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Apr 17th

THE MYSTERY OF THE MOUSETRAP IS REVEALED

By Kirstie Niland

Preston Charter Theatre Announces Diamond Cast for 60th Anniversary Tour 

As Preston Charter Theatre prepares to host The Mousetrap, a diamond cast has been revealed for the 60th anniversary tour. The line-up includes a host of actors and actresses well-known to the theatre and the world of TV soaps. 

Hester Arden (Macbeth, Orange Tree Theatre) will appear as Miss Casewell, Edward Elgood  as Christopher Wren, Mark Homer (Eastenders’ Tony Hill) as Giles Ralston, Esther McAuley (I Promise You Sex and Violence, Northern Stage) as Mollie Ralston and Jonathan Sidgwick (Hollyoaks; Coronation Street) as Mr Paravicini. William Ilkley joins from the West End production of The Mousetrap as Major Metcalf alongside Luke Jenkins and Anne Kavanagh who will reprise their roles from the 2014 tour as Sgt Trotter and Mrs Boyle respectively.

The Mousetrap, which originally opened in 1952 starring the late Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim, is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre, with over 25,000 performances.

The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed. 

Preston theatre-goers will not be disappointed as The Mousetrap tour has had some rave reviews so far: “The cleverest murder mystery of British Theatre” The Telegraph; “A truly entertaining classic thriller” The Sunday Times; “Deservedly a classic among murder thrillers” The Observer.

Dame Agatha Christie’s suspense story features a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner. Don’t miss the chance to find out whodunnit at the Preston Charter Theatre.

Photograph features previous cast of the 60th anniversary tour - by Helen Maybanks Photography

Tickets: Tuesday evening  £22, Wed – Thurs Eve/Sat Mat £27.50 & £25.50 Wed Mat All seats  £24,  Fri/Sat Eves  £29.50 & £27.50

Contact the Box Office on 01772 804444, or book online http://www.prestonguildhall.com

 

Apr 14th

Elefeet Dance Festival at the Blue Elephant Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Elefeet Dance Festival presents new dance work and runs from 7th until 29th April.

If You Leave  201 Dance Company 

16 – 18 April 

Can you stay true to yourself, when everything suggests you change? 

201’s raw, contemporary hip-hop movement returns in If You Leave: a story of two people's broken encounter. After acclaimed performances in New York and a sold out London debut at The Place, 201 Dance Company presents If You Leave as a full-length production for the first time. Touching on themes of addiction, obsession, and the true meaning of commitment, choreographer Andrea Walker directs a cast of eight dancers in a fast-paced, intimate performance exploring the relationship of two young men. 

Winner of the BDC Outstanding Award for concept choreography. 

Choreographer: Andrea Walker

Producer: Patrick Collier

Dancers: Luigi Ambrosio, Nicole Chen Wen Ni Michaela Cisariková, Heidi Clark, Saran Kohli, Fraser Murray, Simon Tichelaar & Andrea Walker

Lighting Designer: Louisa Smurthwaite  

Dates & Time: Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 April at 8pm

 

Bridging the VoidExperiential Dance 

21 & 22 April 

Film, dance and music interlace to create an immersive and mesmerizing sunrise experience inspired by the Native American saying Every Night is followed by Sunrise. 

From darkness, through sunrise to dawn light, the performance unfolds around the audience, who are invited to wander, encounter and react to the production as it develops. Each person’s experience will be unique and personal.  

Recommended for ages 12 upwards

Choreographer: Rachel Johnson

Camera Operator: Jonathon Binks

Composer: James Welland

Cast: Elzbieta Kowalik, Eleanor Palmer & Clélia Vuille 

Dates & Time: Tuesday 21 & Wednesday 22 April at 8pm

 

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

24 & 25 April

A Dance Double Bill 

Sonámbulas is a collaborative exploration of the world of dreams. Three characters delve into the subconscious through dynamic, frenzied movement sequences; their stories and emotions becoming tangled in the sounds of live accordion. Sonámbulas take a trip into our subconscious where unrelated images and absurd stories exist.  

Choreographer: Justyna Sochaj

Musician & Composer: Martina Schwarz

Dancers: Dorota Popińska , Nashira Santanatalia-Goméz &  Justyna Sochaj  

NonFiction Dance present Little Red Riding Hood, a new piece inspired by the Grimm brothers’ famous fairy tale. 

We’ve all heard the fairy tale. The little girl in a red cape, her encounter with the evil wolf in a dark woods...The story has been narrated through centuries, capturing imaginations and inspiring fear in children and adults alike. But who was the girl hiding underneath the red cape? And how did the story really end?  

Little Red Riding Hood explores the mysteries of this beloved character, re-examining her relationship with the wolf and re-imagining her fate. 

You will never think of Little Red Riding Hood the same way again. 

Choreographer: NonFiction Dance

Dancers: Rowena Evans, Dorota Popińska, Juan Ignacio Serradilla Mazuelas & Martina Vojtkova

 Dates & Time: Friday 24 – Saturday 25 April at 8pm 

 

In Memoriam

28 & 29 April

 A reflection on the transformation which happens to people, their lives and their concept of normality during times of war. 

In Memoriam is dedicated to women of the First World War - women who become the 'army behind the army'; women the bomb-makers, women the fighters, women who 'stayed behind', women addressed in thousands of letters and poems.

It is also a contemplation on war’s parallel realities, as history and events repeat themselves across space and time.  

Inspired by war-time imagery and poetry of The Great War and performed by an exceptionally skilled group of dancers and musicians, In Memoriam brings together an explosive mix of flamenco and contemporary dance. 

Direction and choreography: Masha Gurina

Original music by: Steve Homes

Film-making by: Remigiusz Sowa

Dancers: Elsa Arcaute, Carolina Esteves & Laura Heywood

Musicians: Steve Homes (guitar), Demi Garcia Sabat (percussions), Javier Macias (singer) & Angela Moreno (singer) 

Dates & Time: Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 April at 8pm

 

Further information:

Blue Elephant Theatre

 

 

Apr 5th

Write Now Festival at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The Jack Studio Theatre is delighted to announce its annual playwriting festival WRITE NOW 6, running from the 9th to the 30th May 2015. The WRITE NOW festival, now in its 6th year, is a playwriting festival of new work that is dedicated to the south east London region and is an essential part of the theatre’s annual programme to showcase and support emerging playwrights and their work. It is a festival of new writing performances, workshops and events to engage and develop the talent of people who live, work and study in this area.

Three full length plays and seven shorts have been chosen for the festival. rock paper scissors by Olga Nikora (full production) directed by Kate Bannister Talking to Alice by Lucinda Burnett (staged reading) directed by Tanith Lindon Dog Country by Joseph Wilde (staged reading), directed by Mark Leipacher

Write Now Shorts

To launch this year's Write Now Festival there is a selection of short plays. Chosen from submissions to the Jack, these plays explore different aspects of this year’s theme: Lead Us. The Jack is giving playwrights the chance to show the world what a real leader looks like (or failing that, to show us where we’re going wrong). Heart warming, thought-provoking and humorous, these short plays are drawn from UK and international submissions. Footprints by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Four Interrogations by Maximillian Singh Gill, Queens of the Realm by Ian August, Roleplay by Nick Myles, The Catch by Tom Harvey, The Soldier by Chris Paxton, True Grit by Judy Upton

Saturday 9 May to Saturday 30 May 2015

Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH

Further information: : Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Apr 5th

Applications Now Open for a Third From Page To Stage Season of New Musical Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

 

 

Following the success of last year’s From Page To Stage season of new Musical Theatre at the Landor Theatre, Aria Entertainment is inviting applications for a third 2015 season dedicated to showcasing new British musical work in development.

From Page To Stage is dedicated to showcasing new musical work in development to an audience, to garner feedback and create new opportunities for the artistes involved.  

The 2015 season at The Tristan Bates Theatre 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 

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

Gala Night - a night showcasing some of the best individual songs of musicals from around the world. 

Showcases are specifically aimed at writers with pieces in early development whereas the rehearsed readings are for pieces more fully developed with a completed score and book. 

Applications for all spaces within the festival are open from now until Monday 1 June. 

Last year the season included readings of new musicals, Merman’s Apprentice, Claus and The Return Of The Soldier, which went on to have a critically acclaimed run at Jermyn Street Theatre. There were also fully produced productions of Before The Night Is Through and The Mistress Cycle. It was supported by Grant For The Arts. 

Producer Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment said: “I am absolutely thrilled to confirm that the From Page To Stage season of new Musical Theatre will be back for a third year - and this time in the heart of the West End! Attendance at last year’s event was up from 2013 and we received over 150 new pieces of Musical Theatre to choose from. We are delighted to once again be supporting writers of new Musical Theatre at different stages of their works’ journey, whilst also cultivating new audiences, by allowing them to be part of these new works from the beginning.’ 

To apply for the 2015 season you must have:  

- a script which can be emailed

- a fully notated piano/vocal score for either your full show, or the parts you wish to submit sample MP3’s (which do not need to be of high quality) 

Also

- Scripts must not have had a full scale production to date

- Scripts must be written and submitted in English

- Must not be juke box musicals

 

To apply please email: submissions@frompage2stage.com with the subject: FROM PAGE TO STAGE 2015

 

Please let them know and send them which bracket of their season you feel your show falls under:

- A new British musical, a rehearsed reading, a showcase

- where you reside

- a synopsis of your musical

- a character list and breakdown

- 3 MP3’s from your show

- 3 sample scenes from your show

 

Please note: they cannot accommodate casts bigger than 8 due to funding restrictions.

Visit: www.aria-entertainment.com for more information @frompage2stage @AriaEnts

 

www.frompage2stage.com

Mar 31st

Bugsy Malone Open Auditions, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Bugsy Malone Open Auditions

 

 

OPEN AUDITIONS AT THEATRE ROYAL GLASGOW ON SATURDAY 25 APRIL 2015

 

REHEARSALS FROM MONDAY 20 JULY – SATURDAY 1 AUGUST 2015

 

PERFORMANCE FRIDAY 31 JULY & SATURDAY 1 AUGUST 2015

 

For the first time Glasgow Theatres’ Creative Learning team is producing Stage Experience, an opportunity for aspiring performers aged 9-18 years to act, dance and sing on the prestigious Theatre Royal stage and gain an insight into the process of staging top class musical Bugsy Malone. Based on the hit 1976 film with pint-sized, pinstriped gangsters, Bugsy Malone is the ideal title to showcase young local talent.

 

Set in 1929 in New York’s criminal underworld, Mob boss Fat Sam is under threat from Dapper Dan’s new gang and their latest weapon – the dreaded splurge gun!  His only hope is Bugsy Malone, a washed up but well meaning boxer who is thrust into the gangster limelight.  With twists, turns, gangsters, showgirls and splurge fights galore the plot unfolds leading to a spectacular showdown at Fat Sam's Grand Slam! 

 

Aged 9-18 years? Want to be part of the Bugsy Malone company or work behind the scenes?  Open auditions take place on Saturday 25 April in the new purpose built education rooms at the Theatre Royal Glasgow. For more information and to register to take part please call 0141 240 1309/10 or email clglasgow@theambassadors.com. Registration closes Monday 20 April. No experience is needed, just a love of musical theatre and lots of enthusiasm. Please wear clothes suitable for dancing and trainers or dance shoes.

Following the auditions, places will be offered on the Stage Experience two week course (fees apply), from Monday 20 July until Saturday 1 August. Led by industry professionals, these rehearsals will culminate in three live performances of Bugsy Malone on the Theatre Royal stage.

Funny, riotous and irresistibly charming, Alan Parker’s joyous musical, with words and music by Paul Williams, is fun-packed and bursting with songs you’ll love including Bad Guys, My Name Is Tallulah and You Give a Little Love. Bugsy Malone is an amateur production by arrangement with Warner/Chappell Music Limited administered by Boosey & Hawkes.

Mar 31st

Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Fundraiser

By Carolin Kopplin

Battersea Arts Centre on fire on 13th March 2015

 

Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Fundraiser

Hosted by Arthur Smith, directed by Emma Rice, featuring

Bridget Christie, Stewart Lee, Mackenzie Crook,

Forced Entertainment, Toby Jones, Will Adamsdale

and BAC Beatbox Academy

 

Saturday 18 April - Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

 

Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fundraiser: an unforgettable evening of live entertainment generously housed by Southbank Centre and hosted by one of the nation’s favourite grumpy old men, Arthur Smith, featuring some of the UK’s leading comedians, musicians and performers.

 

The stellar line-up announced today will include Bridget Christie and Stewart Lee, Mackenzie Crook, Forced Entertainment, Toby Jones (Harry Potter & The Hunger Games), Will Adamsdale (Jackson’s Way) and BAC Beatbox Academy, London’s most exciting collective of young beatboxers, poets, vocalists and MCs aged 13-21. This almighty bash will be directed by Kneehigh’s Emma Rice.

 

Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fundraiser is a night to celebrate the wealth of talent nurtured within the walls of BAC’s unique old town hall building, bringing together artists with deep ties to BAC, a clutch of whom made their first tentative steps towards the bright lights here at the very start of their careers, others have returned to Battersea year-on-year as the London stop on globetrotting tours. The fundraiser was the brainchild of Stewart Lee, suggested only a few hours after the fire that tore through a third of Battersea Arts Centre’s building on 13 March.

 

Further to generous donations from individuals and organisations, and support from government, all proceeds from the event will help BAC tackle the challenge of losing its largest space, The Grand Hall, for up to three years. The Phoenix Fundraiser will help to secure its future as a place where creativity continues to thrive.

 

More information on the fundraising campaign can found at http://www.ac.org.uk/building  

 

Listings:

Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Fundraiser

Date: Saturday 18 April | 7:30pm

Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

Tickets: £10, £25, £50, £100

Book online at: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/battersea-arts-centre-phoenix-fundraiser-91631?dt=2015-04-18

Ticket enquiries: 0844 875 0073

Mar 29th

I Wish To Die Singing – Voices from the Armenian Genocide at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

Who, after all, today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians? (Adolf Hitler)

Commemorating the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, the world premiere of a documentary drama I Wish To Die Singing – Voices From The Armenian Genocide opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 21 April 2015.

"On the night of Saturday, April 24th 1915, the Armenians of Constantinople were snoring in a calm sleep – exhausted from their Easter celebrations – while in the Central Police Station a secret project was in motion..."

I Wish To Die Singing – Voices From The Armenian Genocide is a controversial documentary drama uncovering the forgotten secrets and atrocities of a denied genocide. Following several characters through these traumatic events, the play includes eye-witness reportage, images, music, poetry from Armenia's greatest poets, and verbatim survivors testimonies from one of the greatest historical injustices of all time.

The Armenian Genocide of 1915-16 was perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government against the Armenians, a Christian minority in a Muslim state. Up to one and a half million people died.

The word 'genocide' itself was invented by Raphael Lemkin in 1944 to describe the events of 1915. Adolf Hitler used the Armenian Genocide as a direct inspiration for the Holocaust during the Second World War.

To this day, the Turkish government refuses to admit that genocide ever took place.

The play is part of THEGREATWAR100 series, a new occasional series of works about – or written during – the Great War to be presented by the Finborough Theatre from 2014 to 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Further information:

Finborough Theatre

 

Mar 19th

Casting Announced for "Clarion" at the Arcola Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

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Clare Higgins and Greg Hicks join cast in biting newspaper satire! 

 

The Daily Clarion is Britain’s worst newspaper.

Power-crazed editor Morris Honeyspoon (Greg Hicks) spends his weekends dressed as Julius Caesar, and life at his beloved paper is a masterclass in incompetence and deceit.

But as political storm clouds gather over an uneasy country, it seems the paper’s worst crimes are about to be exposed. While Honeyspoon searches for an office traitor, washed-up foreign correspondent Verity Stokes (Clare Higgins) masterminds a murderous day of reckoning...


Clarion is a blistering new comedy about free speech, nationalism and the state of the British media. Written by former journalist Mark Jagasia, who has worked for some of the UK's leading newspapers, it shines a dazzling light on the dark heart of our democracy.

This world premiere production from Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen stars two of the most acclaimed British actors of their generation: Clare Higgins, six-time nominee and three-time winner of the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and Critics’ Circle award-winner Greg Hicks, who returns to Arcola for the first time since 2008.

From 15th Apri 2015 at the Arcola Theatre

Further information:

https://www.arcolatheatre.com/production/arcola/clarion

Clarion is one of 2 urgent world premieres directed by Mehmet Ergen in our current season. It follows Shrapnel by Anders Lustgarten – a gripping exploration of military power, government surveillance and the state of the Middle East. Book for both shows at once and tickets are just £15 each (£12.50 concessions), using the offer code DOUBLEBILL. 

Mar 4th

Princess Ida by Gilbert & Sullivan to open at the Finborough Theatre

By Carolin Kopplin

The Finborough Theatre’s Celebrating British Music Theatre series continues with the first professional London production in over twenty years of Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida opening at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 24 March 2015.

Containing some of Sullivan's catchiest melodies and Gilbert's wittiest salvoes in the battle of the sexes, this sunny, funny musical comedy concerns the marriage of two royal babies. 

It's twenty years later and Prince Hilarion is keen to be reunited with his now adult wife, the Princess Ida. Unfortunately her quarrelsome father has hidden her away in a women's only university where even the morning cock crow is managed by a talented hen. So Hilarion is forced to don a dress and even wield a sword to win his wife.

Former Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Phil Willmott returns to direct this rare professional revival which should delight G&S aficionados and musical theatre fans alike.

The production stars Simon Butteriss as Lord Gama, leading a cast of exciting new talent.

Tuesday, 24 March – Saturday, 18 April 2015 

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED

Box Office 0844 847 1652   Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Music by Arthur Sullivan. Libretto by W.S. Gilbert. Libretto revised by Phil Willmott.

Directed by Phil Willmott. Designed by Maira Vazeou. Costume Design by Clara Lopez Merino. Musical Direction by Richard Baker and Nick Barstow. Choreography by Thomas Michael Voss. Presented by The Steam Industy and Szpiezak Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Cast: Simon Butteriss. Wendy Carr. Bridget Costello. Laura Coutts. Caitlin Downie. Nathan Elcox. Rachel Lea-Grey. Jeremy Lloyd. Georgi Mottram. Simeon Oakes. Jordan Veloso. Raymond Walsh. Zac Wancke.

Jan 27th

The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2014

By Carolin Kopplin
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YOUNG VIC’S A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE WINS TWO MAJOR AWARDS AT THE CRITICS’ CIRCLE THEATRE AWARDS 2014 

  • MARK STRONG AWARDED BEST ACTOR
  • PRODUCTION ALSO CELEBRATES SUCCESS IN BEST DIRECTOR CATEGORY FOR IVO VAN HOVE
  • REVIVAL OF GYPSY TRIUMPHS IN BEST MUSICAL CATEGORY
  • HELEN MCRORY AWARDED BEST ACTRESS
  • THE ALMEIDA ONCE AGAIN WINS BEST PLAY FOR KING CHARLES III 

The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2014 were hosted today, Tuesday 27th January 2015, by its Chairman, Mark Shenton, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. 

The Awards were presented in association with Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants, leading entertainment industry specialists; and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres. 

As ever, the ceremony was an informal gathering of award recipients, the drama critics, theatre practitioners and the media, convivially coming together to celebrate the critics’ personal choice of the best theatre from throughout the UK during the last calendar year. Comedian Arthur Smith introduced proceedings with his own inimitable style, as has become a well-loved tradition. 

WINNERS

Best New Play : King Charles III by Mike Bartlett
Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre, London 

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical [new or revival] : Gypsy
Festival Theatre, Chichester, followed by 2015 transfer to Savoy Theatre, London 

Best Actor : Mark Strong in A View from the Bridge
Young Vic Theatre, London, followed by 2015 transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre, London 

Best Actress : Helen McCrory in Medea
Olivier Theatre at the National, London 

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance : Antony Sher in
Henry IV Parts I & II
Royal Shakespeare Company at Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, regional tour & Barbican Theatre, London

Best Director : Ivo van Hove for A View from the Bridge
Young Vic Theatre, London, followed by 2015 transfer to Wyndham’s Theatre, London

Best Designer (awarded jointly) : Paul Barritt for Golem
1927 at Young Vic Theatre, London

Best Designer (awarded jointly) : Es Devlin for The Nether
Headlong Theatre at Royal Court Theatre, London, followed by 2015 transfer to Duke of York’s Theatre, London

Most Promising Playwright : Barney Norris for Visitors
Up in Arms regional tour & Arcola Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Bush Theatre, London

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer [other than a playwright] : Patsy Ferran
in Blithe Spirit and Treasure Island
Gielgud Theatre, London & Olivier Theatre at the National, London

Since the Awards’ inception in 1989 the theatre critics, consisting entirely of respected and influential working journalists, have prided themselves on offering something unique on the packed theatre awards circuit: each member of the Drama Section independently casts their vote based on personal choice, free of any discussion or industry influence, ensuring a highly democratic voting process.