Soho Theatre, HighTide and Talawa Theatre Company present Theresa Ikoko’s award-winning new play Girls

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate new play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will premiere at HighTide Festival 2016 in September before its London premiere at Soho Theatre on 27 September. The production will also run at Birmingham Rep Theatre in between those dates. Girls was the winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015). 

Cast of Girls

Cast of Girls. Click on the image to book your tickets

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a new play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls to give a voice to girls abducted in Nigeria and around the world in conflict zones. Following Boko Haram’s recent violent uprising, she became frustrated with selective media coverage on attacks that are quickly forgotten, and unreported and overlooked violence ignored by the West. This is a play about the girls in the headlines as well as those left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, she wrote the play alongside her full time job reducing involvement in youth crime and violence as part of a London Borough Gangs Team. She is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with Soho Theatre as part of 2016’s Soho Six.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal which was staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Performances of the production at Soho Theatre are kindly supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts

Important dates:
HighTide Festival: 8 –18 SeptemberPress Day: Saturday 10 Sept
Birmingham Rep: 20 – 24 September
Soho Theatre: 27 Sep – Sat 29 OctPress Night: Thursday 29 September

Contact details for more information:
HighTide Festival:
Maisie Lawrence / [email protected] / 020 7831 7657
Soho Theatre:
Laura Steele / [email protected] / 020 7478 0128
Talawa Theatre Company:
Nick Pearce / [email protected]  / 0203 372 0966

@TheresaIkoko / @sohotheatre /@_HighTide_ /  @TalawaTheatreCo


West End stars lead the cast for The Grinning Man, a new British musical premiering this autumn at Bristol Old Vic

West End stars lead the casting announced today for The Grinning Man – a brand new musical from Bristol Old Vic, currently celebrating its 250th anniversary year, directed by Tom Morris (War Horse) and based on the Victor Hugo novel and cult silent movie The Man Who Laughs.

The Grinning Man

Twisted morals and characters from the darkest corners of Victor Hugo’s imagination are brought to life in a tale of the exquisite pain and pleasure found in remembering who you are and who you love.

Rising star Louis Maskell takes the title role of Grinpayne, The Grinning Man. He recently appeared in Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible) and is well-known for the role of Freddy in the award-winning My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible) and as Tony in the UK tour of West Side Story. He also played the lead role in The Fix (Union Theatre).

Gloria Onitiri, Louis Maskell, Julian Bleach, Audrey Brisson.

Gloria Onitiri, Louis Maskell, Julian Bleach, Audrey Brisson. © Craig Sugden

Julian Bleach takes the role of the deliciously corrupt court clown, Barkilphedro. He is an actor best known as co-creator of Olivier award-winning Shockheaded Peter. His theatre roles include playing Ariel to Patrick Stewart’s Prospero in the RSC production of The Tempest and Ivanov in the NT production Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. His television roles include Davros, creator of the Daleks, in the 2008 season finale of Doctor Who, returning to reprise the role in 2015. He also appeared as Macheavelli in Showtime/Sky Atlantic’s The Borgias.

Sean Kingsley is musical theatre royalty. He is taking the role of Ursus, the father figure with a dark secret. Sean has appeared in Cats, played the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Misérables, toured Mamma Mia! internationally and appeared in West End hits from Billy Elliot to We Will Rock You. He is currently appearing in Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre).

Gloria Onitiri will play the wantonly amoral Princess, Josiana. She has appeared as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard as well as other high profile roles of Nala in The Lion King and Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q. Josiana’s half-brother (and love interest) is played by Stuart Neal. His stage work includes Kenneth Branagh’s The Winter’s TaleMacbeth and Harlequinade as well as appearing in musical theatre hits Le Cage Aux FollesEvita and Mary Poppins.

Audrey Brisson will play Grinpayne’s childhood love, Dea. Currently starring in Kneehigh Theatre’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Audrey has had lead roles in Romeo and Juliet (The Rose, Kingston), Dead Dog in a Suitcase and The Wild Bride (both Kneehigh Theatre) and Elephantom (West End).

Also joining the cast are Ewan Black (Sleeping Beauty, Bristol Old Vic), Alice Barclay (Swallows and Amazons), Stuart Angell (The LoraxRunning Wild) and Patrycja Kujawska (Kneehigh’s Tristan & YseultThe Red Shoes).

Tom Morris is Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and has been Associate Director of the National Theatre since 2004. Previous productions at Bristol Old Vic include: King Lear, The CrucibleSwallows and AmazonsJuliet and Her Romeo, and Messiah (Bristol Proms, 2012). Tom was also co-director of War Horse, widely considered to be the most successful theatre production of all time.

Tim Phillips is a Canadian composer who has written music for many screen productions, including HBO’s Entourage, the ITV serial Talk To Me and (with Murray Gold) the Channel 4 series ShamelessMarc Teitler is a composer whose work spans musicals, opera, film soundtracks and albums and has had music featured in Game of Thrones. His current commissions for original musicals include The Ghost Map (dir. Bijan Sheibani) and in collaboration, Marc and Tim have composed music and lyrics for The Circle (National Theatre).

Writer Carl Grose has worked extensively with Kneehigh theatre as writer and actor. His writing for the Cornish-based company includes Dead Dog in a SuitcaseThe Wild Bride and Tristan & Yseult. Other recent writing credits include Grand Guignol (Southwark Playhouse) and Oedipussy (Spymonkey).

Puppetry will be created by Gyre and Gimble, founded in 2014 by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié having met whilst performing in the original production of War Horse. Their work has appeared in productions as varied as The Lorax (Old Vic), The Light Princess (NT), Running Wild (Regents Park), Elephantom (NT and West End) and Shrek:The Musical.

The creative team is completed by designer Jon Bausor (The Little Mermaid – Bristol Old Vic), Costume Designer Jean Chan (Lionboy – Complicite), Music Supervisor Tom Deering (Wonder.Land – National Theatre), Lighting Designer Richard Howell (The Crucible – Bristol Old Vic, East is East –Trafalgar Studios) and Sound Designer Simon Baker (Matilda The Musical – Olivier for Best Sound, A Midsummer Night’s Dream -Shakespeare’s Globe and The Caretaker – Old Vic).

Full casting announced for Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes

New Adventures have announced the full casting for the World Premiere of Matthew Bourne’s production of THE RED SHOES which is coming to Mayflower Theatre from 21 March – 25 March 2017 as part of the tour.

Ashley Shaw as Victoria Page

Ashley Shaw as Victoria Page

As previously announced, “Victoria Page”, the girl who dreams of being a great dancer, immortalised on screen by Moira Shearer, will be created by New Adventures star, Ashley Shaw, most recently seen across the UK and internationally as “Aurora” in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty. Rising star and fellow “Aurora”, Cordelia Braithwaite, will also play the role, along with Sleeping Beauty favourite Katrina Lyndon in her principal role debut (at certain performances).

Sam Archer who created the title role of Edward Scissorhands in 2005 and who has starred in Cinderella, The Car Man and Play Without Words returns to the Company to play the iconic role of Svengali-like Impresario “Boris Lermentov”. One of New Adventures’ finest leading men, Chris Trenfield, will also play Lermentov, as well as musical genius, “Julian Kraster”; the man with whom Victoria Page falls in love. Sharing the role of Julian will be one of New Adventures most popular dancers, Dominic North, who was this year nominated for his second National Dance Award, along with rising star Andrew Monaghan who has already debuted leading roles in Swan Lake, The Car Man and Sleeping Beauty.

Completing the principal cast are the leading dancers of the Lermentov Company. Prima Ballerina, “Irina Boronskya” will be played by Michela Meazza, returning to New Adventures where she has danced and created many leading roles (including “Lady H” in Dorian Gray, “Joyce” in Edward Scissorhands and “The Stepmother” in Cinderella). She is joined by Company favourites Anjali Mehra, most recently seen as both “The Queen” and “The Girlfriend” in Swan Lake and Nicole Kabera, currently playing “Queen Eleanor” in Sleeping Beauty.

“Ivan Boleslawsky” the role made famous by Robert Helpmann will be created by one of New Adventures finest young dancers, Liam Mower (the original West End Billy Elliot but now taking on his seventh principal role with New Adventures). Also playing Ivan is popular company dancer, Danny Reubens, who scored a great personal success recently as “Jack” in Lord Of The Flies.

Company choreographer and ‘character dancer’ “Grischa Ljubov”, is created by veteran company dancer, Glenn Graham, who as well as playing “The Swan” in Swan Lake has recently been seen as “King Benedict” in Sleeping Beauty. Also playing the role of Grischa will be Leon Moran recently seen in Sleeping Beauty, The Car Man and as “Jim” in Edward Scissorhands.

Completing the New Adventures cast as the leading dancers and creative team behind the Ballet Lermentov are Steph Billers, Will Bozier, Jack Jones, Daisy May Kemp, Phil King, Dominic Lamb, Kate Lyons, Joe Walkling and Katie Webb. Joshua Harriette (Ballet Black, Michael Clark Company) and Seren Williams (Ballet Central graduate) will both be making their debuts with New Adventures in this production.

A beloved fairy-tale and Academy Award-winning movie, THE RED SHOES has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.

Matthew Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Powell and Pressburger film reunites him with his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists and the team that brought you the world wide hit, Sleeping Beauty; Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).

This World Premiere is set to a new score arranged by New Adventures Associate Artist, Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann (most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Martin Scorsese), whose work ranges from the witty and playfully robust to the achingly romantic and bittersweet.

THE RED SHOES is supported using public funds by Arts Council England.

Tickets for The Red Shoes (21 March – 25 March 2017) are on sale from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833



Casting Update for Dominic Hill’s The Rivals

Due to unavoidable personal circumstances, Maggie Steed will no longer be able to take the role of Mrs Malaprop in the Bristol Old Vic, Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse co-production of The Rivals.

The Rivals

Julie Legrand will be stepping into the role in time for the start of rehearsals on 1 August.

Julie Legrand’s varied and distinguished career spans Stoppard and the RSC, as well as the popular role of Jeanette Dunkley in Footballers’ Wives. A familiar face on stage, she has played the role of Madame Morrible in the West End production of Wicked and has starred in West End productions of Fiddler on the Roof, See How They Run and played Electra in Gypsy at the Chichester Festival Theatre and its subsequent transfer to the Savoy Theatre. She has also toured the UK in the RSC’s Romeo and Juliet as The Nurse.

Julie Legrand joins Desmond Barrit who plays Sir Anthony Absolute. An award-winning Welsh actor, Barrit is well-known for his comedy performances as Bottom, Falstaff (RSC), Toad in Alan Bennett’s The Wind in the Willows and the Antipholus twins in The Comedy of Errors for which he won an Olivier award. His career has encompassed productions from Sondheim to Shakespeare and includes playing The Wizard in the West End production of Wicked. Legrand and Barrit are reunited after previously appearing together in Wicked in 2012.

This elegant yet earthy comedy of manners features some of the most enduring and eccentric comic characters in British theatre. It will be brought to life by Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Dominic Hill (The Libertine, Crime and Punishment) in a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse this autumn.

The cast of The Rivals also includes Lucy Briggs-Owen as the hopeless romantic Lydia Languish. Lucy recently played Viola in the West End production of Shakespeare in Love for which she received huge critical acclaim. Other recent credits include Fortunes Fool (Old Vic), Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, The Orphan ZhaoThe City Madam (all RSC) and Noises Off(West End).

The rakish love interest of Jack Absolute will be played by Rhys Rusbatch, recently seen in the role of Peter in the 2016 RSC production Wendy and Peter Pan. He also recently starred in the National Theatre of Wales production Mametz. His film credits include Zero Dark Thirty, which was nominated for 5 Academy Awards in 2012.

The role of Bob Acres is taken by Lee Mengo who previously appeared as Tom Alcock in the Citizens Theatre and Bristol Old Vic production The Libertine, directed by Dominic Hill while Keith Dunphy plays Sir Lucius O’Trigger, previously seen in BBC’s The Hollow Crown and Peaky Blinders and on stage in The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange) and One for the Road(Young Vic).

Jessica Hardwick will play Julia. She recently finished playing the title role in The Strange Undoing Of Prudentia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland) and was recently seen at the Citizens in the title role of Rapunzel and in the company’s lauded adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s Lanarkpresented at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival. Nicholas Bishop will play Faulkland. His recent theatre credits include While The Sun Shines (Bath Theatre Royal) and Man and Superman (directed by Simon Godwin for NT), while television credits include Drifters (C4) and Cranford (BBC).

The cast is completed by Henry Everett (Richard II – Shakespeare’s Globe and Man and Superman – NT), Shaun Miller, a recent graduate from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Lily Donovan in her professional debut. Lily is one of the 2016 Peter O’Toole Prize winners, an award presented annually to an outstanding graduating actor.

As Hill begins his fifth year at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, The Rivals marks a return to comedy for a director who has developed a reputation for his powerful tragedies. His production will open at Bristol Old Vic before touring to Liverpool Playhouse (5-29 October) and the Citizens Theatre (2-19 November).

The Rivals forms part of Bristol Old Vic’s hugely successful 250th anniversary season, in which a production from each century in which the theatre has survived and one Shakespeare play are represented on stage. It joins record-breaking successes this year such as Timothy West’s King Lear, Long Day’s Journey into Night (which starred Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville), and Jane Eyre.




Full casting announced for Kneehigh at the Globe’s 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the casting for 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, co-adapted by Michael Morpurgo and Globe Artistic Director Emma Rice. After a critically acclaimed 2015 run at Kneehigh’s Asylum,Emma Rice’s family show will be brought to London for the first time, before embarking on a major international tour of the UK and US. It tells the story of the rehearsed D-Day landings in Devon’s Slapton Sands, and stars Katy Owen as the heroine Lily, Mike Shepherd as her grandfather, Adam Sopp as the evacuee Barry, and Nandi Bhebhe and Ncuti Gatwa as American soldiers Harry and Adi.

Katy Owen reprises the role of Lily, having also recently starred in Kneehigh’s Rebecca, and as Puck in the Globe’s 2016 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre includes The World of Work (Difficult Stage), Apparitions of Spirits with the Forsythe Sisters (Gaggle Babble), Maudie’s Rooms and Plum and Cinders (Sherman Cymru). Her film work includes Daddy’s Girl and Shopping for Happiness.

Artistic Director of Kneehigh Mike Shepherd will play Lily’s grandpa. Since founding the company in 1980, he has worked almost exclusively with them as both an actor and director, with recent shows including Tristan and Yseult, Steptoe and Son, Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Red Shoes, The Bacchae, Cymbeline, The Wooden Frock, A Matter of Life and Death and Don JohnAs director, most recent credits include Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (puppet version with Little Angel Theatre) and an upcoming tour of The Tin Drum. His film credits include Anna Karenina and Pan.

Adam Sopp with take the role of Barry. Adam made his professional debut in Oliver! at the Palladium, after which he took the role of Gavroche in Les Misérables (Palace Theatre). Other recent theatre includes Sunny Afternoon(Hampstead Theatre), The El Train (Hoxton Hall) and Backbeat (West End). He appeared in four series of the BBC’s Grange Hill, and voiced the titular protagonist in four of the Harry Potter video games.

Nandi Bhebhe will reprise her role as Harry. Nandi is currently playing First Fairy/Starveling in the Globe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre includes 5,6,7,8 (Royal Court), Episodes of Blackness (Vocab Dance Company), Fela! (National Theatre/ Broadway/ US Tour), A Season in the Congo (Young Vic) and White Out (Barrowland Ballet Dance Company).

The role of Adi will be played by Ncuti Gatwa. Ncuti is currently starring as Demetrius in the Globe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other recent theatre credits include Victoria, Hecuba, The BFG, And Then There Were None, Cars + Boys and A Woman in Mind (Dundee Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Home Theatre, Manchester), Shakespeare in Love (West End) and Lines (Yard Theatre).

Michael Morpurgo, author of The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and co-adaptor of 946, is one of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors, having published over 130 books. His multiple accolades include the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, Carnegie Medal and the Red House Children’s Book Award. In 2003 he was appointed Children’s Laureate.

The full cast comprises of Nandi Bhebhe, Adebayo Bolaji, Emma Darlow, Ncuti Gatwa, Kyla Goodey, Chris Jared, Katy Owen, Mike Shepherd, Adam Sopp and Ewan Wardrop. The character of Blues Man will be played by Akpore Uzoh on tour, replacing Adebayo Bolaji after the London run.

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips will tour in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, opening to press at Shakespeare’s Globe before travelling to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Warwick and Bristol and then on to venues in the US including Berkeley Repertory theatre and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the performing Arts, Los Angeles.

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
Thursday 11 August – Sunday 11 September
Directed by Emma Rice
Co-adapted from the novel by Emma Rice and Michael Morpurgo
Press Night: Wednesday 17 August
Shakespeare’s Globe

Phone               +44 (0) 20 7401 9919
In person          Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days)
Sundays           10am-5pm (7pm on performance days)
Tickets               £5 – £43 (Globe Theatre) £10 – £62 (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)

Lazarus by David Bowie and Enda Walsh coming to London at Kings Cross Theatre

Click on the image to book your tickets

BY David Bowie and Enda Walsh
DIRECTION Ivo van Hove
INSPIRED BY THE NOVEL The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis
Produced by Robert Fox Ltd. and Jones/Tintoretto Entertainment

Inspired by the book, The Man Who Fell To EarthLazarus focuses on Thomas Newton, as he remains still on Earth – a ‘man’ unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin and haunted by a past love. We follow Newton during the course of a few days where the arrival of another lost soul – might set him finally free.

Lazarus premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop from 18 November 2015 until 20 January 2016 and sold out in record time.

LAZARUS - Michael C Hall ® Jan Versweyveld

Michael C Hall ® Jan Versweyveld

Reprising their roles from the original New York production are Michael C Hall, Michael Esper and Sophia Anne Caruso. Full casting will be announced at a later date.

Lazarus will run from 25 October 2016 – 22 January 2017, with press night on 8 November, at Kings Cross Theatre, Kings Boulevard, London, N1C 4BU [The entrance is located on King’s Boulevard by Battlebridge Place, directly outside King’s Cross Underground Station.]

Show Timings: Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm
WednesdaySaturday & Sunday matinees at 3pm

Tickets from £15 Phone: 0333 320 1663 /

DIRECTOR Ivo van Hove
SOUND DESIGN Original sound design Brian Ronan – UK sound design Tony Gayle
CASTING Jill Green

 @Lazarus_Musical /   Lazarus Musical / #LazarusMusical

The Play That Goes Wrong, the West End’s Olivier Award winning box office hit, will be visiting Mayflower Theatre from Monday 10 – Saturday 15 July 2017

The Play That Goes Wrong, the West End’s Olivier Award winning box office hit, will be visiting Mayflower Theatre from Monday 10 – Saturday 15 July 2017.

Awarded the 2014 Best New Comedy and the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong is now enjoying its second year in the West End, where it continues to play to sold-out houses. It is a remarkable rags-to-riches story for a play, which started its life at a London fringe venue with only four paying members of the public at the first performance, and has since played to an audience of over a quarter of a million.
The Producer Kenny Wax says: “The Play That Goes Wrong has been licensed to 25 countries, currently playing in Japan, Hungary and Paris – as well as in London. It goes to prove that audiences come to the theatre to be entertained and that the fun to be had in watching brilliantly plotted physical comedy is universal.”
Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play introduces The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call.

Stills from “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Mischief Theatre
Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief Theatre performs across the UK and internationally with improvised and original scripted work. Their other production The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is currently at the Criterion Theatre and their acclaimed production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong will return to the Apollo Theatre from 20 October 2016. The company is led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer.
The Play That Goes Wrong is directed by Mark Bell, with set designs by Nigel Hook, lighting by Ric Mountjoy and costumes by Roberto Surace. Tour cast to be announced. The Play That Goes Wrong is produced in the West End and on tour by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd.
Tickets for The Play That Goes Wrong (Monday 10- Saturday 15 July 2017) are on sale from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833

Ferment flies the flag for the South West with record number of artists at Edinburgh Fringe

This August, Ferment are taking the largest number of productions to Edinburgh in its seven year history, supporting eight shows across the festival. Offering tailored advice, and working closely with artists through the development process, Ferment is able to help showcase work at the Edinburgh Fringe – one of the many ways the department are able to advocate the very best of the South West and continue to develop these vital local voices.

Bristol Old Vic Ferment

The Ferment supported projects at this years’ Edinburgh Fringe Festival are:
The Castle Builder, Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet
Dame Nature: The Magnificent Bearded Lady, Tim Bell and Havoc Theatre
The Hours Before We Wake, Tremolo Theatre
Cuncrete, Rachael Clerke & The Great White Males
Shaedates: Or How I Learned To Love Myself, Shaelee Rooke
Spill: A verbatim show about sex, Propolis Theatre
Eurohouse, Nasi Voutsas & Bertrand Lesca, co-produced by FellSwoop Theatre
We are Brontë, Publick Transport

Ferment is the artist development department of Bristol Old Vic. A year round quest to find, support and nurture local talent, Ferment provides South West artists with an opportunity to explore their theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences. Working with exciting devisers, directors, writers, dancers, musicians, poets, puppeteers and live artists, Ferment invites artists whose work spans genre and form to experiment, play and make the theatre of tomorrow.

Artist Tim Bell, who is presenting Dame Nature at the festival, said: “Ferment supports artists in just the right way; the freedom to think, the space to try things out, and the platform from which to talk about your work to a larger audience. The approach to every artist is different. They’ve asked me difficult questions and then given me the support to answer them. I think that my show is braver, bolder and ultimately better because of it.”

Cuncrete creator Rachael Clerke said: “Ferment have supported Cuncrete from its inception; from a vague idea over a coffee, through rehearsals, work in progress showings, and final production. Working alongside a brilliant team within a renowned venue like Bristol Old Vic makes me feel supported as an artist in Bristol, and further afield. I’m not sure this show would have happened without Emma and Helen’s belief in my desire to make this bizarro thing!”

Emma Bettridge, Ferment Producer added: “Ferment is awfully proud of the rich mix of work found across the South West region, and of the individual voices which inspire us. Our aim is to constantly try to assist theatre-makers, to give them the best possible opportunity to take their work to the next level, presenting a show at the Edinburgh Festival is one step in this direction.”

Other events this year

Ferment artists to present work on Bristol Old Vic Theatre stage for the first time this week.
Ferment takes over the Theatre between 26 – 30 July. Presenting work-in-progress from faces both familiar and unknown, the much lauded festival of new projects will provide local artists the opportunity to present this early-stage work on the Theatre stage for the first time. This exciting moment allows both Ferment and the artists involved a chance to explore how to make work for the Theatre stage, and what that could mean for these new show ideas at an early stage of development.

From Made in Bristol graduates (Stephanie Kempson’s Sharp Teeth Theatre) to Bristol favourites (Kid Carpet, Sam Halmarack) to established theatre companies (Theatre Ad Infinitum – co-artistic director George Mann is Bristol Old Vic’s Associate Director*), July Ferment sees artists to open up their creative process and share ideas with an audience.

Other artists sharing work this week include: Jonny Fluffypunk, FellSwoop Theatre, Postcard Productions, Laȉla Diallo and Jules Maxwell.

The full schedule can be found here:

Ferment Elsewhere
This Autumn, the Ferment developed The Terrible Things I’ve Done will play at the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol. For the past year, Invisible Ink have been collecting the true stories of the terrible things we do in preparation for this public confessional. Revel in the funny, awkward and poignant world of people’s deepest darkest secrets.


How to Date a Feminist by playwright Samantha Ellis opens at Arcola Theatre on Tuesday 6 September with press night on Thursday 8 September

Kate has a fatal attraction to cads, bounders and bad men. Then she meets Steve… He’s a feminist and believes marriage is a patriarchal institution. Can she overcome her obsession with lipsticks, cupcakes and Heathcliff? Can he forgo the ethical confetti and learn to be more ravishing in bed? Can the two of them reinvent romance for the 21st Century?

With a proposal, two weddings and a whole cast of true to life comic characters played by just two performers – Sarah Daykin and Tom Berish – How to Date a Feminist is a passionate modern love-story and a hilarious new spin on the romcom genre. How to Date a Feminist opens at Arcola Theatre on Tuesday 6 September with press night on Thursday 8 September.

“I like men who are tall and dark and smouldering.”

“Do you mean you like brown hair?”

“I like chivalry.”

“I like chivalry. But why can’t it go both ways? Why can’t women be chivalrous to men? Why do I always have to be the outside of the spoon?”

Samantha Ellis

Samantha Ellis

Samantha Ellis is a playwright, journalist and writer. Her plays include the acclaimed Cling to Me Like Ivy (Birmingham Rep and on tour), Operation Magic Carpet (Polka Theatre), Starlore for Beginners and Other Plays (Theatre 503) and The Thousand and Second Night (LAMDA). She is a founding member of women’s theatre company Agent 160. Her first non-fiction book, How to be a Heroine, was published to great acclaim in 2014. Her second, Take Courage, will be published in 2017. As a journalist, she’s written for publications including The Guardian, The Observer, Intelligent Life, Exeunt, The Pool and the TLS.

“that genuinely rare beast, a popular comedy with heart, brains and the stomach to make some difficult choices”— The Guardian on Samantha Ellis’s Cling to Me Like Ivy

How To Date a Feminist is produced and directed by Matthew Lloyd, formerly Joint Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and Associate Director of Hampstead Theatre. The production is designed by Carla Goodman with John Leonard as sound designer.

How to Date a Feminist premieres at Arcola Theatre this September and is suitable for 12+. Press night Thursday 8 September at 8pm

Previews Tuesday 6 –Wednesday 7 September. Main run from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 1 October, at 8pm. The show then tours to Watford and Scarborough.

Tickets are £17 (£14 concessions) or £12 (previews) with Saturday matinees throughout the run at 3.30pm.

Full tour dates:

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Friday 21 October

Saturday 22 October as a matinee and evening performance

Watford Palace Theatre

Friday 4 November at 8pm

Saturday 5 November at 2.30pm and at 8pm with a free post-show Q&A

Acclaim for Samantha Ellis’s previous writing

Acclaim for Mattthe Lloyd’s previous work

Tom Berish

Tom Berish

Tom Berish – Actor
Tom read English at Cambridge and trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include Paper Dolls (Tricycle), The Taming of the Shrew (RSC), Family Business (Watford Palace Theatre), Perfect Match (Watford Palace Theatre), The School for Scandal (Park Theatre), The Sting (Wilton’s), Are We Nearly There Yet? (Wilton’s), Listen, We’re Family (Wilton’s / JW3), Of Mice and Men (Watermill) and Romeo and Juliet (Royal Lyceum). His television credits include The Village, The Last Heroes of D-Day and Doctors for the BBC.

Sarah Daykin

Sarah Daykin

Sarah Daykin – Actor
Sarah Daykin is a comedy writer and performer best known for being one half of the comedy sisters duo Toby. She starred as Winky in Sky 1’s sitcom Chickens, written by Simon Bird, Joe Thomas and Jonny Sweet, and featured in ITV2’s Cockroaches. Other TV appearances include Anna and Katy (Channel 4), Dead Boss (BBC3), Together (BBC3) and Newsjack (BBC Radio 4 Extra).

Carla Goodman

Carla Goodman

Carla Goodman – Designer
Carla trained in Nottingham, London and New York. Design credits include: Exposure (St. James – costume design); NotMoses (Arts); Romeo & Juliet (Orange Tree); Pig Farm (St. James); Heartbreak Hotel (The Jetty, Greenwich); Truce (New Wimbledon Theatre); What Flows Past The Baltic (Nottingham Playhouse); Theatre Uncut (Traverse Theatre and UK tour); Listen, We’re Family (Wilton’s Music Hall); Ariodante (Royal Academy of Music); Mush And Me (Bush Theatre); I Am Your Neighbour (Oval House – site specific); A New Face For Fast Times (Soho Theatre); The Love Project (Arts Depot and UK tour); Nola (Underbelly Edinburgh); Step Live! (Royal Academy of Dance/Southbank Centre); Kitchen To Measure (Arcola Theatre); Mr Happiness (Old Vic Tunnels) and; Bud Take The Wheel (Shaw Theatre and Underbelly Edinburgh). Upcoming work includes: Rise (Old Vic New Voices) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Cast Theatre Doncaster).

About Arcola Theatre
Arcola Theatre is one of London’s leading off-West End theatres. Locally engaged and internationally minded, Arcola stages a diverse programme of plays, operas and musicals. World-class productions from major artists appear alongside cutting-edge work from the most exciting emerging companies. Arcola delivers one of London’s most extensive community engagement programmes, creating over 5000 opportunities every year. By providing research and development space to diverse artists, Arcola champions theatre that’s more engaging and representative. Its pioneering environmental initiatives are internationally renowned, and aim to make Arcola the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.


TheatreCraft names Adam Kenwright as Ambassador for the 2016 event, which will take place on Monday 14 November at Waldorf Hilton Hotel

Booking is now open for TheatreCraft 2016, London’s largest free careers event for anyone aged 16 – 25 looking for a non-performance career in theatre. This year, the event will take place on Monday 14 November and has a new home at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel with workshops and talks happening throughout partnering West End theatres which will be announced at a later date.

Theatrecraft is free to 16-25 year olds. CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION

Speaking about TheatreCraft 2016 General Manager at the Waldorf Hilton, Guy Hilton, commented;

“I am delighted as the new General Manager of The Waldorf Hilton London, which resides in the heart of Theatreland, to be a part of TheatreCraft 2016. TheatreCraft provides a unique opportunity to nurture the talent of young people in the world of dramatic art, which echoes very well our own commitment to create opportunities for young people in the hospitality industry.  It gives me great pleasure to confirm that The Waldorf Hilton will be hosting TheatreCraft in November later this year.”

TheatreCraft has also announced Ambassador Theatre Group’s recently appointed Executive Vice President, Adam Kenwright, as the TheatreCraft 2016 Ambassador. Kenwright will deliver a welcome speech and open the event on 14 November at The Waldorf Hilton.

Adam Kenwright, Executive Vice President, Ambassador Theatre Group

Adam Kenwright, Executive Vice President, Ambassador Theatre Group.

Commenting on this year’s event, TheatreCraft Ambassador Adam Kenwright said:

“TheatreCraft creates a unique and free event, whole-heartedly supported by the industry, for 16-25 year olds so that they may better understand the vast variety of careers that contribute to creating theatre productions.  TheatreCraft’s vision allows the next generation of theatre talent to explore the diverse range of opportunities available within our exciting and inspiring field.  As someone who first started in the business as a teenager and who has personally worked in the box office, back stage, front of house, publicity, casting, marketing and in production, I am excited and proud to have been chosen to be this year’s Ambassador for TheatreCraft.  Helping young people discover the behind the scenes professions that make our great industry thrive is vital to the future of theatre. ”

From directing to stage management, producing to marketing, lighting to design, TheatreCraft is the only place to be for a fun and unique glimpse into the ‘behind the scenes’ world of theatre.

Attendees on the day can take part in workshops led by theatre professionals, explore the vibrant marketplace of exhibiting theatres and organisations, join in at the Ask the Experts zone for one-to-one advice and interact with peers in the networking hubs.

For the last three years, Olivier award winning writer Jessica Swale, has led TheatreCraft workshops on finding your voice as an emerging playwright. Now in its eleventh year, Swale commented on the importance of TheatreCraft;

“TheatreCraft really is one of a kind. It’s an excellent resource, inspiring young people to think about a career in theatre beyond the usual push to tread the boards. It’s so vital that there’s the same enthusiasm for working backstage as there is for performing, and Theatrecraft is one of the few events that allows young people to fully explore all the possibilities of an exciting career in theatre making. It is events like theatrecraft that inspire new voices to join the industry,  bringing with them fresh ideas and breaking boundaries, ensuring that we have a diverse, representative and creative new intake every year. And every year it goes from strength to strength. Long may it continue.”

More than 1,000 people attended TheatreCraft last year taking part in over 75 workshops delivered by skilled theatre professionals and engaging with 64 theatres and organisations in the marketplace, making it the most successful event to date.

Larah Simpson, an attendee at the event in 2014 and exhibitor in 2015, said:

“I attended in 2014 after graduating from university and was unsure about which direction to take next. I had a one-to-one session with James Clutton and later attended his workshop on producing. I kept in touch with James and was offered work experience at Opera Holland Park and then a permanent job. TheatreCraft is an invaluable resource and the Marketplace is a fountain of knowledge and new opportunities. I was delighted to return in 2015 as an exhibitor for Opera Holland Park.”

TheatreCraft is organised by a group of committed partners from across the creative and cultural industries; the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, the Royal Opera House, the Society of London Theatre, Mousetrap Theatre Projects and Creative and Cultural Skills.

For more information and all the latest news about TheatreCraft visit or find us on Twitter @TheatreCraft


Event: TheatreCraft
Date: Monday 14 November 2016
Venue: Waldorf Hilton Hotel, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DD
Delegates can attend for free registering at