First season from new artistic director Scott Ellis at Theatre N16 focuses on new writing

Scott Ellis
Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis

In his first season as artistic director of Theatre N16, Scott Ellis presents a slew of new writing.

Olympilads by Andrew Maddock, produced by Lonesome Schoolboy and directed by Niall Phillips, reunites the team that presented He(art) at Theatre N16 earlier this year. Theatre N16 executive director (and former artistic director) Jamie Eastlake will present his new show Deadline Day by John Hickman and Steve Robertson: a bitter sweet tale about football, greed and the North-South divide.

Ten emerging artists debut a selection of original and varied works exploring feminism today in Maiden Speech: A festival of fresh feminist voices. Theatre N16 will also produce a new play by Sarah Milton, directed by Scott Ellis.

End of the Line Theatre, one of Hull Truck’s supported companies, will present Poverty Porn by Catriona Kerridge, followed by a series of military-themed plays (including IED by Martin Mcnamara and Last Man Standing by Judith Cole). Last Man Standing will be run as part of Theatre N16’s First Credits scheme, which will give 7 new graduate actors their first professional experience in the industry.

After the success of The Snow Queen, Theatre N16 will also produce a new telling of Peter Pan, adapted by Frankie Meredith, to play during October half term.

The season will also see the return of N16 Presents: 4 emerging writers will receive 2 months of support culminating in a showcase of 4 brand new short plays.

Scott Ellis says: “My first season puts writers and fine writing at the forefront of every production. I am excited to include 2 brand new commissions, which I will direct myself; returning writers, from the most successful of recent N16 productions and exploring fresh new voices at the cutting edge of the London Fringe scene.”

Theatre N16 is a trailblazing London fringe venue, focused on producing and programming top quality new writing and selected existing works. Theatre N16 is proud of their commitment to the welfare and development of creatives, operating under an Equity Fringe Agreement. This promoting and nurturing of talent means that Theatre N16 is a bastion for development within the context of a society in which the arts are increasingly struggling to stay afloat.


Liverpool Everyman, Director Nick Bagnall: “I had a woman sharply point at me and decry: ‘There’s no room for rock and roll in Shakespeare’”

Nick Bagnall

Nick Bagnall

We are all familiar with Romeo and Juliet. The Everyman Company and actors from Liverpool’s Young Everyman Playhouse are uniting to celebrate Shakespeare’s brutal tale of love and family. Director, Nick Bagnall has come out of rehearsals and is in a buoyant mood. “Rehearsals are going fantastically well. I’ve done a big edit of the play and made bold decisions with the casting,” he says. “Time is short, so I’m filling the production with ensemble and song.”

George Caple and Elliot Kingsley play the star-crossed lovers, in a conceptual reimagining involving a gender switch of Romeo and Julius. There has been a lot of gender-blind casting in Shakespeare over the past year or so – Tamsin Greig played Malvolia at the National, The all-female trilogy at the Donmar; Glenda Jackson’s King Lear  at the Old Vic and many more. This contemporary view of the play will be applied to Bagnall’s fast paced production where bloodshed on the streets and arranged marriage are common place.

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

Is Bagnall prepared for backlash from traditionalists? “I’m never surprised by the purists. They always say something that is slightly rigid. Ultimately, when I’m making work I like to be anarchic and playful,” he says defiantly. “The young people who are in the company – of which there are over forty – are incredible and they are blown away by the gender swap. It’s rather beautiful and its given it a vitality that I really hoped it would. I relocated Shakespeare to the swinging 60’s in my recent production of Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Globe,” he laughs. “I had a woman sharply point at me and decry: ‘There’s no room for rock and roll in Shakespeare’ – I’m totally prepared for backlash!”

What is fantastic about this production is that it is made with and for young people. The Liverpool Everyman’s children, and young people are at the heart of the show’s process. “Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) are the best youth theatre in the land”, he says. “They are an incredible bunch of young people. I have to say that, for them, just being in a room with professional actors, it’s very clear how much they are learning; they bring a unique energy to proceedings. My biggest aim with this is about demystifying Shakespeare for young people and to create something that they can relate to when it comes to living in Liverpool in 2017.”

We’ve all seen the story of Juliet and Romeo test the patience of audiences more than perhaps any other Shakespeare play. So why is Bagnall’s any different, why should we come along? “Because its open-hearted, sexy and vital storytelling,” he says. “I have a fantastic cast and an electric bunch of young people. It’s rock and roll… Oh and there’s even a bit of Indian dub-step.”

Romeo and Juliet runs Saturday 27 May to Wednesday 7 June at Liverpool Everyman

Rehearsal images Gallery below. Photographs by Brian Roberts

Rachel Tucker, the musical theatre star on first ever solo UK Tour

Rachel Tucker
Rachel Tucker

Rachel Tucker

Following a triumphant nine month run on Broadway as lead role ‘Elphaba’ in the smash hit musical Wicked, stage star Rachel Tucker embarks on an eleven date solo tour throughout the UK.

Audiences can expect up close and personal performances of musical theatre favourites, along with some classic jazz, soul and a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The show will feature special guests and musical theatre luminaries Samantha Barks, Oliver Tompsett and Louise Dearman at various dates along the way.

Having played Elphaba for longer than any other actress in the production’s history, Rachel has just finished reprising the role in London’s West End as part of Wicked’s special 10th anniversary cast.

Stepping out of her character for these ‘one of a kind’ productions, the solo tour will be a chance to witness the widely-celebrated entertainer stage an intimate and unique show, with music never before performed by Rachel, alongside some of the favourites that she is known for.

Rachel Tucker rose to fame as a finalist on the BBC One show ‘I’d Do Anything’, winning heaps of praise from both Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber, subsequently performing at Lloyd Webber’s ‘Birthday In The Park’ show in London’s Hyde Park and later taking on a range of roles in some of the West End’s best shows, before making her Broadway debut in ‘The Last Ship’, a new musical written by the rock icon Sting.

Her brand new solo spectacular will be directed by her husband Guy Retallack, renowned for his work on an eclectic range of productions including new plays, devised work, musicals, opera and classical concerts, as well as his achievements as a sought after acting coach. Musical director Kris Rawlinson, responsible for notable work across a wide range of theatre productions, will also lead proceedings with his vibrant and talented ensemble. The tour is brought to you by Fane Productions in partnership with Parallel Productions.

Tour Dates:

 13th & 14th May      MAC                           Belfast
Concert On 13th Sold Out

19th May              Gate Theatre                 Cardiff

20th May               Music Room                  Maidstone

29th May              Gala Theatre                 Durham

30th May              Grand Theatre              Lancaster

31st May              The Apex                      Bury St Edmund’s

Special Guest:        Louise Dearman
3rd June               Capitol Theatre             Horsham

Special Guest:         Oliver Tompsett

5th, 6th, 7th June  Live At Zedel                 London

Special Guests:        Samantha Barks, 5th June / Oliver Tompsett, 7th June

9th & 10th June    Pizza Express Live          Birmingham

Last chance to see Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo in Ian Rickson’s five star hit production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia

Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia © Uli Weber

Audiences have just over three weeks left to see this provocative and controversial box office hit production led by Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo, directed by Ian Rickson. The final performance of the strictly limited 12 week run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket will be held on 24 June.

Martin (Damian Lewis), a husband and successful New York architect with everything to lose, must confess to his wife Stevie (Sophie Okonedo) and son that he is having an affair and face the dizzying, explosive consequences. They are joined by Jason Hughes as Martin’s oldest friend Ross and newcomer Archie Madekweas their son Billy.

This deeply thought-provoking and rarely performed TONY® award winning masterpiece opened to public and critical acclaim at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 24 March.

The Olivier and Tony Award®-winning creative team includes Rae Smith (set and costume design), Neil Austin(lighting design) and Greg Clarke (sound design), with original music by PJ Harvey.


Edward Albee’s
The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Directed by Ian Rickson

Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4HT
Box Office: 020 7930 8800

Twitter: @TheGoatPlay
Facebook: TheGoatPlay
Instagram: @TheGoatPlay


Final performance: 24 June 2017
MondaySaturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 3pm

There will be no performances from 29 May – 4 June 2017

Tickets from £15

Ivan Juritz Prize shortlist announced

Ivan Juritz Prize
Ivan Juritz Prize

Ivan Juritz Prize

The Ivan Juritz Prize has announced the shortlist for 2017

Yarli Allison (Art MFA student, Slade School of Fine Art) ‘Momo the Talking Hair’

A film lamenting the insecure destiny of hair follicles, narrated by a hair called Momo

Manos Charalabopoulos (Music PhD student, King’s College London), ‘Canto’

A musical composition for violin, horn and piano, exploring song and conflict

Sarah Hymas (Creative Writing PhD student, University of Liverpool), ‘Recovery’

A prose poem investigating the world of a beach and its ecological shortcomings through what can and can’t be seen

Ali Lewis (Creative Writing MA student, Goldsmiths), ‘Familiar Objects’

Poems defamiliarising ordinary objects such as Book, Popcorn, Phone, Biscuit, Shower, Sponge, Bathtub 

Grzegorz Stefański (Art MFA student, Slade School of Fine Art), ‘restraint’

A three-channel video installation showing two men in Nazis uniforms revealing to the camera how to incapacitate civilians with bare hands

The winner will be announced on 20 June and will receive £1000 and two weeks artist’s residency and a showcase at Cove Park, Scotland’s International Artist Residency Centre.

This year’s prize was judged by Lisa Appignanesi, Dexter Dalwood, Julian Forrester, Jeremy Harding, Deborah Levy and Ryan Wigglesworth.

Lisa Appignanesi writes: ‘The Ivan Juritz Prize received a record number of entries this year. These impressed with their daring and often their skill, whether textual, visual or musical. Here was a group of talented young artists wanting to experiment and challenge the imagination – just the people the prize was set up to support.’

The Ivan Juritz Prize was established in 2014 to celebrate the creative explosion of the modernist era and reward art that seeks to ‘make it new’. Postgraduate students throughout Europe either from traditional academic disciplines or from creative courses are invited to submit texts, films, musical compositions, virtual documentation of artwork, excerpts of moving image work and proposals for installation and performance. Entrants are encouraged to play with form to make us think, feel and question. As of 2017, the prize is a collaboration between the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture at King’s College London and Cove Park, Scotland’s International Artist Residency Centre.

Cove Park is an arts residency centre on the west coast of Scotland that offers artists at all career stages from UK and abroad, time and space to grow creatively, develop new work, and form new professional connections. Founded in 2000 by Peter and Eileen Jacobs, Cove Park has offered funded and self-funded residencies from one week to three months to some 1,600 artists, including Turner Prize winners Simon Starling and Elizabeth Price, Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood and organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Opera House. Thanks to new Artists Centre, 1.4M capital development opened in September 2016, Cove Park is now able to operate all year round allowing many more opportunities for artist residencies. The Artists Centre has made it possible to develop Community Programme, ‘Hands-On’ which brings Cove Park artists past and present together with people of all ages from across Argyll and Bute for workshops, events and readings.

Extracts or accounts from each entry will be published in the journal Textual Practice and the works will be exhibited or performed at the awards ceremony on 20 June.


Last Chance to See – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 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
© Brinkhoff Mögenburg

The National Theatre’s award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has its final performance at the Gielgud Theatre in London on Saturday 3 June 2017.

By 3 June Curious Incident will have played almost 1,500 performances in London and been seen by over 1 and a half million people, and nearly 3 million people world-wide. The original production opened at the NT’s Cottesloe Theatre in September 2012 and transferred to the Apollo Theatre in March 2013 before transferring to the Gielgud Theatre in July 2014.

To celebrate its five years in London and the final week of performances in the West End, the National Theatre is hosting a special platform bringing together the original creative team, including director Marianne Elliott, author Mark Haddon and playwright Simon Stephens.  A Final Farewell to the West End takes place on Thursday 1 June at 5.15pm, following the matinee performance at the Gielgud Theatre and will be chaired by ITV’s Arts Editor, Nina Nannar.

Adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling book by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott 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 role of Christopher has been played by 18 actors since the show originally opened in London. Luke Treadaway, who originated the role at the National Theatre, received a 2013 Oliver Award for Best Actor.

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:  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, 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 Charleen Qwaye, Danielle Kassaraté, Philip Stewart, Matt Wilman and Penelope McGhie.

London Devised Theatre Intensive -15-27 October 2017

London Devised Theatre Intensive
London Devised Theatre Intensive

London Devised Theatre Intensive

The London Devised Theatre Intensive is a new two-week workshop for theatre makers to share and expand their practice of devising theatre. With masterclasses from guest artists including Bryony Kimmings, Kristine Landon-Smith (L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier; Tamasha Theatre), Tom Mansfield (Upstart Theatre), Nir Paldi (Theatre Ad Infinitum), and Lee Simpson (artistic director of Improbable), peer-to-peer practice exchange sessions, and creating performance, the Intensive aims to inspire theatre makers, raise the profile of devised theatre, and foster international connections.

The Intensive is created by Amy Clare Tasker Performance Lab (artistic director Amy Clare Tasker, executive director Susie Italiano), in partnership with Blue Panther Productions (executive producer Laura Lundy). With a diverse and cross-platform background, the creators want to use their experience of similar events in the US to bring the excitement, energy and enthusiasm of a 2 week intensive course in devising theatre to London.

London Devised Theatre Intensive – An Introduction

They welcome applications from theatre makers in any discipline: directors, writers, performers, choreographers, composers, and designers. Each attending theatre maker will have the opportunity to share their favourite devising techniques, and add new ones to their creative toolbox. Over the course of two weeks, small groups will devise short pieces to be shared in an informal setting at the end of the programme.

The London Devised Theatre Intensive will run using Open Space Technology. A radical alternative to the traditional theatre model, Open Space creates an anti-hierarchical environment for rapid generation of ideas and shared ownership of the work. Amy Clare Tasker Performance Lab uses Open Space as a practical way to match their method to their values: equality, inclusivity, presence, surprise, and possibility.

The Intensive has only 18 places available and discount offers available to promote accessibility – please download an application form from

The London Devised Theatre Intensive

October 15th – 27th 2017

May 15th – June 30th 2017

Amy Clare Tasker Performance Lab Ltd. (Amy Clare Tasker, Susie Italiano) in partnership with Blue Panther Productions (Laura Lundy)

Website (
Twitter (@WeDeviseTheatre)
Facebook (

Email ([email protected])

JAZZ BY THE SEA FESTIVAL 2017: Dive into seven days of discovery as world class jazz music comes to Bournemouth and Poole

Jazz By The Sea Festival 2017
Jazz By The Sea Festival 2017

Jazz By The Sea Festival 2017

With live performances in retail outlets, shopping arcades, hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs and pubs as well as in public areas, with musicians also playing from the Festival’s unique Jazzmobile each day during festival week.

Cliff House Hotel is a unique destination for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and history of the Dorset coastline. The hotel recently became the first UK hotel to join the International chain of Charm & Character Hotels. The landscaped garden, terrace and bright indoor lounge area with a fusion of interior design styles, lend themselves perfectly to enjoying live jazz music. The hotel hosts our launch night on Sunday 11 th  June with an evening of fine food and jazz with a Champagne & canapé reception with music by Rachel More, a sumptuous four course dinner followed by entertainment by Veronique Joly Trio. £45 ticket. There’s something special for jazz fans at the Hotel Miramar’s ‘Gin and Jazz’ afternoon on Sunday 11 th June with Sarah Bolter and her jazz ensemble playing cool jazz from 3pm. Listen to the sounds of Summer and enjoy a glass of something chilled as you watch the sun set across the bay. There is no entrance fee and everyone is made to feel exceptionally welcome. There can be no better way to round off a busy day than just chilling out, listening to live jazz on the lawn!  With a host of live events happening across Poole & Bournemouth during festival week, jazz fans are reminded to keep an eye out on social media and Jazz by theSea’s website listed below for deals and offers all week long.

For full programme details visit

You can also download the Festival Programme HERE => Latest Festival Programme 8.5.17

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical final London performance on 5 August 2017

Carole King surprises West End cast
Carole King surprises West End cast

Carole King surprises West End cast, 6 March 2017, photo Craig Sugden

The West End production of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, based on the early life and career of legendary singer songwriter Carole King, will complete its run at the Aldwych Theatre on 5 August 2017.

The UK tour of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will open in Bradford on 9 September 2017 and continues in Plymouth, Southampton, Norwich, Southend, Nottingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Hull, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Woking, Sunderland, Bristol, Leeds, Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Oxford, with all venues currently on sale.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical received its Broadway premiere in January 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre where it continues to play to packed houses.  The London premiere was in February 2015 and a US tour began later that year.   An Australian production will open in Sydney in September this year.

During its two and a half year run in the West End, the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning show had two visits from Carole King, when on both occasions she surprised the cast and audience at the curtain call.  Both times she was greeted with a standing ovation at the Aldwych Theatre as she took to the stage to sing her classic hit You’ve Got A Friend.  Joining King for London’s opening night were fellow composers Cynthia Weiland Barry Mann, whose story is also told as part of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is the untold story of her journey from school girl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to her remarkable rise to stardom.  Along the way, she became one of the most successful solo acts in music history, and wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical features the Carole King classics including So Far Away, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Take Good Care of my Baby, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Up on the Roof, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You’ve Got a Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Feel the Earth Move, along with hits from songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil like You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, On Broadway and Uptown.

The West End cast comprises Cassidy Janson in the title role, Matthew Seadon-Young as King’s husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, Stephanie McKeon as song-writer Cynthia Weil, Ian McIntosh as song-writer Barry Mann, Joseph Prouse as music publisher and producer Donnie Kirshner and Barbara Drennan as King’s mother Genie Klein.

They are joined by Gavin Alex, Georgie Ashford, Koko Basigara, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Ashford Campbell, Treyc Cohen, Natasha Cottriall, Michael Duke, Matthew Gonsalves, Jammy Kasongo, Leigh Lothian and Earl R. Perkins who play iconic musical performers and band members of the era and swings Derek Aidoo, Rosie Heath, Dominic Hodson, Emma Louise Jones, Jessica Joslin, Vicki Manser, David O’Mahony and Jaime Tait.

Book is by Douglas McGrath with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann andCynthia Weil.  The production is directed by Marc Bruni with choreography is by Josh Prince, set designs byDerek McLane, costume designs by Alejo Vietti, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski and sound by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations and Music Arrangements are by Steve Sidwell.

Producers are Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jeffrey A. Sine, Richard A. Smith, Mike Bosner, Harriet N. Leve/Elaine Krauss, Terry Schnuck, Orin Wolf, Patty Baker/Good Productions, Roger Faxon, Larry Magid, Kit Seidel, Lawrence S. Toppall, Fakston Productions/Mary Solomon, William Court Cohen, BarLor Productions, Matthew C. Blank, Tim Hogue, Joel Hyatt, Marianne Mills, Michael J. Moritz, Jr., StylesFour Productions, Brunish & Trinchero and Jeremiah J. Harris.


Theatre:                           Aldwych Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DF

Dates:                               booking to 5 August 2017

Performances:               Monday 7.30pm, Tuesday 2.30pm, Wednesday7.30pm, Thursday 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Friday 7.30pm, Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Box Office:                         0845 200 7981


Offbeat festival announces music programme in partnership with BBC Introducing Oxford

Offbeat Festival 2017
Offbeat Festival 2017

Offbeat Festival 2017

 Offbeat today announced the festival’s music programme in partnership with BBC Introducing Oxford.  The line-up features Oxford’s best up and coming bands, wordsmiths and singer song-writers performing over four days across two stages, the Gallery Stage and the Festival Stage, at the Old Fire Station.  The Gallery Stage features a free programme of spoken word, acoustic music and singer-songwriters in front of Kazem Haziki’s acclaimed Portraits from A Chip Shop exhibition. The Festival Stage hosts the headline acts featuring jazz, folk, electronica and pop/R’n’B from Wandering Wires, Dolly Mavies, Low Island and Haula.

Offbeat is Oxford’s new fringe festival, now in its second year, which presents an extraordinary and eclectic range of performance across theatre, comedy, spoken word, music and dance.  Acts this year include comedians Mark Thomas and Viv Groskop, theatre productions including Room, a one-on-one experience for a blindfolded audience member, and Wrecked taking place inside a crashed car, as well as a dance programme featuring celebratory Kathak dance (Aunusthan), and new work by world-class choreographers in triple-bill Organic Entity. Over half the shows are UK premières, a quarter created by local Oxfordshire-based artists and all new to Oxford.  Ticket prices for all performances will be £10 or less