It’s an architectural moment. Within the stark brutalist NT is a set in homage to a brutalist landmark: the early 1960s Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, the largest listed building in the world. In Standing At The Sky’s Edge at the National Theatre three generations of tenants interweave in the clean-lined kitchen and living room, ghosts in one another’s lives, telling in their very existence a universal story of postwar British cities.
It is still a relatively rare experience to see a working class drama that invests its characters with a profound and complex, even a poetic interior, life, but from the first moments of Richard Hawley and Chris Bush’s Standing At the Sky’s Edge when a workman stops to greet the beauty of the dawn and the sound of birdsong, it is clear that this is no ordinary representation of
All three plays in Chris Bush’s Rock/Paper/Scissors triptych run in Sheffield Theatres’ three spaces simultaneously with one cast. The overall piece is a logistical coup-de-théâtre. It’s also a perfect coming together of space and place in three funny, achingly profound and heartful plays about a city and its people on the cusp of change.
Kate Pankhurst’s best-selling picture book Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is filled with fascinating facts about some of the amazing women who have changed the course of history. And it’s now been adapted into a musical by a creative team of wonderful women.
With a title like Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, it’s unsurprising that the first night King’s audience for this touring production was mainly female.
The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry has announced that its doors will reopen to the public on 17 May 2021, with socially distanced audiences able to enjoy Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw in John Godber’s April in Paris, which kicks off its UK tour at the venue.
Artistic directors Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner have announced plans for Paines Plough 2021. The year’s programme will see the company return with a team of trailblazing writers in theatre including Chris Bush, Vickie Donoghue, Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Ifeyinwa Frederick, Chinonyerem Odimba, Frankie Meredith and Amy Trigg.
The Band Played On, the latest show from Chris Bush, is a tuneful celebration of stoicism, resilience and humour.
Almeida Theatre artistic director Rupert Goold has announced a socially distanced season of three world premieres for Christmas 2020 and into 2021.
There is fine work from Jodie McNee as Johanna Faustus in Faustus: That Damned Woman but the piece is overshadowed by a disappointing structure that sidelines real, factual female achievement in praise of the patriarchy.
In opening-up the female experience of the era in Faustus: That Damned Woman, Chris Bush reinforces the decision to switch the gender of the central character.
Rachel O’Riordan’s debut season as artistic director at Lyric Hammersmith continues this month with Faustus: That Damned Woman, a co-production between the Lyric and Headlong, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Headlong has announced its programme for 2020/21, the final season under current artistic director Jeremy Herrin.
Rather tickled that no less than the artistic director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris himself does time out of his hectic schedule to answer Ten (9) Questions for Ten Years.
Where were you 10 years ago?
I’d just directed Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka in the Olivier Theatre.
Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
An impossible question to answer but if I had to pick one it would be Pericles (Public Acts) in the Olivier last year.
What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
Becoming Director of the National Theatre and London Road.
Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Many plays have the potential to be boring or resonant so it’s the creative team’s role to bring a play to fresh life.
Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
There are so many unsung heroes working within theatre, from the technical teams behind-the-scenes making magic happen on stage, to those ensuring the smooth running of a building, I’m always amazed by their commitment. A few people who come to mind are Erin Lee in Archive, Nicky Holderness in Props and the set builder Simon.
What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
An education system that recognises the huge benefit that only the arts can deliver, and a shift in philosophy that correctly views subsidy as investment for the good of this country.
Which is your favourite theatre?
The National Theatre, of course. I also love the Royal Exchange in Manchester.
Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?
Loads of plays including our next Public Acts show As You Like It with a cast of 100 community members at the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch. Hopefully a little time spent in nature in between.
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Mark Shenton rounds up news, reviews & tweets of the week from London, New York & beyond including a life-size first birthday cake of John McCrea at Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the opening of King Kong on Broadway.
Rebecca Scroggs is currently starring in Chris Bush’s new work Steel, examining women in politics. She spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon about the play…
What is a national theatre for? You’d be forgiven for answering ‘complaining about’ given the amount of sniping regularly aimed at the institution. But with the launch of Public Acts, the National Theatre’s new national initiative, you feel that they’ve alighted on the answer.
Sheffield Theatres’ new season includes Standing at the Sky’s Edge by Michael Wynne, with music and lyrics by Richard Hawley; A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Robert Hastie with music by Dan Gillespie Sells; and this year’s Christmas musical Kiss Me, Kate.
The Assassination of Katie Hopkins, a new musical from Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth inspired by the controversial tabloid columnist and conservative provocateur, will receive its world premiere at Wales’ Theatre Clwyd
Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie has announced his inaugural season for 2017, which includes, at the Crucible, his own productions of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and The Wizard of Oz, major class revivals of Desire Under the Elms and Uncle Vanya, two world premieres and a regional premiere.
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