The Believers Are But Brothers at the Bush Theatre – enveloping the audience in a digital realm

TRANSFORM FESTIVAL 2017 Javaad Alipoor The Believers are but Brothers
TRANSFORM FESTIVAL 2017 Javaad Alipoor The Believers are but Brothers

Javaad Alipoor
The Believers are but Brothers
Credit: The Other Richard

Writer and theatre maker Javaad Alipoor presents his 2017 Scotsman Fringe First Award-winning play The Believers Are But Brothers at the Bush Theatre from 24 January (Press Night 26 January).  This morning the shows’ use of WhatsApp live group chat, putting technology at the core of the performance, has been shortlisted for The Stage newspaper’s Innovation Award.

We live in a time where old orders are collapsing: from the postcolonial nation states of the Middle East, to the EU and the American election. Through it all, tech savvy and extremist groups rip up political certainties.

Amidst this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment, without the money, power and sex they think they deserve. This crisis of masculinity leads them into an online world where fantasy, violence and reality collide.

The Believers Are But Brothers envelops its audience in this digital realm, exploring the blurry and complex world of extremists, journalists and fantasists in an electronic maze of meme culture, 4chan, the alt-right and ISIS.   This bold one-man show weaves together their stories to reveal a vast web of resentment, violence and power just one click away.

Writer and performer, Javaad Alipoor, said ‘I’m really proud and excited to be bringing this show to the Bush, where it will sit within a season that reflects on the issues and voices shaping contemporary Britain.  It means a great deal to me to present my work at a theatre that is one of the historic engines of new writing in the UK, where a commitment to diversity goes beyond representation or deficit, and is so central to the amazing work that is being presented and made there.

As part of the performance, audiences will be invited to join a WhatsApp group for the show.  This is optional but will enhance the experience.  (After each show, the WhatsApp group if cleared and phone numbers deleted from the phones used by Front of House).

Both a Resident Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres, and Artistic Director of Northern Lines, Javaad Alipoor’s work comes from discussions and workshops with communities that don’t usually engage with mainstream theatre.  His previous work includes Orgreave: An English Civil War, about the Miners’ Strike and the Arab Spring and My Brother’s Country – about murdered Iranian pop icon Fereydoun Farrokhzad.

Co-director Kirsty Housley is an associate of Complicité, with whom her work includes: The Encounter (UK/International Tour – Co-Director), Seen and Not Heard (Southbank Centre), A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (National Theatre – Dramaturg) and War and War (Pleasance). Other recent directing include: Wanted (Chris Goode and Company /Transform Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Walking The Tightrope (Offstage and Theatre Uncut), All I Want (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane) and Mass (Amy Mason / Bristol Old Vic / CPT). She is currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicité, The Unicorn and the Bush Theatre. Her play Myth (written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea from Kirsty) opened at the RSC in Spring 2017.

Kirsty said, ‘In times of increasing political polarisation, where the way we communicate and the way we receive information is changing faster than we can keep pace with, we have tried to look at how these things are connected. How the way we communicate and the tools we use to interact with the world are in turn shaping the world we inhabit. Is there something about the internet that favours the extreme? What do we even mean by extremism? Believers creates different groups in different forms, and begins to nudge at what can only be said online, and what can only be said face to face.’

Dramaturg Chris Thorpe was a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and still works and tours with the company. He is also an Artistic Associate of live art/theatre company Third Angel. He has worked with, among others, Forest Fringe, Slung Low, Chris Goode, RashDash, Belarus Free Theatre and Portuguese experimental company mala voadora – his fourth piece for the company, Your Best Guess opened at Lisbon’s Almada festival in 2015. He also plays guitar in Lucy Ellinson’s political noise project #TORYCORE and works with the National Student Drama Festival.

Chris is an Associate at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. His play for the Exchange, There Has Possibly Been An Incident was selected by Simon Stephens for the Stuckemarktin Berlin, 2014.  It has been produced in Denmark and Sweden, on German radio, and is has been produced in Saarbrucken and Vienna, with more productions in the pipeline. He has an ongoing collaboration with director Rachel Chavkinfrom New York’s TEAM. Their first piece Confirmation, is currently touring internationally and they are starting to develop their next. His other main collaborator is poet Hannah Jane Walker with whom he made The Oh Fuck Moment and I Wish I Was Lonely.

Currently, Chris is touring Confirmation and Unlimited’s Am I Dead Yet? He is writing a new version of Beowulf for the Unicorn Theatre, and has written a new piece, Victory Condition, for the Royal Court which will be produced there in 2017. He recently wrote Chorus for The Iphegenia Quartet at The Gate Theatre. He is also working on The Mysteries for the Royal Exchange with Sam Pritchard, who directed There Has Possibly Been An Incident. His piece for director Rachel Bagshaw, The Shape of the Pain, is currently in development.

The texts for There Has Possibly Been An Incident and Confirmation, as well as work with Hannah Jane Walker, are published by Oberon Books. His work with mala voadora is published in English and Portuguese. Chris is the Arvon mentor for playwrighting, 2016/17 and one of the three Jerwood New Playwrights 2017 by the Royal Court Theatre.

Stage and lighting designer Ben Pacey designs sets, spaces, lighting and interactive environments and has made installations, animations, and written performance texts.  Ben’s designs include The Mostly Everything People’s Very Important Child; Greg Wohead’s Comeback SpecialAdventures of the Little Ghost for Sophie Nüzel; Kiln Ensemble’s A Journey Around My Skull; Melanie Wilson’s Landscape II (co-design).  Lighting includes Sleepdogs’ Dark Land Light HouseThrive for Zest Theatre; Leila McMillan’s Family Portrait; Uninvited Guests’ This Last Tempest and Make Better Please; Kiln Ensemble’s The Furies; and Melanie Wilson’s Autobiographer.  As an artist/maker, he co-directs Dens & Signals (Feast of the Dead, The Wake, A Thousand Shards of Glass). He’s an associate artist of Coney.

Simon McCrorry has been making music and creating sound design for theatre and film for over 15 years, working with theatre companies including Headlong, Old Vic Productions, Tiata Fahodzi, Theatre Hullabaloo & Cirque Bijou. His Sound design and music for theatre credits include: The Hotel Cerise (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Ceirw – Savage Hart(Citrus Arts); Solaris (Štátne Divadlo Košice); Vincent River (Old Vic Productions); Joe Guy (Tiata Fahodzi); Iye Ile (Tiata Fahodzi); Boi Boi Is Dead (Tiata Fahodzi & West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Winters’ Tale (Headlong & Schtanhaus); Blue Orange (Tiata Fahodzi); Guantanamo Boy (Brolly Productions); Bacchic (Actors of Dionysus); Lemn Sissay’s Why I Don’t Hate White PeopleLittle Red Riding HoodRapunzel (Liverpool Everyman); Breeze(Kolesk Dance).  Film credits include: May You Never Die(dir Guy Davies), Emily (dir Guy Davies), Tracker (dir Matthew McGuchan), Sick To My Bones (dir Guy Davies), One Day (dir James Barriscale), Beauty and Brains (dir Catherine Donaldson), The Surroundings and Its Bearings (dir Ambrose Yalley).

Video designer Adam Radolinski has spent last six years working as a Creative Producer. During this time he has developed, produced and delivered over a hundred video for a social media platforms – advertising, fashion videos, content video, corporate, creative and music videos, for diverse clients in many countries, including worldwide brands. He is developing artistic projects of multimedia and visual-art for exhibitions and theatre’s plays in UK, Italy, Poland and UAE.

Video designer Jack Offord has created imagery and projection design for a diverse range of shows including The Rest of Your Life (Bush Theatre), The Light Princess (Tobacco Factory Theatres), site-specific piece The Stick House (Raucous), Wulf (Bristol Old Vic Ferment), Educating Rita (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse) and a raft of Bristol Old Vic shows including MessiahTalon, and Pigeon English.

The Believers Are But Brothers

24 Jan – 10 Feb at 7.30pm

Wednesday matinees on 31 Jan and 7 Feb at 2.30pm

Saturday matinees on 3 & 10 Feb at 2.30pm

Audio described performance on Sat 3 Feb at 2.30pm

 

Ticket prices

 

Count Me In: £10

Adult: From £20

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking:

Phone                   020 8743 5050

In person             Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ

Online                  bushtheatre.co.uk

 

The Bush Theatre is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Barbican February 2018 highlights

  • Throughout 2018, the Barbican celebrates The Art of Change –looking at how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape across all art forms.
  • In February, Barbican Art Gallery stages major exhibition Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins  and artist Yto Barrada creates her first major London commission for the Curve Gallery. In the theatre, UK theatre-makers Told by an Idiot use their trademark working practices to tackle the lack of diversity on stage in Let Me Play the Lion Too In the music programme, the Barbican  co-presents the UK Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking  with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra recreates Benny Goodman’s legendary debut at Carnegie Hall in 1938 as part of its Barbican residency.
  • Elsewhere in the programme, the London International Mime Festival continues in the theatre with Belgian theatre collective FC Bergman who present the UK premiere of 300 el x 50 el x 30 el ; Belgian choreographer and director Sidi Larbi Cherkaouidirects a new show honouring the Japanese art form of manga in Pluto , Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russiareturns to the Barbican with a new production, Smile Upon Us, Lord and the cult 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock is given a dramatic retelling, directed by Matthew Lutton.
  • Nils Frahm returns to the live stage and Jonas Kaufmann is also back at the Barbican, with Diana Damrau, after his 2017 residency.
  • The Barbican Cinema presents an ‘alternative’ Valentine’s offering with Henri-Georges Clouzot’s My Twisted Valentine and Science on Screen continues with Spike Jonze’s Her.

VISUAL ARTS

Flying Trees and Sunken Squares
Fri 20 Oct 2017– Tue 20 Mar 2018, Barbican Foyer, Ground level
Free Admission

Flying Trees and Sunken Squares is the fifth of the changing foyer displays. It explores the history and design of the Barbican Estate and Arts Centre through a number of different sources. A selection of books from founding architects Chamberlin, Powell & Bon partner Geoffrey Powell bring to light references from continental Europe and inspiration from the English garden. The selection of archival drawings and illustrations conveys the interweaving of artifice and nature and finally, at its centre, the Conservatory’s historical drawings and newly commissioned photographs of its species celebrate the glass and steel design of this botanical marvel and hidden garden.

Yto Barrada 
Wed 7 Feb – Sun 20 May 2018, The Curve, Barbican Centre
Media view: Tue 6 Feb, 10am –1pm
Free Admission
 
Supported using funding from Arts Council England

*Part of the Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change*

For spring 2018, Barbican Art Gallery has invited artist Yto Barrada to create her first major London commission for the Curve. Working across photography, film, sculpture, textile, installation and publications, Barrada explores the subversive tactics and strategies of resistance developed to deal with everything from the mundanities of everyday life to shifts in power and migration, often focusing on her native Morocco. Barrada traces the hidden transcripts of objects and people in her work, guiding us through the overlapping realities and fictions of their narratives.

 Documenting the visual languages of the everyday to expose overarching structures of authority, Barrada’s projects interrogate ideas around colonialism, ethnography, archaeology, authenticity and myth-making.

For information and images please visit: http://www.barbican.org.uk/YtoBarradaNews

Another Kind of Life. Photography on the Margins

Wed 28 Feb – Sun 27 May 2018, Barbican Art Gallery

Media view: Tue 27 Feb 2018, 10am –1pm

*Part of the Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change*

At a time when individual rights are being contested and those on the fringes of society feel ever more marginalised from mainstream political and social narratives, the exhibition Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins celebrates and explores photography’s enduring relationship with individuals and communities who operate on the margins or openly flout social conventions through the work of 20 photographers including Bruce Davidson, Paz ErrazurizCasa Susanna Collection, Larry Clark, Mary Ellen MarkBoris Mikhailov and Dayanita Singh.

Driven by motivations both personal and political, many of the photographers in the exhibition sought to provide an authentic representation of disenfranchised communities–from transgender to bikers, street urchins to junkies, gang members to survivalists – often conspiring with them to construct their own identity through the camera lens. The works in Another Kind of Life present the outsider as an agent of change. The non-conventional subject is here a prism through which to view the world afresh.

Artists have historically been instrumental in presenting the image of the outsider for a wider public. Employing a diverse set of aesthetic strategies from portraiture to social documentary and vernacular to street photography, the artists in the exhibition approach their subject with a humanity and empathy that is both empowering and inclusive.

Reflecting a more diverse, more complex and more authentic view of the world, Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Marginstouches on themes of gender and sexuality, drugs, youth culture and minorities of all kinds and includes bodies of work from Japan to the US, and from Chile to Nigeria. By recording and documenting those on the margins, the images in the exhibition bear witness to how social attitudes change across time and space, charting how visual representation has helped shape current discourse in relation to marginalised or alternative communities.

 For information and images please visit: http://www.barbican.org.uk/AnotherKindofLifeNews

For information on talks programmed as part of Architecture on Stage and Magnum Photos Now, please visit www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/art-design.

 

MUSIC

Jonas Kaufmann and Diana Damrau

Fri 16 Feb 2018, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Following his Barbican Residency in February 2017, the celebrated tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to the stage with another celebrity singer of comparable stature, Diana Damrau. Joined by Helmut Deutsch on piano, the duo will perform Wolf’s Italianisches Liederbuch, a set of 26 songs that wed the composer’s mastery of the German Lieder tradition to the folk lyrics of the Mediterranean. Wolf himself described the work as ‘the most original and artistically the most perfect of all my works’.

Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (UK Premiere)

Tue 20 Feb 2018, Barbican Hall, 7pm

*Part of the Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change*

The Barbican and the BBC Symphony Orchestra co-present the UK premiere of Jake Heggie’s first opera Dead Man Walking  (which had its world premiere in 2000) – one of the most political and most widely-performed operas in the US. Dead Man Walking is based on the autobiographical account of Sister Helen Prejean, about her experience of being first pen-pal then spiritual advisor to a convicted murderer on Louisiana State Penitentiary’s death row. The murderer Joseph De Rocher refused to take responsibility for his crime.  Through meetings with him, the heartbroken parents of the murder victims, and De Rocher’s own family, Sister Helen, who went on to become one of America’s leading advocates for the abolition of the death penalty, makes an extraordinary journey through pain, conflict and grief to help Joseph find his way to the truth, and to the redemptive power of love. Joyce DiDonato stars as Sister Helen in this concert-hall staging, directed by Leonard Foglia.

Nils Frahm – All Melody

Wed 21, Fri 23 & *Sat 24 Feb 2018, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm, *8pm

Globally celebrated, Berlin-based composer, producer and performer Nils Frahm returns to the live stage in 2018, with three dates at the Barbican With Frahm currently recording a new album, All Melody, and looking towards a busy period ahead, audiences can expect to hear new material at these live performances, alongside compositions from an extensive and acclaimed back catalogue.

Frahm’s unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, and on a mesmerising scale through his vast stage shows, has won him many fans around the world. Nils has gained global notoriety for his highly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, as well as a breath-taking level of emotion and personality.

 

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Barbican International Associate Ensemble residency in 2018

Tue 27 Feb – Thu 1 Mar 2018

World-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), led by managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis, return to the Barbican The residency provides an opportunity to experience fifteen of America’s finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today in concerts, workshops and masterclasses.  JLCO often honour the iconic artists, albums, movements and events that left distinctive marks on the jazz scene, and the residency in 2018 celebrates two game changers of modern music:  ‘King of Swing’ American clarinettist and bandleader Benny Goodman, and master educator, composer and musical thinker Leonard Bernstein.

The residency opens on Tuesday 27 February 2018, with a concert recreating Benny Goodman’s legendary debut at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall on 16 January 1938 – the first interracial concert in the hall, and a watershed moment in American music history. This concert forms part of the Barbican’s 2018 Season, The Art of Change On Wednesday 28 February, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra pay tribute to Leonard Bernstein. Composer and arranger Richard DeRosa, nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition in 2016, will work with JLCO lead trombonist Vincent Gardner to craft unique arrangements of Bernstein’s music for the Orchestra, including classics like West Side Story and Candide, as well as unexpected gems from Bernstein’s vast repertoire. A testament to JLCO and Marsalis’ ever-expanding mission of teaching young people democracy and freedom of expression through jazz and improvisation, Thursday 1 March 2018 sees young musicians from the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra,special guests NYOS Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Jazz Orchestra come together at Milton Court Concert Hall for Miles Ahead – a showcase of what could be the future of Jazz.

Other February highlights include singer and guitarist of Grammy Award winning American alt rock act Wilco Jeff Tweedy giving a solo acoustic performance of tracks drawn from the Wilco back catalogue, plus material from his side projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog (Sat 3 Feb 2018); musical duo Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich are joined by violinist Janine Jansen to perform Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (Tue 6 Feb 2018). The second Artist-in-Residence at Milton Court series continues with acclaimed American pianist Jeremy Denk, who will be joined by Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia to perform the original jazz band version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds (Tue 27 Feb 2018), and POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e will take to the stage in a Barbican-produced concert at Oval Space featuring music from their forthcoming album, Music For The Long Emergency – released via Transgressive on 16 February 2018 (Tue 27 Feb 2018).

London Symphony Orchestra

Semyon Bychkov, who has conducted the LSO in critically-acclaimed performances of Mahler’s Symphonies Nos.1, 3 and 5 in recent seasons, returns to the LSO podium (4 Feb) to conduct the LSO, with soprano Christiane Karg, alto Anna Larsson and the London Symphony Chorus in Mahler’s vast Resurrection Symphony.

Sir Mark Elder conducts the LSO in two concerts featuring Elgar’s two completed Symphonies (8 Feb and 11 Feb), bringing together a conductor recognised as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of Elgar’s music with an Orchestra that counts Elgar among its Principal Conductors. The concerts also feature Bartók’s Piano Concerto No.3 with soloist Francesco Piemontesi and Nikolaj Znaider performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1. The 8 February programme opens with a rare performance of Janáček’s two last orchestral works, incidental music he had been commissioned to write for a play by the Prussian, Nobel-prize-winning dramatist Gerhardt Hauptmann, Schluck und Jau.

A BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert series exploring the influence of Claude Debussy on the music of Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti (9 Feb) at LSO St Luke’s. The four-concert series, all recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3, is the inspiration of the French pianist Cédric Thiberghien, and forms part of the LSO’s exploration of the music of Claude Debussy, marking the centenary of his death.

 

THEATRE

London International Mime Festival 2018

Toneelhuis/FC Bergman – 300 el x 50 el x 30 el

Wed 31 Jan–Sat 3 Feb 2018, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Wed 31 Jan 2018, 7.45pm

Theatre and film are ingeniously interwoven in a wordless production that follows the inhabitants of a small village community gripped by the fear of an impending flood.

Six humble dwellings sit in a wild forest clearing. At first, only their exteriors are visible. But when joined by a live camera crew, surreal, peculiar and humorous slices of life are captured and revealed on a big screen. From the mundane to intimate, sinister to absurd, a symphony of symbolic and unsettling images emerges.

Young Belgian theatre collective FC Bergman is creatively experimental and daring, devising visual and poetic work with an anarchic edge. The story of Noah’s Ark – the show’s title alludes to the vessel’s dimensions – is the starting point for this production, which touches upon hidden desires, the search for life’s meaning, the beauty of human failure and, finally, hope. With a cast of thirteen actors, 300 el x 50 el x 30 el unfolds to a soundtrack that includes Vivaldi, The Persuasions and Nina Simone.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon – Pluto

Thu 8–Sun11 Feb 2018, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Thu 8 Feb 2018, 7.15pm

Pioneering Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui directs a genre-defying show honouring the Japanese art form of manga. Sensational visual effects, impactful storytelling and performances of physical grace illuminate this iconic Astro Boy tale.

Depicting a universe where people and robots both coexist and find themselves in conflict, Pluto looks at what it means to be human. Starring skilled Japanese actors known for their versatility, including Mirai Moriyama, alongside dancers and elaborate puppet creations, the staging is characterised by an energy and scale faithful to the original comic book.

Created in the 1950s by the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka, the Astro Boy series starred Atom, a humanoid robot. He and other characters from The Greatest Robot on Earth storyline feature in Pluto – originally serialised in 2003 by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki and now the basis for this first full-length theatre production.

Pluto is performed in Japanese with English surtitles.

Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan State Theatre Company – Picnic at Hanging Rock

Wed 21 – Sat 24 Feb 2018, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Thu 22 Feb 2018, 7.45pm

 

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a retelling of Joan Lindsay’s cult 1967 novel, which has haunted the Australian psyche for decades. A cast of female narrators reconstruct the fateful summer’s day in 1900, when, during a trip to a volcanic beauty spot in rural Victoria, three schoolgirls and their teacher inexplicably vanish, never to be seen again. Amid looming hysteria and overtaken by primal forces, their story twists and distorts as they venture from civilisation and order to somewhere hostile, vast and unknown.

Gripping performances rip through time and are matched by an eerie soundscape and lighting design that summon the mysteries of the outback. Directed by Matthew LuttonPicnic at Hanging Rock is a sublimely unsettling vision of psychological breakdown as the illusion of genteel society is torn apart in an ancient land.

 

Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia – Smile Upon Us, Lord

based on novels by Grigory Kanovich

Wed 28 Feb–Sat 3 Mar 2018, Barbican Theatre

Press night: Wed 28 Feb 2018, 7pm

Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia returns to the Barbican with a new production, Smile Upon Us, Lord, adapted from two novels by Lithuanian-born writer, Grigory Kanovich, and directed by Rimas Tuminas.

Written in the late 80s post-Soviet era and inspired by the real-life stories Kanovich collected while researching the history of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, Smile Upon Us, Lord is a tale of three unremarkable men in the later stages of their lives who embark on an epic journey from their shtetl to the city of Vilnius. At times fantastical and dreamlike, at others expressive and skilfully comic, this image-rich drama illuminates the Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century.

Underscored with a rich musicality and theatrically inventive settings that transform the everyday to the universal, Smile Upon Us, Lordexplores the search for belonging, the need for family and identity and celebrates the indefatigability of the human spirit with its capacity for love, compassion and friendship.

Smile Upon Us, Lord is performed in Russian with English surtitles.

CINEMA

My Twisted Valentine: La Prisonnière (18*) + Introduction by Virginie Sélavy
Tue 13 Feb 2018 8.45pm, Cinema 2
France/Italy 1968 Dir Henri-Georges Clouzot, 103 min

Presented by Cigarette Burns Cinema, this year’s “alternative” Valentine’s offering is La Prisonnière, the last film by director Henri-Georges Clouzot’s (Les Diaboliques, Wages of Fear). Set in the Paris art world in the Swinging Sixties, this erotic thriller explores the topics of voyeurism and domination in a kinky love triangle. Film critic Virginie Sélavy, the founder and editor-at-large of online cinema magazine Electric Sheep, introduces the screening.

Science on Screen: Her (15) + Presentation by Sander Bais
Tue 20 Feb 6.10pm, Cinema 2
US 2014 Dir Spike Jonze, 126 min

Theoretical physicist Sander Bais (University of Amsterdam, Santa Fe Institute) deals with the philosophical questions raised by Spike Jonze surreal story of a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his intuitive new operating system (Scarlett Johansson) as he becomes increasingly disconnected from the physical world.

 

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First Look: Production Image of The Grinning Man

Kate Marlais announced as The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Lyric Hammersmith

Kate Marlais
Kate Marlais

Kate Marlais

Musical Theatre Network & Mercury Musical Developments & Lyric Hammersmith have announced that Kate Marlais will be The Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Lyric Hammersmith commencing March 2018.

“Being selected as the next Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer is an invaluable opportunity for me at this stage in my composing career. The Lyric really is an incredible place – not just a theatre producing and welcoming eclectic, bold, provoking work, but also a buzzing community hub for engagement and education. I’m so excited to be working in such an inspiring environment, and hope to gain a huge amount from my time there. Thank you to the Lyric, the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer scheme, to Musical Theatre Network, and to Mercury Musical Development who are a constant support within the industry for emerging composers.” Kate Marlais, Composer

  “We are delighted that a composer as talented, multi-faceted and passionate as Kate Marlais will be joining us as a Cameron Macintosh resident composer in 2018. We look forward to her creative response to the exciting range of work that awaits her here at the Lyric” Sean Holmes, Artistic Director, Lyric Hammersmith

 Through this scheme musical theatre composers are paired with a venue, and given the opportunity to be involved in a range of work which could include underscoring plays, setting text to music or creating their own piece of new work. Recent venues have included the Royal Shakespeare Company, Curve, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic, the Mercury, Colchester and New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Kate Marlais is the fifth of five placements that MTN and MMD have facilitated over 2015-18 thanks to the generosity of the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation.

For more information visit www.lyric.co.uk.

Twitter @LyricHammer | Facebook LyricHammersmith

 

Full Cast Announced for Brand New British Musical EUGENIUS! at The Other Palace

EUGENIUS!
EUGENIUS!

EUGENIUS!

Warwick Davis and Kevin Wood have announced the full cast for the hotly anticipated new musical for years, “EUGENIUS!” which is coming to London for a strictly limited run at The Other Palace from 22 January until the 3 March 2018.

Making his London theatre debut is American born Liam Forde who will play the lead role of ‘Eugene’. Liam has performed in many shows across America and is looking forward to making his debut across the pond. Joining Liam is Laura Baldwin who will play Eugene’s love interest- ‘Janey’. Laura’s previous credits include UK Tours of “Shrek” and “Betty Blue Eyes” and currently she can be seen in ‘Big Fish The Musical’ at The Other Palace.

Joining them is, Daniel Buckley (“Book Of Mormon”, “Loserville”) as Feris, Ian Hughes (“Guys and Dolls”, “The Lion King”) as Evil Lord Hector, Scott Paige(“The Addams Family”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”) as Theo, Cameron Blakely (“Les Misérables”, “The Addams Family”) as Lex, Shaun Dalton (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Beauty and The Beast” and “Les Misérables”) as Gerhard, Melissa James (“Bodyguard” UK Tour) as Carrie,Alexander Evans (UK Tour of “Sound of Music”, “Carousel”)as Eugene’s Dad and Alison Arnopp (“Dusty”, “The Tempest”) as Space Diva/Mrs T.

They will be joined by Brian Gilligan, Jacob Fisher, Alex Tranter, Luke DowlingRosie Heath, Chloe Chambers and Frances Dee.

Written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, “EUGENIUS!”  tells  the story of Eugene, a teenage boy whose nightly dreams of a distant world of heroes and villains may just be the ticket to him creating his very own comic book movie in Hollywood.  Joined by his best friends ‘Janey’ and ‘Feris’, our comic writing genius must discover the true meaning ofgrowing up, finding the superhero within, saving the world from both earthbound villains and possibly those from distant galaxies, and along the way, falling in love.

The production is produced by legendary “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” actor Warwick Davis, he said, “I’m a huge fan of musical theatre and Eugenius! will be unlike any musical I have seen before. I was so hooked by Ben Adams’ brilliant, original songs and Chris Wilkins wonderfully witty story that I simply had to be involved as a producer. We are thrilled to announce the talented cast and can’t wait to get started in rehearsals to bring the show to life as a fully staged production. We have all the ingredients for Eugenius! to be something truly spectacular and I look forward to sharing it with audiences when it opens at The Other Palace in January.”

The book, music and lyrics for ‘EUGENIUS!’ are written by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins. Award winning Ian Talbot will direct. Ian was previously the Artistic Director at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre for 20 years, for which he received an OBE. He has directed ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and ‘Lend Me A Tenor’. The creative team is completed by Aaron Renfree who will choreograph, sound design by Gareth Owen, lighting by Andrew Ellis, musical supervision by Stuart Morley and musical direction by Darren Lord. Set and costume design will be by Hannah Wolfe and the show’s design features specially commissioned comic book artwork by Marvel artist, Simon Williams (Transformers, Spider Man, Marvel Heroes, The lncredible Hulk).

The Other Palace opened in February 2017 as a home for musical theatre. Discovering, developing and reimagining musicals is at the heart of what The Other Palace is about. The spaces are used to nurture the next generation of musicals, and the creatives behind them; celebrating the very best of the art form, from the established to the brand new.

LISTINGS

EUGENIUS! THE MUSICAL – Monday 22 January – Saturday 3 March 2018

www.theotherpalace.co.uk

Box Office 020 7087 7900

Twitter @eugeniusuk

Facebook and Instagram @eugeniusthemusical

Website http://www.eugeniusthemusical.com/

Music www.smarturl.it/eugenius01

 

THE OTHER PALACE

12 Palace Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 5JA

PREVIEWS

Monday 22 January                7.30pm

Tuesday 23 January                 7.30pm

Wednesday 24 January           7.30pm

Thursday 25 January                7.30pm

Friday 26 January                    7.30pm

Saturday 27 January               2.30pm & 7.30pm

Monday 29 January                7.30pm

Gala night

Wednesday 31 January          7pm

 

From 1 February – 3 March

Performance times      Monday – Saturday 7.30pm

                                    Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Full Casting announced for Kathy Burke’s Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Vaudeville 

Grace Molony
Grace Molony

Grace Molony

  • Grace Molony to play Lady Windermere
  • Joshua James to play Lord Windermere
  • Joseph Marcell to play Lord Lorton
  • Cast also includes Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop and Jennifer Saunders

Classic Spring has announced full casting for Kathy Burke’s forthcoming production of Lady Windermere’s Fan, which started rehearsals this week.

Rising star Grace Molony plays Lady Windermere. Grace recently won Best Actress in The Stage Debut Awards 2017 for her performance in The Country Girls at Chichester Festival Theatre. She graduated from LAMDA this year. Next year she will appear in the feature film Mary Queen of Scots starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.

Joshua James plays Lord Windermere. Joshua’s recent stage credits include King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe and Joe Wright’s Life of Galileo at the Young Vic, and he won a commendation at the Ian Charleson Awards for his performance in Young Chekhov at the National Theatre.

Joseph Marcell plays Lord Lorton. Joseph has most recently been cast in the new Neil Gaiman adaptation of Anansi Boys for BBC Radio 4. His other credits include the title role of King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Freeman of Colour (Lincoln Center, New York) and the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Ami Metcalf plays Agatha and Rosalie. Ami played a teenage Kathy Burke in Sky 1’s series Little Crackers, and Walking and Talking, a semi-fictionalised look at Kathy’s life. Her other television credits include Call the Midwife and Upstairs, Downstairs (BBC).

The full cast comprises Victoria Blunt, Natasha Magigi, Ami Metcalf, Grace Molony, Charlie Mulliner, Siân Polhill-Thomas, Jennifer Saunders, Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop, Matthew Darcy, Roger Evans, Joshua James, Joseph Marcell, David O’Reilly, Benedict Salter and Gary Shelford.

Lady Windermere’s Fan is part of Classic Spring’s year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre. After Dominic Dromgoole’s A Woman of No Importance closes on 30 DecemberSimon Callow will perform a new stage adaptation of Wilde’s De Profundisfor a limited engagement of just six performances from 3 to 6 January.

Lady Windermere’s Fan then begins previews on Friday 12 January, and opens on Monday 22 January.

The production will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK on Tuesday 20 March.

Jersey Boys returns to Mayflower Theatre in 2019

L to R Declan Egan, Michael Watson, Simon Bailey, Lewis Griffiths
L to R Declan Egan, Michael Watson, Simon Bailey & Lewis Griffiths. Credit Matt Martin

L to R Declan Egan, Michael Watson, Simon Bailey & Lewis Griffiths. Credit Matt Martin

Due to overwhelming demand, the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, returns to Mayflower Theatre from Tue 19 March to Sat 30 March 2019 as part of its second national tour.

The producers have announced that Michael Watson will be playing Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey will be Tommy De Vito, Declan Egan will be Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths will be Nick Massi. Michael, Simon, Declan and Lewis have all previously performed their roles in Jersey Boys to great acclaim: Michael and Simon in the West End, Declan in the West End and Australia, and Lewis in the first UK and Ireland tour. Dayle Hodge will return to the production to play Frankie Valli at certain performances.

Michael Watson made his West End debut in We Will Rock You and was also in the original London casts of Imagine This, Sister Act and Shrek the Musical. A founder member of theatre super-group Teatro, Simon Bailey also played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera.  His other West End credits include I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical and We Will Rock You. Declan Egan played the role of Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys in his native Australia and has toured the USA in The Book Of Mormon.  Lewis Griffiths played Johnny Castle in the recent tour of Dirty Dancing.  He also appeared in the original UK touring productions of Ghost – The Musical and Legally Blonde – The Musical.  Dayle Hodge made his West End debut as Chip in the original London cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and has appeared in Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Scrooge.

The cast also includes Joel Elferink as Bob Crewe, James Alexander Gibbs as Joey, Mark Heenehan as Gyp DeCarlo, Karl James-Wilson as Norm Waxman, Arnold Mabhena as Barry Belson, Phoebe May Newman as Francine, Olive Robinson as Lorraine, James Winter as Hank Majewski and Tara Young as Mary Delgado.  Completing the cast will be Peter Nash, Dan O’Brien, Stephen O’Riain and Amy Thiroff.

Jersey Boys first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 18 March 2008 and moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014. The Olivier Award-winning West End production closed on Sunday 26 March 2017 following nine amazing years in London. The first UK & Ireland Tour of Jersey Boys was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from 4 September 2014 to 5 March 2016.

Jersey Boys is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks. These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30. The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got), Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You.

Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people worldwide. Jersey Boys can currently be seen across the United States on its US National Tour. The BROADWAY production closed on 15 January 2017 as the 12th longest running show in Broadway history. Jersey Boys will return to New York City in a new production in November 2017 at New World Stages.

Jersey Boys is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The UK & Ireland Tour production is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projection design by Michael Clark.  The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Jersey Boys is produced by Dodger Theatricals and Ambassador Theatre Group with Joseph J Grano, Pelican Group, Latitude Link, Rick Steiner and Howard Panter.

For further details, please visit www.jerseyboysuktour.com.

Facebook: facebook.com/JerseyBoysUKTour

Twitter: @JerseyBoysUK

Instagram: @jerseyboysuk

 Tickets for Jersey Boys (Tue 19 March to Sat 30 March 2019) are on sale from Wednesday 17 January 2018 from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk. Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833.

 

More celebrity recordings for The Grinning Man! Score of new British musical wows stars

The Grinning Man
The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

Hot on the heels of last week’s celebrity recordings announcement, more stars have jumped on board to perform their own versions of songs from the West End’s newest British musical, The Grinning Man. Matt Lucas, Kelsey Grammer and Hannah Waddingham have now joined Harry Enfield, Alexander Armstrong and Louise Dearman in a star-studded line-up of celebrities releasing unique versions of their favourite tracks from The Grinning Man.

Directed by Tom Morris, The Grinning Man is now showing at Trafalgar Studios following a hugely successful 2016 premiere at the Bristol Old Vic. This visually stunning production, “powered by an outstanding score” (Sunday Times) composed by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, has entranced audiences and critics alike. Now, unleashed on the West End, the sheer quality of each carefully-considered element of this award-winning musical – from the story, to the set, to the music – has inspired some of the most well-known names in TV, comedy, musical theatre and beyond to make the music of The Grinning Man their own.

The latest songs to be released are now available on YouTube. They are: I Have Never Seen a Face, a stunning duet performed by comedian Matt Lucas and musical theatre star Hannah Waddingham and Stars in the Sky by Frasier actor Kelsey Grammer.

These tracks follow the recordings of Stars in the Sky, by actor Alexander Armstrong, Laughter is the Best Medicine by comedian Harry Enfield, and Born Broken by musical theatre star Louise Dearman. There may be more to come – watch this space!

The critically acclaimed production of The Grinning Man, is based on the classic Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) novel, The Man Who Laughs, and directed by Tony award-winning Tom Morris (War Horse).  A romantic gothic musical love story, set in a fantastical world with a dark heart, which is brought to life by Kneehigh writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase). The cast is led by Louis Maskell, in the title role of Grinpayne, and Julian Bleach, who plays Barkilphedro, a vengeful clown with a heart of lead. Macabre, magical and visually astonishing, this ultimately elating love story is a distinctive delight that barges through the gateway carved by the Nineties cult hit Shockheaded Peter with the full-blooded emotion of Les Misérables.

The Grinning Man reunites Tom Morris with two puppeteers who began their careers inside Joey and Topthorn in the original production of War Horse – Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié – now leading their own brilliant puppetry company Gyre & Gimble.

The Grinning Man is produced by Bristol Old Vic, Trafalgar Entertainment Group, Eilene Davidson, Richard O’Brien, KHAM Inc., David Adkin, Neil Laidlaw Productions and Pieter Toerien.

All tracks can now be enjoyed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFC-8E5PQjc&list=PL7ER5L51ctdHVtFTCZkUOCxMYSE9feHZr

 LISTINGS INFORMATION

Previews:                     From Wednesday 6 December

Press night:                 Monday 18 December at 7.00pm

Performances:                        Monday – Saturday7:30pmThursday & Saturday matinees: 2:30pm
Box Office:                  
www.atgtickets.com/trafalgarstudios/ 0844 871 7632

Ticket Prices:               From £15.00

Website:                      TheGrinningManMusical.com

Twitter:                                   @GrinningManLDN

 

The producers of The Grinning Man are delighted to continue Bristol Old Vic’s commitment to ensuring that tickets for the highest quality productions remain affordable and accessible, particularly to younger audience members, by offering the following special rate:

£25 UNDER 25 RATE: A general under 25 rate of £25 (redeemable for any standard-priced seat, subject to availability at time of booking) will be available throughout the run for every performance Monday – Thursday inclusive.  Meaning that anybody under 25 will be able to see the show during the week at this special accessible rate. This rate will be available through ATG Tickets, the principal ticketing provider for Trafalgar Studios.

Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room announces Spring 2018 season

LOVESICK
LOVESICK

LOVESICK

Today, Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room, located in Porter’s and winner of The Stage’s Fringe Theatre of the Year Award, announced its Spring 2018 season, entitled LOVESICK. The season is the first season of Artistic Director Dan Jones, and sees the company producing Caryl Churchill’s A Number, a brand-new play from Matthew Trevannion, and Lucy Prebble’s The Effect. Dan, comments:

LOVESICK is a triptych of plays, asking what ‘love’ truly means in the modern age. While LOVESICK is made up of three distinct plays, we’d love our audiences to see the season as one conversation about our different, often conflicted ideas of love, from our familial ties to our base desires and everything inbetween. 

As my inaugural season as Artistic Director of The Other Room, the theme is incredibly important to me – in what feels like bleak times, championing love over hate has become essential. I hope audiences will find this season to be both visceral and cerebral; familiar and fresh; deeply cynical and shamelessly romantic.

Lovesick opens with the Welsh premiere of A Number, (13 February – 3 March), visionary playwright Caryl Churchill’s modern classic of science, family and loss. A fearless and affecting dissection of the relationship between father and son, A Number strikes at the heart of what it is to love unconditionally – and the tragic failure to connect. A Number will be directed by Ed Madden (Alumni Artist of Gate Theatre and co-founder of Walrus Theatre) and star Stevie Raine and Brendan Charleson.

From 27 March – 14 April, Dan Jones will direct his first play as Artistic Director of The Other Room – the brand new All But Gone, written by Matthew Trevannion (Bruised, Leviathan). Through the eyes of the young and old; the lovesick and alone; the delinquent and belligerent, All But Gone peers deep inside the psyche for the truth behind our love and asks – what use is love when the mind fractures and fades? Is it our vice, or our only remedy? The cast for All But Gone includes Wyn Bowen Harries, Nicola Reynolds, Elin Phillips and Callum Hymers.

The final play of the season will be The Effect by Lucy Prebble, running 24 April – 12 May. During a trial for a new pharmaceutical drug, Tristan and Connie fall madly in love, but soon realise that their feelings aren’t necessarily their own. In an increasingly cynical world, can love be anything but a chemical signal in the brain? A deadly concoction of science and romance, this inventive play explores how our treatment of mental illness plays into our idea of self. The Effect’s cast will include Hussina Raja and Nicola Reynolds, and is a co-production with Swansea company Critical Ambition.

The LOVESICK season will also include The Other Room’s popular ‘TOR Presents…’ talk back events and the continuation of the much-loved Pay What You Can Previews. Each production in the season will feature a BSL interpreted performance.

Tickets for The Other Room’s Spring 2018 season are available now from www.otherroomtheatre.com. To keep updated on The Other Room, you can also follow the team on Twitter @TORtheatre and Facebook www.facebook.com/otherroomtheatre

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First Look: Dick Whittington at the London Palladium