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NEWS: John Hurt withdraws from Branagh’s The Entertainer on doctor’s advice

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

It is announced today that on the advice of his doctors, John Hurt has had to withdraw from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company production of John Osborne’s The Entertainer, the final production in the year-long Branagh Theatre season, which runs at the West End’s Garrick Theatre 20 August to 12 November 2016.

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ROMEO AND JULIET – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Kenneth Branagh’s entire season has been built on one universal truth. From star to stage-sweeper, pack the production with the best talent and glorious things will inevitably follow. Why then, has that same formula now stumbled? I couldn’t have been more predisposed to liking this production, the cast or its director. But Branagh’s sweatily Italian and disastrously unfunny production is such a disappointment.

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NEWS: John Hurt confirmed to return to stage in Branagh’s The Entertainer

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Further casting has been announced for The Entertainer, the final production in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Plays at the Garrick season. John Hurt will return to the London stage for the first time in a decade as legendary patriarch Billy Rice opposite Kenneth Branagh, who as previously announced, will play the unforgettable Archie Rice in Rob Ashford’s production.

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NEWS: Meera Syal joins Branagh Theatre Romeo & Juliet, Full cast

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The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company has announced the full cast for Romeo and Juliet, the fifth production in the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. Joining previously announced Lily James (Juliet), Richard Madden (Romeo) and Derek Jacobi (Mercutio) will be Meera Syal as the Nurse. Romeo and Juliet will play at the Garrick Theatre from 12 May until 13 August with press night on 25 May. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas on 7 July.

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Weekly Theatre Podcast: Escaped Alone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Red Velvet

In Audio, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by As Yet Unnamed London Theatre PodcastLeave a Comment

This week the London theatre bloggers discuss Caryl Churchill’s latest play Escaped Alone at the Royal Court, the National Theatre revival of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Red Velvet, starring Adrian Lester as part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season in the West End.

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NEWS: Full cast announced for The Painkiller, starring Kenneth Branagh & Rob Brydon

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes, Ticket recommendations by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

It is announced that Claudie Blakley, Marcus Fraser, Mark Hadfield and Alex Macqueen will join previously confirmed cast members Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s new comedy The Painkiller. The fifth production in the Plays at the Garrick season will play from 5 March until 30 April with press night on 17 March.

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This is NOT a review of The Winter’s Tale but thank god for Judi Dench

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays by Victoria SadlerLeave a Comment

I had tickets to see The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick. I got them pretty sharpish when they were released – obvs Kenneth Branagh a pretty big draw as actor and director. Almost as big a draw as Judi Dench, who is also starring. I didn’t have any problems getting to the theatre either – got to my seat in plenty of time for curtains up. But this can’t be a review of the show, and it isn’t, for the simple fact that I left at the interval.

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Weekly Theatre Podcast: The Winter’s Tale, The Hairy Ape, A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes

In Audio, Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by As Yet Unnamed London Theatre PodcastLeave a Comment

This week the London theatre bloggers discuss The Winter’s Tale, starring Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench and opening the year-long Branagh Theatre West End season, The Hairy Ape starring Bertie Carvel at the Old Vic, A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes at the Tricycle and, now finished at Soho Theatre, Joanne.

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THE WINTER’S TALE – West End

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Kenneth Branagh’s Garrick year as actor-manager opens in unquestionable triumph. One of Shakespeare’s greatest, most redemptive plays is richly served without flaw or gimmick, traditional in this l 1889 theatre but fresh, clear, heartfelt. The court of the jealous Leontes profits from being set not in antiquity but in a late Victorian – perhaps Tsarist – red-velvet palace in a Christmas season: under the tree a cosy opening vignette of the child Mamillius at old Paulina’s knee, begging “a sad tale’s best for winter”. His mother, prefiguring her statue moment, stands pensive aside, a column of white.

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NEWS: Adrian Lester in Red Velvet joins Branagh Theatre

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The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company has announced that Red Velvet starring Adrian Lester will be the third play in the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. The production, which originally premiered at the Tricycle Theatre in 2012 before transferring to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York in 2014, will play at the Garrick Theatre from 23 January until 27 February 2016. Red Velvet is written by Lolita Chakrabarti with direction by Indhu Rubasingham.

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NEWS: Kenneth Branagh screens The Winter’s Tale, Romeo & Juliet and The Entertainer to cinemas

In London theatre, News, Plays, Press Releases, Quotes, Video by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

It is announced today that the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, will broadcast three productions of its year-long Plays at the Garrick season live to cinemas worldwide. The first Branagh Theatre Live production will be The Winter’s Tale at 19:00 on Thursday 26 November 2015. Tickets are now on sale.

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Press pass: All the news, interviews, opinions (and booking) for Kenneth Branagh season

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

Just days after Kevin Spacey gave his (literal) swansong when accepting his Special Award at the Oliviers, our own homegrown Hollywood star has announced his plans to take over a West End theatre as actor-manager. As you will have noticed from the avalanche of coverage and quickening social media frenzy, Kenneth Branagh is back. Though […]