Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things

In his first season as artistic director of Theatre N16, Scott Ellis presents a slew of new writing.
 
Olympilads by Andrew Maddock, produced by Lonesome Schoolboy and directed by Niall Phillips, reunites the team that presented He(art) at Theatre N16 earlier this year. Theatre N16 executive director (and former artistic director) Jamie Eastlake will present his new show Deadline Day by John Hickman and Steve Robertson: a bitter sweet tale about football, greed and the North-South divide.
 
Ten emerging artists debut a selection of original and varied works exploring feminism today in Maiden Speech: A festival of fresh feminist voices. Theatre N16 will also produce a new play by Sarah Milton, directed by Scott Ellis.

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Review: Women Centre Stage: Power Play Festival – Sphinx Writers Group

“You told me getting pregnant would kill me”

The Sphinx Theatre Writers Group have been developing new ideas for six months now and the penultimate session of the Women Centre Stage: Power Play Festival allowed us to peep at the fruits of their labour. First up was Jessica Siân’s White Lead directed by Chelsea Walker (the pair reuniting after their incendiary work on Klippies last year). Circling around ideas of artistic legacy, both genetic and physical, with a healthy dose of lesbian angst and same-sex parenting thrown in for good measure, Sian’s writing was undoubtedly elevated by fearsomely committed performances from the glorious Kirsty Bushell and Karen Bryson and definitely left me wanting more.

Bunch by Catriona Kerridge, directed by Holly Race Roughan took an interesting route into the world of its mystery, first up contrasting the nature of public and private grief through the all-too-real loss suffered by two young women and the almost manic behaviour of a professional mourner, relishing the shared emotions released by high profile deaths be it Princess Di or the victims of the Soham murders. Bunch took a little while to get going for me but once it did, delivering a hell of a twist, I was again hungry for a continuation. Sara Huxley, Natasha Rickman and Miranda Bell starred in that one. Continue reading “Review: Women Centre Stage: Power Play Festival – Sphinx Writers Group”

Review: Shoot, I Didn’t Mean That / The Last Days of Mankind, Tristan Bates

“I should have been drunk. That would have made sense. A drunk Brit abroad. But no, I wasn’t. I was sober…”

Much of the commemoration of the start of World War I that we have seen in British theatres has been from British writers so it is interesting to see that this double bill combines not only a classic piece of Austrian writing from the time but also a contemporary response to it as a result of a competition run by Time Zone Theatre and director Pamela Schermann. The result is a powerful look at the sad timelessness of global conflict that speaks as much to world affairs today as it does to the events of a century ago.

Catriona Kerridge’s Shoot, I Didn’t Mean That was the panel’s choice and has a raw energy that sprawls occasionally as its three disparate story threads wind their way across the stage. Over there a woman is locked in an Austrian prison, just here two girls are chattering away and in the middle another woman is trapped in a box reciting bland political statements. We gradually find out that none are quite as harmless as they seem, no matter how innocent their actual intentions may or may not be, and Kerridge perhaps underplays this notion. Continue reading “Review: Shoot, I Didn’t Mean That / The Last Days of Mankind, Tristan Bates”