Kneehigh, the award-winning Cornish-based international touring theatre company has announced its closure after 41 years in operation.
Signatories, along with 60 other names, including Annilese Miskimmon (artistic director, English National Opera); Catherine Mallyon (executive director, Royal Shakespeare Company); Neil Constable (chief executive, Shakespeare’s Globe); Oliver Mears (director of opera, Royal Opera House); and Michelle Cawardine-Palmer (executive director, Kneehigh) have called on the Government to allow the outdoor performing arts to spearhead the sector’s return at the earliest opportunity.
It was so delightful to finally catch up with Kneehigh’s production of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, filmed at the Bristol Old Vic and streamed by Wise Children.
Wise Children, Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic have announced dates for the digital tour of Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk directed by Emma Rice. The production will feature Marc Antolin (Marc Chagall) and Audrey Brisson (Bella Chagall), reprising their roles from the original staging. The production will be performed at Bristol Old Vic, and broadcast live to audience’s homes nationally and globally from 3-5 December 2020.
The UK’s leading touring theatre companies are uniting this autumn to present Signal Fires, a nationwide project inspired by one of the original forms of theatre – storytelling around a fire.
With the stalls audience standing and the performers clamouring through the crowd and onto the stage, Kneehigh’s staging of Ubu! evokes a gig, a party and a political rally all in one.
Dead Dog In A Suitcase comes with stellar ensemble performances and a visual feast, making for a show that is both highly theatrical and political – an effective combination with a necessary message.
The Lyric Hammersmith has announced its spring 2019 season, the final productions programmed by outgoing artistic director Sean Holmes.
Though at the moment it looks quiet, I have finally got a draft schedule together for my time in Edinburgh, and it seems as if my plan to ease myself in has just gone out of the window… It’s going to be a hectic week for me up there, but it has to be done!
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk presents a striking non-romanticised view of love and art in a stunningly sensual and passionate way. This is a truly unmissable show.
As the leads, Isabel Pollen and Jim Sturgeon are captivating. Suitably reserved and excited at times they create a moving and heartbreaking relationship which blurs the lines between film and reality.
The interactive movie footage in Brief Encounter is well done, there are trains enough to satisfy the most diligent railway enthusiast, and the breaking waves motif is clever. Maybe it’s a pity they couldn’t have intercut some of the David Lean film, it’s still a classic. But, in its own way, so is this production.
On the far side of Emma Rice’s brief unhappy tenure at the Globe, here Brief Encounter comes again, with a few fine tweaks, to remind us what Rice does best, and how playful, inventive, sincere and inspiring Kneehigh can be when it beats its own path through the woods.
My verdict? Brief Encounter is a love letter to stage and screen, beautifully conceived and immaculately performed – the show of the year so far.
However, a couple of interesting tweets popped up from Channel 4’s political correspondent, Michael Crick, that seemed to get people’s juices flowing – one of which makes a rather pertinent point. What do we buy programmes for? What is the point of them?
Directed by Emma Rice, Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter is a fast-paced, superbly powerful, moving and yet hilarious piece of theatre.
Looking for theatregoing inspiration? MyTheatreMates co-founder Mark Shenton chooses his top three plays and top three musicals to book now.
Kneehigh’s distinctive approach to storytelling in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at Wilton’s Music Hall turns the tale into a visual and emotional feast that pays homage to a great artist, his muse and enduring love.
After choosing in 2016 to focus on Shakespeare (in the 400th anniversary of his death), I went completely different this year and made it my mission to learn more about, and see more shows featuring, puppets.
Much of my ‘touring’ has been concentrated in Bristol and Chichester; there are a few other UK venues to add to the list, as well as some from my week in New York, of course.
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