Mark Shenton: First of all, apologies that I was missing-in-action yesterday. I was in London — and at a hotel without desk space in the rooms, so unable to write. (And the dog ate my homework, too). So no, that’s not the entirety of my excuse. But sometimes I need to take a break, too. There may be days when the newsletter fails to materialize!
This weekly column keeps track of the shows that are coming back, or are newly being announced, as theatres start reopening from tonight (17 May) in London and at other theatres in the UK.
I’m unashamedly a friend and champion of the theatre; but I can never been a simple cheerleader for it, regardless of the circumstances or my connections with people in a show I’m seeing. As honest critics find out all too often, we’re loved when we love something we see; but that can quickly pivot to becoming the enemy when we don’t.
The first televised Black British Theatre Awards 2020 were a vibrant affair hosted by presenter and comedic actor Eddie Nestor, filmed at London’s Young Vic Theatre and broadcast on Sky Arts.
I wanted to record all the productions in 2018 that had had a profound impact on me, so here is the collection that will be with me for a long time.
Mind the Blog rounds up her favourite female performances in the theatre during 2018.
Opening in London this month is the transfer of the NT’s Nine Night (now at Trafalgar Studios), Jailbirds at the Etcetera Theatre, Pinocchio at The Albany, One For The Road at the Rosemary Branch, Orpheus at Battersea Arts Centre and Pinter 5 & 6 will arrive at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
There’s plenty of Halloween treats to choose from all across London, so if you fancy doing something a little bit spooky this week then here’s a selection of highlights…
A big week in London theatre, with three of the most anticipated openings of the autumn: Marianne Elliott’s new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 musical Company, Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance at the Noel Coward and the launch of Emma Rice’s new post-Globe company Wise Children with a show also called Wild Children, at the Old Vic.
The newly refurbished Mayflower theatre deserved a blockbuster of a show to be its first big three-week resident and who better to fly in than the cast of Wicked.
Oliver Savile may be best recognised for playing Fiyero in the West End production of Wicked. He speaks with Director Andrew Keates all about his life and career, including growing up in Buxton and failing all of his GCSEs at school, his struggles with Dyslexia and how he discovered the performing arts and forged his career as a leading man.
Ollie talks about his time at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, discovering his long-time agent Shane Collins, going straight into the UK tour of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, seeing the world on the international tour of Mamma Mia!, playing Peter Tork in the UK tour of Monkee Business, his recurring appearances in the West End production of Les Miserables, working with Gillian Lynne in the UK tour of Cats, playing Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera, his delight playing Robert in Company in Aberdeen, his recent role playing Hugo in Knights Of The Rose and of course, discussing his incredible time playing Wicked’s famous prince.
This is an episode full of laughs and even a special appearance from Toby Page – The Show People Podcast podcat.
Episode features include:
Andrew shares his top theatrical tips of things to see this September 2018, including There is Nothin’ Like a Dame at Cadogan Hall, Distance at the Park Theatre, Sylvia at The Old Vic and Company at the Gielgud Theatre.
Today’s platform is given to Therapy – The Musical with music by Jordan Li-Smith and book and lyrics by Ray Rackham. We hear a song from the show called So What performed by Belinda Wollaston.
Show People Podcast Challenges
We challenge our special guest to remember his CV in 60 seconds, discover what he would need to survive if stranded in Whitley Bay and course ask hysterical and outrageous questions in our famous Funny Five Minutes section.
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There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame at Cadogan Hall: www.cadoganhall.com/event/there-is-nothin-like-a-dame/
Distance at the Park Theatre: www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/distance
Company at the Gielgud Theatre: www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/tickets/company
Sylvia at The Old Vic: www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/sylvia-2
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In this episode of The Show People Podcast, host Andrew Keates is joined by Cassie Compton who talks about growing up in Crouch End, London in a home filled with music, her supportive teachers at school and her early experiences in the West End as a child actor in productions such Whistle Down The Wind and The Secret Garden at the Aldwych Theatre.
There are, of course, a range of new shows to choose from – both in and out of London. Pigspurt’s Daughter (by Ken Campbell’s daughter Daisy) plays at Hampstead’s Downstairs venue, Honey will be performed at The Cockpit, Boxman and Where the Hell is Bernard? both run at the Blue Elephant Theatre.
As Wicked powers towards its 13th year on the West End, Alice Fearn’s Elphaba ensures visitors to the Apollo Victoria won’t be disappointed.
The full list of shows for West End LIVE 2018 West End LIVE, which returns to Trafalgar Square on 16 and 17 June 2018, has been released.
Joining the cast of the West End production of Wicked from Monday 23 July 2018 will be Chris Jarman (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Doctor Dillamond and current cast member Rosa O’Reilly who takes over the role of Nessarose.
It’s been to Edinburgh a few times, but this latest touring version of Wicked drops in on the Playhouse with the power of a flying farmhouse.
Former EastEnders star David Witts is returning from three years in LA to make his West End debut as Fiyero in Wicked from Monday 23 July 2018.
Lots of different things opening across the country in March. In London there are a lot of Fringe and Off West End productions coming your way.
Wicked is a modern classic which remains as strong as ever on tour. With stellar performances from a standout cast, it’s set to be ‘Popular’ with audiences throughout the land.