Hope Mill Theatre announces online ‘An Evening With Jonathan Harvey’ plus new playwriting prize

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Hope Mill Theatre will host an online evening on Saturday 18th July, celebrating the many works of the well-loved writer Jonathan Harvey (Gimme,Gimme,GimmeCoronation Street).

An Evening With Jonathan Harvey will include an interview with Harvey, hosted by Hope Mill Patron Denise Welch and will feature scenes from his past plays including Beautiful Thing, Hushabye Mountain and The Cherry Blossom Tree as well as songs from musicals that Harvey has written the book for including Dusty: The Dusty Springfield Musical and the Pet Shop Boys musical Musik.

The cast performing includes; Katherine Kingsley, Frances Barber, Emma Clarke, Gemma Brodrick, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Joshua Asare, Rose Keegan and Danny Lee Wynter.

The evening will also include guest hosts who have starred and worked alongside Harvey, including Oscar winning actress Olivia Colman, who starred in BBC comedy series Beautiful People, as well as co stars, Meera Syal and Layton Williams. Further guest hosts include, Catherine Tyldesley (Coronation Street), Tameka Empson (Beautiful People/ Beautiful Thing) and Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman (the director of Dusty).

The evening coincides with the launch of the Manchester venue’s first ever prize for playwrighting which includes the opportunity of mentorship with Jonathan Harvey for the chosen finalists.

The prize, which has been named Through the Mill, is open to UK based writers over 16 and as of today is now open for submissions. The winner will receive a cash prize of £5,000 as well as having their play produced by and at Hope Mill Theatre.

For more information on submissions and criteria please visit www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk

Tickets, costing £10, are now on sale for An Evening with Jonathan Harvey and can be purchased online through Hope Mill Theatre’s website. Customers will be sent a link to view the concert on July 18th when a ticket has been purchased. Proceeds raised from ticket money and additional donations will go towards the prize fund for the winning writer.

Artistic Director of Hope Mill Theatre, Joseph Houston, said: “We are very excited about our second online offering, celebrating Jonathan Harvey and the many incredible scripts that he has written for both stage and screen. The line-up of stars that we have is credit to his incredible back catalogue of work.”

“It has long been a dream of ours to launch a playwrighting prize at Hope Mill Theatre. Along with the support of Jonathan Harvey, and during our time of closure, we have been able to plan such a prize and we are thrilled to be able to launch it officially.

“So many freelance artists have been affected terribly by the Covid epidemic and this is our way of being able to offer an opportunity to writers to have their work produced and supported by us as well as being able to offer a financial award.”

Jonathan Harvey said: “I have long been a fan of Hope Mill Theatre. They are proof positive that great theatre doesn’t just take place in our capital.

“I am thrilled to be involved in Through The Mill. I got my first break in competitions at Liverpool Playhouse and the Royal Court in London. Getting my plays produced via these competitions was the best education ever, and the prize money helped get me through Uni!

“This is such a good opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what the competition brings, and to work with the finalists.

“I am very flattered the theatre want to do ‘An Evening With’ with me. And delighted to be able to help raise some much needed money in a time of such huge crisis for theatres. We’ve assembled a top notch group of actors to read from my plays and there’ll be various people popping up who I’ve worked with asking me questions. And there’ll be some singing. It’ll be a bit like An Audience with Diana Ross. Without Diana Ross. And with me.”

Twitter: @Hopemilltheatr1

Facebook: Hope Mill Theatre




Olivier award-winning actor and Hackney Empire Patron Clive Rowe this morning launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Hackney Empire survive the devastating impact Covid-19 lockdown has had on its finances.

Clive Rowe has starred in over 14 of Hackney Empire’s legendary pantomimes and said the Grade II* listed theatre ‘must survive’ in an appeal for public support.

The crowdfunding campaign aims to raise over £50,000 in a public appeal and hopes to attract donations from £10. As registered Charity, the 1300 seater Hackney Empire relies heavily on box office and earned income for over 85% of its funding. Now, as lockdown is easing and other industries are starting to open up, theatres which rely on bringing large numbers of people together remain underthreat and Hackney Empire is appealing to its audiences and communities to help ensure that this legendary venue can re-open its doors again in the future.

Situated the heart of one of London’s most diverse, exciting yet economically challenged boroughs Hackney Empire plays a vital and unique role in its community and the cultural landscape at large. One of the UK’s most beautiful and best-loved venues it embraces audiences of over 200,000 each year from across Hackney’s communitiesFor over a century Hackney Empire has been an iconic venue for the performing arts, home to generations of artists, audiences and community participants who come to see a rich variety of music, comedy, opera and theatre as well as work by young and emerging artists which the venue provides a vital platform for.

Hackney Empire’s legendary pantomime is one of the UK’s best and best-loved, attracting audiences of over 50,000 annually. As well as welcoming over 10,000 children from local schools, each year Hackney Empire provide hundreds of free tickets to local Housing Associations, Community Groups and organisations who work with vulnerable young people across East London.

Each year the Hackney Empire: Creative Futures programme works with over 4,000 young people aged 14 – 25 from some of London’s most marginalised communities, using arts and culture to break down barriers to access, raise aspirations, and change lives. This work has continued throughout the Covid-19 crisis as Hackney Empire has taken its activity online, providing support and engagement for hundreds of young people made more isolated by the lockdown. 

The crowdfunding campaign can be found here, on a website set up by the Mayor of London to help London’s businesses and organisations survive the impact of the Covid-19. Also backing the campaign is Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, award-winning actor Richard Wilson and journalist Robert Peston.

Clive Rowe said “Hackney Empire is an incredibly special place for me.  It brings people and communities together like no other venue I’ve experienced and its atmosphere is legendary. Generations of children have had their first experience of live entertainment at its Panto and its work with young people has transformed thousands of lives.

Theatres have been hit incredibly hard by lockdown, but a world without them is unimaginable. Places like Hackney Empire must survive, and you can help to make sure they do. Please support this campaign if you can and ensure that Hackney Empire can open its doors again for Panto, for music, for comedy and for everyone.” 

Yamin Choudury, Artistic Director and Jo Hemmant, Executive Director of Hackney Empire said: “Hackney Empire will have its 120th birthday in 2021. It should have been a year-long celebration but our focus now is simply to ensure Hackney Empire survives to reach this milestone and that we are still able to play our part in delivering what our audiences and communities will need on the other-side of this. This Crowdfunder will help ensure that we can re-open and we hope that anyone who has come and experienced the unique atmosphere and welcome of Hackney Empire will want to get behind it.”

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney said “Hackney Empire is a legendary venue which plays a key role in the cultural, civic and economic life of its community. With an enviable track record in engaging young people from traditionally the most isolated and at-risk communities, Hackney Empire has expertise that we anticipate will be much needed in the days to come. We are going to need arts and culture to inspire and reconnect us on the other side of this, and we’re especially going to need places like Hackney Empire – which are embedded in their communities and able to bring people together.” 

Actor Richard Wilson said: “Please support this campaign if you can.  Hackney Empire’s future, along with most other theatres in the country, is in real peril. You can help save it. A world without theatre is unthinkable but at the moment it is a real possibility.  With your support Hackney Empire will re-open its doors and be there to create incredible experiences for all our audiences in the future. Thank you!”

Journalist Robert Peston said: “Hackney Empire is a magnificent historic gem, a wonderful community theatre and an important performing arts centre. It is invaluable and irreplaceable”.





Lockdown Theatre in association with The Royal Theatrical Fund today announcesa live virtual table read of “A Bit of Waiting for Godot” taken from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot on Sunday 28 June at 7pmJonathan Church directs Robert Lindsay (Estragon), Michael Palin (Vladimir) and Joanna Lumley narrates. Tickets are £35 in aid of The Royal Theatrical Fund.

This is a unique opportunity to take part in a one-night-only, once-in-a-lifetime event. A peek behind the curtain of the theatrical process, in the company of a group of national treasures.

The live table read of Samuel Beckett’s peerless masterpiece will take place via Zoom, followed by a live Q&A with the cast and director. Bring your own wine. No popcorn.

Rob Grant today said, “Many industries are under threat in these troubled times, but the entertainment industry is facing an existential crisis. We simply don’t know when, or even if, theatres will be able to accommodate audiences safely in sufficient numbers to make productions viable again. Theatres are closing, good theatres, and may never reopen their doors.

We at Lockdown Theatre want to do what we can to help safeguard and preserve our rich national heritage of theatre, and give it as healthy a future as possible, so absolutely every penny generated from this production will be donated to The Royal Theatrical Fund (Patron, Her Majesty the Queen).”

Limited tickets available at www.rtflockdown.com

Robert Lindsay plays Estragon. He is a BAFTA award-winning actor, whose credits range from the smash hit Citizen Smith in the Seventies to My Family in the noughties, with a generous sprinkling of award-winning stage roles in between, including Me and My Girl, which won him the Olivier Award in the West End, and a Tony Award when it transferred to Broadway. His TV work has ranged from sitcoms (his first was Get Some In!) to BBC Shakespeare productions, and Stephen Poliakoff dramas Friends and Crocodiles and Gideon’s Daughter. He co-starred in Alan Bleasdale’s GBH along with … Michael Palin. He appeared in Ricky Gervais’s Extras as an arrogant, mean-spirited version of himself. Or, as his friends prefer to say: as himself.

Joanna Lumley narrates. From Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to the iconic Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna’s glittering career has spanned over four decades, through Purdey in The New Avengers, Sapphire in the cult classic Sapphire and Steel and movies including Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride and Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. She has garnered multiple awards, including two BAFTAs and honours (OBE, FRGS and five honorary doctorates). Among her many charity endeavours, she is best known for her tireless support of the Gurkha Justice Campaign.

Michael Palin plays Vladimir. Part of the legendary team that created the ground-breaking comedy, Monty Python, Michael went on to create Ripping Yarns with Terry Jones, and appeared in many hit films, including Time Bandits (which he co-wrote with Terry Gilliam), The Missionary (self-penned), and A Fish Called Wanda (BAFTA for best supporting actor). He also shared the lead in Alan Bleasdale’s GBH, along with … Robert Lindsay. Latterly, he has concentrated largely on his renowned travel writing and documentaries, from Around the World in 80 Days, to Michael Palin in North Korea. Among a cascade of honours, he received his knighthood in the 2019 New Year’s honours list, is a CBE, and has an asteroid named after him: Asteroid 9621 Michaelpalin.

Jonathan Church CBE directs. He is currently Artistic Director of Bath Theatre Royal’s Summer Season, Chair of Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and on the Board of the Almeida Theatre. He was Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre (2006-2016); Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre (2001-2006); Associate Director of Hampstead Theatre (1999-2001); Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse (1995-1999); Associate Director of Derby Playhouse (1994-1995) and Assistant Director of Nottingham Playhouse (1992- 1994).

Jonathan’s West End Productions as a Director include Hobson’s ChoiceTaken At Midnight (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Singin’ In The Rain (Palace Theatre), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Duchess Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Savoy Theatre and The Old Vic), The Witches (Wyndham’s Theatre), A Busy Day (Lyric Theatre), The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleb (Gielgud Theatre).

Over 50% of small theatres could fail without govt support | Theatres Trust

Over 50% of charity-run small theatres could
fail in the next 3 months without
government support

Due to the Covid-19 crisis and temporary closures of theatres, 57% of small theatres in the UK could fail without government support. Theatres Trust warns that as many as 136 small local theatre operators could go into administration in the next three months. In response, Theatres Trust has
announced a package of additional support for small theatres to help them survive the impact of Covid-19.

At this critical moment, the national public advisory body for theatres is increasing its support for these smaller theatres including:

•Taking on an additional adviser to help small theatres with business planning, budgeting and cashflow, fundraising and essential building maintenance.
• Creating a new Theatres Trust Skills Bank to match theatres with experts willing to offer pro bono advice on preparing to reopen including hygiene and social distancing needs and general property management.
• Repurposing its small grants programme to support theatres to cover the additional costs of reopening after several months’ closure, including making adaptations for increased hygiene and social distancing measures.

The UK has a world-leading theatre industry and the small local theatres across the country are vital not just as places of entertainment but as community centres. Theatres Trust is lobbying the government and providing additional support to ensure that theatres are still there for communities around the UK to return to when the crisis is over. Local theatres include venues which are at the very heart of their local communities like Market Theatre Ledbury, Sheringham Little Theatre and Settle Victoria Hall, the oldest music hall in the world which has become a true community centre delivering shopping, prescriptions and making PPE during the Covid-19 crisis.

The role of Theatres Trust is to ensure everyone can access live performance where they live. Almost 40% of the UK’s theatres are small local venues and more than half of these – around 240 – are run by small charities. 38% of these have only one month’s reserves and 19% only have three months’ reserves. Without additional government support, including the full continuation of the Job Retention Scheme, many will have to permanently close their doors.

Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan comments, These are tough times for the theatre sector and we are talking to the government about the additional support theatres need, but we hope that with these resources we can help more theatres to survive the current crisis. We have already seen some operators go into administration and unfortunately others are likely to follow, but Theatres Trust has a strong track record of supporting theatres to be saved and returned to cultural use and is working to ensure that no theatres are permanently lost due to Covid-19.

Jon Morgan sits on the Entertainment and Events Working Group which is working with DCMS and health officials to determine how theatres can reopen with minimised risks to staff, performers and audiences. Alongside this, Theatres Trust is calling for the government to invest in the theatre sector, including extending the furlough scheme for theatres to protect operators from going into administration.

Darlington Hippodrome summer solstice sale


Flash sale to mark the summer solstice

To mark the summer solstice, Darlington Hippodrome is offering tickets for a variety of shows at just £20* during daylight hours on Saturday 20 June.

Councillor Andy Keir says “This week we’ve seen the town centre come alive as shops have re-opened. It’s been a tremendous step forward, and now we are looking towards the resurgence of the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. I can’t wait to visit the theatre and experience the buzz of a live performance, and I’m spoilt for choice for shows to watch in 2021 and beyond.”

Darlington Hippodrome’s Sales and Marketing Manager Rebecca Howarth says “Traditionally, the summer solstice has been celebrated as a time of new beginnings. As restrictions start to ease, and life feels a little more normal, we can begin to look to the future. We know, however, that these are uncertain times, so we want customers to know that if they book for any show, and it’s postponed, or they’re unable to attend for any reason, then they are entitled to a full refund.”

The summer solstice sale includes the following productions: Anything For Love, By The Waters of Liverpool, Islands In The Stream, Radio Ga Ga, Kate Rusby, Walk Right Back and Strictly Ballroom.

To take advantage of this flash sale, book online at www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk using the code SOLSTICE between sunrise at 4.43am and sunset at 9.21pm on Saturday 20 June.

*Includes a £2 restoration levy

Covid-19 Theatre Royal Update

COVID-19 Theatre Royal update

It is with a heavy heart that we write to announce that Newcastle Theatre Royal will remain closed until 24 November 2020.

If you have a booking that will be affected by this closure, you do not need to do anything. Rest assured we will contact you over the coming months when we have more information regarding your show.

 We are aware that many customers are awaiting refunds or credit notes from existing cancellations and we want to thank you for your on-going patience. Our team are exceedingly busy as we are operating with a very reduced staff. If you have contacted us via email, it will be a number of weeks until you hear from us. We are currently prioritising enquiries regarding shows scheduled up until 4 July. 

If you have not heard from us and your booking was for a show between 23 March – 4 July, the email could be in your junk folder or an incorrect email address has been given to us at the time of booking, please email [email protected] or direct message us on Facebook with your details.  

Our egg-ceptional pantomime, Humpty Dumpty, will go ahead as planned; we are carefully monitoring developments but we absolutely hope to crack a few yolks this Christmas.  We’ll all need it!   

On our website you will find a regularly updated list of shows that have been cancelled or rescheduled so you can see where we are in this process; just click the ‘update’ link on our homepage.

COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the theatre industry, especially for organisations like Newcastle Theatre Royal, an independent charity that does not receive any funding. All of our income comes from tickets and related sales and this revenue stopped overnight when social distancing was put in place. Together with sector bodies and other theatres across the UK, we are asking the government to help find a solution to the financial difficulties facing our industry so that we can continue to entertain and inspire audiences as we have done for hundreds of years, however we must remain closed for the foreseeable future. There are a number of ways you can support us in during this difficult time; for more information, please visit our website.

Once again, thank you for your patience and well wishes, we really appreciate your support.

Stay safe.

BFI Awards Malvern Theatres Covid-19 Emergency Grant

Malvern Theatres Proud recipients of the BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund

Malvern Theatres has been awarded £15,000 by the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) as part of its BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund.

Before the crisis, Malvern Cinema was considered one of the great national successes of independent venues, with its interesting programming praised and its film Festivals flourishing.

Malvern Theatres now faces an uncertain future owing to the Covid crisis, and this contribution will help protect the future of its cinema.

The theatre’s own public fundraising appeal is also ongoing, with donations reaching more than £80,000 so far.

BFI FAN has allocated grants from its £1.3m National Lottery funding, as well as a £150,000 contribution from the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund.

Grants were awarded to independent venues in critical financial need as they continue to face months of closure and uncertainty.

Emma Maggs, Head of Development at Malvern Theatres, said: “Like all independent cinemas and venues, we lost our income overnight when we closed our doors in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This contribution will help us survive these dark days and plan more confidently for the future. Film is at the heart of our artistic planning and we take pride in delivering an incredibly diverse programme.

“Malvern Theatres has built a loyal audience who like to watch films from every genre, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to enjoy the best of British and world cinema as soon as we can.”

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences, BFI, said: “Redirecting National Lottery and Mayor of London funding to make emergency grants to our independent exhibitors has proved to be a lifeline, enabling our fantastic venues, cinemas and festivals across the UK to remain in business in the immediate term.

“However, it is clear that these vital and unique organisations, which are crucial to the rich cultural fabric of their local communities, are still in crisis. When allowed to reopen, safely implementing social distancing guidance will not only be logistically impossible for some, but many are also unlikely to cover their costs when operating at reduced capacity.

“Losing these exhibitors would be a huge cultural loss for UK audiences, so I am pleased FAN has been able to help them keep the lights on while we all face the oncoming challenges.”

The Fund has supported 130 FAN Members across the UK with awards ranging from £415 to £23,000 each. The fund was administered through each of FAN’s regional and national based Film Hubs, working with the BFI, set up to support exhibitors and festivals which have faced unprecedented challenges, with many at risk of making staff redundant and permanent closure.

The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) conducted a survey – Reopening Cinemas the Independent Way – to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the independent exhibition industry. It found only 59% of respondents considered they could reopen with social measures in place, with 63% stating they could survive for only three months. Almost half of the 59% believe they will be able to open in September at the earliest.

The Resilience Fund is part of a package of support with which the BFI has quickly responded, in order to support individuals, productions, organisations and businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

BFI FAN – a unique collaboration of eight Film Hubs managed by leading film organisations across the UK – targeted the fund to help small and medium sized audience-facing organisations with a particular focus on venue-based exhibitors. To donate to Malvern Theatres Covid-19 Appeal, please visit malvern-theatres.co.uk/support-us/

Spun Glass Theatre launch free, shared database to catalogue venues open following the pandemic

Spun Glass Theatre launch ‘Theatre Search’
in response to Covid-19

British Theatre is revered globally for its innovation and quality but stage doors are currently shut with no set date for reopening. Many may never reopen. The track and trace system suggests that local lockdowns may be needed in the future and it’s possible that some theatres may reopen only to close their doors again a few months later.

Even before Covid-19 hit, there was a growing sense that something needed to be done to help diminish the cracks that were appearing in the ecology of touring theatre. In order to support independent producers and develop a more sustainable sector, Spun Glass Theatre are developing ‘Theatre Search’ – a free, shared resource for independent producers and touring arts companies to help rebuild the industry. This exciting and vital project will be available from September and has been made possible by emergency funding from Arts Council England.

The innovative database will usefully show which UK theatres and venues are open, which have unfortunately closed and when some might be looking to programme work, helping new productions to be created and tours to be rebooked. ‘Theatre Search’ will include reopening dates and programming windows and will be updated on a regular basis to ensure it is as current as possible.

‘Theatre Search’ is supported by four project producers with regional responsibilities working with venues. These are Sarah Crompton-Howes, Senior Producer at New International Encounter and Executive Producer for Other Ways Productions; Steven Atkinson, Founder of Long Acre Arts, Roots and Co-Founder of HighTide; Sarah Sayeed, former Education and Outreach Director for Peshkar Productions and curator on Sound Travels for Google Curate; and Fleur Mellor, Co-Producer and Choreographer for Peter Corry Productions and board member for Theatre & Dance NI.

Artistic Director Jessica Cheetham comments: The task of rebuilding partnerships and rebooking tours that have been cancelled as a result of Covid-19 is mammoth and extremely overwhelming for many people, jeopardising their mental wellbeing. There will be a huge loss of high-quality productions and community projects as producers struggle to navigate the new landscape. At the moment, each producer and tour booker curates their own venue list for projects and sets up tours on the understanding that each venue is open and trading. As these lists will become obsolete as theatres close, this new resource will offer clear information to help producers as well as venues.

Emerging producers will benefit from the elimination of some of the unpaid work needed to set up projects. ‘Theatre Search’ will also provide increased access to the industry for producers who cannot sustain working without getting paid.

Venues will also benefit from this new resource, receiving better, more targeted
communications from producers. This allows them to focus on connecting with their audiences and building confidence in returning to theatres, rather than taking time to explain the same programming slots to hundreds of independent companies.

Prior to Covid-19, Spun Glass Theatre were working on an ambitious plan for theatre and community arts projects for a mobile arts space in Hastings, East Sussex with theatre design consultants Studio Three Sixty. They were also mentoring emerging producer Lizzie Franks as they continued their long-term partnership with Living Record Productions on their award winning binaural sound projects.

Spun Glass Theatre aims to be part of the growing movement to change the balance of touring theatre and initiate positive change to benefit artists and venues alike. ‘Theatre Search’ can be used by the whole industry, during this crisis and for years to come.

Cameron Mackintosh Limited and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres



In response to the continued uncertainty over when the government is going to completely withdraw social distancing measures and allow the safe return of theatre productions Cameron Mackintosh, his producing partners and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres have had to take the difficult decision of delaying the return of their productions of Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, Hamilton and The Phantom of the Opera until as early as practical in 2021. Consequently they are starting a process of consultation over potential redundancies for all employees on these productions.

Cameron Mackintosh said:

This decision is heart-breaking for me, as I am sure it is for my employees, as everyone who has worked with me over the last 50 years, on or off the stage, knows how much I care about what I do and how I do it. 

Despite the government engaging with the desperate pleas from everyone in the theatre industry, so far there has been no tangible practical support beyond offers to go into debt which I don’t want to do. Their inability to say when the impossible constraints of social distancing will be lifted makes it equally impossible for us to properly plan for whatever the new future is. This has forced me to take drastic steps to ensure that I have the resources for my business to survive and enable my shows and theatres to reopen next year when we are permitted to. I have no investors or venture capital backing, everything is funded by me personally and already my companies’ considerable reserves have been massively reduced by the complete closure of our industry everywhere.

Everything I have made has come from the theatre and everything I have has gone back into these magnificent historic buildings that I have lovingly restored and the spectacular productions I have painstakingly insisted remain in tip top shape wherever they play in the world – resulting in my being one of the biggest employers in the theatre.  The commercial theatre provides billions of pounds of revenue to the Economy.  It is time this is recognised and the government takes action to ensure this priceless resource at which the British people excel is helped to survive. Without our theatres being ablaze with life, London cannot properly reopen as one of the World’s greatest cities.”

All customers who have booked to date will be contacted directly by the box office, or their original point of purchase, and offered a credit voucher which can be used for priority booking when new booking dates are announced, or a refund.

Return dates for the productions will be planned for as early as practical next year taking into consideration further advice and guidance from the Government including, and subject to, any social distancing requirements being completely removed for theatres. 

Once social distancing requirements have been lifted it is anticipated it will take several months of preparation for each of our productions to be remounted as well as time for audience confidence and advance sales to build. 

In the interim CML and DMT have now commenced a consultation period with their employees following the closure of DMT theatres due to the pandemic and are looking at any necessary re-structuring of their businesses.

Scottish stars of stage and screen, including John Barrowman, Elaine C Smith and Alex Norton and West End performers release their moving tribute to NHS and key workers

Scottish stars of stage and screen,

including John Barrowman, Elaine C Smith and Alex Norton

and nearly thirty Scottish West End performers,

release Beautiful City – their moving tribute to NHS and key workers

Scottish stars of stage and screen, including John Barrowman, Elaine C Smith and Alex Nortonwith nearly thirty West End performers, have together recorded a spirit-lifting rendition of Beautiful City from Stephen Schwartz’s musical Godspell, interspersed with tribute messages to the NHS and key workers working across the UK. The video is produced by Scots in the City, and shared on their YouTube channel.

The video was the idea of Kieran Brown, a West End performer and co-founder of Scots in the City. When the pandemic hit, there were many stunning tributes from theatrical groups, shows and individuals, all keen to pay tribute to the hard-working NHS, including the Irish theatre community and the Welsh of the West End. As a way for Scottish West End performers to voice their appreciation too, Kieran called up many of his former cast mates to unite in singing Beautiful City from Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz’s 70’s musical, Godspell. The song talks of the hope for a new fairer society, emerging from the ruins and rubble, that we strive to build together – lyrics and a sentiment which seem more prophetic and pertinent than they were when work began on the project a few weeks ago. They recorded the song, or in some cases a tribute message, from home whilst in isolation – which was from as far afield as Broadway for Book of Mormon’s Stephen Ashfield. 

Alex Norton (Taggart/Two Doors Down) said: “As Joni Mitchell says in her song, Big Yellow Taxi, ‘Don’t it always seems to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.’ It’s more important than ever that we protect our NHS. Stand up for the greatest monument to civilisation and humanity the world has ever known.”

Steven Cree (Outlander) said: “It was a privilege to be invited to take part in this tribute and thank you to the NHS. Their value and importance have never been more apparent in my lifetime than now, and I sincerely hope that people continue to show gratitude, support and respect to our fantastic health service. It must never be privatised.”

Kieran Brown, from Scots in the City said: “Whilst the NHS charity is highlighted, we would like to dedicate the video to every one of our key workers who have kept the country going – from delivery drivers, shop workers and postal staff, to bin men, lorry drivers and teachers … the list is endless. We owe all of you a huge debt and this is a thank you to each and every one of you.  Alongside our stars who have given their time and talent, I’d also like to thank James Doughty for creating the original track, Ben Dovey for his gorgeous orchestrations, Tom Crofton Green for violin skills, Chris Matanle for artwork, and Ben Hewis for stitching it all together and making it look and sound so moving.”

The full list of Scots taking part is Stephen Ashfield, John Barrowman, Kieran BrownRonan Burns,  Sabrina Carter, Elaine C. Smith, Steven Cree, Gillian Ford, Lyndsey Gardiner, James Gillan, Celia Graham, Alasdair Harvey, Jacqueline Hughes, Keith Jack, Adam Lake,Maggie Lynne, Mary Mac, Jai McDowell, Lisa Mathieson, Matt McKenna, John Mclarnon, Gavin Mitchell, Alex Norton, George Rae, Emma Ralston, Jennifer Tierney, George Ure, Shona White, Natalie Williams, Lisa Anne Wood and Jordan Young. 

Kieran Brown, who hails from Falkirk, set up Scots in the City with actress Shona White to promote the very best of Scottish culture outside the motherland, with a focus on Musical Theatre. Kieran studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, graduating with an honours degree in Acting. As a seasoned West End professional, he has understudied and played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and recently performed in the UK and World tours of Titanic. Kieran is an original member of one of the UK’s most successful vocal groups, The Barricade Boys. His many screen credits include a role in the forthcoming TV drama, Traces.