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Jun 12th

Blue Elephant Theatre - Summer Season 2018

By Carolin Kopplin

Blue Elephant Theatre continues its creative mix of new work from emerging artists for all audiences. Shows this season look at the dark and light in life: the struggles, themes and stories that guide how we live and what we think. Embracing cross art form performances, this summer is the perfect time to discover or rediscover the intimate Camberwell venue. 

This is the Blue Elephant’s first season as an Arts Council England NPO and it is fitting that many of the shows are very new pieces and fresh starts; many are Edinburgh previews and some are brand new works in progress. From interactive comedy to refugee superheroes and from modern adaptations of Greek texts to clowning and dance, the scope of the season is vast, offering something for all ages and tastes.

Cassandra by Found in Translation (12th – 16th June)

What if they'd believed Cassandra?

Based on Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Cassandra takes us on a very personal journey through some of the struggles many women face in their lives; the choice between what’s expected of them and how they feel. Touching on the themes of #metoo and #timesup, Cassandra is a fiery reimagining of a classical text which gives a voiceless woman an audience. 

Established in October 2016, Found in Translation’s mission is to take Classical stories and update them for today’s audiences. They produce work that promotes education in the arts and Classical subjects to those that don’t have easy access to them otherwise. 

Suitable for ages 16+

The Tale of the Cockatrice by Mumblecrust Theatre (17th June)

A masterclass in adventure storytelling for all ages!

Deep in the vaults of an ancient priory a hideous creature awakens. A deadly cockatrice is born! Bold knights flee in terror... Can a humble nun defeat the beast?

Multi-Award-Winning Mumblecrust Theatre present two muddle-headed storytellers, an obscure British legend, breath-taking puppetry and spine-tingling live music in this dark and winding fable for monster-lovers young and old.

Mumblecrust Theatre is an award-winning theatre company based in the South West of England. Co-Artistic Directors Katie Underhay and Anthony Burbridge came together to fill a niche in children’s theatre, where slightly older children often get left out. From this collaboration, The Tale of the Cockatrice was born.

Best suited for 7-12 year olds 

Trailer: youtube.com/watch?v=rT2ez6uvHhk

The Family Blimp by The Klump Company (21st – 23rd June)

Physical theatre, grotesque and a lick of the absurd come together as the Blimps attempt to navigate through a strange new place and meet the demands of their new-fangled community.

Let’s play Home Sweet Home, after all- there’s no place like it.

The Klump Company are a brand spanking new ensemble, fresh from internationally acclaimed Ecole de Jacques Lecoq. They could mime the knickers off your granny. They probably won’t though…

Runner Up by Robert Hesp (28th June)

A series of performance actions and choreographies by Robert Hesp responding to ideas around/the feeling of failure.

Robert Hesp is a performance artist and contemporary dancer based in London. His work frequently straddles a variety of disciplines, using the tensions and overlaps as fertile ground for experimentation.

This performance is a work in progress showing and will be followed by a short discussion hosted by the artist. 

The Croydon Avengers by Maya Productions in association with Little Mighty (29th June & 1st July)

Can three teenage refugees become the heroes Britain needs?

Regina Rump is on the rampage! A trio of masked vigilantes are sending Croydon’s crime rate plummeting. They’ve run away from their war-torn homes and are just trying to help.

But Regina’s not happy. She orders her media empire to unmask the Avengers and get them off the streets. Are they terrorists? Criminals? Either way, she thinks they’re a threat to British identity.

Then a freak accident at the Gatwick deportation centre gives the trio powers beyond their wildest dreams. Can three teenage refugees really become the saviours of a doomed nation?

The Croydon Avengers blends comic book visuals with action-packed martial arts to tell a funny, powerful story of terrorist threats, heroism and true friendship in an England that seems frightened of anyone who’s different.

Led by Suzanne Gorman, Maya Productions creates diverse theatre to create change: socially, politically and culturally. Their vision is a world where people of all ages, abilities, culture and classes have the opportunity to experience world class theatre.

Aimed at young people aged 8-14 and their families.

Boxman by Flugelman Productions (4th – 6th July)

There are more than 60 million displaced people on our planet... people who have no home

Ringo is one of them. He is a survivor, a child soldier displaced from his homeland, sheltering in a cardboard box in an inner city park. He lives in plain sight but is invisible to the city around him. But inside his makeshift ‘home’, Ringo lives a life rich with stories and songs of a childhood far away, a family tragically lost and the complicated promise of a new beginning.

Started by sisters, Edwina and Victoria, Flugelman Productions brings together writers, performers, musicians and dancers from all over the world, inspired to tell great stories. They believe that theatre can save the world. Too grand a statement? At the very least, it can make all our lives better by helping us understand a little more of what it means to be human.

Where the Hell is Bernard? by Haste Theatre (10th July)

A darkly comic depiction of a Kafka-esque future

In a city where no one plays and no one ever leaves, a box of items bounces back to Lost and Found Office. Will the officers find its owner or something more? Mixing magical visuals, movement, live song and clown, award winning Haste Theatre create a darkly comic warning for the future.

Haste Theatre an all-female, international physical theatre company which creates fantastical worlds to portray and interrogate the everyday. Founded in 2013, Haste has toured nationally and internationally to theatres and festival across the UK, US and Italy. Fusing comedy and tragedy, the ugly and the beautiful – they shock, stimulate and entertain.

The Dame by Here’s One I Made Earlier & Duncan Reeves Productions (12th July)

A seasoned pantomime dame is alone in his dressing room, unaware he is preparing for his own performance of a lifetime....

Ronald Roy Humphrey has returned to the northern seaside town where he grew up for the Christmas season, and finds himself bitterly confronted with why he left all those years before.

As he starts to excavate his past, he steps back into history; bringing to life the ghosts who once paraded and performed along the piers and promenades, removing the layers one by one until he arrives at a tragic truth he had spent his whole life trying to forget.

A lost world of seaside entertainment, old time music hall and pantomime are brought to life in this one-man show where the past and present collide, magical realism meets bleak reality, and however many masks we wear, the truth will always be exposed.

The Dame is a one man show written by Katie Duncan, a past winner of Blue Elephant Theatre's Playwriting competition, and presented as a work in development. The show is performed by her father, actor and presenter Peter Duncan who is probably best known for presenting Blue Peter in the 1980s.

An Evening, A Beginning by KAMIENSKI (19th – 21st July)

Witness the beginning

Boundaries of contemporary dance are manipulated in this physical and fast-paced double bill by KAMIENSKI., premiering two brand new works.

Trojan Horse by LUNG in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse (26th & 27th July)

Why should I continue to be tolerant?

When the world has been so intolerant of me.

A new documentary play by LUNG (E15, The 56 and Chilcot), Trojan Horse follows the real life stories of Muslim teachers and governors who were accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.

Founded in Barnsley in 2012, LUNG are a verbatim/documentary theatre company who make work with communities, for communities and about communities. LUNG create work that shines a light on political, social and economic issues in modern Britain using people’s actual words to tell their stories. The company is led by Matt Woodhead (winner of Director’s Guild Best Newcomer 2015) and Helen Monks (Upstart Crow, Raised By Wolves).

Listings Information: 

Venue: Blue Elephant Theatre, 59a Bethwin Rd, Camberwell, SE5 0XT (entrance on Thompson Ave)

Nearest tube: Oval (Northern Line)

Wheelchair accessible

Box Office: 020 7701 0100

info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk

www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk |@BETCamberwell

May 3rd

June - August Season Announced at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The 150th birthday year of the Finborough Theatre building continues with three plays – Finishing the PictureArthur Miller’s final play in only its second production worldwide; But It Still Goes On by poet and novelist Robert Graves which has never been performed anywhere in the world; and Homos, or Everyone in America, the European premiere of a new American play by Jordan Seavey in his UK debut. 


The season opens with the European premiere of Arthur Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture, playing 12 June–7 July 2018. A razor sharp psychological study of an abused, misunderstood female star and the havoc her unpredictability brings to a film set in 1961, based on Miller’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe. This European premiere is only the play’s second production anywhere in the world, and is directed by Phil Willmott, following his acclaimed Finborough Theatre productions of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock and Incident at Vichy.  

The season continues with a unique rediscovery from 1929 – the never previously performed But It Still Goes on by poet and novelist Robert Graves, playing 10 July–4 August 2018 as part of the Finborough Theatre’s THEGREATWAR100 series. Influenced by the drawing room comedies of Noël Coward and W. Somerset Maugham, it explores themes of adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender politics, casual sex, and inter-generational conflict, but with a surreal dark twist. This long-overdue world premiere is directed by Fidelis Morgan, returning to the Finborough Theatre following her sell-out adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square, and her direction of Irish classic Drama at Inish starring Celia Imrie and Paul O’Grady. 

The season culminates with the European premiere from an exciting American playwright in his UK debut, Jordan Seavey’s Homos, or Everyone in America, playing 7 August–1 September 2018. In a supposedly ‘post-gay’ America on the brink of passing marriage equality, a first date at a New York bar starts two men on a fearless, funny and fragmented journey leading up to a historic moment of change. This raw and provocative love story is directed by award winning Josh Seymour returning to the Finborough Theatre following his sell out production of Adding Machine: A Musical

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: “Our new season brings you three theatrical treats – the long-overdue opportunity to finally see Arthur Miller’s very last play; another of our truly unique rediscoveries with a play by poet and novelist Robert Graves that has never previously been performed anywhere in the world; and, as always, we haven’t forgotten the new - with a European premiere from an American playwright in his UK debut. This season we also offer Sunday evening performances for our productions.” 

For full information, please visit the Finborough website.  

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED 

Book online here 

No booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings 

Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free. There will be a 5% booking fee.) 
Lines are open Monday – Saturday 10.00am-6.00pm 

PERFORMANCE TIMES AND PRICES
Tuesday to Sunday evenings at 7.30pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3.00pm.
Prices for Weeks One and Two – Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £16 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats. Previews £14 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. 
£14 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, when booked online only. 

Prices for Weeks Three and Four – Tickets £20, £18 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £18 all seats, and Friday and Saturday evenings £20 all seats.

Feb 20th

RADIUS Playwriting Competition 2018

By Carolin Kopplin

Spotlight on Humanity:
Radius Playwriting Competition 2018

Radius Playwriting Competition 2018 has now been launched in tandem with the Radius YouTube Channel. Judges of the competition are Neil McPherson and Sue Healy, Artistic Director and Literary Manager of London's Finborough Theatre, and the winning script is guaranteed a reading in the Finborough's prestigious Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. There will be a prize of £500. Entry is free.

 

Radius provides high-quality drama scripts to churches and community groups. In addition to a collection of original takes on the Christmas and Easter stories, we specialize in plays that ask searching questions about how life should be lived, and we avoid offering easy answers.  Past winners of Radius playwriting competitions include Cell Talk by Dana Bagshaw, about the medieval women mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and Red Star by Les Ellison, exploring the astronaut Yuri Gagarin’s failure to cope with the pressures of celebrity.

 

Submissions should be emailed to info@radiusdrama.org.uk by 5 pm on 1 May, 2018.  The winner will be announced on 23 July 2018. Entries should last between one and two hours in performance and may be on any subject. Entrants should be UK residents and the winner will work with a dramaturg at the Finborough Theatre to develop the play for the Vibrant Festival in October 2018.

 

More information about Radius's playwriting competition, YouTube Channel, our unique script collection and other initiatives can be found here

Feb 20th

New Season for March-June 2018 Announced at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Our second season of 2018 – the 150th year of the Finborough Theatre building – features new writing with two European premieres from award-winning playwrights from Canada and the United States, and a UK premiere from controversial German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth in his fourth production at the Finborough Theatre including a performance in German; two rediscoveries from the 1980s – the first professional UK production since 1980 of a musical from the composer of Half A Sixpence, and a classic feminist play by Sarah Daniels; and, as part of our 150th birthday series, a London premiere in English from celebrated French dramatist Paul Claudel who was born 150 years ago.

The season opens with the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham's White Guy on the Bus, a shocking new play which blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America, playing for a four-week limited season from 27 March–21 April 2018. It is accompanied by the UK premiere of Rolf Hochhuth’s Death of a Hunter, playing Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 1-17 April 2018, including a performance in German on Tuesday, 10 April.

The season continues with the long-overdue rediscovery of the feminist classic Masterpieces by Sarah Daniels, last seen at the National Theatre as one of their '100 Most Significant Plays of the 20th Century', playing 24 April–19 May 2018. It plays alongside Gracie by Joan MacLeod, winner of Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Governor General’s Award. The European premiere of this one-woman play about growing up in a religious cult plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 29 April–15 May 2018.

The season culminates with the return of our ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series with the first professional UK production since its 1980 premiere of The Biograph Girl, a joyous musical celebration of Hollywood's glorious era of silent film, by Warner Brown and David Heneker, the composer of Half A Sixpence, playing from 22 May–9 June 2018. It plays concurrently with the return of our Finborough150 series, celebrating the 150th birthday of our building, with the London premiere in English of Break of Noon (Partage de Midi) by Paul Claudel, the celebrated French author who was born 150 years ago. It plays Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 27 May–5 June.

By popular request, we have moved to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address  remains www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Telephone bookings are now on a new number 01223 357851 which is free to call. There are no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there is now a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "Our new season features another eclectic season of work with writers from the UK, United States, Canada, France and Germany including hard-hitting new writing, musical theatre, and unique rediscoveries including another play celebrating our 150th birthday. Our work was also recognised in the recently announced shortlist of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the prestigious award given annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Of ten finalists, three made their UK debut at the Finborough Theatre (Colleen Murphy, Fiona Doyle and Anusree Roy).” 

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Jan 23rd

START SPREADING THE NEWS

By Kirstie Niland

The Winter Gardens Open Day, this Saturday, will feature an exciting programme of events, including Frank Sinatra’s Live at the Opera House 1953.

Frank Sinatra appeared only twice in Blackpool, on 16th July 1950 and on 26th July 1953, both times in Sunday concerts at the Opera House. For the first time since, there will be the opportunity to hear in its original setting, his 1953 performance, which had been recorded privately.

 

The hour-long recording will begin at 1pm, in between demonstrations of the Wurlitzer organ. You will be able to sit in the auditorium and try to imagine that you are there back in 1953 listening to Frank Sinatra live.

Doors open for the 2018 events at 11am to the wonderful sounds of the much-loved Wurlitzer Organ playing live in the Opera House. Further events will run throughout the day, with resident pianist, Brant Nuttall playing in the Mazzei Café and afternoon tea served in the Empress Grill from just £9.50 per person.

A slideshow of historical posters and programmes, will be shown in the Pavilion Theatre, taking guests on a journey back in time, bringing to life bygone days of Blackpool’s most magnificent venue – Guests will also have the opportunity to learn more about the restorations taking place and new conference and exhibition centre currently in development.

Throughout the day, guests can explore every nook and cranny of the world-famous grade 2* listed building during this exclusive access all areas event: treading the Opera House boards and viewing rooms where stars and world leaders have gone before them.

Resident experts Ted and Anne Lightbown will be on hand in the Floral Hall to answer questions about the illustrious building’s 140-year history.

The event offers the opportunity for guests to view the 3,000 capacity Empress Ballroom, which has played host to countless party conferences and politicians; and to marvel at areas such as the stunning Spanish Hall suite with its lavish courtyard, reminiscent of a 1930s Hollywood film set along with the other many halls, suites and hidden areas normally closed to the public.

Blackpool's Winter Gardens first opened to the public on 11 July 1878, with a lavish ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor of London and Mayors and Mayoresses from 68 towns throughout the country. Today the venue is home to over 20 unique and breathtaking spaces, and a hive of activity for concerts, plays, national theatre tours, business lunches, exhibitions, weddings and conferences.

Last year’s open day welcomed thousands through the doors. This year’s takes place this Saturday 27th January 2018 from 11am – 3pm. The event is FREE of charge but donations to the Winter Gardens Trust are welcomed.

Photographs courtesy of Winter Gardens Blackpool

Jan 9th

An Opportunity For All Creatives to Meet the Finborough Theatre Team

By Carolin Kopplin

To ensure our work remains accessible to all, and following the success of Introduce Yourself for playwrights during our annual Vibrant– A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, we are now extending Introduce Yourself to provide an opportunity for emerging creatives (other than writers) to engage with the Finborough Theatre.

 

Introduce Yourself is for new directors, designers, lighting designers, sound designers, choreographers, movement directors, actors etc etc etc from the UK who have never previously worked at the Finborough Theatre and who would like to meet us.

 

On Tuesday evenings during February 2018 Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre (13, 20, 28 February), and Alex Marker, Resident Designer of the Finborough Theatre (6 February), will be in the Finborough Arms pub below the theatre between 6.00pm and 9.00pm for you to Introduce Yourself personally.

 

Bookings will open for each fifteen minute slot at the Finborough Theatre on Thursday, 1 February 2018 by email to admin@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Following a discussion on social media which can be read on Facebook here, both Neil and Alex will be accompanied by a female member of staff, and you are welcome to bring someone along with you if you would like to.

 

Dec 5th

JANUARY-MARCH SEASON AT THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE ANNOUNCED

By Carolin Kopplin

During 2018, the Finborough Theatre celebrates 150 years of the Finborough Theatre building with the FINBOROUGH150 series, an anniversary selection of the best plays from 1868. Our first season of 2018 features the first rediscovery from 1868 in the FINBOROUGH150 series, alongside five premieres of new writing – three from brand new British and Irish writers in their formal professional debuts, and two multi-award-winning American playwrights with two hard-hitting and controversial new plays.

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "A recent article in the press bemoaned the lack of new British playwrights at some of London’s funded “new writing” theatres. As always, it is up to venues such as ours to redress the balance. This season features three new debut plays from British and Irish playwrights, alongside two new plays from multi-award-winning American playwrights. Three of the new plays this season were first seen in our acclaimed Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights seasons which will celebrate its tenth consecutive year in 2018. As always, too, we celebrate the old alongside the new, and this season we begin celebrating the 150th anniversary of our building with the first in our new FINBOROUGH150 series.”

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre, the season opens with the European premiere of Into the Numbers by the multi-award-winning playwright Christopher Chen, commemorating the 80th anniversary of ‘The Rape of Nanking’, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, playing for a four week limited season from 2-27 January 2018. It is accompanied by the world premiere of Imaginationship by Sue Healy, a new play on love, sex, obsession and death in Great Yarmouth, originally seen as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, playing on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 7-23 January 2018.

The season continues with the world premiere of a debut by Cornish playwright Henry Darke, Booby’s Bay, a passionate, comic fable about the housing crisis in Cornwall and beyond, and a maverick’s mission to turn the tide, playing 30 January-24 February 2018. It plays alongside the opening production of the FINBOROUGH150 series – the first London production since 1890 of the 1868 hit, Cyril’s Success, a semi-autobiographical satire on playwrights and theatre folk, by local resident Henry J. Byron, playing for nine Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from 4 February 2018.

We end the season with the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan KanafaniReturning to Haifa, adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallaceand Ismail Khalidi, a compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – forced by history into an intimacy they didn't choose. It concides with the 70th anniversaries of both the Nakbaor “catastrophe” (the mass dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948) and the foundation of the State of Israel, and plays from 27 February-24 March 2018. This production marks the play's world premiere, following its banning by the Public Theater, New York City. It plays concurrently with the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page, a new play examining the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism blur. Originally seen as a staged reading as part ofVibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, it runs on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 4-20 March 2018.

From 30 January 2018, by popular request, we will be moving to a new ticketing provider, Spektrix, for all ticket bookings. The website address will remain www.finboroughtheatre.co.ukFrom 30 January 2018, telephone bookings will be on a new number 01223 357851 and will be free to call. There will no booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings, but there will be a 5% booking fee on telephone bookings.

The Finborough Theatre has had a superlative year to date with acclaimed sell-out productions, transfers in London and to New York City, our tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, and nominations for both The Stage Debut Award and an Olivier Award.

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

 

Oct 20th

Winter Season at the Blue Elephant Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Blue Elephant Theatre 2017 Winter Season

"The exciting fringe outpost that is the Blue Elephant"
Graham Watts, Dance Tabs

 
The Blue Elephant continues to offer a wealth of exciting performances by emerging artists across the arts. New writing, family shows and physical theatre feature strongly in the programme, tackling topics from immigration and aging to consent and mental health.
 
Exciting theatre companies Original ImpactThe Dot Collective and Moon on a Stick return to the Blue Elephant this season and their work alone demonstrates the breadth of the programme. Original Impact are a performance collective with a strong actor-musician focus who present new work and contemporary retellings of classics. The Dot Collective creates high-quality work with and for older people, especially those with dementia. Moon on a Stick creates original shows for children, using puppetry and live music.
 
This is Blue Elephant Theatre’s first season to be announced since learning in June that it is to be added to Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations from April 2018. Blue Elephant Theatre was amongst just five new theatre organisations in London to be added to the portfolio, offering the theatre more stability and greater opportunities to develop its work.
 
Theatre
The Man, The Myths, The Legends

Original Impact
19 – 20 October
 
A night of new work from men, tackling the myths, bringing you the legends.
 
Following the successes of Female Intuition and Tit for TatOriginal Impact returns to the Blue Elephant to showcase more works of new writing, this time from a male perspective.
 
Rat King by Bram Davidovich tells the story of Kelly and Jacko, whose worlds collide on the streets of East London.
 
Delicacy by Mark Jones charts the aftermath of an unusual dinner party as a family discover their neighbour is a serial killer who has fed them human flesh.

Cubicle Confessions by Darrel Draper places pressure on toilet attendant Samarge to reach out and support a stranger contemplating suicide.

In The Rental by Mark Harvey Levine, Sonya receives an extraordinary birthday present - a rented boyfriend. He's the perfect man for her - but he's only there for a day.

Croydon Ho Yo Yo Yo by David Zaman is best described by character Lizzi as “a torrid tale of sisterly deceit, a will to power, and what happens when messed up Esta and me screwed with the wrong President in the wrong time, wrong place”.

In The Red Telephone by Alasdair Melrose, a man sits alone at a table. A telephone sits in front of him. This is an antique red rotary telephone made by Siemens, engraved with an eagle, a swastika, and a name...
 
“Original Impact proves what is possible with a strong cast and some directorial creativity”
Culturised on Original Impact’s Twelfth Night

Directors: Sean Hollands, Stephen Bailey, Dan Burman, Joshua Jewkes, Kris Witham & Dinos Psychogios
Cast: Stanley Eldridge, Victoria Hitchin, Jessica Kearney, Katie Turner, Alasdair Melrose, Will Anderson, Katie Capello, Katie Spencer- Blake, Darrel Draper, Dan Burman, Georgina Bennett, Kris Witham, James Morley, Joshua Jewkes & Zac Wancke
 
Theatre
The Actualisation Show
Ephemeral Ensemble
26 – 28 October
 
Professional Optimists Harley & Pedro bring you The Actualisation Show:
We’ll forget you your troubles and believe in your dreams! Offered now at bargain prices - special rates negotiable! We’re optimistic that you won't be disappointed!
 
The Actualisation Show is the first fully realised production of Ephemeral Ensemble, an international physical theatre company founded by Ramon Ayres and Eygló Belafonte. They co-direct following Belafonte’s recent return from performing in Theatre Re’s sell-out The Nature of Forgetting at the Edinburgh Fringe. Combining the skilled physicality, playful stage craft and vibrant music, Ephemeral Ensemble strives to create original, sincere and ambitious work that is inspired by human stories.
 
The Actualisation Show was created following interviews with those affected by suicide and Ephemeral Ensemble has worked with Papyrus and LAS.

Supported by Arts Council En
 
Directors: Eygló Belafonte & Ramon Ayres
Set, Prop & Costume: Rob Evison
Music, Sound & Lyrics: Alex Paton
Collaborators for research: Professor David Mosse, PAPYRUS & L.A.S.
Cast: Ramon Ayres & Rob Evison
 
Theatre
The Dance Hall
1 – 2 November
 
Caught between the past and the presentThe Dance Hall touches on themes of immigration, loss, loneliness, family and, most importantly, (in)dependence.
 
When Annie dies far too young, Jimmy struggles with getting older and losing his independence. His family ‘try to visit’ when their lives allow, with his daughter and granddaughter supporting him as best they can.
 
An intimate story about an Irish family living in England, The Dance Hall delves into Jimmy's journey from Ireland, how he met his beloved Annie in the dance hall and the loneliness of his life without her.
 
The Dance Hall is presented as a work-in-progress production.
 
Writer: Eve Niker
 
Theatre
The Conversation
8 November
 
A performance exploring the topic of consent
 
In The ConversationLauren Burch considers the language of consent and how we talk about it. Or - how we do not talk about it.
 
Don’t worry, she’s not looking to shock you and she’s definitely not angry at you. She just wants to impress you.
 
Lauren attempts to create a safe space where you feel relaxed and invited to enjoy yourself with the help of her hosting. All of this is for you, and she won’t let you forget it. She’s pulling out all the stops on this special night. She’s setting herself high expectations, and she may fail to meet them. You may feel the urge to leave, and you are welcome to, whenever you want.
 
But oh baby, please don’t go. She just wants you to stay.
 
Writer and Performer: Lauren Burch
 
Age guidance: 15+
 
Family Theatre
Shakespearience

Debbie Hicks Productions
 10 November

"Utterly hilarious... a wildly successful all-family show"
The Stage ☆☆☆☆☆
 
Join Shakespeare's Men as they fly through the Bard's Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night in a whirlwind hour of mischievous storytelling. With tons of audience interaction, more than a dash of mayhem and a star turn from one lucky adult (shhh don't tell!), Shakespearience is the perfect treat for all the family. 
 
Theatre
How to Cope with Embarrassment

Two Pale Ladies
15 – 18 November
 
An irreverent showcase of what makes us tick, blush, cringe and silently scream
 
The Two Pale Ladies, and their new pale mate, explore what it is to be embarrassed and how it happens, in hopes of finding a way of coping with it.
 
So that we can reduce the number of times a day we wish that the ground would open up and lose us within its burning furnace.
 
So that we may sleep better, with a clearer conscience.
 
So that we may be less embarrassed.
 
How to Cope with Embarrassment is part forum theatre, live art, cabaret, wanna-be comedy and a little bit of karaoke. Deliberately adopting a disloyal frame, it stomps between genres and styles as a reaction to the fickle and capricious nature of Embarrassment, with a focus on failure and error.
 
The Tricycle
Bright South Theatre
21 – 25 November
 
What would you do for the chance of a better tomorrow?
 
 Apal and Climando have to pay for the tricycle they hired but they don´t have the money. How far will they go to survive in a world where all hope of a future is lost?
 
Three teenagers and an old man try to survive in a hostile, unintelligible and alienating world. They’re just four marginal characters looking for their place in a system which forgot them.
 
The Tricycle was the first play by renowned Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal. Written in 1952, is a strangely light-hearted tale of poverty and murder. In this perfect example of Absurd Theatre, the writer questions the limits of freedom and the relationship between our acts and their consequences in a rotten society where children commit sinister acts to survive.
 
Bright South Theatre, under the direction of Jesús Chavero, presents the London premiere of a new adaptation of The Tricycle. This young Spanish company presents its first project in English, portraying a playful yet disturbing world and posing questions as relevant now as when The Tricycle was first written.
 
Writer: Fernando Arrabal
Translator & Director: Jesús Chavero
 
Theatre
The Invisible
30 November – 1 December
 
A storyteller stands alone on the stage, sharing a story about an invisible character.
 
She waits for airplanes to cross the sky. She wants to see the outside world. She folds paper planes. She takes a flight. She leaves home. She arrives in a foreign country. She feels invisible. She asks why.
 
What happens when East Asian culture lands at Heathrow Airport? How much do you know about the invisible? How little do you know? The Invisible is a one-woman show by Yuyu Wang, drawing on real experiences of living in a foreign country, incorporating story-telling, music and movement. It aims to explore the vulnerability, homesickness and otherness of Asian communities overseas, offering a new perspective on current contemporary discussions around immigration, alienation and home.
 
Writer and Performer: Yuyu Wang
 
Family Theatre
Little Red Riding Hood

Moon on a Stick
7 – 9 December
 
A much-loved story reinvented as a playful pantomime
 
Moon on a Stick combine enchanting puppetry and imaginative storytelling with traditional pantomime elements to create a fun and engaging show designed especially for tiny audience members.
 
Featuring live music, dance and audience interaction, Little Red Riding Hoodwill have everyone singing and laughing along but most importantly helping Little Red on her big adventure through the forest.
 
Packed full of silliness, a sassy heroine and sparkles, this is the perfect introduction to panto for children aged 3+ and their families.
 
Both performances on Saturday 9 December will be relaxed performances.

Supported by Arts Council England, Apples & Pears Foundation and the Wakefield & Tetley Foundation
 
Theatre
Once Upon a Christmas Song
The Dot Collective
13 December
 
Framed around popular Christmas themes, familiar music and memories, Once Upon a Christmas Song is an alternative Christmas show, guaranteed nonetheless to make you feel festive.
 
Once Upon a Christmas Song is new play by Alexander Moschos, written following The Dot Collective’s storytelling workshops with people living with dementia which were held at dementia friendly cafes, day care centres and activity groups for the elderly.
 
Characters, places and poetry were created. Memories, music and thoughts were shared between the service users and the artistic team. These one-hour workshops revealed many magical stories springing from the dynamic minds of the clients, regardless of age, disability or dementia. Moschos has responded to the memories and ideas around Christmas shared to write Once Upon a Christmas Song.
 
This play is truly a collaboration between the many minds met during the workshops and the playwright.
 
Writer: Alexander Moschos
 
Listings Information:
Venue: Blue Elephant Theatre, 59a Bethwin Rd, Camberwell, SE5 0XT (entrance on Thompson Ave)
Nearest tube: Oval (Northern Line)
Wheelchair accessible
Box Office: 020 7701 0100

www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk
info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk
Twitter: @BETCamberwell
Oct 7th

VIBRANT 2017 – A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

By Carolin Kopplin

THE NINTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

VIBRANT 2017 –
A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

Curated by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson.
Produced by Lynne McConway.

Plays by
June Carryl, Sue Healy, Adam Hughes, Iain Finlay Macleod, Joe Marsh, Carmen Nasr, Jeff Page, Avin Shah and Athena Stevens

Directed by
Charlie Barker, Manuel Bau, Jelena Budmir, Liz Carruthers, Shane Dempsey, Fay Lomas, Ali Pidsley, Tricia Thorns and Oscar Toeman.

Supported by
The Richard Carne Trust. Oberon Books. Hogarth Estates. Samuel French Limited.

Now in its ninth consecutive year, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre – the coalface of British Theatre – presents Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, its annual explosion of new writing, performing on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26 October 2017

As always, this year's festival features an intriguing selection of staged readings of new works by UK and international playwrights, both established and new, discovered, developed or championed by the Finborough Theatre.

Concentrated solely on full length works for the stage, Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights continues to introduce you to some of the fascinating diverse vibrant voices the theatre has nurtured.

Since the first festival in 2009, Vibrant festivals have included over 100 new plays, 26 of which have gone on to be produced in full productions at the Finborough Theatre including Mirror Teeth by Nick Gill, The Man by James Graham, And I And Silence by Naomi Wallace, Black Jesus by Anders Lustgarten, Carthage by Chris Thompson, Nona Shepphard and Craig Adams' musical version of Thérèse Raquin, This Heaven by Nakkiah Lui, Continuity by Gerry Moynihan, and Dubailand by Carmen Nasr. Many other plays first seen in Vibrant have also gone on to be produced by other theatres.

Despite remaining completely unsubsidised, the Finborough Theatre has an unparalleled track record of discovering new playwrights who go on to become leading voices in British theatre. Under Artistic Director Neil McPherson, it has discovered some of the UK's most exciting new playwrights including Laura Wade, James Graham, Mike Bartlett, Chris Thompson, Jack Thorne, Alexandra Wood, Al Smith, Nicholas de Jongh and Anders Lustgarten; and directors including Blanche McIntyre, Robert Hastie, Kate Wasserberg and Sam Yates.

Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights is again curated by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson, winner of The Writers' Guild Award for the Encouragement of New Writing, and twice winner of the OffWestEnd Award for Best Artistic Director.

Week One – 8 - 12 October 2017
Sunday, 8 October 2017 at 7.30pm
Genie by Athena Stevens. Directed by Jelena Budimir.

With severe Cerebral Palsy, an IQ of 30, and the inability to hear, Genie has spent the past two decades isolated in an institution. But when Jessica, Genie's twin sister, decides to take her out of the care home, none of the doctors can explain why Genie has developed a compulsion to destroy anything made of fabric. With a home shredded and Jessica's marriage in tatters, being a carer proves to take more of a toll than Jessica expected. But when an unlikely explanation arises regarding Genie's compulsion, it calls into question how much she is aware of, and whether more meaning can be woven into her life than anyone ever thought. Based on the work of Judith Scott, Genie is an inspirational testament to the power of creativity in the face of trauma.

Monday, 9 October 2017 at 7.30pm
The Climbers by Carmen Nasr. Directed by Charlie Barker. 

British couple Yasmin and Charlie are inexperienced but passionate mountaineers, determined to climb the highest mountain on Earth and see the curve of the Earth from the summit. With a hired professional guide and an army of Sherpas, they set off to conquer the mountain. But when things go wrong on the climb, and Charlie goes missing on the descent, Yasmin and the guide's accounts of what actually happened don't quite add up...

Exploring the questionable ambition of today's increasingly inexperienced expeditions to Mount Everest, The Climbers challenges our dangerous tendency to celebrate the human conquest of nature.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 3.00pm
Checkpoint Chana by Jeff Page. Directed by Manuel Bau.

Poet Bev Hemmings is in the eye of a storm after she publishes a poem that the world seems to believe is anti-Semitic. She's convinced she's innocent, but everyone else – including her PA, Tamsin – wants her to apologise. A press interview is planned to begin her public rehabilitation, but Bev's erratic behaviour, exacerbated by drink and a dying father, make her public contrition a complex process.
Checkpoint Chana examines the point where pro-Palestinian criticism of the government of Israel and anti-Semitism blur.

Week Two – 15 – 19 October 2017
Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 7.30pm 
Beeston by Adam Hughes. Directed by Ali Pidsley.

Summer 2005. Beeston, Leeds. A once white-working class community divided by mass immigration and industrial decline. Nobody knows this more than scaffolder Jordan. His only real companion is younger brother Liam, who has fallen for Nadima, a medical student from the Asian community. But with the 7/7 bombings, everything changes, and Jordan finds himself moving down a dark path from which there may be no return... A new play exploring the demonisation of the white working-class and offers a fresh perspective on nationalism and identity in modern Britain.

Monday, 16 October 2017 at 7.30pm 
Imaginationship by Sue Healy. Directed by Tricia Thorns.

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. 59-year-old Ginnie attempts to seduce her unrequited love, the nymphomaniac Brenda. Attila is from Hungary but has ended up scraping an existence in Yarmouth –and pursues Melody who is obsessed with her cold and distant evening-class tutor, Tony. Power-plays and relationships clash until a seduction too far leads to mass murder. Set in a marginalised Brexit town, Imaginationship explores obsession, sex addiction, and the devastating effect of imbalanced relationships, not least between immigrants and locals, London and the regions.

Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 3.00pm
Morningland by Iain Finlay Macleod. Directed by Liz Carruthers.

A man and woman stand in Glenfinnan forest in the middle of the night. Sorley and Eimhir. He grallochs a deer they have hit with the car and tells her he is AWOL. They are going to Raasay, a place with its own ghosts for Sorley, but the only place no-one will find him. He was brought up there by his uncle, who was traumatised by the Spanish Civil War. Eimhir is Irish and Sorley hid it from her for long enough that he was in the army. Now she finds out that he speaks Arabic and works in intelligence. He has gone AWOL after having to question a man, Ali, involved in a terrorist attack. When they reach the island, his uncle, a man long dead, is there. Sorley encounters the three stories of his life at once – his childhood with his uncle, his unrequited love of Eimhir and the night he interrogates Ali.

Week Three – 22 – 26 October 2017
Sunday, 22 October 2017 at 7.30pm
The Good Minister From Harare by June Carryl. Directed by Shane Dempsey.

Inspired by the human toll of Robert Mugabe's massacre of at least 20,000 Ndebele in Zimbabwe thirty years ago, The Good Minister From Harare was the winner of the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance $10,000 Saroyan/Paul 2016 Human Rights Award, judged by Rob Drummer, Artistic Director of Boundless; Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre since 1999; and Simon Levy, Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles since 1993.

When a low-level bureaucrat is asked to right a wrong committed in his village thirty years before, he quickly finds himself plunged into a nightmare wonderland of red tape, government thugs and revolutionary zealots. When the past won't stay buried, do you turn a blind eye and live, or die a martyr in the bloody business of liberation?

Monday, 23 October 2017 at 7.30pm
Outcaste by Avin Shah. Directed by Fay Lomas.

1914: A Hindu village boasting generations of warrior tradition. With the outbreak of war in Europe, the army recruitment business booms. With Untouchables deemed unfit for service, Yasmin's father sees an opportunity to enlist by converting to Islam. When he sails off to France, adolescent YASMIN remains behind in a religious community disgusted by her father's blasphemous act. Banned from education and a victim since birth, she struggles to adapt to her adopted Muslim faith whilst vulnerable to persecution and sexual violence. But when news arrives from the Western Front of her father's bravery, her underdog's guile is awakened. Climbing out of the gutter, she steps into the vacant men's shoes and becomes a fearsome adversary...

Thursday, 26 October 2017 at 3.00pm
We Struggle by Joe Marsh. Directed by Oscar Toeman.

A grey summer's day in East London. Jihad is a man on the edge. He has lost his job and his girlfriend Abida has left him in mysterious and sinister circumstances. Heartbroken and directionless, he defecates on the floor of his local Tesco superstore, steals a kitchen knife from its shelves, and over the hours that ensue has a series of encounters with friends, family and strangers as he forges a dark path forward. These encounters are interspersed with flashbacks to his ill-fated relationship with Abida, as their story of shattered hopes, insecurity and radicalisation unfolds, pointing towards the day's extraordinary climax... Bold and uncompromising, We Struggle is an urgent exploration of how life in our broken city is pushing people to extremes.

Introduce Yourself to the Finborough Theatre
To ensure our work remains accessible to all, accompanying this year's Vibrant 2017  A Festival of Finborough Playwrights is the return of our Introduce Yourself initiative for writers who have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre. The last Introduce Yourself saw us receive more than 200 submissions – one of which went on to a full production at the Finborough Theatre. We pride ourselves on accepting full length scripts all year round, but during Vibrant 2017 A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, we'll be relaxing our usual submission rules to make ourselves even more accessible to new writers.

Introduce Yourself is for new writers from the UK who have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre. We'll read your work and guarantee feedback from our Literary Team.

Please submit
An unperformed short play or twenty pages of an unperformed full length script.
A synopsis of whatever you are submitting.
A little bit about you. It could be a short biography, or a CV, or a chatty letter telling us what music you like.

Submissions must be made between Sunday, 8 October to Thursday, 26 October 2017

Please email ONLY and include the words 'Introduce Yourself' in the subject line toliteraryteam@finboroughtheatre.co.uk

We cannot accept submissions by post or by hand.

PDF attachments are preferred if possible.

Your play can be on any subject or in any style you like. We want to read what you are passionate about – not impose themes or subjects or time limits on you. Writers can be any age, but must be resident in the United Kingdom, and have never previously submitted work to the Finborough Theatre.

And every Wednesday evening during Vibrant 2017 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights (11, 18 and 25 October), Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, and Sue Healy, Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre, will be in the Finborough Arms pub below the theatre between 7.30pm and 9.30pm if you want to Introduce Yourself personally. Bookings will open for each fifteen minute slot at the Finborough Theatre through the Vibrant page of our website onSunday, 1 October 2017. Please note these meetings are for writers only. We will be holding similar events for directors and designers soon.

 Inaugural Meeting of the Finborough Theatre Writers' Group 

The Finborough Theatre Writers' Group will launch on Thursday, 19 October 2017 at the Finborough Arms pub, and, thereafter, it will be held at the Finborough Arms pub on the third Thursday of every month at 8.00pm. 

The group is by invitation only and we will email the emerging and established playwrights we are keen to get to know better and those whom we feel would be an asset to and benefit most from the evening.

The speaker for the inaugural meeting will be announced on 10 October 2017.

Date: Thursday, 19 October (and the 3rd Thursday of every month thereafter).

Time: 8.00pm.

Place: The Finborough Arms pub, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Telephone Booking 0844 847 1652 (calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge). 

Sep 7th

Autumn Season at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The final season of 2017 at the Finborough brings together vibrant new writing and unique rediscoveries, with three plays unseen in the UK for many years, and twelve new plays from the UK, the US and Canada. 

 

The season opens with the UK debut of acclaimed American playwright Keith Bunin with the European premiere of The Busy World is Hushed, directed by the founder of Theatre503, Paul Higgins, playing an eight week limited season from 3 October-25 November 2017. It is accompanied by the Finborough's new play celebration, Vibrant 2017 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights – now in its ninth consecutive year – which plays Sunday and Monday evenings and Thursday matinees between 8-26 October 2017, accompanied by the return of the ‘Introduce Yourself’ initiative for new playwrights.

 

This year’s Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights includes new plays from the Finborough's Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Carmen Nasr, three of their Playwrights on Attachment, Scots Gaelic author Iain Finlay Macleod, and June Carryl’s winning play from the ADAA $10,000 Saroyan/Paul 2016 Human Rights Playwriting Competition. And then by a controversial rediscovery, the queer classic Quaint Honour by Roger Gellert, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and unseen in the UK for 60 years, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 29 October-21 November 2017. 

 

The year ends with the first London production in nearly 70 years of The Passing of the Third Floor Back by Jerome K. Jerome, author of Three Men in a Boat, playing from 28 November - 22 December 2017, running alongside the first London production in 80 years of Israel Zangwill's classic drama of refugees and immigration, The Melting Pot, on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees between 3-19 December 2017. 

 

Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson said: "In a financial climate that is making our continued work even harder to achieve, our new season continues to bring together the very best of new playwriting from the English-speaking world, with work from the past that has been unfairly neglected in an ambitious and idiosyncratic selection of work that you’ve never seen before and can’t see anywhere else. With the help of funding from our regular patrons, we have also recently completed the first stages of a refurbishment of the Finborough Theatre building. As always, please do consider supporting us by joining our Friends Scheme.”

 

The Finborough Theatre has had a superlative year to date with acclaimed sell-out productions, transfers in London and to New York City, and an Olivier Award nomination. Rediscoveries have included Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, B. S. Johnson’s You’re Human Like The Rest Of Us, a centenary production of T. W. Robertson’s Caste, Arthur Miller’s Incident At Vichy and Cicely Hamilton’s Just To Get Married. New writing has included the debuts of new playwrights Carmen Nasr (Dubailand which also won her our tenth Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme Playwright in Residence Bursary, supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation), Titas Halder (his London debut with Run The Beast Down which has just been nominated for The Stage Debut Award for Best Writer), and Canada’s most exciting new playwright Jordan Tannahill (his European debut with Late Company); as well as the English premiere of David Ireland’s Everything Between Us.Finborough Theatre productions have also transferred to New York City (My Eyes Went Dark) and elsewhere in London (Incident at Vichy to the King’s Head Theatre and Late Company to Trafalgar Studios). Last year’s It Is Easy To Be Dead by Neil McPherson was also nominated for an Olivier Award following its transfer from the Finborough Theatre to Trafalgar Studios.

For full information, please visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk