Emma Rice’s production of Noël Coward’s ‘Brief Encounter’ will play The Lowry Tue 20 – Sat 24 February 2018.

Emma Rice’s production of Noël Coward’s ‘Brief Encounter’ to play The Lowry

Brief Encounter
Tue 20 – Sat 24 February 2018

Kneehigh’s production of Noël Coward’s ‘Brief Encounter,’ adapted and directed by Emma Rice, will play The Lowry (Tue 20 – Sat 24 February 2018) before a West End run. 

The award-winning Kneehigh Theatre production will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, Jenny & Steve Wiener and The Old Vic. 


Emma Rice said, “I’ve always loved getting lost in the dark, and the cinema is one of the best places to do it.  However, a film doesn’t change.  It carries on whether you are there or not; performances are captured forever, never altering. 

“My production of ‘Brief Encounter’ combines the romance of cinema with all that live theatre can offer; magic, passion, surprise, suggestion and naughtiness.  I carry this show in my heart and couldn’t be more excited to return to this heart-pounding production. Radical and romantic, nostalgic but oh, so relevant – let passions ignite!”

Producers David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers said, “Emma Rice’s award-winning theatrical production of Brief Encounter is one of the highlights of our producing career. It is incredibly exciting to bring it to The Lowry before a West End run. Our wonderful stage production of ‘Brief Encounter’ switches between live action and film, so we will once again be turning the cinema into a theatre especially for this show.


“We are very proud to be working again with Emma on this spellbinding production, which we hope a new generation will now have the chance to see, as well as those who may have missed it the first time or loved it so much they just have to come back and see it again.”

A chance meeting in a railway station café where they were brought together by Laura ‘getting a little piece of grit in my eye’, led to one of the most haunting and heart-breaking love stories ever told.  The award-winning Kneehigh production of Noël Coward’s ‘Brief Encounter,’ which was originally produced at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, triumphed in the West End in 2008 and subsequently received great critical acclaim on Broadway and went on to tour worldwide.  It was described by Ben Brantley in the New York Times as ‘surely the most enchanting work of stagecraft ever inspired by a movie.’

‘Brief Encounter’ will be directed by Emma Rice, designed by Neil Murray, with lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, original music by Stu Barker, sound by Simon Baker and projection by Gemma Carrington & Jon Driscoll.

 

First Casting Announced For Story of Lennon’s Missing Banjo

“The very first tune I ever learned to play was ‘That’ll Be The Day’. My mother Julia taught it to me on the banjo, sitting there with endless patience until I managed to work out all the chords”
JOHN LENNON
 
FIRST CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR STORY OF LENNON’S MISSING BANJO
Lennon’s Banjo – one of the most hotly-anticipated new plays of 2018 – will premiere at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre next spring.
 
And today producers reveal the first four cast members who will appear in this fascinating romp through Beatledom to find the holy grail of pop memorabilia – the first instrument John Lennon learnt to play – missing for 60 years and now worth millions!
 
Coronation Street and Doctor Who’s Eric Potts will play tour guide and Beatle nerd Barry in the world premiere. Barry’s love for the Fab Four is all consuming but his obsession and relentless ramblings is a constant irritation to his so-called friends.
 
Jake Abraham takes on the role of disgruntled Beatles Shop co-owner Steve, a guy who has heard Yellow Submarine once too often and is now desperate to escape to a new life. Also signed up to appear are Lynn Francis and Roy Carruthers. Lynn will play work-weary pub landlady Brenda, and Barry’s only true friend, while Roy takes on the role of ruthless Texan businessman Tony DeVito.
 
Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon’s Banjo will open at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24 April 2018 for a two-week run, continuing through until Saturday 5 May.
 
On 9 October 1957, a young John Lennon turned 17. It was the last birthday he would spend with his mother, Julia, who was killed the following summer in a road traffic accident. 2018 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of Julia’s death and the banjo’s disappearance.
 
It is well documented that Lennon was estranged from his parents and brought up by his Aunt Mimi. He said in many of his interviews: “I lost my mother twice. Once when I was five-years-old when she left me with my Aunt Mimi, and again at 17 when she was run over by a drunken off-duty police officer.”
 
It was Julia Lennon who introduced John to the world of pop music, teaching him to play rock and roll on a banjo, given to her by John’s grandfather. Lennon often recounted how he would sneak off to visit his mum who lived only a few miles away. There, he would learn to play songs like ‘That’ll Be The Day’. He has been quoted as saying: “Mum would sit there with endless patience until I managed to work out all the chords.”
 
Mysteriously, the banjo went missing shortly after Julia Lennon’s death and no-one has set eyes on it since. One thing is certain though, if it did resurface it is estimated to be worth in the region of five million pounds.
 
“The intrigue and mystery surrounding Lennon’s missing banjo, and the logic that it could be sitting in somebody’s attic right now, has the potential to make headlines around the world. The story crosses over beautifully from fiction to fact and back again to tease and tantalise you into believing every word is true.” Trinity Mirror
 
So where do the facts end and the fiction begin? Everything will be revealed in this intriguing, colourful and fast-paced comic caper starring a talented cast of actors.
 
Bristol Old Vic-trained Eric Potts played baker Diggory Compton in Coronation Street, and has also starred in Still Game, Doctor Who and Last of the Summer Wine. His theatre appearances includeBrassed Off, When We Are Married, Art, Footloose and Cissie and Ada.
 
And the actor, writer and director is also a panto legend, writing many of the First Family Entertainments’ Christmas shows.
 
Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels star Jake Abraham has an extensive list of film, TV and theatre credits to his name including 51st State, Game of Thrones, Justice, Red Dwarf, and, on stage, On the Ledge, You’ll Never Walk Alone, The Ale House and Council Depot Blues.
 
Lynn Francis is a regular on the Liverpool theatre stage. She has recently appeared in two runs of The Royal at Royal Court Liverpool. Other credits include Ladies Day, A Nightmare On Lime Street andThe Salon.
 
Roy Carruthers’ stage credits include Twopence To Cross The Mersey, Ladies Night, Funny Money andNight Collar. His screen appearances include Good Cop, Longford and Sparkle.
 
Lennon’s Banjo is written and co-produced by Rob Fennah.
 
Rob said: “It’s like The Beatles meets the Da Vinci Code. As a huge Beatles’ fan myself, I have matched the story to historical reality including dates, places and events. I want everyone to enjoy the romp through Beatledom in search of the holy grail of pop memorabilia and come out of the theatre believing, as I do, that the banjo is still out there somewhere just waiting to be found.”
 
The new play is based on the 2012 novel Julia’s Banjo by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones.
 
No stranger to theatre, Fennah wrote both the musical and stage play adaptations of Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey. He is currently working on the stage play sequel to Twopence, By The Waters Of Liverpool which is being premiered at the Liverpool Empire in October 2018.
 
Lennon’s Banjo is directed by Mark Heller.
 
Mark said: “I’m really excited to be a part of Lennon’s Banjo, and to work with such a talented experienced cast.
 
“I can’t wait to jump, full steam ahead, into rehearsals and start exploring this adventurous mystery caper that Rob has created with his marvellous script – working with the cast to bring these fun, eclectic bunch of characters to life.”
 
The creative team behind the show have previously announced the Fab Four Production Partners onboard as being The Cavern, The Beatles Story, Hard Days Night Hotel, and The Beatles Shop.
 
Missing for 60 years… The holy grail of pop is now worth millions to whoever finds it! 
 
For more info visit www.lennonsbanjo.com
 
 
LISTING INFORMATION

LENNON’S BANJO
Epstein Theatre 
Tue 24 April – Sat 5
 May 2018
Tickets from £16
Group Rates Available
 
HOW TO BOOK
 
Tickets are on sale now. 

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds – Alive on Stage Returns

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle – Saturday 1st December 2018

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage returns to UK arenas next year to celebrate its 40th ANNIVERSARY, at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on Saturday 1st December 2018.

Conducted by Jeff Wayne, with the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings, the most ambitious production yet will ‘break through the fourth wall’ to bring the action closer to the audience for a most captivating and immersive experience.

The show, which is mixed live in Surround Sound, will also feature Liam Neeson in 3D holography, the incredible 3-tonne 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flames, the incineration of a cast member in full view of the audience, and a ground-breaking levitation effect! Full cast to be announced soon!

Nearly 40 years on, Jeff Wayne’s double album has grown into a true classic, and has sold over 15 million records worldwide, with two International hit singles – ‘Forever Autumn’ and ‘The Eve of The War’, spending over 330 weeks in the UK album charts. It has also won two prestigious UK Ivor Novello Awards, the US Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and for Jeff, Classic Rock’s ‘Showman of The Year’ Award.

DON’T MISS your chance to experience this spectacular Arena production and join the 40 YEAR celebrations!

Jeff Wayne said: “In June 1978 my original double album was released. I had no idea if it would vanish as quickly as one can say… “ULLAdubULLA!” But here I am today, soon to be celebrating its

40th Anniversary throughout 2018, culminating in what I believe will be the most exciting arena tour we’ve ever performed. No one would have believed…

Tickets will go on sale Friday 24th November 2017 and are available online, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office. Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply.

Tickets are available from:-

  • Credit Card Booking and Information Line 0844 493 6666
  • The Metro Radio Arena Newcastle Box Office (Mon – Fri: 10.00am – 4.00pm, Sat: 11.00am – 2.30pm)
  • Internet Site:- www.metroradioarena.co.uk
  • Group Bookers should call (0191) 260 6006
  • Accessible Bookings should call 0844 493 6666 for further details

Summer Holiday – a brand new production of the feel-good musical to tour the UK in 2018

SUMMER HOLIDAY

A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION OF THE FEEL- GOOD MUSICAL FEATURING CLIFF RICHARD’S CLASSIC HITS

WILL TOUR THE UK IN 2018/19

Based on the iconic 1960’s film starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows this brand new stage musical includes all of the number one hits from the movie, plus some additional Cliff Richard classics. The famous red double-decker bus with make its first stop at the Liverpool Empire on 8 May 2018 before touring the UK.

Summer Holiday tells the story of Don and his fellow London Transport mechanics as they journey together in a red double-decker bus through Paris, the Alps, Italy and Greece. Along the way they pick up a girl singing group and a young American pop star who is on the run from her domineering mother!

This hit – filled musical features many of 1960’s biggest songs including In the CountrySummer HolidayTravellin’ LightBachelor BoyMove ItLiving DollThe Young Ones and On the Beach.

Tickets for Summer Holiday are on sale now. Star casting to be announced.

WEBSITETWITTER

 

SUMMER HOLIDAY

 

Stage Adaptation by Michael Gyngell and Mark Haddigan

 

Based on the film SUMMER HOLIDAY, Directed by Peter Yates

Screenplay by Ronald Cass and Peter Myers

By special arrangement with StudioCanal

Orchestrations by Keith Strachan

Presented by arrangement with

Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

On behalf of Josef Weinberger Limited

Executive Producer

David King

Director and Choreographer

Racky Plews

SUMMER HOLIDAY – 2018 UK TOUR DATES

Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 May                                                     Box Office: 0844 871 3017

Liverpool Empire                                                                              Website: www.atgtickets.com/liverpool

Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 May                                                   Box Office: 0844 871 7652

Milton Keynes Theatre                                                                  Website: www.atgticket.com/miltonkeynes

Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 May                                                   Box Office: 0844 871 7645

New Victoria Theatre, Woking                                                   Website: www.atgtickets.com/woking

Tuesday 29 May – Saturday 2 June                                           Box Office: 01904 623568

York Theatre Royal                                                                          Website: www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 June                                                       Box Office: 020 3285 6000

Churchill Theatre, Bromley                                                          Website: www.churchilltheatre.co.uk

Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 June                                                  Box Office:  0844 871 3011

New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham                                     Website: www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 June                                                  Box Office: 0844 871 3014

Edinburgh Playhouse                                                                     Website: www.atgtickets.com/edinburgh

Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 June                                                  Box Office: 01752 267222

Theatre Royal, Plymouth                                                              Website: www.theatreroyal.com

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 July                                                    Box Office: 0844 871 7650

Theatre Royal, Brighton                                                                                Website: www.atgtickets.com/brighton

Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 July                                                    Box Office: 0844 856 1111 ON SALE SOON

Blackpool Winter Gardens                                                           Website: www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk

Tuesday 30 July – Saturday 4 August                                       Box Office: 0844 848 2700

Leeds Grand Theatre                                                                     Website:www.leedsgrandtheatre.com

Tuesday 22 – Saturday 27 August                                               Box Office: 01702 351135

Cliffs Pavilion, Southend                                                               Website: www.southendtheatres.org.uk

Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 September                                          Box Office: 01322 220000 ON SALE SOON

Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                                           Website: www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 September                                     Box Office: 01244 409113 ON SALE SOON

Chester Storyhouse                                                                        Website: www.storyhouse.com

Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 September                                     Box Office: 0844 871 7646 ON SALE SOON

New Wimbledon Theatre                                                             Website: www.atgticket.com/wimbledon

Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 September                                     Box Office: 01325 405405 ON SALE SOON

Darlington Hippodrome                                                                                Website: www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk

Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 October                                                                Box Office: 0844 871 7649 ON SALE SOON

Regent Theatre, Stoke                                                                  Website: www.atgtickets.com/stoke

Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 October                                           Box Office: 0844 871 7607 ON SALE SOON

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre                                                     Website www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury

Tuesday 30 October – Saturday 3 November                       Box Office: 0844 871 7647 ON SALE SOON

Kings Theatre, Glasgow                                                                 Website: www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

FURTHER DATES FOR 2018 AND 2019 TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

L’Enfant et les Sortileges Review

Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester – 18th November 2017.  Reviewed by Julie Noller

5*****

This was my first taste of Opera, it was also the matinee performance from The Little Greats selection of short operas by England’s national opera company in the north – Opera North. It was refreshing to see so many young faces in the audience, all delighting in taking in the sight of the orchestra warming up. Conducted by Martin Andre the sounds were delightful to listen to.  At only 45 minutes long with no interval, it’s the perfect introduction for those young faces and indeed myself.

Having read the synopsis before arriving at the theatre and noting that L’Enfant et les Sortileges was a tale firstly written by Colette over 100 years ago as The Great War was bringing Europe to its knees. I simply wasn’t expecting upon curtain up to be met by cast in bright colours attempting to take a selfie, it could be said that boys will be boys no matter what year this is. Although Revel had not added his musical touches until 1924, If you are to dig deeply into the emotions, you could say there are parables of Europe being destroyed, of deep mistrust, hatred. Yet it must’ve been so refreshing in 1925 at that first Monte Carlo performance to watch a child learning to trust himself and care of others once again. I wonder did they view the child as Europe at war or simply a child? This is where my puzzlement comes in, is this simply the story of a child quite like my own stamping their feet at the thought of more homework, throwing a temper tantrum leading to total mental exhaustion and dreams of the animals and people around them all of whom have been hurt. We must praise the voices the exceptional singing all in French – impressive, even more impressive was my ability to recognise words after all these years. Thank You equally to The Lowry for the two screens either side of the stage with Engish translations on them for those of us slow with French to English – although my enjoyment of the opera was not entirely dependent on this, it did enhance it.

The Child (Wallis Giunta) is present throughout the entire performance, you see him angry, defiant, scared and finally accepting of his life and of those lives around him. It was a very brave decision to wear a blue football kit in Manchester, but no one complained. Our other characters each took on multiple roles, each connected. Ann Taylor we saw as The Childs Mother ‘Maman’, the childs favourite chinese cup as he desperatly tried to piece it back together and also as the squirrel, injured and hurt with the child wanting to ease the pain. Fflur Wyn had made me giggle when she first appeared in a pink velour tracksuit, smoking a cigarette, Vicky Pollard anyone? She represented both the fire and the princess who the child lost due to his inability to protect her. Quirijin de Lang played out the dance of the frisky Tom cat well, ignoring the child as insignificant. Typical Cat, basically is what any cat owner would say, we are but mere servants to their demands. I do believe the biggest laughs came from both children and adults alike, albeit for different reasons – when John Graham-Hall appeared as Tea Pot, in his words black and shiny. To children he looked silly holding the lid with his spout, well that’s where the adults laughed at the extremely phallic placement. We all understood the child’s depression upon arithmetic appearing and firing those hard sums at him, how is he expected to know these things, why should he? The Child manages to learn a valuable life lesson at the end, don’t destroy those closest to you, for you will need them. He calls out for his Mother and after helping the injured squirrel the animals of the forest see the goodness in him and help him to reach her.

Would I go to another matinee performance at The Lowry? Absolutely. Would I watch another operatic performance? Yes certainly, I liked the way I felt puzzled, questioned. Did I need to think too deeply into history and time or is The Child just another child questioning us parents as children will continue to do. I guess as with all art, interpretation is down to the individual and I look forward to hearing what you thought when you see L’Enfant et les Sontileges. To those who don’t watch opera because its confusing or just for posh people, then I challenge you to let go of your poor judgements. These shorts are perfect at just 45 minutes long, slightly longer than a soap opera (note the name). I enjoyed this challenge today and who knows maybe I’ll see you at the next performance.

The Importance of Being Earnest Review

Jack Studio Theatre – until 2 December.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

4****

The Importance of Being Earnest is familiar material to lots of theatre goers, so seeing a new production can sometimes feel like visiting an old friend. Not much has been changed in this production, except for the addition of some musical numbers to bookend acts and scenes by a ukulele playing butler (Daniel Desiano-Plummer – who also does some pokerfaced scene stealing silent background nonsense). Dan Gillingwater’s naïve monochrome set, dominated by a giant version of Earnest’s calling card, also serves to highlight the cartoonish obsession with style and status of the characters, but apart from that, Sarah Redmond directs a traditional version of the play that allows Oscar Wilde’s scathing wit and satire to shine.

The first act, where Algie (Daniel Hall) and Earnest/John (Riley Jones) share their deceits involving imaginary brother Earnest and invalid friend Bunbury that allow them to escape their responsibilities is always slow to build, but Hall is delightfully foppish, and Jones is full of bristling energy as he changes from lovesick suitor to exasperation as things hurtle out of his control. As Lady Bracknell, Harriet Earle isn’t quite imposing enough for my tastes, she wisely underplays the handbag line, but doesn’t seem to get into full flow until the second act. It is Sophie Mercell as Gwendolen and Emily-Rose Clarkson as Cecily who dominate this production as the objects of the gentlemen’s affections. Mercell gives Gwendolen a terrifying self-assuredness, and Clarkson excels in physical comedy, adding extra girlish glee to Cecily’s words. Their performances in the scene where they first meet, and they go from polite social manners to fierce animosity as they realise that they are both engaged to Earnest are hysterical. Rounding off the cast are Scott Barclay as a suitably bumbling as Dr Chasuble, and Kate Sandison as a spiky Miss Prism.

Whilst the satire may be dated, certain issues still ring true today, and the playfulness, humour and cleverness of Wilde’s writing mean that this play is always worth revisiting. An excellent and assured production of a wonderful comedy. Well worth a look.

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F****d Review

Lion and Unicorn Theatre – until 29 November.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

4****

The morning after a one-night stand can be excruciating at the best of times, but at least with humans those awkward conversations are (hopefully) two-way streets. So, watching Bobby (Linus Karp) attempt to bond with his four-legged friends is painfully funny.

If you’d asked me if I’d warm to a character who was attracted to animals before seeing this play, I’d have scoffed, but Rob Hayes’ script is so sensitive and unsensational, and Maddie Rice’s direction so sympathetic, that poor Bobby’s neediness becomes (almost) understandable. Bestiality is disgusting, but you can’t help but like Bobby – he is just looking for love in all the wrong (VERY WRONG) places.

Working his way through a dog, cat, goat, monkey and bear, Bobby’s reactions in the afterglow are exactly as you’d expect if there was a human in his bed. He plans their future, apologises for any comments that could be misconstrued as sexist (speciesist?) and anthropomorphises their imagined responses. Just as you begin to feel comfortable, a stark reminder of the species is thrown in – eliciting belly laughs and squirms alike. The scene with the monkey prostitute is especially well written, with Bobby imagining a grooming story for the creature that is in turns hysterical and horrifyingly familiar.

Linus Karp gives Bobby a pathetically defiant edge, and is wonderful in the moments when he thinks he has offended an animal. His body language when making gauche compliments is simply adorable. As Bobby’s past is gradually revealed, Karp becomes more and more fragile, until the final scene where the laughs dry up and the dark sadness that drives Bobby’s life is portrayed with understated but devastating skill.

Awkward Conversations is a warm and wonderful surprise. I wasn’t expecting to be moved by or empathise with a bloke I wouldn’t trust with my guinea pig, but Bobby’s story is charming, funny and entertaining.

http://fairypoweredproductions.com/gecko-extends-tour-ambitious-show-date-wedding-spring-2018/

Tori Scott: Vodka is the Reason
for the Season
Live at Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street London W1F 7ED
Monday 18th, 19th & 22nd December 2017

The vocals are legit, the thirst is real, and the stories are tragically, all true.

Tori Scott, named one of Time Out New York’s top 10 Cabaret artists, is coming to London with Vodka is the Reason for the Season. This exciting show recounts her early childhood fascination with Dolly Parton in the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and her time spent as a singing elf in an old peoples’ home. Tori takes the audience on a festive autobiographical journey to celebrate what is truly special about this time of year.

Both hysterical and heart-warming, Vodka is the Reason for the Season includes songs by Dolly Parton, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and more. The Texas born star is a huge personality; drawing audiences in close, she makes them feel like they are becoming the best of friends.

Tori Scott comments, It was such a thrill to make my UK debut back in July with three nights of packed houses at Zedel’s. The audiences in London were amazing, generous and totally along for the ride – the response exceeded all my expectations and I could not be happier. I’m now very excited to return with my Christmas show and experience London during the festive season.

Stunningly powerful…warm, generous and funny (★★★★Everything Theatre).

Tori is a soul-baring singer and a sharp comedian! This show is for anyone who enjoys great music, dark humour, storytelling and classy cabaret.

Vodka is the Reason for the Season is directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn (Broadway Associate Director: Miss Saigon, Evita and A Little Night Music), with Musical Arrangements and Direction by Jesse Kissel (Broadway: The Visit and Leap of Faith).

Gecko extends the tour of its most ambitious show to date, The Wedding, into spring 2018

Gecko extends the tour of its most ambitious show to date, The Wedding, into spring 2018 

  • Award-winning theatre company Gecko announces spring tour of its latest show, The Wedding which includes 8 venues around England.
  • One of Gecko’s longest consecutive tours, it comprises of Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Playhouse and Nuffield Southampton Theatres, among others.
  • The Wedding focuses on issues around migration and social cohesion; to explore them further Gecko works with all 8 venues on an ambitious outreach programme for local artists and participants of refugee background.

www.geckotheatre.com / @GeckoTheatre / Facebook.com/GeckoTheatre1

Ipswich-based physical theatre company Gecko extends the tour of its most ambitious show to date, The Wedding, into spring 2018. The tour includes 8 venues around England: Bristol Old Vic, Watford Palace Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Derby Theatre, Cast in Doncaster, Oxford Playhouse, Nuffield in Southampton and Liverpool Playhouse and is one of Gecko’s longest consecutive tours since the company began in 2001.

The Wedding is set in a dystopian world that imagines we are all brides, wedded to society and bound by a contract. Inspired by the complexities of human nature, the show brings these contracts and issues of social cohesion within communities into question. What are the terms of this relationship? And can we consider a divorce?

With the support of the Strategic Touring Funding from Arts Council England Gecko is able to bring an experimental, mid-scale theatre show to the main regional stages around the country and therefore help diversify their programmes, at the same time appealing to and nurturing young and more diverse audiences, inspiring them to be both the artists and audiences of the future.

The Strategic Touring Funding also allowed the company to develop an audience engagement programme that encourages social cohesion between local and migrant/refugee communities through participation as well as increasing audience attendance among these groups at each venue on the tour.

This ambitious outreach programme includes, for example, 3-day training course with one associate artists from each venue (27-29 September 2017), a 2.5-3 residency co-delivered with the associate artists and aimed at young people of migrant or refugee background, free half-day workshop for audiences at each venue and a post-show panel discussion.

Through workshops, residencies, free ticket offer and more, Gecko will actively engage 750 participants around England, some of whom might not be able or inclined to engage in such activity otherwise. This will not only strengthen Gecko’s reputation as an inclusive company with a strong educational status but also foster the development of more diverse audiences around England.

Amit Lahav, Gecko’s Artistic Director saidFor me, The Wedding started as a battle between anger and love. Played out around the complex ideas of belonging, state, exclusion and a longing for community, all set within the excitement and ceremony of marriage!”

“In Spring 2018 we will tour The Wedding to 8 UK venues and there are many reasons why this is particularly exciting tour for us.  Most of the venues we’ll be visiting are new to the company, or venues who we have only recently begun a relationship with.  This is significant because touring mid-scale devised work is notoriously difficult, more so in the last two years, and for us to have so many new relationships shows a real step change in the national excitement around Gecko’s work.  We have also put together a deep reaching participation project around inclusion, exclusion and community, some of the central ideas in the show, which will see the company working in the towns and cities of the touring venues with local young adults, refugees and asylum seekers.  It has become increasingly important for me to find ways to engage communities and certainly to try and reach into the more marginalised areas of society. Enriching the tapestry of the shows content, furthering our understanding of some of the questions raised within the show and bringing some of those human beings into the theatre to celebrate our shared journeys, whilst encouraging more empathy within all of us.”

 

Spring tour 2018:

Bristol Old Vic / 17-20 January / tickets available here.

Watford Palace Theatre / 23-25 January / tickets available here.

Nottingham Playhouse / 1-3 February / tickets available here.

Derby Theatre / 8-10 February / tickets available here.

Liverpool Playhouse / 21-24 February /tickets available here.

Cast in Doncaster / 27 February / tickets available here.

Oxford Playhouse / 1-3 March / tickets available here.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres / 6-9 March / tickets available here.

The Bridge Theatre: SIMON RUSSELL BEALE CURATES EVENING INSPIRED BY RAVEL

SIMON RUSSELL BEALE CURATES EVENING INSPIRED BY RAVEL

A B S O L U T E   M U S I C :   R A V E L

On Monday 20 November 2017 at 8pm Simon Russell Beale, actor, author and music historian, will curate the first of a series of evenings inspired by classic works of chamber music.  The first takes audiences on a journey to the Paris that gave birth to Ravel’s String Quartet in F, a city witnessing the dawn of the new industrial age and inspiration to a composer obsessed with factories, machines and mathematical precision.  Russell Beale and others will read passages from Proust as well as poetry by the likes of Wordsworth, Auden and Larkin to paint a rich canvas against which the prize-winning Navarra Quartet will perform Ravel’s exquisite early work. Tickets are £20 and £25.

 

The cast taking part in the evening includes Adjoa AndohSimon Russell Beale and Penelope Wilton.

 

Future evenings will be inspired by works including Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8, Mendelssohn’s Octet and Dvořák’s American Quartet.

 

Listings Information

Address:                                   The Bridge Theatre, One Tower Bridge, London SE1 2SD

Box Office:                               0843 208 1846 or boxoffice@bridgetheatre.co.uk

Access:                                    0333 320 0051 or access@bridgetheatre.co.uk

Website:                                   www.bridgetheatre.co.uk

Twitter:                                    @_bridgetheatre

Instagram:                               _bridgetheatre

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