Last week I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Mountview’s jaw-dropping new £28m building in Peckham – just 48 hours before Mountview management were granted full possession and the students were allowed in.
You are not supposed in 2018 – George Orwell’s Thought Police have certainly arrived – to notice or comment on the body shapes of actors.
When the Arden Performance Edition of Othello arrived recently from Bloomsbury (Methuen Drama) the friend who was staying with me was incredulous. “Surely they don’t think you need a copy of Othello at this stage?” she said.
The message of course – and, thank goodness, most companies are already well aware of it – is that if you want your show reviewed, both this one and the ones you’ll produce in the future, then you need to treat critics with basic courtesy. “If you prick us do we not bleed?”
In the last week or so I’ve seen three outdoor shows and got soaked to the skin twice. It’s what you do in Britain – part of summer’s rich tapestry.
Shakespeare’s plays really are uniquely life changing and if this collaboration between PQA and SSF means that more young people will have access to their power then that can only be a Very Good Thing.
It all feels to me a bit manic and contrived – a sort of industrial over compensation for several centuries of doing plays according to the conventions of the social period in which they were written. I also sense some vying with each other to see who can come up with the most unlikely bit of gender-blind casting.
Last week I revisited two examples of theatre changing the lives of young people. Everyone in this industry – and those who directly or indirectly manage funding for such organisations – really should get into these places to marvel at what theatre can achieve.
I’ve written about audition fees many times before and make absolutely no apology for doing so again. I shall keep relentlessly banging this drum until something changes.
The post Ban audition fees appeared first on Susan Elkin.
The Broadway Theatre, Catford is a fabulous building and I’d like to see it become an integral part of people’s lives as it was for me when I was a Lewisham child.
Professional and Career Development Loans were a lifeline for students like these. Now that such loans have gone many of them will simply not be able to pursue the career they want – irrespective of how talented they are. There are a few scholarships about but “few” is the operative word.
Last week I attended the 2018 Theatre Book Prize award ceremony. From a shortlist of five titles, Nicholas Hytner won with Balancing Acts (published by Jonathan Cape) – and the ever-engaging Rory Kinnear was there to make the happy announcement.
This is a blog in praise of pit bands – all those hardworking talented musicians who lurk mostly out of sight in orchestra pits or are hidden away behind a curtain somewhere upstage.
I don’t think it matters whether you’re writing for a national newspaper, your own website or a small organisation which doesn’t pay for reviews. The important thing is that you can, and do, provide an informed critical assessment of the show.
If you have only 30 places to offer on a massively oversubscribed acting or musical theatre course then you must award them to the thirty applicants who have the potential to be industry-ready in three years.
No one should have to pay for the “privilege” of applying for any sort of course. Charging audition fees is such an exploitative disgrace that I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be made illegal.
How do we get the word out – really out – about fringe theatre in general and pub theatres in particular. There’s cutting-edge work going on all the time at, for example, the Finborough or Theatre 503, which is based in The Latchmere in Battersea.
I used to review large numbers of graduating student showcases for The Stage. Then last year an editorial policy decision was made at the Stage not to cover them any more. So I didn’t go to a single one in 2017. Then withdrawal symptoms set in.
So it isn’t press night – because you were at another show then. You arrive at the box office and say politely: “Hello. My name’s Susan Elkin. There should be a press comp for me for this performance. And a programme, I hope, because I’m reviewing it for Magazine X or Y?”
Susan Elkin chats to Justin Cooke, CEO of Digital Theatre. Digital Theatre offers access to films of live theatre, ballet, opera and classical concerts to individual subscribers and educational institutions.