Theatre meets British Soaps – exposed? Hoxton Street cast for announced vibrant new season #CLASS

Cast announced for premiere of Hoxton Hall’s
original live soap drama Hoxton Street
130 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH
Thursday 7th April – Saturday 28th May 2022
Wednesday 18th May 2022, omnibus 7:30pm

Hoxton Hall has announced the cast for their innovative soap Hoxton Street, which will feature at the heart of the vibrant new season #CLASS. The season will encourage and challenge audiences to be part of the conversation about what class means in 21st century London.

Hoxton Street is a soap-style play inspired by dynamic local Hoxton communities and their stories. Working with a concept from Karena Johnson, talented working-class writing duo Oladipo Agboluaje and Lil Warren capture the atmosphere and vibrancy of Hoxton through listening to the neighbourhood’s stories and concerns. Hoxton Street’s live performances will be accompanied by a soundwalk , introducing audiences to the characters in the real-life locations in Hoxton that inspired them. Breaking the mould of traditional theatre, Hoxton Street will be presented as a series of half hour acts, creating a full-length play over five weeks in collaboration with the audiences. Inspired by beloved British TV soap operas, each act ends with a double cliff-hanger and the audience votes to decide what happens in the next act of the play. The final two weeks of the run will conclude with the omnibus complete play.

The team have ensured the cast includes actors who had experience working on critically acclaimed British Soaps as well as theatre. The full cast will include Helen Pearson (EastEnders, BBC; Emmerdale, ITV; Hollyoaks, Channel 4) as Josie Maynard, Hannah Traylen (Boiling Point, Ascendant Films; Ridley Road, BBC; Call the Midwife, BBC) as Ella Maynard, Nathan Welsh (Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; Macbeth, Chichester Festival Theatre; Trust Me, BBC) as Tony Maynard

EastEnders star Linda Marlowe (Casualty, BBC;Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, StudioCanal) takes on the role of Linda Maynard, Cosh Omar (No Return, ITV; The Bill, ITV) will play Mr Bhatur, with Merch Husey (The Sandman, Netflix/Warner Brothers; Jude, Hampstead Theatre;The Durrells, ITV) as Okhan Bhatur, Tracy Anne Green (The Act, 130 Elektra Films; Call the Midwife, BBC; King Lear, RSC ) will play Shanita Wilson and Kojo Attah (Banged up Abroad, October Studios; Midsomer Murders, ITV; Casino Royale, Secret Cinema) as Denton Wilson. Carol Moses (Holby City, BBC; The Bill, BBC; Reggie Perrin, BBC) will play the role of Monica Bello with Alan Turkington (My Night with Reg, Turbine Theatre; Mary Queen of Scots, Focus Features/Perfect World Pictures/Working Titles Films; Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre) as Zachary Spencer.

The cast is completed with performers from the community who will be making their professional stage debuts. Poppy Kay will make her debut as the Ann- Marie receptionist as well as young performers Victoria Rocha and Malachi Ayantuga who will take on the role of Ross and Lilliana Dixon and Gia-Marie Donaldson who will take on the role of Millie.

Oladipo Agboluaje, writer of Hoxton Street, comments, It’s been exciting co-writing Hoxton Street with Lil Warren. We spent a lot of time in Hoxton trying to capture the essence of the place and we hope it’s reflected in the writing. Writing a soap opera for the stage is a unique venture. We looked at several soaps to get a sense of the structure and the conventions. Then we had to think of how this would as a stage piece. We worked closely with the director, Karena Johnson to bring all the elements together. I’m eager to see what audiences make of it, particularly the people of Hoxton.

Lil Warren, writer of Hoxton Street, comments, I love talking to people so some of my best days working on Hoxton Street was having a cuppa (or three, let’s be honest) and chatting stories old and stories new from people who live and work in Hoxton. I can’t explain how relaxing it has been to be part of a working-class team alongside Dipo and Karena. We all just get each other. We know our backs are covered. We KNOW. Hoxton Hall is one of my favourite heritage buildings in London. You can FEEL the energy of performances gone by. I am proud that we are making a unique show for a unique stage.

Hoxton Street’s soundwalk is a companion audio promenade work that introduces the audience to the real and imagined world of Hoxton. Audiences will be able to download a free app which will guide them to various locations in the area to meet the characters from the play in the in real-life places that inspired them. This bonus artwork aims to build a familiarity with the characters in advance of the play as the audience get to eaves drop on the characters intimate moments and thoughts. The tour includes the contrasts of this special part of London that has kept its sense of community.

#CLASS will encourage essential conversations aiming to share, entertain, and reconnect our communities after two years of being apart. The season will embody and reflect the bold values of Hoxton Hall, platforming and exploring stories that are rarely heard. The season is inspired by Hoxton Hall’s working-class roots as a music hall and will include a range of work across debates, gigs, comedy, cabaret, and an innovative live soap drama – more details to be announced soon.

Birmingham Hippodrome and China Plate announce a new concert musical as the centrepiece of the Hippodrome’s season for the Birmingham 2022 Festival

Birmingham Hippodrome and China Plate announce a new concert musical as the centrepiece of the Hippodrome’s season for the Birmingham 2022 Festival

Birmingham Hippodrome and China Plate have announced today (Monday 28 February) their new concert musical To The Streets! will be performed at parks across the West Midlands this August as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

To The Streets! is an uplifting new musical by Roy Williams and Tim Sutton inspired by the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the UK’s civil rights history. To The Streets! follows the story of Paul Stephenson, an idealistic youth worker who takes to the streets to stand up for equality in Bristol where tensions are running high as the Omnibus Company refuse to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. Lorraine, a teenager newly arrived from Jamaica, joins the fight and in so doing, finds her voice and becomes part of a movement that changes history. The concert performances this summer will be presented within a day-long festival of experiences and will give audiences an opportunity to hear all the songs from the show ahead of a proposed national tour of the full stage musical, premiering at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2024.

Chris Sudworth, Director of Artistic Programme at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “We’re incredibly excited about the year ahead for Birmingham Hippodrome and for our region. We can’t wait for people to get a first taste of To The Streets! – developed by the wonderful team of Roy Williams, Tim Sutton, Christopher Haydon and Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, through our partnership with joint producers China Plate, with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, Warwick Arts Centre and DRPG. To The Streets! tells the story of such a pivotal moment in the fight for civil rights in the UK and is the next step in our commitment to producing high quality, bold and relevant large-scale work here in the Midlands.”

Paul Warwick, Director at China Plate said: “Having worked in the Midlands for over 15 years, I feel immensely proud that China Plate have been commissioned as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival alongside our coproducing partners Birmingham Hippodrome. To The Streets! gives us and our collaborators an incredible opportunity to shine a spotlight on the amazing creative talent in our city and region, whilst bringing people together to look again at the history and legacy of the Commonwealth. Alongside the production, our brilliant team of associate producers have been working with communities in North Birmingham for the last 18 months to co-design a fantastic programme of events inspired by the show and realised with regional artists including Nilupa Yasmin, Jane Thakoordin, Black Heritage Walks Network and Overhear. We’ll be announcing this programme over the course of the spring and can’t wait to share all of this work with audiences across what looks set to be a tremendous summer for our city.”

Chris added: “As the Birmingham 2022 Festival launches, we are thrilled to announce so many sensational performances and events on and off our stages, produced and presented with brilliant partners, including some of the Hippodrome’s hugely loved free festivals.”

Featured productions from the Hippodrome within the Birmingham 2022 Festival programme include world-renowned UK Choreographer Akram Khan’s brand new dance-theatre production Jungle Book: Reimagined in April, which sees the journey of Mowgli through the eyes of a climate refugee.

In Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer in May, Shane Shambhu reveals his secret life as a ‘fat kid’ in the cultural melting pot of East London and his journey to international performer in a bedazzling mix of comedy, theatre and dance.

As part of Birmingham International Dance Festival, Birmingham and Barcelona based HUMANHOOD’s new production [Infinite] will guide audiences through a powerful, mystical journey in June. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director Carlos Acosta is bringing together three thrilling works for a triple bill presented at the Hippodrome in June. On Your Marks celebrates the expressive energy and gravity-defying athleticism of the company’s world-class dancers.

During August, Soul City Arts, led by multi-disciplinary artist Mohammed Ali, will transform the Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio with new immersive art and theatre experience WASWASA – Whispers in Prayer. This dynamic installation explores the act of Islamic prayer and what that means in a modern, secular society and will feature a replica of the Birmingham Qu’ran, one of the oldest known in the world.

This summer will also see the return of two of the Hippodrome’s popular free festivals. The annual B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival in June will bring together extraordinary artists and breathtaking acts from across all elements of Hip-Hop and Birmingham Weekender will take place throughout the August bank holiday after a spectacular return to the city in 2021. Birmingham Hippodrome will be working in partnership with Bullring & Grand Central again to produce an awe-inspiring arts festival with a dynamic programme of events from world-class artists from across the West Midlands and beyond.

 The Hippodrome will also host the BBC’s poetry and spoken word festival Contains Strong Language during September, and closing the Birmingham 2022 Festival will be the previously announced world premiere production from Rambert and Birmingham Hippodrome of Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight.

Tickets for Jungle Book: Reimagined, Birmingham Royal Ballet On Your Marks and Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby are on sale now. Tickets for To The Streets!Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer, Waswasa – Whispers in Prayer[Infinite], and Contains Strong Language will go on sale in April.

Find out more at birminghamhippodrome.com

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF BIRMINGHAM REP, SEAN FOLEY, ANNOUNCES THE COMPLETION OF THE THEATRE’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF BIRMINGHAM REP, SEAN FOLEY, ANNOUNCES THE COMPLETION OF THE THEATRE’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON, INCLUDING THE COMPLETE LINE UP FOR THE VENUE’S BIRMINGHAM 2022 FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

  • MULTI AWARD-WINNING COUNTING AND CRACKING, AN EPIC DRAMA OF SOUTH ASIAN MIGRATION, ARRIVES FOR ITS EXCLUSIVE ENGLISH PRESENTATION AS PART OF THE BIRMINGHAM 2022 FESTIVAL FOLLOWING ITS TRIUMPHANT PREMIERE AT THE ACCLAIMED BELVOIR ST THEATRE IN AUSTRALIA
     
  • UNCOMMON RICHES – A GROUNDBREAKING FESTIVAL LED BY CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND INSPIRED BY THE BIRMINGHAM 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
     
  • COUNTING AND CRACKING  AND UNCOMMON RICHES JOIN THE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED WORLD PREMIERES OF COMING TO ENGLAND AND  PLAYBOY OF THE WEST INDIES – THE MUSICAL AS PART OF THE REP’S COMMONWEALTH PROGRAMME
     
  • IN CELEBRATION OF MOLIERE’S 400TH ANNIVERSARY ANIL GUPTA AND RICHARD PINTO’S HIT VERSION OF TARTUFFE ORIGINALLY PRODUCED BY THE RSC, SET IN THE PAKISTANI-MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF BIMINGHAM’S SPARKHILL AND DIRECTED BY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR IQBAL KHAN FINALLY COMES TO THE REP
     
  • THE WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEW PRODUCTION FROM ASSOCIATE COMPANY TOLD BY AN IDIOT WOULD YOU BET AGAINST US -A COMIC AND MOVING CELEBRATION OF ASTON VILLA’S GREATEST TRIUMPH OPENS IN MAY
     
  • RAMPS ON THE MOON AND SHEFFIELD THEATRES INCLUSIVE PRODUCTION OF SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDY MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING WITH INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY
     
  • FOLLOWING SKY COMEDY REP COMES A NEW INITIATIVE WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, SERIOUS ABOUT COMEDY, STARTING AN ONGOING ENQUIRY WHERE COMICS, WRITERS, DIRECTORS, AND ACADEMICS COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF LAUGHTER-MAKING
     
  • THE DOOR IS FULLY REOPENED WITH A PROGRAMME THAT INCLUDES BLACK IS THE COLOUR OF MY VOICE ABOUT THE LIFE OF NINA SIMONE, RIOT ACT COVERING SIX DECADES OF QUEER HISTORY, AND LAVA ABOUT LIFE AFTER A MAJOR DISASTER, ALONGSIDE REP PRODUCTION GRIMEBOY
     
  • A WORLD PREMIERE FROM LIGHTPOST IN COLLABORATION WITH SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANY ISANGO
     
  • THE REP’S NEW CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET CONTINUES WITH A WEEK LONG PROGRAMME OF WORK

● TICKETS NOW ON PRIORITY SALE, GENERAL ON SALE FRI 4 MAR 2022 

Artistic Director, Sean Foley has today added to Birmingham Rep’s 2022 programme of work. The Rep’s offering as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a 6 month celebration of culture that surrounds the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, will include the newly announced, critically acclaimed production from Australia Counting and Cracking plus the youth driven Festival Uncommon RichesCounting and Cracking arrives at The Rep as one of only two venues in the UK to host this epic story. They are joined by the previously announced Coming to England and Playboy of the West Indies – The Musical. The Birmingham 2022 Festival is generously supported by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Outside of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, Ramps On The Moon, the pioneering initiative committed to putting D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work will present a new production of Shakespeare’s raucous comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Robert Hastie. The performance features the use of integrated creative sign language, audio description and captioning. Associate company, Told by an Idiot, will present the world premiere of Would You Bet Against Us?, a hilarious and poignant celebration of the most important night in Aston Villa’s history, becoming European Cup champions in 1982. Would You Bet Against Us? marks the 40th anniversary of this huge event in the history of Birmingham football. The acclaimed RSC production of Moliere’s classic Tartuffe directed by Iqbal Khan and adapted by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto to take place in Birmingham’s muslim community will open at the Rep in October. Finally, The Rep will hold a symposium attended by comedians, directors, writers and academics entitled Serious About Comedy, a conversation and inquiry into the development of comedy in all its forms in association with the University of Birmingham.

Sean Foley said: “To have been able to programme and deliver a whole year of shows for The Rep in its 50th year in its ‘new’ theatre on Centenary Square has been a privilege; that it has also coincided with such an important year for the City is an incredible honour. Birmingham is on the move: the world’s most important super-diverse City has the Commonwealth Games in its sights, and The Rep does too… From the epic story of South Asian migration, Counting and Cracking, to the inspiring ‘Windrush story’ of Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England; from the extraordinary Young Rep festival of shows that is Uncommon Riches, to the musical comedy of Playboy of the West Indies – itself a wonderful example of how creativity shares and borrows across all borders, as Mustapha Matura’s version of Synge’s Irish classic is re-created as a new musical by a new generation of artists – these shows celebrate and interrogate how the legacy of Commonwealth has enriched our shared culture. 

Lastly, and firstly: comedy… to finally be able to bring Tartuffe, Moliere’s superb comedy about a conman, to The Rep stage, in Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto’s sparklingly funny new version set in Birmingham, (a hit at the RSC in 2018) is a joy. It was to be the first main stage show under my Artistic Directorship in March ’20, but never saw the light of day… Now, directed by our Associate Director Iqbal Khan – also Artistic Director of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony – it seems the perfect conclusion to The Rep’s 50th Anniversary Season.     

Associate Director Madeleine Kludje will direct her production of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Casey Bailey’s new play Grimeboy alongside works in The Door about Nina Simone, explorations of Queer History, and a new play about life after a major catastrophe.

Madeleine Kludje said: “This year will also see The Rep re-launch The Door. I’m excited to be re-thinking our most intimate theatre as a space dedicated to local, national and international artists to develop their work, and for those yet to break into the industry to develop their talent. It’s a theatre where audiences can get up close and personal with the new, the experimental and the extraordinary, and I can’t wait to direct GrimeBoy by Casey Bailey there this Spring”. 

SOUTH PACIFIC Announces Principal Casting – Julian Ovenden, Gina Beck, Rob Houchen, Joanna Ampil and Sera Maehara to star in Sadler’s Wells Season and UK and Ireland Tour

JAMIE WILSON, JONATHAN CHURCH THEATRE PRODUCTIONS AND GAVIN KALIN

ANNOUNCE

PRINCIPAL CASTING

JULIAN OVENDEN, GINA BECK,

ROB HOUCHEN, JOANNA AMPIL

AND SERA MAEHARA

TO STAR IN THE SADLER’S WELLS SEASON AND

TEN-WEEK UK AND IRELAND TOUR OF

THE CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE PRODUCTION OF

RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S

SOUTH PACIFIC

OPENING AT THE MANCHESTER OPERA HOUSE

ON 16 JULY 2022

SEASON AT SADLER’S WELLS, LONDON

FROM 27 JULY – 28 AUGUST 2022

AHEAD OF A LIMITED UK AND IRELAND TOUR

Jamie Wilson, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Gavin Kalin are delighted to announce that Julian Ovenden will staras ‘Emile de Becque’throughout the Sadler’s Wells season and UK and Ireland Tour of the critically acclaimed, landmark Chichester Festival Theatre production of RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC alongside the previously announced Gina Beck as ‘Ensign Nellie Forbush’. Julian and Gina will be joined by fellow members of the original Chichester Festival Theatre company; Rob Houchen as ‘Lieutenant Joseph Cable’, Joanna Ampil as ‘Bloody Mary’and Sera Maehara as ‘Liat’

The production opens at Manchester Opera House on 16 July 2022 ahead of a season at Sadler’s Wells, London from 27 July to 28 August 2022 (with a press night on 4 August 2022) and throughout the limited 10-week UK and Ireland Tour visiting Dublin, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Canterbury. Chichester’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans, will once again direct Julian, Gina, Rob, Joanna and Sera as they reprise the roles they played to enormous critical and audience acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in the summer of 2021.

Full casting to be announced in due course. www.southpacificshow.com

This powerful love story, set on a South Pacific Island during World War ll is brought thrillingly to life with a sensational cast of over thirty and a full orchestra in this epic new five-star production directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel EvansSOUTH PACIFIC boasts one of Rodgers & Hammersteins most memorable scores, and this much-loved Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical features songs such as “Some Enchanted Evening”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “Bali Ha’i”.

Credit: Johan Persson

Julian Ovenden is perhaps best known for playing ‘Charles Blake’ in ITV’s Downton Abbey. He is also an international recording artist and has starred on Broadway and in the West End. His West End credits include All About Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre, Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Treatment at the Almeida Theatre, and My Night With Reg, Merrily We Roll Along and Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse. On Broadway he has been seen in Showboat with the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Centre and Butley at the Booth Theatre. He has also performed at several of the BBC Proms and played Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live on ITV.

Credit: Johan Persson

Gina Beck’s many West End theatre credits include playing ‘Miss Honey’ in Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat at the New London Theatre, ‘Glinda’ in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, ‘Christine Daae’ in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and ‘Cosette’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. Her television credits include Doctors, The Return of Sherlock Holmes and The Crush. Her film credits include Les Misérables.

Rob Houchen’s West End credits include Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Les Misérables  The All Star Concert at the Gielgud Theatre, City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre, Godspell in Concert at The Lyric Theatre and Broken Wings at Theatre Royal Haymarket. His other theatre credits include The Light in the Piazza at the Royal Festival Hall, Eugenius! at The Other Palace and Titanic at Charing Cross Theatre.

Credit: Johan Persson

Joanna Ampil’s West End credits include playing ‘Kim’ in Miss Saigon and at the 10th Anniversary Performance, ‘Mary Magdalene’ in Jesus Chris Superstar, ‘Eponine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Grizabella’ in Cats, ‘Christmas Eve’ in Avenue Q and Sheila Franklin in ‘Hair’. Her other theatre credits include ‘Mimi’ in the European Tour of Rent, ‘Thanh’ in the World Premiere of The Real Love in Los Angeles and ‘Maria’ in West Side Story, ‘Maria Von Trapp’ in The Sound of Music, ‘Jenna’ in Waitress and ‘Nellie Forbush’ in South Pacific in Concert, all in Manila.

Credit: Johan Persson

Sera Maehara’s theatre and dance credits include Warrior Queens at Sadler’s Wells, Qualms directed by Julia Cheng, Carmen for Dance Marche and as a soloist for the Roussewaltz Dance Company and Junior Associate Artist for Fabula Collective, directed by Yukiko Tsukamoto. Her film and television credits include ‘Kaede’ in Kid That Never Fell and ‘Mayu Huruta’ in Pakodate Jin.

SOUTH PACIFIC is directed by Daniel Evans, with set and costume design by Peter McKintosh, and choreography and movement direction from Ann Yee. The Musical Supervisor is Nigel Lilley, Musical Director is Cat Beveridge and new orchestration is by David Cullen, with original Broadway orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett. The lighting designer is Howard Harrison, sound designer is Paul Groothuis, video designer is Gillian Tan, additional arrangements and Happy Talk orchestration is by Theo Jamieson, casting director is Charlotte Sutton CDG and additional children’s casting by Verity Naughton.

SOUTH PACIFIC is produced by Jamie Wilson, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Gavin Kalin.

LISTINGS

www.southpacificshow.com

SATURDAY 16 JULY – SATURDAY 23 JULY 2022

Manchester Opera House

www.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester

ON SALE NOW

WEDNESDAY 27 JULY – SUNDAY 28 AUGUST 2022

Sadler’s Wells, London

www.sadlerswells.com

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2022

Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin

www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2022

Newcastle Theatre Royal

www.theatreroyal.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY  1 OCTOBER 2022

The Alexandra, Birmingham

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER 2022

Theatre Royal Glasgow

https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/theatre-royal-glasgow

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 11 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER 2022

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

www.wmc.org.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER 2022

Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

www.trch.co.uk

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER – SATURDAY 29 OCTOBER 2022

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

www.capitaltheatres.com

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER – SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2022

Leeds Grand Theatre

www.leedsheritagetheatres.com

ON SALE NOW

TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER – SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2022

The Marlow, Canterbury

www.marlowetheatre.com

ON SALE NOW

FIRST LOOK: Promo images released for Wildcard Theatre’s Tempest at Pleasance London, 11 Mar – 3 Apr

Cast announced for new show Tempest from
company behind Edinburgh Fringe hit
Electrolyte
The Pleasance, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London, N7 9EF
Friday 11th March – Sunday 3rd April

The cast has been announced for Tempest, the highly anticipated new production from Wildcard Theatre, the multi award-winning company behind Electrolyte. Applying their gig-theatre style to Shakespeare’s final play, Wildcard heightens the narrative with incredible live music and breath-taking design to question what it means to be human. Directed and adapted by James Meteyard (Electrolyte, Pleasance Theatre; Redemption, The Big House), and with original music by BBC Young Composer of the Year Jasmine Morris, this is Shakespeare like you have never experienced it before

The cast of talented actor-musicians includes Loren O’Dair (Dream, RSC; Peter Pan, National Theatre) as Ariel, Tashinga Bepete (The Railway Children Return, Studio Canal; Red Rose, BBC/Netflix) as Ferdinand, Ben Simon (Romeo and Juliet, The Dukes Theatre Company; Dunsinane, RSC) as Sebastian, Ruby Crepin-Glynne (Road, Northern Stage; The Syndicate, BBC) as Miranda, Gigi Zahir (Haus of Cray, Royal Vauxhall Tavern; 5 Guys Chillin’, Kings Head/Assembly Roxy) as Trinculo and Antonio, Alexander Bean (Good Morning Britain (Voiceover); Teddy, Southwark Playhouse) as Caliban, Eleanor House (Long Shadows, Birmingham Rep; Doctors, BBC)as Stephano, Rob Meteyard (The Uses of Poetry, Barnstable Fringe) as Gonzalo, and Kate Littlewood (The Last Days of Don Juan, Worlds Apart, RSC) as Prospero.

Wildcard’s notorious gig-theatre style has achieved critical acclaim – most notably, Electrolyte won five awards, including the prestigious Mental Health Fringe Award. Entirely underscored by live music, featuring newly composed songs, as well as Shakespearean originals, this adrenaline-fuelled reimagining brings a fresh perspective to a timeless classic. Tempest is performed by nine actor-musicians, with a detailed sound design that immerses the audience in a rich audio world. The exhilarating fusion of live music and theatre serves to make productions more accessible and attracts a demographic of audience that has low engagement with the arts. Accessibility is at the heart of the piece – this is a show that truly speaks to a modern, younger and more diverse audience, who may not think Shakespeare is usually for them

Banished to a mystical island with nothing but their magical books, Prospero waits in isolation for twelve long years. Consumed by a desire for revenge, they forge a new life with their daughter Miranda, slave Caliban and servant-spirit, Ariel. Using Ariel, and all his qualities, Prospero conducts a terrible storm to shipwreck their enemies, stranding them in Prospero’s new kingdom. Divided, lost and confused, the group find themselves at the mercy of twisted vengeance. But will Prospero’s bitterness destroy them, or will humanity prevail?

The visually striking production features bold and vibrant set, costume and lighting design to accentuate the themes and questions within the text – with special effects to create a unique, visceral experience and explore the characters’ heightened world of high fashion. The audience are therefore taken to some of the darker and more uncomfortable moments in the play, in order to draw parallels with our own world. Ultimately, this is a play about humanity vs society. It is about the age-old structures that we have fabricated in our society to create imbalance, and how these take us away from what is at the core of our humanity: love, compassion and care.

Director James Meteyard comments, I’ve been thinking about this show for about five years now and working on it for about three! I love Shakespeare and truly believe he’s the UK’s most culturally significant playwright. But I often feel that when his plays are presented in the theatre, they’re inaccessible, boring or not engaging, particularly for a younger or non-traditional theatre-going audience. After seeing how well these demographics engaged with gig-theatre on Electrolyte, I wanted to apply this form to Tempest – a play whose central character Prospero has been in Isolation for 12 years, a feeling we can all relate to following the last couple of years. It has wizards, spirits, monsters, a drag queen, live looping, rock, funk, drum and bass, rap and a bold and vibrant set and costume design. At its core, this production will examine our society and ask: what does it mean to be human? I’m excited to look at these age-old themes through a modern lens as I’m confident they’ll resonate just as powerfully today as when they were first written

Tempest is supported by: Arts Council England, Ian McKellan on Stage, Cockayne Foundation, Jerwood Space and Watermill Theatre

Cast announced for Diary Of A Somebody’s first London performances in 35 years

Cast announced for Diary of a Somebody at
Seven Dials Playhouse
Tuesday 22nd March – Saturday 30th April 2022
1a Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP

Staged for the first time in 35 years, Diary of a Somebody is a deep dive into the mind of one of the most witty, rebellious, and acclaimed artists of his generation. Introducing George Kemp (Bridgerton, Netflix; Call My Agent, Netflix; The Trial of Christine Keeler, BBC) as notorious artist and playwright Joe Orton, Diary of a Somebody will see Toby Osmond (Game of Thrones, HBO; Henry VIII and His Six Wives, BBC; Dead Souls, Monkhead Theatre) take to the stage as his mentor and partner, the actor and writer Kenneth Halliwell.

Taken verbatim from Joe Orton’s private and often explicit diaries, this raucous and poignant new production is directed by Nico Rao Pimparé (The Start of Nothing, 2020; Rainer, Arcola Theatre; Candy, King’s Head Theatre). The cast is completed by Jemma Churchill (Doctor Who, BBC; Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present, New Vic Theatre; NATIVITY! The Musical, UK tour), Jamie Zubairi (Cucumber, Why The Lion Danced, Yellow Earth; The Letter; Wyndham’s Theatre), Sorcha Kennedy (Rainer; Arcola Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Comedy of Errors – Sam Wanamaker Festival; Shakespeare’s Globe) and Ryan Rajan Mal, making his stage debut

Diary of a Somebody first premiered at the National Theatre in 1986, directed by Jonathan Myerson, where the Evening Standard called it ‘perversely enjoyable’. The production at Seven Dials Playhouse will be the first London revival in 35 years of Diary of a Somebody. The play incorporates Orton’s words from his diaries, letters and literary fragments, as well as psychiatric reports.

Toby Osmond comments, This fantastic play, based on the diary of Joe Orton is as exciting as the stars it stars. Orton’s tragically short life was a roller coaster – a big part of which was Halliwell, who I have the privilege to play. I cannot wait to tread the boards again – my first time since Game of Thrones finished – and inhabit this doomed lover and killer

Jemma Churchill says, Diary of a Somebody brings back such fond memories of watching my mother appear in Joe Orton’s final play What the Butler Saw while I saw still at school over 40 years ago. Having read the diaries in my 20s I feel such enthusiasm for this extraordinary play.

This dramatisation of The Orton Diaries chronicles the last eight months of notorious playwright Joe Orton’s life. The diaries track Orton’s growing theatrical celebrity and the corresponding punishing effect it had on his relationship with friend and mentor Kenneth Halliwell who murdered him on 9th August 1967 and then took his own life. John Lahr’s Diary of a Somebody is presented in association with Seven Dials Playhouse

Seven Dials Playhouse opened in February 2022 with Steve directed by Andrew Keates. It seeks to provide opportunities for people to collaborate on bold, creative and high quality work while providing journeys of enlightenment and entertainment for artists and audiences alike.

Full Cast Announced For UK and Ireland Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

FULL CAST CONFIRMED FOR THE ACCLAIMED NEW LONDON PALLADIUM PRODUCTION OF

UK & IRELAND TOUR BEGINS IN MANCHESTER,

WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH 2022

The Narrator to be played by ALEXANDRA BURKE and LINZI HATELEY

at select venues across the tour

They will be reunited with JASON DONOVAN – the original Joseph –

now in the role of Pharaoh

JAC YARROW will wear the Dreamcoat, following his

critically acclaimed professional stage debut in the iconic lead role

Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group are delighted to confirm the full cast for the sensational brand-new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which begins a UK & Ireland Tour at Manchester Opera House on Wednesday 23 March.

tristram@tristramkenton.com

Alexandra Burke will play The Narrator at select venues across the tour. Her many West End credits include the lead roles in The BodyguardSister Act, Chess and Chicago, as well as starring as the Narrator in the celebrated production of Joseph at the London Palladium last summer. Alexandra first rose to fame winning The X-Factor in 2008, and has since gone on to sell over 5 million records.

tristram@tristramkenton.com

Linzi Hateley will also play the role at other venues. Linzi is an Olivier Award nominee and Theatre World Award winner who has starred on Broadway, in the West End, with the RSC, and at the National Theatre. She now returns to the role of the Narrator, having first starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1991 opposite Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield at the London Palladium – for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

tristram@tristramkenton.com

Jason Donovan will reprise his role as Pharaoh, which he performed at the London Palladium in 2019 and 2021. He was originally in the show when he made his defining stage performance as the title character of Joseph in the 1990s, in a sold-out 18-month run which produced a No.1 single and best-selling soundtrack album. Jason raised the roof of the London Palladium during the show’s 2019 and 2021 engagements as Pharaoh, who rocks ‘Song of the King’ in the musical.

Jac Yarrow prepares to don the famous coat in the titular role on tour, having caused a sensation when he made his professional stage debut playing Joseph, following in the footsteps of a line of stars who have previously played the title character. His portrayal of Joseph won him unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination, with his rendition of ‘Close Every Door To Me’ regularly stopping the show with standing ovations.

Producer Michael Harrison says of today’s announcement:

“After two sensational runs at The London Palladium, I am delighted that this joyous show is now set to unite audiences and spread happiness across the UK & Ireland on tour. Our ‘dream team’ casting will enchant newcomers and longstanding fans alike – GO! GO! GO! JOSEPH!”

Audiences and critics were unanimous in their acclaim for the legendary musical – the first major collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – when it returned to the London Palladium in 2019 and again in 2021.

tristram@tristramkenton.com

The role of Pharaoh will be played by Bobby Windebank at the venues across the tour where Jason Donovan does not perform. Bobby was part of the 2021 company when the show played the season at the London Palladium.

The full company includes ERICA JAYNE ALDEN, SHANE ANTONY-WHITELY, NATALIE BENNYWORTH, JABARI BRAHAM, BEN BROOKER, GEMMA BUCKINGHAM, THALIA BURT, MEG DARCY, ALEXANDER DAY, TYLER EPHRAIM, IVÁN FERNÁNDEZ GONZÁLEZ, ZAC FRIEZE, MATT GIBSON, WILL HAWKSWORTH, SAMUEL JOHN-HUMPHREYS, CLAIRE LANDER, ABBIE PLATTS, NATHAN RIGG, ROCHELLE SHERONA, SAMANTHA SHUMA, SAM STONES and HOLLY WILLOCK.

The young actors are TOMMY ADAMS, AVA BELLE ALEXANDER, HECTOR BALDWIN, KELSEY BALLA, ZACH BENT, DYLAN BROOKS, MEI CHIU, ESME CONNOLLY, HETTIE CONNOLLY, BRYSON DEKKER, PHOEBE EASOM, JAX FENNER, LUCA FOSTER-LEJEUNE, MAX GARLICK, LOLA GREEN, BELLA HARDING, LUKE JURY, MATEO LECHEA, NAOMI LIM, OCEAN MONILAL, TORYN O’CALLAGHAN, MATILDA O’SULLIVAN, BLYTHE RAILTON, ROXY RELF, HOLLY-JADE ROBERTS, EDEN ROWE, NANDINI SHARMA, POPPY MEI SOON, HALLE STEVENS, JOSHUA WAHAB, BUDDY WAY, LILI WHITEHOUSE.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is directed by Laurence Connor. Laurence’s credits include the acclaimed London production of School of Rock and the Tony-Award nominated production on Broadway, the recent London productions of Miss Saigon and Chess, the international arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and he is also the Co-Director of the new version of Les Misérables which has enjoyed worldwide success including Broadway, UK and US tours. He is the director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

JoAnn M Hunter (who has 20 Broadway shows to her credit, including School of Rock and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) is the show’s choreographer, set and costume design are by the award-winning Morgan Large with Ben Cracknell as Lighting Designer and Gareth Owen as Sound Designer.

Released as a concept album in 1969,the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most belovedfamily musicals. The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of thousands of times including multiple runs in the West End and on Broadway, international number one tours, and productions in over 80 countries as far afield as Austria and Zimbabwe and from Israel to Peru! The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door To MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of the NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into hardship by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is produced by Michael Harrison.

THE GRUFFALO: PAY IT FORWARD AT HACKNEY EMPIRE – 6 – 8 APRIL

The Gruffalo: Pay It Forward
at Hackney Empire

Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2022

Tall Stories and Hackney Empire are offering opportunities for local families in-need to experience the magic of theatre.

Oh help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo at Hackney Empire this Easter, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April.

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the nation’s favourite picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

With audiences’ support even more children’s lives can be enriched by this theatrical experience.

Hackney Empire’s audiences will have an opportunity to donate the price of a theatre ticket, or tickets, to give local families, who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford a trip to the theatre, an opportunity to see The Gruffalo too.

Tall Stories and Hackney Empire will be collaborating with local community organisations including the Hackney Marsh Partnership and their Concorde Youth Hub on the Kingsmead Estate and Stoke Newington Youth Hub on the Milton Garden Estate; Hackney Migrant Centre who support refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants in need; and E5 Baby and Children Bank who work with refugee families, trafficked women, survivors of domestic abuse and parents affected by the pandemic offering support and essential items generously donated by the local community.

Beautine Wester, the founder of E5 Baby and Children Bank, is delighted to be involved with The Gruffalo: Pay It Forward saying: 

‘What a great initiative. It will benefit a lot of our families, who do not have disposable incomes and are living on the breadline, to afford a show. Many are young carers and live in one-bedroom temporary accommodation. They have seen and experienced terrible domestic violence, poverty, hunger and school detentions due to many factors. This initiative will help them mentally and put a spring in their feet!!’

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 22ND ANNUAL WHATSONSTAGE AWARDS

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE

22ND ANNUAL WHATSONSTAGE AWARDS

  • FROZEN LEADS THE FIELD WITH 7 WINS FROM 13 NOMINATIONS, HOWEVER IT IS PIPPED TO THE POST FOR BEST NEW MUSICAL BY BACK TO THE FUTURE THE MUSICAL
  • 2:22 A GHOST STORY LEADS THE STRAIGHT PLAY CATEGORIES WITH 3 WINS FOR BEST NEW PLAY AND ACTING NODS FOR LILY ALLEN AND JAKE WOOD
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE, CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER, HUGH COLES AND CARLY MERCEDES DYER WIN MUSICAL THEATRE ACTING AWARDS
  • IAN MCKELLEN RECEIVES THE AWARD FOR SERVICES TO THEATRE

At a ceremony tonight at the Prince of Wales Theatre hosted by Jodie Prenger and Tom Read Wilson, the winners of the 22nd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards were announced – the only major theatre awards decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves.

WhatsOnStage’s Sarah Coleman said today, “Today’s awards are testament to the brilliance and resilience of an industry, who even in the bleakest moments of the past two years kept faith and kept going. The breadth of talent honoured today – in the first major theatre awards to return in full post pandemic – demonstrates that theatre is back, and then some. And today we also honour the audiences who stuck with us, and have voted this year in numbers never seen before. We’re nothing without them, and we are enormously grateful for their unwavering support. Together we build our industry back.”

The big winner of the night was Frozen with 7 awards from its 13 nominations, receiving Best Direction for Michael Grandage, Best Set Design and Best Costume Design for Christopher Oram, Best Choreography for Rob Ashford, Best Video Design for Finn Ross, Best Musical Direction or Supervision for Stephen Oremus and Best Graphic Design for Bob King Creative.

However, the coveted Best New Musical Award went to Back to the Future the Musical, which received 4 awards in total – additionally, Best Supporting Performer in a Male Identifying Role in a Musical        for Hugh Coles, Best Lighting Design for Tim Lutkin, and Best Sound Design for Gareth Owen.

Musical theatre acting honours went to Eddie Redmayne for his turn as the Emcee in Cabaret, and previous WhatsOnStage Award-winner Carrie Hope Fletcher for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella. In the supporting categories, Carly Mercedes Dyer won for Anything Goes, alongside Coles for Back the Future the MusicalAnything Goes also triumphed in the Best Musical Revival category.

Dominating the straight play categories was 2:22 A Ghost Story – which is about to begin its 3rd West End run in less than a year – taking Best New Play, as well as Best Performer in a Female Identifying Role in a Play for Lily Allen; and Best Supporting Performer in a Male Identifying Role in a Play for Jake Wood. Winning Best Play Revival was Cyrano de Bergerac, which also saw James McAvoy win for his critically acclaimed performance. Completing the straight play acting categories, Akiya Henry won for Best Supporting Performer in a Female Identifying Role in a Play for The Tragedy of Macbeth.

In recognition of his extraordinary career, and the incredible undertaking of his 80th birthday tour, and the fundraising efforts on behalf of theatres and arts organisations across the UK, Ian McKellen receives the Services to Theatre Award.

Hope Mill Theatre’s production of RENT takes Best Regional Production; with My Son’s a Queer but What Can You Do?wining Best Off-West End Production; and in the most closely run contest of the night, SIX wins Best West End Show by just 7 votes.

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THE NOMINEES IN FULL – WINNERS IN BOLD:

BEST PERFORMER IN A MALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – SPONSORED BY INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OF MUSICAL THEATRE

Roger Bart – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Olly Dobson – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Arinzé Kene – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Julian Ovenden – South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre

Eddie Redmayne – Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre – Kit Kat Club

Ivano Turco – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

BEST PERFORMER IN A FEMALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – SPONSORED BY LONDON THEATRE DIRECT         

Aimie Atkinson – Pretty Woman, Piccadilly Theatre & Savoy Theatre

Samantha Barks – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Jessie Buckley – Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre – Kit Kat Club

Carrie Hope Fletcher – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Beverley Knight – The Drifters Girl, Garrick Theatre

Stephanie McKeon, Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMER IN A MALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – SPONSORED BY TANDEM MARKETING           

Blake Patrick Anderson – Be More Chill, The Other Palace & Shaftesbury Theatre

Hugh Coles – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Robert Lindsay – Anything Goes, Barbican Centre

Cedric Neal – Back to the Future the Musical – Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Oliver Ormson – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Obioma Ugoala – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMER IN A FEMALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – SPONSORED BY NEWMAN DISPLAYS

Joanna Ampil – South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre

Gabrielle Brooks – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Carly Mercedes Dyer – Anything Goes, Barbican Centre

Millie O’Connell – Rent, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Rebecca Trehearn – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

BEST PERFORMER IN A MALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A PLAY        

Richard Armitage – Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre

Ben Daniels – The Normal Heart, National Theatre

Omari Douglas – Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre

Hadley Fraser – 2:22 A Ghost Story, Noël Coward Theatre

Henry Lewis – Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre & Apollo Theatre

James McAvoy – Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre

BEST PERFORMER IN A FEMALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A PLAY – SPONSORED BY EDWARDIAN HOTELS LONDON

Lily Allen – 2:22 A Ghost Story, Noël Coward Theatre

Gemma Arterton – Walden, Harold Pinter Theatre

Sheila Atim – Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre

Emma Corrin – Anna X, Harold Pinter Theatre, The Lowry, Salford

Patsy Ferran – Camp Siegfried, The Old Vic

Saoirse Ronan – The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMER IN A MALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A PLAY            

Stephen K Amos – My Night with Reg, The Turbine Theatre

Dino Fetscher – The Normal Heart, National Theatre

Nathaniel Parker – The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre

Richard Rankin – The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre

Jonathan Sayer – Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre & Apollo Theatre

Jake Wood – 2:22 A Ghost Story, Noël Coward Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMER IN A FEMALE IDENTIFYING ROLE IN A PLAY       

Michelle Fox – Shining City, Theatre Royal Stratford East

Akiya Henry – The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre

Penny Layden – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, National Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre

Isobel McArthur – Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), Criterion Theatre

Aimee Lou Wood – Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre

Nancy Zamit – Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre & Apollo Theatre

BEST NEW MUSICAL – SPONSORED BY TRAVELZOO                        

Back to the Future the Musical – Adelphi Theatre

Cinderella – Gillian Lynne Theatre

Frozen – Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical – Lyric Theatre

Pretty Woman the Musical – Piccadilly Theatre & Savoy Theatre

Moulin Rouge! – Piccadilly Theatre

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL – SPONSORED BY CONCORD THEATRICALS

Anything Goes – Barbican Centre

Cabaret – Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

Carousel – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Rent – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

South Pacific – Chichester Festival Theatre

West Side Story – Curve, Leicester

BEST NEW PLAY – SPONSORED BY TICKETMASTER

2:22 A Ghost Story – Noël Coward Theatre

J’ Ouvert – Harold Pinter Theatre, Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

Leopoldstadt – Wyndham’s Theatre

Magic Goes Wrong – Vaudeville Theatre & Apollo Theatre

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) – Criterion Theatre

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – National Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre

BEST PLAY REVIVAL – SPONSORED BY AKA         

Constellations – Vaudeville Theatre

Cyrano de Bergerac – Playhouse Theatre

My Night with Reg – The Turbine Theatre

The Normal Heart – National Theatre

The Tragedy of Macbeth – Almeida Theatre

Uncle Vanya – Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST OFF-WEST END PRODUCTION – SPONSORED BY LES MISÉRABLES                 

Anything is Possible if You Think About it Hard Enough – Southwark Playhouse

My Son’s A Queer but What Can You Do? – The Turbine Theatre

Old Bridge – Bush Theatre

Pippin – Charing Cross Theatre

Saving Britney – Old Red Lion Theatre

The Last Five Years – Southwark Playhouse

BEST REGIONAL THEATRE PRODUCTION                             

Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical – UK tour

Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical – Manchester Royal Exchange

Rent – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

South Pacific – Chichester Festival Theatre

West Side Story – Curve, Leicester

What’s New Pussycat? – Birmingham Repertory Theatre

BEST WEST END SHOW – SPONSORED BY DEWYNTERS   

Come From Away – Phoenix Theatre

Hamilton – Victoria Palace Theatre

Les Misérables – Sondheim Theatre

Six the Musical – Vaudeville Theatre

The Play That Goes Wrong – Duchess Theatre

Wicked – Apollo Victoria Theatre

BEST DIRECTION – SPONSORED BY LOVETHEATRE

Clint Dyer – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Yaël Farber – The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre

Rebecca Frecknall – Cabaret, Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

Michael Grandage – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Jamie Lloyd – Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre

Katy Rudd – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, National Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY  

Rob Ashford – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Drew McOnie – Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Kathleen Marshall – Anything Goes, Barbican Centre

Shelley Maxwell – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Sonya Tayeh – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

Ann Yee – South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre

BEST SET DESIGN – SPONSORED BY PREEVUE    

Fly Davis – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, National Theatre & Duke of York’s Theatre

Jamie Harrison – Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical, UK tour

Tim Hatley – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Derek McLane – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

Christopher Oram – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Tom Scutt – Cabaret,  Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Lisa Duncan – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Christopher Oram – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Tom Scutt – Cabaret,  Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

Gabriella Slade – Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical, UK tour

Gabriela Tylesova – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Catherine Zuber – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN – SPONSORED BY WHITE LIGHT

Neil Austin – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Charles Balfour – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Isabella Byrd – Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre, Kit Kat Club

Tim Lutkin – Back to the Future the Musical, Adelphi Theatre

Bruno Poet – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre

Justin Townsend – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION OR SUPERVISION

Leo Munby – The Last Five Years, Vaudeville Theatre

Tom Deering – Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Sean Green – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

Justin Levine – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

Stephen Oremus – Frozen – Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Katy Richardson – Rent, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

BEST SOUND DESIGN – SPONSORED BY STAGE SOUND SERVICES

Adam Cork – Leopoldstadt, Wyndham’s Theatre

Adam Fisher – The Last Five Years, Southwark Playhouse & Vaudeville Theatre

Paul Groothuis – South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre

Peter Hylenski – Moulin Rouge!, Piccadilly Theatre

Gareth Owen – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Ben and Max Ringham – Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre

BEST VIDEO DESIGN      

Nina Dunn – The Shark is Broken, Ambassadors Theatre

Akhila Krishnan – What’s New Pussycat?, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Mikaela Liakata and Tal Yarden – Anna X, Harold Pinter Theatre & The Lowry, Salford

Finn Ross – Back to the Future the Musical, Manchester Opera House & Adelphi Theatre

Finn Ross – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Tal Yarden – Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN – SPONSORED BY HEXAGON PRINT

Christopher D Clegg – The Wiz, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Feast Creative – Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Feast Creative – Rent, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Bob King Creative – Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Muse Creative Communications – RE:EMERGE Season, Harold Pinter Theatre

Michael Nash Associates- Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre


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Richard II Review

Jack Studio Theatre – until 5 March 2022

Reviewed by Claire Roderick

4****

We Are Animate’s slick and streamlined production of Richard II is both an enthralling introduction to Shakespeare and an exciting new version for those already familiar with the play.

The story of the isolated and indulgent Richard being deposed and replaced by Bolingbroke, who handily had a personal grievance to pursue that fit well with the English nobility’s need to rid themselves of a king who was becoming a liability, does not suffer greatly from being shortened. The plotting between the nobles and their hand wringing over whether it was right to remove a man anointed by God are removed, keeping the focus on the battling cousins and their closest allies and galloping through the story in 80 minutes. In lesser hands this would feel rushed, but director Lewis Brown includes musical moments and movement sequences to allow breathing space and also further the plot (Bushy’s execution, in particular, is beautifully choreographed).

The minimalist set painted red, white and black with two platforms on different levels manages to convey the power dynamic of each scene, with Richard relegated to sitting on the floor in the final scenes. The colours of the set are echoed in the costumes of the cast, indicating the loyalties of each faction. Even with less characters featured, some of the cast of eight play multiple roles, but there is no confusion as the costumes clearly show the different characters. The inclusion of only one of Richard’s favourites, Bushy, means that Aumerle (Harriet Barrow) becomes less ambivalent in the early scenes and more vocally Richard’s man, echoing and concentrating his father’s opinions on loyalty – giving greater meaning to his misguided decision to show ultimate loyalty to Henry in the final scenes of the play. Hilary Burns and Lizzy Dive bring an air of world-weary authority to Gaunt and York, and Daniel Ghezzi’s Northumberland has an air of menace that conveys the dubious plotting and selfishness behind the scenes brilliantly. This play depends on two strong leads, and this production doesn’t disappoint. Casting Fleur De Wit as Bolingbroke adds many layers, contrasting her calm and measured confidence with Richard’s emotional and capricious nature to skewer gender stereotypes of leadership. De Wit plays Henry with righteous anger always simmering, but controlled, and the only time she shows any freedom in her emotions is in the leadup to her fight with Mowbray. A beautifully judged performance. Michael Rivers could have chewed the scenery as Richard, but instead delivers a wonderfully nuanced portrayal of an entitled man-child. Rivers’ nails Richard’s casual arrogance and his disdain for those who do not play his games, making him equally funny and infuriating. The emotional outbursts and changeability are believable and even though Richard is a feckless king, Rivers ensures that the audience have sympathy for what is left of the boy that a life on the throne ruined.

Expertly abridged for maximum impact, We Are Animate’s Richard II is well worth a look.