THE CRITICS’ CIRCLE THEATRE AWARDS 2016 – Winner announcement

 

Billie Piper and Stephen Dilane

Billie Piper and Stephen Dilane

The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2016 were hosted today, Tuesday 31st January 2017, by the Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chairman Mark Shenton, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.

The Awards were presented in association with Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants, leading entertainment industry specialists, and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

 As ever, the ceremony was an informal gathering of award recipients, the drama critics, theatre practitioners and the media, convivially coming together to celebrate the critics’ personal choice of the best theatre from throughout the UK during the last calendar year.

Comedian Arthur Smith introduced proceedings with his own inimitable style, as has become a well-loved tradition. And, for the first time, the exclusive invited audience also enjoyed a sneak-peek performance of new Gary Barlow and Tim Firth musical The Girls, which is currently in previews at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre, where it officially opens on 21st February and will be eligible for next year’s awards. Today, star Joanna Riding performed “Scarborough”, accompanied by Tim Firth.

For a list of previous years’ winners, visit criticscircletheatreawards.com.

Twitter:         @CCTAwards #CriticsCircleAwards

Facebook:     CCTAwards

 

WINNERS

Best New Play: The Flick by Annie Baker

The National Theatre, London

award presented to Jaygann Ayeh by Georgina Brown, The Mail on Sunday

 

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical [new or revival]: Groundhog Day

Old Vic, London

award presented to Kate Varah and Andre Ptaszynski by Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

 

Best Actor: Stephen Dillane in Faith Healer

Donmar Warehouse, London

award presented to Stephen Dillane by John Nathan, The Jewish Chronicle

 

Best Actress: Billie Piper in Yerma

Young Vic, London

award presented to Billie Piper by Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

 

The Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance: Glenda Jackson in King Lear

Old Vic, London

award presented to Glenda Jackson by Susannah Clapp, The Observer

 

Best Director: John Tiffany for Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Palace Theatre, London

award presented to John Tiffany by Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times

 

Best Designer: Christine Jones for Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Palace Theatre, London

award presented to John Tiffany by Michael Billington, The Guardian

 

Most Promising Playwright: Charlene James for Cuttin’ It

Young Vic, Royal Court & The Yard Theatres, London, Birmingham Rep & Sheffield Crucible

award presented to Charlene James by Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

 

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer [other than a playwright]: Anthony Boyle in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Palace Theatre, London

award presented to Anthony Boyle by Dominic Maxwell, The Times

 

Since the Awards’ inception in 1989 the theatre critics, consisting entirely of respected and influential working journalists, have prided themselves on offering something unique on the packed theatre awards circuit: each member of the Drama Section independently casts their vote based on personal choice, free of any discussion or industry influence, ensuring a highly democratic voting process.

 

Further casting announcement for Woyzeck at The Old Vic

The multi-award winning Jack Thorne breathes new life into Woyzeck, one of the most extraordinary plays ever written.

It’s 1980s Berlin. The Cold War rages and the world sits at a crossroads between Capitalism and Communism. On the border between East and West, a young soldier and the love of his life are desperately trying to build a better future for their child.

But the cost of escaping poverty is high, and its tragic consequences unfold in this searing tale of the people society leaves behind.

John Boyega as Woyzeck

John Boyega as Woyzeck

John Boyega plays Woyzeck. John trained as an actor at the Identity School of Acting. The recipient of the 2016 BAFTA Rising Star Award and the Chopard Trophy at Cannes, John was most recently seen in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). He is currently filming Pacific Rim: Uprising which he is also producing through his production company, Upper Room Productions. He will next be seen in The Circle (April 2017) followed by a principle role in Kathryn Bigelow’s Untitled Project set against the backdrop of the 1967 Detroit Riots (August 2017). In December 2017, he will reprise his role of Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last
Jedi and will also star in the Netflix original feature, Imperial Dreams. Theatre credits include Six Parties (National Theatre), Category B (Tricycle Theatre), Seize The Day (Tricycle Theatre) and Detaining Justice (Tricycle Theatre). Film and feature-length dramas include Half of a Yellow Sun (2013), The Whale (2013), My Murder (2012), Attack the Block (2011, SXSW Audience Award) and Da Brick (2011). Television credits include Becoming Human and 24: Live Another Day.

Ben Batt plays Andrews. Recent theatre credits include the acclaimed A Streetcar Named Desire (Royal Exchange Theatre). Other credits As You Like It (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Funfair (HOME), Making Noise Quietly (Donmar Warehouse). Ben’s recent television credits include Prey, Barbarians Rising, From Darkness, The Go-Between, The Village (Series 2), From There to Here, Scott & Bailey, Prisoners Wives, Death in Paradise, and he will soon be seen in the BBC’s In The Dark. Film credits include The Windmill, Slapper and Me, Despite The Falling Snow, Coach, Electricity, and A Running Jump.

Nancy Carroll plays Maggie. Her theatre credits include The Moderate Soprano (Hampstead Theatre), Closer, The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse), The Magistrate, After the dance, for which she won an Olivier Award for Best Actress and Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress at the Evening Standard Awards, Man of Mode, The Enchantment, The Voysey Inheritance, The False Servant, The Talking Cure (National Theatre), Arcadia (Duke of York’s), Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (RSC), House of Games, Waste, King Lear (Almeida), Mammals (Bush Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sheffield Crucible), The Lady’s Not For Burning (Chichester Festival Theatre). Nancy’s television credits include Will, Father Brown (Series 1- 5), Tennison, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Call The Midwife, Silent Witness, Lewis, Midsummer Murders and Cambridge Spies. Film credits include An Ideal Husband, Iris and The Gathering Storm.

Sarah Greene plays Marie. Tony and Olivier Award nominated actress, and winner of the IFTA and Irish Film Board ‘Rising Star Award’, Sarah Greene is arguably best known for her recurring role as ‘Hecate Poole’ in the Showtime/Sky Atlantic series Penny Dreadful, created by John Logan. For her role she was awarded the IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama this year. Sarah will next be seen as one of the leads in the Big Light Productions/CBS drama series Ransom, created by Frank Spotnitz and David Vainola. The series is currently on in the US and will soon be available in the UK – TX TBC. Earlier in 2016 Sarah was seen in the role of ‘May’ in the SundanceTV Easter Rising drama Rebellion, for which was she also nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role for this year’s IFTA Awards. Sarah has also had an exceptional stage career, her most notable stage performance was in Michael Grandage’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, a play by Martin McDonagh and co-starring Daniel Radcliffe. As the mean-spirited ‘Slippy Helen’, Sarah performed in both the West End and Broadway, was nominated for a Tony and Olivier Award in 2014, and won the 2014 World Theater Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.

Steffan Rhodri plays Captain. His recent theatre credits include This House (Garrick Theatre), The Hairy Ape (Old Vic Theatre), The Mentalists (Wyndham’s), Posh (Duke of York’s), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter), Abigail’s Party (Hampstead Theatre), The Kitchen Sink (Bush), Clybourne Park (Royal Court Theatre), and It’s A Mad World My Masters and Candide (RSC). On television he is best known for playing Dave Coaches in Gavin and Stacey, his other extensive television credits include Henry IV The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, part 2, Under Milk Wood, Stella, Crawford and Wire in the Blood. His film credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Submarine.

Jack Thorne – Recent work includes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (SFP Productions/ Harry Potter West End Theatrical), The Solid Life Of Sugar Water (Graeae Theatre Company, Edinburgh Festival & UK Tour), Hope (Royal Court Theatre), Let The Right One In (Dundee Rep / Royal Court Theatre, NTS / Marla Rubin Ltd.), The Borough (Punchdrunk / Aldeburgh Festival), Stuart: A Life Backwards (adapt. Hightide / Sheffield Theatre – Edinburgh Festival & UK tour), Mydidae (Drywrite – Soho Theatre / Trafalgar Studios), The Physicists (adapt. Donmar Warehouse), Bunny (nabokov – UK tour / NYC), Red Car Blue Car, Two Cigarettes, When You Cure Me (Bush Theatre), Greenland (National Theatre), 2nd May 1997 (Bush / nabokov), Burying Your Brother in the Pavement (NT Connections), Stacy (Tron /Arcola / Trafalgar Studios) and Fanny and Faggot (Pleasance Edinburgh / Finborough / Trafalgar Studios). Television work includes National Treasure, The Last Panthers, Don’t Take My Baby (Best Single – Bafta
2016), Glue, The Fades (Best Drama Series – BAFTA 2012), This Is England ’90 (Best Serial – Bafta 2016), This Is England ‘88 (Best Mini-Series – BAFTA 2012) and This is England ‘86, Cast-Offs and episodes
of Skins and Shameless. Films include Warbook, A Long Way Down and The Scouting Book for Boys, which premiered at the 2010 London Film Festival and won the Best British Newcomer Award.

Joe Murphy is a freelance director with experience working in London, on the West End, Broadway and internationally. He was Artistic Director of nabokov theatre company from 2010 to 2015, during which time the company presented the work of 88 playwrights and 496 artists across three continents. He took up his role as The Old Vic’s Season Two Baylis Director in September 2016.

Theatre credits as a director include What I Learned from Johnny Bevan (Soho Theatre and UK tour), Incognito (Bush Theatre), Blink and Bunny (Soho Theatre, UK tour and off-Broadway), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK tour), The Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe and international tour). His Associate Director credits include Wolf Hall (RSC, West End and Broadway), This House (National Theatre), Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe and UK tour) and Ghost Stories (West End and Moscow).

WHO SHOT WAYNE SLEEP? A cacophony of song, ukuleles, spoon-playing and gin at The Vaults

Who Shot Wayne Sleep?

Who Shot Wayne Sleep?

Enter the jaded and threadbare world of Binkie and Maud when ‘The Martini Encounter’ launch themselves into The Vaults Festival, London from 22 – 26 February.

Never refined but always eccentric, this naughty and flamboyant duo celebrate their former ‘careers’ in what could very loosely be described as ‘showbiz’

Basking in their glorious if deluded cocktail of mischievous repartee and banging toons, they take us from Basingstoke to Basildon and Crawley to Crewe by way of Talking Heads and Queen via Scissor Sisters and the occasional Bonnie Tyler.

 Accompanied by their ukuleles, they are joined by failed stage magician, Colin, tinkling the ivories. Binkie, Maud and Colin have each spent time at Her Majesty’s (pleasure).  They met at the rehabilitation unit where they were taught to play the ukulele in preparation for release back into society.  

 Now, they have dusted off their dubious theatrical credentials and have recently appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, Glastonbury and Latitude Festivals, Leicester Square Theatre, Pleasance and Bloomsbury Theatres and on UK tour.

Who Shot Wayne Sleep? contains adult language and runs 60 mins with no interval.

Cast – Rebecca Clow, Dan Norris and Mark Slaughter 

Directed by Charlotte Barker

The Jazz Bar, THE VAULTS, Leake Street, Waterloo, London, SE1 7NN

22 – 26 February at 6pm

Press night 22 February at 6pm

Tickets: £12

Box Office: [email protected]

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National Theatre announces extra matinees for Curious Incident in the West End

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time National Theatre London Gielgud Theatre

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time National Theatre London, Gielgud Theatre, Cast 2016/2017

The National Theatre today (31 January 2017) announced two extra matinees for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Tuesday 14 February and Tuesday 30 May 2017.  Curious Incident has its final West End performance at the Gielgud Theatre on Saturday 3 June 2017.

The Olivier and Tony Award®-winning play was adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott.  It is the recipient of a record-breaking seven Olivier Awards, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design – more Oliviers than any other single play in the history of the West End.

The show tells the story of 15 year old Christopher Boone, who has an extraordinary brain; and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He sets out to solve a mystery of who killed his neighbour’s dog, but his detective work takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Paule Constable, video design by Finn Ross, movement by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.

The West End cast comprises of:  Joseph Ayre as Christopher Boone with Jo Castleton as his teacher Siobhan, Nicolas Tennant  as Ed, Sarah Stanley as Judy, Jacqueline Clarke as Mrs Alexander, Amanda Posener as Mrs Shears, Ross Waiton as Roger Shears, Matthew Trevannion as Mr Thompson, Danielle Kassaraté/Gemma Knight Jones as No.40/Punk Girl, David Nellist as Reverend Peters, and nineteen year old Thomas Dennis is the alternate Christopher (the youngest actor ever to play Christopher). They are joined by Penelope McGhie, Charleen QwayePhilip Stewart and Matt Wilman.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is also on a major tour of the UK and Ireland.  It is currently at The Lowry in Salford (until 4 February) and continues to  Aylesbury, Edinburgh, Leeds, Canterbury, Bath, Southampton, Nottingham, Belfast, Dublin, Cardiff, Sheffield, Oxford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bristol, Plymouth, Birmingham, Llandudno, Southend, Liverpool, Bradford, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Norwich, finishing at  Milton Keynes Theatre on 16 September 2017.  

John James Bristol Foundation receives prestigious Gold Ticket from Bristol Old Vic

(L-R) Councillor Estella Tincknell (Labour) Lockleaze, Deputy Mayor, Cabinet Member for Arts and Culture, Strategy, Democracy and the International, Joan Johnson Chairman, John James Bristol Foundation and Julia Norton Chief Executive, John James Bristol Foundation

The John James Bristol Foundation has been presented with a rare Gold Ticket by Bristol Old Vic in recognition of its support of the recent and current redevelopment of the much loved Theatre.

The Gold Ticket was minted last year as part of the Silver Ticket Fundraising initiative. This saw 50 silver tickets created in recognition of the 50 citizens who funded the building of Bristol Old Vic’s Georgian Theatre in 1766. They were each given a silver ticket in exchange for their contribution of £50. These silver tickets entitled them to a ‘sight’ of any show in the theatre forever – as do the newly minted ‘silver tickets’, which cost £50,000 each.

A number of the original silver tickets were referred to as ‘gold’ tickets as ownership was transferable to others. To commemorate this, Bristol Old Vic made the decision to mint real gold tickets, with the same rights.

The Gold Ticket was presented to Joan Johnson (Chairman, John James Bristol Foundation) and Julia Norton (Chief Executive, John James Bristol Foundation) by Councillor Estella Tincknell, Deputy Mayor of Bristol and Bristol Old Vic Board Member, in recognition of their ongoing support of the Theatre.

Speaking at the presentation, Joan Johnson said: “The John James Bristol Foundation is delighted to receive a Gold Ticket in recognition of its support of the recent and current re-development of the much loved and treasured Bristol Old Vic Theatre.

Emma Stenning, CEO of Bristol Old Vic expressed her pride in the close relationship between the Theatre and the Foundation to ensure a brilliant legacy for John James: “We are particularly pleased to be able to use the gift from the John James Bristol Foundation to help transform our front of house to create a bright welcoming space, which will be completely accessible and able to support our engagement activity for young people and the community at large. Bristol Old Vic works with young people from across every ward in the city, encouraging them to use the Theatre as a vital resource for their own creative development is crucial to us.

Since the launch of the Silver Tickets in 2016, 48 of the 50 silver tickets have been purchased in support of the Theatre’s redevelopment.

The holders of the new silver and gold tickets range from theatrical greats such as actor Sir Daniel Day Lewis and co-creator of Les Miserables, John Caird, to creatives including Aardman co-founders David Sproxton and Peter Lord. Business leaders and philanthropists who have bought silver or gold tickets include Andrew & Anne Nisbet of Bristol catering supplies firm Nisbets, the Society of Merchant Venturers and Lady Sylvia Macara, the wife of the late Sir Alexander Macara, the Bristol-based former chairman of the British Medical Association.

If you would like more information about how you can support Bristol Old Vic, please contact the Development Team on: 0117 317 8654

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Winner of Curtain Call lucky draw Michael Simkins: “The book captures better than any previous book – the rackety, temporary and yet deeply tribal world of theatre life behind the curtain.”

Michael Simkins

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in our “Sign up to win a copy of CURTAIN CALL: A YEAR BACKSTAGE IN LONDON THEATRE” lucky draw. The winner of our competition is Mr Michael Simkins . He is a theatre actor and  based out of London.

Keeping in with our tradition (of interviewing the winners of contests/lucky draw on our website), here’s our Q&A with Mr Michael Simkins

Michael Simkins

Michael Simkins

Carl’s website
I like its eclectic nature. The photos are of course sublime, the interviews are often unexpected, both in their subject matter and scope, and you can often pick up some hot leads on forthcoming productions – always useful in this brutal business where a  few hours can make all the difference to getting seen or not.  I liked the piece on preparing for pantomime in Bournemouth last Christmas.

 Curtain Call: A Year Backstage In London Theatre is exquisite and exceptional
The book captures better than any previous book  – the rackety,  temporary and yet deeply tribal world of theatre life behind the curtain. There’s nothing stagey or luvvie-esque about the images, instead they reflect perfectly the odd life of the actor when they’re not onstage – indeed, often the individuals in the photos look pre-occupied, bored or just staring into space – as of course is the case, theatre life being a microcosm of life outside. But the photos also capture perfectly the glamour, the excitement, the wonderful camraderie – and the sheer love – of doing the job, for those lucky enough to have the chance to do so. In other words its a 360 degree portrait of the life of the average – and not so average actor.

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR COPY OF Curtain Call: A Year Backstage in London Theatre (Great offer on right now) 

What I feel strongly about when it comes to British Theatre industry…
As if life wasn’t tough enough already, the theatre industry is changing before our eyes. It’s younger, more challenging, quirky, and with far less clearly defined career path.  New ways of acting, of writing, of designing, casting and directing. Thus I often hear actors of my vintage – 50 plus , let’s say, complaining about how it’s all going to the dogs – but in fact it’s exactly how the theatre industry should be. Theatre must constantly evolve if it’s to survive, and the trick for actors of all generations is to adapt, to roll with the changes, and to celebrate the unpredictability and evolving trends. Note to self really – stop droning on about the good old days and realise that we’re still living in them – we just cant always see it that way…

Though, having said that –  there’s one hobby horse of mine that I detest and hate, one which is much more prevalent nowadays. I speak of directors / casting directors / producers etc  NOT bothering to put you out of your misery when you haven’t been chosen. Has  this trend been imported, like so much else, from hollywood and Broadway? This lack of consideration happens so much now, and it only adds unnecessarily to the brutality of the business. There’s no excuse for it – 7 digits on a  phone pad and a one word ‘I’m sorry, your client didn’t get it’ to your agent, and with this simple act of kindness  you set us FREE from worrying about whether we’re still ‘in the mix’ or not. !! Yet nowadays it so often happens that actors, having put so much effort into learning words, attending multiple recalls etc etc, are dispensed with without even this 30 second courtesy. It’s the one aspect of the business that has undoubtedly degenerated in recent years. And it does nobody any credit.

Whats weighing on my mind right now
Like many, I am profoundly unsettled by Brexit, which I think might be completely calamitous for the UK – indeed, possible its death-knell. And I worry deeply about a man so apparently lacking in human kindness as Donald Trump being in the White House. But we have to all remember that climate change and environmental degradation is a far more terrifying prospect than anything offered up by current political realignments , and its already on the horizon. As I write this even London, where I live,  is suffering a smog alert , and if the climate indeed alters as experts predict, it will make our current concerns – Brexit, Syria, international trade deals – look like a kids tea party.  Someone, somewhere , has to push this to the job of the agenda, and make all countries realise that if the worst occurs, we’re all done for – east, west, rich , poor, capitalist or socialist.

Cheers!

Bristol Open Stage returns to Bristol Old Vic as part of the legacy of the 250th anniversary celebrations

Bristol Old Vic Open Stage

Bristol Old Vic Open Stage

The highlight of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary celebrations last year was Bristol Open Stage, which saw the theatre issue an invitation to the people of the city to take over the historic stage, culminating in a wildly joyous performance during the Birthday Weekend in May.

It was a phenomenal success, with over 350 Bristolians aged 6-91 treading the boards and capturing the spirit of the city. 2016 saw performances from poets, dancers and musicians, to playwrights and masters of martial arts, and audiences were captivated by the artists who proved that Bristol is a place where people dare to do things differently. It is in such spirit that Bristol Old Vic has been determined to continue as part of the 250th anniversary legacy.

Bristol Old Vic announce that Bristol Open Stage will return to the theatre in 2017. Taking place on the theatre’s 251st birthday (Mon 29 May), the people of Bristol will be welcomed to the stage once again to share their stories over the course of one very special day.

Entry is free for everyone who wants to come along to support the acts taking part, family and friends are invited to join the general audience and celebrate the fantastic creativity of our city.

For those who would like to take part, application forms must be submitted by Monday 24 April. Applications can be submitted here: Bristol Open Stage 2017 Application Form

MORE INFORMATION ON APPLYING TO PERFORM

Last year, we celebrated our 250th birthday by throwing open our stage to everyone in our extraordinary community for the very first Bristol Open Stage. Over two showcases and one extraordinary festival on our birthday weekend in May, we saw over 350 Bristolian acts share their own creative work in a celebration of Bristol’s creative heart.

This year, Bristol Open Stage returns for our 251st birthday on Monday 29 May and we would like to invite everyone in Bristol to get involved. You might be a solo performer, an amateur theatre group, a songwriter, a community choir, a teacher, a stand-up comedian, a poet, a dancer, a lawyer, a street artist, a baker or a musician – we want to hear what you think makes Bristol special, be entertained by your inspiring stories and showcase your creativity.

How do I apply? 
To get involved, all you need to do is get your idea together, and submit the Bristol Open Stage application form, available here: Bristol Open Stage 2017 Application Form, by Monday 24 April and tell us what you’d like to bring to our stage (maximum length 10 minutes).

We will give priority to those who want to present for the first time; but we’d also love to hear from Bristol Open Stage alumni who have appeared before but would like to present something new.

What happens next? 
After the application deadline of Monday 24 April, we will confirm the time slot of your Bristol Open Stage sharing, and will be in touch to support the focusing of your idea. On the day itself – Monday 29 May – we encourage you to bring family, friends and supporters to enjoy your performance and those of others taking part. Tickets are free!

If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

Please submit your application here: Bristol Open Stage 2017 Application Form

LISTINGS

Monday 29 May 2017
Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Times:
 TBC, please see website for details
Tickets: Free

Les Enfants Terribles and Greenwich Theatre announce the shortlist for the LET AWARD

The Inevitable Heartbreak of Gavin Plimsole by SharkLegs Theatre Company

The Inevitable Heartbreak of Gavin Plimsole by SharkLegs Theatre Company © SharkLegsCo

Today, Les Enfants Terribles in collaboration with Greenwich Theatre have announced the ten nominees for the sixth LET Award. The award is designed to help two new companies produce an original piece of work each at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.

All ten entries will take part in a showcase at Greenwich Theatre on 6 February 2017. Two will be selected that evening to win a performance slot at the Pleasance as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a cash injection of £1000 and industry mentoring from Les Enfants Terribles and their partners Greenwich Theatre. Ticketing information to attend the showcase can be found at www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk.

Oliver Lansley (Artistic Director) and James Seager (Producer) of Les Enfants Terribles said: “We are thrilled to present the ten nominees for our sixth LET Award. Supporting emerging companies and encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst a new generation of theatremakers and storytellers has been one of the great joys throughout our fifteen years of Les Enfants Terribles. It’s exciting to see the people who we have supported through this award, such as David Byrne who is now Artistic Director at the New Diorama, go on to produce such brilliant work. Our 2017 cohort of nominees are all producing incredibly innovative and daring new work and we are looking forward to the showcase when we get to see them all in action.”

 The previous winners of the LET Award over the past six years were SharkLegs Theatre for The Inevitable Heartbreak of Gavin Plimsole (2016), Fine Mess Theatre for Divas (2015), The Human Zoo Theatre Company for The Hive (2014), PIT Theatre and the New Diorama for Kubrick3 (2013) and Magpie Puppet Company for The Kites Are Flying (2012).

The nominated ten productions for The LET Award 2017 are:

 A Heart at Sea by Peter Morton and Avi Simmons

A Heart at Sea is the collaboration between indie-folk artist Avi Simmons and visual artist/puppeteer Peter Morton. Grown through a love for storytelling, music, and puppets the performance is an intimate piece of gig-theatre. Peter Morton and Avi Simmons wanted to create an accessible performance that is perfect for any small performance spaces as well as unconventional spaces. A Heart at Sea weaves haunting live music and stunning visuals to tell the story about a Boy who throws himself into the sea in a heart-warming tale of danger and discovery.

Form by Rendered Retina Theatre Company

Rendered Retina Theatre Company are passionate about creating striking, energetic and visual performances that let loose their audience’s imaginations. Formed from an intense curiosity of the human experience, they are constantly looking for inspiration for their next performance, drawing from themselves, their daydreams and everyday life. Having worked closely together for five years, their work is extremely collaborative and the trust which they have built up over this time allows them to constantly push their limits as performers and creators.

Women at War by Rebecca Johannsen

With a Ph.D. in theatre, specializing in both feminist criticism and trauma theory, Dr. Rebecca Johannsen was the founding artistic director of Stone Soup Theatre, a critically-acclaimed California company. She left the company in 2011 to teach theatre at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and produce and direct in NYC. While there, she produced Erik Ehn’s Soulographie: Our Genocides at La MaMa and developed plays with new playwrights. Her drive has always been to produce work that engages society with difficult questions and to promote more women on and off stage.

Tom and Bunny Save the World by Fat Rascal Theatre

Fat Rascal Theatre are a young company fresh from East 15‘s BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre Course. They use music and quintessentially British humour to tell relatable stories. They are bold and cheeky, exploring taboo subjects with a cup of Yorkshire Tea in hand and discuss socio-political issues through an accessible and appealing format to engage a wider audience. Fat Rascal Theatre want to appeal to people who would usually shy away from topical theatre by presenting it in a medium which is familiar to them. They believe that theatre should always aim to inspire, educate or liberate and should be available to everybody.

Hexagon by FLYWHEEL

FLYWHEEL is an East 15 CT graduate company obsessed with telling new stories through original and challenging means. They are a company of actors who enjoy working through action to discover surprising composition in gesture, music, text and social declaration. Courageous dreaming, playfulness and innovative art are important to them. FLYWHEEL work collaboratively to make adventurous new work with popular appeal which offers gripping stories which responds to the world in instinctive, intellectual and thought-provoking ways. Their production Hexagon is a new play using an original score and playful physical storytelling.

Astronauts of Hartlepool by Shuttle Buttle

Shuttle Buttle have been creating theatre since 2012, focussing on strong visual elements using light and sound to explore contemporary social issues through intimate, challenging storytelling, which will be key elements of Astronauts of Hartlepool. Astronauts of Hartlepool follows Shuttle Buttle’s Off West End Award-winning (Most Promising New Playwright) play The Dogs of War which used invisible dogs and Egyptian mythology to explore mental illness in rural environments.

Witt ‘n Camp by Witt ‘n Camp

Charlie and Holly are the double act Witt ’n Camp. Their alter egos are two wild ladies – oversexed, pretentiously immoral and they can’t help but put on a show. Meanwhile two opera stars reach dizzying heights of fame after creating a new genre “HipOpera” – but these lifelong rivals will go to any lengths to steal the limelight. Then there’s Bridget and Braun, two battery chickens who dream of escaping their shitty boyfriend, Steve. The show guarantees an hour of laughter and tears. Witt ’n Camp’s recent performances include The Giants Gala (hosted by David Schwimmer) and Wifi4Refugees Fundraiser (alongside James McAvoy).

The Conductor by Mid-Atlantic Productions

Mid-Atlantic Productions are a group of graduating students based at Goldsmiths University. The focus of The Conductor is robotics in which a robotic puppet will take centre stage as the train station conductor. Mid-Atlantic Productions’ passion is in developing technologies for new theatre that can be used effectively and affordably. The company want to explore and tell stories with the technological advancements made in recent years.

Goody by BoonDog Theatre / Lucy Roslyn

BoonDog Theatre is a collaborative team looking to make intimate, dynamic work. The play Goody, is one of a series of interweaving plays all set in the same darkly comic BoonDog Circus. As a playwright Lucy Roslyn hopes to create something striking which draws audiences in and asks you questions. Their debut play The State Vs John Hayes told the story of a murderer and her alter ego. The production won the Argus Angel Award going on to tour the UK and New York.

Ingo’s War by Ditto Theatre Company

DITTO are a UK-based physical theatre company with a passion for playing, moving, devising and creating visually exciting and bold new work. As, graduates of East 15 Acting School, BA Physical Theatre 2016, they come from a physical theatre background. Their training is varied, with a strong emphasis on devising their own material in all of these disciplines: puppetry, story-telling, expressive mask, physical comedy, movement and so much more. Having worked closely now for almost four years, they know each other personally and socially, thus are able to work together well and are committed to each other as a group and ensemble.

LISTINGS

The LET Award

Monday 6 February, 7.30pm

Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, SE10 8ES