News in brief

Below are some shorter news items we've covered recently.

Check here for longer news stories.

This week from National Theatre at Home ...

Sunday 31 May 2020

... it's the Donmar Warehouse's production of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare.

Josie Rourke directs the company including Mark Gatiss, Hadley Fraser, Alfred Enoch and Deborah Findlay with Tom Hiddleston in the title role.

When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus.

But he has enemies at home too.

As famine threatens the city, the citizens' hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field, Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people.

Here's a taste ...

The production will be on the National Theatre's YouTube channel from 7pm on 4 June and will be available afterwards for just a week - until 7pm on 11 June.

Note: the play contains scenes featuring occasional gore and staged violence and has a running time of 3 hours with a very short interval.

Aladdin at Lyric Hammersmith

Saturday 30 May 2020

This year's panto at the Lyric Hammersmith is set to be the much-loved Aladdin, written by Vikki Stone and directed by Abigail Graham.

Suitable for ages 6+, the show is due to run from 14 November 2020 to 3 January 2021 and there's still just time to grab tickets at 30% off!

More shows postponed ...

Friday 29 May 2020

... at LW Theatres.

Show images for Hello Dolly and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Originally due at the London Palladium from July, the show has now been postponed by 12 months and will play from 1 July to 5 September 2021.

Both Jason Donovan and Jac Yarrow are confirmed to star in the show next year.

Tickets will be transferred to next year's dates and your point of purchase will be in touch if you're a ticket holder.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said ...

"The team and I are working hard behind the scenes to get the world's most beloved theatre The London Palladium open and entertaining audiences as soon as possible.

We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find a safe route to provide access both backstage and front of house.

I am delighted that Joseph will be back on The London Palladium stage next Summer."


This show was due to begin performances at the Adelphi Theatre this August starring Imelda Staunton but has now been postponed, with no dates yet announced for its eventual appearance.

However, producers Michael Harrison and David Ian commented ...

"Whilst we are naturally disappointed that we aren't able to stage the show this summer, we are completely committed to Hello, Dolly!

Dominic Cooke's new production is set to have a cast of 34 and an orchestra of 18 musicians.

This, coupled with Rae Smith's stunning new designs, means we do not want to compromise the length of run, so postponing until the time is right and schedules permit is the best option, but plans are already underway for the new season which we will announce as soon as we can."

King's Head Theatre - KHTOnline

Friday 29 May 2020

There's more coming-up in the King's Head Theatre's schedule of online sessions next week...

If you haven't caught any of the programmes yet, the idea is straight forward ... every weekday at 1pm for 30 minutes, the venue streams a different window into the world of theatre, accessible to everybody: from artists to audiences to Facebook followers etc, so that everyone can stay connected and develop together.

The schedule for the week commencing 1 June is ...

Monday - 1 June - Spotlight On: Lemon House Theatre

Jennifer Cerys & Samia Djilli

Lemon House Theatre makes vibrant theatre that creates conversations between artists and audiences.

Their previous work includes a double bill at the Bunker Theatre last September and a new writing night they produced for mixed race artists at St. Margaret's House, where they are also Associate Artists.

They'll be discussing the artists they've worked with and the aim behind their projects as well as their upcoming digital content and future plans.

Tuesday - 2 June - Working As An Emerging Artist

Aran Cherkez

Aran is a theatre director and actor.

He recently directed a regional touring production of GUY: A New Musical and is one of our very own Junior Associates.

In this session, Aran will be sharing his experiences as an emerging artist and the path he took into the industry, giving advice to emerging directors and also answering any questions.

Wednesday - 3 June - Revisiting A Role

Honey Rouhani

Honey is no stranger to the King's Head Theatre, having starred in our Oliver Award-nominated production of La bohème (2017/18) and most recently, Opera Undone: Tosca & La bohème at Trafalgar Studios.

Honey will be sharing how she keeps things fresh, different and challenging when performing a role multiple times, drawing on her experience of singing Musetta 100 times, in particular.

Thursday - 4 June - Directing For Small Spaces

Josh Roche

What happens if you think you're the next Ivo van Hove but your stage space is the size of a kitchen cupboard?

What are the pitfalls of directing for small spaces and how can they be overcome?

Josh will be taking you through some lessons learnt from successful, and not so successful fringe experiments!

Josh is a freelance director, dramaturg and literary associate and was the winner of the 20th JMK Award at the Young Vic, directing My Name is Rachel Corrie in 2017.

Friday - 5 June - Spotlight On: Nouveau Riche

Ryan Calais Cameron

Nouveau Riche are a multi-award winning creative movement.

Their objective is to discover, nurture and produce unique stories with a keen scope on work that is both educational and entertaining.

They have set out to create new writing that is thought provoking, challenging and culturally inclusive.

Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Ryan will be discussing how they formed, the work they have produced and what lies ahead for the collective as well as taking your questions.

Find the online programme (and catch up with previous episodes) on Facebook or Instagram or at the King's Head's website.

Jamie Lloyd Company postpones shows

Thursday 28 May 2020

The Jamie Lloyd Company has announced postponement of Anya Reiss' adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House (in a version by Frank McGuinness).

Both plays were scheduled for the West End's Playhouse Theatre.

If you're a ticket holder, you'll be contacted by your ticket vendor.

The plays are set to be rescheduled, but dates have not yet been announced.

This week from National Theatre at Home ...

Wednesday 27 May 2020

... it's This House by James Graham.

Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the play offers an insight into British Politics.

It's 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament.

The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation.

Sound familiar?

The play has previously had two runs at the National Theatre, a West End transfer, a tour and was filmed live at the National in 2013.

The production will be on the National's YouTube channel from 7pm on 28 May and will be available afterwards for just a week - until 7pm on 4 June.

It's suitable for ages 14+ and has a running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes with a brief interval.

West End LIVE goes virtual for 2020

Wednesday 27 May 2020

West End LIVE is a free event held in London's Trafalgar Square over two days in June every year.

The event is presented by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre with support from the Mayor of London and features live performances from London's top West End musicals, with around 50 performances over the weekend.

West End Live goes virtual with highlights programmes online

Image courtesy Westminster City Council and Society of London Theatre

This year's outing has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the organisers are going to celebrate West End LIVE with the release of two specially commissioned highlights programmes featuring performances from the past five years.

The programmes will be on Facebook for just 24 hours with one presented on Saturday 20 June and the other following on Sunday 21 June.

National Theatre cancels shows to end August

Thursday 21 May 2020

The National Theatre has cancelled scheduled performances until August 31 2020.

Ticketholders for cancelled performances will be contacted.

There's more information on this page on the National's website.

New Culture Commissioner and Taskforce

Thursday 21 May 2020

Producer Sonia Friedman today (21 May) wrote a passionate article for The Telegraph in which she said "British theatre is on the brink of total collapse".

Ms Friedman stated that the lockdown has already meant £330 million of lost income for theatres and warned that ...

"Without an urgent government rescue package, 70 per cent of our performing arts companies will be out of business before the end of this year.

More than 1,000 theatres around the country will be insolvent and might shut down for good."

You can read the full text of Ms Friedman's article here.

Yesterday, though, saw a glimmer of hope with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, appointing Neil Mendoza as the new Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal.

The Secretary of State also announced last week the creation of the Cultural Renewal task force (focusing on recreation and leisure) and has now set-up an Entertainment and Events Working Group bringing together representatives from around the country to develop advice and guidance on the reopening of cultural venues across the nation.

You can read the full press release here.

From Casa: Commissions

Thursday 21 May 2020

The team at CASA (an arts organisation whose central goal is to facilitate cultural exchanges between Latin America and the UK and organises the CASA Festival) have announced a new initiative - From CASA Commissions.

Commissions - a new initiative from CASA

Image courtesy CASA

The scheme is a new online opportunity, giving up to 4 Latinx artists the chance to develop a new idea, to collaborate with a leading creative practitioner and work with CASA's Artistic Director and Executive Producer.

The package offers ...

⁃ £1000 fee to develop a scratch/work in progress of a new piece of work

⁃ the chance to work with a leading creative practitioner to help develop the piece and the artist's creative practice

⁃ tailored feedback, mentorship and masterclasses with the CASA team.

Applications should be from a person or group who identify as Latinx, work in any form of performance, at ANY stage of their career.

The deadline for applications is 6pm on 25 June and there's more info here.

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