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Casting announced for adaptation of classic Palestinian Novella -Returning To Haifa

Returning to Haifa
Returning to Haifa

Returning to Haifa

“You haven’t asked, but yes, you both may stay in our house for the time being. And use our things.
I figure it’ll take a war to settle it all.”

The world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan KanafaniReturning to Haifa, adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi, opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 (Press Nights: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 March 2018 at 7.30pm).

A compelling story of two families – one Palestinian, one Israeli – forced by history into an intimacy they didn’t choose.

In 1948, Palestinian couple Said and Safiyya fled their home during the Nakba. Now, in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the borders are open for the first time in twenty years, and the couple dare to return back to their home in Haifa. They are prepared – of course – to find someone else living where they once did. Yet nothing could prepare Said and Safyya for the encounter they both desire and dread: the son they had to leave behind, and what he has now become…

Coinciding with the 70th anniversaries of both the Nakba or “catastrophe” – the mass dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948 – and the foundation of the State of Israel, Returning to Haifa is a unique, deeply moving play of suspense and heartbreak, where humanity and vision combine with a frontline immediacy.

This adaptation was originally commissioned by New York’s Public Theater who had committed to programming the play, but subsequently abandoned the production after political pressure from the board. It now receives its long-overdue world premiere at the Finborough Theatre, directed by Caitlin McLeod whose critically acclaimed production of Naomi Wallace’s And I And Silence sold out at the Finborough Theatre and transferred Off Broadway.

Writer Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972) is widely regarded as one of Palestine’s greatest novelists, writing some of the most admired stories in modern Arabic literature. He was also an intellectual and political activist. His novellas and short stories, now translated into dozens of languages, are considered by many today as having been ahead of their time, both in form and content. Kanafani wrote the novella Returning to Haifa in 1969, a testament not only to Kanafani’s principled commitment to the politics of liberation, but also his deep empathy for the ‘other’ as well as his modern approach to storytelling. Ghassan Kanafani was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut in 1972 at the age of 36. Kanafani’s obituary in Lebanon’s The Daily Star wrote that: “He was a commando who never fired a gun, whose weapon was a ball-point pen, and his arena the newspaper pages.”

Playwright Naomi Wallace’s plays include In the Heart of America (Bush Theatre), Slaughter City(Royal Shakespeare Company), One Flea Spare (Public Theater, New York City), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek and Things of Dry Hours (New York Theatre Workshop), The Fever Chart: Three Vision of the Middle East (Public Lab, new York City), And I and Silence (Finborough Theatre and Signature Theatre, New York City) and Night is a Room (Signature Theatre, New York City). Naomi has been awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize twice, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, the Obie Award and the Horton Foote Award. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts development grant. In 2013, Naomi received the inaugural Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, and in 2015 an Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Naomi’s play One Flea Spare was recently incorporated in the permanent repertoire of the French National Theatre, the Comédie- Francaise. Only two American playwrights have been added to La Comédie’s repertoire in 300 years, the other is Tennessee Williams.

Playwright Ismail Khalidi was born in Beirut and raised in the United States. His plays include Truth Serum Blues and Sabra Falling (Pangea World Theater, Minneapolis), Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta) and Foot (Teatro Amal, Chile). His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies as well as in The Nation, Guernica, American Theatre, Mizna and Remezcla. Ismail co-edited (with Naomi Wallace) Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora. He is currently under commission from Noor Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville and is a visiting artist with Teatro Amal in Chile.

Director Caitlin McLeod returns to the Finborough Theatre where she directed FactsNorthern Starand And I And Silence which subsequently transferred to the Signature Theatre, New York City. She is the Artistic Director of new-writing company The Coterie (supported by a Sky Academy Scholarship) and has formerly been part of the Old Vic 12, Artistic Associate with HighTide and Trainee Director at the Royal Court Theatre. Productions include One Flea Spare (Sheen Centre, New York City), A Further Education (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs), BRENDA (HighTide Festival Theatre and Yard Theatre), Polar Bears (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Malcontent (Shakespeare’s Globe), Commonwealth (Almeida Theatre), HomeTruths (Cardboard Citizens at The Bunker) and The Children’s Hour (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama). Caitlin has been Assistant or Associate Director for Dominic Cooke, Jeremy Herrin, James Macdonald (all at the Royal Court Theatre), Simon Godwin (National Theatre), Hamish McColl (Hampstead Theatre), and Dominic Dromgoole (Shakespeare’s Globe).

The cast is:

Myriam Acharki | Safiyya
Theatre includes Kabeirol (Punchdrunk), Dionysos Unbound (Bridewell Theatre), Woyzeck (St Ann’s Warehouse, New York City, and Gate Theatre), The Seven Year Itch (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch),Macbeth False Memory (Actors Touring Company), Princess Sharon (Scarlet Theatre), and Peter Pan(West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Film includes City of Tiny Lights28 KJohn Carter of Mars and The Beach.
Television includes Next of KinDoctorsChasing ShadowsSilkSinbadNew Tricks, E20Under SuspicionLittle Miss JocelynHuman CargoParadise Heights and Holby City.

Leila Ayad | Young Safiyya
Trained at Rose Bruford College.
Theatre includes Elton John’s Glasses (Palace Theatre, Watford) and Imogen (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Television includes Doctors and Rellik.

Ammar Haj Ahmad | Said
Trained at The Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts, Damascus.
Theatre includes The Jungle (The Young Vic), Love (National Theatre), Goats (Royal Court Theatre),Kan Yama Kan (Cockpit Theatre) and Babel (Wildworks).
Film includes WallRound TripMaqha Almawt and Wada’an.
Television includes Agatha Raisin and Letters from Baghdad.

Ethan Kai | Young Said
Trained at Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.
Theatre includes A View From the Bridge (Octagon Theatre, Bolton).
Film includes Instrument of WarAlright Charlie and Double Think.
Television includes DoctorsEmmerdale and Mount Pleasant.

Marlene Sidaway | Miriam
Productions at the Finborough Theatre include A Bed of Roses, Foreign Lands and Susan which subsequently transferred to the Gielgud Theatre.
Trained at East 15 Acting School.
Theatre includes The EnchantmentA Prayer For Owen Meany (National Theatre), Kenny Morgan(Arcola Theatre), Enjoy, The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Animals (Theatre503), Uncle Vanya (The Print Room), The Daughter in Law, Macbeth (Crucible Theatre Sheffield), Just Between Ourselves (Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton) The Lady in the Van (Salisbury Playhouse),A Cream Cracker for Under the Settee (Harrogate Theatre), All My Sons (Bristol Old Vic), We’ll Always Have Paris (The Mill at Sonning), Kiss Me Like You Mean It (Soho Theatre), A Time and A Season (Plymouth Theatre Royal), The Madness of Esme and Shaz (Royal Court Theatre),  The Dearly Beloved (Hampstead Theatre) and Hedda Gabler (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester).
Film includes SinkMe and Orson WellesVenusOliver TwistTom’s Midnight GardenBeautifulThingI Want Candy and The Key.
Television includes Doc MartinDoctorsMumWeb TherapyCuffsWallanderHustle 8Being HumanSurvivorsThe Vicar of DibleyKindness of StrangersSensitive SkinFoyle’s WarHolby CityInspector Lynley MysteriesSirens and Life Begins.
Radio includes After WonderlandRhapsodyThe MoonflaskMurder is EasyOur Woman in Norton TriptonThe Resistance of Mrs BrownThe People Next Door and Siege.

The press on playwright Naomi Wallace
“She speaks to, and for, the body as eloquently as any American writer since Walt Whitman.”American Theatre
“Absolutely compelling theatre.” Evening Standard on The Fever Chart
“A shudderingly poetic meditation on the implacability of death and the universality of mourning.” The Scotsman on The Fever Chart
“A taut, beautifully written elegy and it reaches out to us now like a prophecy.” The Observer on The Fever Chart

The press on playwright Ismail Khalidi
“A beautifully crafted work of art that balances the Lebanese-born playwright’s passion for the politics of his homeland with a playful and irreverent comedic sensibility” Wendell Brock, Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tennis in Nablus
“Writing with an ear for contemporary language and a delightful sense of the absurd…Khalidi defuses the solemnity of his story by masking it with comedic zest. And yet he never negates the horror of the final twist.” Wendell Brock, Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tennis in Nablus
“[Khalidi’s] beautiful writing ranges from a kind of hip-hop spoken word to a Greek chorus to chilling hallucinatory interrogations.” Lydia Howell, Pulse on Truth Serum Blues

The press on director Caitlin McLeod
On And I And Silence at the Finborough Theatre 
★★★★ The TimesThe GuardianFinancial TimesTime OutWhatsOnStageEvening Standard, Shortlisted for an Off-West End Award – Best New Play, Time Out Critics’ Choice, Evening StandardCritics’ Choice, named one of Lyn Gardner’s Best Plays of 2011
“UNMISSABLE.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
“Wise and powerful.” Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times
“Director Caitlin McLeod has fashioned an intense, gripping production… a potent reminder of the unbeatable power of theatre.” Evening Standard
On And I And Silence at the Signature Theatre, New York City 
“Gracefully directed by Caitlin McLeod.” Time Out New York
“A typically first-class production by the Signature, with the director Caitlin McLeod.” Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
“Under Caitlin McLeod’s direction, the four actresses infuse Wallace’s work with deep feeling. [A] stark, elegiac drama.” The New Yorker
On BRENDA –
★★★★ The GuardianThe TelegraphThe StageFemale Arts
“Visionary and magical.” The Telegraph
“It tells you the truth about what it means to be alive.” Huffington Post, Top Picks 2015

PRESS NIGHTS: THURSDAY 1 AND FRIDAY 2 MARCH 2018 AT 7.30PM
PHOTOCALL: TUESDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2018 AT 1.00PM-1.30PM

Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
No booking fees on online, personal or postal bookings
By Telephone –
Until 29 January 2018 – Box Office 0844 847 1652 (Calls will cost 7ppm plus your network access charge.)
From 30 January 2018 – Box Office 01223 357851. (Calls are free.) Lines are open MondaySaturday 10.00am-6.00pm
Tuesday, 27 February – Saturday, 24 March 2018
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm(from 10 March 2018).
Prices until 11 March – Tickets £16, £14 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £14 all seats, andFriday and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Previews (27 and 28 February) £12 all seats.
£10 tickets for Under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only.
£12 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on Saturday, 3 March 2018when booked online only.
Prices from 13 March – Tickets £18, £16 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £16 all seats, andFriday and Saturday evenings £18 all seats.
Group Bookings – 1 free ticket for every 10 tickets booked.
Performance Length: Approximately 80 minutes with no interval.

Australian hit Songs For Nobodies to have its European première at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2018

Bernadette Robinson
Bernadette Robinson

Bernadette Robinson

A critically acclaimed one-woman tour de force running 21 March – 7 April

  • Written by renowned award-winning playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Priscilla Queen of The Desert, the Musical’s Simon Phillips
  • Starring the uniquely talented Australian singer and actor performer Bernadette Robinson

Wilton’s Music Hall will host the European première of Songs For Nobodies (running 21 March – 7 April), a brand new play with songs featuring music from five iconic divas; Judy Garland, Pasty Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. Accompanied by live musicians, this funny and moving performance was written especially for Bernadette Robinson by Joanna Murray-Smith (Honour, Bombshells, The Female of the Species) and directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical).

This one-woman show is driven by the astonishing talents of singer and actress Bernadette Robinson, who takes audiences on a musical and emotional journey with five short stories following the word’s greatest divas and their extraordinary encounters with normal women – the “nobodies.”

Blurring the lines between superstardom and the everyday, Bernadette seamlessly brings each character to life as her remarkable control of tone, accent and vocal style perfectly inhabits each legendary singer.  From the smoky blues of Holiday to the thrilling soprano of Callas via Garland, Cline and Piaf,  Bernadette’s miraculous voice breathes new life into the five legendary performers and the five ordinary women whose lives were changed by their brush with fame.

Recounting intimate tale of their encounters is the heartbroken bathroom attendant who mends Garland’s hem the night she performed at Carnegie Hall, the backing singer who lives a dream with Cline the day she’s killed in a plane crash, the ambitious New York Times reporter assigned to interview Holiday, the Irish nanny who witnessed the fraying relationship between Callas and her shipping magnate and the English librarian who talks of how the ‘Little Sparrow’ rescued her father from a concentration camp during the war.

Director Simon Phillips commented: ‘Ever since I sat stunned at a Bernadette Robinson concert not believing my ears, I wanted to create a show for her, something that put her miraculous ability to reincarnate the great singing voices of the past into a rich theatrical context.  So I knocked on the obvious door.  Joanna Murray-Smith places the dramatic focus not on the stars themselves but the unknown women for whom these fragile singers were sources of strength.”

“Bernadette Robinson gives a virtuosic performance… Should not be missed” Sydney Morning Herald

“Beyond virtuosity to the sublime” The Australian

“A spellbinder” Barry Humphries

 

Casting announced for the ALEXANDER MATTHEWS season at Tristan Bates

The playwright and philosopher Alexander Matthews presents the debut of his two witty social dramas at Covent Garden’s Tristan Bates Theatre in spring 2018.  ‘Screaming Secrets’ and ‘Glass Roots’ will have back-to-back runs and will form the first Alexander Matthews Season in the UK.  Both plays are directed by Evan Keele with production design by Nancy Surman.

‘SCREAMING SECRETS’ explores our need to be understood and appreciated. It places relationships and moral dilemmas under scrutiny through the power of the writer’s philosophical lens. What do we do when we’re faced with our own mortality? How do we tell our family and friends and what should we do with the time that’s left?
These are the questions that face philosopher and free thinker Antonio (Jack Gordon) as he discovers that he’s not as healthy as he thinks.  Surrounded by his irascible father Alessandro (Gregory Cox), his dramatic sister Gina (Ilaria Ambrogi), flirty girlfriend Monika (Triana Terry) drunken publisher Hugo (Theo Devaney) and apologetic doctor Simon (Ben Warwick), Antonio has to make up his mind rapidly.

“We all have secrets,” says Alexander Matthews, “but because life is so fragmented and fast moving, and we all have widely different agendas, when we do open our hearts (and scream our secrets) we are often not heard or understood…at least on our own terms or indeed, above the cacophony of modern life.

“I think the philosophical element of ‘Screaming Secrets’ adds to the poetic feel of the play,” continues Matthews. “For this production, I have taken out some of the philosophy but left enough in, I hope, to keep a philosophical tinge to what Antonio and sometimes Simon say.”

ILARIA AMBROGI – Gina
llaria is from Italy where her theatre credits include Peter Pan (Teatro Vascello, Rome) and Twelfth Night andRomeo and Juliet.  In 2007 she wrote her first one-woman show, The Echo, and performed it at Teatro dell’Orologio, in Rome. In 2009 she moved to the US, where she trained with Susan Batson and worked in numerous theatre and film productions. She was a member of the Kairos Italy Theater Company in New York for many years, performing Italian plays for the American audience.

GREGORY COX – Alessandro
Gregory’s extensive acting credentials stretch from the West End to theatres all over the UK, Europe and the Far East.  His credits include Oliver! (West End), Little Lies (West End and Toronto), Only When I Laugh(Hong Kong), The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK tour), Death of a Salesman (Frankfurt English Theatre), Tale of Two Cities, Hamlet, King Lear, Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing (various venues UK and abroad) and many more.  TV and film work include Doctors, Keep Up Appearances, Brookside, Eastenders, Poirot and many more.

THEO DEVANEY – Hugo

Theo’s UK theatre credits include Caligula (Union Theatre), War & Peace (Shared Experience), Long Way Home, Lincoln Road (Eastern Angles) and The Soulless Ones (Hoxton Hall).  In 2012 Theo relocated to Vancouver, Canada and wrote and produced the award-winning short play, Run and became best known to UK TV audiences as Gavin Macleod in the long running TV series Supernatural; while he was based in Canada he also appeared in the films Psych and Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb.

 JACK GORDON – Antonio
Jack’s theatre credits include a number of productions as RADA including Carmen 1936, The Duchess of Malfi, Odysseus, As You Like It, A Month in the Country; plus War Horse (National Theatre/West End), Lulu (Gate Theatre), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Cheek by Jowl), Romeo and Juliet (Battersea Arts Centre).  Ben has appeared in a number of independent films including Northern Soul, Captain America, Heartless, Panic Button and his TV credits include New Blood, The Crimson Field, The Great Train Robbery (all BBC) and Primeval Series 3.

TRIANA TERRY – Monika
Triana’s first acting role was in Martin Kemp’s film Stalker (2010) which she followed up with Just For The Record alongside Steven Berkoff and can be seen in the 2017 independent film London Fields directed by Matthew Cullen.  Triana’s theatre credits include Doctor Faustus; she’s also a self-taught painter and has painted portraits of, among others, Stephen Fry, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, and Charles Dance.  She has exhibited her work at the Saatchi Gallery and The Hospital Club among others.

BEN WARWICK – Simon
Ben’s theatre credits include Frankenstein (Blackeyed Theatre), Jane EyreHamlet (English Touring Theatre), Look Back In Anger (Lichfield Garrick), The Deep Blue Sea (Watford Palace), Pentecost, The Oedipus Plays (Royal National Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuse, The Marquise (Bill Kenwright), Macbeth(US Tour), Miss Julie (Soho Theatre).  Films: Blood MoonWar Game, Canakkale Yolun Sonu and TV includes Mary Queen of Scots (BBC) Emmerdale (ITV), The Big Picture, Five Years.

‘SCREAMING SECRETS’ listing information:
Venue:                 Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP

Title:                     ‘Screaming Secrets’

Dates:                  January 31st to February 24th

Previews:             January 31st to February 4th

Tickets:                £18 (£15 concs); previews £12
Box office:          020 3841 6611 and online at www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk

Kandinsky’s acclaimed medical drama Still Ill returns to New Diorama Theatre – 16-27 January

  •  A story about psychosomatic illness and Functional Neurological Disorder told with the help of real sufferers and experts
  • Supported by the legendary Complicite, for whom Kandinsky founder James Yeatman works as an Associate Director

Kandinsky will bring their acclaimed production Still Ill – which tackles the contentious topic of psychosomatic illness and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) – back to New Diorama Theatre in 2018 by popular demand for 10 performances only.

Like many young actors, Sophie earns extra money by playing a ‘patient’ for medical students to practise on. But as her career begins to take off and she gets the job of a lifetime in a TV medical drama, her body begins to betray her. This time, the symptoms are all too real.

Inspired by extensive research with FND sufferers and medical professionals, Still Ill employs testimony from experts on this surprisingly common, little-understood condition, to create a vivid, visceral and darkly comic exploration of how and why people suffer debilitating symptoms with no known medical cause.

“deeply sophisticated, sensitive stuff, with a strong Charlie Kaufman flavour and an aftertaste of Tim Crouch”★★★★ Time Out

 “such a smart and thoughtful piece of theatre-making from bright young company”

Lyn Gardner

 “a layered, stripped-back, 100-minute drama rife with humour, symbolism, and intelligent use of technology”★★★★ The Stage

Functional Neurological Disorder is a condition in which patients experience neurological symptoms such as weakness, movement disorders, sensory symptoms and blackouts, but with no discernible organic cause in their brain or nervous system. It is a controversial topic in the medical world due to the lack of certainty and competing theories surrounding its causes and best courses of treatment.

In order to create Still Ill, Kandinsky have employed the help of those living with the condition, support group FND Hope and medical experts such as Dr Timothy Nicholson from King’s Institute of Psychiatry.

Still Ill will be supported by visual storytelling giants Complicite – for whom James Yeatman works as an associate director.

Kandinsky was founded in 2005 by James Yeatman and Al Smith, with previous works including the SundayTimes Playwriting Award-winning exploration of our hubristic suburban ignorance of nuclear war, Enola; ambitious, Carol Tambor Award-nominated double-bill The Bird and The Bee; and the raucous murder-mystery-comedy-thriller Dog Show, which followed victims of a serial dog killer. Dog Show ran at New Diorama Theatre last autumn, winning the Peter Brook Festival Award and the OffWestEnd Award for Best Ensemble.

LONDON LISTINGS INFORMATION

STILL ILL – Kandinsky                                       16-27 January (Tue-Sat) – 19:30

TICKETS

£15.00; £12.00 Concessions

New Diorama Theatre

15-16 Triton Street

Regent’s Place

London NW1 3BF

BOOKING INFORMATION

For the best tickets, book online at www.newdiorama.com

To book by telephone, ring 020 7338 9034

Joanna Lumley, Dawn French and brand new show from Janie Dee in Live At Zédel winter/spring season

Crazy Coqs
Crazy Coqs

Crazy Coqs

Live At Zédel, Soho’s unique live entertainment concept at Crazy Coqs, announced their new 2018 winter/spring season produced in partnership with Fane Productions.

James Albrecht, Artistic Director says: “According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of ‘Festival’ is, “An organized series of concerts, plays, or films, typically one held annually in the same place.” The more we embrace the possibilities of the venue and the insatiable appetite of our increasingly diverse audience, the more we have the sensation of programming a yearlong festival of culture – and the place is Crazy Coqs. With some 800 performances in our first year, at least 2 a night at 7pm and 9:15pm, the range and quality of artists who have populated our tiny stage has been thrilling and humbling. We hope there will be plenty to entice you in our 2018 winter/spring season.”

Highlights of the 2018 winter/spring season include season favourite La Voix Meets… who returns by popular demand for a brand-new residency which includes the likes of Joanna Lumley, Sally Morgan and Dawn French. The Parkinson show is brought back to life with a neat twist as Parky hands over the baton to his son, Mike Parkinson who hosts his very own chat show for the first time with Barrie Rutter as his first guest. Song writing star Scott Alan begins a week-long residency with some astonishing special guests including Alice Fearn, Sophie Evans, Matt Henry, Natasha Barnes, Amy Lennox and Marisha Wallace and the world premiere of Alexander S. Bermange’s musical revue I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical runs for 9 performances in a cheeky, caustic, and affectionate exploration of why there is no business-like show business.

Theatre and cabaret have consistently been centre stage in each Live At Zédel season and this year is no different. Kicking off 2018 from 3 January is the London premiere of Edinburgh Festival hit Dad’s Army Radio Hour, a pitch-perfect reimagining of Dad’s Army brought mesmerizingly to life by Fringe-First Award winning actor David Benson and Jack Lane. After a widely praised run at 59e59 Theatre in New York, James Phillip’s City Stories: Tales of Love and Magic in London performs at Crazy Coqs on 9 and 10 February.

Cabaret highlights include Janie Dee, one of Britain’s most celebrated actresses who is back after a sell-out 2017 show and an Evening Standard award nomination for her role in Sondheim’s critically-acclaimed Follies at the National Theatre with a brand-new show on 11, 12, 16 and 17 March. Hal Cazalet’s Play on Words returns after his sell-out debut in 2017 to celebrate the centenary of PG Wodehouse on Broadway from 12-14 February and Julian Ovenden, the man who is ‘beyond praise’ (The New York Times) provides a rare opportunity for audiences to hear one of the most versatile singers up close and personal. Other highlights include Anne Reid: A Night at the Pictures, West End and film star Johnnie Fiori and legendary cabaret artist Holy Penfield. At the very end of the season, Joe Stilgoe and Friends returns for a weeklong residency following 9 sold out performances in 2017.

David McAlmont presents Billie Holiday Live at Carnegie Hall on 1 and 7 February is one of many music and jazz highlights in the winter/spring season that includes the likes of Emily Saunders, Liane Carroll, Eva Scholten and Michelle Shocked The classical programme at Crazy Coqs includes The Philharmonia Trio performing Piazzolla’s Four Seasons performed in the round on March 2, Classic FM chart toppers The Ayoub Sisters making their Live At Zédel debut, and for the first time a full opera in The New Generation’s production of Dido and Aeneas.

Live At Zédel has always hosted some of the best transatlantic talent and highlights of this season’s US artists include Christian Howes, following multiple sold-out engagements in New York and Washington, Tony-award nominated Melissa Ericco who makes her solo debut bringing her gorgeous voice to the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, classically-trained artist and protégé of Quincy Jones Eli Taplin, the ‘comic firecracker with a pyrotechnic voice’ (Time Out) Christine Bianco who makes her Crazy Coqs debut and Jason Kravits who reinvents the musical cabaret with Off The Top! with Jason Kravits on 7 April.

The venue will also host the much-welcomed return of French Fest in March from 18 -25 March following a sold-out run in 2017. It features comedienne Alexandria Macleod with her show La Franglaise, singer Mandy Meadows with The Legendary Edith Piaf, the return of Joe Stilgoe & Giacomo Smith who celebrate the great gypsy jazz groups of The Hot Club De Paris, Joe Stilgoe & Clare Martin, Peter Straker Sings Brel, accordionist Arnaud NANO Méthivier, cabaret artist Sarah-Louise Young’s show with Michael Roulston Je Regrette!, Christine Bovill’s Paris and Paul Ryan and Kenny Clayton: Ici on Chante Francais.

In other residences, London’s leading cabaret experts Black Cat ‘Salon des Artistes’ move to every Saturday at 9:15pm, Flo & Joan, the British-Born, Toronto based musical comedy sensations bed in for a monthly residency with guests, and Crazy Coqs institution Miss Hope Springs returns after a successful tour with Miss Hope Springs: Vegas to Weimar and Miss Hope Springs: A Month of Sundays in April.

For full, up-to-date listings and info on all the shows and events please visit www.liveatzedel.com

National Theatre’s MACBETH to tour to primary schools in Doncaster, London Sunderland and Wakefield

Macbeth

Macbeth

Following a successful tour to schools and performances in the Dorfman theatre earlier this year, in which nearly 5000 students saw Macbeth,the production now begins a tour this week to a further 31 schools and colleges across Doncaster, London, Sunderland and Wakefield.

Macbeth is adapted and directed for teenage audiences by Justin Audibert and the production is a bold contemporary retelling of one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays. Amid bloody rebellion and the deafening drums of war, Macbeth and his wife will stop at nothing to fulfil their ambition. Witchcraft, murder, treason and treachery are all at play in this murky world. The cast includes Nana Amoo-GottfriedShazia NichollsGabby WongStephanie Levi JohnAdrian RichardsTamara CamachoJohndeep More and Kenton Thomas.

Speaking about the production director, Justin Audibert said ‘Macbeth is a tale of ambition, dark magic, violence and love; the perfect combination for an audience of young adults. We have made our version as exciting and visceral as possible, a truly sensory experience.’

The tour will begin by visiting 15 schools in London, followed by a further 16 schools across Doncaster, Sunderland and Wakefield, as part of the NT’s strategic touring programme.

Speaking about the schools tours the National Theatre’s Director of Learning, Alice King-Farlow said ‘At the NT we believe that all young people should have the opportunity to take part in theatre and drama while at school and so I am delighted that we’re touring Justin’s contemporary 90 minute adaptation of Macbeth to schools across London and in the North of England this year as part of our new national partnership programme.’

The Mohn Westlake Foundation supports nationwide Learning programmes for young peopleShakespeare for younger audiences is supported by The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, and Jill and David Leuw. The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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First Look: Production Images – The Seagull at the Lyric Hammersmith

Girl From The North Country West End transfer announced

Girl From The North Country packshot

Due to phenomenal demand following a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at The Old Vic, Bob Dylan’s and Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country comes to the West End for a strictly limited season.

Brought to life by an exceptional company of actors and musicians, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse.

The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for. And, when a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return…

An instant classic’ The Times *****
Piercingly beautiful’ The Independent *****
Conor McPherson weaves magic with Bob Dylan’s songs’ The Observer *****
‘Dylan’s songs expand the emotional palette: direct and gnomic, raging and desiring’

The Sunday Times ****

Conor McPherson said:

“Working with this stunning cast and the incredible music of Bob Dylan at The Old Vic has been an amazing pleasure and privilege. I’m delighted that audiences will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy our show as we move into the West End. I’d like to thank everyone who has brought Girl from the North Country to life and I look forward hugely to our next steps in this intriguing journey.”

Conor McPherson is an acclaimed writer and director. He was born in Dublin in 1971 and attended University College Dublin where he began to write and direct.

Stage plays include Rum & VodkaThe Good ThiefThis Lime Tree BowerSt Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Circle Awards), Dublin CarolPort AuthorityShining City (Tony Award nominated), The Seafarer (Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard Award nominated), The Veil, and The Night Alive (New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, Olivier, Evening Standard and Lucille Lortel Award nominated). Adaptations include Franz Xaver Kroetz’s The Nest, and August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death.

Screen credits include the screenplay for the BBC series Paula, broadcast earlier this year.

Bob Dylan is one of our culture’s most influential and ground-breaking artists. Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941; self-taught on piano, guitar and harmonica, he travelled to New York City in 1961, quickly establishing himself as an explosive performer in the Greenwich Village music scene.

More than half a century later, Dylan continues to perform almost 100 concerts each year. He has released more than 50 albums and written over 600 songs. He’s sold more than 125 million records and is the holder of 11 Grammy Awards. His songs have been covered more than 6000 times by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Adele. He is also an accomplished visual artist and author, and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.

The Old Vic is London’s independent not-for-profit theatre, creating world class entertainment on an international scale. Through our eclectic and adventurous work on stage, projects with young people, employability programmes, digital outreach, all-day café and late night cocktail bar, The Old Vic under Artistic Director Matthew Warchus is an exciting and inviting place to be. We trade in creative imagination. It is the commodity that will be most prized tomorrow and the reason why The Old Vic is as vital today as it was in 1818 when it first opened its doors.

Writer & Director                                                                                      Conor McPherson

Music & Lyrics                                                                                            Bob Dylan

Designer                                                                                                        Rae Smith

Orchestrator, Arrangements & Musical Supervisor                    Simon Hale

Lighting                                                                                                          Mark Henderson

Sound                                                                                                             Simon Baker          

Movement Director                                                                                  Lucy Hind

Casting Director                                                                                         Jessica Ronane CDG

Casting to be announced soon.

Today, Sony Music also announce the vinyl release of The Original London Cast Recording of Girl from the North Country. Released on the Silvertone label, and already available on CD, download and streaming services, the double vinyl will be available from 15th December. It is available to pre-order on Amazon now.

The Old Vic’s production of Girl from the North Country is produced by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment UK and David Mirvish.

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION

Noël Coward Theatre

St Martin’s Lane

London WC2N 4AU

Box office number: 0844 482 5141

Website: www.girlfromthenorthcountry.london

Dates: Friday 29 December 2017 – Saturday 24 March 2018

Press Night: Thursday 11 January 2018

Performance Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm

Ticket Prices: Prices are £12.50, £20.00, £30.00, £52.50 and £67.50

Over 150 tickets for each performance will be £20 or under

Social media handles:

Twitter @dylanmusical

 

Hashtags:

#NCGirl

 

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First Look: The Tin Drum

Full Casting Announced for James Graham’s Ink – Duke of York’s Theatre

INK Full Cast
INK Full Cast

INK Full Cast

Sonia Friedman Productions and the Almeida Theatre today announced full casting for the West End transfer of Ink, written by James Graham (This House), which will play a limited season at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 9 September, following a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre.

Directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III), the returning cast includes Oliver Birch, Rachel Caffrey, Bertie Carvel, Pearl Chanda, Richard Coyle, Geoffrey Freshwater, Jack Holden, Justin Salinger, Sophie Stanton, Tim Steed, Tony Turner and Rene Zagger, with Jonathan Coy joining the company to play the role of Hugh Cudlipp. They will be joined on stage by Natalie Law, Andrew McDonald, Jonny McPherson, Owen Oldroyd and Joel Samuels who form the ensemble.  Ink is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Neil Austin.

Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. A young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asks the impossible and launches The Sun’s first editor’s quest: to give the people what they want. No matter the cost.

★★★★★

‘A play for today. The blazingly talented James Graham has penned a super, soaraway smash.’

The Daily Telegraph

Ink is James Graham’s Almeida Theatre debut.  His work for theatre, television and film includes This House, which had two sell-out runs at the National Theatre, and a run at the Garrick Theatre in the West End, was broadcast to cinemas internationally by NT Live and will tour the UK early 2018; Finding Neverland (book) on Broadway; Privacy and The Vote (broadcast live on television on election night 2015) at the Donmar Warehouse; Coalition for Channel 4; Monster Raving Loony for Theatre Royal Plymouth and Soho Theatre, and The Whisky Taster at the Bush Theatre. He remains the writer in residence at the Finborough Theatre. His first feature film X+Y for BBC Films was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival before an international cinema release in Spring 2015.  James has been commissioned to write a TV drama set around the events of the 2016 Referendum and a film adaptation of 1984.

Rupert Goold is the Almeida Theatre’s Artistic Director, he will direct the forthcoming production of Albion by Mike Bartlett this Autumn. His previous productions for the Almeida Theatre include Richard III, which was broadcast live to cinemas around the world in July 2016, Medea, The Merchant of Venice, King Charles III and American Psycho, which opened on Broadway in April 2016. He was Artistic Director of Headlong from 2005 until 2013 where his work included The Effect, ENRON, Earthquakes in London and Decade.  Other theatre credits include Made in Dagenham in the West End; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida; Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway; and No Man’s Land at The Gate, Dublin and in the West End. He has twice been the recipient of the Laurence Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Director.  He was Associate Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2009 to 2012 and was Artistic Director of Northampton Theatres from 2002 to 2005. On film he directed the BAFTA nominated Richard II, part of The Hollow Crown, and Macbeth for the BBC, feature True Story, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill, and an adaptation of his production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III for BBC Two.  Rupert was awarded a CBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.

Ink, a new play by James Graham

Duke of York’s Theatre

Saturday 9 September 2017 – Saturday 6 January 2018

Opening night: Tuesday 19 September, 7pm

Cast: Oliver Birch, Rachel Caffrey, Bertie Carvel, Pearl Chanda, Jonathan Coy, Richard Coyle, Geoffrey Freshwater, Jack Holden, Justin Salinger, Sophie Stanton, Tim Steed, Tony Turner and Rene Zagger. With Natalie Law, Andrew McDonald, Jonny McPherson, Owen Oldroyd and Joel Samuels.

Writer James Graham
Director Rupert Goold
Design Bunny Christie
Lighting Neil Austin
Sound & Composition Adam Cork
Video Jon Driscoll
Choreography & Movement Direction Lynne Page
Casting Anne McNulty CDG.

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION

Sonia Friedman Productions and the Almeida Theatre

in association with Tulchin Bartner Productions, Lee Dean, Scott M. Delman, Rupert Gavin and

Playful Productions

present

The Almeida Theatre production of

Ink

 A New Play by James Graham

Duke of York’s Theatre

St Martin’s Lane

London WC2N 4BG

Box office number: 0844 871 7623

Website: www.inktheplay.com

Dates: Saturday 9 September 2017 – Saturday 6 January 2018

Opening Night: Tuesday 19 September, 7pm

Performance Times: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm

Ticket Prices: £10 – £65

Preview ticket prices: £10 – £55