ICWP 2016 50/50 Applause Award Announcement

The 2016 International Centre for Women Playwrights 50/50 Applause Awards:

Celebrating Gender Parity on Five Continents for our 5th Anniversary!

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is thrilled to report that a record-breaking number of recipients will receive the 2016 50/50 Applause Awards, which recognizes theatres that produced 50% or more women playwrights in their 2015/16 season of shows. ICWP defines 50/50 by the number of qualifying performances in a theatre’s season. This allows a concrete measurement of the resources being devoted to women playwrights.

For the awards’ 5th anniversary, ICWP recognized 107 recipients in ten countries on five continents. The list includes theatres in Australia, Canada, England, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. Approximately 32% of the theatres are repeat recipients, demonstrating gender parity in two or more seasons. Recipients range from community and college theatres to internationally renowned theatres. Meet some of the theatres in the ICWPcelebration video. http://www.womenplaywrights.org/50-50-awards-video-2016

For several years, the international performing arts industry has been scrutinized for its underrepresentation of women playwrights as well as women in leadership positions in theatre. According to the League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) 2015 study “Women Count: Women Hired Off-Broadway 2010-2015”, women playwrights were produced 28%-36% of the time. Among ten Australian theatres, 39% of original and adapted works were by women (The National Voice 2106, Australian Writers Guild). The UK’s Purple Seven study “Gender in Theatre” of 2012-2015 seasons reported 28% of playwrights were female.

Though these numbers are higher than they have been in the past, women playwrights are still not receiving their due, and there are many potential reasons. The LPTW study points out that new works by women are more likely to be produced today than those by women in the past, although there are many classic women playwrights. The AWG cites that commissioned adaptations are where women are making the least amount of headway.

A full list of the qualifying seasons by our 50/50 recipients can be found on our website.http://womenplaywrights.org/50-50-awards-2016
In addition, theatres researching plays by contemporary female playwrights can look at the Kilroys List, the 49 List, the New Play Exchange, and Treepress.com.


ICWP started in 1988 with a mission to support women playwrights worldwide and bring attention to their work. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards were founded in 2012 to increase awareness and applaud theatres that produced a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. More information about the award can be found at:http://www.womenplaywrights.org/award

Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2016 ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards!

16th Street Theater * (Berwyn, IL, USA), Actors for Children Theatre * (Flatwoods, KY, USA), Actors Theater of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC, USA), Althea Theatre (London, England, UK), Aurora Theatre Company (Berkeley, CA, USA), b current (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Babes with Blades Theatre Company (Chicago, IL, USA), Birds of Paradise Theatre Company (Glasgow, Scotland), Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Book-It Repertory Theatre (Seattle, WA, USA), Borderlands Theater (Tucson, AZ, USA), Bread & Roses Theatre * (London, UK), Broken Nose Theatre (Chicago, IL, USA), Brooklyn Repertory Theatre (Brooklyn, NY, USA), Bush Theatre * (London, England, UK), Cadence Theatre (in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre, Richmond, VA, USA), Cape May Stage (Cape May, NJ, USA), Capital Repertory Theatre (Albany, NY, USA), Castlereigh Theatre Project (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Centaur Theatre * (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Centenary Stage Company (Hackettstown, NJ, USA), Center Stage (Baltimore, MD, USA), Checkpoint Theatre (Goodman Road, Singapore), Chicago Dramatists * (Chicago, IL, USA), City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh, PA, USA), Cleveland Public Theatre * (Cleveland, OH, USA), Congo Square Theatre Company (Chicago, IL, USA), Crowded Fire Theater * (San Francisco, CA, USA), Curious Theatre Company (Denver, Colorado, USA), Detroit Public Theatre (Detroit, MI, USA), Drew University Department of Theatre and Dance (Madison, NJ, USA), EgoPo Classic (Philadelphia, PA, USA), Factory Space Theatre Company * (Sydney, NSW, Australia), Farmington Valley Stage Company (Canton, CT, USA), Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Forward Theater (Madison, WI, USA), Frank Theatre (Minneapolis, MN, USA), Genesis Theatrical Productions * (Chicago, IL, USA), Great Canadian Theatre Company * (Ottawa, ON, Canada), Halcyon Theatre (Chicago, IL, USA), HERE Arts Center * (New York, New York, USA), Horizon Theatre Company * (Atlanta, GA, USA), Hothouse (Albury-Wodonga Australia), Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD, USA), Inis Nua Theatre (Philadelphia, PA, USA), InnerMission Productions (San Diego, CA, USA), InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA, USA), Israeli Stage (Boston, MA, USA), Keen Company (New York, NY, USA), Kitchen Theatre (Ithaca, NY, USA), Know Theatre of Cincinatti (Cincinatti, OH, USA), Larrikin Entertainment (Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada), Latino Theater Company/Los Angeles Theatre Center * (LATC) (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Luna Stage * (West Orange, NJ, USA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA, USA), Manbites Dog Theater * (Durham, NC, USA), McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ, USA), Milagro (The Miracle Theatre Group, Portland, OR, USA), Mitch and Murray Productions (Vancouver, BC, Canada), National Black Theatre (New York, NY, USA), New Theatre (Miami, FL, USA), New York Theatre Workshop * (New York, NY, USA), NextStop Theatre Company * (Herndon, VA, USA), North Carolina Stage Company (Asheville, NC, USA), Obsidian Theatre Company * (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Off the Wall Productions * (Carnegie, PA, USA), Orlando Repertory Theatre * (Orlando, FL, USA), Ovalhouse Theatre (London, England, UK), Pacific Theatre (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Pangdemonium Theatre Company (Ubi Road 4, Singapore), Peridot Theatre (Mount Waverley, Victoria, Australia), PETA Philippine Educational Theater Association (Quezon City, Philippines), Plan-B Theatre (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), PlayGround * (San Francisco, CA, USA), Playwrights Realm (New York, NY, USA), Poetic Justice Project * (Santa Maria, CA, USA), Prairie Theatre Exchange * (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), Profile Theatre (Portland, OR, USA), Punctuate! Theatre (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Ragged Wing Ensemble * (Oakland, CA, USA), Renaissance Theatreworks (Milwaukee, WI, USA), Rep Stage (Columbia, MD, USA), Riot Act, Inc. (Jackson, WY, USA), Round House Theatre * (Silver Spring, MD, USA), Royal Court Theatre (London, England, UK), Salvage Vanguard Theater * (Austin, TX, USA), Second Stage Theatre (New York, NY, USA), Shameless Hussy Productions * (Vancouver, BC, USA), Shelterbelt Theatre * (Omaha, NE, USA), Ship’s Company Theatre (Parrsboro, NS, Canada), Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA, USA), Synchronicity Theatre * (Atlanta, GA), Tamasha Theatre Company (London, England, UK), Tantai Teatro (Puerto Rico, USA), Teatro Paraguas * (Santa Fe, NM, USA), Tennessee Women’s Theater Project * (Nashville, TN, USA), The English Theatre of Rome * (Rome, Italy), The Road Theatre Company * (North Hollywood, CA, USA), The Theatre Company of Kenya (Nanyuki/Mombasa/ Nairobi/ Nakuru Kenya), Theatre Alliance of Washington DC (Washington DC, USA), Theatre Conspiracy (Fort Myers, FL, USA), Theatre Passe Muraille * (Toronto, ON, Canada), Timeline Theatre (Chicago, IL, USA), Tita8lou (Geneva, Switzerland), Urban Stages (New York, NY, USA), WhoDunnit Murder Mystery Theater (Louisville, KY, USA), and Windy City Playhouse * (Chicago, IL, USA).

* Denotes repeat recipients

When We Were Married Review

York Theatre Royal – Until Saturday 24th September.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson

When were married is a Priestly classic, most famously known for An Inspector Calls, the comedy first performed in 1938 made an appearance at the York Theatre Royal for a show case of great acting and greater laughs.

The play follows a group of 6 people who are all celebrating there 25th wedding anniversary, with all three couples getting married on the same day, or so they thought. Northen Broadsides teamed up with YTR to bring this show to life sporting a cast of 15 being directed under the wing of Barrie Rutter. The play mainly aimed towards the older generation but however is suitable to all audiences over 14, brought in a comedic night with the whole audience laughing at the events on stage and the couples squabbling and bickering over the 25 years of marriage.

With the play being set in Yorkshire it only seemed fitting that it would be done in York itself, most actors taking on a broad Yorkshire accent and showing the well-known Yorkshire attitude towards southerners. Gerald Forbes played by Luke Adamson a whimsical southern man who is in love with Nancy Holmes played by Sophia Hatfield, are wanting to get married. The three ‘married’ women, Maria Helliwell played by Geraldine Fitzgerald, Annie Parker played by Sue Devaney and Clara Soppit played by Kate Anthony, all together with their partners, Joseph Halliwell played by Mark Stratton, Albert Parker played by Adrian Hood and finally Herbert Soppit played by Steve Huison.

My personal favourite was Annie Parker as the small lady had a funny character and a great way of delivering lines that made everyone laugh, she was both equally funny and stern, getting on along with the women and looking down on the men. But all the actors were outstanding.

The costumes were very traditional 1920s and made for a classic taste that suited the staging and props to a T. The whole play being set in a room of the Helliwell’s the script made sure of nosy maids behind doors, and arguments between each couples in private. The first half was absolutely amazing with loads of things happening at once and with a chaotic pre-interval climax that will leave you going to the bar laughing your socks off, however the second half was good but it just went so quickly, and I wished I could watch more of the great play.

The only thing I really found was iffy was the character of Lottie a prostitute from Blackpool, I don’t know what it was about her; maybe the costume or the character itself, but the actress was very good and was amazing at playing a jolly tune on the piano. A very stunning and laughable performance, and I would recommended that anyone should go and see it at York Theatre Royal.

Full casting announced for SIDE SHOW at Southwark Playhouse






From the composer of Dreamgirls





Full casting is announced today for Broadway musical Side Show, which will receive its UK Premiere in a brand new production at Southwark Playhouse, opening on Wednesday 26 October with previews from Friday 21 October.

Joining the previously announced Louise Dearman and Laura Pitt-Pulford as conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, are Haydn Oakley as Terry Connor, Jay Marsh as Jake, Dominic Hodson as Buddy Foster,Christopher Howell as The Boss/Sir, Lala Barlow as Bearded Lady, Oliver Marshall as Dog, David Muscatas Human Pin Cushion, Nuwan Hugh Perera as Sheik Fakir, Agnes Pure as Snake Lady, Nuno Queimado as Reptile Man, Kirstie Skivington as Half Man Half Woman and Genevieve Taylor as Dolly Dimples.

Haydn Oakley will star as Henri Baurel in An American in Paris when it opens in the West End in March. Previous credits include English National Opera’s production of Sunset Boulevard (London Coliseum), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre) and The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre). Jay Marsh’s recent credits include Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre) and Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Dominic Hodson’s recent roles include Captain Nicholls in War Horse (New London Theatre) and Tony in West Side Story (UK Tour). Christopher Howell’s recent credits include Guys and Dolls (UK Tour),Made in Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre). Lala Barlow’s credits include Hair(Australian Tour) and Legally Blonde (Ballarat Lyric). Oliver Marshall recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where credits include Company and The Happy Prince. David Muscat’s recent credits include Mr Braithwaite in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre) and Miracle on 34th Street (UK Tour). Nuwan Hugh Perera recently graduated from Guildford School of Acting, where credits include Our House and Ghost. Agnes Pure’s credits include Sinatra and Friends (German and Swiss Tour) and Beauty and the Beast (Eastbourne Theatres). Nuno Queimado’s stage credits include The Little Match Girl (UK Tour), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre) and From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre). TV work includesCold Feet (ITV). Kirstie Skivington’s recent credits include Anybody’s in West Side Story (Salzburg), Viva Forever (Piccadilly Theatre) and Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre). Genevieve Taylor recently graduated from the Musical Theatre Academy. Professional credits include West End Women (UK Tour) and Cool Rider (Lyric Theatre).

Louise Dearman (Daisy) is best known for being the first actress to star as both Glinda and Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked, playing both roles to great acclaim in the West End. Her many other theatre credits include Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (UK Tour), Bianca in Kiss Me Kate (Royal Albert Hall), Mrs D in The Water Babies(Leicester Curve), Eva Peron in Evita (UK Tour) and Jan in Grease (West End).

Laura Pitt-Pulford (Violet) received a 2016 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Other recent credits includeFlowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Nancy in Oliver! (Leicester Curve), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK Tour), Follies in Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Maria in The Sound of Music (Leicester Curve) and The Light Princess(National Theatre).

Inspired by the true story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, Side Show is a remarkable musical about love, acceptance and embracing the unique.

We meet the Hilton Sisters as the headline act at a seedy side show, languishing under the rule of an oppressive ringmaster. But when spotted by a talent agent, they are thrust into the spotlight of the famed 1920’s Orpheum Circuit. They soon become the highest paid vaudeville stars of their time, but whilst Daisy relishes the spotlight, Violet wishes for a quiet life with a man she loves, and who loves her. Can they balance their individual dreams with their inescapable physical connection? Side Show is a heartwarming musical about the search for love and acceptance amidst the spectacle of fame.


Side Show first opened on Broadway in 1997, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards; Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, the only time a nomination has been shared by two actresses; Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner.


Side Show features a score by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger, with both shows making their London debuts a month apart from each other when Dreamgirls opens in the West End in November. Krieger was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Score for Side Show and Dreamgirls, won a Grammy Award for the cast album of Dreamgirls, and received three Academy Award nominations for the additional songs he wrote for the 2006 film.


It has a Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, who received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book, and shared the nomination for Best Score with Krieger. Russell’s other musicals include Elegies for Angels and Punks and Raging Queens. Additional Book material is by Bill Condon, who reworked Side Show for its 2014 Broadway revival. Condon is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, best known for writing the screenplay for the 2002 film Chicago, and directing and writing the critically acclaimed films Gods and Monsters and Dreamgirls, for which he won a Golden Globe.

Side Show is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills, who returns to Southwark Playhouse following his acclaimed productions of In The Heights and Carrie: The Musical. In The Heights won three 2016 Olivier Awards for its transfer to King’s Cross Theatre, whilst Carrie: The Musical won the 2016 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production.


Side Show will be directed by Hannah Chissick (Down the Dock Road, Royal Court Liverpool, Brass, NYMT,Marry Me a Little, St. James Studio), with choreography by Matthew Cole (Footloose and Little Shop of HorrorsUK Tours), design by takis (In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse/King’s Cross Theatre), musical direction by Jo Cichonska, musical supervision and additional orchestrations by Simon Hale and sound design by Dan Simpson. Casting is by Will Burton. Side Show has music by Henry Krieger and Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell, with additional Book material by Bill Condon.


Twitter @Side_ShowUK

Shakespeare returns… but not as you know him! Undead Bard at Theatre N16

Milk Bottle Productions presents:

October 2nd – October 13th 2016, Theatre N16

Dear the World,

Thank you so much for all the Deathday gifts, it’s been really lovely. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. So much. Just one little thing. Could you let me die, please? It’s been four hundred years, could you just let me rest in piece?

Look, everyone’s sort of done the plays now, and they’re great and all, but it’s starting to get a bit tiresome. No one really, ever, needs another production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ever. So, I’ve been speaking through my spirit guide/literary agent Robert Crighton, who’s going to present my problem on my behalf.

Just to be clear: Undead Bard is not, it really isn’t, another of my plays. It really isn’t. It’s about the problem you have with me. And it really is your problem. You need to stop using me to enable your culture.

It’s been a busy year for the Shakespeare buff, but if people listen to the message of this show, just think: you’ll never hear from me ever again. Won’t that be great!

Yours, The Undead Bard

Shakespeare is dead, but he just won’t stop talking.  His words are immortal, but they keep changing.  Award-winning writer and performer Robert Crighton explores the current boom in Shakespeare and how everything is now devoted to his holy name. Undead Bard is an unholy smorgasbord of play, comedy, and music, pulling apart Shakespeare, Bardolatry, and the modern world, for your pleasure.

“Crighton is a naturally gifted story teller, with presence, and a steeliness to his glare” (Londonist)

Undead Bard isn’t just what’s happening onstage – it is a series of works around the modern issues surrounding Shakespeare and his life.  As well as the live shows, there are online audio dramas in preparation – the first, Historic Crimes, is online now.

“All hopeful recipients of this man’s prodigious talent should form an orderly queue…” (East Anglian Daily Times)

Robert Crighton is a multi-award winning playwright and performer, specialising in stories and monologues.  A frequent flyer in the world of fringe theatre until about five years ago, Robert returns with his latest explorations of the world of Bardolatry. Robert graduated from Middlesex University in 2003 with a degree in Performing Arts: Drama which he occasionally uses to bolster his self-esteem.  On leaving he immediately set up a residency with his occasional theatre company Milk Bottle Productions in various studio spaces in Suffolk where, apart from touring work, he has been based ever since. He is the only entrant in the history of the Lost One-Act Festival to win three awards in successive years; his work is revived in random corners of the world.

The Giant’s Loo Roll rolls into the Arts Theatre this October

TaleGate Theatre Productions presents:

October 22nd – October 30th 2016, Arts Theatre

Edinburgh kids show hit The Giant’s Loo Roll transfers to London! This fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s much loved book will play lunchtimes at the Arts Theatre this October.

★★★★★ “a delightful musical theatre performance with an enchanting tale”  (Families Online)

‘Oh Fe Fi Fo And Fe Fi Fum! Now what shall I do to wipe my …..’

Look out for the biggest loo roll ever on stage in this GIANT of a children’s musical. The villagers living in the town below the Giant’s house had better watch out, that loo roll has gone bouncing down the hill and straight towards them! Luckily, the townsfolk find lots of uses for runaway loo paper – one sheet provides a huge canvas for an artist, a tailor uses another to fill her shop with paper pants and a school class makes a huge dart that can fly. But what about the Giant himself – doesn’t he need any loo paper? The townspeople have an answer for that, too!

‘Bumpety! Bumpety! Bumpety- Bump! A Giant’s toilet roll one day fell to the floor and flew away.’

★★★★ “fast moving (…) a guaranteed success with kids” (Behind the Arras)

Watch out for some frightened sheep, lots of excited children and a fantastic amount of toilet paper in this rip roaring new musical by TaleGate Theatre Productions – the team than brought you the festive musical Father Christmas Needs a Wee! which has seen success in a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a sell-out UK Tour. With The Giant’s Loo Roll, TaleGate have yet again hit the perfect combination of witty humour, fantastic music and the extra sparkle for which they have become known

★★★★ “an overwhelmingly upbeat production which cannot fail to raise a smile” (Broadway Baby)

New writing tells all-female underworld myth this October

Maud Dromgoole presents:

October 4th – October 29th 2016, Courtyard Theatre

Maud Dromgoole’s Acorn radically reimagines two mythic women in a play that explores the power of stories, and how we come to write our own. Combining dark humour with lyricism, fury and wit, projection and an original score, Acorn is an all-female underworld myth for a modern age.

“I am not going to live happily ever after. That’s not my story.” Eurydice is getting married, and impatiently waiting for her life to begin. Persephone works hard and keeps the world at bay – it’s the way she knows how to survive. But death’s about to bring them together.

Using two ancient myths, Acorn analyses and evaluates the ever-changing role of women in the modern world, as well as challenging perceptions of medical care around the end of life – an especially timely subject in light of the continuing dismantling of the NHS.

How is myth preserved in modern culture? How does it still shape our lives? What power do these stories still have over our ideas of life, death, and what it means to be a woman? How can they be re-written?

Maud Dromgoole’s first play Blue Moon showed at the Courtyard Theatre in 2015. She has had several short plays performed, including Cake at the Cockpit Theatre and Tristan Bates Theatre, and Selkie at the Southwark Playhouse.

Director Tatty Hennessey trained at LAMDA, and has directed for Pint Sized, Theatre Renegade, Not Too Tame, The Reversed Shakespeare Company and the Miniaturists. She is an associate director with Merely Theatre, and has been an associate director at the Lyric Theatre, Park Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Acorn will be performed by Lucy Pickles and Deli Segal, who had a sell-out run of After Penelope, a new play about women in wartime, at The White Bear Theatre in London, which they co-wrote with their all-female theatre company, Spectra. The play went on to be performed at The Rome International Fringe Festival 2015 and then again at the RADA Festival in London. Spectra performed their second play, Harry’s Girls last summer; a modern re-telling of the story of the 6 wives of Henry VIII at the RADA Studios and Upstairs at the Gatehouse.

“Maud Dromgoole’s script is witty and dark with plenty of depth” (Female Arts on Blue Moon)

Theatres Trust releases 10th annual Theatre Buildings at Risk Register

401c5b6a-5abe-4b75-92e5-ff52df059b06Today, Monday 12 September 2016, Theatres Trust reveals the 36 theatres at most risk across the UK, and Trustee Dara Ó Briain calls on everyone who cares about theatre to join the campaign to protect them.

Of the 36 theatres on the 2016 Register there are 6 new theatres: 3 in England, and 3 in Scotland – these include 3 theatres which have, sadly, returned to the Register.

There has been some fantastic progress for theatres still on the Register, and in this, our 40th year, we’re celebrating those campaign groups who fight so hard to demonstrate their potential viability, and the role that those theatres can play in their communities.

Theatres Trust Trustee, Dara Ó Briain, has lent his support to raise awareness of our campaign by fronting a video introducing some of the excellent work done by community groups around the country, many of whom have submitted video reports highlighting their work protecting the theatres they love.

Dara Ó Briain, said: “As a touring standup comedian I have travelled up and down this country and worked in many of the theatres here and you have a unique and rich heritage of theatres that were built in the last 200 years. But we can’t take that for granted. Local community support is vital in breathing new life into theatres. If a theatre in your community was in danger of being lost forever would you help fight for it?  There are 36 theatres all over the country on our Register at the moment. Please join the campaign to save them or make a donation.”

Rebecca Morland, Interim Director of Theatres Trust, said: “Each theatre on the Register has an important place in its community. Our experience shows us that where    campaign groups are in place, they can make a real difference to the future of these theatres.  The progress that has been made with theatres in Brighton, Burnley and Kirkcaldy – to name but three – is a real testament to this.”

The Trust’s At Risk Register launch is generously supported by theatre insurance brokers Integro. Andy Rudge, Head of Theatre, said: “We have been a long standing supporter of the valuable work Theatres Trust undertake within the theatre industry – the Theatre Buildings at Risk Register is integral to their activities – identifying and providing much needed support to organisations when the sustainability and viability of their venue is threatened. It’s vital this work continues to help maintain the cultural landscape of the UK.”

New on the Register
New to the Register in 2016 is the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough, currently under threat from redevelopment for residential use. It has one of the finest remaining interiors from the Odeon chain, having been converted to theatre use in 2001. In Scotland two Category B-listed theatres also feature. The King’s Theatre in Dundee, the only surviving large touring theatre in the Dundee area, is increasingly deteriorating due to lack of maintenance. Whilst the King’s Kirkcaldy has been dark for 11 years, with various unfulfilled proposals for redevelopment. Both now have campaign groups who see the buildings’ potential and are working to secure their long term sustainable future.

Leith Theatre in Scotland has been placed back on the Register, despite tremendous work by the community group in securing a lease on the premises, due to the amounts of funding still required to secure its future. The Secombeand the Charles Cryer in Sutton were removed from the Register only last year after reopening, but now make a re-entry as the operator has gone into administration, leaving the future of these theatres in doubt.

Future secured
One theatre whose future has been secured however is the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd, a Grade II listed former Wesleyan Chapel. Thanks to a local consortium of private, public and charitable organisations, the New Muni is open with volunteer advisory panels informing its future artistic and cultural programming.

Ensuring theatres’ viability
Whilst we passionately believe in protecting theatre buildings for live performance use, their regeneration and future survival hinges on their viability. This year many groups have undertaken studies to show the value that their reopened theatre could bring to their local community.

The number one theatre on the At Risk Register for the last 4 years has beenBrighton Hippodrome. In 2015, Theatres Trust paved the way for a viability study and the local community group have built on that to secure more funding and do more work, with the overall aim of returning this gloriously unique Grade II* listed circus theatre to live performance use.

Another great example is Burnley Empire. Languishing without use for many years, its appearance on the 2015 Theatres at Risk Register led to the formation of an active community group. Their fundraising, together with support from the local Council and Theatres Trust, has led to a viability study which is currently underway, exploring potential uses for the theatre.

Other theatres on the Register actively considering their viability, working hard on business plans, or undertaking options appraisals, include the King’s Theatre, Dundee who are currently fundraising for their viability study,Mechanics Institute in Swindon, a former social community and staff centre for the Great Western railway, Doncaster Grand, an ornate Grade II listed Victorian theatre, and Dudley Hippodrome, whose campaign group recently secured a 5-year lease for the venue.

We asked the At Risk theatres campaign groups to provide us with videos highlighting their work in campaigning for the theatres they are passionate about. Included in these reports are: Bradford Odeon, the Mechanics Institute in Swindon, the Theatre Royal in Hyde, Spilsby Theatre in Lincolnshire, Doncaster Grand, Tameside Hippodrome, the King’s Theatre in Kirkcaldy, Burnley Empire, Brighton Hippodrome, the Futurist in Scarborough, Alexandra Palace in London, Plymouth Palace, Colwyn Bay Pier Pavilion, and Leith Theatre.

Support the campaign to protect theatres at risk

Volunteers required for costume making

Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300Darlington Civic Theatre is looking for volunteers to assist with the creation of costumes for the forthcoming community production of A Tale of Two Cities, which will be performed in the Dolphin Centre’s Central Hall in November.

The theatre is looking for volunteers with sewing skills of all levels and or knitting skills. The work will involve making period garments and altering contemporary clothes. Making will include full length skirts, bustles, waistcoats, cockades, dirtying down costumes and alterations of garments to fit our cast. All volunteers will work alongside an experienced wardrobe supervisor during the sessions.

Anyone interested should email [email protected] or call her on 01325 405510.

A Tale of Two Cities is at Central Hall, Dolphin Centre, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November. Charles Dickens considered his novel A Tale Of Two Cities to be the best story he had ever written.

Interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution, it is an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events. This will be a promenade performance.

The Touring Consortium Theatre Company, who most recently brought Of Mice And Men, A View From The Bridge and Brave New World to Darlington Civic Theatre are now working in partnership with the theatre to present A Tale Of Two Cities using a cast of community actors.

This new adaptation by Mike Poulton (Fortune’s Fool, Old Vic; Wolf Hall, RSC) will feature a cast of approximately 30 local actors alongside a professional production team led by director Eduard Lewis. The production will be staged in the atmospheric setting of Darlington’s Central Hall, where Dickens himself read on 21 September 1858.

Tickets* are priced £18 for adults, under 16s £10

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

*Includes £1 restoration levy



Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking Oliver award-nominated musical Cats comes to the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield from Monday 3 – Saturday 15 October, direct from its sell-out seasons at the London Palladium.

On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the world famous musical is a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse, and has now taken on a new life for a new generation.

With an outstandingly talented cast, magnificent sets, breathtaking choreography and a stunning score, including the unforgettable Memory, Cats is a magical musical that will thrill the whole family this autumn.


Cats comes to the Lyceum Theatre from Monday 3 – Saturday 15 October.  Tickets can be purchased from Sheffield Theatres’ Box Office in-person, by phone on 0114 249 6000 or online at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk and are priced from £23.50 (a transaction fee of £1.50 (£1.00 online) applies to all bookings made at the Box Office, excluding cash).  Concessions and group discounts are available.


Civic-Theatre-Hi-Res-Logo-1-117x300Darlington Civic Theatre’s ArtsSpark member Jess Hull accepted into the Phoenix Academy North East.

Darlington Civic Theatre is proud to announce that one of their ArtsSpark members has recently been accepted into the Phoenix Academy North East based in the Trinity Centre, Gateshead.

Seventeen year old Jess Hull has been dancing with ArtsSpark since she was eleven and attended an audition to gain entry into the Academy in June.

Photo's by Scott Akoz PhotographyPhoenix Academy North East is based on the hugely successful Phoenix Youth Dance Academy based in Leeds. The Academy offers a high-quality training programme for talented young dancers aged 14-18 years interested in pursuing dance as a career. Students meet twice a week, developing their contemporary dance technique through working with recognised choreographers and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company dancers. Academy members also participate in intensive courses during the school holidays, with regular performance opportunities at platforms across the UK.

Youth Academy graduates have gone on to successfully audition for numerous conservatoires, including: London Contemporary Dance School, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Darlington Civic Theatre’s ArtsSpark youth dance and theatre sessions provide a safe, welcoming environment for young people to create, explore and participate in quality theatre activities leading to regular performance opportunities. For full details visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk