News in brief
Below are some shorter news items we've covered recently.
Check here for longer news stories.
World Theatre Day 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
This year's World Theatre Day is on Saturday 27 March 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard
Monday 28 September 2020
Sunday October 25 will see the announcement of the winners of the Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard.
A special programme will transmit the event (taking place at the London Palladium) to be broadcast on Magic radio and ITV.
Most of the show is scheduled to be recorded owing to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus epidemic.
Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards, Julian Bird, said ...
"We are excited to be able to honour this year's nominees and winners during a very difficult time for our industry, and demonstrate the outstanding talent we have in our theatre sector in the UK.
Coming together to celebrate their achievements feels more poignant now than ever before as we all fight collectively to save our theatre industry.
I hope that everyone working in, or simply missing the theatre, will join us on the 25 October to celebrate last year's achievements and remain hopeful for our future".
With few new productions appearing during 2020, the next outing for the Olivier Awards is expected to be in April 2022.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane postponed
Friday 4 September 2020
The National Theatre's production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was due to transfer to the West End's Duke of York's Theatre from 31 October 2020, has now been postponed until next year.
Image courtesy National Theatre - illustration by Nicolas Delort
Preview performances will now commence from 23 October 2021 with press night on 4 November 2021 and booking until 12 February 2022.
Tickets for the 2021 performance dates will go on public sale at 12pm on Friday 2 October 2020.
As with all other cancellations and postponements we've encountered over the past few months, ticket holders for the original dates will be contacted with details of credit vouchers, or refunds.
A Christmas Carol cancelled
Wednesday 2 September 2020
Another Christmas show gets the cancellation treatment as theatres face difficulties in delivering large-scale productions ...
Image courtesy London Coliseum
Due at the London Coliseum from 1 to 6 December 2020, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra's production of A Christmas Carol has been cancelled due to the continuing situation with the COVID-19 epidemic and the subsequent restrictions on indoor performances.
LMTO say they are working to bring the show to the stage as soon as possible, and those who have already booked tickets for the show will be contacted by the box office regarding refunds.
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