Happy Idiot in association with Worthing Theatres and Museum Subversive parody Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover announces UK tour 17th September – 21st November 2021
Happy Idiot Production’s subversive parody Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover will bring a fresh twist to DH Lawrence’s classic story this autumn. Writer Lawrence Russell (Comedy Dinner Shows) has given this scandalous story the Mel Brooks treatment, with the help of acclaimed artists Simon Godwin (Associate Director, National Theatre), Stephen Harper (Told By An Idiot), and Laurence Pears (The Play That Goes Wrong). Comedy pedigree is also provided by script development partner Annie Sertich, a Groundlings main company member, whose alumni include Lisa Kudrow, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Melissa McCarthy.
Lord Chatterley returns to Wragby Hall confined to a wheelchair and clutching his secret. Despite her husband’s newfound impotence, a subject that everyone struggles to avoid, Lady Chatterley entertains the idea that one day they could have a child. But, as the couple drift apart, she embarks on a passionate and curiously experimental affair with Mellors, the estate gamekeeper. This laughter-filled parody will bring you high drama, high comedy and highly-raised eyebrows.
The cast includes Christina Baston (House on Haunted Hill, Pleasance Dome Edinburgh; Tales From Star City, Kings Head/The Tabard Theatre; As Wine Flows, US/Europe Tour), Wesley Griffith (Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, UK Tour; Importance of Being Earnest, Minack Theatre), Rebecca McClay (Private Lives of The Tudors, Yesterday; 50 Ways To Kill Your Lover, Discovery; Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, UK Tour) and Lawrence Russell (Eastenders, BBC; Superhoe, BBC, Breaking the Band, ITV).
Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a saucy take which honours the original story, with some added surprise twists. There will be long contemplative looks into the middle distance, moments of touching drama, plenty of farce and a gentle stroke of innuendo. Happy Idiot’s inventive storytelling explores the novel’s themes of female sexuality, disability and loneliness, with the watertight pace and perfect comic timing which earned them five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Writer Lawrence Russell comments There are so many incredibly high-stakes moments in the book that, with a few twists, exaggerations and undercutting of the bleak themes, you can create countless laugh out loud moments. I’m really proud that we’ve been able to incorporate integrated audio description and creative captioning as standard for every show, meaning that those who have difficulties with their hearing or sight will get the jokes at the same time as everyone else! Taking a well-loved story and effortlessly moving between touching moments and perfectly timed comedy means the team have made something that shouldn’t be missed.
This production is made possible with the kind permission of Lesley Pollinger, Paper Lion Ltd as Trustee for The Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli.
Garrick Theatre, London 28 July 2021 (Tuck Shop West End until 8 August 2021)
Reviewed by Celia Armand Smith
The Tuck Shop West End is a two week takeover of the Garrick Theatre showcasing drag and queer performers. Joe Black is a Brighton based cabaret and drag performer, most recently seen worldwide on the stage of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK being shouted at for wearing an H&M dress. Dark and seedy cabaret clubs in old Berlin was the setting and the vibe rather than an auditorium of socially distanced revellers all in masks. There was so much packed into an hour and a half that it is hard to summarise what I witnessed, from burlesque stripteases, saxophones and kazoos, to a raucous foot stamping sing a long of classic songs. There was something for everyone.
The first half started with a Chaka Khan inspired striptease to I’m Every Woman by Demi Noire, followed by a saxophone rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing by Snow White Trash in a floor length glittery gown and towering blue wig. Joe Black entered in an enormous feather boa to which she said “you’re glamorous but you’re in the way”, and dropped it on the floor. Marlene Dietrich style singing with piano, ukulele, and kazoo accompaniment, as well as ordering Alice the stage manager to retrieve more wine from the dressing room all made for a fabulous and raucous first half.
The second half started with a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by our compere Alfie Ordinary, who this time, was wearing a gold sequin cape edged with white fur. Demi Noire once again provided a hilarious striptease to MC Hammer, complete with tassels not only on the front but also on the back. To add to the truly underground bavarian bier halle feel of the evening, Cherry Shakewell, dressed as an Oktoberfest style maiden, shook, whirled, twirled to a high tempo yodel. Joe Black came back on and gave a polka rendition of Bing Bang Bong from Drag Race UK and pulled Tia Kofi (a fellow contestant) onto the stage to join in. Spice Girls and Britney Spears medleys, as well as a terrifying and hilarious version of When I’m Cleaning Windows rounded off the evening.
The singing and dancing were of course fantastic, however the best thing about the show was that you could really tell how grateful and delighted every performer was to be not only on a west end stage, but on any stage after a year of being on computer screens or behind protective screens. There were moments of true sincerity and poignancy as they performed and thanked everyone for making it happen. It was also joyous and so vital to see queer arts and artists being placed centrally for all to see.
TO REOPEN IN THE HEART OF THE WEST END THIS AUTUMN
TICKETS ON SALE NOW, BOOKING UNTIL 2 JANUARY 2022
Immersive Everywhere – led by Olivier Award-winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook – will bring back London’s longest running immersive theatrical production this autumn. THE GREAT GATSBY, created and directed by Alexander Wright, will reopen in the heart of the West End, playing at Gatsby’s Mansion at Immersive LDN from 16 September, with a press night on Friday 24 September (marking F Scott’s Fitzgerald’s 125th birthday).
Welcome back to the roaring twenties! Jay Gatsby invites you to one of his infamous parties. the champagne flows and as the drama unfolds the man himself will be the perfect host. As invites go, this is the hottest ticket in town. A hedonistic world of red hot rhythms, bootleg liquor and pure jazz age self-indulgence awaits. Dress to the nines and immerse yourself in this heart racing adaption of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal tale.
THE GREAT GATSBY– forced to close in March 2020 by the pandemic, re-opened under socially distanced conditions and with changes to the show to incorporate extra safety measures at the beginning of October 2020. The show was then forced to close in November due to the subsequent lockdown.
Tickets for THE GREAT GATSBY will be available from 16 September until 2 January 2022, and are on sale now via www.immersivegatsby.com. The production – which returns to its original pre-pandemic format, and with the venue at full capacity – will nevertheless be following all current government guidelines and Covid safety measures. Full casting will be announced asap.
Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook said “Gatsby is back! After a herculean effort of pathfinding for the sector throughout 2020 we are elated to be bringing one of London’s landmark productions back to the stage. We are thrilled to be reviving this production in its original, effervescent glory and incredibly grateful for the hard work and never-ending belief of our team. It is most certainly time for our audiences to enjoy the roaring twenties.”
IMMERSIVE LDN has been granted the use of Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s See It Safely mark. The mark certifies that the venue is complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of all staff and audiences.
Olivier Award winning producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook, who are currently co-producing the immersive production of DOCTOR WHO TIME FRACTURE – launched a new company in 2019, IMMERSIVE EVERYWHERE, entirely dedicated to developing and staging theatre-led immersive experiences, and IMMERSIVE | LDN is the newest of their network of venues, which will house cafes, bars and rehearsal and workshop spaces to help the development of new work.
IMMERSIVE | LDN is a 32,000sq ft historic building in the heart of Mayfair, which was home to the Queen Victoria’s Rifles Association until 2017. It includes three floors of immersive theatre and event spaces designated for performance, live gaming, events, escape rooms and private parties. For information about programming and venue hire visit www.immersiveldn.com
First conceived in 2015 when director Alexander Wright and producer Brian Hook were running The Fleeting Arms – a pop arts and community pub in an abandoned building in York, the show then ran in York in 2016 with a parallel production in Sheffield, and was produced by the Guild of Misrule . The Great Gatsby first came to London as part of VAULT Festival in 2017 and sold out before the show opened. Since then the show has run in Wales in co-production with Theatr Clwyd, at Halifax’s Square Chapel, and at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire. All the while the show has played night after night at Gatsby’s Drugstore in London SE1, inviting audiences into the hedonistic world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s extraordinary tale, and in 2018 it became the UK’s longest running immersive production.
Amie Burns Walker and Oliver Tilney are Associate Directors. Choreography is by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, with MJ Lee as Assistant Choreographer, design by Casey Jay Andrews, costume design by Heledd Rees, sound design by Phil Grainger and lighting design by Rachel Sampley. The original score was composed and produced by Glen Brown and Tendai Humphrey Sitima, with arrangement and additional composition by David Sims. The original production was created by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, Amie Burns Walker, Hannah Davies, Phil Grainger, Michael Lambourne, Thomas Maller and Oliver Tilney.
This production of The Guild of Misrule’s THE GREAT GATSBY is produced by Immersive Everywhere, with co-producers Gavin Kalin Productions and Glynis Henderson Productions, with Theatr Clwyd and We Culture Connects as Associate Producers.
When Kevin Elyot’s gay tragicomedy of manners premiered at the Royal Court in the early 90s it felt simultaneously like a full stop, or at least semi-colon, on the tortured AIDS dramas that preceded it, and a valuable forward-looking acknowledgment that gay men (note not gay PEOPLE…this is an uncompromisingly male-centric play) aren’t living a second tier version of their straight counterparts, and are capable of forming long term relationships, however toxic. In the wake of TV’s epoch-making It’s A Sin, which occupies a similar historical timeframe and the same sexual if not social milieu, My Night With Reg feels relevant and familiar, even to people who aren’t old enough to have lived through that tumultuous time.
Elyot’s writing remains magnificent: a keenly observed, almost Coward-esque opening sequence depicting spinsterish, old-before-his-time Guy showing off his spiffy new pad to his hunky, former Uni crush John and flamboyant best friend Daniel, is a High Comedy mini-masterpiece of pent up longing and social anxiety, before darkening into scenes of considerable distress and misery, yet still manage to be grimly funny, as the AIDS catastrophe bites into this trio of long standing friends, and their assorted hangers on and casual flings. The brilliance of the play lies in the exquisitely drawn characters, the bitter reality of much of it’s humour and a clear-eyed, not always positive but never judgemental, understanding of human relationships, specifically gay ones that sit outside heteronormative conventions. It is this astonishing accuracy, as well as it’s compassion and comedy, that saves Elyot’s text from seeming like a mere period piece.
Although I love the play I wish I could be more enthusiastic about Matt Ryan’s production of it, which skims the surface where it should cut deep, flattening so much of the rueful comedy and the heartbreak. It also feels miscast in a number of key roles. The addition of an interval after an all-too-fleet first scene may do wonders for the Turbine’s bar trade but disrupts the flow (Roger Michell’s terrific original staging at the Royal Court ran straight through), though this could be remedied somewhat by adding a second interval after the quietly shocking but brilliant middle section, as the play is very much like a piece of music in three movements.
Paul Keating is a fine actor, possessed of a haunting fragility and formidable emotional intelligence, and he does sterling work as home-making, torch-carrying Guy: the scene where he confesses all to James Bradwell’s likably straight-forward painter-decorator Eric is beautifully handled. As the endlessly lusted-after John, a somewhat wooden Edward M Corrie feels too downbeat from the outset, and Gerard McCarthy struggles to project the requisite charisma that an Alpha gay male like international art dealer Daniel -a human maelstrom of double entendre, outrageousness but genuine warmth, who should drive every scene he’s in- needs to have. There is little sense either of the central trio having been friends for years, with all the affection and joshing that goes with that history, nor of them being from a noticeably different social class from the other characters, and Elyot’s beautiful piece suffers as a result of it.
Stephen K Amos is great fun as foul-mouthed, priapic bus driver Benny but Alan Turkington is way too attractive and vital to convince as his hilariously uptight and dour mismatched partner, which loses a lot of comedy mileage. Lee Newby’s elegantly cluttered set is convincing, and evocatively lit by Rachel Sampley.
It’s always a pleasure to re-encounter a script this good, and while the late Mr Elyot wrote several other fine plays, this is his masterpiece. Anybody encountering it for the first time even in a production as patchy as this one will know that they’re watching something special.
Liverpool Theatre Festival will premiere production
Something About George – The George Harrison Story
A new music show highlighting the incredible talent of the late Beatle George Harrison will be premiered at Liverpool Theatre Festival this September.
Something About George – The George Harrison Story pays tribute to one of music’s most understated icons, who is often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”.
Liverpool Theatre Festival runs between Wednesday 1 September and Sunday 12 September 2021, and once again takes place at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church in Liverpool city centre.
Something About George – The George Harrison Story will close the festival on Sunday 12 September, with performances at 5pm and 8pm. Running time is 75 minutes no interval, tickets are on sale now.
They say All Things Must Pass. However, George Harrison’s name forever lives on. So, where does life take you after being in the greatest band in the history of the world? This new show answers that question.
Featuring beautiful songs like My Sweet Lord, Something, and Handle With Care, the show also includes Harrison’s incredible solo material and music from rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys which was made up of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. And any show celebrating one of the Fab Four just has to include a few classics from The Beatles. From heartbreak to hedonism and songwriting to success, Something About George will showcase a life that was anything but quiet.
This remarkable tale comes from the creators of the critically acclaimed production Something About Simon – The Paul Simon Story, which wowed audiences and critics when it was premiered at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre in 2018. The show went on to triumph at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, where it was chosen for a residency at the Fringe Encore Series at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City, where it playedsix sell-out performances. The show was also part of the programme at the inaugural Liverpool Theatre Festival last September.
The show stars Liverpool-born West End performer and musician Daniel Taylor telling the story of George Harrison, he will be joined on stage by keyboard player Ben Gladwin and Jon Fellowes on lead guitar.
Daniel is an award-winning actor, producer, and director. He trained at Webber Douglas Academy Of Dramatic Art in London. He has also produced, directed, and performed as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tybalt in Romeo And Juliet (both for the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool).
Daniel has previously played John Lennon in the award-winning Lennon Through A Glass Onion; Sammy in Blood Brothers; and last year performed at the very first Liverpool Theatre Festival in his show, The Very Best Of Tommy Cooper. Daniel is now working on Sonny Days, an album of original songs due out later this year. The album is a follow-up to The Party Is Over album which was released last year.
Daniel Taylor commented: “I’m thrilled being able to tell George Harrison’s story, especially his journey after those heady days in the Fab Four. For me, The Beatles are the greatest band that ever lived. After all his achievements, George is still one of the most underrated songwriters that has ever lived.
“As someone who writes and performs their own songs, and I have done since I was just 12-years-old – and it’s all because of the inspiration of songs like Something, Here Comes The Sun, and While My Guitar Gentle Weeps. Working on the show, I have been astounded with George’s post Beatles journey and the life that followed, and the music he went on to create.”
Something About George iswritten by Jon Fellowes, who co-produces show alongside Liverpool-born singer songwriter Gary Edward Jones and theatre producer Bill Elms, who is also Artistic Director of Liverpool Theatre Festival. Collectively, the trio are Something About Productions, the creative team behind the hugely successful Something About Simon – The Paul Simon Story.
Something About Georgeis not a tribute show as we know it. It is one musician authentically honouring the music of another, utilising all the tools at his disposal. Following the festival premiere, Something About George will be developed further into a full-scale show with plans to tour the UK.
Co-producer Gary Edward Jones added:“When we started Something About Productions, we decided we wanted our company to focus on genuinely authentic musicians who haven’t had their stories told in this way before. Therefore, a show about George Harrison seemed like a natural follow-up to Something About Simon. I’m very excited to transfer what I learned performing on-stage in The Paul Simon Story to producing this new show.
“It’s almost 20 years since George Harrison passed away – but remarkable story and timeless music lives on. We feel honoured and privileged to shine the spotlight on the legacy he left behind. We are excited to share this journey with audiences and are sure they will leave the show knowing more about George and his incredible life.”
Created by Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms, Liverpool Theatre Festival was first staged in September 2020. Bill stepped in to bring entertainment back to audiences after theatres across the country were ordered to close their doors as part of the first Coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 – giving live performance and creatives a platform during the most challenging of times. The outdoor festival went on to be a huge success, scooping an award and shortlisted for further accolades, winning praise across the industry for once again giving live performance a platform during the most challenging of times.
The festival has already been expanded for 2021 with the addition of Little LTF, a new strand and sister event to showcase new works and champion talent. Little LTF took place between 12 and 18 July and attracted more than 1,200 festivalgoers.
Liverpool Theatre Festival 2021 is a 10-day festival featuring mainstream and established acts, artists, and productions. The festival will adhere to any Covid-19 and Government guidelines required at the time.
Shows already announced are 2Gorgeous4U (Wednesday 1 September); The Last Five Years (Friday 3 September); Everybody’s Talking About Musicals (Saturday 4 September); Electric Dreams (Sunday 5 September); Opera Beneath The Stars (Thursday 9 September); Broken Biscuits (Friday 10 September); Laughterhouse Comedy (11 September); before Something About George – The George Harrison Story closes the festival. More shows will be announced this week.
Liverpool Theatre Festival is funded by Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool, sponsored by Falconer Chester Hall, and supported by Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres and dBS Solutions.
Full casting announced for a major revival of the darkly comic play The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Oscar-winning writer Martin McDonagh
Orla Fitzgerald, star of The Young Offenders, and Adam Best from Giri/Haji will join Ingrid Craigie and Kwaku Fortune in this year’s major revival of Martin McDonagh’s award-winning darkly comic play, directed by Rachel O’Riordan
Co-production between the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre opens in Chichester from 03 September to 02 October and London from 09 October to 06 November
The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre today announce full casting forThe Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, writer of the award-winning blockbuster films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruges. Orla Fitzgerald, star of The Young Offenders, and Adam Best as seen in Giri/Haji will join Ingrid Craigie and Kwaku Fortune in the highly anticipated major revival of McDonagh’s darkly comic debut play which opens at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre from 03 September to 02 October before transferring to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 09 October to 06 November, directed by the Lyric’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan.
Orla Fitzgerald will play Maureen. She is well known for playing Orla Walsh in all three series of BBC 3’s The Young Offenders and was nominated for Best Actress and Best Breakthrough Artist at the Irish Film and Television Awards for her portrayal of Sinéad in Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Adam Best, recently seen in the Netflix series Giri/Haji, and previously in Peaky Blinders, Silent Witness and Holby City, is announced to play Pato. They will join award-winning stage, film and television actor Ingrid Craigie who has worked extensively in Ireland and the UK, West End and on Broadway and plays Eileen Pepper in the BBC drama Roadkill and Molly in television movie Forever In My Heart, and Kwaku Fortune who recently appeared as DS Marks in Line of Duty, Philip in Normal People and Julian in the feature film Animals, as previously announced.
Martin McDonagh is the multi-award winning writer and director of hit films Six Shooter, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, winner of four Golden Globes and two Oscars. His debut play The Beauty Queen of Leenane premiered in Galway in 1996 and quickly established him as one of Ireland’s most exciting new writers. The West End transfer received an Olivier Award nomination for Play of the Year, and on Broadway it won four Tony Awards. For theatre, he has also written the Tony Award nominated The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Cripple of Inishmaan, and the Olivier Award winning Best New Play, Hangmen.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, designed by Good Teeth Theatre, with lighting design by Kevin Treacy, music and sound design by Anna Clock, fight direction by Kev McCurdy and casting by Sam Stevenson.
In the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, Maureen Folan – a plain, lonely woman, tied to her manipulative and ageing mother, Mag – comes alive at her first and possibly last prospect of a new life. But Mag has other ideas; and her interference sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play’s breathtaking conclusion.
The show will mark the fourth Main House production of the Lyric’s reopening season following the critically acclaimed production of Out West, the upcoming community play Heart of Hammersmith celebrating West London stories (12-14 August) and the summer family classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (17 to 28 August). Tickets are available at www.lyric.co.uk
Adam Best will play Pato. His television credits include roles in Peaky Blinders, Giri/Haji, Doctors, Silent Witness, Waking the Dead, Holby City and The Catherine Tate Show. On stage he has performed in Cyrano De Bergerac (Jamie Lloyd Company), The Duchess of Malfi (Royal Lyceum/Citizens Theatre), Hedda Gabler (National Theatre UK tour), Twelfth Night, The Plough and the Stars, The Silver Tassie (National Theatre), Lions and Tigers (Shakespeare’s Globe), Public Enemy (Young Vic), This Restless House, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment (Citizens Theatre), By the Bog of Cats (Wyndham’s). Adam is an Associate of the Original Theatre Company. Film credits include: The Little Stranger.
Orla Fitzgerald will play Maureen. She is well known for playing Orla Walsh in all three series of BBC 3’s The Young Offenders. Theatre credits include the title role in Josephine K and The Algorithms (Abbey Theatre), Valerie in Conor McPherson’s The Weir, also directed by Rachel O’Riordan (Sherman Theatre), Inside The GPO (Fishamble), Before Monsters Were Made (15th Oak Productions), Digging For Fire for which she received a Best Actress nomination in the Irish Times Theatre Awards (Project Arts Centre), Playboy Of The Western World, Uncle Vanya (Lyric Belfast). Notable film work includes Sinéad in Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley for which she was nominated for Best Actress and Best Breakthrough Artist at the Irish Film and Television Awards, The Guarantee and Speed Dating. Television credits include Taken Down, The C Word, Holby Blue, Law and Order UK, The Last Furlong, Love Is The Drug, Pure Mule: The Last Weekend, Cardinal Burns.
Ingrid Craigie will play Mag. Ingrid is an award-winning stage, film and television actor and has worked extensively in Ireland and the UK, in the West End and also on Broadway. She has just completed filming the role of Rita in feature film You Are Not My Mother directed by Kate Dolan. Ingrid’s other recent credits include the role of Eileen Pepper in BBC series Roadkill, Molly in television movie Forever In My Heart, Una in feature film Death Of A Ladies’ Man, Harding alongside Brendan, Brian and Domhnall Gleeson in Psychic for Sky Arts, and the IFTA-Nominated performance as Mary in Season One of Virgin Media drama Blood. On stage she was recently seen in the role of the Duchess of York in Druid’s critically acclaimed production of Richard III, directed by Garry Hynes at the Lincoln Center in 2019, Aunt Nonnie in Sweet Bird of Youth directed by Jonathan Kent at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Previous credits also include The Cripple of Inishmaan (West End and Broadway).
Kwaku Fortune will play Ray. He most recently performed in Fishamble’s Tiny Plays 2020 and Druid Debuts 2020. His most recent screen credits include Line Of Duty for the BBC, Normal People directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald for BBC 1 & 3 and Hulu, and Animals alongside Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat, directed by Sophie Hyde. On stage he most recently played the role of Eli in Asking For It at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Peat directed by Tim Crouch, and the role of Dara Mood in Caitríona McLaughlin’s acclaimed production of Marina Carr’s Raftery’s Hill directed for the main stage at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre.
Martin McDonagh is a writer and director. Theatre credits include: The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Druid Theatre, West End, Broadway), A Skull in Connemara (Royal Court, off-Broadway), The Lonesome West (Druid Theatre, Royal Court, Broadway), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (RSC, West End, Broadway), The Cripple of Inishmaan (National Theatre, Broadway), The Pillowman (National Theatre, Broadway), A Behanding in Spokane (Broadway), Hangmen (Royal Court, West End, Broadway) and A Very Very Very Dark Matter (Bridge Theatre). Film as Director and Writer includes: Six Shooter, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Rachel O’Riordan is Artistic Director and CEO of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre where she launched her critically acclaimed debut season in Autumn 2019 with a triumphant adaptation of A Doll’s House by Tanika Gupta. She recently co-directed the reopening production Out West. Previously, Rachel was Artistic Director and CEO of Sherman Theatre, Wales from 2014 and transformed the venue, winning The Stage’s prestigious Regional Theatre of the Year Award in 2018. Directing credits include the Olivier award-winning Killology and Iphigenia in Splott. She was Artistic Director of Perth Theatre, Scotland between 2011 and 2014 and won The Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Director and Best Ensemble for Macbeth. From 2002 to 2011, Rachel co-founded and ran Ransom Productions in Northern Ireland where projects included the award-winning West End show Hurricane and Write on the Edge, a three-year programme to develop female writers in post-conflict Northern Ireland. She has been named as one of the most influential people in UK Theatre in the Stage 100. Published work includes Women in Irish Theatre.
Good Teeth Theatre is a theatre design studio founded by artists and designers. They formed Good Teeth to expand their design landscape through broadening participation and in-depth material research. Previous design collaborations include: Dumb Waiter (Hampstead Theatre), Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe), Skylight (Theatr Clwyd), Little Shop Of Horrors (Royal Exchange, Manchester), While We’re Here (Bush Theatre), Pilgrims (Hightide, Theatr Clwyd), German Skerries, Jess And Joe (The Orange Tree Theatre), Breeders (St James Theatre), Lost In Yonkers (Watford Palace Theatre), Dances Of Death (Gate Theatre), Foxfinder (Finborough Theatre), Life Of Stuff, Many Moons (Theatre503). www.goodteeththeatre.co.uk
Kevin Treacy’s lighting design for The Beauty Queen of Leenane will be his 13th collaboration with Director Rachel O’Riordan. Previous shows include A Doll’s House (Lyric), Killology (Royal Court Theatre – Olivier Award 2018 for the Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre), The Cherry Orchard, The Weir (Sherman Theatre, Cardiff), Bird (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Unfaithful (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh); Macbeth, The Seafarer (Perth Theatre, Scotland), Come on Home (Abbey Theatre, Dublin). Opera Credits include – L’Elisir d’Amore (Norwegian National Opera), The Turn of The Screw (Kolobov Novaya, Moscow), Orpheus in the Underworld (Scottish Opera), Macbeth (Welsh National Opera), Die Fledermaus (Wermland Opera, Sweden) Faramondo (Handel Festspiele, Göttingen Germany). Albert Herring (Grange Festival).
Anna Clock is a composer, sound designer and musician based in London via Dublin. As a composer and instrumentalist they have written for the RTE Contempo quartet, Tonnta, New Dublin Voices, Kirkos Ensemble, Node Ensemble, Dulciana, Gamelan Nua and with their own groups Low Tide and Téada Orchestra. Performance and recordings include with The Gramophones (Another Planet), 45 North, Gavin Prior, David Turpin, Emma O’Reilly, Hozier and David Lacey. Anna’s first release was Celestial.They are a co-director of Very Clock theatre company. Other theatre credits include: Crave (Chichester Festival Theatre); Inside (Orange Tree Theatre); I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough & Tamasha, UK Tour), Shuck ‘n’ Jive, Soft Animals (Soho Theatre), Admin (Vault Festival, Live Collision & Dublin Fringe), Anguis (Edinburgh Festival), Summer Fest (NYT), Armadillo (The Yard Theatre), Looking Forward (Battersea Arts Centre), Mary and Maria (Camden People’s Theatre), Twelfth Night (Southwark Playhouse).
Kev McCurdy is an Equity Fight Director. He is also the Co-Founder, Chairman, Fight Examiner and Senior Stage Combat Tutor of the Academy of Performance Combat (APC). He works in a wide range of disciplines across film, television, and theatre. Selected theatre credits include: Les Misérables (Sondheim & UK Tour); Cinderella (Gillian Lynne Theatre) Phantom of The Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre); Antony and Cleopatra (RSC); Tina The Musical (Stade Entertainment Nederlands), An Octoroon, Anthony & Cleopatra, Pericles, Mosquitoes, Barbershop Chronicles (National Theatre); West Side Story (Curve); Only Fools and Horses (Theatre Royal Haymarket); The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (UK Tour); Hamlet (Almeida); Fairview (Young Vic); White Noise & Holy Shit (Kiln); All About Eve (Noël Coward Theatre). Film includes: Season Of The Witch; John Carter Of Mars; Journey’s End; Kenya. Television includes: EastEnders; The A List; Hollyoaks; Craith/Hidden.
Sam Stevenson CDG is a freelance casting director working in theatre, television and film. Her diverse projects include productions for the BBC, Sky, Warner Bros, National Theatre and RSC. For many years she worked in partnership with Gemma Hancock and in 2010 they were nominated for an Emmy for their work on the BBC miniseries, Emma. Theatre includes: Tartuffe, Translations, Home, I’m Darling, The Great Wave, Common, Twelfth Night, Ugly Lies the Bone (National Theatre), Noises Off (Lyric Hammersmith & West End), Love, Love, Love (Lyric Hammersmith), This House (Headlong) and Labour of Love (Headlong/MGC), Frost/Nixon (Sheffield Crucible), For Services Rendered (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Royale (Bush), An Inspector Calls, One Man, Two Guvnors, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Waiting for Godot (West End), 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre). Television includes: the BAFTA award winning Don’t Take My Baby, Silent Witness, Emma. Film includes: Treasures, Leave to Remain, Private Peaceful, Babel (UK Casting).
Two actors, a hundred characters, and a 4000-year-old tale about the strength of the human spirit…
Production images have today been released for Changing Destiny, the new stage adaptation of the 4,000-year-old Egyptian poemabout the Warrior King Sinuhe, written by Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri. Directed by Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and vividly brought to life with design by acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye, this in-the-round staging of one of the earliest known literary texts explores the essence of humanity and the complexities of immigration.
Forced to flee Egypt, Sinuhe is captured as a prisoner of war by the foreign Kingdom of Retenu. Stripped of status and tormented by memories, it is going to take all of Sinuhe’s will to survive as a stranger in an unknown land. But can Sinuhe transcend the mysterious powers of Egypt and the tribulations of exile?
Across the performance run, cast members Joan Iyiola and Ashley Zhangazha will share the role of Sinuhe, with a game played on stage at the start of each performance dictating who will play the role in that show.
Changing Destiny is Written by Ben Okri and Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, with Set and Costume Design by Sir David Adjaye and Adjaye Associates, Lighting Design by Jackie Shemesh, Sound Design and Musical Direction by XANA, Projection Design by Duncan McLean, Composition by Tunde Jegede, Movement Direction by Rachael Nanyonjo, Voice and Dialect by Hazel Holder, Fight Direction by Yarit Dor, with Jerwood Assistant Director Khadifa Wong and Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Xanthus.
Captioned performance: 5 August, 7.30pm
Relaxed performance: 17 August, 7.30pm
Audio Described performance: 19 August, 7.30pm
Changing Destiny is the first show to be broadcast through Best Seat in Your House, the Young Vic’s immersive multi-camera broadcast experience. Further information, including streaming ticket information, will be shared in July.
Tickets for performances of Changing Destiny are on sale now, starting at £10.
CAPITAL THEATRES SECURES £6.5 MILLION GRANT CONTRIBUTION FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THE £25 MILLION REDEVELOPMENT OF THE KING’S THEATRE
CAPITAL THEATRES SECURES £6.5 MILLION GRANT CONTRIBUTION FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THE £25 MILLION REDEVELOPMENT OF THE KING’S THEATRE
Minister for Culture and International Development, Jenny Gilruth MSP, has confirmed total grant funding of £6.5 million from the Scottish Government for the King’s Theatre Redevelopment Project.
Opened in 1906, the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh is an important venue for touring drama, musicals and children’s shows. It is home to Scotland’s biggest Panto production and each year plays a pivotal role in hosting the Edinburgh International Festival. The King’s has a unique place in the hearts and minds of many Edinburgh residents, and is a theatre of national and historical importance. The redevelopment will modernise the existing facilities and transform the experiences of visitors, local communities, performers and staff, whilst preserving its unique heritage. The plans will ensure the theatre remains a vital part of Edinburgh and Scotland’s cultural provision, as well as functioning as a community hub for years to come. The redevelopment project is set to start in September 2022, with the theatre planned to reopen in mid-2024.
This grant from the Scottish Government joins £4 million already secured from the City of Edinburgh Council along with additional loan funding. The rest of the budget is made-up of generous donations from individuals, grants from trusts and foundations, support from companies and Capital Theatres’ own contribution from ticket income. Alongside this an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund is currently moving into its second stage. The grant from Scottish Government consolidates a robust mixed funding model and paves the way for a public campaign to fundraise for the remaining £3 million.
Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres said:
“We’re overjoyed with this show of support and confidence in the King’s Redevelopment Project from the Scottish Government. As COVID 19 hit in March 2020, Capital Theatres announced that the redevelopment of the King’s would be paused for a year whilst we dealt with the impact of the pandemic. Far from lose momentum on the project, 15 months of closure has made us all the more determined to ensure the King’s Theatre can honour its illustrious past with a thriving future at the heart of Edinburgh and Scotland’s cultural life. Not only a wonderful venue for joy and inspiration, the King’s will also offer a thriving hub by day for the many communities situated in and around Tollcross. Scottish Government’s grant, along with the grant and loan funding from City of Edinburgh Council, makes this project viable. This funding stands alongside the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant we are working so hard to secure, and the tireless efforts of our Development Team. There is, however, still a way to go to reach our financial target and we’ll be launching a public fundraising campaign later in the year. This last push will build on the generous support shown during our period of closure, so the people of Edinburgh and Scotland can continue to play their part by helping us secure the future of the King’s as a historical and cultural treasure.”
Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “The King’s Theatre has been a jewel in Edinburgh’s cultural crown for more than a 100 years, with generations of audiences enjoying a rich diversity of shows from its annual pantomimes to world premieres at the Edinburgh International Festival.
“The Scottish Government is pleased to support the redevelopment of the grade A-listed theatre and enable the King’s Theatre to reach out to a wider range of audience and increase its community engagement.”
City of Edinburgh Council Culture and Communities Convener, Cllr Donald Wilson said: “The King’s has been a beloved Edinburgh theatre for over a century, programming the best in touring drama, hosting some of the most talented community and non-professional groups; and certainly the best in pantomime, as well as bringing all kinds of theatre experiences to the city from all over the country, including London’s West End. The ‘Grand Old Lady of Leven Street’ has always been Edinburgh’s theatre for everyone.”
Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan, Culture and Communities Vice Convener said: “The King’s is in need of this capital project to bring the theatre back to a standard fit for the 21st century whilst acknowledging the incredible history. This capital funding contribution is great news and a fantastic achievement for the theatre and will substantially strengthen its redevelopment ambitions, ensuring that we will all be able to continue to enjoy a great night at the King’s for many more years and generations to come.”
NYMT is proud to present this inclusive production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The heart of the stage version of Disney’s THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is in the song Someday which Esmeralda sings in Act 2. In it she accepts the horrifying predicament that she finds herself in. She is powerless to change things instantly in society, but she hopes for a better future, which for her is one in which the Romany people are accepted and not persecuted.DirectorAlex Sutton says “For me that hope is exactly where theatre finds itself now. As we start to come out of the pandemic the theatre world is looking to ‘reset’ better, it is hopeful for a future in which all parts of it are inclusive, a theatre that engages with anti-racism, pride and with disability, that everyone working in it is employed fairly, regardless of disability, race, gender and sexuality and safe from bullying, persecution and harassment.
In the script Quasimodo is deaf, and Alex embraced the opportunity to cast a deaf actor in that role. He says “The challenge is then, how does that person sing this score? The question then becomes what is singing, what is music? As a hearing person who studied (believe it or not) analytical musicology, this challenges my very conception of music and how it is communicated. Sign language and BSL is going to permeate the entire show. Every show will start being BSL ‘interpreted’ at the side of the stage, but then we are going to play with that to create a truly integrated accessible version of it. Several members of the cast are deaf or are CODAs (child of deaf adult), and our wonderful choreographer Mark Smith, is a truly inspirational deaf choreographer”
Anthony O’Connor Director of Fundraising at Manchester Cathedral added “Manchester Cathedral is delighted to be able to host The Hunchback of Notre Dame. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic this production will be a great opportunity for individuals, couples and families to gather in this medieval space to take in this wonderful production”
A New Musical by Katie Lam and Alex Parker
Commissioned by NYMT 2020
Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st August
The MCT at Alleyn’s
Performance Times 7:30PM
Matinees (Fri & Sat) at 2:30PM
To Henrietta Janssen, things just don’t feel quite right. It’s more than the war –
growing up in Amsterdam, by the spring of 1945, she’s used to that.
It’s all the unanswered questions: why does her teacher tell her off whatever she does?
Why is there never enough to eat? Why doesn’t she feel like she fits in, even with her own family?
Why is the old lady on her way to school always so angry with her?
And why is there a boy in her neighbour’s window when they only have daughters?
Inspired by the true stories of love, sacrifice and bravery in the Netherlands during the Second World War, HENRIETTA is about a thirst for adventure, the need we all feel to establish our identity, and how ordinary people can be capable of extraordinary courage.
One of the things I love about NYMT is the company’s commitment to new writing and the opportunities for developing new work. It’s such an essential learning opportunity for young actors to be part of a musical in its infancy as it grows and develops. I’ve seen over the last six years how the young people’s brains are creatively stretched and challenged by the experience of being part of this kind of process and how it can really nurture an analytical eye on not just the production itself but the whole form of musical theatre. HENRIETTA is a very extraordinary piece of new British writing – the music is glorious, an epic score with some spine tingling moments. We have a cast of 33 young people and another 14 in the orchestra, as well as young people making up our teams of stage management and creative assistants.Kate Golledge, DIRECTOR Henrietta
Based on a true story from Katie Lam’s own family history Henrietta tells the story of a young girl living in occupied Amsterdam during the second world war. Henrietta lives with her mother, father, sister and brother and wants an adventure – until she gets one she didn’t bargain for. The work asks us to consider family, individualism and what it means to be brave.
About Alex Parker and Katie Lam:
Alex Parker (music) and Katie Lam (book and lyrics) are an award-winning British musical theatre writing team. Best friends since they were eight years old, Katie and Alex have written five musicals together: Henrietta, Am Dram (Leicester Curve), After You (London Coliseum, cast album available wherever you stream or download your music), The Railway Children (Cadogan Hall) and All Aboard (Electric).
Katie and Alex were recipients of the inaugural UK Emerging Writers Award from NYMT, and Artists in Residence at The Red House in Aldeburgh in 2019. They were commissioned to write the opening number for the WhatsOnStage Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2020. They took part in the Re:act scheme for new writers at what was then the St James Theatre.
BILLY THE KID
Music by Ben Morales Frost | Book and Lyrics by Richard Hough
Commissioned and originally produced by NYMT 2017
Wednesday 25th – Saturday 28th August
The MCT at Alleyn’s
Performance Times 7:30PM
Matinees (Fri & Sat) at 2:30PM
William Antrim is small for his age; he’s quiet and shy, which makes him an easy target for lazy bullies. But in his dreams, William Antrim is Billy the Kid, a courageous cowboy, riding the range with the sun in his eyes. An all-American hero. Now, if only his dreams could become a reality…
Billy the Kid is an adventure story, a magical, musical comedy set in a colourful world of cowboys and bandits, cactus trees and caballeros. Saddle-up for a journey back in time, to a land where the bravest heroes are only a whip-crack away! This is a show for all the family, smart enough for the most demanding young audience and silly enough for the grumpiest grown-ups.
I’m so excited to be directing Billy The Kid for NYMT this year. After the last sixteen months of uncertainty and living our lives over Zoom, it’s so incredibly exciting that we get to have a bunch of talented actors, creatives and our production team in a room together creating a show. All of our cast will have had such a huge disruption to their school/college/university/working life – so I’m really pleased that we’re able to provide three weeks of pure escapism as we delve into the Wild West of Billy The Kid. It’s such a feel-good, heart-warming, barn-storming show – exactly the kind of theatre we need right now. I can’t wait until the sound of the overture soars over the auditorium and transports our audience into another world – and allows our talented players to do the very thing they love, and the very thing they’ve missed so deeply. James Robert Moore, DIRECTOR Billy The Kid
About Ben Morales Frost and Richard Hough:
Ben Morales Frost Musical Theatre composing projects include Graham Greene’s Our Man In Havana (Watermill) and a new musical version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Southwark Playhouse, James Seabright Productions), both written with Richard Hough. Other Frost & Hough shows include Billy The Kid (NYMT) and A Christmas Carol (Wellingborough). The Billy The Kid cast album reached #2 in the iTunes Soundtrack charts.
Working with composer Ben Morales Frost, Richard Hough has written book and lyrics for A Christmas Carol (The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, directed by Luke Sheppard); Billy the Kid for the NYMT (which premiered at the Leicester Curve, directed by Kate Golledge); an adaptation of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana (opening at The Watermill Theatre in 2022, to be directed by Amy Draper); and a new musical fantasy inspired by Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (recorded at The Southwark Playhouse and later streamed online, directed by Charlotte Westenra).
“We are delighted to be able to host Henrietta and Billy The Kid at the MCT at Alleyn’s this summer. It’s wonderful to welcome back audiences to enjoy live performances in our facility with this exciting line-up of productions from the National Youth Music Theatre.” Oliver Watkins, Head of Commercial & Community Activities
A KISS FOR CINDERELLA RESIDENTIAL WORKSHOP
Winning submission for NYMT’s 2020 New Musical Workshop
Music by Jack Trzcinski | Book and lyrics by Annabel Mutale Reed
In addition to the three central pieces of work, and continuing NYMT’s series of workshops of new musicals in development, A Kiss for Cinderella is a fully-cast workshop and will form part of NYMT’s summer residential programme.
The work is an adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s 1916 play of the same name and follows Jane, a young girl from across the sea, and the refugee children she takes care of – Flo, Blue and Krista – in 1940s London during the Blitz. These girls have each brought their own version of the tale of Cinderella with them and are determined that Jane is the Cinderella the stories all tell about.
The Belgrade Theatre is delighted to release the first trailer for SEAVIEW, a new digital television series created, produced, and filmed in the West Midlands by Strictly Arts Theatre and Belgrade Film and Digital as part of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme.
SEAVIEW, from an original idea by Corey Campbell, one of the Belgrade’s Co-Artistic Directors for 2021, created using theatrical devising techniques (and conceived before Covid-19 took the world of theatre online), will have its red carpet premiere screening in the Theatre’s Main Stage on Weds 10 Nov 2021, and then screened between 11 – 13 Nov in the B2 auditorium.
SEAVIEW is a family drama with an unsettling supernatural element that is rooted in the experiences of working class communities in the West Midlands. Two sides of one family struggle against the crushing pressure to escape the often brutal reality of their lives.
Steven is a young graduate destined for great things. Tormented by his gift for prophecy and haunted by his dreams, he fights to break the cycle of lies, crime and violence that has ensnared his family, but finds himself in an impossible position.
When one seismic event throws the family’s world into chaos, big decisions need to be made.
SEAVIEW celebrates a Black working class aspirational family and all the things they come up against on their journey to achieve great things.
SEAVIEW was developed using a unique Writers Room project which involved local emerging writers from the West Midlands. Each writer has written an episode alongside creator Corey Campbell, Head Writer Sophie Ellerby, and Development Producer Sofia Stephanou. Annabel Brightling, Rory Rawson and Sophia Griffin have written the first three episodes, with future episodes coming from David Payne, Daniel Anderson and Sam Kurd.
Many of the production team, cast, and crew are from the Midlands, with the aim being to help develop a thriving creative industry within this community. The process involved training the next generation of filmmakers and giving them valuable experience on set.
Corey Campbell said, “SeaView is a pioneering collaboration between the worlds of theatre and film, applying theatrical devising techniques to create a truly unique television drama. Both in the story we are telling and the way that we are working, SeaView will be unlike anything you’ve seen before.
“By bringing together some of the West Midlands’ most exciting creative talent, both on and off-screen, we’re aiming to tell a story about the region’s working-class communities that feels honest and authentic, albeit with a supernatural twist. It’s also a chance to build up a local creative network that I hope will continue to flourish long after this project has drawn to a close. Throughout the process, we have created opportunities for up and coming artists and filmmakers to join us on this journey and hone their craft, creating a lasting legacy for the project.”
The first three episodes of this six-part series have already been filmed.
The Director and Creator of the series, Corey Campbell, grew up in Birmingham and has based the story on his experiences and real life events. After a troubled start in life, Corey is now Co-Artistic Director at the Belgrade Theatre and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for services to the arts.
The series has been co-produced by a powerhouse team of Midlands-based theatre and film companies, including Belgrade Film and Digital Ltd (an independent film production company set up by the Belgrade Theatre Trust), together with Strictly Arts Theatre Company, Run Home Productions and Audio Bassment. It is also part of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme.