News in brief

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

Check here for longer news stories.

Blithe Spirit heads to Harold Pinter Theatre

Friday 28 May 2021

Jennifer Saunders will be back this September as Madame Arcati in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit.

The play, directed by Richard Eyre, had been (briefly) at the Duke of York's Theatre last year before falling victim to theatre closures due to the coronavirus edpidemic.

This time round, the show is destined for the Hariold Pinter Thatre playing from 16 September to 6 November.

Our full listing, with link to book tickets, is available here.

The Mirror and the Light - booking open

Thursday 27 May 2021

The final chapter of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall Trilogy is due at the Gielgud Theatre from 23 September 2021.

The Mirror and the Light is adapted by Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles, and direction is from Jeremy Herrin with design from Christopher Oram.

The show is produced by Playful Productions and the RSC.

Public booking is now open with tickets starting from £17.50.

Book here.


Wednesday 26 May 2021

If you've missed your fix of top-notch musicals over the past year while theatres have been closed, there's a chance to rectify that on Sunday 6 June.

Theatre Support Fund+, the team behind 'The Show Must Go On!' campaign and MZG Theatre Productions are presentinge 18 West End shows and an all-star musical theatre cast coming together for a one-off concert in the biggest West End celebration in THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE AT THE PALACE THEATRE.

The live shows (running from 2 to 6 June) are now all but sold-out, but there's also chance to catch the show from the comfort of your own living room - or wherever you prefer to watch your online entertainment.

On Sunday 6th June at 7pm you'll be able to tune-in to The Show Must Go On! Live for free thanks to the broadcasting efforts of National Theatre Live.

The Theatre Support fund+ has raised over £900,000 for theatre charities from their renowned 'The Show Must Go On!' campaign - which you can still find here.

Though the online version of THE SHOW MUST GO ON! LIVE is essentially free, you can also make a donation to help provide financial assistance across the UK to theatre workers in need.

More detailsof the online show and a trailer are available on the YouTube channel.

World Theatre Day 2021

Friday 26 March 2021

This year's World Theatre Day is on Saturday 27 March 2021.

World Theatre Day image 2021

Image courtesy International Theatre Institute

World Theatre Day was started in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute ITI and is celebrated every year on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community.

Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion and you can find this year's programme here.

One of the most important aspects of the celebrations is the World Theatre Day Message through which, at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace.

The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962 and this year's message is by Dame Helen Mirren ...

"This has been such a very difficult time for live performance and many artists, technicians and craftsmen and women have struggled in a profession that is already fraught with insecurity.

Maybe that always present insecurity has made them more able to survive this pandemic with wit and courage.

Their imagination has already translated itself, in these new circumstances, into inventive, entertaining and moving ways to communicate, thanks of course in large part to the internet.

Human beings have told each other stories for as long as they have been on the planet.

The beautiful culture of theatre will live for as long as we stay here.

The creative urge of writers, designers, dancers, singers, actors, musicians, directors, will never be suffocated and in the very near future will flourish again with a new energy and a new understanding of the world we all share.

I can't wait!"

There's more information on the World Theatre Day website.

monolog 4 (online) from Chickenshed

Friday 12 February 2021

monolog 4 (online) from Chickenshed

Image courtesy Chickenshed

Chickenshed is switching this year to online performances for its fourth collection of monologues entitled monolog 4 (online).

The plays are drawn from a diverse range of people and voices to provide a uniquely varied programme, that once again demonstrates the versatility of this simple, yet immensely powerful theatrical form.

This year's monologues are bundled into two online shows so you can choose to watch either or both groups of plays.

Group A plays comprise ...

Just Imagine by Sara Chernaik

Gin Sisters by Cathy Jansen-Ridings

Neighbourhood Watch by Matthew Patenall & Gill Patenall

The State of the Artist by Sebastian Ross

Group B plays include ...

The Sleep Stealers by Hannah Smith

Whatever Happened to Abigail Winters? by Sophie White

Come Closer by Rebecca Hardy

Metamorphosis by Lucy Dobson

The online shows are available for £5 and the performances last around 1 hour per group - available until 20 February 2021.

More information and booking available here.

Nimax announces closures

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Nimax Theatres has announced closure of all its venues from 16 December 2020 to 8 January 2021 owing to London being put into tier 3 restrictions to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Nimax operates 6 theatres in the West End:

Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street

Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road

Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Vaudeville Theatre, Strand

If you hold tickets for any of the shows which were due during the dates above, the ticketing team will be in touch with you about your booking.

Dick Whittington streaming free

Thursday 10 December 2020

It's been a difficult year for panto, with many theatres in London and across the UK having to cancel their planned festive productions.

Dick Whittington streaming from the National Theatre

Image courtesy National Theatre

However, panto is heading to the National Theatre's newly transformed Olivier Theatre from 11 December to 23 January.

Originally commissioned by the Lyric Theatre Hammermsith, Ned Bennett directs this new version of the classic tale which has been specially updated for 2020 by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd.

Though some performances are already sold out, there are still tickets to be snapped up - with Friday Rush tickets at £10 and standard prices starting at £20, but all tickets must be booked online.

There's also some welcome news for those who can't make it in person as the National be streaming the show for FREE from 3pm on 23 December to midnight on 27 December on the National's YouTube channel.

So, while the UK covid restrictions ease over Christmas, you'll be able to get some of the special magic that is panto.

Dick Whittington at the National

Friday 23 October 2020

Pantos are rather thin on the ground this year, but the National Theatre is bringing the genre to its trasnformed Olivier stage in the guise of Dick Whittington (a version originally commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith).

Updated for 2020 by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, Ned Bennett directs the production which will run from 11 December to 23 January.

Public booking opens on Wednesday 4 November, at noon.

The National's Dick Whittington page is here.

Dick Whittington at the National Theatre

Image courtesy National Theatre

Everybody's Talking About Jamie to reopen

Friday 23 October 2020

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is scheduled to be the first of the West End's major musicals to restart performances.

The show will reopen at the Apollo Theatre from 28 November and is currently booking until 28 February 2021.

Inspired by a true story, the show follows Jamie New, a sixteen year-old who lives on a council estate and doesn't quite fit in.

Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

Noah Thomas, Melissa Jacques, Sejal Keshwala, Hiba Elchikhe, Gillian Ford and Phil Nichol as Hugo/Loco Chanelle, lead the show's return back to the West End, with a twenty-five strong company and a nine-piece band.

The Apollo Theatre will operate strictly under the government's Tier 2 rules - more information is available here.

Click for Everybody's Talking About Jamie 2020 Trailer

Image courtesy Nimax Theatres

The Dumb Waiter - Hampstead Theatre

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Hampstead Theatre will soon be back in action as the venue announces its production of Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter which will run from 18 November to 19 December 2020.

The Dumb Waiter at Hampstead Theatre

Image courtesy Hampstead Theatre

The show premiered as part of Hampstead Theatre's first ever season way back in 1960 and now makes a highly anticipated and welcome return home for its 60th Anniversary Production.

Priority Booking is already open for Patrons, Friends and Downstairs Club members with public booking opening on Wednesday 14 October at 10am.

As you'd expect, the venue is complying with social distancing and other safety requirements - more details and booking link here.

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