Meet Dawn – the Regional Editor for Yorkshire and Humberside
Favourite show? I like a wide range of shows especially the independent and darker plays. I do love dance, opera and musicals including the popular ones such as Miss Saigon, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
Favourite Theatre? My favourite theatre must be my local one, Leeds Playhouse. I’m proud that the Playhouse takes pride in making theatre accessible to everyone everywhere.
How I began reviewing? I began reviewing in 2014. I love reviewing because it gives me an opportunity to appreciate what makes a show tick particularly the creative teams behind the productions.
I’m an ESOL Tutor and I teach English to learners whose first language isn’t English. I love what I do and it’s always rewarding to see the progress my learners make.
I enjoy being out in nature and the open space. I love being by the water especially canals where I can also appreciate its social and industrial history.
Northern Ballet announces Pay As You Feel Digital Season
Productions featured include:Jonathan Watkins’ 1984; Mariana Rodrigues’ Little Red Riding Hood; extended highlights from Northern Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala; and David Nixon OBE’s Dracula.Kenneth Tindall and Dan Lowenstein’s dance film EGOwill also be released.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, many of Northern Ballet’s upcoming performances have been cancelled or are under threat of cancellation. Whilst the Company is not performing live at this time, a selection of ballets from Northern Ballet’s repertoire plus a new original dance film will be available to watch online or on television as part of the Company’s Pay As You Feel Digital Season.
Over the next few weeks people will be able to tune into 1984,Little Red Riding Hoodand Dracula from the comfort of their home. The Company will also release a new dance film, Kenneth Tindall and Dan Lowenstein’s EGO plus the extended highlights of their 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala which took place at Leeds Grand Theatre at the beginning of the year.
Northern Ballet are asking audiences to consider making a donation as they watch content from the Pay As You Feel Digital Season to support the Company, their people and work during these unprecedented times and the significant financial hardship the Company is facing. Lost income from cancelled performances could affect Northern Ballet’s ability to pay their workforce, many of whom are freelancers, as well as their ability to present new ballets, including Merlin which is planned to première this autumn. Those who wish to support the Company can donate at northernballet.com/pay-as-you-feel.
Kenneth Tindall and Dan Lowenstein’s new dance film EGO kicks off the season and will be available to watch online today, Friday 27 March, from 7pm at northernballet.com/ego.
EGOexplores parallel versions of one couple’s relationship. At first appearing the perfect Hollywood romance, the couple’s alter egos tell a different story filled with raw animalistic emotion, asking ‘How much does your ego control your behaviour?’
First premièred in 2015 to critical acclaim, Jonathan Watkins’ award-winning 1984will be available to watch from Friday 3 April at northernballet.com/1984. Based on George Orwell’s masterpiece, the ballet follows the story of Winston Smith and his life of conformity under the watchful eye of Big Brother.
CBeebies will screen their special version of Mariana Rodrigues’ Little Red Riding Hoodon Friday 10 April at 9.30am. Created especially for children, Little Red Riding Hood retells the classic fairytale with a Northern Ballet twist.
From Friday 17 April, extended highlights from Northern Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala will be available to watch at northernballet.com. This sell-out performance featured excerpts of productions from Northern Ballet’s history and brought together dancers from The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre alongside Northern Ballet’s dancers.
After wowing audiences during its live to cinema performances last Halloween, David Nixon OBE’s Dracula will make its television debut as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine Season. Seducing countless generations, Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire lives on in this extraordinary ballet which will be available to watch in the coming weeks on BBC Four and iPlayer.
Bridlington Spa has announced that singing sensation Michael Auger from Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro will headline in the starring role of Peter Pan, in the Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan this Christmas.
The world’s most successful Musical Theatre group, the Collabro boys met for their first rehearsal only one month before going on to wow the Britain’s Got Talent judges, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams, at their first round audition at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.
Their rousing rendition of Stars; their first public performance as a group; brought both the audience and all four judges to their feet and their overwhelming popularity secured them a coveted spot in the live finals. Collabro went on to win the Eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent with one of the highest majorities in the show’s history. Millions of captivated viewers watched as Collabro claimed their prize, performing in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
Six years on, and with a legion of loyal fans; known fondly as the Collaborators; Collabro have gone on to enjoy phenomenal success with five studio albums under their belt and a string of worldwide sell-out tours across the UK, America and Asia.
Bridlington Spa will be joining forces once again with award-winning pantomime producers Paul Holman Associates to present this year’s production following on from the success and popularity of last year’s record-breaking Cinderella.
Pantomime Producer Paul Holman said; “This Christmas, Michael will be stepping into the spotlight on his own to take centre stage as ‘the boy who never grew up’. He is going to wow panto-goers with his exuberance, cheeky sense of fun and breathtakingly beautiful voice as he flies high over the audiences of Bridlington Spa.”
Mark Lonsdale, general manager of Bridlington Spa, added : “In these difficult times, I am delighted that we are able to give people in the East Riding something to look forward to, and a glimpse ahead to a time when we hope we will be returning to something approaching normality again. I am excited that Michael will be starring in what promises to be another brilliant pantomime, after the enormous success of Cinderella last Christmas. We look forward to working with Paul Holman Associates again to bring the magic of the Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan to the stage at Bridlington Spa!”
Michael joins comedian Troy Harris who is returning due to great popular demand after his scene-stealing role as Buttons in last year’s Cinderella to play Captain Hook’s riotous right hand man, Smee.
This year’s production promises to be more spectacular than ever featuring all of the traditional elements of pantomime combined with dazzling scenery and costumes, bucket-loads of laughter and awe-inspiring flying guaranteed to entertain all the family.
The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan runs at Bridlington Spa from Monday 14th December 2020 to Sunday 3rd January 2021. Tickets are on sale now via bridspa.com or through the Box Office on 01262 678258.
Following announcements from the government, we have recently been informed LW Theatres have sadly suspended all performances until Sunday 26th April 2020 and thus we will unfortunately not be able to proceed with our planned production of CASES at The Other Palace.
We have been delighted to share exclusive content and fresh insights into recent developments of the musical. We are deeply committed to the future of CASES and grateful to The Other Palace, our cast, partners, friends and followers for their support throughout the past few months.
If you have already booked a performance, your box office/retailer from whom you purchased your tickets will be in contact with regards to refunds and exchanges. If you would like to donate or pledge support for future productions of CASES, we would love to hear from you at [email protected].
CASES will return and we look forward to sharing future updates.
TO ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY AND SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
In response to the imposed restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic, Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director Tamara Harvey and Executive Director Liam Evans-Ford today announce a major creative programme, Theatr Clwyd Together | Theatr Clwyd Ynghyd, to encourage and facilitate creativity amongst their audiences and in their community, reaching out to local schoolchildren and the wider public, supporting those that rely on Theatr Clwyd’s outreach programmes, and offering cross-arts engagement to those in need.
Tamara Harvey and Liam Evans-Ford today said, “In this moment when we can’t welcome our community into our theatre, we want to bring a little bit of our theatre to them. The actors, directors, writers, designers, choreographers, musicians, film makers and artists who would have been making shows and engagement projects with us right now will instead be working with our Theatr Clwyd team to share art, music, dance and theatre with our audiences, and give everyone in our community the chance to be creative – hopefully reminding us all that we’re not alone – that we can get through this together.”
Theatr Clwyd Together | Theatr Clwyd Ynghyd will provide free weekly themed creative projects online, with the Theatr Clwyd team and freelance artists providing content and inspiration in music, dance, visual arts and theatre.
Each themed week of Theatr Clwyd Together | Theatr Clwyd Ynghyd will introduce a new creative project, and will include a Visual Arts Day, Music Day, Dance Day, and Theatre Day, where the Theatr Clwyd team and associated artists will create online content and creative tasks that anyone can try. Those taking part are encouraged to send their moments of creativity to Theatr Clwyd to be shared across social media. The first week’s theme is The Theatr Clwyd Story So Far, followed by Sing Us A Song, A View from the Window, Get Moving, A Play in a Fortnight, The People’s Poems, and Bedtime Story.
Six artists from across North Wales have created weekly online tasks as a teaching resource for local schools whose students are currently learning at home, as part of Theatr Clwyd’s creative school project, Cynefin, and the theatre has also used its existing resources to create food packs and creative packs for local homeless shelters, at-risk families, members of the Arts From The Armchair group for those with early onset memory loss and their carers, and refugee families in Flintshire. The theatre will also continue all its weekly creative workshops and outreach programmes virtually.
For Cynefin, a film maker, a graphic designer, a writer, a musician, a visual artist, and a dance practitioner from North Wales have come together to create an online creative programme for six local schools that are currently closed. The artists will introduce a booklet of creative tasks each week, and then make a final creative piece from the work produced by the schoolchildren, which will be released online.
Theatr Clwyd delivers over 400,000 creative engagement sessions each year for the local community and will continue to deliver all planned sessions virtually during the theatre’s closure. Members of these groups that are left particularly isolated during this time, such as those who attend the award-winning Arts From The Armchair programme – in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board – will also receive regular phone calls, parcels of creative tasks, and letters from their session leaders. Weekly sessions that will continue virtually include workshops for 4 years+, FUSE for those with additional needs, and Companies 25, 35 and 55 – the theatre’s community groups for anyone with a love of theatre.
In addition, in order to ensure all their resources are taken advantage of, Theatr Clwyd have also donated their food stock to four local homeless shelters and accommodation for vulnerable individuals, and have provided food packs to at-risk families identified by social services. All these shelters and families, as well as the Flintshire refugee families that Theatr Clwyd works with regularly in conjunction with the charity Synergy, have also received creative packs of tasks and prompts, made up from the theatre’s existing resources; craft supplies, costume fabric, and props. They will also have access to a programme of weekly creative online sessions.
To take part in Theatr Clwyd Together | Theatr Clwyd Ynghyd, please visit www.theatrclwyd.com for more information.
ABOUT THEATR CLWYD
The award-winning Theatr Clwyd is Wales’ biggest producing theatre, with over 700,000 people across the UK seeing a Theatr Clwyd production over the last two years.
Based in Flintshire, the gateway to North Wales, since 1976 Theatr Clwyd has been a cultural powerhouse producing world-class theatre, from the UK Theatre Award-winning musical The Assassination of Katie Hopkins and the Olivier Award-winning National Theatre and West End comedy Home, I’m Darling, to the site specific, immersive Great Gatsby and its sell-out rock ‘n’ roll pantomime.
Led by Artistic Director Tamara Harvey and Executive Director Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd’s world-class team of workshop, wardrobe and scenic artists, props makers and technicians ensure the skills vital to a vibrant theatre industry are nurtured right in the heart of Wales. Alongside the three theatre spaces, cinema, café, bar and art galleries, Theatr Clwyd works with the community in many different ways across all art forms, delivering over 400,000 creative engagement sessions each year. It is recognised as a cultural leader for its cross-generational theatre groups, work in youth justice and award-winning programme of arts, health and wellbeing.
Announcing a global search on World Theatre Day for composers to write ‘A Song for our Time’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
An original song to be recorded by West End stars and a huge virtual choir with all proceeds going to the charity Acting For Others
The song will be chosen by Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown (‘Parade’, ‘The Last 5 Years’)
Composers are being asked to write ‘A Song for our Time’, an original song to be recorded by West End stars and a huge virtual choir with all proceeds going to Acting For Others.
Behind this initiative are award-winning theatre producer Danielle Tarento and actor/producer Paul Wilkins.
They said: “We want to do something useful, that not only raises money for the self-employed in the performing arts who have been so hard hit by the current situation, but also that creates something utterly meaningful. We are joining forces with a host of wonderful humans in order to create something inspiring that harnesses the incredible talent our brilliant industry has to offer. We welcome submissions from anyone…and we mean ANYONE. Whether you’re an established musical theatre writer or an emerging artist, we would love to hear what you have to offer.
The song to be recorded will be chosen by Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown.
Acting For Others’ chairman Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen said “We are delighted to be supporting ‘A Song for our Time’ and thrilled to hear that the incredible Jason Robert Brown is onboard. We can’t wait to hear the song and thank all of the composers for supporting. It is wonderful to see so many people joining together and supporting Acting for Others at this difficult time.”
Theatre industry statement on government aid for self-employed
Yesterday (Thursday 26 March), Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced government aid for self-employed workers, who can now apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over three months, made as a single payment from the beginning of June.
Commenting on behalf of the theatre industry, Julian Bird (Chief Executive of SOLT and UK Theatre) said:
‘We welcome the financial support announced by the government for self-employed and freelance people in our industry – this is very welcome and much needed. We remain concerned by the ability of people to access adequate funds through the welfare system until payments start to be made under the new scheme in June, and urge a rethink of whether some form of interim payment can be granted to self-employed people. Many thousands of people who graduated last summer will also not be eligible for the scheme, and will need rapid support.’
RSC & MARQUEE TV ANNOUNCE ONLINE ‘PREMIERE’ & WATCH-ALONG OF TWELFTH NIGHT TO MARK WORLD THEATRE DAY
To mark World Theatre Day (Friday 27 March), the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is inviting people to join a live ‘watch along’ from their living rooms on Saturday 11 April of a recording of their 2017 production of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, featuring Adrian Edmondson as Malvolio and Kara Tointon as Olivia.
The production will premiere on Marquee TV on Saturday 11 April, with the watch-along starting at 7.15pm (UK time).
Marquee TV, the international multi-genre performing arts streaming service, working with the RSC and other arts organisations, is responding to the current closure of theatres by offering everyone a no obligation free 30 day trial to watch some of the best in theatre, dance and opera. There are already 17 RSC productions available to stream, including Richard II and King Lear with, respectively, David Tennant and Antony Sher in the title roles.
Marquee TV will also be streaming ‘premieres’ of productions that are new to the platform, including Twelfth Night, each Saturday.
The RSC is inviting everyone to join the ‘watch along’ by posting their comments live on Twitter during the performance. People can get involved by following the RSC – @theRSC – and by using the hashtag #AlmostLiveFromTheRSC
Directed by Christopher Luscombe and set in 1890s England, Twelfth Night originally opened in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2017. As with all of its Shakespeare productions since 2013, the RSC also broadcast Twelfth Night into cinemas across the world, and into schools for free.
Christopher Luscombe, director of Twelfth Night, said: “In these testing times it’s wonderful that theatres are sharing such a range of their productions online. I do hope Twelfth Night will help to keep everyone entertained. As the play centres on two lost souls trying to find their way in an unfamiliar world, it may well speak to us all as never before! I was blessed with a fantastic cast and production team on this show, and I’m thrilled that their work is being celebrated – especially at a time when live theatre has had to be put on hold. A ‘watch along’, with the audience commenting on Twitter, sounds like a great idea to me – it’ll be fascinating to hear what everyone has to say!”
Susannah Simons from Marquee TV said: “Twelfth Night is just the right play to lift the spirits, and this is a wonderful production. We are thrilled to be able to bring it to a wider audience, cross garters and all.”
A full list of actor and creative credits for the original production can be seen here
National Theatre Collection available to pupils and teachers at home for free in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing
Pupils and teachers at state schools and state-funded further education colleges can now access National Theatre Collection at home for free
Free trial period extended for educational institutions including independent schools, universities and libraries across the globe
Following the announcement from the UK Government for all UK schools to close in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, the National Theatre Collection will now be available to pupils and teachers at state schools and state-funded further education colleges via remote access in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing. Schools will be able to share log-in details with pupils to access resources at home during this period.
Bloomsbury Publishing has also extended the free trial period for academic institutions including universities, libraries and independent schools until the end of May 2020 to continue to support the educational community across the globe.
The National Theatre Collection provides high-quality recordings of 24 world-class productions, with a further six anticipated in April, drawing from 10 years of NT Live broadcasts and never before released productions from the National Theatre’s Archive.
Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “Given the unprecedented challenges we are all currently facing across the globe, we want to ensure that pupils, teachers and academic institutions are supported during this time and can continue to have access to a range of learning resources during the school closure period. The National Theatre Collection is an invaluable resource and with thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing, we are able to open up access to pupils and teachers across the UK and ensure young people will be able to continue to explore world-class productions and all aspects of theatre-making”.
Celebrating the best of contemporary British theatre, the titles support learning across the primary and secondary curriculum and include:
Shakespeare set texts including Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night and King Lear(Donmar Warehouse) in vibrant modern stagings
Novels brought to life in exciting literary adaptations such as Frankenstein, Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Jane Eyre
A range of theatrical styles and genres from Greek tragedies including Medea and Antigone to 20th century classics such as The Cherry Orchard, The Deep Blue Sea and Yerma (Young Vic)
Examples of extraordinary design and theatrecraft in productions ranging from One Man, Two Guvnors to Les Blancs
Adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale created specially for younger audiences and suitable for primary schools
Recordings are accompanied by learning resources to explore the craft behind the best of British theatre including rehearsal insights and short videos. The easy-to-use platform includes helpful features such as scene-by-scene selections and synopses, theme and key word searches.
Jenny Ridout, Global Head of Academic Publishing at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. said, “Bloomsbury is working hard to ensure that all UK state schools and their students can access the National Theatre Collection via our Drama Online platform, wherever they are studying, during this exceptionally challenging time. As we all work together through this unique situation, Bloomsbury Digital Resources would like to help the library and educational community in any way we can. As a result, our various digital resources are now available to academic and educational institutions on request until the end of May, at no cost or obligation.”
New Views online playwriting course – forming part of the annual New Views playwriting competition for 14-19 year-olds, this freely accessible programme by playwright Jemma Kennedy covers topics including narrative, dialogue and stagecraft with video, audio and excerpts from plays
NT YouTube channel including videos related to shows, backstage ‘how we made it’ videos and recordings of NT Talks
Digital Exhibitions with Google Arts and Culture exploring Costume, Shakespeare and the Architectural History of the NT
The National Theatre Collection is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Fondation Hoffmann, Sidney E. Frank Foundation, The Cranshaw Corporation for Mrs. Robert I. MacDonald and The Attwood Education Foundation.
It follows the closure of the venue’s doors to audiences, participants and artists for the first time since it opened in April 2000, twenty years ago.
Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “We use creative activity to support hundreds of the most vulnerable members of our community – including young carers, looked after children and young people living in temporary accommodation.
“In the immediate term, The Futures Fund will pay for freelance artists to create artistic activities for us to share with the young people we work with and more widely throughout our community.”
The Futures Fund is just one of the ways people can help keep the creative spirit of Salford alive. Others include:
‘Refuse the Refund’ – If you have a ticket for a cancelled performance, consider ‘donating’ the cost of that ticket to The Lowry
Buy a Gift Voucher to redeem against a future performance
Promote the fund with your friends and family using the hashtag #LowryFuturesFund
The Lowry building is currently closed until at least Sunday 26 April 2020