The Space re-opens with new work, Dickens and a Christmas revival
The Space is thrilled to announce its December season with three exciting shows, as we re-open the venue and continue to deliver digitally.
Our first show post-lockdown will be Myles and Me, a one woman play about the realities of living with multiple sclerosis. Written, by one of our sponsored playwrights, Lekha Desai Morrison, especially for disabled actress Ruth Curtis, the play explores how a person deals with being diagnosed with a lifelong, currently incurable medical condition, and the importance of living with rather than suffering from such a condition.
Would it really be a Christmas season without some Dickens? The Signalman is a brilliant, rarely-performed gem from Paragon Theatre. Following a successful run at the Old Red Lion in 2019, this ghost story adapted from Dickens’ classic novella is a masterpiece of darkness and suspense.
To celebrate our 25th year as a theatre, we are reviving some of our past in-house productions starting with our original Christmas production, The Saving of Santa by Lobelia Golightly. First performed by Space Productions in 2009, this heart-warming family tale is being re-worked as an online interactive adventure. Tickets are available from just £5 and opening night will have BSL interpretation.
Artistic Director, Adam Hemming, says, “We’ve strived to keep our audiences and theatre-makers positive and engaged during the toughest of times this year. These three pieces will all inspire in different ways, we’re thrilled to be hosting Ruth, Lekha and Paragon and we hope that The Saving of Santa will bring joy and warmth to people this Christmas. We’re in the process of programming our Spring Season and are looking forward to bringing more inventive and courageous work to audiences in 2021”
The performance details are:-
Myles and Me
9th and 10th December (livestreamed on 10th)
A touching and funny account of living with a monster. Vicky didn’t invite MyleS into her life. Can she surmount the monster? Without free choice? Can Vicky make it work?
16th-19th December (livestreamed on 17th)
A signalman is haunted by a mysterious figure standing by a train tunnel. But what is it warning against? An atmospheric adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens ghost story.
The Saving of Santa
20th-23rd December (all online)
Oh no! There’s something wrong with Santa. It’s up to chief elf ‘n’ safety officer Nordstrom, Aurora, the cleverest fairy and YOU, to save Christmas.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE CELEBRATES 200TH BIRTHDAY WITH 60 APPOINTMENTS AND FIVE-YEAR FESTIVAL
NEW INITIATIVES CHAIRED BY BERNARDINE EVARISTO AND DANIEL HAHN TO CHAMPION UNDER-REPRESENTED VOICES AND CELEBRATE THE POWER OF LITERATURE TO TRANSCEND BORDERS
ANITA DESAI; KAZUO ISHIGURO; HILARY MANTEL; EDNA O’BRIEN; PHILIP PULLMAN AND COLIN THUBRON ARE FIRST COMPANIONS OF LITERATURE TO BE ANNOUNCED SINCE 2012
ANDREA LEVY AND JEAN RHYS HONOURED AS THEIR PENS JOIN THE RSL’S PERMANENT COLLECTION
5 NEW CELEBRATORY VIDEOS RELEASED TODAY WITH ADJOA ANDOH, NATALIE SIMPSON, SIMON CALLOW, JULIET STEVENSON, RICHARD ARMITAGE AND SULE RIMI READING FROM THE PEN COLLECTION
DALJIT NAGRA APPOINTED NEW CHAIR
9 NEW VICE-PRESIDENTS INCLUDING SIMON ARMITAGE, MARY BEARD, BERNARDINE EVARISTO, JACKIE KAY, BLAKE MORRISON, GRACE NICHOLS, ELIF SHAFAK, KAMILA SHAMSIE AND COLM TÓIBÍN
29 NEW FELLOWS INCLUDING RAYMOND ANTROBUS, DAMIAN BARR, MICHAEL PALIN, KATE MOSSE, JACK THORNE, KERRY HUDSON, ROGER ROBINSON, PETER FRANKOPAN, MAX PORTER, DIANA EVANS AND WINSOME PINNOCK
15 HONORARY FELLOWS INCLUDING URSULA OWEN, MELANIEABRAHAMS, BARONESS LOLA YOUNG AND TOM SUTCLIFFE
BOYD TONKIN AWARDED NEWLY DESIGNED BENSON MEDAL
The Royal Society of Literature (RSL), the charity that represents the voice of literature in the UK, has today in celebration of its 200th birthday announced RSL 200, a five-year festival launched with a series of major new initiatives and 60 new appointments championing the great diversity of writing and writers in the UK. Two new pens have also been added to the RSL’s collection for Roll Book signing, one from Andrea Levy, the first pen from a writer of colour and the other from Jean Rhys. To mark the additions five videos have been released featuring Adjoa Andoh, Natalie Simpson, Simon Callow, Juliet Stevenson and Richard Armitage.
Founded in 1820, the RSL acts as a voice for the value of literature, honouring and supporting emerging and established writers whilst creating a bridge between authors and audiences to engage as many people as possible with the breadth of UK literature.
RSL 200 will look to explore, interrogate and reimagine the UK’s literary landscape as the RSL celebrates the best in British writing, past, present and future. Spanning a five-year period – encompassing defining bicentenary moments from the Society’s early years, between its founding in 1820 and receipt of its Royal Charter and Roll Book in 1825 – the festival will examine how writers are remembered, as they address voices lost to history, left unrecognised and uncelebrated in their own time or subsequently. Through the festival we will continue to find new ways to share literature with the greatest number of people across the UK and beyond.
Dame Marina Warner, President of the RSL said: ‘In the 200th year of the RSL, here and all over the world, literature – the attentive act of writing with imagination, with open eyes, with courage – is more crucial than ever. Exact, truthful expressiveness: this is a writer’s home territory. As Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘l am not concerned with the single life but with lives lived together.’ In our mutual need today, in times of turmoil and illness, as ‘ truth decay’ threatens and disinformation spreads, the writer’s principal task of caring for every word, phrase, and image plays a crucial part in nourishing those lives lived together. The RSL Fellowship joins together many very different writers in many different genres in a common endeavour, as the inheritors and stewards of a long practice and innovators and pathfinders, archivists, storytellers, entertainers and scourges. Literature forms cultural memory, communicates diverse communities’ experiences and heritage, counters loneliness and enables us to respond to suffering and survive. Writers have a paramount part to play in our collective and individual wellbeing. As we enter our third century, we at the RSL may be venerable but we are vigorous.’
RSL 200 INITIATIVES
In its 200th year, the Society has set out plans both to celebrate excellence in the great diversity of outstanding writers and writing in the UK, and to pay credit to the power of literature to bring us together with two new initiatives – RSL Open and RSL International Writers Programme.
Over the next two years RSL Open will elect an unprecedented 60 new Fellows from communities, backgrounds and experiences currently under-represented in UK literary culture, including writers of colour, LGBTQ+ writers, writers from lower socio-economic backgrounds, writers who identify as having a disability and writers outside of London, to ensure the diversity of the UK’s literary culture is reflected in their Fellowship. Readers and writers from across the UK will be asked to recommend writers for nomination who will then be considered by a panel made up of some of the UK’s most prolific writers. Bernardine Evaristo (also announced today as a new RSL Vice-President) will chair the panel, with Jay Bernard, Vahni Capildeo,Ian Duhig, Cynan Jones, Val McDermid, Daljit Nagra (also announced today as the new RSL Chair), Nikesh Shukla, Ali Smith, SinéadMorrissey, Jack Thorne (also announced today as a new Fellow), Colm Tóibín (also announced today as a Vice-President) and Eley Williams. The new Fellows will be involved in all that the RSL do including judging prizes, outreach programmes and leading initiatives.
RSLInternational Writers programme will recognise the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders and cultures to bring people together. As with RSL Open, readers and writers will be asked to recommend writers outside the UK for nomination. Daniel Hahn (new RSL Fellow) will chair a panel of Fellows and Honorary Fellows including Lisa Appignanesi,Syima Aslam,Max Porter, Sasha Dugdale (new Fellow), Philippe Sands (new Fellow), Sophie Collins and Elif Shafak (new Vice-President). The panel will nominate the RSL International Writers, who will then be elected by Council.
Professor Bernardine Evaristo OBE FRSL said: ‘It’s so important to create new initiatives designed to help make our culture more inclusive for writers from under-represented communities. There are so many stories waiting to be told and I’m looking forward to discovering and nurturing the next generation of talented writers through this mentoring Award.’
Daniel Hahn said: ‘As a translator, it’s hardly surprising that I should think of literature as operating on an international scale, as a vast and (ideally) borderless thing, a network in which the writers over here can be immeasurably enriched by the writers over there. So I’m proud to be working with the RSL on their new International Writers scheme, which each year will invite a distinguished panel of our UK Fellows to recognise and celebrate writers from around the world who have made an extraordinary contribution to the world’s literature and to ours.’
NEW PENS ADDED TO THE RSL COLLECTION
The RSL’s collection features pens from some of the most historically influential UK writers including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot and Lord Byron. This year two new pens have been added, one from Andrea Levy, the first pen from a writer of colour and the other from Jean Rhys. They are the second and third women to join the collection. To honour the writers featured, RSL have released five new videos featuring Adjoa Andoh reading Andrea Levy, Natalie Simpson reading Jean Rhys, Simon Callow reading CharlesDickens, Juliet Stevenson reading George Eliot, Richard Armitage reading Lord Byron and Sule Rimi reading T.S. Eliot. The videos can be viewed and downloaded here.
Bill Mayblin (Andrea’s husband) said: ‘Andrea always wrote her first drafts by hand and it would be nice to be able to say that she used this pen from that time onwards. But the truth is that to her mind it was too posh and valuable to be used for scribbling in her notebooks. She kept it neatly in its box on her work desk and took it out for certain tasks – signing books, writing special letters, birthday, Christmas and thank-you cards – for ‘ceremonial purposes’ you might say. Certainly as a gift from the world of literature it had a symbolic importance for her and she always used it with pride and treasured it as a possession. She would be thrilled to know that it will now continue its ceremonial role with the Royal Society of Literature.’
The RSL has today announced the election collectively of 60 new Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Benson Medallist, Vice-Presidents, Companions of Literature. It was also announced that award-winning poet Daljit Nagra, a Fellow of the Society since 2017, has been appointed new Chair of the Council, taking over from Lisa Appignanesi, who has held the position since 2016.
Daljit Nagra, FRSL said: ‘Becoming Chair of the RSL is the greatest professional honour of my life. I look forward to continuing our work in celebrating the diversity and wealth of classic and contemporary literature. As literature finds new readers and as authors from under-represented backgrounds continue to find a voice, the work of the RSL has never been more important in safeguarding literature’s broadening contribution to our lives.’
Lisa Appignanesi OBE FRSL said: ‘From Shakespeare to Shamsie, from Milton to Mantel, from Eliot to Evaristo, literature has shown its deep and restorative value through these difficult times.
To mark the bicentenary of Britain’s oldest literary institution, ever invigorated by its new and eminent Fellows, is to celebrate the many shaping ways in which ‘Literature Matters’.
I have been proud to guide the RSL as its Chair since January 2016 and I am now pleased to turn this adventure over to the fine poet, Daljit Nagra, on the cusp of what will certainly prove to be a remarkable third century of activity by writers in constant collaboration with their readers.’
Anita Desai; Kazuo Ishiguro; Hilary Mantel; Edna O’Brien; Philip Pullman; Colin Thubron have today been made Companions of Literature, receiving the highest award bestowed by the RSL. They are the first writers to be elected since 2012, and the greatest number appointed at any time in the RSL’s history. They will be announced later today. The Companions of Literature was inaugurated in 1961 and can only be held by up to 12 writers at any one time. The writers announced join: Sir Michael Holroyd; Sir Tom Stoppard; Michael Frayn; Margaret Atwood; Alice Munro.
Dame Hilary Mantel, FRSL, said: ‘Over many years as a Fellow of the RSL, I have been proud to see a venerable and learned body evolve into a forward-looking organisation, ready to play a full part in our national conversation. I am deeply honoured to be appointed a Companion of Literature. It puts a writer in the most distinguished company, living and dead, and it recognises and validates a lifetime’s work.’
Simon Armitage; Mary Beard; Bernardine Evaristo; Jackie Kay; Blake Morrison; Grace Nichols; Elif Shafak; Kamila Shamsie; Colm Tóibín have today been appointed Vice-Presidents of the RSL. Becoming a Vice-President is a lifetime honour bestowed on RSL Fellows by the RSL Council which provides them with lifetime voting rights in the Fellowship elections. They are elected for their service to both the advancement of literature and to the Society. Current Vice-Presidents include: Anne Chisholm OBE; Maureen Duffy, Benson Medallist; Maggie Gee OBE; The Hon Victoria Glendinning CBE; Dame Hilary Mantel; Sir Philip Pullman CBE; Claire Tomalin; Jenny Uglow OBE, Benson Medallist.
Elif Shafak said: ‘I feel a Fellowship of writers is so important and so necessary. At first glance it might appear a bit contradictory because writers are solitary creatures. We’re used to working on our own, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need solidarity, sisterhood, fellowship. We need to create open, democratic, egalitarian spaces, of diversity and inclusion, where every writer from every background, every race, culture and ethnicity and social class will be equally welcome, and will have an equal voice.’
29 new Fellows have been announced. To be nominated, a writer must have published two works of outstanding literary merit, and nominations must be seconded by an RSL Fellow or Honorary Fellow. The following are announced today: Raymond Antrobus (To Sweeten Bitter, The Perseverance); Chloe Aridjis (Book of Clouds, Sea Monsters); Damian Barr (You Will Be Safe Here,Maggie & Me); Cressida Connolly (After the Party, The Happiest Days); Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising, the Boggart trilogy); Jill Dawson (The Language of Birds, Fred & Edie); playwright April De Angelis (Jumpy,A Laughing Matter), poet and translator Jane Draycott (The Night Tree, Over), Sasha Dugdale (Deformations), Yvvette Edwards (A Cupboard Full of Coats, The Mother), Diana Evans (OrdinaryPeople, The Wonder, 26a), Peter Frankopan (The Silk Roads, The First Crusade), Salena Godden (Fishing in the Aftermath); Colin Grant (Bageye at the Wheel); Kirsty Gunn (Caroline’s Bikini); Daniel Hahn (The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature); Kerry Hudson (Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma); Andrew McMillan (Physical, Playtime); James Meek (Private Island); Kate Mosse (the Languedoc Trilogy, The Taxidermist’s Daughter); Michael Palin (Hemingway’s Chair, The Truth), Sandeep Parmar ( The Marble Orchard,Eidolon); Winsome Pinnock (The Winds of Change, Leave Taking); Max Porter (Grief Is the Thing with Feathers); Sigrid Rausing (Mayhem); Roger Robinson (A Portable Paradise); Katherine Rundell (Rooftoppers, The Explorer); Philippe Sands QC (East West Street, The Ratline); Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
Sir Michael Palin said: ‘Books have been, and still are, such a potent force in my life, that to be elected to Fellowship of a Society which has been celebrating books and authors for the last 200 years is an ultimate accolade, and a great and unexpected honour.’
15 new Honorary Fellows, those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature as publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians or producers have been elected in 2020. The new Honorary Fellows include: MelanieAbrahams FRSA, Creative Director of Renaissance One and Tilt and curator of CaribbeanFest and Black Arts World; Linda Anderson, Professor of English and American Literature at Newcastle University; BBC radio producer Mair Bosworth; Tony Brown who has worked for Islington Libraries since 1981 and co-founded the annual Islington Word Festival; Kate Gavron Chair of Carcanet Press and The Folio Society; Literary agent David Godwin; Chair of Virago Press LennieGoodings; Andrew Holgate, literary editor of The Sunday Times; Poet and Director of Young Identity Shirley May; Ursula Owen Founder and Director of Virago and Free Word; Award winning BBC journalist and founder and director of Bocas Lit Fest – the writer and reader development organisation in Trinidad and Tobago Marina Salandy-Brown; SarahSanders, co-founder of Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions; broadcaster and writer Tom Sutcliffe; journalist, editor and critic Boyd Tonkin; Former actor, professor of Cultural Studies, and Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority, Baroness Lola Young.
Baroness Lola Young said: ‘As increased book sales indicate, many people finding themselves isolated and stuck indoors during this really difficult period, found comfort in a good read. The RSL is devoted to the celebration of great writing. To be elected an Honorary Fellow at any time is a huge honour: to be appointed in the year of RSL’s 200th anniversary feels extra special.’
In honour of its 200th anniversary the RSL has today unveiled a new iteration of the Benson Medal, designed by Linda Crook. Founded in 1916 by scholar, author and RSL Fellow A.C. Benson, the Benson Medal honours service to literature across a whole career. This year the Benson Medal has been awarded to journalist, editor and critic Boyd Tonkin, who re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2001 and acted as the Man Booker International Prize special advisor between 2016-2019. Previous recipients include Philip Larkin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Wole Soyinka, Diana Athill, Margaret Busby and Susheila Nasta.
Boyd Tonkin said: ‘I’m delighted to become an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature: a recognition that comes from writers themselves, and one I deeply appreciate. And I feel both thrilled and privileged to be named as this year’s Benson Medallist by the Society. When I look at the list of recent medallists, I see many of the distinguished figures who have done most to shape and guide my own understanding of literature in all its many forms and voices. To join this company of giants is an enormous honour.’
‘ONE NIGHT ONLY’ TO REUNITE CAST AND CREATIVES FROM THE INTERNATIONAL HIT MUSICAL ‘COME FROM AWAY’
On Saturday 19th December at 7:30pm (GMT) SimG Productions and Musical Theatre Radio’s fourth ‘One Night Only’ Reunion event will reunite the writers and creatives from the International hit musical ‘Come From Away’, alongside actors who have appeared in productions across the globe.
Panel guests at this unique, virtual, interactive evening will include writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein, director Christopher Ashley, musical stager Kelly Devine, musical supervisor & arranger Ian Eisendrath, producer Sue Frost, Michael Rubinoff from Sheridan College and the Canadian Music Theatre Project, and international cast members; Jonathan Andrew Hume (West End), Caesar Samayoa (Broadway), Barbara Fulton (Toronto) and Christine Toy Johnson (North American Tour)
‘One Night Only’, hosted by director/producer Simon Greiff, is not a pre-recorded concert or streaming event, but a one-time live discussion experience – focusing on the writing and creating of an original musical and what it takes to bring a new show to the stage, and cast members will give an insight into what it’s like to perform in an award winning production, and the audience will be encouraged to submit questions for the guests. The event will finish with a post show virtual stage door mix and mingle.
‘Come From Away’ is a joyous new musical that shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives. As uneasiness turned into trust and music soared into the night, gratitude grew into friendships and their stories became a celebration of hope, humanity and unity.
Winner of 4 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, Come From Away has taken the West End by storm. Playing to nightly standing ovations at London’s Phoenix Theatre, Come From Away also celebrated sold-out, record-breaking engagements on Broadway, across the USA, in Canada and in Australia. Awarded the Tony® for Best Direction of a Musical, Christopher Ashley’s production guides audiences through a colourful and spirited cast of characters, brought to life by Tony® and Grammy® nominated writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein.
All profits from the ‘One Night Only’ series are donated to Acting For Others who provide financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. So far ‘One Night Only’ has raised over £1000.00 for this important organisation.
‘One Night Only’ is taking the virtual theatrical experience to another level. Imagine a theatre space with tables so you and your friends can sit and talk. Fans of ‘Come From Away’ can jump from table to table meeting other lovers of musical theatre from around the world. Guests are subject to change, and if so, probably due to bad ‘WiFi connection’.
#CHEERUPCHARLIE’S CHARLIE KRISTENSEN TO PERFORM WITH FERRIS & MILNES AT RIVERSIDE STUDIOS
Charlie Kristensen, the 10-year-old Anti-Bullying Ambassador behind the viral #CheerUpCharlie campaign is to perform with musical theatre comedy duo Ferris and Milnes as part of their Christmas Cracker concert. Produced by New Frame Productions, the show takes place Riverside Studios on 12 December.
Ferris and Milnes today said “Earlier this year we both had the pleasure of being interviewed by Charlie for his “Musical Chairs” YouTube programme. This inspiring young man has both helped and entertained so many; his mission to spread friendship and kindness is a blissful tonic in these troubled times. We are thrilled that Charlie will be joining us at Riverside Studios in a special guest appearance, sharing his own brand of Christmas cheer in a unique and unexpected fashion.”
Charlie Kristensen today said “I cannot believe that I’m getting to be a part of this amazing production! It’s an honour and a privilege to be included, and to work with Ferris & Milnes on such an awesome show.”
Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes are a unique combination.
Dominic is a pianist extraordinaire; Martin has “two voices”. Together they combine comedy, music, and vocals in a dynamic cocktail of explosive West End glamour and fun! They could not possibly be planning madcap musical mayhem, merriment, and mirth for Riverside Studios … or could they…?
Expect the unexpected, plus all the Christmas favourites you know and love, in this heart-warming, foot-tapping seasonal shindig.
RIVERSIDE STUDIOS LISTINGS
Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9BN
Performances will begin on 5 December 2020 for Les Misérables–The Staged Concert at the Sondheim Theatre. Today it is officially announced that the run will extend to 28 February 2021. Additional dates have been added to help accommodate Patrons who are affected by the Government’s latest directive requiring Theatres to further reduce their seating capacity to a maximum of 50%. Extra performances have also been added to enable the public who have so far been unable to get tickets to see the show.
Public excitement for Les Misérables –The Staged Concert was exceptional and tens of thousands of people had to be turned away. The original six-week run was announced in mid-October and within twenty-four hours was extended to 31 January 2021. Before public booking opens for the new performances at 10am on 4 December 2020, priority booking will be given to those Patrons who need to be re-seated.
The cast comprises Michael Ball as Javert, Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine, Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Rob Houchen as Marius, Bradley Jaden as Enjolras, Katy Secombe as Madame Thénardier, Shan Ako as Éponine, Amara Okereke asCosette and at certain performances John Owen-Jones will again play the role of Jean Valjean. The Company also includesKelly Agbowu, Joseph Anthony, Harry Apps, Charlie Burn, Gerard Carey, Earl Carpenter, Richard Carson, Danny Colligan, Rodney Earl Clarke, Matthew Dale, Matt Dempsey, Josefina Gabrielle, Nic Greenshields, Jessie Hart, Holly-Anne Hull, Ebony Jonelle, Connor Jones, Jessica Joslin, Luke McCall, Frances Mayli McCann, Leo Miles, Corrine Priest, Aaron Pryce-Lewis, Jon Robyns, Grainne Renihan and Samuel Wyn-Morris.
For the new performances the majority of the Company will be able to continue, however the four principals – Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Matt Lucas – will only be able to play a limited number of these dates due to previous commitments. John Owen-Jones continues to play the role of Jean Valjean at certain performances and Shan Ako and Amara Okereke continue to play the roles of Eponine and Cosette respectively. The acclaimed stars of the new full production of Les Misérables including Jon Robyns, Bradley Jaden, Gerard Carey and Josefina Gabrielle, which opened earlier this year at the Sondheim theatre, plus the stars of the UK National Tour, Dean Chisnall and Nic Greenshields, will be leading this Company for the extension period. Due to the current situation all cast appearances are subject to availability.
Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Misérablesis written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel with additional material by James Fenton and adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.
The critically acclaimed new production ofLes Misérables which opened in January of this year is planned to re-open at the Sondheim Theatre next May once the Government has withdrawn social distancing and reached Stage 5 allowing full capacity audiences. Booking will re-commence soon.
Rent being a classic musical with an amazingly diverse cast and a beautiful collection of rock songs, some of which have become anthems for musical lovers, is always a unique experience regardless of how many times one has seen it before. However, being able to enjoy Rent from the comfort of your home, while being able to sing alone to your favourite songs, is a gift for theatre lovers, that brings a sense of normality amid another lockdown.
The Jonathan Larson musical, produced by Luke Sheppard, is about the lives of a group of young New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet and pay rent, and express themselves through their art while they are facing the lurking HIV/AIDS crisis. The stage of the Hope Mill Theatre transforms through the night with very smart and carefully though set changes and proves once more that despite its small size can host great productions that audiences can dive into even remotely. At the same time, the dynamic cinematography of the performance ensures that no sacrifice has been made in the quality of the filming, leaving the viewer with a sense of watching the show from the front row.
The stage fills from the first minute with a cast of very talented actors who through the night maintain a high energy, entertaining atmosphere with each actor shinning in their own way as the story unfolds. The cast selection feels truly diverse and doing justice a musical that is the pinnacle of representation of the lives and experiences of minorities. The vocal quality of each actor is impeccable, giving life to every song, while the choreography creates a fluid movement of the actors through the stage that is never left empty.
A moment that should not be missed is the soulful Dom Hartley-Harris as Collins giving a chilling performance of “I‘ll Cover You” that truth transcends space and makes the viewer connect with his character and empathise with his grief on a deeper level. Lastly, the performance of Alex Thomas-Smith as Angel commanded the stage and stood out with his delicate and authentic depiction of being a gender non-conforming person.
Malvern Theatres Young Company are delighted to present a new production of Paul Gallico’s touching tale, The Snow Goose, live on stage in the Festival Theatre from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th December.
Gallico’s moving classic, set against the backdrop of war, is a heartfelt exploration of friendship, sacrifice and ultimately, love.
Essex Marshes, 1940. Philip has retreated alone to an abandoned lighthouse, where he spends his time painting the stark and beautiful surrounding landscape. Then one day, Philip is unexpectedly joined by Frith, who brings with her a wounded snow goose. Initially shy of each other, Philip and Frith’s relationship develops as together they nurse the injured bird back to health.
Born in New York in 1897, Paul Gallico was a novelist, short story and sports writer. Many of his works inspired adaptations for film, TV and stage shows. His short story, The Seven Souls of Clement O’Reilly was adapted into the Oscar-winning motion picture Lili, and later staged as the musical Carnival!. Written in 1941, The Snow Goose is considered Gallico’s most critically successful work.
The first illustrated edition of The Snow Goose, originally published in 1946, is adorned with paintings and drawings by British ornithologist and conservationist Sir Peter Scott, son of Captain Scott of the Antarctic. Gallico and Scott were friends and the character of Philip Rhayader in the book is loosely based on Scott, who lived in a lighthouse on the River Nene in the 1930s. The revered special illustrated edition of 750 copies, signed by the author and illustrator, are now highly collectable.
Rhys Harris-Clarke returns to the Festival Theatre stage following his performance in Alan Bennett’s A Chip in the Sugar in October. He is joined by Daniel Davis and Jennifer Thompson-Chatburn, who also began their acting careers with Malvern Theatres Young Company. The production is directed by Nic Lloyd.
The Snow Goose will be on stage at Malvern Theatres from Tuesday 15th – Saturday 19th December 2020. Tickets are limited due to social distancing. Book online at malvern-theatres.co.uk
HAMPSTEAD THEATRE RELEASES A BEHIND-THE-SCENES TRAILER FOR THE DUMB WAITER AHEAD OF REOPENING THE VENUE ON 3 DECEMBER 2020
A behind-the-scenes trailer is released for Hampstead Theatre’s 60th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiterahead of the theatre reopening on 3 December 2020. The production will now rununtil 16 January 2021.
Acclaimed stage and screen actors Alec Newman and Shane Zaza will play the roles of Ben and Gus, respectively, in this 60th anniversary production directed by Alice Hamilton, originally programmed for spring. She is joined by designer James Perkins, with lighting design by James Whiteside and Composition and Sound Design by Giles Thomas.
Harold Pinter’s iconic playThe Dumb Waiter first premiered as part of Hampstead Theatre’s inaugural season in 1960 and was directed by Hampstead’s founder James Roose-Evans.
Alec Newman has appeared in many critically acclaimed television shows, films and stage productions over the years. Recent TV credits include the award-winning BBC period drama Call the Midwife (2020) and psychological thriller TV series Eullenia (2020). His credits at Hampstead Theatre include Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood (2015/16), Andrew Keatley’s Alligators (2016, 2017) and Terry Johnson’s production of Uncle Vanya (2019).
Shane Zaza is known to television audiences for his roles in BBC dramas Happy Valley (2014) and Press (2018); American drama Will (2017) and Netflix’s Black Mirror (2016). Recent theatre credits include Europe at Donmar Warehouse (2019), Dear Elizabeth at Gate Theatre (2019) and Frankenstein at Royal Exchange Theatre (2018). The Dumb Waiter marks Zaza’s debut at Hampstead Theatre.
Harold Pinterwrote twenty-nine plays including The Birthday Party,The Caretaker, The Homecoming and Betrayal. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.
Alice is co-Artistic Director of Up in Arms and and credits with Hampstead Theatre include the Olivier-nominated Every Day I Make Greatness Happen (2018) and Paradise(2019).
SOPHIE ISAACS, CHARLIE KRISTENSEN (#CHEERUPCHARLIE), GLORIA ONITIRI, HARRIET THORPE AND MICHAEL XAVIER
Songwriters Anderson & Petty today announce A Christmas Wish, a virtual concert with West End stars from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, SIX: The Musical, Wicked and more, available to stream at select times from 17 December – 20 December 2020. The concert is hosted by Ben Stock and Hilary O’Neil and is in aid of theatrical charity Acting For Others who provide emotional and financial support to theatre workers in times of need through 14 member charities.
Anderson & Petty today said, “We have been writing together for nearly ten years and in that time we have released two studio albums and an array of stand-alone singles featuring many wonderful performers from Broadway and the West End. Wish is a Christmas album and for the last few years we have hosted concerts in New York and London every season to raise money for some of our favourite charities.
This year due to COVID-19 we are not able to be together so alongside the wonderful charity Acting for Others we have created a virtual Christmas concert to be presented directly into your own homes featuring a host of stars from the stage as well as the stars of tomorrow.The concert will feature performances of songs from the our holiday album Wish, as well as Christmas musical theatre songs, Christmas Standards and comedy sketches so please join us for a night of magic and merriment and a celebration of the pure joy of performance!”
Performers include The LSMT 2020 Graduating Class, Lizzie Bea (Hairspray), Matt Croke (Aladdin), Phoebe Fildes (Assassins), Scott Garnham (Billy Elliot The Musical), Alex Hammond (Pretty Woman: The Musical), Emma Hatton (Wicked/Evita), Tom Hier (Footloose), Christopher Howell (Hairspray), The Barricade Boys, Sophie Isaacs (SIX: The Musical), Kim Ismay (Wicked), Melissa Jacques (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Alison Jiear (Jerry Springer: The Opera), Emma Lindars (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Lucy St. Louis (Motown The Musical), One Trick Pony, Sam Lupton (The Last Five Years), Carolyn Maitland (The Woman In White), Kieran Brown (The Phantom of the Opera), Jessica Martin (Me and My Girl), Nathaniel Morrison (Hairspray), Nadim Naaman (The Phantom of the Opera) Rosa O’Reilly (Jesus Christ Superstar), Gloria Onitiri (Caroline, Or Change), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots), Laura Pick (Wicked), Harriet Thorpe (Sleepless: A Musical Romance/Absolutely Fabulous), Shona White (Mamma Mia!), Helen Woolf (Wicked), Comedy Ventriloquist Max Fulham, Mara Ghatama, Drupti Vaja, Tilly Croft, Rhiya Rasalingam, Sooz Kempner, Charlie Kristensen (#CheerUpCharlie) and Michael Xavier as well as the students from his MX Masterclass; a training programme taught and run by West End and Broadway performers.
COMPLIMENTARY PROSECCO FOR PERFORMANCES UP TO & INCLUDING 27 JUNE 2021
IF BOOKED BY 31 DECEMBER 2020
Channing Tatum and his co-producers are delighted to announce that Magic Mike Live will be returning to its London home on Friday 16 April 2021. For anyone booking by 31 December 2020, they will receive complimentary Prosecco during the show for the booking period up to and including 27 June 2021. Patrons will experience a revamped production featuring new songs and new dance sequences. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 4 December.
“For the last eight months, the team behind Magic Mike Live has been enthusiastically planning the show’s return to the London stage,” said Executive Producer Vincent Marini. “We have been working to develop a show that prioritises the safety of our employees and guests but also manages to be as fun, electric and unexpected as ever. While it has been a creative challenge to make changes to the show we all love so much, we believe that the finished product, which we are first launching in Sydney next month, will bring a great deal of joy to London at a time when it is sorely needed. We’re going to make the show’s return to the Hippodrome – after 13 long months away – absolutely epic.”
As part of Magic Mike Live’s return to the London stage, the show is announcing a new “Too Good To Be True” ticketing policy, which gives patrons unprecedented booking flexibility. “We wanted our guests to know that they can book with confidence knowing they will never lose the value of their ticket,” continued Marini. “If they cannot attend the show for any reason, even on the day of the performance, all they need to do is contact us and we’ll rebook them or give them a refund… no questions asked.”
Magic Mike’s close partnership with the Hippodrome Casino also allows the show to offer something unique in the London market: complimentary Prosecco included with every ticket purchase for the first 10 weeks of the run if booked by 31 December 2020. “From the moment we opened Magic Mike Live at the Hippodrome, the UK has embraced the show in a way that even we never imagined,” said Simon Thomas, Chief Executive of the Hippodrome Casino. “The teams at the Hippodrome and Magic Mike Live came up with this Prosecco offer and special ticket price as a way to say thank you to our guests and to reignite the energy and magic that Magic Mike Live brings to London’s West End.”
From 16 April 2021, all tickets will be priced at £79.00 and £96.00 and include complimentary Prosecco during the show for the first 10 weeks only if booked by 31 December 2020. Patrons are encouraged to book early to get the best seats. New VIP packages are also available at the time of booking that allow guests to extend their stay and take advantage of everything the Hippodrome Casino has to offer.
Conceived and co-directed by Channing Tatum, Magic Mike Live, which has already wowed over 200,000 people in London alone and almost 750,000 worldwide, is a large-scale, live production show based on the hit films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, which opened at The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square in November 2018.
From the bespoke entrance off Cranbourn Street, to the specially curated lounge and bar experience, to the cast of world-class performers, Magic Mike Live is a complete evening of unparalleled entertainment for guests aged 18 and up. Audience members enter Magic Mike’s mythical club and marvel as a group of extraordinary artists from around the world perform a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular in front of, behind, and above them. Sexy dance routines intertwined with one-of-a-kind acts, are presented by a diverse cast of performers from around the world.
Magic Mike Live in London is co-directed by Channing Tatum and Alison Faulk, with Luke Broadlick as associate director, and choreography by Alison Faulk, Teresa Espinosa and Luke Broadlick.The Executive Producer is Vincent Marini with General Management by David Ian Productions. The production designer is Rachel O’Toole, with scenic design by Rob Bissinger and Anita LaScala (Arda Studio), costume design by Marina Toybina, lighting design by Philip Gladwell and video design by Luke Halls. Musical supervisor is Jack Rayner, with sound design by Nick Kourtides. Dreya Weber is aerial choreographer & aerial apparatus designer.
Magic Mike Live has become an international sensation since opening in Las Vegas in April 2017. In addition to breaking box office records and performing to sold-out audiences in Las Vegas and London, the show premiered in Berlin in 2020 and the Australia national tour will open in Sydney on 17 December 2020.
Magic Mike Live is produced in London by Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Greg Jacobs, Peter Kiernan, Steven Soderbergh, Nick Wechsler and United Talent Agency in association with Warner Bros., Vincent Marini, The Hippodrome Casino, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, TSG Entertainment & Ashley DeSimone, Richard Winkler and The Creative House.
Ticket Prices: £79 & £96, with free Prosecco with every ticket*
Current Booking Period: 16 April – 19 December 2021
*The Prosecco offer is for the booking period 16 April to 27 June 2021 if booked by 31 December 2020 and includes up to one bottle per person. The Hippodrome reserves the right to refuse service to anyone who appears intoxicated.
Running Time: approximately 90 minutes (no interval)
Covid Safety: Channing and the entire creative team have developed a plan to make sure the show is not only more fun than it’s ever been, but also safe for the cast, crew and the audience. To ensure they are able to provide a comfortable and safe experience for everyone, there are a few things they need ticket holders to do and know ahead of their visit. Please visit the website for more information: www.magicmikelondon.co.ukMagic Mike Live guests must be at least 18 years to attend – appropriate photo ID will be requested on arrival at the venue – begambleaware.org