|Nick Hytner welcoming us to the theatre|
|(c) James Bellorini|
Neaptide (1986), by Sarah Daniels
Photos: James Bellorini
Cast for the 1998 Almeida production directed by Peter Gill
2017 marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was an Act of Parliament that decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men.
50 years later the lives of queer people are perceived to be very different – equal age of consent, equality law and equal marriage are all heralded as progressive markers in LGBTQIA* equality but has the UK become a queer friendly nation or are homophobic prejudices just as prevalent?
Belonging is a public debate with poncy performance chaired by Scottee. Together with a committee of prominent queers he will explore where queer people sit in our society. A boozy, loose-tongued version of Question Time with less middle aged, middle class white men. Come and mouth off on the eve of London Pride.
Lady Phyll is the co-founder and director of UK Black Pride, head of political campaigns and equality at PCS Union and a QTIPOC Activist. http://ukblackpride.org.uk/
Shon Faye is a sexual and theological schemer, according to one biography. She is a journalist, writer, artist and comedienne based in Bristol. She is a contributor to Dazed and Novara Media on LGBT issues and trans feminism, has written for the Guardian, the Independent and VICE and appeared on BBC Newsnight and BBC Three. She currently has a film on exhibition at the Queer British Art exhibition at the Tate.
Chardine Taylor Stone
Chardine is an award winning cultural producer, feminist, writer & activist, as well as the founder of Black Girls Picnic, a trans-inclusive, global movement in collective self care to celebrate all the beauty that is Black Womanhood. https://chardinetaylorstone.com/
Travis Alabanza is a performance artist, theatre maker, poet and writer that works and survives in London. Their multidisciplinary practice uses a combination of poetry, theatre, sounscapes, projection and bodyfocussed performance art to scream about their survival as a Black, trans, gender-non-conforming person in the UK. http://travisalabanza.co.uk/
Plus other guests TBC
Zeal is the first ever improv festival to officially run as part of Pride In London! Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival is a week-long event taking part in venues across the city from 1-7 July offering a diverse mix of improvised entertainment to celebrate the LGBTQIA community.
Featuring improvised games, comedy, theatre, musicals, drag acts, stand-up and cabaret from both queer improvisers and those who support the community, the festival showcases a mix of established acts, fresh young talent and brand new teams, formed especially for this year’s event! There will also be opportunities for the audience to get up on stage and give it a go in friendly and supportive jam sessions, as well as chances to learn the basics of improv and improve existing skills through the Zeal workshops.
Taking place in collaboration with seven improv schools across London, the festival is an opportunity to see bold, exciting and unique shows that will never be seen again! These acts are made up on the spot and every show and every night will be completely different!
Acts include Music Box, who perform an entire improvised musical based on words from the audience, regular Proud Cabaret host Luke Meredith, and improv duo Breaking & Entering, as well as brand new drag king act The Bareback Kings, improvised songs and conversation from Phil Lunn Is… A Cabaret Singer, and The Lemonade Brigade, an all-gay improv team assembled especially for the festival!
And casting is now complete for the National’s #QueerTheatre season.
Bent by Martin Sherman, directed by Stephen Daldry, Sunday 9 July, 2.30pm
- George Mackay,
- Simon Russell Beale,
- Giles Terera,
- Pip Torrens,
- Paapa Essiedu,
- John Pfumojena
- Adrian Grove.
Certain Young Men written and directed by Peter Gill, Sat 8 July, 7.30pm
- Jonathan Bailey (Andrew),
- Ben Batt (Tony),
- Oliver Chris (David),
- Billy Howle (Michael),
- Lorne MacFadyen (Stewart),
- Stephen Rashbrook (stage direction),
- Brian Vernel (Terry)
- Toby Wharton (Christopher).
- Ronke Adekoluejo (Val)
- Adjoa Andoh (Beatrice)
- Simon Armstrong (Sid & Cyril)
- Thomas Arnold (Colin & Roger)
- Maureen Beattie (Joyce)
- Morfydd Clark (Poppy & Terri)
- Karla Crome (Diane)
- Helena Lymbery (Anette & Marion)
- Sarah Niles (Linda)
- Jessica Raine (Claire).
- Tarell Alvin-McCraney (Rey Rey)
- Arun Blair-Mangat (directions)
- Tunji Kasim (Eric)
- Alexia Khadime (Fate)
- Kadiff Kirwan (Ms Nina)
- Abiona Omonua (Faith)
- Jonjo O’Neill(Serena)
- Tom Rhys-Harries (Loki)
- Ukweli Roach (Lucian)
- Cat Simmons (Fay)
- Craig Stein (Venus).
- Fisayo Akinade
- Arun Blair-Mangat
- Niamh Cusack
- Richard Dempsey
- Sacha Dhawan
- Tom Edden
- Adetomiwa Edun
- Jodie McNee
- Cyril Nri
- Sule Rimi
- Adrian Scarborough.
“I ask no less than power to achieve my will in fair exchange for total service to the state”
Uneasy lies the head that waits for the crown. Mike Barlett’s King Charles III was a deserved award-winning success when it took the Almeida by storm in 2014, transferring into the West End and then Broadway, later touring the UK and Australia too. Its success lay in the conception of a Shakespearean future history play, written in verse but set in a world recognisably our own, where Prince George is nonchalantly eating croissants, Queen Elizabeth II has just passed and before he has even been crowned, Charles finds himself in a constitutional crisis of his own making. A bold but welcome move from the BBC to commission a version then.
Directed as it was onstage by Rupert Goold and adapted by Bartlett (the narrative has been telescoped down by over an hour), it re-emerges as a powerful, pacy drama, a fascinating look into how the relationship between monarchy and government could so easily shift at a time of transition, anchored by an achingly nuanced performance from Tim Pigott-Smith in the title role. The ache is of course deepened by the actor’s death last month but that sadness shouldn’t overshadow the quality of his work here, masterful in his command of the verse, mesmerising as a man trapped by history. Continue reading “TV Review: King Charles III, BBC2”
- Young Marx – Richard Bean and Clive Coleman’s new play about German philosopher Karl Heinrich Marx which will star Rory Kinnear in the title role alongside Oliver Chris as Engels. Directed by Nicholas Hytner it will have designs by Mark Thompson and music by Grant Olding;
- This will be followed by Julius Caesar directed by Hytner in promenade, starring
Ben Whishaw (Bakkhai, Skyfall) as Brutus, David Calder as Caesar, Michelle Fairley as Cassius and David Morrissey as Mark Antony;
- a new play from Barney Norris called Nightfall, directed by Laurie Sansom.
- a new play by Lucinda Coxon based on the novel Alys, Always by Harriet Lane;
- a new play by Nina Raine about JS Bach, played by Simon Russell Beale;
- flatpack, a new play by John Hodge;
- The Black Cloud, a new play by Sam Holcroft from the novel by Fred Hoyle;
- Carmen Havana, a version of Bizet’s opera by Lucy Prebble with choreography by Miguel Altunaga and directed by Nicholas Hytner.
- The Kenneth Branagh season (2015-6) – 5 plays initially, all written and directed by white men; 5 people in opening publicity shot, 2 women including Dame Judi Dench
- The Michael Grandage season (2012-13) – 5 plays all written and directed by white men; 7 people in opening publicity shot, 2 women including Dame Judi Dench
- The Donmar in the West End season (2008-09) – 4 plays all directed by white men and all but one written by white men; 4 people in opening publicity, 1 woman who was Dame Judi Dench!
– Same with any actors of colour
There’s nowt so queer as folk, at least not in Simon Godwin’s version of Illyria here. A gender-swapped Malvolia longs after her mistress Olivia, hipster-fop Sir Andrew Aguecheek is entirely smitten by a flirtatious Toby Belch, Antonio follows up his snog with Sebastian by inviting him to a rendez-vous at local drag bar The Elephant. And that’s before we’ve even dealt with the sexual confusion that Shakespeare himself engineered in Twelfth Night, as shipwreck survivor Viola disguises herself as her presumed drowned twin brother and wreaks havoc on the libidos of Olivia and Orsino alike.
It’sa mark of the success of Godwin’s production that it wears this all so lightly. It’s a modern-dress version for a modern sensibility (if not for the audience member who gasped audibly at the first gay kiss) and one that is rooted in a real sense of playfulness, as an expertly cast ensemble just have a huge amount of fun with it. Phoebe Fox’s delicious Olivia, who gives new life to the phrase ‘dance like nobody’s watching’; Oliver Chris’ Chelsea playboy of an Orsino, in the throes of a mid-life crisis having just turned 40; Tim McMullan’s swaggeringly confident Sir Toby ever accompanied by Niky Wardley’s spirited Maria and the comic masterpiece that is Daniel Rigby’s Sir Andrew.
I’m resisting the urge to feel festive but if you want to indulge a little early, take a listen to the lovely ‘Poles Apart’ from Another Night Before Christmas, the festive offering at the Bridge House Theatre SE20. Starring George Maguire and Rachael Wooding and written by Sean Grennan (book and lyrics) and Leah Okimoto (music), it’s shaping up to be a promising musical.
Following the spectacular success of its debut performance of Roger and Hammerstein’s State Fair, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra is delighted to announce its much anticipated Christmas concert; the hit Broadway musical A Christmas Carol with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens. The concert will take place on 19th December at the Lyceum Theatre and casting news is expected very soon.