Car Park Party announce Billionaire Boy & Horrible Histories rescheduled dates from 12th April onwards

Due to the new government roadmap out of the restrictions announced this week, we have had to move the CAR PARK PARTY shows due to be staged before the 12th April to later dates in April & May, the productions affected are

David Walliams Billionaire Boy 
Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain
Horrible Histories: Gorgeous Georgians & Vile Victorians 

Tickets holders have been notified of the changes but tickets are still available via www.carparkparty.com.

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 DATES

Tickets priced from £49.50 (+ £2.50 booking fee)
Monday 12th April                           Newbury           Newbury Racecourse (11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Tuesday 13th April                           Windsor            Windsor Racecourse (11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Wednesday 14th April                     Bournemouth   Canford Park (2pm & 5pm)
Thursday 15th April                         Exeter               Exeter Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Friday 16th April                              Bath                  Bath & West Showground (2pm & 5pm)
Saturday 17th April                          Bristol               Airport (11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Sunday 18th April                            Cheltenham      Cheltenham Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Friday 23rd April                              Stevenage        Knebworth House (4.30pm & 7pm)
Saturday 24th April                          Northampton    Franklin’s Gardens (11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Sunday 25th April                            Birmingham      NEC (11am, 2pm & 5pm)        
Friday 30th April                              Manchester       AJ Bell Stadium (4.30pm & 7pm)
Saturday 1st May                             Newark             Newark Showground (2pm & 5pm)
Sunday 2nd May                              Leeds               Harewood House (2pm & 5pm)
Monday 3rd May                             Middlesbrough  Riverside Stadium (2pm & 5pm)

HORRIBLE HISTORIES – BARMY BRITAIN features Queen Boudicca, King Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin, Queen Victoria and more historical characters from our barmy past! 
HORRIBLE HISTORIES: BARMY BRITAIN DATES
Tickets priced from £39.50 (+ £2.50 booking fee)

Tuesday 13th April                          Newbury          Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Wednesday 14th April                    Poole                Canford Park (11am)
Wednesday 14th April                    Coventry          Ricoh Arena (2pm & 5pm)
Thursday 15th April                        Wolverhampton Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Friday 16th April                             Bath                  Bath & West Showground (11am)
Friday 16th April                             Shrewsbury      New Meadow Stadium (2pm & 5pm)
Saturday 17th April                         Uttoxeter         Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Sunday 18th April                           Bristol               Airport (2pm & 5pm)
Friday 23rd April                             Northampton  Franklins Gardens (4.30pm & 7pm)
Saturday 24th April                         Stevenage        Knebworth House (2pm & 5pm)
Sunday 25th April                           Chelmsford      Racecourse (11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Friday 30th April                             Birmingham     NEC (4.30pm & 7pm)
Saturday 1st May                            Newark             Showground (11am)
Saturday 1st May                            Manchester     AJ Bell Stadium (2pm & 5pm) 
Sunday 2nd May                             Leeds                Harewood House (11am)
Sunday 2nd May                             Carlisle             Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Monday 3rd May                            Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium (11am)

It’s true! Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria are packing the carriages and getting ready to hit the road… They all feature in HORRIBLE HISTORIES – GORGEOUS GEORGIANS & VILE VICTORIANS.

HORRIBLE HISTORIES: GORGEOUS GEORGIANS & VILE VICTORIANS
Tickets priced from £39.50 (+ £2.50 booking fee)

 
Monday 12th April                          Crawley            Lingfield Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)
Thursday 15th April                        Exeter               Racecourse (11am)
Thursday 22nd April                       Windsor           Racecourse (4.30pm & 7pm)
Monday 3rd May                            Newcastle        Racecourse (2pm & 5pm)

National Youth Theatre announce a new initiative to create 60 jobs and bring drama to disabled young people in 15 schools

NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE ANNOUNCE INCLUSIVE PRACTICE COLLECTIVE – A NEW INITIATIVE TO CREATE 60 JOBS AND BRING DRAMA TO DISABLED YOUNG PEOPLE IN 15 SCHOOLS 

  • THE COMPANY ARE INVITING YOUNG PEOPLE, SPECIALIST SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, AND CULTURAL COMMUNITY PARTNERS IN GREATER MANCHESTER AND WEST YORKSHIRE TO WORK WITH THEM 
     
  • THE NYT’s INCLUSIVE PRACTICE COLLECTIVE IS A PROGRAMME ENABLED BY THE GOVERNMENT’S KICKSTART SCHEME

The National Youth Theatre have announced an open call to young people, specialist schools and colleges (known as SEND*), and cultural community partners initially in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire to work with the company on a new national Inclusive Practice Collective.


Inspired by young people engaged in National Youth Theatre’s inclusion programme and its work in schools, the Inclusive Practice Collective is an urgent response offering creativity, connection and a boost to drama provision in schools for disabled young people and will provide crucial jobs for young creatives facing unemployment. 

Paul Roseby OBE, CEO and Artistic Director of National Youth Theatre, said: “Disabled people and all young people are most at risk of reduced opportunities post-Covid. Rising unemployment figures emphasise the urgent need for a social and cultural recovery that prioritises creative jobs, ensures accessible and inclusive opportunities and celebrates the diversity of British youth in all its forms and that’s exactly what our new Inclusive Practice Collective is designed to do.”
 

Rachel Denning, Actor and NYT alumna, who is working with the company on their Inclusive Practice programme, said: “I am so excited to see this Kickstart programme happen, we need young and passionate allies to continue making this industry an inclusive one. Inclusion should be cool, creative and at the forefront of our practice;  National Youth Theatre and its members have the power to do this and they are such an important voice in our industry.”
 

The Staff and Students ofHighshore School said: “Highshore School has been working with the National Youth Theatre since spring 2018 to pilot a variety of inclusive workshops and after school clubs. Students that have taken part have become more confident, have been more willing to work with others and have found new ways to communicate not only in their drama but in their school life”  
 

The collective is enabled by the Government’s Kickstart Scheme and in its first year will create a programme of regular National Youth Theatre opportunities for young disabled people in 15 schools and colleges around the country and 60 paid job placements for young people on Universal Credit. Formal recruitment will begin in March with a pro-active search working with community partners, job centres and referral agencies including the local authority and youth employment programme in NYT’s home borough of Islington. All young people interested in joining the Inclusive Practice Collective are encouraged to apply here
 

NYT particularly welcome applications from people whose identities are currently under-represented in the performing arts and have made a positive commitment to employing d/Deaf and disabled people and guarantee to interview all d/Deaf and disabled candidates who meet the minimum essential criteria for the role. Specialist schools and colleges and cultural community partners rooted in their local communities can email participation@nyt.org.uk by 25 March 2021 to express an interest in partnering on the scheme, which aims to build a national community of SEND* schools with a focus on creativity and the arts.
 

The Inclusive Practice Collective will create 60 new paid job placements for young inclusion facilitators aged 18-24; facilitate two academic terms of regular inclusive theatre activity for disabled young people in 15 SEND Schools and Colleges initially in Greater Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, West Yorkshire and London; up-skill and support young inclusion facilitators with industry-led talent development; work with cultural partners rooted in their communities to connect the collective to existing programmes and future employment opportunities; stage a digital festival for the collective celebrating inclusive theatre practice in schools and colleges and offer progression routes for young disabled people into the National Youth Theatre membership, as well as other local cultural opportunities. 
 

In the first year of the Inclusive Practice Collective job placements will last six months with cohorts starting in August 2021 and December 2021. Activity will be delivered in partner schools between September 2021 and May 2022.  
 

The creation of these new Inclusion Facilitator roles is inspired by NYT’s young members’ commitment to inclusion, who have been working with the company on this programme and want to develop careers in Inclusive Practice. NYT wants to respond to the impact of the pandemic on employment prospects for young creative people by empowering a new generation of paid inclusive practice practitioners. Through an inclusive digital festival celebrating the work of the collective, NYT hopes to form national connections between schools and colleges, engage with like-minded cultural partners around the country, to join up with existing provision and signpost the collective to future employment opportunities.
 

The collective marks the national expansion of NYT’s growing Inclusive Practice programme, which is designed to build the representation of young disabled talent within our membership and reduce barriers to accessing our opportunities. The collective, informed by SEND* schools, will offer creativity, connectivity and opportunities for young disabled people within school environments.
 

Inclusive Practice is essential to National Youth Theatre work, making sure that the company is always a welcoming and accessible place for disabled and neurodiverse young people. As part of this commitment NYT are a Cultural Inclusion Manifesto supporter, and run a programme of targeted work which has recently included successful partnerships for three years with London schools Highshore and Samuel Rhodes in NYT’s home borough of Inslington; inclusion training for NYT staff, associate artists and inclusion ambassadors; the introduction of relaxed performances and auditions; commissions foregrounding disabled narratives and performers and successful creative collaborations with inclusive sector leaders Diverse City, Extraordinary Bodies and Touretteshero. In Spring 2021 the company will complete a major transformation of their HQ in the London Borough of Islington into a National Production House, which has been designed in consultation with Access=Design and disabled NYT members to prioritise accessibility and includes a Changing Places facility. Three new plays by Athena Stevens, Nessah Muthy and Ann Akin are currently also under commission, which foreground disabled stories and characters. Young disabled voices are represented strongly amongst NYT’s Youth Trustees and Centre Stage Creatives based around the UK.  
 

Young people interested in joining the Inclusive Practice Collective can apply here: https://form.jotformeu.com/210334970893359. Formal recruitment will begin in March. NYT particularly welcome applications from people whose identities are currently under-represented in the performing arts and have made a positive commitment to employing d/Deaf and disabled people and guarantee to interview all d/Deaf and disabled candidates who meet the minimum essential criteria for the role.

If you’re interested in being a partner host school or local cultural partner you can email participation@nyt.org.uk by 25 March 2021 to arrange a call to discuss working with NYT.

Find out more about our Inclusive Practice programme

Find out more about the Government’s KickStart programme

LAMBERT JACKSON PRODUCTIONS AND THE THEATRE CAFÉ ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF LEAVE A LIGHT ON – WITH 70 PERFORMANCES BEING RE-STREAMED

LAMBERT JACKSON PRODUCTIONS AND THE THEATRE CAFÉ ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF LEAVE A LIGHT ON –

WITH 70 PERFORMANCES BEING RE-STREAMED

Lambert Jackson Productions and The Theatre Café today announce the return of Leave a Light On, the online concert series. 70 performances from across the two series will be re-streamed, featuring Zoe BirkettJordan Luke GageDavid HunterCassidy JansonLucie JonesBeverley Knight and Layton Williams among many others. Running every day at 5pm and 8pm from 15 March – 24 April 2021 via https://www.stream.theatre/geners/59/12

Leave a Light On, was launched in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent national lockdowns. It presented a variety of performances livestreamed from artists’ homes, to provide income for performers who found themselves without work, supporting almost 80 artists across its two series, as well as offering entertainment to audiences unable to access live shows.

Jamie Lambert and Eliza Jackson said today, “Leave a Light On was born out of the pandemic and the industry’s closure – we wanted to provide artists with the opportunity for paid work, and were thrilled we were able to support almost 80 performers across the two series. We’re incredibly proud of both series and the sheer quality of these at-home concerts, so are delighted to be able to share many of these performances with audiences again!”

Full schedules will be released weekly and available to view:

15 – 21 March:                www.stream.theatre/season/55

22 – 28 March:                www.stream.theatre/season/56

29 March – 4 April:         www.stream.theatre/season/57

5 – 11 April:                     www.stream.theatre/season/58

12 – 18 April:                   www.stream.theatre/season/59

19 – 24 April:                   www.stream.theatre/season/60

Twitter:

@LJProds

@thetheatrecafe

Instagram:

@lambertjacksonproductions

@theatrecafeUK

Facebook:

Lambert Jackson Productions

The Theatre Café

THE ALLIANCE OF ASSOCIATIONS AND PROFESSIONALS IN THEATRE & LIVE EVENTS CONTINUE CAMPAIGN FOR A FAIRER INDUSTRY AND LAUNCH NOT HERE ALL YEAR CAMPAIGN

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THE ALLIANCE OF ASSOCIATIONS AND PROFESSIONALS IN THEATRE & LIVE EVENTS CONTINUE CAMPAIGN FOR A FAIRER INDUSTRY AND LAUNCH NOT HERE ALL YEAR CAMPAIGN

The Alliance of Associations and Professionals in Theatre & Live Events (AAPTLE), which represents theatre workers across all disciplines in the UK, advocating for a better, more sustainable and fairer future for them and the improvement of the industry as a whole, today announce the campaign Not Here All Year – marking the anniversary of theatres closing their doors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 9th March, AAPTLE will be sharing freelancers’ photographs of venues in the days ahead of the closure and throughout the last year, highlighting the loss of work over the year, and to celebrate the industry, looking forward to when venues are able to reopen. Photographs will be shared on Instagram with the #NotHereAllYear, with those across the industry encouraged to take part.

Johanna Town and Dominic Bilkey, Chairs of the Association of Lighting Designersand the Association of Sound Designers respectively, said today, “It has been an extraordinarily tough year for theatre and live events professionals. The #NotHereAllYear campaign will celebrate the resilience and determination of theatre makers. It aims to highlight the fact that, although many of us have not worked for 12 months and counting, we want to get back to making theatre at the earliest opportunity. Our hope is that together we can collectively change the landscape for the better.”

As an organisation, AAPTLE are supporting and campaigning on a range of issues affecting the theatre and live entertainment workforce and the industry more widely. Current areas of focus include Covid-19, Brexit, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, education and outreach, unions and lobbying, and the future of freelancers. The latter was the focus of The Alliance’s previously Back to Work campaign, in which it issued an open letter asking for a commitment from producers and theatre companies to maintain pre-Covid rates for freelancers upon the return to work.

Candoco announces new Chair and first Associate Artistic Director

Candoco Dance Company announces New Chair and first Associate Artistic Director  

@candocodance | #WhatDanceCanBe | www.candoco.co.uk

Candoco Dance Company has today announced a new Chair, Trustees and the appointment of its first Associate Artistic Director. 

Stephen Lightbown will become Chair in March 2021, taking over from Fern Potter who has been Chair since 2018. Dan Daw, has been appointed as the company’s first Associate Artistic DirectorKez Margrie has also joined the Board as a Trustee.

As Stephen, Dan and Kez all identify as disabled, these appointments mark a significant and important moment for Candoco, embedding disabled representation at leadership level. As the company enters its 30th Anniversary year, it marks an ongoing commitment to increasing representation from disabled artists, producers and leaders across the organisation, in order to ensure that Candoco remains at the forefront of the conversation about dance and disability in the years to come.

Stephen’s background is in senior level Communications and PR roles across the NHS.  He is also a former Trustee of the spinal injuries charity The Back Up Trust and a published poet who writes about his experiences of being a wheelchair user.

Appointed as the company’s first Associate Artistic Director, Dan Daw will work alongside Artistic Director Charlotte Darbyshire and Executive Director Jo Royce, to shape and develop future artistic and organisational strategy and thinking. Dan has previously performed as a Candoco company member and more recently he has been working as a member of the company’s Disability Advisory Group.

Kez Margie is a 2019/20 Clore Fellow and Commissioning Editor for ages 7 -12 in the BBC’s Children’s department.

Of his appointment, Stephen said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed Chair of Candoco, an organisation I have loved, admired and followed from afar for many years. I would like to thank Fern for her years of service and leadership to the Board, particularly over the past twelve months and the unchartered challenges that the organisation has faced.

“I am delighted to have been given the chance to support Candoco as it enters its 30th anniversary year. I look forward to working with all the staff and dancers at Candoco to make sure we remain a vital voice in the dance community and the arts more widely.” 

Of his appointment, Dan Daw said: “What an exciting time to be re-joining Candoco. It feels important to take time to pay tribute to where the company has been, celebrate where it is now and sow the seeds for where it hopes to be. This is an incredible opportunity to gently lean into how Candoco might further expand thinking around what dance is, who can dance and who dance is for.”

Outgoing Chair, Fern Potter said: “As a ground-breaking, inclusive dance company, the appointment of Stephen and Kez to the Board, and the announcement of Dan as our first Associate Artistic Director, means that we begin this next chapter of Candoco’s history with lived-experience of disability at the heart of our leadership. Candoco must continue to offer an equitable and accessible space for a new generation of artists, participants, audiences and leaders.”

Candoco is a world-leading professional contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.  For 30 years, Candoco has been creating and performing ground-breaking dance that puts diversity and inclusion at its heart.  Bridging the mainstream and experimental, we have performed at venues and festivals from Sadler’s Wells to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom. Our extensive learning programme includes high-quality dance activity for young disabled dancers alongside professional development for disabled makers.  We continually expand perceptions of what dance can be and who can do it.

Theatres Trusts awards grants c£100,000 to improve theatre sustainability

Theatres Trust awards grants c£100,000 with
£375,000 available over the next three years
to improve theatre sustainability

Through its partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, Theatres Trust is awarding c.£100,000 to five theatres to be more environmentally sustainable. These awards are made as the Wolfson Foundation announces the renewal of its funding for the Theatre Improvement Scheme, with a further £360,000 to be awarded over the next three years.

Before the pandemic took hold, the biggest challenge facing the theatre sector was responding to the climate crisis and Theatres Trust, the national public advisory body for theatres, is keen that this priority should not slip. Theatres, like all public buildings, have an impact on the environment, with major energy consumption coming from heating, ventilation, stage machinery and lighting and sadly many theatres do not meet modern environmental standards.

The projects supported in this most recent round of funding include installing solar panels, upgrading house lights to more efficient LEDs and replacing the Building Management Systems that control heating, ventilation and energy use. The five theatres receiving funding in this round are Chichester Festival Theatre, Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Lyric Theatre Belfast, The Marlowe in Canterbury and Northern Stage in Newcastle.

Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, comments, Despite the immediate issues caused by Covid19, it is imperative that we continue to focus on the long-term environmental sustainability of the theatre sector. Environmentally friendly buildings are not just an ethical imperative but a business necessity that can impact a theatre’s viability. The volume and quality of the applications we received for this scheme shows there is a real appetite amongst theatres to make environmental improvements to their buildings, so we are delighted that Wolfson Foundation has renewed this partnership and we’ll be able to help more theatres make vital changes.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of Wolfson Foundation says, At this critical moment for the UK’s performing arts sector, we are delighted to be able to renew our partnership with the Theatres Trust for a further three years. The impact of Covid-19 has only increased the importance of taking an environmentally sustainable approach. We hope this funding will encourage theatres across the UK to think about the often small changes that can make a significant difference to environmental impact. Never has it been more important to help theatres improve the viability of their buildings.

The next round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme is now open for applications, with £125,000 to be awarded in grants of up to £20,000 for projects to improve theatres’ sustainability.

Theatre Director Vacancy Announced at The Alexandra, Birmingham

AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP APPOINTS GENERAL MANAGER FOR NEW MUSIC AND COMEDY VENUE, SWANSEA ARENA

THEATRE DIRECTOR VACANCY ANNOUNCED AT THE ALEXANDRA THEATRE, BIRMINGHAM

The world’s leading operator of live entertainment venues, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) today announces the appointment of Lisa Mart as General Manager at the new, state-of-the-art venue, Swansea Arena.

The appointment comes as ATG also announces a number of key roles for its new 3,500 capacity indoor Arena currently being built within the city’s new Copr Bay development including Head of Sales and Marketing, Building and Technical Manager and Conference and Events Manager which will open for applications in the coming weeks, with more to follow.

Successful applicants will be part of a team that is expected to host 160 performances across music, comedy, esports, sport and conference events for an estimated 230,000 visitors each year.

Lisa Mart (The Alexandra, New Wimbledon Theatre) comes to Swansea Arena with nine years of experience within ATG; initially based at New Wimbledon Theatre in 2012, working in Customer Experience Management before working her way up through the company to the role of Theatre Director.

Lisa moved to her most recent post at The Alexandra in Birmingham in 2016 and managed the refurbishment and re-launch of the prominent 1,400 seat venue in the UK’s second city, with a history reaching back to 1901. Lisa oversaw its transformation into a welcoming, bright and sleek venue which has been upgraded internally and externally to match the incredible productions which play on its stage, whilst still staying true to its rich history and art deco styling.

This project included £650k worth of investment, a full re-brand, and a re-positioning of the theatre within the industry, culminating in a Relaunch Gala Event in October 2018, the venue went on to achieve the most successful year in its history in 2019. In her time at The Alexandra, Lisa won the ATG Leadership Award in 2019 and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce People Development Award in 2020.

Lisa Mart says “I am incredibly pleased and excited to be starting as General Manager of the Swansea Arena; to be given this huge and rare opportunity of not only opening a brand-new venue but also being a part of the wider regeneration of Swansea and its transformational project of Copr Bay is a real honour. This is an important and exciting time for the city, and a great excuse for me to be able to relocate to such a gorgeous part of the country!

“The arena has been beautifully designed and will really be able to provide the local community and visitors with a variety of spaces and options to fit any size and scale of meeting or event; I can’t wait to start talking to and working with businesses to really discover how best to support their needs in this area.”

With Lisa making the exciting move to Swansea, the role of Theatre Director at The Alexandra will imminently be open to applicants; the successful candidate will have the opportunity to guide the venue through its post pandemic re-opening strategy whilst re-engaging with its audiences and ensuring they are supported as they start to attend shows again.

The Alexandra is accustomed to hosting much loved musicals including The Rocky Horror Show, Chicago and 9 to 5, and the new Theatre Director will give them a warm welcome back, as well as introducing brand-new productions such as My Best Friend’s Wedding and Bedknobs and Broomsticks as they continue to build the reputation of the venue on a local and national level.

Lisa Mart continues “Working at The Alexandra has been the absolute highlight of my career so far. The team is passionate and hardworking and it has been a real pleasure working alongside each and every one of them to achieve so much for the venue.

“I have also really fallen in love with Birmingham itself during my 6 years in the city. It has been an honour to work alongside world class arts organisations who all share the common goal of moving the city forward and creating an engaged and inclusive community. Participation in city wide events has also been a real highlight – such as Birmingham Pride, Birmingham International Dance Festival and Birmingham Weekender.

“The next person to step in to the role of Theatre Director will have an incredible opportunity to bring the venue back with a bang and I can’t recommend the role enough.”

The process of appointing a successor to the role of Theatre Director at The Alexandra will start imminently, with Lisa Mart continuing to oversee the venue in the interim.

A number of exciting opportunities will be coming up at ATG. To find out more, please sign up to https://careers.atg.co.uk

Incredible cast announced for Talking Gods digital festival | 5-9 April

Cast announced for digital festival Talking Gods
Digital Festival: Monday 5th – Friday 9th April 2021

The incredible cast has been announced for Talking Gods, a digital season of five reimagined Greek myths by Arrows & Traps. Nicolle Smartt (Good Omens and Doctor Who, BBC; Upon the Edge, DeCantillon) will star in tale of sisterhood Persephone, the first play in the Talking Gods series.

Appearing in Orpheus, the second play which delves into control and toxicity, will be Christopher Neels (They Built It. No One Came, Fledgling Theatre; Crooks, Colab Theatre; Bazaar, Arcola) and Charlie Ryall (The Toys That Built America, History Channel; The Biograph Girl, Finborough Theatre; NewsRevue, Canal Café). Richard Baker (The Pirates of Penzance, Palace Theatre; Secret Garden, Ambassadors Theatre; Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre) and Gabrielle NellisPain (The Strange Case of Jekyll & Hyde, UK tour; You & I, York Theatre Royal; The Unspoken Project, Soho Theatre) will lend their voices to Pygmalion, which will see Edward Spence (The Signal-Man, Arena Theatre; The Frontline, Curve Theatre; Equus, Attenborough Arts Centre) star in this intriguing tale, which looks at the role of artificial intelligence in an ever-more isolating world.

Aphrodite, which explores gender identity and acceptance, will see Buck Braithwaite (Nefarious; Ash Mountain Films; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Phoenix Theatre; Tender Red, Daedalus Pictures) and Benjamin Garrison (The Elder Brother and Every Man Out of his Humour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; The Recruiting Officer, Old Red Lion) perform.

The final play in the digital series will be Icarus, starring Adam Elliott (Anna Karenina and Othello, Arrows & Traps; The Hound of the Baskervilles, Jack Studio Theatre) and Lucy Ioannou (Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp and Gentleman Jack, Arrows & Traps; Julius Caesar, Fourth Monkey).

These moving reworkings of classic Greek tales will examine vital contemporary issues, some of which have become heightened during the pandemic. During the week-long digital festival, one play will premiere every night, and each play will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom and then remain online for free. Talking Gods will be rehearsed and recorded at Jack Studio Theatre, where the award-winning Arrows & Traps are the associate company.

Artistic Director Ross McGregor says, After almost an entire year since Arrows & Traps last
performed on stage, it gives me great pleasure to be able to announce our Talking Gods cast. We’ve assembled an exceptional group of talented performers for the season, and working with them on these pieces continues to be a delight. As the artistic director of a repertory company, I’m so pleased that we are drawing from our current core contingent of actors, as well as welcoming back some members from previous seasons, and introducing you to some new faces. We were honoured to receive so many thousands of applications from all over the UK, Europe and USA, the interest in this project was overwhelming. We look forward to releasing the final pieces, as a testament and showcase of all the hard work that this incredible group of people are putting into the Talking Gods online season.

WORLD PREMIERE OF ‘CRUISE’ – A ONE-MAN PLAY WITH LIVE MUSIC WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY JACK HOLDEN

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CRUISE – A NEW ONE-MAN PLAY WITH LIVE MUSIC, WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY JACK HOLDEN AND PRODUCED BY ARIA ENTERTAINMENT AND LAMBERT JACKSON PRODUCTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH SHOREDITCH TOWN HALL.

16 PERFORMANCES OF THIS NEW FILMED PLAY WILL BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH AT STREAM.THEATRE FROM 15 APRIL – 25 APRIL 2021.

SET IN 1980’S SOHO AND INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY, ‘CRUISE’ IS A CELEBRATION OF QUEER CULTURE AND A MOVING TRIBUTE TO THE VETERANS OF THE AIDS CRISIS.

FEATURING A PULSATING 80’S SOUNDTRACK PERFORMED LIVE BY JOHN ELLIOTT.

Written and performed by Jack Holden (War Horse, West End; Ink, Almeida Theatre), CRUISE  is an urgent, moving and inspirational new play with live music and spoken word. Bringing to life 1980’s Soho, this one-man show is a celebration of queer culture; a kaleidoscopic musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDs crisis. Directed by Bronagh Lagan and filmed at Shoreditch Town Hall, it features an uplifting 80s electronic soundtrack performed live by John Elliott. This new filmed play will be available to watch from 15 April – 25 April at Stream.Theatre with tickets at £12.

Jack Holden said:

“CRUISE is based on a true story I was told while I was a volunteer for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service. I was in a weird, unstable, self-destructive part of my early 20s. This story, among others, taught me my gay history, put my life into perspective, and helped me to grow up. The names and a lot of the events have been changed, and a hell of a lot of material has been imagined. This play is a tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs, a memorial for the old days of Soho, a celebration of electronic music, and an excuse to dance.”

Katy Lipson said: “When you discover a script like Jack Holden’s CRUISE during a time when our beloved sector is closed it reminds you why it must re-open again. Making the decision to film CRUISE is just another way of adapting and ensuring this important story has a chance to reach audiences in a new and innovative form before we can bring it to the stage later this year for a live audience.” 

Lambert Jackson said: “‘We’re delighted to be collaborating with Aria and Jack to introduce and begin the life of this incredible story through the powerful medium of film. Stories like this need to be told, and until we can present it in a theatre to a live audience, our intention is to reach as many people as possible across the globe with this powerful piece of theatre.”

~ February 29th, 1988. Soho, London. ~

CRUISE is the true story of what should have been Michael Spencer’s last night on Earth.  When Michael is diagnosed with HIV in 1984, he’s told he’ll have four years to live – at most. So, with the clock ticking, he and his partner, Dave, decide to sell their house, flog the car, spend everything they have and party like it’s the last days of Rome. When Dave dies two years later, Michael doubles down on his hedonistic ways, spending what little he has left and drowning himself in drink and drugs. 

On the last night of his four-year countdown – the 29th February, 1988 – Michael decides to go out with a bang. He puts on his favourite jacket, heads for Soho, and embarks on a long night of farewells. He says his goodbyes to friends, enemies and strangers; old haunts, dive bars, cafes, clubs and pubs; his brothers, sisters, allies and exes. He dances, sings, and says yes to everything and everyone. Then, with all his affairs taken care of, Michael promptly… survives.  Michael got lucky, and he goes on to live to a ripe old age. Michael has been given the gift of life; but what kind of life can he now live?

The full creative team includes Jack Holden (writer and performer), John Elliott (Music and Sound Design), Bronagh Lagan (Director), Jack Hextall (Videography), Nik Corrall (Designer), Jai Morjaria (Lighting Designer) Sarah Golding (Movement) and Max Pappenheim (Additional Sound Design).

Initial development supported by Help Musicians Fusion Fund and Shoreditch Town Hall.

Arch 468 announce £10,000 commission for play offering vision of hope

Arch 468 announce £10,000 commission
for play offering vision of hope
Deadline: Monday 29th March 2021

Offering a £10,000 commission, the Arch 468 Hope Prize is now open for submissions for a new play that offers a vision of hope. Hope is the fuel that drives every innovation, every attempt to advance the sum of human knowledge, every revolution and every leap of faith. Arch 468 are working to ensure that hope is not allowed to fade from public discourse.

The past few years have felt pretty challenging: from economic crisis, political polarisation and rampaging climate change to the global pandemic that has changed life as we know it. Many people have been struggling in the dark; it’s been hard to imagine a future bright with promise. But hope is important. It keeps people going, it helps imagine a better way of being and creates the curiosity needed to find ways to get there. Hope is what prompts us to make friends and fall in love, to make art, to have children, to protest, to vote, to learn. It is the lifeblood of life itself.

Arch 468 are looking to commission a new piece that offers a vision of hope for now and the future. The commission is for a full rehearsal draft for a new mid-scale play which Arch 468 will commit to produce in a fully-staged professional production. They will also offer dramaturgical support and creative friendship, supported by R&D resources as needed.

Submissions are open for a broad spectrum of forms and subject matter that challenge habitual assumptions about the world and people within it. Arch 468 is a project funded touring company that works across the small and mid-scale – the play must be something that can realistically be produced on those terms in both the live and digital realms. As a company, they are most excited by plays that are more than simple naturalism. They like the unusual, unsettling and uncanny and value theatrical experiences that speak to human instincts and emotions above the purely cerebral.

Rebecca Atkinson comments, We want to be surprised and inspired by a work that gives us a new vision of what our world might look like. That doesn’t mean some naïve Panglossian
fairytale; we want to be truly convinced that the future can be bright and we want to share that hopeful surety with our audiences in a way that sticks. We want authentic feeling stories in dialogue with the world we live in now. We believe in the power of brilliant leaps of writerly imagination.

To apply, submit:
• A 1 page (500 words) outline of the play you want to write. What’s the story, why do you
care about it and why should we?
• A first rough draft of the first ten pages of that play to give a sense of your voice as a writer.
• Your CV, including contact details and the name, phone number and email address of two
referees who have a sense of your work. Don’t worry about picking ‘notable’ referees, Arch 468 would rather speak to people who know and love your work.
• A completed Equal Opportunities monitoring form.

All documents should be emailed in word or PDF format to elodie@arch468.com with the
subject line “Arch 468 Hope Prize 2021”.

Arch 468 will host a Zoom Q&A for writers interested in applying at 6pm on 17th March. To book your place please fill in the form here: Arch 468 Hope Prize 2021 Commission Call Out —Arch 468.

Please note: You must be free to write a full rehearsal draft of the play, incorporating a
minimum of two sets of notes within 12 months of the application deadline.