In which I ask WWPD (what would Patti do) and decide to honour my reviewing schedule as best as I can
“A toast to that invincible bunch”
So…what’s a Clown to do in times of Coronavirus, apart from look longingly at this amazing Patti LuPone photoshoot from Town and County Magazine? It’s hard, if not impossible, to know what the right thing to do is at an unprecedented moment like this. When the creative industries that I love and cherish so dearly are under threat of being decimated, when the day job is also wracked by uncertainty, when the act of trying to manage my own anxiety feels hard enough on its own. Heck, even the idea of staying in of an evening feels strange after a decade of intensive theatregoing.
My answer, for now, is to keep busy and to that end, I am going to be honouring my reviewing schedule as it looked for the forthcoming month. Obviously I can’t reviews shows that haven’t happened but I’m going to try to pull together mini-feature pieces for them, to collate any previews and interviews they may have done, to give you the means of staying in touch with the companies and theatres and most significantly, the ways in which any support that you can offer can be given. Obviously, the precariousness of the situation affects so many of us but any assistance that can be offered, in any shape, will surely help in the process of getting through to the other side. Do as Patti says – “everybody rise”.
Linda Bassett, Juliet Stevenson and Sophie Thompson are among the cast for a digital revival of Little Wars
The marvellous Juliet Stevenson leads an all-star female cast in the online revival of US creative Steven Carl McCasland’s dinner party drama, Little Wars. Joining Stevenson will be Linda Bassett (Call The Midwife; East is East), Debbie Chazen (The Smoking Room; The Girls, West End), Natasha Karp (Rags, Park Theatre; The Kite Runner, West End), Catherine Russell (Holby City; What The Butler Saw, Curve Theatre), Sarah Solemani(Him & Her; Bad Education), and Sophie Thompson (Feel Good; Present Laughter, Old Vic). Continue reading “News: top casting for Little Wars revival”
New virtual exhibition of stars of stage and screen, including Andrew Scott, Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Jake Gyllenhaal, backstage by legendary theatre photographer Simon Annand
The thrilling experience of seeing actors live on stage is under threat during the present Covid restrictions. Theatres have been closed and this new book – Time To Act – reminds us of what we are missing. Through the eyes of this legendary photographer we observe how the performers get ready to astonish their audience.
SIX reunite, The Theatre Channel switches on, The Shows Go On return and casting is revealed in Bath
The Reunion is the first stage+streaming concert performance by seven powerhouse vocalists who rose to fame as the original West End queens of the musical SIX: Aimie Atkinson,Alexia McIntosh,Grace Mouat,Jarneia Richard-Noel,Maiya Quansah-Breed,Millie O’Connell, and Natalie Paris. The show will be livestreamed by theatre platform Thespie but a lucky few will also be able to get tickets to see the concerts live on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October.
Performances will be held in Oval Space, a spacious and well-ventilated East London venue that has been entirely reimagined for safe, seated music and theatre performances. The seating plan is entirely flexible which allows seating to be customised to the audience that books. Audiences book for themselves and their household or support bubble only (to a maximum of six), and Thespie’s technology determines a seat plan that ensures safe spacing between households and optimises use of the space. Continue reading “More September theatre news”
Written and staged in just 5 weeks, Freaking Free Mark DeFriest is a daring affair at the Bread and Roses Theatre but one that needs a little more development time
“Sometimes doing the right thing is wrong”
Chances are you won’t have heard of the name Mark DeFriest. A man in the US who, in 1980, took the tools promised to him by his late father pre-probate and ended up with a custodial sentence for his pains from which he has never broken free, despite developing a reputation as a notorious jailbreaker. Freaking Free Mark DeFriestoffers up a highly theatrical version of his lifestory, exploring his mental health issues exacerbated bu his incarceration.
Structurally, the play takes the form of short vignettes, shifting around in time and varying significantly in form which if nothing, certainly keeps the audience on its toes. From quiz shows asking for our participation to enact justice to prison correspondence that riffs on Eminem and Dido’s ‘Stan’, there’s certainly no lacking of ideas from Eyles. Continue reading “Review: Freaking Free Mark DeFriest, Bread and Roses Theatre”
Lockdown may have returned but theatres are boldly looking ahead – the David Tennant-starring Good and Six the Musical are moving theatres, Haydn Gwynne is back and The Last Five Years extends at the Southwark Playhouse
CP Taylor’s Good, starring David Tennant, Fenella Woolgar and Elliot Levey and directed by Dominic Cooke, which was due to open this October, has announced new dates for 2021 and a new run at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Produced by Fictionhouse and Playful Productions, Goodwas originally scheduled to begin performances at the Playhouse Theatre on Tuesday 6th October. Due to the current global situation, the production was postponed and will now preview at the Harold Pinter Theatre from Wednesday 21st April to Saturday 17st July 2021.
Current ticket holders will be given priority for the new dates and do not need to do anything. The point of purchase will be in touch with ticket holders to reschedule or refund their booking. Extra tickets for the new dates for Good at The Harold Pinter Theatrego on sale at 10am, Monday 12 October 2020.Continue reading “News: September theatre news gathers apace”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic, has announced the start of the Young Vic’s 50th birthday with a year-long programme of work entitled We are the New Tide, dedicated to the theatre’s milestone birthday.
The 50th birthday year of work begins with three major commissions:
YV 50thProjection Project– a projection celebrating the people and productions from across five extraordinary decades, illuminating the front of the Young Vic building each evening, with video design by Duncan McLean – check out just some of those productions in the gallery above.
The Unforgotten–an interactive outdoor art installation commemorating trailblazers Mary Seacole, Marsha P. Johnson and Ulric Cross. Furthering the conversation within the Black Lives Matter movement, the Young Vic community will be invited to contribute to the installation by submitting their own nominations in writing on the side of the building and online, asking us all to (re)consider who we celebrate as our heroes. Created by artists Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey and Anna Fleischle. From 11 September, free.
The New Tomorrow– for the first piece of live theatre since the pandemic closed UK theatres, this weekend festival of speeches and monologues asks what the next fifty years hold. Writers and artists Jade Anouka, Marina Carr, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Ruth Madeley, Amy Ng, Stef Smith, Jack Thorne, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Steve Waters will explore the change that has come and is coming. Cast to be announced. 3 & 4 October, 4pm, Main House, free