Share |
Sep 27th

VIBRANT 2016 – A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS Sunday, 30 October – Thursday, 17 November 2016

By Carolin Kopplin

IMAGEVIBRANTcreditJenniferPhoon.153518.JPG

THE EIGHTH YEAR: VIBRANT 2016 – A FESTIVAL OF FINBOROUGH PLAYWRIGHTS

Curated by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson.

with plays by Gerry Moynihan, Colleen Murphy, Jim Nolan, Sarah Page, Micah Smith, and James Anthony Tyler

and The Earl’s Court Film Festival 2016

and After Orlando International Theatre Action

Now in its eighth consecutive year, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre presents Vibrant 2016 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, its annual celebration of new writing, running between 30 October – 17 November 2016. This year's festival also includes the Earl's Court Film Festival 2016, and the European premiere of the After Orlando International Theatre Action, 70 short plays inspired by the Orlando nightclub shooting earlier this year. 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.

The Earl’s Court Film Festival 2016, one of the most innovative short film events in London, the Earl’s Court Film Festival returns for the second year featuring six locally shot and co-produced Earl’s Court Film Festival funded short films, as well as showings of an additional 12 external film submissions. The estimated running time of each screening will be 1 hour 30 minutes including a post-film Questions and Answers session led by Festival Producers Sean Duffy and Caroline Tod-Richardson. 

After Orlando International Theatre Action is an international playwright driven theatre action including over seventy playwrights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Africa. Plays have been specifically written and curated in response to this tragic event and will be performed across the US and in the UK throughout the autumn including readings in New York City (Rattlestick Theatre, LGBT Center, Abingdon Theatre, and HERE); Los Angeles (Theatre @ Boston Court, The Road Theatre, East West Players and EST-LA); Seattle (Forward Flux Productions and Cornish College); Portland, Oregon (Artists Repertory Theatre and Boom Arts): Washington, DC (Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center); Philadelphia (Philadelphia Theatre Company); Boston (Brandeis University) and many more theatres and universities across the United States and internationally.

Playwrights include both noted and emerging voices in the theatre including Israel Horovitz, Neil Labute, Anders Lustgarten, Jordan Tannahill, Caridad Svich, Lindsey Ferrentino, Stephen Sewell, and many, many, more. 

Directed by Clare Bloomer, Liz Carruthers, Robert Cavanah, Helen Donnelly, Melissa Dunne, Tommo Fowler, Sara Joyce, Jonny Kelly, Scott Le Crass, Anna Marsland, Lydia Parkerand Lotte Wakeham

Further information: www.finboroughtheatre.com

PLEASE NOTE – Tickets for the Earl’s Court Film Festival are only available on the Earl’s Court Film Festival website at www.filmearlscourt.com or by calling 07789 435448. 

Sep 25th

Finborough Winter Season 2016/17 Announced

By Carolin Kopplin

Trackers_Web_280x180RebeccaPitt.001224.jpg

Winter Season at the Finborough concentrates on rediscoveries with works from the 1930s, 1940s, 1970s and 1980s including the rediscovery of playwright James Bridie, one of the West End’s most popular dramatists of the 1930s and 1940s. New writing is represented by the eighth consecutive year of Vibrant 2016 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights featuring a selection of staged readings by UK and international playwrights, developed, nurtured or championed by the Finborough Theatre. This year’s festival also includes new filmmaking from the Earl’s Court Film Festival, and the European premiere of the After Orlando International Theatre Action, a collection of 70 short plays in response to the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016.

The season opens with Magnificence, Howard Brenton’s seminal 1973 political drama, playing 25 October–19 November 2016. It runs alongside the eighth consecutive year of Vibrant 2016 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, on Sunday and Monday evenings and Thursday matinees from 30 October–17 November 2016.

Rodney Ackland’s After October receives its first Central London production in 80 years, playing from 22 November–22 December 2016, running alongside the first English production for nearly 70 years of Scottish dramatist James Bridie’s Dr Angelus, playing Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from 27 November–20 December 2016.

The season culminates with Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus in its first London production for nearly 30 years playing 3–28 January 2017, together with the first UK production in over 25 years of Veterans Day by multi-award-winning American playwright Donald Freed, on Sunday and Monday evenings and Tuesday matinees from 8–24 January 2017. The Finborough Theatre will also be relaunching its Friends Scheme this Winter with a new range of categories and benefits.

Elsewhere, following its critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre earlier this year where it was nominated for seven OffWestEnd Awards including Best New Play, Best Male Performance, and Best Director, Neil McPherson's new play It Is Easy To Be Dead transfers to the Trafalgar Studios playing 9 November–3 December 2016.

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

Aug 16th

First Major Revival of Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart - 19 Years after its Royal Court Premiere

By Carolin Kopplin

A Tobacco Factory Theatres and Orange Tree Theatre co-production
Blue Heart
BY CARYL CHURCHILL

Tobacco Factory Theatres and the Orange Tree Theatre are embarking on a new co-producing partnership to stage the first major revival of Caryl Churchill’s Blue Heart. Tobacco Factory Theatres and Orange Tree Theatre are thrilled to make the link between the two organisations as they each expand their individual in-house production portfolios. Blue Heart brings both organisations together to work again with key creatives David Mercatali and Angela Davies, who have worked on previous projects with both organisations.

Gillian Axtell, Alex Beckett, Amanda Boxer, Amelda Brown, Andy de la Tour, Maroussia Frank, Mona Goodwin, Janet Henfrey and Tracey Lee Sharples will appear in Caryl Churchill's two exhilarating one act plays, which have not been seen for nearly twenty years.

Heart’s Desire sees a family awaiting their daughter’s return from Australia, though in a series of alternative scenarios, the play collapses as it keeps veering off in unexpected and ridiculous directions.

Blue Kettle tells the story of conman Derek and the five women he misleads into believing he is their biological son. Try as he might, Derek’s plans are scuppered as the play is invaded by a virus.

In Churchill’s ever-inventive style, the plays pull apart language and structure in a way that is theatrically remarkable and fast paced, in a stirring yet truthful exploration of family and relationships.

Blue Heart was first produced by Out of Joint and the Royal Court Theatre at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on 14 August 1997.

Tobacco Factory Theatres produces and presents art in unique, intimate spaces at Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol, as well as off site in Bristol and in venues across the country. It presents a jam-packed programme of diverse and exciting shows, workshops and events, from classic and contemporary theatre, to theatre for families, comedy, dance, music, opera and puppetry. It also runs an expanding programme of engagement, learning and participation opportunities for audiences, young people and artists.

Blue Heart is supported by the Tobacco Factory Theatres Production Fund. A small group of individuals have generously supported this fund to help Tobacco Factory Theatres to produce more of its own work.

Website tobaccofactorytheatres.com | Email tickets@tobaccofactorytheatres.com 
Twitter 
@tftheatres | Facebook/Instagram Tobacco Factory Theatres

The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, South West London wants to change lives by telling remarkable stories from a wide variety of times and places, filtered through the singular imagination of our writers and the remarkable close-up presence of their actors. Over its forty-five-year history the Orange Tree has had an exceptional track record in discovering writers and promoting their early work, as well as rediscovering artists from the past whose work had either been disregarded or forgotten. In the last year alone, the OT has been recognised for its work with nine major industry awards, including 5 Offies (Off West End Awards), 2 UK Theatre Awards, the Alfred Fagon Audience Award and the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.

Website Orangetreetheatre.co.uk | Email box.office@orangetreetheatre.co.uk

Twitter @OrangeTreeThtr | Facebook/Instagram OrangeTreeTheatre 

Blue Heart

By Caryl Churchill

AGE RECOMMENDATION 12+

Tobacco Factory Theatres

Thu 22 September – Sat 01 October
8pm / Matinee Sat 2.30pm (No show Sun)

Tobacco Factory Theatres, Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1TF

Box Office tobaccofactorytheatres.com | 0117 902 0344
Post-Show Talk Following the performance on Tue 27 September

Orange Tree Theatre

13 October - 19 November 2016

Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SA

Box Office orangetreetheatre.co.uk | 020 8940 3633 (open 10am to 6.30pm Mon-Sat).

Post-show talks Wed 26 Oct 7.30pm & Thu 10 Nov 2.30pm

Audio-described performances Wed 2 Nov 7.30pm & Sat 5 Nov 2.30pm

Aug 16th

Richmond Theatre Invites 8-16 Yr Olds for the Ultimate Musical Theatre Battle!

By Carolin Kopplin

Summer School 2.jpg

Calling all 8-16 year olds, this summer Richmond Theatre needs you! An almighty battle is brewing between which is best: the stage or the screen, theatre or movies and the theatre’s Creative Learning Department are inviting young performers to battle it out! 

From Monday 22nd August – Friday 26th August, the Richmond Theatre Summer School recruits will spilt into two age groups and prepare to do battle with their weapons of choice: acting, singing and dancing. The week will then culminate in a battle of musical theatre wills as they perform on the Richmond Theatre stage where the audience will decide the outcome! 

Nikki Ward, director of Let The Battle Commence: Stage v Screen! and Creative Learning Manager at Richmond Theatre said: “Our Summer Schools are always really popular and loads of fun. This year we are inviting 8-16 yr. olds to go to town on performing their favourite songs and dances from the theatre and from movies. They will perform scenes written by themselves and having the audience deciding the outcome of the show will be very exciting!” 

Places are strictly limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Therefore prompt booking is strongly recommended to be guaranteed a place.

 Booking information: 

Online: http://www.atgtickets.com/Movie-Madness-and-Magic-Summer-School-22nd-26th-August-2016-Tickets/45/17805/

Telephone: 020 8332 4524

In person: Richmond Theatre Box Office

Rehearsals: Monday 22nd August – Friday 26th August, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

Performance on the Richmond Theatre stage: Friday 26th August at 5.15 pm

Photograph: © Alastair Hilton

Jul 4th

Helen George on Patrick Marber's "After Miss Julie"

By Carolin Kopplin

After_Miss_Julie___Helen_George_as_Miss_Julie______Photo_credit_Nobby_Clark__ref36__.jpg

Helen George as Miss Julie

How would you describe the character of Miss Julie?

She’s a very complicated character. She’s a character who’s really been there through history, through art and through literature. The particular take on Miss Julie in Patrick Marber’s adaptation is of someone who is very confused. She was brought up by a mother who had very socialist ideals and it’s suggested she could have been part of the suffragette movement as well. Her father is a labour peer and her mother brought her up as a child of nature. She brought her up in boys’ clothes, teaching her about the land and farming, so she’s torn between being the lady of the house and this weird upbringing she had from her mother. She watched her parents have a very destructive and abusive relationship so she’s quite complicated and damaged and somewhat ill-fated.

Does she present any particular challenges for you as an actress?

There’s so much meat to the part. There’s so much substance. There’s so much research to be done. Patrick helps so much with his writing; it’s really all there in the script. Joining up the poeticism and flowery nature of the Strindberg text, which Patrick uses some of, with Patrick’s own language is very interesting. It gets quite bloody and gory in the middle of a refined play so it’s about finding the links between the horror, the gore, the tragedy and the reality because it’s a very real tale.

What is it about the character that resonates with you?

I think there’s something in each of these characters which would and should resonate with each person in the audience. I think at some point everyone will have been in a similar love triangle or could be in one and they could be either one of these people and play either role within this tale of how these three people work together and the power struggle between them all. Another resonant theme is that of finding a woman’s place in a modern world when you’re slightly constrained by how you should behave and how you should carry out your life whilst at the same time juggling the masculinity that’s within yourself as well.

What do you see as the other key themes of the play?

One of the main themes is entrapment – like entrapment of gender and the entrapment of class. The two central characters, Julie and John, have this very passionate love affair which is very animalistic but they can never truly be together. John has this wonderful line where he says ‘Men like me can rise like bread but never like cake’ and I think that sums up his role in it.

Were you already familiar with the play?

Absolutely. It’s a classic. This particular adaptation I did extracts from at drama school, so I was familiar with it. When my friend Anthony Banks, who is directing it, asked whether we should do this I jumped at the chance. I thought ‘It would be amazing to revisit it ten years later with more experience and more life experience’. This time round I understand more what she’s talking about whereas when I was 20 I didn’t.

-®nc-After-Miss-Julie-014.jpg

Miss Julie (Helen George) taunting John (Richard Flood)

Why do you feel sets Patrick Marber apart as a playwright?

He’s very good with his language because he sets the play in a different landscape to Strindberg and it’s politically-themed, which enables him to address the gender fight and the sexual fight. He’s very direct; he cuts across, like I said, the flowery nature of Strindberg’s work. He’s really honest and makes it accessible to a modern-day audience and hopefully makes them feel it’s not far-fetched – that’s not just a piece of theatre, it’s a piece of realism as well.

He’s fantastic and the joyous thing is that he’s been involved in the production. He’s answered questions that are left to the audience’s imagination but which the actors need to know, but it’s rare to have the writer in the room with you – certainly not when it’s an adaptation.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t be without on tour?

I’m touring with my dog Charlie so if I lose him I’ll be scuppered. I also take the script with me of course. 

Do you have any pre or post-show rituals?

Post-show I always have a drink in the pub. Pre-show I try to just stay calm and focussed. A few years ago I’d say my lines 20 times before I went on stage but you can drive yourself mad doing with the fear of it when actually you just have to relax beforehand, listen to some music and calm down. 

Can you pop to the pub without being recognised? And is Trixie on Call The Midwife the role you’re most recognised for by the public?

There are a few times when I am recognised and I always feel very awkward about it because I never know what to say, but a lot of time I can live my life without it happening. But yes, it’s mainly Call The Midwife people know from me and also Strictly Come Dancing. Outside of London people are more likely to come up and ask for a photo whereas in London it seems people will notice you and take a sneaky picture. It’s completely different. 

Have you kept up the dancing since Strictly?

No, but we are doing a little dance section in this so that’ll be the first time since I did the show.

Do you have any plans to do more musical theatre?

It’s what I started off doing and I wouldn’t say no to it, it’s just the right musical hasn’t presented itself yet. Maybe at some point in the future.

 

After Miss Julie will be playing at Richmond Theatre from 11th July 2016.

Tickets: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/after-miss-julie/richmond-theatre/#buy-now

Photographs by Nobby Clark.

Jul 4th

New Autumn Season at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

IMAGENATIONALYOUTHTHEATRESEASONCreditMarkCo.231931.jpg

The new Autumn Season of the Finborough Theatre entails new writing, unique rediscoveries and music theatre.

The season features five brand new plays – a 60th anniversary season from the National Youth Theatre including new plays by two Olivier Award-nominated playwrights and the first ever stage production of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist; as well as two world premieres about the refugee and immigrant experience from award-winning North American dramatists. The Finborough also presents a unique rediscovery – the first UK production in nearly 90 years of Noël Coward's Home Chat; and the UK premiere of the hit Off Broadway musical Adding Machine: A Musical.

The new season opens with a new writing from the National Youth Theatre, playing 9–27 August 2016, celebrating the NYT's 60th anniversary: James Fritz's The Fall, Bola Agbaje’s Bitches, and the first ever stage production of Mohsin Hamid’s Man Booker Shortlisted The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Noël Coward’s Home Chat receives its first UK production since its premiere in 1927 in September, running alongside the world premiere of the award-winning The Great Divide by acclaimed new American playwright Alix Sobler.

The UK premiere of Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt’s multi-award winning Off-Broadway musical Adding Machine: A Musical, based on the play by Elmer Rice, plays from 28 September–22 October 2016, concurrently with the UK debut of multi-award-winning Canadian playwright Anusree Roy’s Trident Moon.

You can also see Finborough productions elsewhere with My Eyes Went Dark at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in August, and Operation Crucible at the Sheffield Crucible in September.

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

Jul 4th

Autumn at the Battersea Arts Centre

By Carolin Kopplin

image001.jpg

A host of theatrical experiences and creative projects are set to fill Battersea Arts Centre’s building this autumn as the doors are thrown open to spaces that have been redeveloped as part of a nine-year phased capital project, realised with Stirling Prize winning architects Haworth Tompkins.


THEATRE 

Neverland 
| Tom Penn & Battersea Arts Centre | 7-16 October

Children aged 1-3 and their adults are invited to step into a white tented den to play among dazzling 360 degree video projections. Footage flits between real and animated scenes of nature, from forest canopies to sea beds, accompanied by an original score. Made in collaboration with Little Bulb Theatre associate Tom Penn, this multisensory experience is a celebration of imagination, guided by two multilingual performers. Building on the success of previous interactive family theatre productions, including The Great Escape (A Borrower’s Tale) (2010) and Town Hall Cherubs (2015), Neverland will premiere at Battersea Arts Centre and tour to children’s theatre festivals, including TakeOff Festival in Durham, this autumn.

A House Repeated | Seth Kriebel | 18-29 October

Inspired by the early text-based computer games of the 70s and 80s, A House Repeated returns to pit audience teams against one another to unlock the secrets of Battersea Arts Centre’s labyrinthine old town hall. Blurring the line between reality and fantasy, creator Seth Kriebel has conjured a world of half-real and half-imagined spaces inspired in part by the building's original and modern-day architectural plans. Together with collaborator Zoe Bouras, Seth guides audiences on an imaginary adventure from the comfort of their seats.

 

COMING SOON
London Stories: Made by Migrants 
| Battersea Arts Centre | 4-26 November 
Spearheading the new BAC Moving Museum programme in November is an evolution of London Stories, following the success of the first festival in 2013. Real life stories of arriving in the city and of trying to make it a new home will be told people who lived themIntimate audiences groups will hear tales across a warren of spaces and visit an installation of storytellers’ sentimental objects that reflect the city's history of migration. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.


The Night That Autumn Turned To Winter 
| Little Bulb Theatre | 3 December – 8 January
Hot on the heels of launching Battersea Arts Centre’s new Courtyard theatre, this Christmas Little Bulb Theatre will delight families with a music-filled nut gathering and nest building show, full of wintry surprises.



CREATIVE PROJECTS
The academic year kicks-off with two creative projects that got off the ground thanks to pilot cycles funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

 

Agents of Creative Change | Battersea Arts Centre | September – October
Battersea Arts Centre is match-making artists and third sector professionals from the local area as part of the second cycle of Agents of Creative Change, supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The programme uses Scratch to test out ways of using creativity in settings as varied as the police force, children’s homes and probation service with ideas shared at the end of October.


The Agency | Battersea Arts Centre, Contact & People’s Palace Projects | September – April
Creative entrepreneur project, The Agency, also restarts with the support of the Big Lottery Fund. A new cohort of young people from the local Winstanley Estate will be recruited over the summer to develop social initiatives based on the needs of their communities. Following an event held at the Houses of Parliament in May with Fiona Mactaggart MP and Jane Ellison MP, The Agency is continuing to grow vital networks and community relationships to strengthen initiatives from the first three cycles and beyond.

 

Further information: https://www.bac.org.uk

May 24th

Rosemary Branch Theatre under New Leadership from Summer 2016

By Carolin Kopplin

logo1.png

 

Artistic directors Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre step down after 20 years of running the award-winning Rosemary Branch Theatre in London.

 

Genevieve Taricco and Scarlett Plouviez Comnas of interactive performance company Unattended Items named as their successors

 

Quote from Cecilia Darker: ‘It's been an action-packed 20 years and we are terribly proud of playing  a small part in so many marvellous productions and performances. But there are other things in our lives that now need our attention, and having known Scarlett Plouviez Comnas since she joined us as an intern during her university years, we just knew that if she felt it was the right thing for her to be doing, that we would be passing the theatre into very safe hands.  Luckily Scarlett felt this was the right project for her and her co-director Genevieve to get their teeth into. They are both passionate about the part theatre has to play in contemporary society and are bursting with ideas. We look forward to watching them breathe their own life into The Rosie and we have every confidence that their ethos and practical skills will continue to move it forward and retain its name as one of the best little theatres in north London.’

 

2016 marks the 20 year anniversary of Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre as artistic directors of the Rosemary Branch Theatre. After two decades of extraordinary and committed stewardship, they have now both decided to take a back seat in order to pursue new adventures. Interactive performance company Unattended Items take over as resident company from mid-June 2016, led by artistic directors Genevieve Taricco and Scarlett Plouviez Comnas.

 

Address            Rosemary Branch Theatre

                         2 Shepperton Road, London, N1 3DT

Box Office        0207 704 6665

Website            www.rosemarybranchtheatre.co.uk

Twitter              @RosemaryBranch

 

               

May 13th

New Season at the Orange Tree Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Hyg8t7zM.jpeg

Paul Miller's third season as Artistic Director of the Orange Tree Theatre features the first major revivals of Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart and Somerset Maugham's last play Sheppey, plus the English language premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig's Winter Solstice, Zoe Cooper's new play Jess and Joe Forever and Mac Barnett's children's story Extra Yarn adapted by Elinor Cook for Christmas The Theatre's work will also be seen in 25 other towns and cities across England this autumn.

The season opens on 12 September (previews 8 September) with the world premiere of Zoe Cooper's play Jess and Joe Forever, a Farnham Maltings and Orange Tree Theatre co-production, directed by Derek Bond. The play is about friendship, growing up and trying to fit in, set across several summer holidays. Nicola Coughlan and Rhys Isaac-Jones play Jess and Joe. It will then go on tour.

The first major revival of Caryl Churchill's Blue Heart, first seen in 1997 at the Royal Court. David Mercatali returns to the Orange Tree following his production of Alice Birch's Little Light to direct this double bill of theatrically inventive plays Heart's Desire and Blue Kettle. It is a co-production with Tobacco Factory Theatres where it plays from 22 September - 1 October before opening at the Orange Tree on 18 October (previews 13 October).

Paul Miller directs the first major production of Somerset Maugham's final play Sheppey, opening 28 November (previews 24 November) plays on the idea of 'charity begins at home' when an unassuming East End barber wins the lottery.

Mac Barnett's enchanting children's story Extra Yarn about a little girl who transforms her world through knitting is adapted by Elinor Cook with music by Tom Deering for the festive period. Opening on 19 December, it's directed by Imogen Bond.

The English language premiere of Winter Solstice by prolific German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig will be directed by Ramin Gray in a co-production with Actors Touring Company, opening on 18 January 2017 (previews 12 January). A family Christmas is interrupted by a surprise visitor in a play that looks at the resurgence of the far right in Europe.

As previously announced, following the return of Paul Miller's production of Terence Rattigan's comedy French Without Tears to the Orange Tree from 30 June - 30 July, this autumn the production will tour with English Touring Theatre. Venues are now confirmed as Exeter, Harrogate, Barnstaple, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Oldham, Coventry, Poole and Huddersfield.

Take Part, the OT’s education and participation projects, span every generation from those in Primary Schools to residents of care homes, both within our local community and 12 surrounding boroughs. Our co-production with Flute Theatre brings their production of The Tempest for young people with autism from 25 October - 4 November, as well as our own Shakespeare Up Close production of Twelfth Night (18 - 25 March) aimed at secondary school students. Plus the OT is part of widespread projects Fun Palace (2 October) and London Children's Bookswap (11 February). 

There will be relaxed performances for Jess & Joe Forever, Extra Yarn and Twelfth Night in addition to audio-described performances of all productions.

Public booking opens Thu 19 May at 10.00am

Box Office 020 8940 3633

More info: orangetreetheatre.co.uk

May 1st

Battersea Arts Centre - A Year On From the Grand Hall Fire

By Carolin Kopplin

image001.jpg

The Battersea Arts Centre, one of the creative hubs in south London, welcoming over 160,000 people to its building each year, announced ambitious plans for its future. After a devastating fire one year ago that destroyed one third of the historic building, including the main auditorium, the Grand Hall is to be restored to its original look while making improvements to the technical infrastructure for future performances. The plaster ceiling that was destroyed will be replaced with a lattice design, recreating the one-of-a-kind plasterwork arc lost to the fire whilst revealing the 15m high apex of the roof above, thereby enabling better acoustics and allowing rigging and lighting through the ceiling. The courtyard will become an open air theatre for summer shows.

Battersea Arts Centre announced it would be launching a moving museum, a collection of artefacts and pieces that will be taken to schools and libraries around Wandsworth to share the heritage of the borough with residents in workshops and talks and to inspire new activities and iterations of those already delivered by Battersea Arts Centre including family workshops, heritage festivals, interactive installations and performances, a digital archive, talks and tours.

Spearheading the BAC Moving Museum programme in November is the return of London Stories. Following the success of the first festival in 2013, this time storytellers will share past and present tales of arriving in London from other parts of the country or the world and of trying to make this city a new home. Stories will be inspired by sentimental objects and shared with intimate audiences across a warren of candlelit rooms. The stories and objects will contribute to a temporary museum of memories, anecdotes and artefacts that shine a light on the city's history of migration.

In August and September the musical series live music will return when Borderless will take over the Council Chamber as an alternative celebration of world togetherness alongside the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Programmed by GOAT Music, the series will feature artists from around the globe and some of the best UK talent. Line-up announced 11 May.

A new "Creative Hub" (working title) is set to be launched in 2018 when the Grand Hall reopens. The hub addresses a need for affordable workspaces in Wandsworth, where nearly 3,000 start-ups were registered last year, and provides a bridge between subsidised arts and the creative industries. It will house a variety of early-stage businesses, from furniture makers to website developers, with spaces allocated through a membership system. Each hub member will provide two hours of business support each month for emerging entrepreneurs coming through Battersea Arts Centre programmes such as The Agency, which supports young people from local housing estates to develop their own social enterprises.

The centre also announced the title of the next season as Cash, Capitalism and Corporations in February and March 2017. Red Shedwill sit at the heart of the season – the third part of comedian and campaigner Mark Thomas’ autobiographical trilogy, based on his return to the Labour club in Wakefield where he first performed. Commentators, academics and activists will also be brought together from across the political spectrum as part of a varied programme of talks and debates.