Final week for entries to Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2015 and production news

New productions have been announced for two previous Bruntwood Prize-winning plays, and one previous winning writer. This year’s prize closes for entries at 6pm this Friday, 5 June 2015. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre on 17 November 2015.

So Here We Are, by Luke Norris, won the Judges Award in the 2013 Bruntwood Prize – it will receive a production at the HighTide Festival in September 2015 and then the Royal Exchange Studio, in a co-production between the Royal Exchange and the HighTide Festival.

Britannia Waves the Rules, by Gareth Farr, won the Judges Award in 2011 and was staged at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2014. The Royal Exchange Theatre has been awarded a Strategic Touring Grant by Arts Council England for a UK tour of the show this autumn/winter.

Alistair McDowall’s play Brilliant Adventures also won the Judges Award in 2011. His next play,Pomona, opened to critical acclaim at the Orange Tree Theatre in 2014, and will transfer to the National Theatre in September 2015 before a run at the Royal Exchange beginning in October 2015. Pomona is directed by Ned Bennett, who directed Yen, winner of the 2013 Bruntwood Prize, at the Royal Exchange earlier this year.

The 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 10th anniversary competition is now in its final week for submissions. Writers of all levels of experience have been invited to enter plays, which must be original, unperformed and unproduced. The winner will receive a prize of £16,000 and a full production of their play at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. The competition, which runs every two years, is a unique partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and property company Bruntwood.

Two of 2013’s winners – YEN by Anna Jordan, and THE ROLLING STONE by Chris Urch – received their critically acclaimed world premieres at the Royal Exchange this year.

The judging panel for this year’s prize is chaired by Nicholas Hytner, former Artistic Director of the National Theatre. The full judging panel is as follows:

  • Nicholas Hytner (former Artistic Director, National Theatre)
  • Sarah Frankcom (Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre)
  • Vivienne Franzmann (playwright and former Bruntwood winner)
  • Ramin Gray (Artistic Director, Actors Touring Company)
  • Bryony Lavery (playwright)
  • Michael Oglesby CBE (Chairman, Bruntwood)
  • Miranda Sawyer (writer and broadcaster)
  • Meera Syal CBE (actor and writer).

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is open to writers in the UK and Ireland aged 16 and over.

Entries opened on 30 January 2015 and can be submitted online at  The closing date is 6pm on 5 June 2015.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is Britain’s biggest playwriting competition.  This round will mark the 10th anniversary of the Prize, which has supported the development and productions of a significant number of playwrights since its inception in 2005.  17 playwrights have been awarded a total of £160,000.  There have been thirteen critically acclaimed productions of winning entries, as well as a number of productions of plays elsewhere that were identified through the judging process.

Over 9,000 entries have been generated from across the United Kingdom and winning playwrights have gone on to have work produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Almeida Theatre, on Broadway and in the West End.  It is a significant investment in playwrights and support for new work on stage.  More information about the Prize can be found at


So Here We Are
by Luke Norris
Directed by Steven Atkinson
10 – 20 September 2015: HighTide Festival, Suffolk
24 September – 10 October 2015: The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
A HighTide Festival Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production

Britannia Waves The Rules
By Gareth Farr
UK tour, autumn 2015
Further details tba
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

By Alistair McDowall
Directed by Ned Bennett
10 September – 21 November 2015: Temporary Theatre, National Theatre, London
29 October – 21 November 2015: Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Presented by the Orange Tree Theatre, in association with the National Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre


Royal Court Theatre Presents Summer of Pioneering Urban Storytellers

KATE TEMPEST returns to the Royal Court with fellow urban wordsmith HOLLIE MCNISH for one night of acoustic poetry


·         SPEECH DEBELLE performs a one off gig showcasing her new album and collaborates with the Royal Court in the creation of a music video 

·         Award-winning MEN IN THE CITIES by Chris Goode returns to the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs for a two week run


·         LIVE LUNCH returns with new British East Asian stories performed during your lunch break


·         The Royal Court joins Market Stall sellers at Tachbrook Street Market, Pimlico, every Thursday and Friday until the end of August

·         PRIMETIME primary school tour plays by 9-11 year olds announced

·         HANG and VIOLENCE AND SON trailers released

·         Tickets go on sale at 3pm 020 7565 5000 /


Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone said; For a few weeks this summer we are delighted to be presenting an eclectic and joyful mix of story-telling; a tribute to these extraordinary writers and theatre-makers who represent only the tip of the iceberg of our startling homegrown talent. Their interpretation of the world we share is galvanising, provocative and humanising and requires us all, the community of the audience, to bring it to life.”


Kate Tempest with special guest Hollie McNish

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Tuesday 28 July 2015 8pm

 For one night only Kate Tempest and Hollie McNish bring an evening of readings and poetry to the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.

The irresistible rise of Kate Tempest has been truly remarkable. Starting at age 16, she is now a respected playwright, novelist, poet and recording artist: already under her belt are two albums, two collections of poetry, three critically acclaimed plays and the Ted Hughes Prize for her epic narrative poem Brand New Ancients which sold out when performed at the Royal Court in 2014.

Kate will be reading from her latest collection of poetry, Hold Your Own. Supporting Kate is internationally acclaimed poet and spoken word artist Hollie McNish. Reciting words of love, politics, race, breasts and all that comes in between, Hollie was UK Slam poetry champion in 2009, representing the UK and finishing third behind Canada and the USA in the World Poetry Slam Finals in Paris.

A very special evening of spoken word that brings together two of UK’s most incisive and articulate urban wordsmiths.

Kate Tempest grew up in South-East London where she still lives. Her work includes the plays Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted  (Methuen). Her epic narrative poem Brand New Ancients won the Ted Hughes Prize and is published by Picador. Everybody Down, her Mercury Prize nominated debut solo album, came out on Big Dada Records in 2014. Her collection of poetry, Hold Your Own was published by Picador in 2014, and she was named by the Poetry Society as a Next Generation Poet, a once a decade accolade. She is currently touring her album and finishing her debut novel The Bricks that Built the Houses, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2016.

Hollie McNish aka Hollie Poetry is a published UK poet and spoken word artist.  She has released three poetry albums, TouchPush Kick andVersus and two collections of written poetry, Papers (Greenwich Exchange) and Cherry Pie (Burning Eye Books, 2015). She lives between Cambridge, London and Glasgow. Her poetic journal of parenthood, Nobody Told Me, will be published by Blackfriars Books in Spring 2016.

Listings Information:

Kate Tempest with special guest Holly McNish
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Tuesday 28 July 2015 8pm

Age Guidance 14+

Tickets £25, £20, £15, £12

 Speech DeBelle Live

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Friday 31 July 2015 8pm

British rapper and winner of the 2009 Mercury Music Prize Speech DeBelle performs tracks from her new album Breath in a special one off gig at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Speech will be accompanied by her full live band. The album is scheduled to be released in January 2016, produced by Speech over the last year alongside Nick Trepka with writing from Neil Cowley (Neil Cowley Jazz Trio) and Mike Lindsay (Spinnin’).

Collaborating with the Royal Court Theatre Speech and director Ed Sayers will create a music video shot with a live audience. The film features the track Terms and Conditions with backing vocals from Shingai Shinowa (Nosiettes) and Baby Sol. The filming will take place in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs with special instructions emailed to all ticket holders.

Ed Sayers will direct, with cinematography by Eben Bolter, who previously worked on the Royal Court’s Off The Page micro-plays in partnership with The Guardian.

Speech DeBelle won the 2009 Mercury Prize for her debut album Speech Therapy. Speech’s singleSpinnin from her second album Freedom of Speech, released in 2012, was re-worked by Tinchy Stryder and used as one of the official anthems of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In February 2012, Speechreleased her follow-up album, Freedom of Speech. Trebuchet Magazine described Speech as ‘a fiery, if naïve, seeker of justice and truth’, and said “she has a cracked lusciousness to her voice that strongly recalls Martina Topley-Bird’s most meltingly sexy moments on Tricky’s Maxinquaye. MTV gave the album 5/5 stars, and said, “What makes this a truly great hip hop album is that her words, piling up on one another, take on the quality of incantations – and that those incantations take on a life of their own.” According to AllMusic in a review (4/5 stars), “Speech DeBelle is now the most interesting and possibly the most exciting British MC on the scene.” Speech’s third album entitled Breathe. is scheduled for release January 2016. The first singleTerms and Conditions, which features backing vocals from Shingai Shinowa (Noisettes) and Miss Baby Sol, will be released August 2015.

Ed Sayers has worked as a producer and director in London production companies and ad agencies alike.  With Mother London and Saatchi & Saatchi, Ed helped to create a range of live and filmed events, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show Pot Noodle The Musical and the T-Mobile live event ads: Dance at Liverpool Street Station and Singalong in Trafalgar Square. Ed has directed short films including Goldfishwith Michael Fassbender.  His first music video was for Handsome Boy Modeling School and most recently for Ivor Novello nominated band Bear’s Den. Ed founded the super 8 short film competition straight 8 in 1999.

Listings Information:

Speech Debelle Live

Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Friday 31 July 2015 8pm

Age Guidance 14+

Tickets £25, £20 £15, £12


Men in the Cities

By Chris Goode
Directed by Wendy Hubbard

Chris Goode & Company in association with Royal Court Theatre

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs

Tuesday 21 July – Saturday 1 August

Following sold out preview performances at the Royal Court in July 2014 and receiving a Fringe First for the Edinburgh run in August 2014, Chris Goode returns with his award-winning one-man show for a two week run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

Framed by two violent deaths – the apparently inexplicable suicide of a young gay man, and the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich in May 2013 – Men in the Cities is a compelling piece about harm and complicity, and about the forces that shape our relationships.

Through fractured snapshots of seemingly disconnected lives, Men in the Cities presents a challenging but radically humane portrait of how we live now.

Written and performed by Fringe First winner (2014) Chris Goode, directed by Wendy Hubbard with design by Naomi Dawson and lighting design by Katharine Williams.

A Chris Goode & Company production in association with Royal Court Theatre.

Supported by Arts Council England

Chris Goode’s writing credits for the Royal Court include Men in the Cities and The New Order (Big Idea).His other theatre credits include The Forest & The Field (Ovalhouse), Monkey Bars (Traverse/Unicorn Theatres), 9 (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Neutrino (Soho/International tour) and Kiss of Life (Pleasance/Drill Hall/Sydney Opera House). As an actor Chris’ credits include The Author (Royal Court & International Tour). Chris received the Headlong/Gate New Directions Award for …Sisters (Gate).

Wendy’s directing credits for theatre include The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley (Pleasance/ National Tour), God/Head (Oval House/Theatre in the Mill), Kiss of Life (Sydney Opera House), …Sisters(The Gate) and Speed Death of the Radiant Child (The Drum Theatre Royal Plymouth). Wendy co-directedThe Pink Bits (Riverside Studios) and was the winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award (2004).

Listings Information:

Men in the Cities
By Chris Goode
Directed by Wendy Hubbard

Chris Goode & Company in association with Royal Court Theatre

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (following Edinburgh run)

Tuesday 21 July – Saturday 1 August

Tuesday 21 July – Thursday 23 July 8pm
Friday 24 July – Saturday 25 July 9pm
Monday 27 July – Saturday 1 August 7.30pm

Age Guidance 16+

Tickets £20, £10 Mondays

Concessions £15 previews (Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22, Thursday 23 July)
Access £12 and companion at same price

Live Lunch Presents Hidden
by Vivienne Franzmann, Kathryn Golding, Amber Hsu, Lucy Lai-Tuen Chau, Chris Thompson and DanielYork Loh
directed by Lucy Morrison
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Friday 19 June – Saturday 20 June 1.15pm – 2.15pm

Live Lunch returns with six new plays. Six writers have been commissioned to create short plays with British East Asian experiences at the centre of their stories to be performed live as lunchtime readings on Friday 19 June and Saturday 20 June at 1.15pm in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

Working with Associate Director Lucy Morrison, the group has been busy exploding myths, questioning types and discovering hidden narratives of British East Asian lives lived just out of view.

These short plays are presented as rehearsed lunchtime readings directed by Lucy Morrison. Running time 1 hour. Cast to be confirmed.

The six plays include;

Breathe by Vivienne Franzmann

A short play about the unseen.


Being Suzy Wong by Kathryn Golding

A short play about finding your tribe.

(No One Disaster is Total) by Amber Hsu

A short play featuring: Death! Tragedy! And a story untold.


Restrain your grief and adapt to the mishap by Lucy Lai-Tuen Chau

A short play about cultural discord and cruel timing destroying the dream of a better life.


Mulan by Chris Thompson

A short play about taking what’s not yours and fucking with it.

(Hidden) In The Screen by Daniel York Loh

A short play about heroes, history, and exotified flesh on the stage and the screen.

Vivienne Franzmann’s credits for the Royal Court include Pests and The Witness. Her other theatre credits include Mogadishu (Royal Exchange Manchester / Lyric). Vivienne is winner of the Bruntwood Playwriting Award (for Mogadishu) and was awarded the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright as well as winner of the Pearson Playwrights’ Bursary (for Witness).

Kathryn Golding is a graduate of the Royal Court’s Unheard Voices Programme and is currently working on projects for both stage and television.​ This is her first stage reading.

Amber Hsu’s credits for the Royal Court include, Loop 36 :: Prime 151 an Audio Short Play commissioned for Lost in Theatre (Open Court Festival). Her other theatre includes If These Walls (Islington Community Theatre) and The Shadow (The Orange Tree). Her film credits include Next Time. Amber is a graduate of the Royal Court’s Unheard Voices Programme.

Lucy Lai-Tuen Chau was born in Hong Kong and brought up in the UK by adoptive parents. She trained as an actress at Rose Bruford and has worked exensively in theatre and film since 1986.

Chris Thompson’s credits for the Royal Court include Burn (Live Lunch). Other theatre includes Albion(Bush Theatre), Carthage and A Film About Someone You Love (Finborough Theatre). Chris was awarded the C4 playwrights award (formally the Pearson playwriting award) for Carthage and the Simon Gray Award 2014 for Albion. He was a finalist in the 2015 OFFIE awards for Most Promising New Playwright and Best New Play (Carthage). He has recently completed an attachment at the National Theatre Studio and is currently under commission with the Royal Court.

As an actor Daniel York Loh has worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and Edinburgh Traverse. Daniel’s writing credits include The Fu Manchu Complex (Ovalhouse), various short plays at the Orange Tree, Bush, Rich Mix and Stratford East. Short film, Mercutio’s Dreaming which was nominated for four awards at the World Independent Music & Film Festival.


Lucy Morrison is Associate Director at the Royal Court where her credits include Who Cares, Product (also at Traverse and European tour) and Pests. Pests was a Royal Court co-production with Clean Break for whom Lucy has worked as Head of Artistic Programming and directed Billy the Girl (Soho Theatre), Little on the Inside (Almeida Festival and Latitude), it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now (Arcola Theatre) and This Wide Night (Soho Theatre). Morrison also originated and commissioned the Charged and Re-Charged seasons at Soho Theatre in which she directed Fatal Light and Doris Day.

Bring along a sandwich and listen to a new play, performed live in your lunch break.

The Royal Court Bar & Kitchen will be serving lunch pre and post show.

Tickets for all readings £8 available at  020 7565 5000.

Listings Information:

Live Lunch Presents Hidden
by Vivienne Franzmann, Kathryn Golding, Amber Hsu, Lucy Lai-Tuen Chau, Chris Thompson and Daniel York Loh
directed by Lucy Morrison
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Friday 19 June – Saturday 20 June 1.15pm – 2.15pm

Age Guidance 14+

Tickets £8


The Royal Court Theatre joins Market Stall sellers at Tachbrook Street Market, Pimlico every Thursday and Friday until the end of August.

The Royal Court Theatre supported by Bloomberg has set up a Market Stall at Tachbrook Street Market in Pimlico as part of its three year engagement with the area. Trading every Thursday and Friday between 10am – 3pm until the end of August the Market Stall hosts a range of events and is an arena to listen to suggestions from local residents on what they would like to see happen in the area.

Your local theatre is now even closer.

For the next three years we’re going to be camped on your doorstep, hanging out on your high street, hawking in your market and generally being a friendly neighbour.

Visitors to the Market Stall will have access to Pimlico Playground, new journeying audio plays written by Royal Court writers, and Espresso Plays, ‘made to order’ plays written by a resident writer.

There will also be the opportunity to take part in miniature scriptwriting workshops and a chain-written community play, with access to ticket flash sales for Royal Court productions and free copies of Royal Court plays to take home.

Commenting on the project Royal Court Artistic Associate, Ola Animashawun said:


“I am delighted to welcome with open arms the people of Pimlico to our Theatre Stall in Tachbrook Street Market. Providing the theatre with a great opportunity to engage with the community and offer something that is at once, novel, unique and creative, to invite interest and ignite curiosity. Simultaneously this will enable us to create the launch pad for our wider ambition of tapping into the creative energy, desires and ambitions of the people in Pimlico.”

SW Once (Part of South West Fest)
with Ola Animashawun
22 June 2015 2pm
St. James Theatre, Studio Space, 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA
Free but places must be booked in advance

Local actors will be performing a selection of rehearsed readings, as part of this year’s South West Fest. The plays will be written during six introductory playwriting workshops. The workshops will be run by the Royal Court working with Open Age, an organisation that helps older people to develop new and stimulating interests.

To book email [email protected]

The Espresso Plays
Every Thursday & Friday 10am – 2:45pm
Tachbrook Street Market

Written by a resident writter, the Espresso Plays are inspired by ideas suggested by Market Stall visitors.

Come and chat to our market stall playwrights and within 5 minutes a freshly brewed, personalised play will be written for you, all served in a takeaway coffee cup.

Pimlico Playground
by Diana Nneka Atuona, Josh Azouz, Olivia Hirst, Sarah Kosar, Simon Longman and Nessah Muthy
directed by Ola Animashawun, Debbie Hannan and Chris Sonnex
Every last Thu & Fri of the month (28, 29 May, 25, 26 Jun, 30, 31 Jul, 27, 28 Aug)

10am – 2:45pm
Tachbrook Street Market

Short enough to experience on your lunch break, these six location-based audio plays by Royal Court writers will take you on an imaginative journey through your everyday surroundings, animating the space between Tachbrook St. Market and the playground.

Head to our market stall, grab an MP3 player and a map, and have a wander…

The original short plays were recorded by actors from Pimlico Academy and Mulberry Alumni Theatre group, both of which the theatre has been working with over the past year.

The Pimlico Playground plays include:

Untitled by Diana Nneka Atuona
Bike by Josh Azouz
Hopscotch by Olivia Hirst
Big Body Tiny Head by Sarah Kosar
Bricks by Simon Longman
Brides by Nessah Muthy

Running time 30m

Pimlico Playground writers’ biographies:

Diana Nneka Atuona’s credits for the Royal Court include Liberian Girl. As well as winning the Alfred Fagon Award for Playwriting, Liberian Girl was long listed for both the Verity Bargate and the Bruntwood Prize. It was staged at the Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. The summit was hosted by William Hague MP and Special Envoy to the UN, Angelina Jolie. Diana attended the Royal Court’s Peckham Writers Group, as part of Theatre Local. She is currently on commission with the Old Vic Theatre.

Josh Azouz’s Theatre includes The Mikvah Project (The Yard); Bar-Mitzvah Boy (OvalHouse); Sink or Shpin (Bannatyne’s Health Club/Boom Cycle London). As director, theatre includes: The Man Who Almost Killed Himself (Summerhall/BBC iplayer/Odeon release); Spur of the Moment (ALRA North/Home’s Replay Festival); On Dis Ting (OvalHouse); Gargantua (Library Theatre); No! Mr Lawrence! (The Lowry); Harissa(Tricycle) Europe (Contact).

Olivia Hirst’s theatre includes Goodstock and Play for September (Lost Watch); The Longley Viking Museum (Soho); Baby’s Gone (Performance Academy Newcastle College). She is a Writer and Co Artistic Director of Lost Watch Theatre Company.

For the Royal Court Sarah Kosar theatre includes: Spaghetti Ocean (Live Lunch). Other theatre includes Hot Dog (Descent/The Last Refuge/Thinking Cap). Short plays include Runt (Oxford School of Drama/Soho), Ice Cream (Little Pieces of Gold/Southwark), Fox (Descent/Little Pieces of Gold/Southwark),Pineapple and other short plays (Outlines/Old Red Lion), Gynotime (Orange Tea/Amsterdam). Radio includes Hashtag (Roundhouse Radio/Theatre Centre). 

Simon Longman’s theatre includes Milked (Pentabus); Why I Don’t Like the Sea and Popcorn (Arcola). He was a member of the Royal Court Young Writer’s Group in 2013 and is currently under commission for the Royal Court.

For the Royal Court Nessah Muthy’s theatre includes: Beastie (Live Lunch), Gastronauts, Hungry (Lost in Theatre, Open Court). Other theatre includes: This is not a Slog (OvalHouse); IED (HighTide Festival);Sucker (Old Vic New Voices); Sex with Robots & other Devices (Cloakroom); Nazma (Kali); Freya & Mr Mushroom (The Building Site/Southwark).

Primetime: New plays by children showcased at the Royal Court
By Lola Clark, Jared Blue Gale, Lily Habibyan, Zed Levy, Zoë Milne, Yaseen Mohamed, Daniel Santangelo and Maia Settecasi.

directed by Debbie Hannan
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Saturday 18 July – Saturday 25 July


The Royal Court Theatre will tour a series of short plays written by children between the ages of eight and eleven to 15 schools in outer London boroughs before being performed in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, from 18 to 25 July.

The Primetime plays were written by primary school children aged eight to 11 from Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

They were developed in Autumn 2014 during a six-week playwriting workshop at the Royal Court led by playwrights Vivienne Franzman (Mogadishu, Pests, The Witness) and Nessah Muthy (Gastronauts, Beastie).


Primetime is designed by Ruta Irbite with sound by George Dennis.


The craziest plays written by the littlest writers are taking over the Royal Court this summer.

Get ready for intergalactic rap battles, time traveling Ninjas and shapeshifting cats in an explosion of adventure and fun for the whole family.


Primetime is directed by past trainee director for the Royal Court Debbie Hannan.


The Royal Court has also commissioned free family workshops to take place alongside the production with the aim of introducing young people to playwriting.

This is the third time the Royal Court has taken a production to schools. In 2013 with Suhayla El-Bushra’s play Pigeons and the last Primetime to 15 Primary Schools in 2014.

Primetime is supported by John Lyon’s Charity, The Mercers’ Company, The Haberdashers’ Company, Ernest Cook Trust, John Thaw Foundation, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust.

The Primetime plays to be performed will be:

Chicken Wings in Space by Yaseen Mohamed (aged 11)

The Human Monster by Lola Clark (aged 9)

The Lady Bird by Daniel Santangelo (aged 10)

The Ice Cream That Never Melts by Zoë Milne (aged 9)

Lost by Zed Levy (aged 9)

Grampa Ninja and the Lost World by Jared Blue Gale (aged 10)

I Want Money!!!! By Maia Settecasi (aged 10)

The Adventures of Ms Vennily by Lily Habibyan (aged 9)

Family writing workshops are free but bookable in advance, available online or 0207 565 5000

Debbie Hannan was a previous trainee director at the Royal Court. For the Royal Court her directing credits include Who Cares (as Co-Director) and Peckham The Soap Opera. As Assistant Director for the Royal Court her credits include How To Hold Your Breath, Teh Internet is Serious Business, The Nether, Primetime 2014, Birdland and The Mistress Contract. Other directing credits include Notes from the Underground (Citizens Theatre), Panorama, Roses Are Dead, You Cannot Call it Love (The Arches), Yellow Pears (Swept Up) and Grimm Tales, Nights at the Circus (Theatre Paradok).

Listings Information:


By Lola Clark, Jared Blue Gale, Lily Habibyan, Zed Levy, Zoë Milne, Yaseen Mohamed, Daniel Santangelo and Maia Settecasi.

directed by Debbie Hannan

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Sat 18 – Sat 25 Jul

Wednesday to Saturday 3pm

Friday & Saturday 6pm
Tickets £10 Adult, £5 Children, £10 Child ticket and meal deal

Age guidance 7+

Family writing workshops are free but bookable in advance, available online or 0207 565 5000

Violence and Son
by Gary Owen
directed by Hamish Pirie
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Wednesday 3 June – Saturday 11 July 2015

Trailer released for Gary Owen’s play Violence and Son at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre (3 June to 11 July – press night 8 June).

To embed the trailer see here.

Directed by Hamish Pirie, Gary Owen’s intimate new play is about what parents pass on and trying to do the right thing.


“People know, you’re my boy. And they know better than to lay a fucking finger on you.

See? You are safer here with me, than you have ever been.”


Liam’s 17 years old, loves Dr Who and has lost his mum. He has had to move to Wales, to the valleys, to the middle of nowhere, to live with a dad he doesn’t know. Whose nickname isn’t ‘Violence’ for nothing.

Morfydd Clark will play Jen, Jason Hughes will play Rick (aka Violence), David Moorst will play Liam andSiwan Morris will play Suze.

The production is designed by Cai Dyfan, with lighting design by Lizzie Powell and music and sound design by Mark Melville.

Violence and Son will be accompanied by three Big Idea events Violence and Shame with psychologist and poet Jonathan Asser (10 June),  Gary Owen in Conversation

(25 June ) and Power and Consent with academics Dr Susan Hansen and Dr Jackie Gray who specialise in forensic psychology (8 July).

Welsh playwright Gary Owen makes his Royal Court debut with Violence and Son. He is winner of the Meyer Whitworth, George Devine and Pearson best play awards.  His other plays include Iphigenia in Splott,Love Steals Us From Loneliness, Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco, The Shadow of a Boy, (winner, Meyer Whitworth Award, George Devine Award), The Drowned World (winner, Fringe First and Pearson Best Play Award), Ghost City,Cancer Time, SK8, Big Hopes, In the Pipeline, Blackthorn, Mary Twice, Amgen:Broken, Bulletproof, The Ugly Truth and Free Folk. His adaptations include Spring Awakening and Ring Ring, a new version of La Ronde for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for Sherman Cymru. He is a Creative Associate at Watford Palace Theatre, where his plays We That Are Left, Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian, and Perfect Match have been produced.

Hamish Pirie is Associate Director at the Royal Court and this will be his third production for the theatre after directing Who Cares and Teh Internet is Serious Business. His previous directing credits include I’m With The Band and Demos, Quiz Show, Love With A Capital ‘L’, 3 Seconds, Most Favoured, Bravo Figaro andThe Last Bloom at the Traverse, Edinburgh (where he was previously Associate Director) and Salt Root andRoe for the Donmar Warehouse’s Trafalgar Studio season.

Morfydd Clark’s theatre credits include Blodeuwedd at Theatr Genedlathol Cymru. Her television credits include Arthur & George (ITV1), A Poet in New York (BBC) and New Worlds (Channel 4). Film credits include Love and Friendship, The Call Up, Pride Prejudice & Zombies, The Falling, Madame Bovary and Two Missing.

Jason Hughes last appeared at the Royal Court in A Real Class Affair and Phaedra’s Love. Other theatre credits include In The Next Room (St. James), 4:48 Psychosis (Royal Court US Tour),Caligula (Donmar), Design for Living, Fight for Barbara (Theatre Royal, Bath), A Wing and a Prayer(Battersea Arts Centre), Kiss Me Like You Mean It (Soho Theatre), In Flame (New Ambassador’s),Look Back in Anger (Lyttelton), The Herbal Bed (Royal Shakespeare Company), Snake in the Grass(Old Vic), The Illusion (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Badfinger (Donmar); Nothing to Pay (Thin Language); The Unexpected Guest (Theatre Royal, Windsor), Macbeth (Theatre Clwyd), A Slice of Saturday Night (Theater Auf Tournee). His television credits include Midsomer Murders, Dead Long Enough, Mine All Mine, Plain Jane, The Flint Street Nativity, Harry Enfield and Chums, Strangers in the Night, This Life, King Girl, Casualty, Castles, Peak Practice, The Bill and London’s Burning.

David Moorst is a recent LAMDA graduate. He has recently appeared in Wonderland at  Hamsptead Theatre. His television credits include Partners in Crime and Holby City.

Siwan Morris last appeared at the Royal Court in Gas Station Angel. Other theatre credits includesTonypandemonium, A Good Night Out in the Valleys (National Theatre Wales), Cloakroom(Sherman Cymru), Knives in Hens (Bath Theatre Royal), Midsummer Nights Dream, Suddenly Last Summer (both at Theatr Clwyd), The Seagull (Bristol Old Vic), Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night (UK Tour), The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale (Ludlow Festival), Feast of Snails (Lyric),The Rabbit, King Lear, Flora’s War, Hosts of Rebecca, The Journey of May Kelly, Rape of the Fair Country, Equus (all at Theatr Clywd). Her television credits include Pishyn Glo (S4C), Doctor Who,Our Girl, Wolfblood, Holby City, Whites (BBC), Caerdydd (Fiction Factory), Miss Marple (ITV) andSkins (Channel 4/E4). Her film includes Dark Signal, the Devils Vice and The Machine.


The Big Idea: Violence and Son

Violence and Shame

Psychologist and poet Jonathan Asser in conversation with Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirieabout the impulses that drive men to commit acts of violence.
Wednesday 10 June, 6pm
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
£5 (or free with a ticket for that evening’s performance)

Gary Owen in Conversation

The playwright talks to Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie

Thursday 25 June, post-show

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
Free with a ticket for this performance

Power and Consent
With Dr Susan Hansen and Dr Jackie Gray academics specialising in forensic psychology at the University of Middlesex.
Wednesday, 8 July, 6pm
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs
£5 (or free with a ticket for Violence and Son)

Listings Information:

Violence and Son
by Gary Owen
directed by Hamish Pirie
Wednesday 03 June – Saturday 11 July 2015
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs , Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Monday – Saturday
Saturday matinees (from 13 June) 3pm
Thursday matinees (from 11 June) 3pm
Captioned Performance Tuesday 07 July 2015, 7.45pm
Press Night Monday 08 June, 7pm
Age Guidance 14+
Tickets £20
Mondays all seats £10 (available on the day from 9am online)
Concessions £15* (available in advance until 13 June, and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)
School and HE Groups of 8+ £10  (available Wednesday – Saturday matinee, plus midweek matinee)
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate)
*ID required. All discounts subject to availability.


written and directed by debbie tucker green
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Thursday 11 June – Saturday 18 July 2015

Trailer released for debbie tucker green’s play hang at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre  (11 June to 18 July – press night 16 June).

To embed the trailer see here.

debbie tucker green returns to the Royal Court to direct her new play hang with cast including Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claire Rushbrook and Shane Zaza.


“Fuck your sympathy and keep it with your sorrys.”


A crime has been committed.

The victim has a choice to make.

The criminal is waiting.

A shattering new play about an unspeakable decision.

debbie tucker green returns to the Royal Court to direct her new play hang.  The cast includes Marianne Jean-Baptiste who makes her Royal Court debut, Claire Rushbrook and Shane Zaza.

hang is designed by Jon Bausor, with lighting design by Tim Mitchell, music composition by Luke Sutherland, sound design by Christopher Shutt and movement by Polly Bennett.

debbie tucker green’s previous plays for the Royal Court include truth and reconciliation (which she also directed), random and stoning mary. Other plays include nut (writer/director, National Theatre), generations(Young Vic), trade (RSC) and born bad (for which she won an Olivier Award, Hampstead Theatre). She won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama for her Channel 4 film adaptation of random which she also directed. Her debut feature film Second Coming (writer/director) stars Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba and is released later this year.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste has recently appeared on screen in Broadchurch. She most recently performed on stage in The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, and before that The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice for Shakespeare in the Park for The Public Theatre New York. Other previous productions include Peter Brook’s Le Costume (Paris and tour), Phyllida Lloyd’s The Way of the World (National Theatre) and Declan Donnellan’s Measure for Measure (Cheek-by-Jowl) for which she received a nomination for the Ian Charleson Award. She collaborated with Mike Leigh on stage in It’s a Great Big Shame at Stratford East, as composer for Career Girls and then again on film in Secrets & Lies, which garnered her Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Marianne is well known for her role as Vivian Johnson in long running American Television series Without A Trace. Her extensive film credits include RoboCop, Won’t Back Down, 360, Takers, Spygame, The Cell and 28 Days.

Claire Rushbrook previously appeared on the Royal Court Theatre stage in stoning mary, Food Chain and Hated Nightfall. Her extensive theatre credits include Market Boy (National Theatre),Festen (Almeida), Uncle Vanya (Almeida and Tour), Three Sisters (Oxford Stage Company/ West End), Hindle Wakes (Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester). She is currently best known for her role as Rae’s Mum in My Mad Fat Diary, for which she received a BAFTA nomination. Her other television credits include Whitechapel, Murder, Enid, Great Expectations, Dr Who, Home Fires and the Channel 4 comedy Spaced. Her film credits include Under the Skin and Secrets and Lies. 


Shane Zaza previously appeared on the Royal Court Theatre stage in Oxford Street (93.2FM & House of Agnes). He is currently playing one of the lead roles Behind the Beautiful Forevers for the National Theatre and has recently been seen as series regular Shafiq Shah in Sally Wainwright’s dramaHappy Valley on BBC One. Other theatre credits includes Henry V, 13 (National); Behind the Lines,Repentance (Bush); Mongrel Island, Realism, Minutes Pass, Furnace Four (Soho); Pieces of Vincent (Arcola); Deadeye (Birmingham Rep / Soho); Peter Pan (National Theatre Scotland), Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (Globe); Players (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Billy Liar (Liverpool Playhouse); Mercury Fur (Paines Plough); George’s Marvellous Medicine (Bolton Octagon); The Master and Margarita, Kes, Nicholas Nickleby (Lyric); The Arbitrary Adventures of An Accidental Terrorist (Lyric Studio); The Long Way Home (New Perspectives); East is East (New Victoria).His television credits includes Silent Witness, Coming Up: Micah, Doctors, Mouth to Mouth, The Omid Djalili Show, Spooks, 10 Days to War, The Bill, Casualty, Murphy’s Law, Watch Over Me, Doctor Who, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe, Waterloo Road, Messiah. Film includes Generation Z, Spooks: The Greater Good, Keeping Up With the Joneses, Plastic, Two Tone, Jadoo, Clean Skin, Love at First Sight, The Da Vinci Code and Spark

Dialogue Theatre Club

Hosted by theatre and pop critic Maddy Costa, and Jake Orr of A Younger Theatre, Dialogue Theatre Club works like a book group: you see the show in your own time, then meet up to chat about it over nibbles and drinks. No one involved in making the show is present – no actors, writers, directors or designers – so you can say what you like.
9 July, 7.45pm

Free but ticketed

Listings Information:

written and directed by debbie tucker green
Thursday 11 June – Saturday 18 July 2015
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
Monday – Saturday 7.30pm
Saturday matinees
(from 20 June) 2.30pm
Thursday matinees (from 25 June) 2.30pm
Captioned Performance Wednesday 15 July, 7.30pm
Press Night Tuesday 16 June, 7pm
Audio Described Performance Saturday 11 July, 7.30pm
Age Guidance 14+
Tickets £35, £25, £16, £12
Mondays all seats £10 (available in advance to Friends and Supporters subject to availability and on the day of the performance from 9am online)
Concessions £15* Concessions £5 off top prices* (available in advance until 20 June, and all matinees. For all other performances, available on a standby basis on the day)
25s and under £12 (limited availability)
Schools and HE Groups 8+ 50% off top two prices (available Wednesday – Saturday matinee, plus midweek matinees)
Groups of 6+ £5 off top price (available Wednesday– Saturday matinee, plus midweek matinee)
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate)
*ID required. All discounts subject to availability



As previously announced

Royal Court: UK Tour

by Nick Payne
directed by Michael Longhurst

Following sold-out runs at the Royal Court Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, the award winningConstellations is now on tour.

Quantum multiverse theory, love and honey. Constellations is an explosive play about free will and friendship from one of the leading voices in UK theatre, Nick Payne.

Sparked by the first encounter of bee-keeping Roland and scientist Marianne, the boundless potential of their connection leads us through a heart-breaking love story of endless invention.

The production is designed by Tom Scutt with lighting design by Lee Curran. The composer is Simon Slater, sound design is by David McSeveney and movement by Lucy Cullingford.

Nick Payne’s most recent plays at the Royal Court were Constellations (winner of the Evening Standard Best Play Award), The Art of Dying and Wanderlust. His other credits include Constellations in the West End and on Broadway, Incognito at HighTide Festival/Bush, Blurred Lines at the Shed at the National Theatre, The Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse, If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet at the Bush Theatre. He was the winner of the George Devine Award in 2009 and also a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme. Nick is currently playwright in residence at the Donmar Warehouse and working on projects for BBC Films.

Michael Longhurst directs. Previously for the Royal Court he directed Constellations (winner of the Evening Standard Best Play Award) and Remembrance Day. He is a recipient of the Jerwood Directors Award (2007) at the Young Vic and a Fringe First in 2005. Michael recently directed Bad Jews (St James’s Theatre). He directed Nick Payne’s play If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet for the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York in Autumn 2012 starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Previously Michael directed the world premiere of Stovepipe by Adam Brace. Other credits include  On The Beach as part of The Contingency Plan at the Bush Theatre, On The Record at the Arcola, dirty butterfly (winner of the Jerwood Directors Award at the Young Vic), 1 In 5 as part of Daring Pairings at Hampstead Theatre and Fringe First Award winner Guardians at the Edinburgh Festival.

Constellations by Nick Payne was supported in 2012 by Jerwood New Playwrights.

Tour Dates:

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton 2 – 6 June
University Road, Southampton, SO17 1TR
023 8067 1771 /

The Lowry, Salford Quays 9 – 13 June (on sale 6 March)
Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
0843 208 6000 /

Cambridge Arts Theatre 16 – 20  June                            
6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ
01223 503333 /

Richmond Theatre 23 – 27 June                              
The Green Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ
0844 871 7651/

Theatre Royal Brighton 30 June – 4 July                                  
New Road Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD
0844 871 7650 /

For press information please contact Clióna Roberts on 020 7704 6224 / 07754 756504 or email[email protected]

Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby
a co-production between the Royal Court Theatre and Lisa Dwan Productions, in association with Cusack Projects Ltd
by Samuel Beckett
performed by Lisa Dwan
directed by Walter Asmus

The trilogy of Samuel Beckett plays performed by Lisa Dwan, which sold-out their original runs at the Royal Court and West End, returns to London this June for the final leg of the tour at the Barbican.

Lisa Dwan’s performance of Beckett’s Not I was staged at the Royal Court in 2013 to great acclaim, 40 years after it’s UK premiere there in 1973. In January 2014 Dwan returned to reprise the production alongsideFootfalls and Rockaby, directed by Beckett’s long-time collaborator Walter Asmus. The production then moved to play full houses in a West End run before heading on tour around the UK and Ireland as well as visiting New York.

Barbican Centre 2-7 June
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 8891 /



The Almeida announces full casting for Bakkhai

a new version by Anne Carson
directed by James Macdonald

23 July – 19 September 2015
Press Night 30 July, 7pm

The Almeida Theatre announces full casting for BakkhaiJames Macdonald directs Anne Carson’s new version of Euripides’ hedonistic, visceral tragedy.  Using three actors and a chorus, this new production will echo the original Ancient Greek performance model.

Kevin Harvey will join the previously announced Ben Whishaw, who makes his Almeida debut as Dionysos, and Bertie Carvel who returns to the Almeida as Pentheus.

The chorus will include Amiera Darwish, Eugenia Georgieva, Kaisa Hammarlund, Helen Hobson, Hazel Holder, Melanie La Barrie, Elinor Lawless, Catherine May, Louise Mills and Belinda Sykes.

Pentheus has banned the wild, ritualistic worship of the god Dionysos. A stranger arrives to persuade him to change his mind.  Euripides’ electrifying tragedy is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and the irrational, man and god.

Design is by Antony McDonald, with light by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Arditti, composition byOrlando Gough and musical direction by Lindy Tennent-Brown. Choreography is by Jonathan Burrowsand Gillie Kleiman. Casting is by Anne McNulty CDG.

Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, translator, playwright – and classicist who frequently references, modernises – and translates Greek mythology. Anne’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigone, starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Ivo van Hove, played at the Barbican earlier this year having premiered at Théâtre National du Luxembourg.  Anne is a MacArthur Fellow; she has received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Pushcart Prize, and was an Anna-Maria Kellen fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007.

James Macdonald’s work at the Almeida includes The Triumph of Love, Judgment Day and A Delicate Balance. His production of The Father is currently playing at the Tricycle TheatreHe was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007, premiering works by Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp.  More recently at the Royal Court he has directed The Wolf From the Door, Cock and Love and Information. His other credits include Roots (Donmar Warehouse), #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei, And No More Shall We Part (Hampstead Theatre), King Lear, The Book of Grace, Top Girls (Broadway), Judgment Day, Dido, Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National Theatre), Dying City(Lincoln Center), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You (Public Theater) and Glengarry Glen Ross (West End).

Bertie Carvel returns to the Almeida stage, having previously performed in Rope. He created the role of Miss Trunchbull in Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s Matilda, The Musical (RSC, West End and Broadway). His iconic performance won him a raft of awards including the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, the prestigious Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination. Bertie’s other theatre credits include The Pride (Royal Court), Parade (Donmar Warehouse), The Man of Mode, The Life of Galileo and Coram Boy(all National Theatre).  On television, he appeared as Nick Clegg in James Graham’s Channel 4 dramaCoalition, and is currently playing the role of Jonathan Strange in the BBC adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Other film and television credits include The Wrong MansBabylonRestless, Hidden, Sherlock, Just William, The Crimson Petal and The White, John Adams, Doctor Who, Hawking and Les Misérables. He is soon to appear in Mike Bartlett’s Doctor Foster for the BBC.

Kevin Harvey returns to the Almeida after appearing in Mike Bartlett’s Game earlier this year. His previous theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (West End), Titus Andronicus and Candide (both RSC Swan Season 2013), The Alchemist (Liverpool Playhouse), Decade (Headlong), Salt (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Wig Out! (Royal Court), Stags & Hens (Royal Court Liverpool) and Macbeth (Out of Joint). Kevin’s television credits include Good Cop, Spooks and Ruby in the Smoke.

Ben Whishaw makes his Almeida debut, having last appeared on stage in Jez Butterworth’s Mojo in the West End. Other theatre includes Peter and Alice (West End), Cock (Royal Court), His Dark Materials, The Seagull, The Idiot (all National Theatre) and Hamlet (Old Vic), for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award.  On film, he recently lent his voice to Britain’s best-loved bear in Paddington and performed in the BAFTA-nominated Lilting. He played Q in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, a role he will reprise in upcoming Bond filmSpectre. Other films include Enduring Love, Layer Cake, Perfume, Stoned, I’m Not There, Brideshead Revisited, Bright Star, The Tempest and Cloud Atlas.  He won a BAFTA for the BBC adaptation of Richard II.  Other television includes The Hour, Nathan Barley and Criminal Justice, for which he won Best Actor Awards at the Emmys and the Royal Television Awards. Later this year he will appear opposite Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz in The Lobster, as Herman Melville in the Heart of the Sea and alongside Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter in Suffragette.



Access             Audio Described performance by VocalEyes Saturday 5 September at 3pm, Touch Tour 1.15pm and Friday 11 September at 8pm, Touch Tour 6.30pm
                         Captioned performance Friday 4 September at 8pm
Address           Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Café Bar          The Almeida Café Bar is open from 11.30am -11pm, Monday to Saturday

Box Office       Phone 020 7359 4404 (10am – 8pm Monday to Saturday)

In person 10am – 7pm, Monday to Saturday
Prices £10 – £38, concessions available
Preview prices £10 – £30
Islington First* (if you live or work in Islington) £23, 23 July – 1 August
Under 30s* £19 available for every Monday of the run
Day seats (2 per person) will go on sale at 11am on day of performance, in
person from Box Office for all performances from 31 July
*Conditions apply – check website for details

Performances Monday – Saturday at 8pm

Saturday matinees at 3pm from 1 August
Wednesday matinees at 3pm from 5 August – 9 September

Talkback          Post-show discussion with members of the Bakkhai company

Tuesday 18 August
Free to same-day ticket holders


Almeida Questions
is an eclectic programme of pre-show discussions which consider some of the questions raised by the work on our stage. In each discussion, invited panellists dig into the key issues and ideas emerging from the show. More details for all three shows to be announced soon.


We Are 150 Years’ Old!



City Varieties circa 1911.Credit postcard donated by Maurice Friedman – British Music Hall SocietyIt may be 150 years old but it still looks beautiful. Happy Birthday to our city’s famous Music Hall. This Sunday 7th June, City Varieties Music Hall celebrates 150 years of entertaining the people of Leeds – and everyone is invited to the party.

From 12noon to 4pm the theatre will throw open its doors and welcome Leeds to celebrate;  there’ll be street performers, piano players, sneaky peeks behind the scenes, performances on stage, classic Victorian parlour games and of course birthday cake. No booking necessary just turn up and join in the fun.

City Varieties Music Hall holds the record for being the longest running Music Hall in the country. Hidden up a cobbled side street (Swan Street) just off Briggate, it began life as a room above a pub for the working people of Leeds to be entertained; its affluent sister venue The Grand Theatre was meant only for the higher classes.

In its early years the Varieties welcomed many weird and wonderful acts including the world-renowned escapologist Harry Houdini and a woman who hypnotised alligators.

In 1953 City Varieties became home to the BBC TV Series The Good Old Days – a variety show based on ‘old time music hall’ – and encouraged its audience to dress in Victorian garb; they duly obeyed and the show was a hit. The Good Old Days welcomed a host of TV stars and launched the careers of many more. Les Dawson, Barbara Windsor, Bruce Forsyth, Eartha Kitt, John Inman and Barry Cryer are only a few of the big names starring in the TV programme that ran for 30 years until 1983.

City Varieties Swan Street TodayToday the venue, staying true to its heritage, plays host to a variety of acts; this year’s big names include Luisa Omielan, Paul Merton, Amanda Palmer, Chris Ramsay, Rob Beckett, Festival of The Spoken Nerd, Andy Parsons,Chas & Dave and Richard Herring.

The theatre’s famous Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto hits the stage every Christmas – this year it’s Robin Hood & Babes in the Wood – and of course audiences can still catch the show that put Leeds on the world map; The Good Old Days runs across seven weekends a year and dressing up is still encouraged (though by no means compulsory!)

Learn more about the theatre – its past, its present, its stars and its oddities – on Sunday 7th June at The City Varieties 150th Birthday Party.  Weather permitting, the activities will spill out on to the cobbles – but not to worry if the British summer lets us down, there’s plenty going on indoors too.

The party starts at 12noon and the cutting of the special birthday cake will take place at 12.30pm with the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children and Families, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon.

For more information: / 0113 243 0808

Twitter @Cityvarieties

Jeeves and Wooster Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 1 June 2015

download (2)Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense is perfect entertainment.  2 hours of perfect hilarity by just 3 perfect and incredibly talented actors.

A play within a play this show is a classic farce.  Sean Foley (The Ladykillers) is a great comic director and he is once again in winning form here. The pretext of Perfect Nonsense, neatly adapted by the Goodale Brothers from The Code of the Woosters (1937) is that Bertie Wooster (Robert Webb) has hired a West End theatre to put on a dramatised version of an elaborate anecdote involving his Aunt Dahlia, Gussie Fink-Nottle, the Basset family and various relatives and servants and crucially a silver creamer shaped like a cow.  That’s where the audience come in – from the off we are directly addressed and included in the ensuing amateur-theatrical riot. Realising he can’t possibly play all the characters alone, Wooster recruits the straight-faced fixer-of-all-things Jeeves (Jason Thorpe) and the diminutive manservant Seppings (Christopher Ryan) to recreate the rest, women, dogs and all.

One of the great fictional story tellers, Wooster speaks to you as if you were a most intimate friend, misquoting Shakespeare, stumbling over himself to explain the complexities of his social circle, comparing conversing aunts to ‘as if shouting across a ploughed field in a high wind,’ and on receiving bad news, said it hit him like ‘one who has been picking daisies by the railway line and catches the 4.15 in the small of the back’. He bestows ludicrous significance to the relatively minor mishaps of his pampered existence.

Jason Thorpe is excellent at these  hi-jinks, and is near-unrecognisable in some of his guises, all of which are inspired. There are laughs to be had guessing just how he’ll manage his next transition from one character to another. Christopher Ryan is the star of the show as Seppings and his impressions.

Whether emulating a gale with a wind shield-smacking branch or doing his utmost to convince as an eight-foot beast of a man, Ryan is hilarious.

While Thorpe and Ryan both play multiple parts, Robert Webb is the show’s anchor, his Bertie striking the right notes of cheery naivety and childlike fear – usually justified – of getting caught up to no good. The plot unfolding around him serves up a stolen cow-shaped creamer, an offensive notebook, a policeman’s hat, plus obligatory attempts to prevent Bertie being jostled into marriage. And though a very – VERY – wordy piece Webb manages it outstandingly

The show is bonkers and charming and laugh out loud funny from curtain up to the marvellous, deadpan, dance routine at the finale

In Leeds until Saturday 6 June and on a national tour of the UK, this is one of the funniest things you will see this year.

Perfect Nonsense – Perfect Comedy – Perfect Family Entertainment – Perfect Night Out



The world’s best-selling mystery is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal! Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were Nonehas recorded 100 million sales to date and the ‘Queen of Crime’s’ own stage adaptation of this dark and captivating tale is set to thrill audiences from 27 July – 1 Aug 2015.


And Then There Were None is widely considered to be Christie’s masterpiece and this production marks the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth, and the 10th anniversary of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company.


A group of 10 strangers is lured to a remote island off the coast of Devon. Upon arrival they discover that their host, an eccentric millionaire, is missing. At dinner a recorded message is played accusing each of them in turn of having a guilty secret and by the end of the evening the 10 guests become nine. Stranded on the island by a torrential storm and haunted by an ancient nursery rhyme, one by one the guests begin to die. And with only the fallen believed to be innocent who amongst them is the killer?


Featuring a host of familiar faces from the world of TV and theatre, the show stars 2015 British Soap Award winner Verity Rushworth, best known for her role as Donna Windsor-Dingle in the long-running ITV soap Emmerdale. Verity won the ‘Best Scene’ award for the scene where Donna says goodbye to her daughter April. And Verity is no stranger to the stage having made her West End debut as Penny Pingleton in the musical Hairspray and later she played Maria Von Trapp in the UK tour of The Sound of Music, taking over the role from Connie Fisher.


Verity is joined by fellow Emmerdale veteran Frazer Hines, who played Joe Sugden in the soap for 22 years from the pilot episode in 1972. Many will also recognise Frazer as Dr Who’s Jamie McCrimmon, companion to the second Doctor Patrick Troughton. Frazer’s theatre experience includes starring roles in Outside Edge, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, Spider’s Web, Not Now Darling, Doctor in the House, in which he played opposite Bill Kenwright, Run for your Wife, Wait Until Dark and Far From the Madding Crowd.


Musical Theatre star Paul Nicholas first made his name in the original London production of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played the title role and later went on to star in Hair and Grease in the West End with Elaine Paige. Paul will also be known to many as Vince Pinner in the 80s BBC sitcom Just Good Friends.


Colin Buchanan, best known for playing D.I Pascoe for eleven years in the hit BBC television series Dalziel and Pascoe, joins the cast off the back of starring in a UK tour of another Bill Kenwright production, J.B Priestley’s Dangerous Corner.


Susan Penhaligon is probably best known for starring in the 1976 ITV drama Bouquet of Barbed Wire and for playing Judi Dench’s sister in the 1981 LWT sitcom A Fine Romance. She has also appeared on TV many times in dramas such as Upstairs Downstairs, Casualty and Touch of Frost and her extensive West End theatre credits include The Three SistersOf Mice and Men (Mermaid) and Dangerous Corner (Whitehall Theatre).


Mark Curry is best known to children of the Eighties as one of the Blue Peter presenters as well as hosting Get Set for Summer, The Saturday Picture Show and Screen Test. His acting credits include Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone, London’s Burning, and West End shows The Woman in Black, Talent and he toured with Noises Off and Singin’ In The Rain.


Ben Nealon is best known for his role as 2nd Lt/Lt/Capt Jeremy Forsythe in the ITV award winning series Soldier Soldier. His previous work for Bill Kenwright includes The Signal Man (Windsor) and the Passport For Pimlico tour. His TV credits includeCasualty, The Bill, EastEnders and Doctors, and film roles include the Bollywood blockbusters The Rising and the Oscar-nominated Lagaan.


As The Agatha Christie Theatre Company marks its 10th anniversary with this production of And Then There Were None, the interest and adoration for the great Dame Christie – who having sold over two billion books worldwide is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare – continues to grow.


This production of And Then There Were None is produced by Bill Kenwright, with Joe Harmston directing, design by Simon Scullion, lighting by Douglas Kuhrt and sound by Matt Bugg.


And Then There Were None appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday 27 July – Saturday 1 August 2015. Tickets from £14.50 (pay 50p less per ticket when you book online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at


And why not tempt yourself with Afternoon Tea after the matinees on Thu 30 July and Sat 1 Aug? Served in our exclusive Olivier Suite and accompanied by one of our pianists, you can treat yourself for £14.95 per person or upgrade to Afternoon Tea with Prosecco for £20.90. Book via the Box Office or online at

The Magic Flute

UoY Opera Society presents Mozart’s

The Magic Flute.


Saturday 30 May at 7pm

The University of York Opera Society present Mozart’s The Magic Flute on Saturday in their third venture at the Grand Opera House, York.

For one night only this talented student company will take you on a journey to an enchantingdreamland of magic and mystery with a cast and crew of more than 50 members and a 30-piece orchestra in the pit.

Director, Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong comments, “It’s been an extremely rewarding journey so far and we’re excited to perform in such a fabulous venue. The brilliantly fantastical narrative which features a heroic quest, a vengeful Queen and, of course, a magical flute calls for all manner of special effects. These include an attack from a monstrous serpent and trials by both fire and water.”

The Magic Flute will be performed at 7pm in an English translation by Jeremy Sams, courtesy of Josef Weinberger. Tickets are on sale from the York Grand Opera House Box Office on 0844 871 3024 or by visiting Be sure not to miss this thrilling performance, as it promises to be a visual and musical spectacle like none other.

Tickets: £21 & £15 in person from the theatre box office, or call ATG tickets  on 0844 871 3024, to book online go to

Punchdrunk Enrichment and Hijinx Announce Sequel to Beneath the Streets

Hijinx and Punchdrunk Enrichment present

Beneath the Streets: Lost and Found

Beneath the Streets: Lost and Found is an immersive theatrical experience in which the audience is invited to roam through the space encountering characters and uncovering a story as the action unfolds all around them. The performance uncovers a hidden world of lost items from keys and glasses to love and loved ones.

The piece is performed by a large cast of actors with and without disabilities, including nine performers from Hijinx Academy in Cardiff, Hijinx’s professional training course for actors with learning disabilities.


Beneath the Streets: Lost and Found reunites the successful partnership between Welsh theatre company Hijinx – specialists in inclusive theatre – and Punchdrunk Enrichment, the education and outreach arm of renowned theatre company Punchdrunk.

Beneath the Streets 2014, which saw the basement of Cardiff’s Castle Arcade transformed in to a labyrinth of performance spaces, received a nomination for Best Production in the English Language at Wales Theatre Awards 2015.

This year’s production develops some of the stories and characters from the first show, and takes place in a new secret location in the city centre with an extended run of 12 performances.

Hijinx’s Chief Executive, Clare Williams, commented “We are thrilled to be producing a sequel to the highly successful ‘Beneath the Streets’. We firmly believe that our partnership with Punchdrunk Enrichment, who are experts in immersive performance, combined with the talents and uniqueness of Hijinx Academy actors and a wider inclusive cast, will make for an utterly unique performance. Don’t miss it!

Punchdrunk’s Enrichment Director, Peter Higgin, commented “We relished our time with Hijinx in 2014. The partnership was a profound experience; Hijinx Academy have an intoxicating and infectious energy that makes working with them compelling, addictive and incredibly rewarding. We are delighted to return to Cardiff and pick-up where we left off, and know that ‘Beneath the Streets’ audiences both old and new are in for a real treat.”

Hijinx have received funding from Arts Council Wales to produce Beneath the Streets: Lost and Found. This year, Wales Millennium Centre are a production partner on the show.


A limited number of tickets are available for each performance due to its unique setting. Early booking is advised, available from Chapter Arts Centre  and Wales Millennium Centre.

The secret location will be revealed at the time of booking.


Tickets £10 (£6 concessions)


Friday 26 June, 7pm & 9 pm
Saturday 27 June, 7pm & 9 pm
Sunday 28 June, 3pm & 5pm
Tuesday 30 June, 7 pm
Wednesday 1 July, 7 pm
Thursday 2 July, 7 pm & 9 pm
Friday 3 July, 6.30 pm & 9 pm


BSL interpretation on 3 July, 6.30pm & 9pm
Audio Description on 3 July, 9pm






Robert Webb, star of Peep Show and Mitchell and Webb, stars as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at Leeds Grand Theatre next week

Alongside Robert Webb as Bertie Wooster, the Olivier award-winning comedy stars Jason Thorpe as Jeeves andChristopher Ryan as Seppings ; they take to the Leeds’ stage from Monday 1st to Saturday 6th June.


When a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker and to steal a silver cow creamer from Totleigh Towers.


The ever-dependable Jeeves is there to prevent Bertie from making a fool of himself in front of a cast of Wodehouse’s finest characters including Gussie Fink-Nottle, Madeline Bassett, Sir Watkin Basset, Dahlia Travers, Roderick Spode and Constable Oates.


Billed as ‘… a delightful evening of theatrical absurdity…’ the iconic double act promises a raucous evening of comedy.



Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense is at Leeds Grand Theatre from

Monday 1st to Saturday 6th June


Tickets are on sale now priced from £23 to £34


Book online at or call box office on 0844 848 2700




Cross Sesame Street with the Muppet Show, give it a 14+ age rating and clap on a government health warning that too much laughter can make your sides ache and you’ve got Avenue Q.

The countdown has begun! With just over a week to go until award winning musical Avenue Q hits Darlington Civic Theatre, the venue is preparing to host the most unholy comic allegiance between humans and puppets the world has ever seen. Following massive success all over the globe and nearly five years of mischief, bad behaviour and political incorrectness in the West End, Avenue Q finally arrives in Darlington from Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 June as part of its current national tour.

Avenue Q is a musical about the lively and off-the-wall characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues: love, work, relationships, and, above all, just how are you supposed to pay the bills with a BA in English? Hilarious and uproariously entertaining with songs performed by a cast of hugely talented performers and puppets, Avenue Q is a musical like no other.

Avenue Q follows Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate new to the area, as he desperately tries to follow his dreams and discover his ever-elusive purpose in life. A tiny bank balance, the distraction of a busty blonde, and a variety of weird and wonderful friends and neighbours lead Princeton on a story of self-discovery.

The show has enjoyed enormous success, both on Broadway and in London, proving to be the perfect, contemporary musical. Witty, rude and extremely funny, Avenue Q ingeniously combines a cast of humans and puppets who tackle subjects such as dating, racism, being gay and finding your purpose in life.

Avenue Q is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 June. Tickets* are priced £19 to £30.50

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy. Age recommendation 14+