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Apr 25th

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Wins Theatre Book Prize

By Carolin Kopplin

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Last year’s best book about British theatre, according to the judges of this year’s Theatre Book Prize, was a fascinating study based on the files from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office now held in the British Library.

At a gathering of people from theatre and the book world on April 22nd, held in the historic rooms of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, distinguished actress Dame Siân Phillips presented the prize to Steve Nicholson for The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 (University of Exeter Press), a story conflict and connivance involving Royal officialdom, theatre managers and some of the key dramatists of the twentieth century. Critics have described it as “forensic and fascinating” and called Nicholson “a scholar who writes with lucidity, wit, humane intelligence and grace of mind. There is no jargon in his pages, but much glorious hilarity.”

L to R Judges Sam Walters, Sarah Hemming, Colin Chambers, winner Steve Nicholson, Dame Siân Phillips, STR Chairman Michael Gaunt

Sam Walters, Sarah Hemming, Colin Chambers, Steve Nicholson, Dame Siân Philips, Michael Gaunt, and Howard Loxton - Photograph by Vicki Holland

In remarks by the judges leading up to the presentation Colin Chambers, called it “The final volume of a terrific and important series in which Nicholson delivers his original research into the practice of theatre with characteristic enthusiasm. His detailed account of how theatre and the society it reflects interact is seen through the prism of censorship.”

Author Nicholson, who is Professor in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Theatre at the University of Sheffield, wins after being short-listed for this prize in previous years. The judges were Sam Walters, theatre director, founder and until recently artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. Sarah Hemming, theatre critic for the Financial Times. Colin Chambers, Professor Emeritus Kingston University, formerly Literary Manager at the Royal Shakespeare Company and author among many books of the winner of the first Theatre Book Prize, awarded in 1997 for his The Life of Margaret Ramsay, Play Agent. They were chaired by critic Howard Loxton, representing the Society for Theatre Research. 

More information on the Society for Theatre Research here.

Apr 15th

Summer Season at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The Summer Season of the Finborough Theatre features three world premieres of new writing including the return of the THEGREATWAR100 series, a rediscovery from John Osborne and, continuing the theatre's commitment to Canadian writing, two plays about politics – a classic and a new play, both in their European premieres.

The Finborough Theatre opens its Summer Season with the world premiere of a new play, Stone Face by Eve Leigh running 17 May–11 June 2016. It runs alongside the London premiere – and the first production in over 40 years – of John Osborne's A Subject Of Scandal And Concern.

Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the Finborough Theatre's THEGREATWAR100 series continues with the world premiere of It Is Easy To Be Dead about war poet Charles Sorley which runs  from 15 June–9 July 2016. It plays concurrently with the European premiere of a Canadian classic, Maggie and Pierre, about Pierre and Maggie Trudeau, the parents of Canada's new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The world premiere of a first play by an exciting new playwright, Amy Ng, Shangri-La plays from 12 July–6 August 2016. The season comes to an end with the controversial new Canadian play, the European premiere of Proud by Michael Healey.

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

Apr 7th

Lazarus Presents The Bacchae - Interviews with Gavin Harrington-Odedra and Nick Biadon

By Carolin Kopplin

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A man is just a man, unless that man is God.

Lazarus Theatre Company has a certain expertise in performing Greek plays. The Bacchae will be their ninth production of a Greek drama after having presented adaptations of Medea, ElektraHecubaOrestesElectraThe Women of TroyIphigenia in Aulis, and Oedipus in 2013.

I spoke to director Gavin Harrington-Odreda and Nick Biadon, who plays Dionysus, about the latest production of this exciting theatre company.

Could you tell me a little about how you approached the play and the process? 

GHO: After reading the play again and doing research on previous productions it dawned on me that the play is called The Bacchae for a reason. It's not called Pentheus, Dionysus, Agave, or The Tragedy at Thebes. I wanted to find out who the Bacchae are, so that we can then discover who everyone else is in comparison to them. Then I started finding music that made me think of the play, investigating what the play sounded like, how it looked, and what the story is about.

The rehearsal is a collaborative process where the cast and I devise elements and sections of the piece together. We use influences from the text, images and music of inspiration, and our own experiences to develop the final product.

NB: We started with a lot of research, and discussions as a company to understand the history and setting of the play. We have a fantastic dramaturg, David, who's been a huge help in giving us the context of Greek mythology, culture and theatrical history - having that solid foundation is crucial when putting on a play like this. On top of all this great source material I then applied my own process from my training at The Oxford School of Drama: asking those basic character questions, mining the text for clues, and finding out what it is my character wants. The biggest challenge is finding Dionysus' status without 'playing' it. There's that acting adage that you don't 'play' the King - he receives his status because of how others treat him, not because he's 'being kinglike'. The same challenge applies for a god!

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 The director in rehearsal.

Did you adapt the drama or make any major changes?

GHO: The edit that we are using has been adapted with the cast in mind. During casting, we started to have an idea of who the characters were, and they started to speak through the actors and make decisions for us.  

NB: We're working from an adapted version by the director, Gavin. The biggest change is the adaption of the choric text and inclusion of self-devised pieces by the company, to really individualise the Bacchae and give us an insight into the followers of Dionysus. When it comes down to it the play is really about them - Dionysus is just a catalyst for change - so it's great to be able to understand them more. 

Is it going to be a very realistic or more stylised production? 

GHO: Through the devising process, we have been finding physical ways to tell the story, we are interpreting the text and the situation and devising different ways to communicate this to the audience. If I had to label it one or the other, I would definitely say that the production will be more stylised. We as a company have been affected by the story, and hope that this can be communicated, and maybe even translated, to the audience.

NB: We're still experimenting and playing with ideas in rehearsals, but we've been devising a lot of movement and music pieces to convey ideas and physical events - creating the atmosphere of an earthquake, for example. 

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Nick Biadon in rehearsal

How do you see the contradictory character of the god Dionysus? 

GHO: Dionysus is a manifestation of contradictions. Our dramaturg David Bullen has suggested that Dionysus represents the two sides of a binary situation, each individually, but also, at the same time dissolves the binary. He is both man and woman, and dissolves the two. He is also the Greek god that teaches us to amend the Greek understanding of 'everything in moderation' by saying even moderation in moderation. In order for society to function, we need to have release. 

In this play, Dionysus is a mirror to Pentheus, and vice versa. They may have differing world views, but they are very similar. Pentheus identifies himself as the ruler of his society or world, and when that is threatened, he fights for recognition as the leader. Dionysus is fighting for recognition that he has been denied by Pentheus and his family. They are both willing to go the extreme action of killing for it. 

NB: What I love about ancient Greek mythology is how 'human' the gods are; none of them are perfect, they all have their own foibles. Zeus, for example, was a serial adulterer - that's how Dionysus was conceived. So it's really interesting to explore those contradictory elements in Dionysus. Why is he so desperate to be acknowledged as a god? Does that come from a place of deep insecurity, or does he just love the praise? I think there's a bit of both in there. He's definitely on a revenge mission, but he's noticeably similar to Pentheus in a lot of ways as well - proud, stubborn, sometimes childish in needing acknowledgement. There's much more going on in his head than what you see on the surface, and it's fascinating to unpack all of that in rehearsal. 

Why do you think this play needs to be seen today?

GHO: The Bacchae is a play that addresses issues that affect minorities and marginalised groups of society. Identity, recognition, legitimisation and freedom are all driving forces for characters in this play. Regardless of whether you identify as a member of a marginalised group, it makes us question how they are treated.

NB: I think at its core The Bacchae is an exploration of the ideas of liberation, the blurring of society's lines between structure and freedom, and what can happen when power is given to the powerless in society. Despite its age, it's a play which can and should challenge us to look at our own modern society, and what our limits are. Do we have too much structure in our lives - whether self-imposed, or forced upon us? Is it possible to have too much freedom? What are the implications of either extreme, for us and those around us? These are questions I think everyone should ask of their own lives, and hopefully questions which this play will provoke.

Interviews conducted by Carolin Kopplin 

Until 7th May at the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell

Photographs by Adam Trigg 

Mar 31st

Applications Now Open for a Fourth Season of FROM PAGE TO STAGE 2016

By Carolin Kopplin

From Page to Stage is a season of musical theatre dedicated to showcasing new musical work in development to an audience, to gain feedback and create new opportunities for the artists involved. Now in its fourth year, and following its most successful season to date in 2015 at the Tristan Bates Theatre, Aria Entertainment is inviting applications for the 2016 season dedicated to showcasing new British musical work in development. Submissions open from today until 3 June 2016 

Returning to the Tristan Bates Theatre for its 2016 season, this year’s From Page to Stage will include: 

A new British musical
 – to headline the season and run for two weeks in a fully-staged production

Showcases – parts of new musicals in development, presented with minimal staging and on scripts

Rehearsed readings – 3 full musicals in development, read from scripts

Gala Night – a night showcasing some of the best individual songs from musicals submitted to the season – both the shows to be seen in the season itself and those that are not

From Page to Stage has gone from strength to strength since it started in 2013 at the Landor Theatre. Last year the season included a two-week run of The Stationmaster, a brand new British musical with music and lyrics by Tim Connor and book by Susannah Pearse. Readings included a new musical called Out There by Loserville writing duo Elliot Davies and James Bourne, an adaptation of Edith Nesbitt’sFive Children and It by House of Mirrors and Hearts composer Eamonn O’Dwyer, and a new piece called Princess Phyllida’s Fortnight from Tim Sanders and Charles Miller, whose Return of the Soldierreceived a full production at the Jermyn Street Theatre after a reading in the 2014 season. 

Producer Katy Lipson says: “From Page To Stage is proving year after year how much writing talent we have in the UK. Each year we are sent over 150 new pieces and each year we reach more and more audiences. This year we are delighted to be expanding into the North West of England and are looking for a piece which specifically incorporates or has a Northern element to it; this will be workshopped and presented at The Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester over a week long period in September 2016." 

To apply for the 2016 season you must have:

- a 100 word synopsis of your musical

- 3 MP3’s from your show

- 3 sample scenes from your show

- one example of your piano/vocal sheet music

Please note: No casts bigger than 8 due to funding restrictions. 

Submissions are now open and can be made only on the From Page to Stage website until 3 June 2016.

Visit: www.FromPage2Stage.com |@frompage2stage @AriaEnts | www.frompage2stage.com

Mar 22nd

The Non-Stop Connolly Show - An Interview with Margaretta D'Arcy and Shane Dempsey

By Carolin Kopplin

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The Finborough Theatre, known for unearthing forgotten gems and staging provocative new writing, presents The Non-Stop Connolly Show - A Dramatic Cycle of Continuous Struggle in Six Parts by Margaretta D'Arcy and John Arden - an epic play cycle to commemorate the centenary of Dublin's Easter Rising of 1916. First seen in a 24 hour performance in Dublin at Easter (29 March) 1975, this daring revival, directed by Shane Dempsey, will be the first time that the entire cycle has ever been shown continuously in the UK.

Presented as a staged reading, The-Non Stop Connolly Show follows the life and career of Ireland's greatest, yet hardly known, revolutionary, James Connolly, an Irish Republican and a socialist leader, starting with his birth in Scotland to Irish immigrant parents, charting through his political maturation in Ireland and America to his execution by of a British firing squad for his role in the Easter Rising.

Originally produced as a full-scale production in association with the Irish Workers' Cultural Centre, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and the Offical Sinn Féin Party, the play consisted of six parts and was performed over 24 hours in Dublin.

I asked Margaretta D'Arcy why she and John Arden chose the form of a play cycle when writing the play. Ms D'Arcy explained that 1975 was a ferocious time. There was internment without trial and torture, comparable to what was going on in Abu Ghraib years later, and splits within the Republican movement: "Those were dirty times." When she and John Arden decided to write a play about James Connolly to give him the recognition he deserved, they knew that it would have to be long in order to cover his entire history. Written in verse and consisting of very short contrasting scenes, the structure of the play was inspired by rituals requiring that various tasks had to be fulfilled before a person is recognised, which goes back to ancient history.

D'Arcy and Arden decided not to stage their work in a conventional theatre setting, presenting the cycle in Liberty Hall instead. It was an enormous production and very expensive using masks with the actors being on stage throughout, changing into different characters in full view of the audience. As the Finborough is an intimate space, it was decided that a staged reading would be preferable. In a future production Ms D'Arcy would like to see several actors of different genders playing James Connolly.

Director Shane Dempsey explained that the main reason they had gone for a staged reading as opposed to a full production is to do with time constraints: "This is the first London production in over forty years so we are all feeling the significance of this.  The essence of the play lies in its desire to tell Connolly's story. We will be breathing life to a work of major importance and giving voice to people that are often ignored in traditional conversations around The Dublin Rising." 

The play is very dense, consisting of 6 parts and 14 sections, with each section being a play of its own, and different issues being discussed in the different parts. Ms Darcy sees James Connolly as one of the few professional socialists in the Uprising and quite a unique man, who had a  theoretical understanding of what he was doing: "He got lost." Ms D'Arcy explained that after the War of Independence, any hint of socialism was smashed as the Church and the Bourgeois took over. Only the glory of 1916 remains. She thinks it is very important to tell his story: "He went to Edinburgh to join his brother. He was invited to the U. S. to bring the Irish in." Yet because of a difference of opinion, he left the U. S. for Belfast, where he was sent as an organiser. He was always a socialist and his writing remains so people can learn from him although he is not there any more.

Shane Dempsey agreed with me that it seemed that Connolly was certainly on a continuous journey. However, he would argue that it was a journey of political awakening. "He witnessed incredible injustices in his early life and many would claim that this influenced the path he followed. What is certain is his fundamental desire to create a more humane, fair and just society and this to him was more important that the notion of Irish independence. This is often ignored but is essential to understanding was made Connolly tick." 

Margaretta D'Arcy thinks that the play cycle is still relevant today because Britain is still occupying Northern Ireland and there are U.S. forces in Ireland although it is supposed to be a neutral country. A member of Aosdána since its inauguration and an activist, Ms D'Arcy was sentenced to three months in prison for the 2012 protest against the use of Shannon Airport as a military base for U. S. military planes. She was offered an opportunity to avoid prison if she signed a bond not to trespass on parts of Shannon Airport not open to the public but she refused. Ms D'Arcy believes that Northern Ireland is still occupied because of military reasons: "Military is big business." She sets her hopes on Jeremy Corbyn who she considers a progressive force in England: "We must join together." Ms D'Arcy hopes that the play cycle about James Connolly will help the audience understand his struggles and to have communality, "to understand that we all struggle for the same". 

Shane Dempsey would like the audience to come away with a greater understanding of James Connolly, the man rather than the myth. "We want our audiences to be moved and engage their hearts as well as their heads.  The play is highly theatrical and has a vibrant energy flowing through it. This comes from the author’s passion to give voice to these wonderful people and I am delighted to help shed some light on this fascinating era of history."  

During the performance of the entire play cycle over the 23rd and 24th April, audience member can come and go as they please during the performance. Margaretta D'Arcy hopes that people will see the whole cycle to become fully immersed in James Connolly's world. Shane Dempsey also hopes that the audience will come and stay although he sees something refreshing about an audience who have the freedom to come and go. "In the sometimes stifling London theatre scene it feels like a welcome change. We are going walking an unknown path and that of course fills us with a little trepidation but also an immense excitement." 

Interviews conducted by Carolin Kopplin. 

More information on the show and booking:

www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

The entire play cycle can be seen on the anniversary of the Easter Rising itself – Saturday, 23 April and Sunday, 24 April.

Mar 11th

Blue Elephant Theatre Spring Season

By Carolin Kopplin

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The Blue Elephant in Camberwell announces an exciting spring season, with something for all tastes.

After a show for children on March 6th, the Blue Elephant and Cloud Dance Festival are working together to launch an exciting new regular dance scratch night, Blue Cloud Scratch, which has two dates in spring, March 9th and May 31st.

There’s comedy from stand-up Alex Watts, following on from his acclaimed run at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe and an analysis of twenty-something life in London in work-in-progress performance A Working Title. 

Lazarus Theatre Company return to the Blue Elephant with a re-imagined ensemble production of Euripdes' final work The Bacchae. It is directed by Gavin Harrington-Odedra, who also directed Richard III at the Blue Elephant in 2014. 

In May, new writing piece Strawberry Starburst interrogates teenaged life, body image issues and mental health problems in a powerful one-woman show by rising playwright Bram Davidovich. 

Listings Information: 

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

Box Office: 020 7701 0100

www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk

info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk

Twitter: @BETCamberwell 

Mar 4th

An Interview with Ricky Dukes, Artistic Director of Lazarus Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

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Lazarus is a theatre company that is committed to investigating, reimagining and retelling the classics for a contemporary audience. I have been intrigued by their work ever since I saw my first Lazarus production at the Blue Elephant Theatre, where the company will also present The Bacchae in April. Their repertoire ranges from Shakespeare and Euripides to fascinating discoveries such as the Australian muscial The Hatpin or The Tragedy of Mariam by Elizabeth Cary.

Their new season about revolution and rebellion has already begun with Brecht's epic and revolutionary play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle in a translation by Frank McGuinness at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, directed by Artistic Director, Ricky Dukes, which has opened to critical acclaim.  

1. Why did you choose this play to launch your new season?

We wanted to kick off 2016 with something a little bit different, after last year  of all late Elizabethan and Jacobean work and the previous seasons of all Shakespeare plays. For a long time, we have discussed the work of Brecht and without really realising or acknowledging his technique, we frequently use them in our productions. 

In 2017 we will become a charity which will open up many new opportunities and possibilities, so we thought why don’t we rebel, mix things up a bit in 2016 in anticipation of this new chapter in the history of Lazarus. Brecht was the obvious choice, he is the father of political theatre as we know it, and a man who led a revolution in theatre. 

Choosing the play was a rather strange affair, it came out during the tech period for The Revenger’s Tragedy at The Jack Studio. I remarked ‘wouldn’t it be great to do a play with just a chalk circle and light?’ In theory, yes, but when I began to investigate the play it became clear that Caucasian Chalk Circle needed a bit more than that.

2. Do Brecht's ideas influence your work? Do you think the audience should keep a critical distance from what is going on on stage instead of empathising with the characters? 

Throughout this process I have been surprised and excited about discovering a practitioner, that apart from a lecture or two at University, I hadn’t really engaged with. As the play unfolded, a lot of Brecht’s techniques seemed to flow quite simply for us, something familiar to us also. The plays we pick often do break the fourth wall, acknowledging the role of the audience, whether that be them taking a biscuit and listening or joining a political party. A critical distance, or not emoting with a character, is something I think Brecht was telling his actors, ‘let the audience decide’. We have tried to ensure we don’t manipulate the audience; we give them the situation, the choices, the facts, and give it to the 11th character, the audience, and let them do with it as they please. I have been surprised by how many tears are shed during the last scene. 

3. Do you think theatre should be political?

There are no “should’s” in theatre. However, this is influenced by choices,  by choosing a play to put on, in what theatre, at what time of year is a choice, as well as casting and creative decisions. In my mind, drama is about dilemma, conflict and choices, all human qualities and challenges. So inherently all theatre has politics in it; to what scale and extent is something else. Early on in the process, I knew that we would not have placards with modern political statements on it. My political views are not automatically those featured in the play, but Brecht’s point is let’s ask those questions, engage in the world around us, and ask what would we do? 

4. Do you think theatre can change anything?

Yes. Whether that be from youth theatre activities, to matinees for senior citizens, from a jolly musical evening, to a hard hitting political stand point, all of which act as a shared experience, a cathartic process of involvement. In today’s world, with communication relying less on the physical interaction, we need that moment where we collectively come together to experience, to listen, to engage and to respond. Theatre changes, informs, provokes, entertains, excites, communicates, educates, illustrates, and challenges all people across diverse ages, ethnicities and gender.  

5. What would you like people to take away from watching this production?

Ultimately – a smile on their face at the end would be wonderful. In the previews, we saw audiences with a smile on their face but with tears in their eyes, a fantastic antithesis. If we have informed, provoked or challenged anyone then that’s a bonus, and I really hope we have Brecht in a good production to a new audience.

Interview conducted by Carolin Kopplin

The Caucasian Chalk Circle plays from the 23rd February until the 12th March 2016 at The Jack Studio Theatre. 

See my review of The Caucasian Chalk Circle here

More information on Lazarus: http://www.lazarustheatrecompany.com/ 

Feb 17th

Boris: World King Arrives in London!

By Carolin Kopplin

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David Benson as Boris Johnson

Following a sold-out Edinburgh Fringe 2015 premiere, satirical comedy Boris: World King comes to London. With his days as Mayor of London numbered, Britain’s favourite comedy politician casts himself in another leading role: the star of his own West End show. This gaffe-a-minute comedy sees the thinking man’s idiot wobbling on the brink of power. This rollicking tale packs in pay-as-you-go bikes, wiff-waff, and an ancient Greek lecture for good measure. Before long, verbal slips, trips and divine interruption cue a new battle – for his very political existence. Boris Johnson: politician, columnist, biographer, TV personality, eighth cousin of David Cameron, and one of GQ magazine’s Worst Dressed Men. And now, appearing nightly at the West End theatre closest to Downing Street!

David Benson stars as Boris Johnson. He is best known for his many solo shows including the Fringe First awardwinning Think No Evil of Us: My Life With Kenneth Williams and Lockerbie: Unfinished Business. He played the Head Waiter in the original National Theatre production One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden, completing over one thousand performances.

19 April – 14 May 2016 (Mon – Sat 7.45pm plus Thur and Sat matinees at 3pm - Opening night Thur 21 April at 7pm) at the Trafalgar Studios.

Tickets: http://uktheatre.net.ambassdortickets.com/whatson.aspx

Feb 9th

Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves Returns to the West End

By Carolin Kopplin

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One secret love affair. Two disaster-bound dinner parties.

Three couples headed for trouble. 

Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How The Other Half Loves will appear in the West End this spring. Ayckbourn’s tale of social graces and personal misunderstanding remains one of the celebrated writer’s most famous comedies. The 1969 classic – the first of Ayckbourn’s plays to be staged on Broadway – returns to London to play the Theatre Royal Haymarket from Wednesday 23 March 2016 – Saturday 25 June and is produced by Bill Kenwright.  

As Bob and Fiona clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Featherstone become stuck in the middle, falsely accused of adultery and with no idea as to how they’ve become involved. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time, after which the future of all three couples seems in jeopardy… 

2016 marks Alan Ayckbourn’s 55th year as a theatre director and his 57th as a playwright. To date he has written 80 plays - the latest of which will open at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2016 - and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards. 

How The Other Half Loves is directed by theatre director and biographer Alan Strachan. Alan has directed plays in New York, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, but the majority of his work has been in London. He was Artistic Director of the Greenwich Theatre in London for over a decade, and has worked with, amongst others, Sir Michael Redgrave, Dame Penelope Keith, Maureen Lipman CBE, Sir Michael Gambon and Sir Alec Guinness. He came to early prominence as the director of Alan Ayckbourn, and he been involved with Ayckbourn's theatre at Scarborough for many years.

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION 

HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES
PRESS NIGHT                                 Thursday 31st March 2016

VENUE                                            Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

DATES                                             Wednesday March 23 – Saturday 25 June 

BOOKING INFORMATION         (T) +44 (0) 207 930 8800 |(W) www.trh.co.uk

Feb 1st

Spring Season at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

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The Finborough Theatre’s Spring Season opens with the London premiere of award-winning playwright Alexandra Wood’s new play, Merit, running 1–26 March 2016. It is accompanied by the world premiere of award-winning African-American playwright Aurin Squire’s Don’t Smoke in Bed, from 6–22 March 2016.

Multi-award winning composer, writer and director Phil Willmott's new musical, Princess Caraboo, receives its world premiere from 30 March–22 April 2016. It runs along the first UK production in more than 40 years of Margaretta D'Arcy and John Arden's epic masterpiece, The Non-Stop Connolly Show to commemorate the centenary of Dublin’s Easter Rising. It plays on Sunday and Monday evenings from 4–18 April, and culminates in two all-day “come and go as you please” performances of the entire play cycle on the anniversary of the Easter Rising itself – Saturday, 23 and Sunday, 24 April 2016.

The season comes to an end with the world premiere of a new play, Schism by acclaimed playwright with a disability Athena Stevens from 27 April–14 May 2016.

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