News, Reviews and Features


These are all of our in-house news and features as well as syndicated article excerpts from our 45+ theatre bloggers. You can also access All Our Mates' Posts in comprehensive list form and view individual author pages.
View Post

Eric Yves Garcia – Review

In Cabaret, London theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Crazy Coqs, London

****

Eric Garcia
In recent years New York singer-pianist Eric Yves Garcia has made quite an impact. An award winning cabaret artiste, he is here for a week’s residency at the Crazy Coqs with his show, One Night Standards. 

Relaxed from the outset, it was hard to comprehend that this was Garcia’s UK debut. Beginning with Arlen and Mercer’s Ridin’ On The Moon, it rapidly became clear that Garcia is a performer who can make one believe every note and lyric. Accompanied by Joe Pettit throughout on double bass, his first song declared his arrival and from there it continued with the deliciously naughty One Hour With You. If there is one male singer who can deliver this Whiting and Robin treat with the perfect mix of glint in their eye and silky vocals, it is Garcia. 
The mesmerizingly good-looking Garcia has a self-deprecating patter that forms an impressive part of his gig. With pinpoint timing he talks of performing in Florida (or as he described it, ‘’god’s waiting room’), to an audience response that is testament to his raconteur ability. 
Numbers that were more emotionally exposed such as Hey Look, No Cryin’ proved a powerful highlight of the set, with Garcia’s understated vocals and vulnerability counteracting the wit and charm of his earlier comical pieces. 
Captivating is an oft overused word but it describes Garcia perfectly. From an astounding musicianship and controlled velvet voice, to his well-honed comic presence, the man is a delight. If a performance could transport the audience to another era, one of forgotten romance, that still manages to sound as fresh as it did sixty years ago, then this is it.

Performs until 13th June 2015
Guest reviewer: Francesca Mepham

NEWS: Casting announced for the European premiere of Orson’s Shadow

In London theatre, News by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Final casting is announced today for the European premiere of Orson’s Shadow, a critically acclaimed comedy by Austin Pendleton, about the time when Hollywood giants Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier worked together for the first time – the inspired idea of legendary theatre critic, Kenneth Tynan.

Set in 1960 backstage at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Welles has agreed to direct Olivier and Joan Plowright in a production of Eugène Ionesco’s masterpiece Rhinoceros. But with Olivier’s eccentric wife Vivien Leigh added to the volatile mix, legendary egos collide both on stage and off.

Gina Bellman will play Vivien Leigh, Edward Bennett (Kenneth Tynan), Louise Ford (Joan Plowright), John Hodgkinson (Orson Welles),Adrian Lukis (Laurence Olivier), Ciaran O’Brien (Sean).

Based on true events, Orson’s Shadow is a sharp-witted yet tender-hearted expose’ of the thin skins, hot tempers, and rampaging egos that exist when two titans of the stage and screen come together.  It was nominated Outstanding Play of the Year in the Lortel Awards on its New York debut.

Produced by Emily Dobbs Productions and Smith & Brant Theatricals, Orson’s Shadow will get its European premiere, directed by Alice Hamilton, at Southwark Playhouse from Wednesday 1 July to Saturday 25 July.

Gina Bellman (Vivien Leigh)

Gina made an unforgettable TV debut when she was cast in the title role in Dennis Potter’s BBC drama, Blackeyes. She starred as Jane Christie in all four series of Steven Moffat’s award-winning Coupling in the UK and as Sophie Devereaux, “The Grifter”, an accomplished British grifter with a taste for art theft, in all five series of cult US TV series Leverage. On stage, she appeared at the National Theatre in Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years, The Crucible and in Cleo, Camping Emmanuelle and Dick. She played Marilyn Monroe in Rupert Goold’s production ofInsignificance. Her West End roles include Ophelia in Hamlet directed by Peter Hall, Karen in Speed The Plow and Janet in The Rocky Horror Show.

Edward Bennett (Kenneth Tynan)

For the Royal Shakespeare Company, Edward played Laertes in Hamlet, Demitrius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost and Benedict  in Love’s Labour’s Won. As part of Sam Mendes’ “The Bridge Project”, he played Oliver in As You Like It and Ferdinand inThe Tempest. He was Stanley Stubbers in the National Theatre’s One Man Two Guvnors.

Louise Ford (Joan Plowright)

Louise recently filmed We Hate Paul Revere, a TV comedy pilot. In September she starts filming Horrible Histories. On stage she recently appeared in Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse. At Shakespeare’s Globe she appeared in The Bible and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

John Hodgkinson (Orson Welles)

John recently appeared in Love’s Labour’s Lost, as Don Armado and Love’s Labour’s Won, as Don Pedro for the Royal Shakespeare Company. At the Open Air Theatre he played Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew. He was last seen on stage as Sainsbury, in Donkey’s Years at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Adrian Lukis (Laurence Oliver)

Adrian was Geoffrey in Versailles, directed by Peter Gill at the Donmar Warehouse and Mycroft Holmes, in Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret at West Yorkshire Playhouse. On TV, he played George Whickham in Pride and Prejudice and Sir John Darnley in Downton Abbey and is series regular Blair Toast in C4’s award-winning Toast of London.

Ciaran O’Brien (Sean)

Ciaran was Jack the Ripper in BBC1’s Ripper Street. His stage roles include Gar Public in Philadelphia, Here I Come in, Manus in Translations and Curley in Of Mice and Men at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Austin Pendleton (Writer) is an Obie Award-winning actor who has appeared in more than 120 films and TV shows since the late 1960s. He is an ensemble member of the SteppenwolfTheatre in Chicago. As a writer, his plays Orson’s Shadow, Uncle Bob and Booth have all premiered Off Broadway.  As a director, he was Tony nominated for directing Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes. In 2012 he directed a production ofDetroit in London at the National Theatre.

Alice Hamilton (Director) is co-artistic director of Up In Arms, for whom she recently directed Linda Bassett in the award-winning Visitors at the Bush, Arcola and on a UK tour. Other directing credits include Fear of Music for Up In Arms/Out Of Joint; Missing at Tristan Bates, and At First Sight at Latitude Festival and on UK tour. She has also directed shorts for the Miniaturists at Arcola, Courting Drama at the Bush and Hatch at the Park Theatre.  She was Staff Director on Man and Superman at the National Theatre.

Ruth O‘Dowd (Casting Director) As Casting Director for the Unicorn Theatre: The Velveteen Rabbit (dir. Purni Morell), Henry The Fifth (dir. Ellen McDougall), Britain’s Best Recruiting Sergeant (dir. Lee Lyford), Caucasian Chalk Circle (dir. Amy Leach), The Nutcracker (dir. Ellen McDougall), How Nigeria Became (dir. Gbolahan Obisesan) and Seesaw (dir. Sarah Argent).  As Casting Associate to Anne McNulty: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (dir. Michael Attenborough, Chichester and West End), Outside Mullingar (dir. Sam Yates, Ustinov Studio, Bath), Bakkhai (dir. James Macdonald, Almeida Theatre), and Carmen Disruption (dir. Michael Longhurst, Almeida).

Emily Dobbs Productions (Producers) was founded by Emily Dobbs.  The company creates fresh, fearless and innovative theatre with a focused artistic policy that includes commissioning original adaptations, new writing and re-imaginings of classics. They have produced critically acclaimed work across London, at regional venues and in New York. Theatre includes: The Father (Trafalgar Studios), Uncle Vanya (St James’ Theatre – part of the One Stage season), Three Sisters, The Love Girl And The Innocent, The Seagull, The Only True History Of Lizzie Finn, Antigone, The Hostage (Southwark Playhouse), Cornelius (New York transfer to 59E59 Theater), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Gotcha, Stars In The Morning Skies (Riverside Studios), Dusa Fish Stas & Vi, Love On The Dole, Ours (Finborough) and Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down (Arcola). www.jaggedfence.co.uk

Smith & Brant Theatricals (Producers) Smith & Brant Theatricals is independently owned and run by the international and award-winning producers, Joseph Smith and John Brant.  With a background that encompasses the commercial and subsidised sectors, Smith & Brant Theatricals are passionate about developing new work, as well as regularly collaborating on co-productions and offering general management services, supported by Robyn Keynes.  Current projects include: executive producing the UK production of the Tony award-winning musicalMemphis (Shaftesbury Theatre), co-producing the comedy revival of Richard Bean’s The Mentalists (Wyndham’s Theatre), and general managing August Strindberg’s The Father (Trafalgar Studios).  Previous producing credits include: The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre, 2014); How to

Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway, 2011/12) starring Daniel Radcliffe; Promises, Promises (Broadway, 2010) and Jonathan Kent’s production of Sweeney Todd (West End, 2012), winner of 3 Olivier Awards including “Best Musical Revival”, 5 WhatsOnStage Awards including “Best Musical Revival” and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for “Best Musical”. www.smith-brant.com

Southwark Playhouse

The Large

77-85 Newington Causeway

London

SE1 6BD

Box Office: 020 7407 0234

www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

Wednesday 1 July to Saturday 25 July

Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm

Saturday matinee at 3.00pm

Ticket prices:

£18.00/£16.00 concessions

all previews £10.00 (Wednesday 1 July – Saturday 4 July, including

Saturday matinee)

View Post

LUISA OMIELAN – The Lowry

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Following the success of Luisa Omielan’s last show What Would Beyonce Do, she has been catapulted into stardom and earned her stripes as a feisty, forthright and frankly downright funny stand-up comic. There has been a real buzz of publicity around Luisa Omielan’s latest show, Am I Right Ladies – she has made the headlines for stripping down to her spanx and the popular ‘thigh gap’ video went viral and totted up more than 10 million views on Facebook alone.

View Post

14 surprising facts about JM Barrie’s Peter Pan

In Children's theatre, Features, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

In my other blog today, I wrote about the “fact” that JM Barrie wrote Peter Pan as a metaphor for World War One. This was a little bit of a fib (explained fully here), but I thought I’d make up for my momentary dishonesty by sharing a few actual, real, honest-to-goodness surprising facts about Barrie’s 1904 classic.

View Post

Did you know JM Barrie wrote Peter Pan as a metaphor for WWI?

In Features, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

did you know that JM Barrie wrote Peter Pan as a metaphor for the “war to end all wars”? Of course, you did. It’s obvious: the Lost Boys are the “lost generation” of the conflict, the mothers who leave their windows open for boys who will never come home are the grieving parents of the war dead, the fairy dust is the deadly mustard gas that allowed young soldiers to fly away from the battlefield and to the heaven of Never Land….

TEDDY – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Musicals, Plays, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Teddy is a new piece of theatre from Tristan Bernays and Dougal Irvine that sets out to depict the Teddy Boy era of 1950’s London. It’s all about rock and roll and austerity in post-war Britain, but much like the Teddy Boys it tells of, the play’s slickly packaged, but scratch its surface, and there’s a show unsure of itself and seemingly still seeking its own identity.

BETA TESTING – Udderbelly, Southbank

In Circus, Edinburgh Festival, London theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

With August looming over the horizon, there comes a time when the critic needs to harden up, sit on some prickly astroturf leaning on a dustbin, eating a falafal wrap and staring up forebodingly at an enormous upturned purple inflatable cow. Just to remember that it’ll soon be time to brace up for the Edinburgh Fringe. Luckily, London has its own Udderbelly season now, with every kind of oddity and adventure and show-off and physical-theatre explosion. So down I went to see the Circus Geeks explain the nature and psychology of juggling.

View Post

FEATURED SHOW: Dogs of War at the Old Red Lion, Reviews are in!

In Features, London theatre, Native, Plays, Quotes, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Have you seen the raft of four-star reviews for our Featured Show? The world premiere of Dogs of War, which is now running at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre, has also been nominated for three OffWestEnd.com Awards, including Most Promising New Playwright for author Tim Foley.  Scroll down for links and excerpts from some of our favourite reviews. “First we had one, …

SCOTCH & SODA – London Wonderground

In Circus, London theatre, Reviews by Katharine KavanaghLeave a Comment

Spiegeltent, London Wonderground; 4th June 2015 Tonight there is a party. An impromptu, informal, flowing all-night kind of affair. Down on the docks; in the back of a warehouse. Home-brewed jazz and distilled circus spectacle slide like liquor through the veins of Scotch & Soda. This is a collaboration between David Carberry and Chelsea McGuffin’s Company […]

View Post

DISCO – Victoria Pub, London

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

If you like your reviews as short and sour as a tequila slammer, let me say just this: site-specific DISCO, that ran for three days from 2nd June, isn’t going to impress those who thrive off imaginative and original storytelling. And the drawn-out tale of online dating, embarrassingly pushy mates and dance floor awkwardness that sits at the heart of this evening certainly won’t revolutionise your understanding of life, the universe or anything in between.

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE BOX SET – DVD Review

In London theatre, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

I’m constantly amazed that these days, if I miss a major production of a play in the West End, I can generally pop along to the local cinema and watch it there or even in some cases buy a copy to watch at my leisure. As might be expected, the UK’s two premier producers of Shakespeare have been at the forefront of filming staged productions, and when two box sets of shows from Shakespeare’s Globe arrived a few weeks ago for review, I was delighted to visit a number of productions that pre-date my time reviewing theatre.

View Post

What are the challenges of populating Bedford Falls onstage?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre, Touring by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

During my visit to the rehearsal rooms of It’s a Wonderful Life on radio, which launches a new UK tour this week, I also got to chat to three of the incredibly hard-working, six-strong ensemble cast about their experiences creating characters in a community we’re all familiar with.

Pixie Lott To Star In New Production of Breakfast At Tiffanys

In by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Pixie Lott will star as Holly Golightly in a limited 12-week season of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End in 2016.  This will follow the first UK and Ireland tour of Truman Capote’s classic tale brought to life so memorably by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film.  It will be presented in a co-production with the Curve Theatre, Leicester.  The novella has been adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize-winning Finalist and Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain), and contains memorable songs from the era as well as original music by Grant Odling (One Man, Two Guvnors). 

“The goal of this version is to return to the original setting of the novella, which is the New York of the Second World War, as well as to resume its tone – still stylish and romantic, yes, but rougher-edged and more candid than people generally remember,” Richard Greenberg explained. “Capote was a great writer and a natural maker of plots and Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a drive that makes it very alluring to dramatise.”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which will be directed by Nikolai Foster, the Artistic Director of Curve, as part of his inaugural season for the company, with production design by Matthew Wright (La Cage Aux Folles), will begin performances in Leicester on 3 March 2016, before embarking on a UK & Ireland Tour.  The 12-week season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End will be from 30 June to 17 September 2016.

Based on Truman Capote’s beloved masterwork, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is set in New York in 1943. Fred, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl.  Everyone falls in love with Holly – including Fred.  But Fred is poor, and Holly’s other suitors include a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil.  As war rages on in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with Fred – just as her past catches up with her.

Artistic Director of Curve, Nikolai Foster said, “I am thrilled Pixie Lott will lead the company in our production of Richard Greenberg’s beautiful adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Developing new audiences for drama and presenting plays which are socially relevant, are things we feel passionately about at Curve. I am very proud Pixie, Richard and our first class creative team will be joining us in Leicester for my inaugural season.”

Pixie Lott said, “I am so excited to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in my first West End play. I absolutely love Holly’s style, and free spirit; she has always been an icon to me and I can’t wait to bring my own personality to the role. Alongside music, I’ve always wanted to be in a play, and getting the opportunity to be in one of my all time favourites and play this fabulous character is a dream come true.”

Pixie Lott began studying at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts at the age of 11, and whilst there appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s will mark her acting debut in a theatre play.  Pixie Lott’s debut single, Mama Do, was released in June 2009 and went straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart.  Her second single, Boys and Girls, also topped the UK chart in September 2009.  Lott’s debut album, Turn It Up, was released the same month and reached number six in the UK Albums Chart, spawning five consecutive top twenty singles and selling over 1.5 million copies.  Lott’s second album, Young Foolish Happy, was released in November 2011. The lead single, All About Tonight, became her third UK number one. Her self-titled third studio album was released in August 2014. Its lead single, Nasty, was her sixth top ten single in the UK.  A collection of her biggest and favourite songs to date, Platinum Pixie, was released in November 2014.  She was a quarter finalist in Strictly Come Dancing 2014.

Nikolai Foster directs Breakfast at Tiffany’s as part of his inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Curve Theatre, Leicester which is announced today. As part of his first season he will also direct a production of Tennessee Williams’s seminal work A Streetcar Named Desire and a stage adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic The Witches (also touring across the UK and to Hong Kong). His other recent productions include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (West Yorkshire Playhouse), the 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (Curve and Nottingham Playhouse), Calamity Jane (Watermill Theatre, Newbury & UK tour) and a major new production of the Broadway musical, Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse & UK tour).

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a co-production between the Curve Theatre, Leicester and Colin Ingram, Peter Kane, William Sinclair and Michael Melnick & Finlay Gray.  Associate Producers Professor Jonathan Shalit OBE and Stuart Piper.

For more information, visit www.breakfastattiffanys.co.uk and www.pixielott.com

TOUR SCHEDULE 2016

3 – 12 March                               LEICESTER                  0116 242 3595  
                                         Curve Theatre                www.curveonline.co.uk        

15 – 19 March                             CANTERBURY               01227 787787
                                          Marlowe Theatre            www.marlowetheatre.com        
4 – 9 April                                    LEEDS                            0844 848 2700
                                          Grand Theatre            www.leedsgrandtheatre.com

12 – 16 April                                SALFORD                       0843 208 6000
                                          Lowry Theatre                     www.thelowry.com

18 – 23 April                                BIRMINGHAM                 0844 871 3011
                                          Alexandra Theatre www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

25 – 30 April                                SOUTHAMPTON             02380 711811
                                          Mayflower Theatre            www.mayflower.org.uk

13 – 18 June                               DUBLIN                             0818 719 377      
                                          Bord Gais Theatre     www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

20 – 25 June                               PLYMOUTH                       01752 267222
                                         Theatre Royal                      www.theatreroyal.com

30 June – 17 September               LONDON                          020 7930 8800
                                         Theatre Royal Haymarket          www.trh.co.uk

NEWS: Beverley Knight To Play Grizabella In Cats

In by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Beverley Knight is to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical Cats to play the role of Grizabella.   Returning to the London Palladium from 23 October 2015, Lloyd Webber’s record breaking Cats will run for a ten week season until 2 January 2016.  Tickets are from £20 with top price seats at £59.50 and children’s tickets at half price for Monday to Thursday performances.

Beverley Knight said: “To be asked to join the company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s historic show was so exciting and totally unexpected as, vocally, I am so different to the many incredible women who have sung the classic Memory over the years. To follow in their footsteps is something to truly relish!  I am really looking forward to transforming into Grizabella with her fabulous costume and amazing make up and to be playing the role at the London Palladium. Working with Andrew will be a real privilege.”

Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight is a singer, songwriter and record producer who has been one of the UK’s most consistent artists since the release of her debut album in 1995.  Having sold over a million albums in the UK, scoring several top 10’s and four gold certified albums as well as the platinum selling Voice: The Best Of Beverley Knight, her latest critically acclaimed album Soul UK, was a top 15 charting album upon its release in July 2011.  To date, she has won three MOBO Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Urban Music Awards, been three times nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards and twice nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Knight has presented four series of Radio 2 showBeverley’s Gospel Nights and appeared in two series of hit BBC1 show Just The Two Of Us as well as appearing on stage with the likes of Prince, Stevie Wonder and Take That.  Last summer, she wowed a viewing audience of one billion with a rendition of the song I Am What I Am at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  Knight, who in 2007 was awarded an MBE for her services to music and charity, is currently working on her eighth studio album.   Beverley Knight recently played the leading role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi followed by Felicia in Memphis The Musicalat the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats returned to the West End in December last year reuniting the original creative team – Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Nicole Scherzinger and then Kerry Ellis played the role of Grizabella in this sell-out Palladium run.  In July this year Jane McDonald will play Grizabella in an 8 week season at Blackpool Opera House.

On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Cats, one of the longest-running shows in West End and on Broadway, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances.  The production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical.  In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony awards including Best Musical, and ran for eighteen years.  Since its world premiere, Cats has been presented in over 30 countries, has been translated into 10 languages and has been seen by over 50 million people world-wide.  Both the original London and Broadway cast recordings won Grammy Awards for Best Cast Album.  The classic Lloyd Webber score includes Memory which has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow.

Cats was originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group Limited.

LISTINGS INFORMATION          

Theatre:                           London Palladium, Argyll St, London W1F 7TF

Dates:                              23 October 2015 – 2 January 2016

Box Office:                        0844 874 0667 (no booking fee)

                                     www.catsthemusical.com/london (no booking fee)

                                     www.london-palladium.co.uk (no booking fee)            

Prices:                              £20 – £59.50, Children Go Half-Price (Monday to Thursday performances, top three prices, subject to a maximum of 3 children aged 16 or under with each full paying adult)

All ticket prices include a £1.25 Theatre Restoration Levy

Performances:                   Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Wednesday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm

Website:                           www.catsthemusical.com/london

View Post

It’s a Wonderful Life – coming to a stage near you – isn’t just for Christmas

In Features, Inspiring people, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre, Touring by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Frank Capra’s 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart as everyman George Bailey, is probably my favourite film of all time. It’s certainly the one I’ve seen more times than any other. Quite frankly, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it. Definitely once – or sometimes twice, thrice or more – every Christmas. [Bear with me, this does have a theatrical link so keep reading…]

NEWS: Further casting announced for Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season

In London theatre, News, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Tom Bateman, Jessie Buckley, Jack Colgrave Hirst, Hadley Fraser, Michael Pennington, Zoe Rainey, Miranda Raison, John Shrapnel, Kathryn Wilder and Jimmy Yuill join the cast of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company productions of The Winter’s Tale and Harlequinade at Garrick Theatre. The two productions will play in repertory from 17 October 2015 until 16 January 2016.

NEWS: Extra tickets released for Farinelli & The King

In London theatre, News, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Onstage seating for the West End transfer of Claire van Kampen’s critically-acclaimed new play Farinelli and the King, starring Mark Rylance, will be released to the general public on Friday 5 June 2015 at 10am. Additionally, further seats will be released for all performances, including accessibly priced £10 tickets located in all parts of the house.

NEWS: AIDS education play As Is transfers to West End’s Trafalgar Studios

In Inspiring people, London theatre, News, Opinion, Plays by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

If you’ve ever taken time to listen to director Andrew Keates talking about being diagnosed as HIV positive, if you’ve read his tweets or impassioned blog posts or in any way been influenced by his fantastic and inspiring positivity then you’ll know that his story started with this play. Now he’s bringing it to the Trafalgar Studios in an all-new production to highlight a subject that is still seen to be taboo by too many people.