The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Review

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – 27 March. Reviewed by Sharon MacDonald-Armitage

The National Theatre’s production of Marianne Elliott’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time makes a return visit to Southampton’s Mayflower after a successful visit nearly two years ago. Apart from a change of cast little has altered in the intervening months as this is still an outstanding piece of theatre. Having won seven Olivier Awards when it opened at the National Theatre and five Tony Awards it is easy to see the enduring appeal of this play.  Anyone who has read Mark Haddon’s novel will not be disappointed with Simon Stephen’s adaptation which loses nothing in moving from page to stage.

The play tells the story of Christopher Boone a 15 year old Asperger’s sufferer who is a genius with numbers and mathematical equations. Demonstrating many of the usual problems associated with the condition: fear of being touched, taking everything literally, disturbed by loud noises, coupled with his inability to tell a lie we see how he takes on the difficult and complicated process of working out who killed Mrs Shears dog Wellington.

Scott Reid absolutely shines as Christopher and embodies the role superbly. His detective work takes him on a journey of self-discovery which at times makes it difficult to watch. Supported by a wonderful cast including David Michaels as Christopher’s father, Lucianne McEvoy as Siobhan, Christopher’s care worker and Emma Beattie as his mother, there is a wonderful connection between them all.

The audience is made to feel uncomfortable from the very start with flashing strobe lighting and loud squealing music beneath a veneer of white noise; a clever attempt to elicit empathy from the audience to Christopher’s condition.

It is easy to see how the original production won numerous Olivier Awards including set design and lighting. Bunny Christie’s set is ingenious, with a graph paper lined black box concealing doors, drawers and cupboards behind which are a plethora of props that the actors take things from in a quick and often frenetic way. Paul Constable gives us sensory overload with his clever lighting and Finn Ross shows an expertise with video design that is as important to the production as the actors and play itself. There is a clear sense of awe from the audience when the visual ‘tricks’ unfold.

There is a particular sense of humour that underlines the serious message conveyed by the play and this was acknowledged by the audience, many of whom were teenage children who appeared to be on school trips. There is much laughter when Christopher ironically states he does not want his story to be turned into a play because he doesn’t like plays!

Reid is close to exhaustion by the end of this play, it is a physical piece that requires complete trust in his fellow cast members and it must be a relief when the show ends. However, despite the curtain call Reid’s time on stage does not end there and you will have to wait for that moment to see why. Just don’t rush to the exits.

This 5* production runs at the Mayflower Southampton until 1 April 2017 then continues to tour


Last chance to see seven-time Olivier Award-nominated, The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

  • Strictly limited West End run of John Tiffany’s hugely acclaimed production must end on 29th April 2017
  • Just five weeks left for audiences to see Tony and Olivier award nominated actor, Cherry Jones, in her West End debut

Following multiple Olivier Award nominations, John Tiffany’s The Glass Menagerie enters its final weeks at Duke of York’s Theatre with the last performance to be held on Saturday 29th April 2017. This universally acclaimed adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ masterful play has been nominated for seven Olivier Awards including Best Director, Best Revival and Best Actress.

John Tiffany’s illuminating staging of this classic play began a limited run in the West End earlier this year with Opening Night on 2 February 2017. Cherry Jones reprised her Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as Amanda Wingfield, with fellow Edinburgh International Festival cast members Michael Esper (Tom) and Kate O’Flynn (Laura). Brian J. Smith reprised his Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as the Gentleman Caller.

Alongside this stellar cast, the Duke of York’s Theatre has been transformed into Tennessee Williams’ St Louis of the 1930’s by a dynamic creative team. The Glass Menagerie features movement by the Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett, who has collaborated with John Tiffany on numerous previous productions including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Once and Let the Right One In. It is designed by seven-time Tony Award-winner Bob Crowley, lighting design is by six-time Tony Award-winner Natasha Katz with sound design from Olivier and Tony Award-winning Paul Arditti with beautiful soundscapes by celebrated composer Nico Muhly.

Following its premiere in 2013 at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, a multi Tony Award-nominated run on Broadway at the Booth Theater and a European premiere at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

Time is the longest distance between two places.
A domineering mother. A daughter lost in a world of her own. A son determined to leave.

Former Southern Belle, Amanda Wingfield, is desperate to find a husband for her fragile daughter Laura, whilst son Tom dreams of breaking free from their faded St. Louis home. But will the long-awaited ‘gentleman caller’ fulfil or shatter the family’s delicate dreams?

Michael Esper and Brian J. Smith are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity

Chips and Egg Live On Stage





Starring Jodie Prenger

Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy Shirley Valentine premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. In celebration of its 30th Anniversary the first major revival of this national treasure is at to Leeds Grand Theatre next week.

Shirley is a Liverpool housewife. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for 2 weeks and she secretly packs her bags. She heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself very differently.

The one-woman play stars much-loved actress Jodie Prenger as Shirley; Jodie commands the stage alone for eight performances from Monday 3rd to Saturday 8th April cooking chips and egg as she talks.

Of the revival, writer Willy Russell says; “It’s now thirty years since Shirley Valentine first walked onto the page, into my life and the lives of so many others. Shirley cooked her first meal of egg and chips on the stage of the Everyman Theatre Liverpool before then hoofing it down to London where she started picking up the string of awards she’d win in the West End, on Broadway and in the film that earned both BAFTAs and Academy Award Nominations.”


With a career spanning over four decades, Willy Russell is one of the most successful playwrights of his generation. His plays include Educating Rita, Blood Brothers, Our Day Out and Shirley Valentine.


He continues: “When producer Adam Spiegel introduced me to Jodie Prenger I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress, one who possessed the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again. How could any playwright resist that or deny the whole of the UK the chance to see Jodie bring Shirley to life?”


Jodie Prenger stars as Shirley Valentine at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 3rd to Saturday 8thApril


Tickets are priced from £19.50 to £34


Book online at or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700

Disney’s Aladdin announces cast change ahead of its first anniversary. Matthew Croke will play Aladdin, marking his West End debut in a leading role


Disney Theatrical Productions announced today that Matthew Croke will star in the title role of Aladdin as the new musical based on the classic Academy Award®-winning animated film approaches its first birthday in the West End. Jade Ewen will continue in the role of Jasmine and Trevor Dion Nicholas, who made his London stage debut as Genie, remains in the role.

The role marks Matthew’s debut in a leading role in the West End. Originally from Sheffield, Matthew has previously starred in Annie Get Your Gun (Crucible Theatre), Singin’ in the Rain (UK Tour), Funny Girl (Menier Chocolate Factory), Shall We Dance (Sadler’s Wells), A Chorus Line (Crucible Theatre) and West Side Story (UK & Ireland tour). He has also performed and understudied the roles of Amos Hart & Mary Sunshine in Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), Eugene in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre), Don in Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre) and Fiyero in Wicked (Apollo Victoria).

Nick Cavaliere will join the company to play the role of Iago, whilst current cast members Miles Barrow, Leon Craig and Daniel de Bourg will step into the roles of Omar, Babkak and Kassim respectively. Don Gallagher and Irvine Iqbal will continue in their respective roles of Jafar and the Sultan.

Further new cast includes Chanelle Anthony, Danny Becker, Cindy Belliot, Filippo Coffano, Nolan Edwards, Sinead Kenny, Travis Kerry, Dann Kharsa, Tarisha Rommick, Joshua Steel, Monica Swayne and Niko Wirachman.

Travis Kerry and Niko Wirachman both join the production after entering international open auditions.

The remaining cast comprises Arran Anzani-Jones, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Cavin Cornwall, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Antony Hewitt, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Ian Oswald, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.

Disney’s hit new West End musical Aladdin opened to critical acclaim on 15 June 2016, having begun preview performances from 27 May 2016. The show continues to play to sell-out houses, breaking attendance records at its London home, the Prince Edward Theatre. Tickets are now on sale for performances up to and including 30 September 2017 for individuals and 10 February 2018 for group bookings. For further details please visit

Now in its fourth record-breaking year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Aladdin’s global presence has grown to six productions on four continents, seen by  more than 4 million people to date. The show opened at Tokyo’s Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in May 2015, had its European premiere in December 2015 at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora, Hamburg, began performances in August 2016 in Australia and launches its North American tour next month in Chicago.

Aladdin features the timeless songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony®, Olivier© and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

Previous Disney stage productions in London have included Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier-winning productions of Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, which is now playing its 18th year in the West End.

Aladdin is designed by Olivier and seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, Olivier and two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arrangerGlen Kelly.

Prince Edward Theatre
28 Old Compton St
London W1D 4HS

Box Office number: 0844 482 5151

Facebook: Aladdin London
Twitter: @AladdinLondon
Instagram: @AladdinLondon

Kevin Elyot’s Coming Clean Revived at King’s Head





25 JULY – 26 AUGUST 2017



Artistic Director of King’s Head Theatre, London, Adam Spreadbury-Maher will be directing the 35th anniversary production of Coming Clean, Kevin Elyot’s first play, which will run at the King’s Head Theatre from 25 July to 26 August 2017, with a press night on Friday 28 July. This will be the play’s first major London revival since it opened at the Bush Theatre on 3 November 1982, and aptly opens in the month that celebrates the 50th anniversary since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Coming Clean looks at the breakdown of a gay couple’s relationship and examines complex questions of fidelity and love. The production will headline the King’s Head Queer season which is running from August through to September.

The play is set in a flat in Kentish Town, north London, in 1982.  Struggling writer Tony and his partner of five years, Greg, seem to have the perfect relationship.  Committed and in love, they are both open to one-night stands as long as they don’t impinge on the relationship.  But Tony is starting to yearn for something deeper, something more like monogamy.  When he finds out that Greg has been having a full-blown affair with their cleaner, Robert, their differing attitudes towards love and commitment become clear.

In his foreword to Kevin Elyot: Four Plays (Nick Hern Books, 2004), Elyot writes, “From 1976 to 1984 I’d acted in several productions at the Bush Theatre, and Simon Stokes, one of the artistic directors, had casually suggested I try my hand at a play.  I presented them with a script entitled Cosy, which was passed on to their literary manager Sebastian Born.  He responded favourably and, largely through his support, it finally opened on 3 November 1982 under the [new] title Coming Clean.”

Written 12 years before his most famous play, My Night With RegComing Clean won Elyot the Samuel Beckett Award for writers showing particular promise in the field of the performing arts.

Theatre critic Michael Coveney wrote of Elyot in his obituary for The Guardian in 2014, “In writing about the human heart and the art of living – which Proust defined as ‘making use of the individuals through whom we suffer’ – Elyot transcended categorisation and produced a small body of stage plays that will reward revival, and not just as period pieces.”  Coveney goes on to describeComing Clean as “an elegiac play about sexual relationships at a time when Aids was still a barely credible rumour in Britain, but there was a sense of foreboding in the final scene.” 

Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher (recent King’s Head Theatre productions include the European premiere of Tommy Murphy’s Strangers in BetweenLa Bohème and Trainspotting) will be joined by set designer Amanda Mascarenhas (An Unknown Place, Ovalhouse Theatre, 2016) and lighting designer Nic Farman (Shock TreatmentLa BohèmeCosì fan tutteMadam Butterfly, and F*cking Men for the King’s Head Theatre). 


The King’s Head Theatre is London’s first and foremost pub theatre and is led by Artistic Director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher. New writing, revivals, musicals, opera, cabaret and queer work sit side by side in an unashamedly eclectic programme of work. Thanks to an in-house agreement with Equity, we’re leading the way when it comes to ethical employment on the fringe whilst our resident trainee director’s scheme continues to provide comprehensive, vocational training to the rising stars of tomorrow. With high-profile co-productions, national touring and transfers to and from the biggest arts festivals in the world, we’re certainly not slowing down!


Coming Clean will be produced by King’s Head Theatre and Making Productions Limited.


25 July – 26 August 2017

King’s Head Theatre

115 Upper Street

London N1 1QN

Performances: Tuesday-Saturday 7pm, Sunday 3pm* (*3pm matinee on Saturday 26 August)

Ticket Prices: £19.50-£25.00 (Previews: £10 on 25 July, £14 on 26, 27, 28 July); Concessions: £15 & £18

Box Office: 0207 226 8561


‎Twitter: @KingsHeadThtr


Tennessee Theatre Company presents, TEACHING A DILLO TO CROSS THE ROAD

TEACHING A DILLO TO CROSS THE ROAD, Is a new writing piece from American playwright David Moberg
Set in the American Midwest in the 1990’s, close to the Tennessee border, we are instantly thrown into a world of volatile uncertainty as we enter the lives of these Midwestern working class Americans. First we meet Will who returns to May his alcoholic wife whom with the aid of the mousy nurse Flo,  has throughout the day been looking after Will’s father Sam, whom sufferers from severe dementia.  Flo, who recently lost her father – carries around the urn of his ashes unsure of where to scatter them. Chase Manning, -Wills employer, is getting married to Hope in the morning but not before each do a separate detour of  their own reasonings to the Bentar House.
The play deals with issues such as alcoholism, adultery, grief and the hard truths of caring for someone with dementia. The play is dark and grotesque but with a humorous touch throughout. Sex. Violence. Alcohol, death and unspoken tragedy are major factors in this play which is having its UK debut – never having been performed this side of the pond before.
 “If you think were just gonna ride off down the highway into the sunset, then you are dumber than a fucking dillo. Because I can’t forget. Won’t forget. What he did. What you did”
Rebecca Calienda -May Bentar
Daniel Chrisostomou – Will Bentar
Richard Worland – Sam Bentar
Anna Chessher – Hope
Olivia Foan – Flo
Callum Tempest – Chase  Manning
Directed by Annie Tanton
A Tennessee Theatre Company Production
Director and founder
Rebecca Calienda


We will be performing from 11th – 15th April 7.30pm
Run time 90 minutes including 10 minute interval
Location : Bread and Roses Theatre , 68 Clapham Manor Street, SW4 6DZ
Tickets: £11 conc £10
Tickets can be booked online via


Contains strong language throughout, scenes of a sexual nature and scenes of domestic violence. Suitable for 13+

Flip FabriQue make their London Premiere | Underbelly Festival 2017

Flip FabriQue: Catch Me

(Attrape Moi)

Underbelly Festival, Jubilee Gardens, London SE1 8XX

Wednesday 17th May – Sunday 9 th July 2017

Press Night: Tuesday 23rd May 2017, 7.30pm

Twirling hoops, daring diabolos, and acrobats soaring through the air are all in a day’s play for Flip FabriQue, the exciting new faces of Canadian circus who make their London premiere with Catch Me.

High flying, fearless, and fantastic fun, Catch Me is the circus sensation that has astounded audiences around the world with adrenaline pumping feats of extreme acrobatics, dramatic turns on a trampoline and inventive parkour.

It’s been ten years since six friends enjoyed a summer of fun and now it’s time for them to reunite, catch up and relive the past. It doesn’t take long for everyone’s playful outlandishness to resurface. For one extraordinary weekend, they relive their youth, laughing and teasing each other, enjoying the differences in their contrasting personalities. This acrobatic reunion is an experience like no other with an incredible display of athleticism and showmanship that is perfect entertainment for the whole family.

Underbelly has built an incredible reputation for bringing the best in international circus to the Southbank each summer with past productions from the likes of Circa, Gravity and Other Myths and Barely Methodical Troupe.

Underbelly director Ed Bartlam comments, We’re delighted to be welcoming Flip FabriQue to London – they’re a tremendous company with incredible skill levels, and Catch Me is a joyful, accomplished show that will complement our programme on the South Bank perfectly. We’re also excited to be strengthening our ties with Quebecois circus, and continuing to bring the strongest circus shows from Canada to a London audience following on from the success of Cirque Alfonse’s Barbu in 2016.

Flip FabriQue is an impressive Quebecois circus troupe, artfully flinging themselves and one another across the stage in an adrenaline-injected hour of acrobatics and dance… Magnificent moments of very expert human showing off (The List).



  • Part gig, part play, Reasons to be Cheerful celebrates the infectious music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads in this bold and jubilant coming of age tale
  • Fully accessible punk production is directed by Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director of Graeae, and written by Paul Sirett
  • Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ seminal album ‘New Boots and Panties!!’, the musical features a catalogue of the band’s hits

The pioneering disabled-led theatre company Graeae has confirmed tour dates and venues for the return of their acclaimed musical Reasons to be Cheerful, which will hit the road this autumn. Following a hugely successful tour in 2012 which was seen by almost 12,000 people and a series of concert performances last year, this joyful and defiant production will visit seven regions around the country, kicking off at the Belgrade, Coventry on 4 September and rounding off the tour with a two week run at Theatre Royal, Stratford East in London.

First seen in 2010, Reasons to be Cheerful has gone onto play at theatres and festivals across the UK, in stadiums around the world, and even in front of HM The Queen. “Spasticus Autisticus”, the Ian Dury-penned disability rights anthem which features in the show, was performed by the cast at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and, despite being banned by the BBC in 1981, broadcast worldwide in front of an audience of over 1 billion.

This coming of age tale rejoices in the infectious and enduring music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Featuring stone-cold classic songs including Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick; Plaistow Patricia; Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll; Sweet Gene Vincent; What A Waste and the titular Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3), this show is loud, bold and jubilant.

The parallels with the show’s 1979 setting are clear. Today, as nationwide cuts continue to impact on the lives of d/Deaf and disabled people, Graeae Theatre Company puts them centre stage. As a prominent disabled activist, Ian Dury was a patron and staunch supporter of Graeae. The extraordinary wit and wisdom of Ian Dury and the Blockheads music and lyrics are brought to life by an inclusive cast of 15 actors and musicians.

It is 1979. Labour has just lost the General Election to the Tories. Strikes rock the nation and Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) is climbing the charts. Die-hard fans Vinnie and Colin are on a mission to see Ian Dury and the Blockheads play Hammersmith Odeon. With no tickets to a sold-out gig their journey throws more at them than they could have ever expected….

Using Graeae’s signature theatrical language, all performances of Reasons to be Cheerful seamlessly include British Sign Language, audio description and creative captioning.

Jenny Sealey, Director of Reasons to be Cheerful and Artistic Director at Graeae Theatre Company, said: ‘I am beyond thrilled that our Reasons to be Cheerful gang are dusting off their Dr. Martens and going back out on the road one final time in a new production of our hit show, thanks to support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund. We will be well and truly raising the roof up and down the country with the brilliantly anarchic music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, whose punk sentiment speaks louder than ever as we fight against the brutal cuts that Deaf and disabled people, and millions of others, have faced in recent years.

Jemima Dury, daughter of Ian Dury, said; ‘I’m so excited for everyone who will see Reasons to Be Cheerful on this 2017 tour. You are in for a treat! It’s energizing, it’s moving and it’s enormous fun. It comes as close as you can get to a 1979 Ian Dury and the Blockheads gig. Graeae gives us diverse, accessible theatre at its best. This is how all theatre should be!’

Chaz Jankel, original Blockhead and co-writer of many songs in the show, said; ‘It is amazing to think that 37 years after Ian and I wrote Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3), the song still has such an impact and sounds so fresh. The Blockheads still perform it at every gig and the vibe in the audience and on stage definitely goes up a couple of notches as we lock in our reasons to be cheerful groove! The Graeae production has added a whole new lease of life to the song and legacy of Ian Dury. The extraordinary energy and skill that the cast bring to this original musical production is edgy yet heartwarming and mesmerising. The respect they have for Ian’s lyrics and lust for life is undeniable. If Ian were alive I am sure he would be laughing his head off and applauding the bravura of this very talented ensemble.’

An extensive community engagement programme will take place alongside this production, inviting original protest songs for a generation to be included in the show’s tour.

Reasons to be Cheerful was first performed in autumn 2010 with original co-producers New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

This tour is supported by Arts Council England through their Strategic Touring Fund.

Facebook: Reasons to be Cheerful – the Musical 
YouTube: GraeaeTheatreCompany


Friday 8 & Saturday 9 September
Belgrade Theatre Coventry
024 7655 3055
On Sale Now

Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 September
Derby Theatre
01332 59 39 39
On Sale Now

Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 September
Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
023 8067 1771
On Sale Soon

Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 October
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
01473 295900
Pre-Sale 29th March
On Sale 15th April

Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 October
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
0113 213 7700
On Sale Soon

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 October
Liverpool Everyman
0151 709 4776
On Sale Soon

Tuesday 24 October – Saturday 4 November
Theatre Royal Stratford East
020 8534 0310
On Sale Now

Unpolished Theatre awarded Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund

The Pleasance announces winners of Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund for theatre as Unpolished Theatre.

Elliot Warren and Olivia Brady’s Unpolished Theatre, established in 2016, is announced as the winner of Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund for theatre. Its first ever show Flesh & Bone will premiere at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017.

At the very heart of the Pleasance’s curated programme at both the Festival Fringe and at the Pleasance in London, is the development arm of The Pleasance Theatre Trust, Pleasance Futures. The Pleasance’s enduring mission is to provide a launch pad for the very best emerging talent and the brightest new ideas. The Pleasance Theatre Trust has provided financial support to up and coming talent both on and off stage through a number of Pleasance Futures projects such as Kidzone, Young Pleasance, XYP, Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund and various co-productions.

The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve is a designated, rolling Fund towards the production costs of bringing selected projects to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and consists of two strands: comedy and theatre.

The Pleasance is delighted to announce the winners of the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund for theatre as Unpolished Theatre, selected from the largest ever number of applications.

Unpolished Theatre was created by Elliot Warren and Olivia Brady in 2016 alongside the idea of their first production Flesh & Bone which they will now premiere at the Pleasance this coming August.

Flesh & Bone was performed at the Etcetera Theatre in December in its initial version, but the company are planning extensive re-writes before the Fringe. It will be the company’s debut on the Fringe.

Elliot and Olivia studied together at Drama School in Bournemouth and forged a brilliant working relationship and friendship creating work throughout and afterwards. In early 2016, both back home in London, Elliot wrote a short film called Stick Up which Olivia produced and which garnered quite a bit of attention, going viral on the internet and gaining 2.2 million views on Facebook ( In the same year, both Elliot and Olivia were in a production of East by Steven Berkoff and remembered their shared love of his style. Once the run had finished they were afire with ideas and energies that needed put onto a stage, igniting a similar style to Berkoff but with contemporary ideas and subject matters.

And so Flesh & Bone was conceived. Flesh & Bone gives the gritty residents of an East London Tower Block a stage, through their wickedly eloquent voices and their outpourings of uberly bloated tongue, we are thrust into their stories, held by the scruff of the neck, and made to listen.

Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance said: “Having received over 100 applications, we are thrilled to announce Unpolished Theatre’s Flesh & Bone as the recipient of this year’s Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund. As a company making their ambitious first show, they will benefit from not only the experience of presenting it at the Edinburgh Fringe, but also developing their company with support and mentoring from the full Pleasance team. Flesh & Bone has an electricity and eloquence rarely seen from such a young company.”

Elliot Warren, writer, co-director and performer in Flesh & Bone said: “This fund seriously means the world to us. We have never performed at Edinburgh and it is a life-long dream to be at The Pleasance. The fund allows us to create a fantastic show and dedicate our time to making it the best it can be on and off the stage. We don’t have investors and we don’t have much money, just a show that is itching to be seen!”

The purpose of the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund is to offer financial support to the writers, directors, technicians, producers and performers of the future to give them an opportunity to hone their talents and present a show at the world’s biggest arts festival.

The Fund was established in 2004 in memory of Charlie Hartill, a writer, performer and for eight years a Festival Fringe director, who died in January of that year.

The recipient of this prestigious Fund is awarded a prime slot at the Pleasance during Edinburgh Festival Fringe, mentoring from the Pleasance’s administration and technical team, and in-kind support up to the value of £10,000.

The winners of Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fun for comedy will be announced soon.

Compagnie XY’s spectacular show It’s Not Yet Midnight… | Roundhouse |

Compagnie XY present It’s Not Yet Midnight…

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH

Monday 10 – Sunday 23 April 2017

Press Night: Tuesday 11 April, 7.30pm

“Alone we go faster, together we go further…”

Returning to London for the first time in seven years, French Compagnie XY bring their spectacular show It’s Not Yet Midnight… to the Roundhouse for its UK premiere.

Featuring over 20 awe-inspiring acrobats, It’s Not Yet Midnight… is a show about togetherness; a timely reminder that if we come together, accept and look out for one another, we can achieve more

Blending beautiful choreography with exceptional circus skills and physicality, this show is poignant and humorous, playful and uplifting.

Their hand to hand … their takeoffs, their five-storey human towers, the care with which they ensure the landing of their somersaults describes an ideal world where risk-taking, generosity and solidarity rule the roost (Le Figaro).

Widely regarded as one of the leading contemporary circus companies in the world, Compagnie XY create jaw-dropping and poetic spectacles. They are unique in their company set-up, operating as a collective who live and work together.

It’s Not Yet Midnight… is Compagnie XY’s third creation, following Le Grand C (2009) and LaissezPorter (2005). With more than 500 performances worldwide, the company’s success has enabled them to challenge acrobatic technique from a creative perspective working with large numbers of artists.

It’s Not Yet Midnight… is supported by French cultural department (DGCA-DRAC Nord-Pasde‐Calais) by regional council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, and by Adami (association for artists and musicians performers rights).