An Inspector Calls returns to the West End


Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5DE Friday 4th November 2016 – Saturday 4th February

Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning production of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls makes its much-anticipated return to the West End this winter.

This will mark the 70th anniversary of the first UK staging of the play and the 25th anniversary of its first appearance at the National Theatre. The revival is produced by PW Productions – the company behind The New Arts Theatre at Leicester Square.
Since 1992, Daldry’s production of An Inspector Calls has won a total of 19 major awards, including four Tony Awards and three Olivier Awards, and has played to more than 4 million theatergoers worldwide.

An Inspector Calls is the most internationally-lauded production in the National Theatre’s history.
JB Priestley’s brilliantly constructed masterpiece powerfully dramatises the dangers of casual capitalism’s cruelty, complacency and hypocrisy. Stephen Daldry’s epic production highlights the play’s enduring relevance.

Daldry comments

Each An Inspector Calls returns to the West End
to bring the production to audiences in a way that would talk directly to them, holding a mirror up to society and indeed the audience themselves. Whilst we believe we achieved that, it’s clear from our recent tour that there’s a younger media savvy generation who identify with Eva Smith more than the Birling family. Perhaps an indication of the growing void between wealth and poverty. When we performed a the Orchard theatre in Dartford last September, the world had just learned of the desperate tragedy of Aylan Kurdi, ‘One Eva Smith has gone-but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do…’.

Written at the end of the Second World War and set before the First, An Inspector Calls is a compelling and haunting thriller. The story begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family home. Their peaceful family dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young woman.

Now world-renowned as one of Britain’s leading theatre and film directors, Stephen Daldry has received Academy Award nominations for his films The Reader, The Hours, Billy Elliot and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His recent West End theatre work includes David Hare’s Skylight at the Wyndham’s Theatre and Peter Morgan’s The Audience at the Apollo Theatre. His multi award-winning production of Billy Elliot The Musical recently closed after 11 incredible years at the Victoria Palace and has now embarked on a national tour.

Featuring Ian MacNeil’s ingenious designs, music by Oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love) and atmospheric lighting by Rick Fisher, this landmark production is guaranteed to have old fans rushing back and new theatregoers being swept away into the mysterious world of Inspector Goole.
Not only is it ever-green fresh but it dawns on you that no other revival in this dying decade has come close to matching its breathtaking daring and faultless execution (The Telegraph, 2009).

PW Productions is among the West End’s most significant theatre producers who are soon to announce more details on their plans for The New Arts Theatre. The three generations of producers at the heart of the company will pool their experiences to ensure the venue will be at the forefront of the industry. 

The New Arts Theatre at Leicester Square will be all about quality, boldness, innovation and connectivity. This 400-seat theatre will present a very different type of building to the conventional West End theatres we know.

Don’t Moan About It Creatives, Make It Happen


Perhaps there is a gene for complaining, that scientists are yet to discover, as everyone knows someone, who continually laments everything to do with their career in the arts….EVERYTHING. 

Ok, we all moan a lot, in this industry, whether it’s ourselves and the ‘injustices’ we think we continually face, other people, the state of the industry or just life in general. We think we have a right to berate our lives. No we don’t. No one has ‘the right’ to do anything, we are all in the same boat, all human beings and all in this industry together. Yes, at times it can be very tough, but being negative isn’t going to change anything. 

The fact is if you aren’t satisfied with something, don’t just whinge about it, do something about it. Whether this means creating your dream role by writing it, creating opportunities for those you think aren’t being represented in the arts, or making a stand against industry norms, you think need to change.

Don’t sit there on your smartphone or laptop, messaging and posting negativity, spread some positivity Right Now!

IZABELLA URBANOWICZ STARS AS GERTRUDE AT THEATRE N16


June 12th – June 30th 2016, Theatre N16

LWL Entertainment Ltd, in association with Theatre N16, are thrilled to announce the cast of Howard Barker’s Gertrude – The Cry, opening at Theatre N16 next month. 
“No playwright knows better than Howard Barker of the intimate relationship of sex and death, sin and ecstasy” (Lyn Gardner, in the Guardian, on Gertrude)
The titular Gertrude will be played by Izabella Urbanowicz (Truth and Reconciliation, Royal Court Theatre; The Session, Soho Theatre; Hamlet Peckham, The Bussey Building; What You Will: Pop Up Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Globe; and The Crimson Petal and the White (BBC/Origin Pictures)). She also currently stars in I’m Not Jesus Christ at Theatre N16, and is looking forward to continuing her relationship with the theatre.
Alongside her will be performing: Alexander Hulme (Abominations, Etcetera Theatre, and The Glass Protégé, Park Theatre) as Claudius, Jamie Hutchins (Hello Norma Jeane, Park Theatre) as Hamlet, Stephen Oswald (Nobody’s Business, King’s Head Theatre) as Cascan, LJ Reeves (Antigone, The Hope Theatre) as Ragusa, David Zachary (The Kissing Dance, Ye Olde Rose and Crowne Theatre) as Albert and Liza Keast as Isola, best known for her regular cabaret performances at the Crazy Coqs, the Pheasantry, the Cellar Door, Leicester Square Lounge and the Battersea Barge.  
***** “Chris Hislop directs a well-paced and tightly-managed production, enthusiastic in its humour yet showing the discipline needed to keep a free-wheeling script from running disastrously away” (Fringe Guru on More Light) 

Combining feminism, sex and objectification into his own take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Howard Barker’s Gertrude is a complicated, challenging and utterly filthy play. Theatre N16 will be playing host to its first major London revival since its premiere in 2002, directed by renowned theatre publicist Chris Hislop, assisted by Kim Southey, and produced by LWL Entertainment Ltd, in association with Theatre N16. 

Gertrude – The Cry will be Chris Hislop’s third Shakespeare pastiche/parody directed after Snoo Wilson’s More Light (**** “excellent” What’s On Stage) at the Rose Bankside and Andrew Shepherd’s The Shakespeare Conspiracy (**** “funny, witty, intelligent” Remotegoat) at the Chelsea Theatre.

Cast announced for first UK revival of I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road

Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST 

Wednesday 6th – Saturday 23rd July 2016

West End stars Landi Oshinowo (Shrek, Barnum, Sister Act) and Nicolas Colicos (Shrek, Barnum, Sister Act) lead the cast of the first UK revival of I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road at Jermyn Street Theatre.
They will be joined by Rosanna Hyland (Urinetown, Sister Act, Shrek), Kristen Gaetz (42 Street on Broadway, White Christmas US Tour, Crazy for You US Tour), David Gibbons (LSMT), Alice Offley (Teddy, The Secret Rapture), Rich Craig (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Waterloo) and previously announced Musical Director, Nick Barstow.
This first UK revival of this ground-breaking, long running, off-Broadway and West End musical – I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road – marks the show’s triumphant return to London 35 years after it was first seen at the Apollo Theatre.
This new production promises to lead audiences on a moving and emotionally charged musical journey about love, friendships and new beginnings.
I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road tells the story of singer songwriter Heather Jones who is finally breaking out of her celebrity mould, reaching for a new life as a new woman – no longer ‘daughter’, ‘wife’ and ‘celebrity product’. Described as a ‘controversial sensation’, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it On the Road marked a watershed moment in the history of musical theatre when it first premiered, challenging gender roles through the exploration of friendships, relationships and the pursuit of personal goals.  

CUT Is Coming To The Vaults Theatre

The Vaults Theatre, Launcelot Street, London SE1 7AD 

Tuesday 5th – Sunday 31st July 2016

Set against a black backdrop with unsettling moments of complete darkness, a small audience is sealed in an atmospheric Vault under the Waterloo railway arches.

Winner of the Best Theatre award at Adelaide Fringe 2015, and the Underbelly Adelaide Award 2015, this is the London premiere of CUT – an edge-of-your-seat thriller, written by award-winning Australian playwright Duncan Graham and performed by Hannah Norris.

A woman prepares for work. Pursued by a man, she is hunter and hunted. CUT is a total work of art. A Lynchian dream that transports an audience deep into the heart of 21st century fears – the psychological equivalent of extreme turbulence.

Part installation, part theatre poem, part noir thriller, prepare to be sealed into this intimate and unforgettable experience.
Having taken the 2015 Adelaide Fringe by storm, CUT then went to a site-specific secret Edinburgh venue. With atmospheric sound design from 2009 Tony nominee Russell Goldsmith, this is a dark game of observer and observed, pursuer and pursued. The fragmented storylines, technical wizardry and superb performance manifest into an unforgettable theatrical trip.

Writer Duncan Graham, comments:

The idea for CUT was conceived in London, as I flew into the city, moved around on its trains, through its parks. Having had a season in Sydney at Belvoir, it’s so great to be presenting the work in what I consider to be its home. Hannah Norris is startling in the role, and she’ll haunt The Vaults with her breed of pure vengeance.
It is from this uncomfortable position that you become enraptured by this one-woman journey. Hannah Norris’s ability to flicker from victim to predator in the blink of an eye truly sends shiversdown the spine…

If you enjoy taking a step into the darkness, then this award winning show certainly delivers the chill factor (Edinburgh Evening news).

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR THE DOCTOR IN SPITE OF HIMSELF AT THE DRAYTON ARMS

June 21st – July 17th 2016, Drayton Arms Theatre

Critically acclaimed French theatre company Exchange Theatre are proud to announce the cast of their new adaptation of Moliere’s rarely-performed French farce The Doctor In Spite of Himself, playing in both English and French as part of the Bastille Festival 2016, which returns to the Drayton Arms Theatre this summer.

“mega-multicultural Exchange Theatre have done the unimaginable” (Londonist on The Flies)
Directing and starring as Sganarelle is co-founder and artistic director of Exchange Theatre David Furlong (Red Oleander, Camden People’s Theatre; The Changeling, Young Vic), alongside other co-founder and executive director Fanny Dulin (A Family Affair, The Drayton Arms; Sweeney Todd, Parkes/MacDonald Productions) as Jacqueline. They are joined by Jacqueline Berces (Zorro, Le Théâtre des Variétés) as Martine, Yanouchka Wenger Sabbatini (Don Juan Last Night, théâtre l’Alchimic) as Mme Geronte, Matt Mella (In The Dead of Night, Landor Theatre) as Lucas, Leo Elso (Dusty, Charing Cross Theatre) as Valere/Leandre and introducing Anita Adam Gabay in her first production after training at LAMDA as Lucinde.

“Exchange have done a service making those plays available in English” (Reviewsgate)

In this classic Moliere affair, nothing is quite what it seems. Sganarelle is a drunk and beats his wife, who in return spreads the word that he is actually a brilliant doctor who can only work when he is beaten. Cue a stream of patients and beatings – and in spite of himself, it seems Sganarelle can perform miracles after all!
“Everything here is perfectly spick and span, well organised and genuinely enjoyable” (One Stop Arts on A Family Affair)

No One Is An Octopus..Apart From An Octopus

 

You might be slightly confused or bewilderd by my title for this article. I don’t blame you, but, it’s very simple the message behind it. We might all think we can do ten thousand things at once, but in reality we can’t and just have to think of ourselves sometimes. 

I wanted to write this as in our industry we try to do so much at once, almost as if we stop doing one thing, everything else will collapse. The ’empire’ will crumble. Let me tell you no it won’t. This means that sometimes just do what you can and not worry about trying to get everything sorted, by taking the weight of the world on your shoulders. 

Relax. Breathe. Enjoy what you have achieved and stop stressing. We may be multi-taskers in the arts but we aren’t superhuman.. or an octopus. 

Pop-Up Opera: Summer Season 2016 Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia


Pop-Up Opera: Summer Season 2016 Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Wednesday 1st June – Saturday 30th July 2016 

Press Night: Wednesday 8th June, Thames Tunnel Shaft

After performing their first ever tragedy this Spring, Pop-Up Opera return to comedy for their Summer Season 2016. Pop-Up Opera challenge the way opera is traditionally performed, by taking it into unusual spaces and making it fun, fresh and intimate.

Rossini’s famous opera buffa Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) is brought to life by the critically acclaimed company, sung in Italian with English captions.

Pop-Up Opera take to the stage with this incredibly fast-paced comical farce in their adaptation of this much loved score. Witness razor-sharp timing as the ever resourceful barber, Figaro, tries to help the young Count Almaviva win the hand of the beautiful Rosina out of love rather than for his wealth. Soon the pair set about to produce many disguises for the count, and thus the farce ensues…!

Rossini’s sparkling comic opera is given a ‘make-under’ in James Hurley’s daringly unfussy staging, laying bare the characters in all their glorious eccentricity.
Pop-up Opera will be touring to some new and exciting venues this season Leeds Castle, the Spirella Ballroom at Letchworth (the building used to be the Spirella Corset Factory in Victoria era!) and Broome Farm (where Pop-Up Opera began).

Company Director Clementine Lovell comments,

This is exciting for us as it really embraces the kind of spaces we go to and the nature of what we do. The opera is so well known, and this will be a wholly different way of approaching it. We can never rely on a set or fancy props and costumes to carry our productions, so it forces us to be creative and to really pay attention to the drama and conveying the story in a totally engaging way.

A two-hour explosion of beautiful music, top-class singing, and exceptional acting… I honestly cannot imagine anyone, of any age or class or tastes, who would have been bored or unmoved (The Times).

The combination of amazing venues, along with an informal atmosphere and engaging productions, offers a greater connection to the singers and the music, something even seasoned opera-goers often miss. If Pop-up Opera pops up near you, do pop in.

Screwed: The 30-Something Binge Drinking Generation


Screwed by Kathryn O’Reilly

Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW 

Tuesday 28th June – Saturday 23rd July 2016 

Ticking time-bombs Luce and Charlene are 30-something binge-drinking soulmates. They clock in after a heavy night out on the tiles, popping caffeine pills and downing miniatures on the factory floor, boasting about last night’s sexual conquests. When you’re living for today it’s hard to think about tomorrow.

Screwed is a gripping and hilarious portrait of a dysfunctional friendship. This powerful play is a debut drama from Kathryn O’Reilly and is directed by award-winning Sarah Meadows (Where Do Little Birds Go?, VAULT Festival and Edinburgh).
This new play explores a variety of taboo subjects including socio-economic status and current attitudes to diversity in a setting that highlights ladette culture, the pervasive insidious nature of alcoholism and violence amongst women.

Writer Kathryn O’Reilly comments,

My aim is to engage and challenge audiences in a way that’s both artistic and personal. I want to shine a spotlight on current issues that aren’t going away and put these stories on stage.

This production, accompanying workshops and post-show discussions will offer a platform for discussion, stimulating the debate surrounding gender, class, binge drinking, violence and promiscuity among women and its cultural impact on society.

Screwed is more pertinent today than ever before with more than 2.5m people drinking more in one day than the 14 units recommended per week (Financial Times, March 2016). As a result of habits like these, there has been a rise in alcohol binge related deaths and hospitalisations from violence by and towards women.
Kathryn O’Reilly is better known as an actress and will be starring in A View from Islington North at the Arts Theatre this June. She recently appeared in Call The Midwife (BBC) in a guest lead role and toured nationally and internationally playing Liz Morden in Out of Joint’s Our Country’s Good, directed by Max Stafford-Clark.

O’Reilly was a member of the Royal Court Young Writers programme. Her play Scarred was long listed for the Bruntwood Prize. She has been developing Screwed over the past few years with support from ATC, OvalHouse Theatre, Pleasance Islington, The Production Exchange, Theatre Deli as well as Out of Joint and The Richard Carne Trust.

The Past Is A Tatooed Sailor, At Old Red Lion Theatre

THE PAST IS A TATTOOED SAILOR

August 2nd – 28th 2016, Old Red Lion Theatre

In this world premiere of Simon Blow’s fiercely witty and bittersweet debut drama The Past Is a Tattooed Sailor, class struggles, thwarted love, and family destruction collide. Simon is the grandson of aristocratic architect Detmar Blow and scion of a family never far from the newspaper columns, and The Past Is a Tattooed Sailor is unique excursion into a lost world of sparkling aphorism and gloriously eccentric characters. 

Past and present are one in the sleeping manor house where Uncle Napier lives in an eternal doze. Upper class boy Joshua has sought out his great-uncle, long taken to his bed and drifting in memories of his glowing adolescence. Joshua is having his own roaring twenties with new builder boyfriend Damien, but the burden of class weighs heavy over the young man, and ghosts from the past cling to him like Uncle Napier’s overwhelming scent.
Uncle Napier draws both boys into his delusions that his own youth has not faded, and that a muscular sailor will give this Sleeping Beauty the reviving kiss. Thus Uncle Napier drifts in reverie. Until the two boys and Uncle Napier are sharply awakened by visits from Joshua’s rich Cousin Patrick. But what sinister thoughts lie behind Patrick’s tight-lipped comments? What exactly is he seeking?
This fictionalised drama draws heavily on Simon Blow’s relationship with his great-uncle Stephen Tennant, “Brightest” of the Bright Young Things and renowned socialite. Simon says: “’Why did I write this play? ”You promise not to forget me when I’m gone,” the last words of my great-uncle Stephen Tennant to me – aka Uncle Napier in my play. So I haven’t. I have always been intrigued by how rich upper class families behave. Cruelty would be too kind a word as I experienced from the inside. Class and the greed for money are driving forces in society. My play dovetails them.”
The show is directed by Jeffrey Mayhew, whose recent directorial credits include The Ghost Hunter at Wilton’s, Tristan Bates, Theatre Delicatessen London, Edinburgh Festival (Pleasance) and national tour; and A Brief History of Beer at the Old Bell, London, the Brighton Festival, British and German tours, Adelaide Festival, American tours, transferring to Under Saint Mark’s in New York, off Broadway. Last summer he directed A Cinema In South Georgia, which he co-wrote, for its total sell out borders tour and Edinburgh run last summer, where it received six four star reviews.