Q&A with Mike Shepherd, about The Tin Drum and more

Mike Shepherd

Mike Shepherd

For those who are unfamiliar with the story can you tell us in simple terms what Tin Drum is all about?
Tin Drum is the story of Oskar-the boy who will never grow. Whilst still in the womb he knows “everything”.   He is born into a troubling world and ,in protest, decides to never grow. On his third birthday he is given a tin drum which he uses to wake the world up, to shake it up to save it from itself.
We have honoured Gunther Grass’s epic novel but created a world which is fiercely contemporary whilst echoing the past. Carl Grose’s vivid text and Charles Hazlewood’s mind warping score have created a show which feels vital and important as well as very entertaining

To whom do you think this production will appeal – and what do you hope the audience gets out of it.
Our Tin Drum has elements of storytelling, it’s often a new opera, sometimes a play, always musical, sometimes a dance piece and never boring.
I like to think it will appeal to those with a sense of adventure. We’ve definitely taken risks and broken rules.  It won’t appeal to the deeply conservative or the far right!
Kneehigh are known for their theatre with music using a variety of acoustic instruments with Tin Drum Charles Hazlewood’s brilliant orchestration uses almost entirely analogue synthesisers- I bet there are lots of people in Shoreditch who’d be into that !
It feels like we’ve created a loud but delicate poem for the world. What do I hope the audience get out of it ? Surely that’s up to them.
I would hope that they’re entertained and perhaps,like Oskar, encouraged to bang the drum, to knock on the doors of those bastions of greed driven power…to let them know we’re here..to let them know we care.

Do you see it as a tale relevant to our times?
As we were making Tin Drum Cornwall voted UKIP  and then Brexit. Kneehigh have always looked to do more than just a show and recently have been actively involved with refugees and with all those who have lost their homes and been inexcusably dehumanised. We spent time in the Calais Jungle and the backstreets of Bogota and will continue to reach out as almost everyone closes their borders. Without tub thumping or preaching, Tin Drum reflects all of this whilst also offering a sliver of hope for humanity!

Do you still rehearse in clifftop barns in Cornwall?
We try to seed all of our work and schedule rehearsals at our barns.
They are wild, elemental and somehow fundamental-important qualities for the work.
The barns are ours, they’re special….I’m not telling you where they are !
We also rehearsed and opened Tin Drum in Liverpool Everyman. It’s a wonderful theatre not just because of the space and facilities but because of the staff..They all seem to be interested and excited by the work . The marvellous Gemma Bodinetz, Deborah Aydon and Nick Bagnall (directors of the organisation) are genuinely and enthusiastically supportive. To find people you”chime”with is vital to the creative process.
I also find the people of Liverpool more politically informed and energised than in Cornwall and that feels important nowadays

You must have been thrilled with the reaction to Dead Dog in a Suitcase. Did it surprise you?
As well as touring the UK Dead Dog in a Suitcase has played successfully in New Zealand, Bogota and Seoul, it should definitely play more places in the future.  Am I thrilled by it’s success?…yes. Am I surprised?…no- it’s a thrilling show

Your acclaimed production, Dead Dog in a Suitcase was a big success at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2015, how does it feel to return this venue and why is it an exciting venue to perform in?   
I think there’s an increasing hunger from audiences for events happening in unconventional spaces. Shoreditch Town Hall has atmosphere and creates a sense of event and excitement.
Kneehigh have always looked to play “non theatre”spaces, Shoreditch gives both challenges and opportunities which then inform the show.  I always hanker to get away from the sedateness of the stalls and the proscenium, I prefer the energy of a mosh pit!
Dead Dog in a Suitcase seemed more dangerous there, more explosive – which added to the impact of the story.

 Finally – what next?
I direct a family show -The Dancing Frog. Carl Grose directs a Kneehigh company of improvisers and musicians in a pop up show based on a combination of the Ubu plays and karaoke (yet to be titled), Associate Director Keziah Serreau directs a new show about Marie Curie -“Love and Fallout” Associate Director Simon Harvey brings back “Fup” the story of a duck and a very old man. “Brief Encounter” returns to the West End and “Flying Lovers” plays in Wilton’s Music Hall before touring venues. In UK and America- both directed by the one and only Emma Rice

Kneehigh, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse presents


Based on the novel by Gunter Grass

Written by Carl Grose

Composer and Music Direction by Charles Hazlewood

Directed by Mike Shepherd – Designed by Naomi Dawson with lighting by Malcolm Rippeth and sound by Ian Davies.

Choreography by Etta Murfitt and Puppet direction by Sarah Wright

Wednesday 6 to Saturday 23 December 2017 at Shoreditch Town Hall


Cillian Murphy in Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter, Adapted and Directed by Enda Walsh

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers
Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

A new production based on the award-winning novel by Max Porter. Directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian MurphyGrief is the Thing with Feathers is a moving story of a widower and his young sons which becomes a profound meditation on love, loss and living.

This production sees acclaimed writer/director Enda Walsh reunited with actor Cillian Murphy following the huge success of their past collaborations: Disco PigsBallyturk and Misterman.

Once upon a time there was a crow who wanted nothing more than to care for a pair of motherless children…

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

The production will tour in 2019.

“It’s a real honour to be asked to bring Max Porter’s singular and wonderful book, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, to the stage by Complicité – a great company whose work always inspires. Myself and my collaborators will be reunited with our friend Cillian Murphy who worked with us on Misterman and Ballyturk. It’s thrilling to be premièring this new work in Ireland next spring.”
Enda Walsh

“Couldn’t be any more excited about the prospect of making this piece of work…. Grief is the Thing with Feathers truly broke my heart when I first read it and it will be a privilege to bring it to life on stage in Ireland. Complicité’s work on stage has inspired me for many years, and it is always a joy to get in a room with my most trusted collaborator and friend Enda Walsh.”

Cillian Murphy

“I cannot think of a company I would rather see adapting Grief is The Thing With Feathers for stage than Complicité. I am humbled and thrilled that this most influential, restless and dynamic company will transform my book into live theatre. Enda Walsh and Cillian Murphy are a phenomenal creative partnership. I have seen with my own eyes the magic of their collaborative practice. The way they think and speak about my text, about family and poetry, about humans and birds, gives me total faith in this production.”
Max Porter


Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Cillian Murphy in Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Adapted and Directed by Enda Walsh

Composer Teho Teardo

Design Jamie Vartan

Costume Christina Cunningham

Lighting Adam Silverman

Sound Helen Atkinson

Video Will Duke

Approx. 90 mins

Age guidance: 12+ (group bookings must be age 16+)

Black Box Theatre, Galway

16 March – 24 March 2018 (8 performances)

Previews: 16, 17, 19 March 2018

Opens: 20 March 2018

Priority booking for Complicité and Wayward members opens: Tues 5 December 2017, 10am

On public sale from Friday 8 December 2017, 2pm

Performance times 8pm

Booking URL: http://www.complicite.org/grief
Box Office Tel: +353 (0) 91 569777

Tickets: €22.50 – €30 plus €1.50 booking fee

O’Reilly Theatre, Dublin

28 March – 5 April 2018 (8 performances)

Previews: 28, 29 March

Priority booking for Complicité and Wayward members opens: Tues 5 December 2017, 10am

On public sale from 8 December 2017, 2pm
Performance times 7.30pm2pm

Matinee Sat 31 April, 2pm

Booking URL: http://www.complicite.org/grief

Box Office Tel: +353 (0) 1 5180599

Tickets: €26 – €40 plus €1.75 booking fee


There or Here – New Play to Star Rakhee Thakrar at Park Theatre

There or Here
There or Here

There or Here

The UK Premiere of There or Herefrom the producers of the 2013 hit Yellow Face (Park Theatre/National Theatre transfer), will open the PARK90 2018 season. With a cast that includes Rakhee Thakrar (EastEnders)Jennifer Maisel’s dramatic comedy follows the journey of an inter-racial American couple who return to the country of his roots to outsource their pregnancy. The official press night will be on Thursday 25 January at 7pm.

  1. When illness prevents Robyn and Ajay from having a child of their own, they return to India – the country of Ajay’s birth – to outsource their pregnancy to a local woman.  As they come together to face this next step in their lives, they are unable to be the comfort the other needs.  Through sharp writing and witty observation,There or Here explores what happens when couples forego face-to-face communication in favour of the virtual. Solace is found through strangers on phone sex lines, in IT call centres and at drive-thrus.  Age and location no longer matter as the world moves online, and life becomes outsourced.

The cast includes Rakhee ThakrarChris Nayak, Ursula Mohan, Manish Gandhi and Lucy Fenton.

There or Here was a 2009 PEN West Literary Award finalist. It was also a finalist at the Sundance Theatre Lab (2007) and the O’Neill Theatre Conference (2008). It received its world premiere at the 14th Street Theater in New York on 9 September 2008.

Cast and Creative Team

Chris Nayak as Ajay

Lucy Fenton as Robyn

Manish Gandhi as Rajit/Raj

Rakhee Thakrar as Neera

Ursula Mohan as Ellen/Dr. Vittal

Written by Jennifer Maisel

Directed by Vik Sivalingam

Designed by Vicky Sweatman

Lighting Designed by Robbie Butler

Sound Designed by Nicola Chang

Rakhee Thakrar is best known for playing the character of Shabnam Masood in Eastenders. She also plays the Eighth Doctor’s companion, Bliss, in Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas. She was nominated for Best Serial Drama performance at the 2016 National Television Awards. Her theatre credits include: Astronauts Of Hartlepool (Vaults Festival), Lalita’s Big Fat Asian Wedding (Curve Leicester), Pyaar Hai (Rich Mix), Free Booze (Edinburgh Fringe), Retaliation (Peepul Centre), Cervical Monologues (various), Chale Ga Chale Ga (UK tour), Precious Bazaar (UK tour) and Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Phoenix Theatre).

Ursula Mohan’s theatre credits include: You Forgot the Mince (Edinburgh Fringe & UK Tour), King Lear (Tristan Bates Theatre & Union Theatre), Hecuba (Scoop Theatre), Horniman’s Choice (Finborough Theatre), The Veil (National Theatre), Dad’s Army (UK Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone (Gatehouse Theatre), Tango (Royal Shakespeare Company), US (Royal Shakespeare Company), Making Tracks (Scarborough Theatre), Antigone (Greenwich Theatre), The Good Woman of Setzuan(Hampstead Theatre), A Murder is Announced (The Vaudeville), Revenge (Royal Court), Othello (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) The Cenci (Almeida), Bloody Mary (Stratford East) and Scapino (Young Vic).

Chris Nayak’s theatre credits include: King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About NothingLove’s Labour’s Lost (RSC/ Theatre Royal Haymarket), A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About NothingThe Christmas TruceLove’s Labour’s Lost (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC/ Garsington Opera),Anita and Me (Stratford East), Macbeth (Little Angel Theatre), Leaving Planet Earth (Edinburgh International Festival), The Wind in the WillowsArthur and GeorgeEast is East (Birmingham REP), Invasion! (Soho Theatre), She Stoops to ConquerThe League of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse), Stand Up Diggers All (Pentabus Theatre), Romeo and JulietLisa’s Sex Strike (Northern Broadsides), A Passage to India (Shared Experience), Indian Ink (Salisbury Playhouse), The Marriage of Figaro (Tara Arts), East is East (York Theatre Royal), Mother Goose and the Wolf (Greenwich Theatre) and Punchkin: Enchanter (London Bubble).

Manish Gandhi trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include: Now We Are Here (Young Vic Theatre), Brown Shakespeare (Efua Theodora Sutherland Drama Studio, Legon-Accra), Rizwan (FTII Pune), Limbo (Prithvi Theatre Mumbai) and Cock (Prithvi Theatre, National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai).

Lucy Fenton trained at Drama Centre London. Her theatre credits include: Right of Way (Lost Theatre), Kiss (The White Bear), Little Women (Ingatestone Hall),Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Baron’s Court Theatre), Crime and Punishment (Baron’s Court Theatre), A Man for All Seasons (Empty Space Theatre), Racing Demon(Empty Space Theatre) and The Death of Cuchulain (Edinburgh Fringe).

Director Vik Sivalingam trained on the Arts Council/ Birkbeck, University of London MFA in Theatre Directing. Following this, he became Director in Training at the New Wolsey Theatre from 2005 to 2006, and later in his career was the Resident Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2011. His credits include works at The Old Vic, The Royal Court, Tricycle Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, the New Wolsey Theatre and Headlong Theatre. He holds a PG Award in Teaching Shakespeare (RSC/ Warwick University) and has worked extensively at drama schools including LAMDA, Rose Bruford College, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham School of Acting, Arts Educational Schools, East 15 Acting School and WacArts.

New Diorama 2018 Artist Development programme ft Underbelly /Hotel for Theatre Companies

David Byrne

David Byrne

  • New Diorama announce plans to offer more support for emerging and mid-career artists than ever before – with genuinely innovative schemes and opportunities not on offer anywhere else.
  • A major three-year partnership with Underbelly to provide unprecedented support to help some of the UK’s best theatre companies bring shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
  • New Diorama become the first London fringe venue to have a hotel partner – teaming up with arts-led hotel, Green Rooms, to offer free rooms and £15 beds for artists coming to London.
  • New Diorama’s Artist Development Programme is supported by Arts Council England, and our 2018/19 Artist Development Sponsor is The Mandy Network.

New Diorama Theatre’s award-winning artist development programme, launched in early 2016, was described by Exeunt as “the most exciting artist development plan Britain has ever seen”. On 30th November, NDT are launching their updated offering for early and mid-career theatre companies – without question their most exciting yet.

Headlining New Diorama’s new programme is a major new partnership with Underbelly. Each year, for the next three years, theUntapped Award presented by Underbelly and New Diorama will support nine companies – three each year – removing the barriers that prevent some of the most talented groups from showcasing their work at the Fringe.

New Diorama’s Artistic & Executive Director, David Byrne, says “this is genuinely the best and most exciting opportunity for theatre ensembles and companies wanting to present their work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Alongside a £3,000 investment in each chosen group, they’ll receive a great slot at Underbelly – with no venue deposit or guarantee, press support paid for, a flyering team, free marketing support and an enhanced box office split. We’re even going to pay for access performances for every selected group. We really believe it’ll be game-changing for the successful early and mid-career companies selected”.

Marina Dixon and Vikki Mizon, Heads of Programming, Underbelly, said “Underbelly is delighted to be working in partnership with New Diorama Theatre to award three outstanding theatre companies the fantastic opportunity to present their shows at the Fringe. This award is one of the best opportunities for the Edinburgh Fringe, making a run in Edinburgh achievable for new ensemble work, allowing new productions to be presented at the highest level.

“Underbelly has run a scheme supporting new writing at the Fringe for the last six years, and has a proven track record of discovering fantastic new talent. This new three-year partnership with New Diorama Theatre is particularly exciting to us because NDT share our commitment and passion for supporting new artists. Together we hope to discover and develop some of the exceptional talent the UK has to offer.”

Applications for the Untapped Award presented by Underbelly and New Diorama will be open on the 30th November 2017 and close on 28th January 2018.

One of the biggest additions to the Artist Development Programme is a partnership with Green Rooms Hotel. With so many of New Diorama’s supported companies coming from outside of London, and accommodation being a major prohibitive factor in companies making the trip, the partnership will mean NDT can offer an allocation of rehearsal space, free rooms and, when they are exhausted, a discounted offer of £15 a bed for artists and groups.

Green Rooms’ Sylvia Dietz said:

 Green Rooms is the UK’s first arts-led independent social enterprise hotel. We opened in May 2016 and our mission is to support artists and creatives with affordable accommodation and event spaces in a beautiful setting that inspires creativity. As such we are an integral part of the London arts community and are delighted to join forces with the New Diorama Theatre and support the great work they are doing in that field. We understand that London is becoming an increasingly unaffordable place for many artists and Green Room is helping to bridge that gap.

As a partner of the New Diorama Theatre we are excited to support their unique Artist Development Programme and very much look forward to welcoming young theatre companies from all over the UK and offer their artists a place to stay, a base where creative ideas and some brilliant ventures will be conceived.”

New Diorama are also working to share our expertise with artists who are not currently supported by the theatre. Starting in January 2018, NDT will be offering artist surgeries once a month – offering advice to any groups who book an appointment.

Alongside these new opportunities, NDT will be enhancing our existing programme by:

  1. More than doubling the number of grants we offer to student companies who can’t afford the £98 to enter productions toNational Student Drama Festival.
  2. Continuing our Cash-Flow loans, lending up to £4,000 to companies, interest-free. We’re increasing the pot of money that these funds come from to £12,000. Since the scheme was announced, New Diorama has lent over £200,000 to our supported companies, unlocking numerous opportunities that would have otherwise been out of reach.
  3. Boosting the number of benefits on offer to all our supported groups – including piloting a Funding Application Library, so new groups can read successful funding applications to better understand how to access further funds for their work.
  4. INCOMING Festival will continue in partnership with A Younger Theatre, but will be growing significantly in 2018 – happening simultaneously in London at New Diorama and in Manchester at HOME, with all tickets remaining only £5.

New Diorama are also committed to securing more rehearsal space after our successful ND2 project comes to an end in Spring 2018. During the project, New Diorama has offered over 50 weeks of free rehearsal space to diversity-led groups and over 70 weeks of free space to  NDT supported companies.

Artistic Director David Byrne says “when we opened in 2010, we had the ambition of being the first “companies’ theatre”, supporting ensembles both with their artistic and organisational development. This new programme of support is the culmination of all our work so far. While all theatre companies are different, many face the same hurdles. We hope these new ideas and innovations will keep many of the most exceptional theatre companies in the UK making their best work for years to come.”

The Mandy Network will be New Diorama’s Artist Development Sponsor 2018/19. Mandy.com brings together the world’s largest network of actors, backstage and theatre professionals working in the UK today. Collaborating throughout the year, Mandy.com will start by supporting New Diorama in creating an application portal for the many opportunities on offer.

Casting Announced for The Brothers Size

Sope Dirisu
Sope Dirisu

Sope Dirisu

Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney was an unknown writer when The Brothers Size was first seen at the Young Vic in 2007. Today casting for the highly-anticipated revival from the Evening Standard Award-Winning writer is announced:

After playing Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sope Dirisu plays eldest brother Ogun. Jonathan Ajayi plays younger brother Oshoosi, reunited with Ogun after a spell in prison. Both make their Young Vic debuts.

Finally, Anthony Welsh returns to the role of Elegba, Oshoosi’s ex-cell mate who tempts him back to his life of crime. Anthony originally performed this role during the 2008 revival of The Brothers Size at the Young Vic and UK tour in the same year.

Bijan Sheibani returns to direct this deeply moving fable following his hit production of The Barbershop Chronicles at the National Theatre.

The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney is directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Patrick Burnier with live music and sound design by Manuel Pinheiro. A co-production with Actors Touring Company.

It runs from 19 January 2018 – 14 February 2018 in the Young Vic’s Main House.

There will be a Jerwood Assistant Director working with Bijan Sheibani The Brothers Size. The role is supported through the Jerwood Assistant Directors Program at the Young Vic.

Cast biographies can be found on the Young Vic blog here.


The Brothers Size

19 January 2018 – 14 February 2018
Main House, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ
Press Night: Friday 26 January 2018, 7.00pm
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm | Matinees on Wednesday & Saturday (except 20, 24, 27 January)
Access Performances
Captioned Performance: Thursday 8 February at 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Thursday 6 February at 7.30pm
Tickets: Previews 19 – 25 January £20, £10 | 27 January – 14 February £38, £29, £20, £10
Concessions available.
Box Office: www.youngvic.org | 020 7922 2922

New casting is announced for The Ferryman as Jez Butterworth’s critically acclaimed hit play extends for the third time

THE FERRYMAN by Butterworth, , writer - Jez Butterworth, Director - Sam Mendes,
  • New casting is announced for The Ferryman as Jez Butterworth’s critically acclaimed hit play extends for the third time.
  • The new cast will include Rosalie Craig, Owen McDonnell and Justin Edwards. 
  • Catherine McCormack will continue in her role as Mary Carney.
  • The Ferryman is currently booking to 19 May 2018
THE FERRYMAN by Butterworth,      , writer - Jez Butterworth, Director - Sam Mendes,

THE FERRYMAN by Butterworth, , writer – Jez Butterworth, Director – Sam Mendes, Designer – Rob Howell, Lighting – Peter Mumford, Gielgud Theatre, London, 2017, Credit: Johan Persson

Producers Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions and Royal Court Theatre Productions today announced new cast members for The FerrymanRosalie Craig (As You Like It, The Threepenny Opera, The Light Princess and London Road, National Theatre) will play Caitlin Carney, Owen McDonnell (Single-Handed, RTÉ/ ITV; Paula, BBC) will play Quinn Carney and Justin Edwards (The Thick of It, BBC; The Man Who Invented Christmas; The Death Of Stalin) will play Tom Kettle.

Also joining the company will be Stella McCusker as Aunt Maggie Far Away, Siân Thomas as Aunt Pat, Declan Conlon as Muldoon, Dean Ashton as Frank Magennis, Terence Keeley as Diarmaid Corcoran, Sean Delaney as Michael Carney, Francis Mezza as Shane Corcoran,Kevin Creedon as JJ Carney, Laurie Kynaston as Oisin Carney and Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Shena Carney.

Catherine McCormack will continue in her role as Mary Carney, as will Charles Dale as Father Horrigan, Mark Lambert as Uncle Pat andGlenn Speers as Lawrence Malone.  As previously the full company comprises 37 performers: 17 main adults, 7 covers, 12 children on rota and 1 baby.

The new company will give its first performance on 8 January 2018.

The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes, will run at the Gielgud Theatre until 19 May 2018.  The production won widespread critical acclaim when it opened at the Royal Court and was the fastest selling show in the theatre’s history.  This phenomenal success has continued at the Gielgud Theatre where it has been playing to sold-out houses, with early morning queues on Shaftesbury Avenue for the £12 day seats each day.

The play has been nominated for four honours at this year’s Evening Standard Awards including Best New Play, Best Director for Sam Mendes, Best Actress for Laura Donnelly and the Emerging Talent Award for Tom Glynn-Carney.

The Ferryman is directed by Sam Mendes, designed by Rob Howell, lighting by Peter Mumford, sound and original music by Nick Powell, with the new cast directed by Tim Hoare.


Sonia Friedman Productions, Neal Street Productions 
& Royal Court Theatre Productions 
with Rupert Gavin, Gavin Kalin Productions, Ron Kastner and Tulchin Bartner Productions present
The Ferryman

By Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes

Designer Rob Howell
Lighting Designer Peter Mumford
Composer & Sound Designer Nick Powell

New Cast Director Tim Hoare
Casting Director Amy Ball CDG

Gielgud Theatre
Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 6AR
Until 19 May 2018
Box Office: 0844 482 5130*
*calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge
Monday to Saturday 7.00pmWednesday and Saturday matinees 1.30pm. 
There will be no performances on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, no mid-week matinee on Wednesday 10 January, and extra performances added – check online for full details.

Day seats will be available to purchase at £12 for every performance from 10.30am at the Box Office in person
Premium tickets are available

Age Guidance 14+ Contains strong language

Twitter: @TheFerrymanPlay
Facebook: /TheFerrymanPlay

What the Moon Saw – Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and reimagined by 2Faced Dance Company

What The Moon Saw
What The Moon Saw

What The Moon Saw

Inspired by the prolific author and writer Hans Christian Andersen and reimagined and presented by 2Faced Dance Company, What the Moon Saw is a new interactive dance and circus show suitable for very young children, their families, teachers and friends.

The Herefordshire based 2Faced Dance Company is one of the UK’s leading male contemporary dance companies and under the artistic direction of Tamsin Fitzgerald announced details of What the Moon Saw for Winter 2017 (2018 tour dates to be announced).

Running up to Christmas, the world premiere performances of What the Moon Saw will be presented at DanceXchange in Birmingham on 1 & 2 December, Gulbenkian in Canterbury on 13 – 17 December and The Place in London on 20 – 22 December.

Appealing to children and adult audiences alike, Hans Christian Andersen’s much loved fairytales include The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina. His stories have inspired many ballets as well as animated and live-action films.  Akin to What the Moon Saw, Anderson’s stories are extremely accessible and they present heartwarming lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity.

In What the Moon Saw young artist Jack spends the first night in a new house, scared of the different sounds and feeling alone.  Jack decides to sketch to comfort himself but his pictures only appear in black and white.  Frantic Jack opens his bedroom window to find The Moon, who becomes a familiar and friendly face, gazing back at him.

In this interactive version of the tale, told through unique and physical movement synonymous with 2Faced Dance, The Moon tells Jack about everything he has seen and learned about the world.  What the Moon Saw takes Jack and the audience on an adventure of history and discovery, from a dragon who is unable to breathe fire in China to a chimney sweep who dances on the roof tops in London.  With the help of The Moon’s stories, Jack discovers he’s not alone in the world and his monochrome sketches turn to colour.

Choreography by Tamsin Fitzgerald, to a specially commissioned score by composer Angus Macrea, is brought to life by dancers Kai Tomioka, Jason Boyle, Louis Parker-Evans and Jack Humphrey.  Set and costume design is by Yann Seabra (The Little Match Girl, feature film Panic, International Dance Festival Birmingham shows Utopia and Concert Danse) and lighting design by James Mackenzie (founder and director of the award winning ZOO Venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and technical director of International Dance Festival Birmingham). Elle While, director of the 2016/2017 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time company at the Gielgud and UK/International tours of numerous National Theatre productions, is dramaturg for What the Moon Saw.

Tamsin Fitzgerald, artistic director of 2Faced Dance, said:I’m thrilled 2Faced has been given the opportunity to re-imagine a classic Hans Christian Anderson story through circus and dance. The audience can expect some new acrobatic skills performed by our incredibly versatile performers. We want to reach out to more young people than ever before and this is the perfect story to engage people of all ages. For this immersive theatrical experience we ask children to come dressed in their pyjamas and we will encourage them to join in – fidgeting, cheering and clapping – it will all be allowed during What the Moon Saw!”

What the Moon Saw is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and commissioned by The Place, DanceEast, DanceXchange, Gulbenkian and The Point.

Cast announced for All’s Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well
All's Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the full casting for Caroline Byrne’s forthcoming production of All’s Well That Ends Well opening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Thursday 11 January.  

Ellora Torchia will play Helena. Previous theatre work includes The Treatment (Almeida) and Boys will be Boys (Bush Theatre). Screen credits include The Split (BBC), Broadchurch (ITV) and Indian Summers (Channel 4).

Will Merrick will play Bertram. Will’s recent theatre credits include The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath), The Ghost Train (Royal Exchange), Merlin (Royal & Derngate) and Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC). Television work includes PoldarkCount Arthur StrongAtlantis and Doctor Who (BBC). Film credits include Modern Life is Rubbish and About Time.

Nigel Cooke will play the King of France, having appeared on the Globe stage as Lucifer in Doctor Faustus in 2011, and as Exeter in Henry V in 2012. Other theatre work includes To Kill A Mockingbird(Royal Exchange), Berenice (Donmar Warehouse), King Lear (Liverpool Everyman), Pericles and The Winter’s Tale (RSC). Nigel’s television work includes GrantchesterBeowulf (ITV) and The Crown(Netflix). Film credits include Henry V and Forget Me Not.

Martina Laird is the Countess of Rossillion, returning to The Globe after appearing in Romeo and Juliet earlier this year. Martina’s recent stage credits include Julius Caesar / Henry IV / The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse), Who Cares (Royal Court), The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle Theatre), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Talawa Theatre Company, National Theatre) and All the Little Things We Crushed(Almeida Theatre). Television includes EastEnders (BBC), Epiphany (ITV) and Shameless (Channel 4).

Imogen Doel will play Paroles, returning to The Globe after appearing in The Taming of the Shrew last year. Imogen’s recent theatre credits include Kanye the First (Hightide), Twelfth Night (National Theatre), The Seagull (Corn Exchange), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), The Get Out and Gastronauts (Royal Court). Television work includes Happy Toys (BBC) and Misfits(Channel 4).

George Dumaine will be played by Buchan Lennon. Buchan’s recent theatre credits include Ding Dong(Traverse), Stand For ItThe Soul in the Machine (Saltmine) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal Lyceum). Television work includes Armchair DetectivesStill Game (BBC) and Lovesick (Netflix).

Edward Dumaine will be played by Shaun Mason. Shaun’s recent theatre work includes Oliver Twist(Regent’s Park), This Bitter Earth – Black Lives Black Words (Bush Theatre), Romeo and Juliet(Sheffield Crucible) and Feed the Beast (Birmingham Rep). Television credits include Trollied (Sky), Rellik (BBC) and Cilla (ITV).

Rob Pickavance will play Lafeu. Rob’s recent stage credits include the role of Mr Twit in The Twits(Curve), The Master BuilderJames and the Giant Peach (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Globe’s touring production of Much Ado About Nothing. Television work includes A Study in Time (BBC) and Coronation Street (ITV).

The full cast comprises Paige Carter, Nigel Cooke, Imogen Doel, Martina Laird, Buchan Lennon, Louisa Mai Newberry, Shaun Mason, Will Merrick, Rob Pickavance, Hannah Ringham and Ellora Torchia.


Why you should visit the National Theatre this winter?



For the first time on stage, featuring unforgettable music and songs from the Walt Disney film, Pinocchio comes to life as never before. This spectacular new production brings together John Tiffany, the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dennis Kelly, the writer of Matilda the Musical. Previews from1 December, press night 13 December, on sale until 7 April. Half-price tickets for under-18s are available for all performances (excluding £15 tickets).

Talk: Bob Crowley and Toby Olié on Pinocchio14 December, 5.30pm


Tracie BennettJanie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, the production is directed by Dominic Cooke for the first time at the NT.

Talk: Peter Forbes and Imelda Staunton on Follies11 December 3pm

Talk: Josephine Barstow and Tracie Bennett on Follies18 December, 3pm

Barber Shop Chronicles

Following critically acclaimed seasons at the National Theatre and West Yorkshire PlayhouseInua Ellams’ dynamic new play Barber Shop Chroniclesreturns to the National Theatre this November. Previews from 20 November, playing until 9 January

Talk: Inua Ellams on Barber Shop Chronicles, 7 December, 6.15pm


Every Friday at 1pm an allocation of £20 tickets is released to buy online for the following week’s performances at all three theatres at the NT, even for sold out shows.

The Jungle – Young Vic Theatre

Join refugees and volunteers from around the world over fresh-baked naan and milky chai at the Afghan Café. From Good Chance Theatre, a new play where worlds collide. In the worst places, you meet the best people. A Young Vic and National Theatre co-production. Previews from 7 Dec, until 6 January.

Enhance Your Visit

National Theatre Posters Exhibition

Curated by Rick Poynor, Professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading, this exhibition explores the evolution of poster design at the National Theatre from 1963 to the present day. Free entry. Wolfson Gallery, until 31 March 2018.

Gift-buying is made easy this Christmas thanks to the NT Bookshop. The NT’s Pinocchio-inspired range has arrived in-store alongside the landmark new production. Sunday 17 December is a special Christmas shopping day, with discounts in the NT Bookshop and festive treats in Kitchen cafe.

The NT’s unique afternoon tea experience inspired by Pinocchio includes a limited edition Hi-Diddle-Dee-Tea – specially created treats from Stromboli calzones to blue fairy cakes, as well as a welcome glass of fizz for grown-ups.

For the festive season, the Green Room has put a modern spin on holiday classics for their three-course Christmas menu with tasty items including buttermilk fried turkey burger and gingerbread French toast. Visit the Sipsmith Frost Fair to enjoy a specially curated menu of delicious hot gins, including Mulled Sloe Gin and Gin Hot Toddy.

The National Theatre on tour around the UK

The National Theatre’s acclaimed productions of War Horse and Hedda Gabler continue to tour the UK and Ireland. Visit warhorseonstage andheddagablerontour for more information.

At a cinema near you this winter

Young Marx NT Live

Rory Kinnear plays Marx and Oliver Chris plays Engels in Young Marx directed by Nicholas Hytner and broadcast live from the Bridge Theatre in London on 7 December.

World Premier of tango show inspired by the music of Astor Piazzolla at The Peacock this Spring

Tango After Dark
Tango After Dark

Tango After Dark

Sadler’s Wells welcomes international tango star Germán Cornejo back to London with his company for the world premiere of his latest productionTango After Dark at The Peacock from Wednesday 28 February – Saturday 17 March, which features some of the best dancers from the tango houses of Buenos Aires.

As the night falls, the music of the great Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger, Astor Piazzolla, merges with the sophisticated and sensual performance of world-class Argentinean dancers to reveal tango in its most authentic and pure form. Tango superstar Cornejo, who is widely acclaimed by critics and audiences all over the world as one of the most distinguished tango artists working today, leads his outstanding cast of 10 dancers, including his long term dance partner and collaborator Gisela Galeassi in this mesmerising new show. Accompanied by two sensational singers and seven musicians playing tango classics, Tango After Dark keeps the passion of tango burning deep into the night.

Choreographed by Cornejo, Tango After Dark, follows his previous success, Tango Fire, which won Best Theatre Production in the 2015 UK Latin Awards and has been presented to sell-out audiences at The Peacock since 2007.

The Tango Fire Company was conceived in 2005 and received its world premiere in Singapore. In that same year, they performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival receiving critical acclaim, which resulted in the company touring to venues around the world.

The individual couples in the company choreograph their own solos with Cornejo refining the steps, as is traditional in the world of Argentine tango allowing the couples creative freedom to showcase their individual styles. Cornejo and his dance partner, Galeassi, are both World Tango Champions and are widely known for their performances with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony. Both dancers feature in the Sadler’s Wells contemporary tango production m¡longa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, which continues to tour internationally.

Press night: Friday 2 March at 7.30pm

Listing information:

Germán Cornejo
Tango After Dark  
The Peacock, WC2A 2HT
Wednesday 28 February – Saturday 17 March
Performances: Tue – Sat at 7.30pm, Sat at 2.30pm & Sun at 4pm (on Sunday 4 March at 2pm & 6pm)
Tickets: £15 – £42
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8222 or www.peacocktheatre.com

Notes to Editors: