Casting update for Mood Music at The Old Vic

Mood Music
Mood Music

Mood Music

The Old Vic today announced a casting change and further updates for the World Premiere of Joe Penhall’s new play Mood Music which previews from 21 April 2018, with a press night on 2 May 2018. Ben Chaplin will be taking on the role of Bernard replacing Rhys Ifans who, with regret, is withdrawing from the production due to family reasons.

Starring alongside Ben Chaplin is Seána Kerslake in the role of Cat, and she is joined by Pip Carter as Ramsay, Kurt Egyiawan as Miles, Jemma Redgrave as Vanessa and Neil Stuke as Seymour.

‘Music is a medication. The elixir of life. It’s for injecting into the blood stream to take away the pain…to promote euphoria…to adrenalise us and give us courage and fortitude.’

In a top London recording studio, a young songwriter Cat, her producer Bernard, their lawyers and psychotherapists go to battle over who owns a hit song.

 A sly, wry exploration of the dark side of the music industry by Joe Penhall, the award-winning writer of Sunny Afternoon and Blue/Orange, the world premiere of Mood Music is directed by Roger Michell.

Mood Music plays over The Old Vic’s 200th birthday on 11 May 2018 and is the fourth production in The Old Vic’s bicentenary season.

Ben Chaplin plays Bernard, a record producer. Theatre credits include Consent and The Reporter (National Theatre); Farewell to Theatre (Hampstead); This is How it Goes and The Glass Menagerie (Donmar Warehouse) and Retreat from Moscow (Booth Theater, Broadway). Film credits include Caravan; The Children’s Act; Snowden; Cinderella; Dorian Gray; Me and Orson Welles; The Waterhouse; Two Weeks; The New World; Chromophobia; Stage Beauty; The Touch; Murder by Numbers; Birthday Girl; Lost Souls; The Thin Red Line; Washington Square and The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Television credits include Press; Urban Myths; Apple Tree Yard; Mad Dogs; Book of Negroes; The Wipers Times; Dates; World Without End; After the Dance; Between the Lines; Minder; The Borrowers and Game On. Ben received a Tony Award Nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Retreat from Moscow and an Olivier Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor in The Glass Menagerie.

Pip Carter plays Ramsay, Bernard’s psychotherapist. Pip’s theatre credits include Consent, Platonov (National Theatre); Posh (West End) and The Dark Earth and the Light Sky (Almeida). Television credits include Party Animals (BBC); New Worlds (Channel 4) and Salting the Battlefield (BBC) directed by David Hare.

Kurt Egyiawan plays Miles, Cat’s lawyer. Theatre credits include Othello, Measure for Measure, Henry V, King Lear and The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe); Season in the Congo (Young Vic); Berenice (Donmar Warehouse); Earthquakes in London (Headlong) and Richard III & Twelfth Night (Belasco Theater, New York). Film credits include Beasts of No Nation; Pan, Kill Your Friends and Skyfall. For Television he was a series regular in Fox TV’s The Exorcist. Kurt won the Spotlight Prize in 2010

Seána Kerslake plays Cat, a recording artist. Seána was recently named one of Screen International’s 2017 Stars of Tomorrow. She most recently played the role of Treasa opposite Seán McGinley in King of the Castle (Druid Theatre Co.) directed by Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes, and just prior filmed the role of Gemma in Dublin Old School written by Emmett Kirwan and directed by Dave Tynan. Other recent credits include the lead role of Sarah in the feature film The Hole in the Ground directed by Lee Cronin, the lead role of Aisling in Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope directed by Cathy Brady (RTÉ & BBC3), the role of Una in We Ourselves directed by Paul Mercier, and the title role in Darren Thornton’s feature film A Date for Mad Mary. Winner, 2016 Bingham Ray New Talent Award, Galway Film Fleadh 2016.

 Jemma Redgrave plays Vanessa, Cat’s psychotherapist. Theatre credits include Donkey’s Years (Rose Kingston); An Ideal Husband, The Cherry Orchard (Chichester Festival Theatre); Farewell to the Theatre (Hampstead); The Great Game (Tricycle, Washington, Broadway); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Albery Theatre); Major Barbara (Piccadilly Theatre), Three Sisters (Queen’s Theatre); Chatsky (Almeida); School for Scandal (Bristol Old Vic) and Panorama (Kings Head Theatre). Her extensive television credits include Midsomer Murders; Holby City; Doctor Who; Inspector George Gently; Churchill: 100 Days that Saved Britain; Dracula; FrankieLaw & Order; Miss Marple; Mansfield Park; Lewis; Inspector Linley; and her film credits include Love and Friendship; Lassie; I’ll Be There; The Acid House; Howard’s End and Dream Demon.

 Neil Stuke plays Seymour, Bernard’s lawyer. Neil first worked with Roger Michell when he left drama school in the television show, Downtown Lagos. He then worked with both Roger and Joe Penhall on the West End transfer of Blue/Orange. He also starred in Joe Penhall’s The Bullet at the Donmar Warehouse and helped Joe workshop the Kinks Musical. Neil’s previous work at The Old Vic includes Grace Note and the 24hr plays. Other recent theatre credits include Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre; Mike Bartlett’s Bull at 59E59 Theatre in New York and Young Vic; and Frankie and Johnny at the Chichester Festival Theatre. His numerous recent TV appearances include Silent Witness; Doctor Foster; Silk; Paranoid and Plebs. Neil has worked extensively in film, he appeared in BAFTA nominated Sliding Doors and more recently The Comedian’s Guide to Survival.

Joe Penhall’s plays include Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre/West End, 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical); Birthday, Haunted Child, Pale Horse (Thames Television Best Play Award); Some Voices (John Whiting Award); Dumb Show (Royal Court); Landscape with Weapon, Blue/Orange (National Theatre, Evening Standard Best Play Award, Olivier Award for Best New Play and Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play); The Bullet (Donmar Warehouse); Love and Understanding (Bush Theatre). His film and television work include crime thriller Mindhunter, which he created, wrote and executive produced for Netflix in 2017; Birthday, adapted from his stage play for Sky Arts, winner of Best Screenplay at Zoom Festival de Ficcio in Barcelona in 2016; Moses Jones, an original three-part crime drama for BBC2, winner of Best Screenplay at the Roma Fiction Festival 2009; an adaptation of The Road from Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning novel; the screenplay Enduring Love based on the novel by Ian McEwan; the feature adaptation of his play Some Voices for Film Four, and the BAFTA-nominated The Long Firm for BBC2.

Roger Michell’s theatre credits include Marya (The Old Vic); Landscape with Weapon, Honour, Blue/Orange, The Homecoming, Under Milk Wood, Coup, Waste, Consent (National Theatre); Rope (Almeida); My Night With Reg, Tribes, Birthday (Royal Court); Betrayal, Old Times (Donmar Warehouse); Farewell to the Theatre (Hampstead). For six years he was Resident Director at the RSC. Film work includes Persuasion, Titanic Town, My Night with Reg, Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, The Mother, Enduring Love, Venus, Morning Glory, Le Weekend, My Cousin Rachel. His television credits include The Buddha of Suburbia, Downtown Lagos, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries.

Writer Joe Penhall

Director Roger Michell

Set Designer Hildegard Bechtler

Costume Designer Dinah Collin

Composer & Music Supervisor David Arnold

Lighting Rick Fisher

Sound John Leonard

Casting Director Jessica Ronane CDG

BOX OFFICE INFORMATION

Box Office 0844 871 7628 | oldvictheatre.com

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@oldvictheatre

The Old Vic, The Cut, London SE1 8NB

SEASON LISTINGS

FANNY & ALEXANDER

Based on ‘Fanny and Alexander’ written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

Adapted by Stephen Beresford

Directed by Max Webster

Until Sat 14 Apr 2018

Mon–Sat: 7pm; Wed & Sat 1pm

Additional matinee performance: Thu 12 Apr, 1pm

Press night: Thu 1 Mar, 7pm

Audio Described Performance: Tue 27 Mar, 7pm

Captioned Performance: Thu 29 Mar, 7pm

Recommended age 14+

TICKETS: £12, £16, £21, £30, £55, £65

For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

 

MOOD MUSIC

By Joe Penhall

Directed by Roger Michell

Sat 21 Apr–Sat 16 Jun 2018 (no performances on Sat 12 May)

Mon–Sat: 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm

Additional matinee performances: Fri 4 May, 2.30pm & Thu 10 May, 2.30pm

Press night: Wed 2 May, 7pm

Audio Described Performance: Tue 29 May, 7.30 (Touch Tour 6pm)

Captioned Performance: Thu 31 May, 7.30

Recommended age 14+

TICKETS: £12, £16, £21, £30, £55, £65

For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

 

A MONSTER CALLS

Based on the novel by Patrick Ness

Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

Devised by the company

Directed by Sally Cookson

Sat 7 Jul–Sat 25 Aug 2018

Mon–Sat: 7:30pm; Wed & Sat: 2:30pm

Additional matinee performance: Thu 19 Jul, 2.30pm

Press night: Tue 17 Jul, 7pm

Audio Described Performance: Tue 14 Aug, 7.30pm

Captioned Performance: Thu 16 Aug, 7.30pm

Recommended age 10+

TICKETS: £12, £16, £20, £25, £40, £50

Under 16s tickets half price on price bands A and B Mon–Thu including Wed mats

For information regarding Premium Seats please call the box office

 

SYLVIA

ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company

Written by Kate Prince & Priya Parmar

Music by Josh Cohen & DJ Walde

Lyrics by Kate Prince, Josh Cohen & DJ Walde

Directed & Choreographed by Kate Prince

 

Sat 1 Sep–Sat 22 Sep 2018

Mon–Sat: 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm

Press night: Tues 11 Sep 7pm

Audio Described Performance: Tue 18 Sep, 7.30pm

Captioned Performance: Sat 22 Sep, 2.30pm

Recommended age 10+

TICKETS: £12, £15, £25, £35, £45

 

CONCESSIONS

PwC £10 PREVIEWS: Available to everyone with half of the house priced at £10 for selected previews.

SENIOR CITIZENS: Best available seats for £30 for all matinee performances. For Sylvia, £26 for all matinee performances.

SCHOOL GROUPS: 10+ £12.50 for Mon–Wed perfs.

STUDENTS: £12.50 for Mon–Thu perfs for Sylvia.

UNDER 16s: 50% off Band A and B Mon–Thu for A Monster Calls.

GROUPS: Group rates available, please see our website for more details.

DISABLED PATRONS: Top three price bands reduced to £21 for all performances. Please call 0344 871 7628 for access bookings.

All concessions are limited and subject to availability.

All 2017/18 ticket prices correct at time of issue.

 

Punchdrunk presents a new show for children and their families at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre

Small-Wonders
Small-Wonders

Small Wonders

  • Punchdrunk presents a new show for children (Aged 5-11) and their families at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre
  • Small Wonders has been commissioned by Punchdrunk, Lift And Bernie Grant Arts Centre and is part of Lift 2018
  • The interactive experience, set in ‘Nanny Lacey’s’ Flat In Tottenham explores the power of our imagination

Punchdrunk has announced a brand-new show that will be performed at Bernie Grant Arts Centre as part of this summer’s LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2018. Directed by Peter Higgin and Tara Boland, and written by Nessah Muthy, Small Wonders celebrates the relationships we have with our elders.  Suitable for children (aged 5-11) and their families, previews start on Saturday 2nd June.

Inside Nanny Lacey’s flat are a collection of miniatures. These homemade creations capture the adventures she’s shared with her daughter Bella over the years. Like 3D photographs, they’re treasured moments of time and each one tells a different story.

As Nanny Lacey has gotten older she’s started to forget things. Change is on the horizon and she’ll soon move into a care home. Before she goes, there is one final miniature to share, and story to be told.

In this magical, interactive experience for children aged 5-11 years and their families, Bella invites you to join Nanny Lacey in her flat in Tottenham and explore the worlds she has created. 

Conceived by Punchdrunk, Small Wonders is inspired by the stories and dreams of the Tottenham UpLIFTers: a five-year artistic partnership with two Tottenham schools (Duke’s Aldridge Academy and The Vale School), LIFT and a LIFT commission, conceived and co-directed by Darren O’ Donnell and Alice Fleming.

Performances are also available for school groups. For more information contact the Bernie Grant Box Office on 020 8365 5450.

Through the work of its Enrichment department, over the past decade Punchdrunk has taken their pioneering approach to theatre into communities, creating experiences for children, young people and care homes.

A UK premiere for LIFT Festival 2018 from Punchdrunk, commissioned by Punchdrunk, LIFT and Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

LISTINGS

SMALL WONDERS
Conceived by Punchdrunk
Written by Nessah Muthy
Directed by Peter Higgin & Tara Boland
Designed by Kate Rigby
Produced by Alex Rowse

Bernie Grant Arts Centre
Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green, London N15 4RX

First performance: June 2nd at 11.30am
Final performance: July 13th at 4.15pm
Family and school performances run throughout the day. There are no performances on Mondays.
Full performance schedule at www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk

Press performances:
Thursday 7th June: 9.30, 11.30, 13.45, 16.15
Friday 8th June: 9.300, 11.30, 13.45, 16.15
Saturday 9th June: 10.00, 11.30, 13.00, 15.30, 17.00, 18.30

Box office details
www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk
020 8365 5450

Ticket prices

  • Previews (2nd – 8th June) all tickets £8 (plus booking fee)
  • Main run PEAK (Saturday & Sunday) adults £12 children £10 (plus booking fee)
  • Main run OFF PEAK (Tues-Friday) adults £10 children £8 (plus booking fee)

 

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Critic overlooks moral location of Baz Bamigboye’s scoops.

I was disappointed to read Matt Trueman’s Opinion piece for The Stage: ‘Baz Bamigboye’s envious critics overlook hard journalistic graft.’

In it he disapproves of my recent Open Letter to London Theatre PRs – asking them to address their relationship with The Daily Mail. My open letter was not an attack on Baz’s credentials as a journalist. However, Baz and the Mail are inextricably linked

Trueman writes: “My colleague Mark Shenton regularly tweets his dissatisfaction at what he deems preferential treatment, while blogger Carl Woodward recently called for a boycott of Baz’s column.”

Trueman refers to my blog as a ‘boycott’. It is not a boycott. His use of the term boycott reveals a distinct lack of the understanding of the English vocabulary.

He continues: “To suggest as Woodward does, that he (Baz) has all his “scoops handed over” by obliging press reps is not just naïve, but positively insulting.”

By the end of the last paragraph, however, something unexpected had happened. The article had become so pompous and self-righteous it was making me laugh. Quite a lot.

How so? Well, it’s purely down to the fact that this is not accurate arts journalism, obviously, it’s littered with political propaganda and is a contemptuous way to treat readers. Alan Lane brought some sense to proceedings with his response to Trueman’s article.

I mean, really there’s no point in getting Trueman’s back up any further (for me, or anyone), since the last thing that anyone wants is for his stance on Baz having ‘exclusives’ to harden. I obviously hit a nerve. 

As a result of today’s article Baz even dismissed his sources. The mind boggles.

If one of our leading theatre critics wants to defend a right-wing tabloid that whips up hatred and bigotry, then fine. But I’m really tempted to suggest Trueman can take a run and jump.

Update:

Cheap journalism thrives on whipping up feelings. When we talk about tolerance it is a moving line – then there’s a grey area. In the heat of the moment I referred to Matt Trueman as witless and I was not entitled to do so. I have apologised for that.  

 

Dates Announced For UK Tour of THE BODYGUARD

THE BODYGUARD
THE BODYGUARD

THE BODYGUARD

Producers, Michael Harrison and David Ian have announced UK tour dates for the international smash hit production of the award-winning musical THE BODYGUARD opening at Glasgow Theatre Royal on Monday 3 December 2018 where it plays untilSaturday 29 December 2018 before visiting Hull New Theatre(8 – 19 January 2019), Southend Cliff’s Pavilion (22 January – 2 February 2019), Liverpool Empire (26 February – 9 March 2019), Milton Keynes Theatre (12 – 23 March 2019), Bristol Hippodrome(26 March – 6 April 2019), Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff (16 – 27 April 2019), Norwich Theatre Royal (30 April – 11 May 2019),Canterbury Marlowe Theatre (14 – 25 May 2019), Southampton Mayflower (28 May – 8 June 2019), Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (12 – 22 June 2019) and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (25 June – 6 July 2019). Tour schedule and on sale dates below with further dates and casting to be announced.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, THE BODYGUARD, directed by Thea Sharrock with book by Oscar winning (Birdman) Alex Dinelaris, had its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End in 2012 and was nominated for four Olivier Awards. A sell out 18 month UK and Ireland tour followed, before the show returned to the West End at the Dominion Theatre. THE BODYGUARD has also played in the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Italy, Australia and China and can currently be seen in Stuttgart, Madrid and on tour throughout France and the United States.

 Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the NightSo EmotionalOne Moment in TimeSaving All My LoveI’m Your Baby TonightRun to YouI Have NothingI Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

THE BODYGUARD – UK TOUR 2018 – 2019

 

MONDAY 3 DECEMBER – SATURDAY 29 DECEMBER 2018

GLASGOW, THEATRE ROYAL www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 8 JANUARY – SATURDAY 19 JANUARY 2019

HULL NEW THEATRE www.hulltheatres.co.uk

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 22 JANUARY – SATURDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2019

SOUTHEND CLIFFS PAVILLION www.southendtheatres.org.uk

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 26 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 9 MARCH

LIVERPOOL EMPIRE www.atgtickets.com/liverpool

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 12 MARCH – SATURDAY 23 MARCH 2019

MILTON KEYNES THEATRE www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 26 MARCH – SATURDAY 6 APRIL 2019

BRISTOL HIPPODROME www.atgtickets.com/bristol

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 16 APRIL – SATURDAY 27 APRIL 2019

CARDIFF, WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE www.wmc.org.uk

ON SALE 26 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 30 APRIL – SATURDAY 11 MAY 2019

NORWICH, THEATRE ROYAL www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

ON SALE JULY 2018

TUESDAY 14 MAY – SATURDAY 25 MAY 2019

CANTERBURY, MARLOWE THEATRE www.marlowetheatre.com

ON SALE 7 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 28 MAY – SATURDAY 8 JUNE 2019

SOUTHAMPTON, MAYFLOWER THEATRE www.mayflower.org.uk

ON SALE 6 MARCH 2018

WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE – SATURDAY 22 JUNE 2019

NOTTINGHAM, ROYAL CONCERT HALL www.trch.co.uk

ON SALE 8 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 25 JUNE – SATURDAY 6 JULY 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE www.grandtheatre.co.uk

ON SALE 21 MARCH 2018

FURTHER DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED

 

 London Theatre attendances top 15,000,000 for the first time

SOLT
SOLT

SOLT

Society of London Theatre (SOLT) has announced that 2017 was a record year for the capital’s theatre industry with attendances topping 15,000,000 for the first time since the organisation began collecting audience data in 1986. Box office revenues also exceeded £700,000,000.

The record year for London theatre was driven by a strong performance in the first two quarters but also noticeable for a fall in both attendance and revenue in the final quarter of 2017.

2017 highlights:

  • Attendances of 15,094,573 (up 5.35% compared to 2016)
  • Gross revenue of £705,006,928, (up 9.35% compared to 2016)
  • Average ticket price paid £46.71
  • Sales generated VAT receipts for the Treasury of £117,501,155
  • 77.5% of available seats filled (up 0.8% compared to 2016)

Kenny WaxPresident of the Society of London Theatre, said:

“The box office figures are a testament to the creative strength of London theatre and cements the city’s status as the world’s theatre capital. The industry has many reasons to celebrate but must remain cautious as we look ahead to the rest of 2018. It is heartening to have seen growth in audiences for both plays and musicals, however, the year is a tale of two halves with the industry operating in a tougher climate in the final two quarters.”

Comparative table of London theatre attendances and revenues 1986–2017:

Data compiled from all theatres in full membership of the Society of London Theatre

Available to download below:

theatre att and rev 1986-2017

2017: Attendances and Revenue by Genre (with percentage comparisons to 2016):

Musicals: Attendance 8,744,590 (+8%). Revenue £436,611,108 (+9%)

Plays: Attendance 4,468,105 (+7%). Revenue £176,436,089 (+16%)

Other (Opera, Dance, Performance, Entertainment): Attendance 1,881,878 (-7%). Revenue £91,959,731 (+1%)

SOLT will announce the nominees for The Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard, on Tuesday 6 March.  For more information visit bit.ly/olivierawards

,

Let’s reflect on the responses to my Open Letter

Stop the clock: It has been an interesting seven days since I posted an Open Letter calling on thirteen of London’s theatre PRs who regularly extend The Daily Mai’s Baz Bamigboye preferential treatment. The blog was addressed to the major players in the world of west end and commercial PR following columnist Richard Littlejohn telling readers to not consider same-sex parents as “the new normal”.

DWJDtpzUMAIGD3h 2.jpg

Richard Littlejohn Mail headline

One instantly responded to my blog via direct message stating that they will no longer do deals with the Daily Mail or Baz when it comes to cast announcements, which is amazing.

I asked PRs and/or Head of Press if they wished to comment. Most of them didn’t reply, which is a shame. Rather more curtly, one replied: “No thanks.”

I had two very interesting ‘off-the-record’ conversations that basically passed the buck to producers – especially for the commercial west end productions. However, there was some ray of light with one of the organisations that said that they had reviewed their internal policies and decided they would not be giving scoops to the Daily Mail for in-house casting. Nevertheless, they were at the mercy of external producers when it came to transfers.

One Off West-End publicist got in touch independently, though, saying: “We’ve attempted to ban Baz exclusives before but it’s a bit tricky as we work with so many different PR’s and they just report to producers. But it’s on the list of things to do!”

However, one PR did take the time to respond in depth.

“We live in an increasingly siloed world. Everyone feels happier and safer in their own ideological echo chambers than they feel engaging with others across those boundaries and having their entrenched theories of the world challenged. This is a well-documented phenomenon. It is hardly new, but it has certainly become more pronounced and more dangerous in recent years.

Do we personally agree with Richard Littlejohn that the press shouldn’t report on a gay male couple having a baby as ‘normal’? No. Did we personally agree with him when he said, back in October, ’Every dopey bird who has ever been on the end of a bungled fumble has reinvented herself as a victim of attempted rape’? No. Do we personally agree with the Telegraph’s stance on Brexit, or the Times’ and the Sunday Times’ coverage of Trump? No. Do we personally agree, even, with every single word published in the Guardian? No

Theatre itself may be ideological, in motivation, in content, in form. But the process of bringing an audience to theatre shouldn’t be. We would be doing our clients a disservice by restricting our activities to newspapers whose political stances more or less match up with our own. But more importantly, we would be doing a great disservice to theatre and to its audiences.

London-Theatres_2465513b-620x321

Theatre shouldn’t be about preaching to the converted. What playwright or director worth her salt wants to use her work to simply mirror the opinions of a homogenous audience back at them? Is the hallmark of a good play once that sends everyone off into the night nodding silently in agreement? We all talk a good game about attracting more diverse audiences, but that cuts both ways.

Our response to the problem of the filter bubble cannot be to simply refuse to engage with people with whom we disagree. How can we possibly hope to puncture the ever-thickening membranes of our Twitter timelines and Facebook feeds if we don’t even want to share the space of an auditorium for two or three hours with someone who might feel differently to us about immigration

If we believe that theatre can be a socially important medium, that art can raise questions and change people’s minds – beliefs we all probably have to hold to a greater or lesser extent in order to do the jobs we do – then we would be foolish to attempt to exclude the readers of the Daily Mail from the conversation. Without them, we are all just sitting in the dark, applauding each other, until the house lights go up and we find that all of our mutual congratulation and consensus has accomplished nothing in the world outside.”

In business terms, it makes sense. The Mail is a million-selling newspaper, with a big online presence. But it has also become the UK’s most fanatical anti-liberal voice.

But while it might make good commercial sense, the PRs unspoken policy is already a guaranteed turnoff for many audiences. In this shockaholic era, we crave transparency and truth.

We as theatre-goers understand the pressure modern marketeers face. We understand that everyone has to do deals for ‘coverage’. Considering the media narrative on the Mail, though, with Mail advertisers moving away left, right and centre, it doesn’t add up. One also wonders if these Baz ‘exclusives’ actually lead to any noteworthy tickets sales. Is it out of tradition that these exclusives occur?

It’s hard to imagine how, why or when this cultural way of announcing theatre news might end, but end it one day will.

In times like these I look at the snatch of dialogue that hangs over my desk from Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love.Only to shed some light,” Stoppard writes. “It doesn’t matter where on what. It’s the light itself against the darkness. It’s what’s left of God’s purpose when you take away God.”

 

tom-stoppard-05-crop-318x318.jpg

Tom Stoppard

Check out the latest episode of COMMIT NO NUISANCE  a podcast by Carl Woodward and Mark Shenton

Forced Entertainment present two new productions

Out of Order Credit Tim Etchells
Out of Order Credit Tim Etchells

Out of Order Credit Tim Etchells

  • Forced Entertainment present the World Premiere of Out Of Order, at Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt in April
  • Forced Entertainment announced as Southbank Centre Associate Company And present a new version of Tim Etchells’ That Night Follows Day in December

Forced Entertainment has today announced a brand-new production, Out of Order, premiering in Frankfurt in April this year. Also today it has been announced that the company are to become a Southbank Centre Associate Companyand return to the venue after more than a decade, having last performed there in 2007 with And On The Thousandth Nightas part of SPILL Festival, and with seminal piece Bloody Mess at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown. In December 2018 they will present their first work as an associate company, a new version of Artistic Director Tim Etchells’ That Night Follows Day. As a new Southbank Centre associate company, Forced Entertainment will work with the multi arts organisation to research, develop and premiere work.

Forced Entertainment Artistic Director Tim Etchells said“As a Sheffield based company having a London home has always been important to us, and our exciting new partnership with Southbank Centre will help us show the performances we are making to new audiences in the capital, alongside working in other London contexts, as circumstances and opportunities arise. We’ll also continue our diverse collaborations and presentation partnerships around the UK as well as pursuing, in these depressing Brexit times, the development of new projects with our fantastic network of partners and presenters across Europe and further afield.”

In April, emerging from a months–long process of studio improvisation and discussion, provocateurs inside the contemporary theatre scene Forced Entertainment, will present a playful new work Out Of Order. The piece takes as its starting point the idea of the mistake, breakdown or accident in established systems and create a collage of scenes, images, texts, fragments and action to summon the error of the title. In Out Of Order almost everything approaches a state of collapse – the figures onstage do their best to continue, forging narrative and making intimate direct contact with the audience.  Founder members of the Sheffield–based ensemble (Richard Lowdon, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor, Claire Marshall and Robin Arthur) share the stage with regular collaborator Jerry Killick and guest Nicki Hobday who, following recent performances with the group on existing projects, here joins the creation process for the first time.

In December Forced Entertainment will present a new version of Artistic Director Tim Etchells’ That Night Follows Day. Through a chorus of children aged between 8 and 14, the comical and poignant piece interrogates the ways in which the adult world shapes and defines that of young people, offering up the full range of advice, facts, white lies and excuses children hear from adults. The performance explores how we are all both made and constrained by language as we try to describe our experiences and imagine our futures. The piece was originally created in 2007 by Forced Entertainment’s Artistic Director Tim Etchells in a production for the Flemish theatre organisation CAMPO. The new version will assemble a new cast of local young people with an updated text.

Forced Entertainment has worked at the forefront of new developments in theatre and performance for 34 years, and has been a key player in the development of a truly contemporary theatre language. The group makes their work in Sheffield (UK) and tours their ground–breaking performances across the world. The work explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theatre itself – drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up.

Out Of Order is a Forced Entertainment production, co-produced by Künsterlhaus Moustonturm & Schauspiel Frankfurt, PACT Zollverein Essen, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin and Gessnerallee Zurich, it will run from 27 April – 18 May. The Night Follows Day, commissioned by Southbank Centre, will run from 11 – 15 December 2018 in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room.

LISTINGS

OUT OF ORDER
Out Of Order is a Forced Entertainment production. Co-produced by Künsterlhaus Moustonturm & Schauspiel Frankfurt, PACT Zollverein Essen, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin and Gessnerallee Zurich.

Conceived and devised by the company.
Director
 Tim Etchells
Devised with and Performed by Robin Arthur, Nicki Hobday, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor.
Lighting Design Nigel Edwards
Design Richard Lowdon
Production Management Jim Harrison

Forced Entertainment Creative Team
Tim Etchells (Artistic Director), Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon (Designer), Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor.

27, 28 April, 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, 17, 18 May 2018, 8pm.
Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt
Tickets: http://www.mousonturm.de/web/de/veranstaltung/out-of-order

Full tour dates to be announced.

THAT NIGHT FOLLOWS DAY BY FORCED ENTERTAINMENT & TIM ETCHELLS

Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 December 2018, 2pm (Sat) & 7.45pm
Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room
12+
£20
www.southbankcentre.co.uk

LES MISÉRABLES UK and Ireland Tour Announced

LES MISERABLES. Thénardier's
LES MISERABLES. Thénardier's

LES MISERABLES. Thénardier’s – Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench

After nearly a decade since the last UK tour sold out within days, Cameron Mackintosh has announced that his acclaimed Broadway production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical “LES MISÉRABLES” will open at Curve Leicester for a season from Saturday 3 – Saturday 24 November 2018 (press night 14 November 2018), before playing the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (5 December 2018 – 12 January 2019), Festival Theatre Edinburgh (22 January – 16 February 2019) and Manchester Palace Theatre (19 February – 30 March 2019). Further dates will be announced.

 Cameron Mackintosh said, “Since I first conceived the new production of “Les Misérables” to celebrate the shows 25th anniversary in 2009, this production has taken the world by storm – more than matching the success of the original, which can now only be seen in London.  I am thrilled that modern audiences have embraced this production as Les Mis for the 21st century and it is playing to packed houses all over the world in many languages. It also inspired the hugely successful movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne.

 This latest version comes hot from its recent Broadway triumph (now once again on a sell-out tour of North America) and is even more spectacular than the original.  I am very proud that this extraordinary Boublil andSchönberg musical remains as fresh, thrilling and exciting as ever – and people are still storming the barricades for a ticket.”

 This brilliant new staging has scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, and has been seen in North America, South America, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, Dubai and Broadway.

 Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Boublil and Schönberg’s magnificent score of “LES MISÉRABLES”includes the songs, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Stars”, “Bring Him Home”, “Do You Hear the People Sing?”, “One Day More”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, “Master Of The House” and many more.  Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, “LES MISÉRABLES” is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

 Cameron Mackintosh’s production of “LES MISÉRABLES” is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The original “LES MISÉRABLES”orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker. The production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt, projections by Fifty-Nine Productions and musicsupervision by Stephen Brooker and Graham Hurman.

LES MISÉRABLES UK AND IRELAND TOUR 2018/2019

lesmis.com

SATURDAY 3 – SATURDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2018

CURVE, LEICESTER

curveonline.co.uk – 0116 242 3595

ON SALE 12 MARCH 2018

WEDNESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2018 – SATURDAY 12 JANUARY 2019

BORD GAIS ENERGY THEATRE, DUBLIN

bordgaisenergytheatre.ie – +353 (1) 677 7999

ON SALE 12 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 22 JANUARY – SATURDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2019

FESTIVAL THEATRE, EDINBURGH

edtheatres.com – 0131 529 6000

ON SALE 12 MARCH 2018

TUESDAY 19 FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 30 MARCH 2019

MANCHESTER PALACE THEATRE

atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester – 0844 871 3019

ON SALE 5 JUNE 2018

FURTHER DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED