successful Car Park Panto, performing ‘Horrible Christmas’ to forty thousand family members in their cars across 16 wintery towns and cities.
Whilst the UK continues its fight back against the pandemic, children continue to miss out on live arts and so Easter presents the perfect time to bring live theatre to families across the country.
Neal Foster, adapter and director of Billionaire Boy said: “It was wonderful to be part of a magical enterprise in 2020 bringing live theatre to families desperate for the joy and connection theatre provides, so we are delighted to be presenting our production of one of David Walliams’ most popular stories which began its national tour in 2019 and was abruptly halted by Covid. The show’s actors are thrilled with the opportunity to return to a new stage with a story that demonstrates the importance of friends and family at this critical time for the world”.
BILLIONAIRE BOY DATES Performance times: 2pm & 5pm
Friday 2nd April Birmingham NEC Saturday 3rd April Manchester AJ Bell Stadium Sunday 4th April Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium Monday 5th April Leeds Harewood House Tuesday 6th April Newark Newark Showground Thursday 8th April Northampton Saints, Franklins Gardens Friday 9th April Warwickshire Stoneleigh Park Saturday 10th April Knebworth Knebworth House Sunday 11th April Windsor Racecourse Monday 12th April Newbury Racecourse Wednesday 14th April Bournemouth Canford Park Thursday 15th April Exeter Racecourse Friday 16th April Bath Bath & West Showground Saturday 17th April Bristol Airport Sunday 18th April Cheltenham Racecourse
STARRING SAM TUTTY, EMILY REDPATH & SIR DEREK JACOBI
EXTENDS ITS RELEASE TO 27 FEBRUARY 2021
Metcalfe Gordon Productions, the producers of the new filmed theatre production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet starring Sam Tutty and Emily Redpath in the title roles and Sir Derek Jacobi as the Narrator, are delighted to announce that they are extending its release. The production, which utilised new, cutting edge technology to produce and film the show under current restrictions and regulations, will now be available from Saturday 13 to Saturday 27 February 2021. Tickets for the full run are now on sale direct at romeojuliet2021.com/tickets and through ATG Tickets. A portion of proceeds will go to Acting for Others.
As well as Tutty, Redpath and Jacobi, also in the cast are Brandon Bassir as Mercutio, Daniel Bowerbank as Benvolio, Jonny Labey as Paris, Sylvester Akinrolabu as Tybalt, Helen Anker as Capulet, Marc Ozall as Montague, Lucy Tregear as Nurse, Vinta Morgan as Friar, Jessica Murrain as Prince, Timmy Driscoll as Sam, Tats Nyazika as Gregory, Iskandar Eaton as Abe and Ollie Tennant as Balthasar.
Romeo & Juliet is directed by Nick Evans, with assistant direction by Gwenan Bain, edited by Ryan Metcalfe, production design by Jamie Osborne for Preevue, costume design by Natasha Bowles, original music by Sam Dinley, sound design by Olly Steel, lighting design by Elliot Smith, visual effects by Preevue, production management by Gary Beestone and casting by Jim Arnold CDG.
The filmed theatre production of Romeo & Juliet is produced by Metcalfe Gordon Productions.