International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Shakespeare’s Globe have come together to mark World Refugee Day with a powerfully moving short film – the “Stranger’s Case”.
Actors from some of the biggest TV shows and Broadway shows have come together with refugees from Syria, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan (half of the people who appear in the film have fled conflict) to perform a previously banned speech widely believed to have been written by William Shakespeare, from the collaborative 16th-century play “Sir Thomas More”.
“Let me entertain you!” former Take That member Robbie Williams once sang! For entertainment is what you’ll get if you spend an evening in the West End of London. See a musical, and you’ll soon be in its mesmeric grip. You’ll be taken away from the daily humdrum for a few hours and royally entertained. It’s an experience which, if you combine with the range ofLondon Theatre breaks on offer, will live long in your memory.
Into the West End
Head to the West end of London, and you’ll soon discover you’ve entered theatreland. On every street, down every side avenue, you’ll find a theatre. Its lights and signs are vying for your attention. You’re in the entertainment district of London, so enjoy, and make the most of it!
As you’re visiting the capital, it makes sense to combine your show with an overnight stay. Just think, you’ll have seen a show, why make the long journey home? Stay, take in some night scenes of London, knowing a centrally located hotel bed is close by to return too. You want to make the most of your London visit, right? Continue reading “Create A Magic Memory With A London Theatre Break”
Such amazing casting news came our way yesterday, with not one but two of my absolute faves returning to the London stage in the coming months. The starrier of the two is Cate Blanchett, who will appear with Stephen Dillane in a brand new play by Martin Crimp’s directed by Katie Mitchell at the National Theatre in January 2019. The play is enigmatically entitled When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other – Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela. (The torture presumably being the absolute scrum there’ll be to get tickets, as the show is going into the NT’s most intimate space, the Dorfman.)
Nominees have been announced for the 2017 Ian Charleson Awards:
Ellie Bamber for Hilde in The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse Daniel Ezra for Sebastian in Twelfth Night, National Theatre Tamara Lawrance for Viola in Twelfth Night, National Theatre Rebecca Lee for Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Watermill, Newbury James Corrigan for Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare Royal Shakespeare Company Ned Derrington for Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe Sope Dirisu for Coriolanus in Coriolanus, Royal Shakespeare Company Arthur Hughes for Lucius in Julius Caesar, Crucible, Sheffield Douggie McMeekin for Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Young Vic Natalie Simpson for Duchess Rosaura in The Cardinal, Southwark Playhouse Hannah Morrish for Lavinia in Titus Andronicus, Royal Shakespeare Company
The focus of the award is on roles in classical theatre – yours Ibsens, your Chehkovs, your overwhelming number of Shakespeares – but you do wonder whether there’s something about the kudos automatically granted here. Though there is diversity in the names selected here, the very notion of ‘classical’ as determined by the theatrical establishment seems to work against its actual ecology, at least as it relates to modern Britain.
I mean to not at all dishonour the legacy of Ian Charleson, but I do wonder whether the awards that bear his name recognise the bias that its limitations impose. If the Quentin Letts farrago shows us anything, it shows us how entrenched some of these attitudes are. But it also serves as a reminder that actors of colour (and women to some of the same extent) are ill-served by the ‘canon’.
I’m all for celebrating and highlighting the work of great young actors but I want all of them to be included. And yes, that makes the scope considerably wider but surely its time to acknowledge that there’re amazing actors who have never performed Shakespeare, and might never do Chekhov, but who are more than worthy of the kind of recognition offered here.
On the one hand, that the Vault Festival has expanded to over 300 shows running over 8 weeks is fantastic news for the emerging theatremakers that it supports. On the other, it means making the choice about what to see, even tackling the catalogue alone can feel somewhat daunting. It has taken me a wee while to get round to delving into it myself, but as the festival is set to open this week, here’s some of my top tips for each week.
Tomorrow Creeps– repurposed Shakespeare via the medium of Kate Bush? Hell, yes. Tumulus– it’s not a festival unless there’s a chemsex show Great Again– likewise a Trump-bashing musical
Double Infemnity – gender-flipping noir crime antics in a one-woman show? Whyever the hell not! Gypsy Queen – gays and boxing, sometimes I’m an easy sell… Gun– I’ll be trying to catch more comedy than I usually do this year, and this western-inspired show very much seems as good a place to start as any
Think of England – love, lust and swing dancing in wartime Waterloo – TICK! Be Prepared– I’m a fan of writer/performer Ian Bonar so definitely looking forward to this one Douze– Eurovision pop comedy musical fun, nuff said
YOU– a thought-provoking look at adoption, drawing on some deeply personal narratives STUD– gays and football, a combination that usually works wonders for me! Elsa– a chirpy sounding piece of reflective musical comedy
Sparks– Jessica Butcher is a name that people in the know rave about, Anoushka Lucas is a name I have raved about, together they ought to come up with something special Conquest– a debut show from PearShaped and one which promises to tackle contemporary feminism with real fearlessness Still We Dream… – I don’t see much dance but something about this piques my attention, animalistic movement in non-traditional spaces
TESTOSTERONE– experimental work pushing the trans narrative forward, one for the Daily Mail-reading person in your life… Das Fest – in many ways what the Vault Festival is for, for me, to see the type of thing I would never normally book for (as in Philipp Oberlohr’s show last year Das Spiel) and be delighted and not a little freaked out! The Strongbox – Stephanie Jacob is having a low-key moment, her play Again opens at Trafalgar Studios 2 next month and its final week will overlap with another piece of new writing from her, I suspect they’ll both be worth catching
Fuck Marry Kill – a work-in-progress from Vera Chok and Amy Mason which uses the game show format to challenge the patriarchy Bury the Hatchet– the tale of Lizzie Borden is one of enduring fascination and Out of the Forest are no exception here, using bluegrass, nursery rhyme and horror to retell and reexamine this story Unburied– a folk horror mystery that just seems most intriguing
Good things come to those who wait! I hadn’t booked for Young Marxat the brand new Bridge Theatre for a couple of reasons. I was still hoping that I might get a response to my email to the PR and despite a cast that includes the splendid Nancy Carroll and the delicious Oliver Chris alongside lead Rory Kinnear, Richard Bean just really isn’t my cup of tea. ‘Don’t you love farce?’ Not much my dear…
So when an email popped into my inbox offering a sneak preview of the show and an opportunity to be the first ever audience in the theatre for a pre-preview test run of the new venue and its facilities, then I knew it was meant to be. Turns out I do love a farce, at £7.50 a ticket. Continue reading “Thoughts on a visit to the Bridge Theatre”
In sad news, the death of Sir Peter Hall, one of the great names in British theatre, has been announced today. Sir Peter died on 11 September at University College Hospital, at the age of 86, surrounded by his family.
As the below statement from the National Theatre reminds us, his achievements were unparalleled, his devotion to the arts undoubtable. And in this selection of photos from some of his productions for the NT, his was a rare artistic vision indeed.
Though I might not have been away for my usual month-long sojourn to France, I kept up with a glut of album reviews to cover the (relatively) quiet period for those of us who don’t put themselves through Edinburgh 😉
“Moeten we hier als op de Wallen in lingerie gaan zitten?”
Time pressures (and priorities) being what they are, when one is on holiday celebrating one’s birthday, my review of Simon Stone’s Ibsen Huis (Ibsen House) for Toneelgroep Amsterdam won’t be ready for a couple of days. So in the meantime, follow the lovely Hans Kesting’s gaze past the break and feast your eyes on some of the production photos from Jan Versweyveld.
Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr have announced the opening programme for their The Bridge Theatre venture – the 900-seat commercial venue near to Tower Bridge which marks their re-entry into the London theatre landscape. The first three productions, all booking now, are: