Official renaming  celebrations at The Gillian Lynne Theatre

l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden
l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden

l-r Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gillian Lynne, Cameron Mackintosh, photo by Craig Sugden

Andrew Lloyd Webber has today announced that the New London Theatre is to be renamed in honour of the trailblazing choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne. The theatre will be formally recognized as the Gillian Lynne Theatre later this year and will be the first West End theatre to be named after a woman.

Dame Gillian has made an unprecedented contribution to the arts world; from classical ballet to featured dance performance in theatre, film and television.  She has worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on some of his most famous creations, and her work on the ground-breaking staging and choreography for Cats means she is widely recognized as the leading choreographer of her generation.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that the New London Theatre is to be renamed as the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

“Gillian has been a pioneer of British musical theatre and dance. Gillie’s groundbreaking work on Cats inspired and launched countless careers in dance. It is only fitting that the theatre in which she created Cats is named in her honour.”

Gillian Lynne said:

“The minute I heard Andrew’s music I fell in love with his ability to channel deep emotion into a single musical note. He continues to inspire generation after generation with his passion for musical theatre and Great Britain has benefitted enormously from his brilliance and his generosity.”

Over the course of her career, Gillian has directed more than sixty productions in the West End and Broadway as well as working on eleven feature films and hundreds of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer.

She has received numerous accolades including two Olivier Awards for Cats in 1981 and a Lifetime Achievement “Special” Olivier in 2013. She was honoured with a CBE in 1997 and made a Dame in 2014 for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre – the first woman to be honoured in this way.

The New London Theatre (which has been owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber since 1991) welcomes 450,000 people through its doors every year and is famous for being the home of the original production of Cats. Running from 11th May 1981 to 11th May 2002, this was the West End’s longest running show at the time and the production was a chance for the theatre to make use of its design – the show used all of the technology that the innovative building provided including the revolving auditorium. Cats truly broke new ground in creating an environmental space where the audience didn’t look at a set but were part of it, surrounded on all sides.

Subsequent shows have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s repertory productions of The Seagull and King Lear, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse and currently Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest award-winning musical, School of Rock – The Musical.

The modern theatre is built on the site of previous taverns and music hall theatres – and has been described as occupying “a hallowed, theatrically sacred place on Drury Lane” (Mark Shenton, The Stage) with a place of entertainment being located there since Elizabethan times. The theatre was designed by Paul Tvrtkovic and scenic designer Sean Kenny.

About Gillian Lynne

Dame Gillian Lynne’s career started at fourteen, quickly encompassing ballet, star dancer at the London Palladium and a Hollywood film. Lynne went on to be the leading director/choreographer of her generation best known for her ground-breaking staging and choreography for Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

She has directed more than sixty production in the West End and Broadway; worked on eleven feature films and hundreds of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer. Most recent productions include Dear World in 2013 and Miracle In The Gorbals for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2014.

She has received numerous accolades including two Olivier awards for Cats in 1981 and a Lifetime Achievement ‘Special’ Olivier in 2013. Other awards include: Vienna’s 1983 Silver Order of Merit for the first proscenium arch production of Cats; Golden Rose of Montreux Award for The Muppet Show; Engel Television Award (USA) as director for her conceptual drama The Morte d’Arthur; a BAFTA for her dance drama A Simple Man, for the BBC; a Moliere Award for Cats in Paris in 1989. The Royal Academy of Dance elected her Vice-President in 2012. Lynne was honoured with a CBE in 1997 and made a DBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre, the first woman to be honoured in this way.

 About Andrew Lloyd Webber

When Sunset Boulevard joined School Of Rock, Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four Broadway shows running concurrently.   Other musicals he has composed include Aspects Of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Love Never Dies.

His production of School Of Rock is the first British musical to have world premiered on Broadway.   He has co-produced his own shows including Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera and as a solo producer he presented the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams which introduced the double Oscar winning Bollywood  composer AR Rahman to the Western stage.

Other productions include the Olivier Award Winning Daisy Pulls It Off and La Bete, the record breaking Palladium production of The Sound Of Music and The Wizard of Oz.

He owns seven West End Theatres including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Palladium and  The Other Palace which provides a unique London home for new musicals in development.

He is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music.

His awards, both as composer and producer,  include seven Tonys,  seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass which contains one of his best known compositions, Pie Jesu.

He was knighted in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997.


Casting update for Martin McDonagh’s A Very Very Very Dark Matter

A Very Very Very Dark Matter
A Very Very Very Dark Matter

A Very Very Very Dark Matter

Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles, Elizabeth Berrington and Phil Daniels will join the previously announced Jim Broadbent in the world premiere of Martin McDonagh’s A Very Very Very Dark Matter.

The London Theatre Company’s production directed by Matthew Dunster, designed by Anna Fleischle with lighting by Philip Gladwell and sound by George Dennis will now preview at the Bridge Theatre from 12 October with opening night on 24 October 2018 at 7pm.  This 12-week run will conclude on 6 January 2019. Further casting for A Very Very Very Dark Matter will be announced in due course.

In a townhouse in Copenhagen works Hans Christian Andersen, a teller of exquisite and fantastic children’s tales beloved by millions.  But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs, her existence a dark secret kept from the outside world.  As dangerous, twisted and funny as his National Theatre and Broadway hit The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh’s new play travels deep into the abysses of the imagination.

 A recent graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles will make her professional stage debut in A Very Very Very Dark Matter

 Elizabeth Berrington was last on stage in Rasheeda Speaking at the Trafalgar Studios. Her previous theatre credits include Who Cares and The Low Road for the Royal Court, Holes at the Arcola Theatre, Absent Friends at the Comedy Theatre and Abigail’s Party for Hampstead Theatre.  Her television credits include Patrick Melrose, Stella, Waterloo Road, Vanity Fair, Borderline, Death in Paradise, Little Boy Blue and the forthcoming Good Omens.  Her film credits include Naked, Secrets and Lies, Vera DrakeMr. Turner and Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges.

Phil Daniels recently toured the UK playing the title roles in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.  His further theatre credits include King Lear for Chichester Festival Theatre, This House at the National Theatre and Garrick Theatre,  Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre and Antony and Cleopatra and Knight of The Burning Pestle for Shakespeare’s Globe. On television his many credits include EndeavourZapped, Poirot, Mooonfleet, EastEnders, Outlaws, Rocks and Chips, Gimme Gimme GimmeMisfits, The Long Firm, Time Gentlemen Please, Holding On and Sex, Chips and Rock n Roll.  On film his credits include Access All Areas, The Hatton Garden Job, Vinyl, Chicken Run, Bad Behaviour, Scum and Quadrophenia.

Jim Broadbent (Hans Christian Andersen) is a BAFTA and Academy award-winning actor. He has previously appeared in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman at the National Theatre where he was also seen in Improbable Theatre’s Theatre of Blood.  Broadbent has worked extensively for the Donmar Warehouse, the Old Vic, the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company and has most recently been seen on stage in A Christmas Carol at The Noel Coward Theatre.  His many film credits include Iris, for which he won an Academy Award, The Lady in the Van, Paddington, Brooklyn, Iron Lady, Le Weekend, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Moulin Rouge.  His more recent television credits include King Lear, Game of Thrones, War and Peace, London Spy and The Go-Between as well as his BAFTA winning role in Longford. 

Martin McDonagh is an award-winning writer and director.  His plays are The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Pillowman, A Behanding in Spokane and Hangmen.  As a writer and director for film his credits are Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges, Six Shooter, and most recently, the Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Matthew Dunster directed McDonagh’s Hangmen at the Royal Court which also transferred to New York. His other directing credits include The Seagull and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Open Air Regent’s Park, Love’s Sacrifice for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Liberian Girl at the Royal Court, Love the Sinner for the National Theatre, Doctor Faustus, Imogen, The Frontline and Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare’s Globe, Mametz for the National Theatre of Wales, Before the Party for the Almeida Theatre and Saturday Night and Sunday MorningMacbeth and Mogadishu for the Royal Exchange Theatre.  As a writer his plays include Children’s Children which premiered at the Almeida Theatre and You Can See the Hills which premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre as well as an adaptation of 1984.


Listings Information

Address:                                   Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Box Office:                               0333 320 0051 or [email protected]

Tickets are priced from £15 to £65 with a limited number of premium seats available.   A special allocation of £15 seats are held for Young Bridge, a free scheme for those under 26.

Access:                                    0333 320 0051 or [email protected]


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Fuel announces more work for 2018

Kate McGrath
Kate McGrath

Kate McGrath

  • Fuel Director, Kate Mcgrath announces more new work for 2018
  • Inua Ellams’ Acclaimed hit Barber Shop Chronicles to tour to America and Canada
  • World Premiere production of first-ever stage adaptation of international best-seller Touching The Void by David Greig and Tom Morris
  • Roy Alexander-Weise directs a new auto-biographical play, The Dark, by Poet Nick Makoha about his childhood escape from Idi Amin’s Uganda
  • Sound&Fury’s Charlie Ward plunges audiences into the world of recovering first world war soldiers in hospital wards
  • Andy Smith’s new play Summit Plays with time to show how a single moment can change the future
  • Tonight We Fly: Fuel presents a week-long festival of performance, conversations and workshops
  • Fuel’s ongoing collaboration with the wellcome trust sees artists throughout the programme consulting and learning from the work of scientists

Fuel Director, Kate McGrath confirmed more projects to take place in 2018 in the UK and beyond.

Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams’ acclaimed play (co-produced by Fuel, the National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse) about the melting pot world of the male barber shop, has completed two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre and a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Seen now by more than 62,000 people it has been attracting new and diverse audiences wherever it plays. This autumn it will embark on a tour of the USA and Canada, including a five week season at ART in Boston.

Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director Tom Morris will direct David Greig’s brand new adaptation of Joe Simpson’s huge international best-seller Touching the Void. It tells the terrifying story of Joe and Simon Yates’ successful but disastrous and nearly fatal climb of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. It was made into an award-winning film in 2003 and here is adapted for the stage for the first time. David Greig worked with psychologists and physiologists to try and understand better the mental and physical effects of surviving in such extreme conditions.  Touching the Void is a co-production between Fuel, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

The Dark is a new play by poet Nick Makoha. It tells the harrowing auto-biographical story of how he and his mother escaped from Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1978. Two performers play multiple characters in this exploration of memory which will be directed by the award-winning  Roy Alexander-Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre).

As part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Charlie Ward tells the story of how hospitalised First World War soldiers were played Charlie Chaplin films in an effort to cheer them up as they recovered from their wounds.  Sound&Fury is acclaimed for plunging audiences into highly immersive worlds, and this production is no exception as the sounds of war and the sounds of home merge to create a visceral and emotional soundscape that asks the question: Is laughter really the best medicine?

Andy Smith’s new play Summit mixes up timeframes and language to explore how a global crisis can turn the world on its head and how people attempt to cope. The production will go on a UK tour including a two-week run at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Tonight We Fly, a festival of performances and conversations, will take place in Leeds in autumn 2018. Full details of the programme will be announced in due course, but it will include workshops, discussions and performances including: Summit and Charlie Ward. Partners include West Yorkshire Playhouse, SlungLow, Transform, and Leeds International Film Festival.

Fuel has formed a three-year partnership with the Wellcome Trust which involves artists and scientists collaborating and sharing their experience and expertise. For this season David Greig will be working with academics Professor Mike Tipton – whose research examines the physiological and psychological impact of adverse environments on the human body – and Dr Magda Osman – who explores the psychology of decision-making in every changing situations.  In this collaboration the scientists are helping David to gain a deeper understanding of his characters.



By Inua Ellams



The tour will visit Tempe, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle, Stanford, London (Canada), Washington, Boston and Hanover

Full details will be announced soon.

By Andy Smith

27 – 28 September 2018
Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester
0161 275 8951
The University of Manchester, Bridgeford St,
Manchester M13 9PL

2 October 2018
Axis Arts Centre, Crewe
0843 2080500
Cheshire Campus, Manchester University, Crewe, Cheshire,

3 October 2018
Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
01902 321321
Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LY

4 October 2018
New Wolsey, Ipswich
01473 295900
Civic Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2AS

9-19 October 2018
Shoreditch Town Hall
PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 11 October 2018
020 7739 6176
380 Old street, London, EC1V 9LT

26 October 2018
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
01522 837600
Lincoln Arts Centre, University of Lincoln, Brayford
Pool, Lincoln LN6 7TS

30 October 2018
Lancaster Arts Centre
01524 594151
Lancaster University, Great Hall Complex,
N Spine, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW

1 November 2018
Rose Theatre, Edge Hill Unversity
01695 575171
St Helens Road, Ormskirk
Lancashire, L39 4QP

6 November 2018
South Street, Reading
0118 960 6060
21 South Street, Reading RG1 4QU

7 November 2018
Lakeside Theatre, Colchester
01206 873261
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Square 5,
Colchester CO4 3SQ

8 – 9 November 2018
Dartington Arts Centre
01489 779471
Dartington Hall, Totnes, TQ9 6EL


Based on the book by Joe Simpson
Adapted by David Greig
Directed by Tom Morris

8 September-6 October 2018
Bristol Old Vic
PRESS NIGHT: 18 September 2018 @ 7pm
0117 987 7877
King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED

9-20 October 2018
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
PRESS NIGHT: 10 October 2018 @ 7pm
01604 624811
19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP

24 January – 16 February 2019
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
PRESS NIGHT: 25 January 2019 @ 7.30pm
0131 248 4848
Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX

By Sound&Fury

11-22 September 2018
Theatre Deli, Sheffield
202 Eyre Street
Sheffield S1 4QZ

25 September–6 October 2018
York Army Museum
01904 461010
3a Tower Street, York, YO1 9SB

15 – 19 October 2018
Perth Theatre 
01738 621 031
Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ

30 October –  12 November
Leeds Town Hall as part of Leeds International Film Festival
0113 376 0318
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3ADt

By Nick Makoha
Directed by Roy Alexander Weise

9 & 10 November 2018
Tobacco Factory, Bristol
0117 902 0344
Raleigh Road, Bristol, BS3 1TF

21 November –   1 December 2018
Ovalhouse, London
PRESS NIGHT: 22 November 2018 @ 7.30pm
020 7582 7680
52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

Casting Announced on The End of Eddy

The End of Eddy
The End of Eddy

The End of Eddy

‘My crime wasn’t doing something. My crime was being something. Being different in a way everyone else could see.’

Stewart Laing directs Alex Austin and Kwaku Mills in The End of Eddy, Pamela Carter’s powerful new work, based on Édouard Louis’s best-selling book, in this co-production between the Unicorn Theatre and Untitled Projects.

 The End of Eddy will open as part of the Edinburgh International Festival prior to a run in London at the Unicorn.  It will also tour the UK and Ireland with dates to be announced shortly.

Born into brutal poverty, in the cultural wilderness of post-industrial rural France, a boy grows up amongst hard men and women living hard and violent lives. Bullied relentlessly for being gay, this is the story of Eddy’s struggle to understand who he is, who he might become, and of his fight to escape.

Written when he was just 21 and combining vivid and urgent storytelling with frank reflections on sexuality, poverty and prejudice. Édouard Louis’ acclaimed novel was first published in 2014 and is both unflinchingly honest and darkly entertaining.  This new and boldly theatrical stage adaptation is a joint Unicorn Theatre and Untitled Projects commission and reunites visionary director Stewart Laing and his long-term collaborator, writer Pamela Carter, who have worked together since 2005.

Stewart Laing is a Scottish theatre director. He is Associate Director with National Theatre of Scotland and is Artistic Director of his own company, Untitled Projects, which he formed in 1998.  Directing credits with Untitled Projects include J.G. Ballard Project,blind_sightSlopeAn Argument About Sex, The Salon ProjectPaul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Slope Redux. Other credits include The Maids for Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Ten Plagues for Traverse Theatre, Titus Andronicus for Dundee Rep, The Sewing Group for Royal Court, and most recently, Creditors for Lyceum in Edinburgh. Stewart is currently directing David Sawer’s new opera The Skating Rink for Garsington Opera. Stewart originally trained as a theatre designer at Central School of Art and Design in London and has worked extensively as a theatre designer throughout the UK and internationally. He has designed for the West End and Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1997 for his work on the musical Titanic. Recent design credits include work for The Old Vic in London, The Park Avenue Armory in New York and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Pamela Carter is a playwright and dramaturg. Her plays include Lines (The Yard Theatre, London); Fast Ganz Nah/Almost Near(Theater Dresden, Germany); Skåne (Hamptead Theatre; winner of the New Writing Commission at the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt in 2012); What We Know (Traverse Theatre); Wildlife (Magnetic North Theatre Co); The Last of Us (Play, Pie & a Pint). Her plays for Untitled Projects include Slope (2006 and 2014); Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner, 2013; and An Argument About Sex (After Marivaux) in 2009.   As dramaturg and writer with Vanishing Point Theatre, she has made the award-winning Interiors (touring internationally since 2009), Saturday Night, and Tomorrow.

Pamela also works in opera, film, dance and visual arts.  Since 2014, she has been a visiting lecturer on the Masters in Interior Design at Glasgow School of Art.

Alex Austin’s credits include, for the Unicorn Henry VThe NutcrackerHow to Think the UnthinkableThe Man with the Incredibly Smelly Foot. Other credits include most recently A New And Better You (The Yard), GundogGrimly HandsomePrimetime 2017,YenPigeons (Royal Court), Thebes Land (Arcola); Fury (Soho); Barbarians (Young Vic) and The Skriker (Royal Exchange, Manchester).  Television includes The InterceptorSherlockNew TricksMisfits and Holby City.  Film includes A Moving Image,The Hooligan Factory and The World’s End.

 Kwaku Mills has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts.  Credits whilst training include; Raleigh inJourney’s End, Ward in Women Beware Women, Benjamin in Easter and Colin Powell in Stuff Happens.  He will be making his professional debut in The End of Eddy.

Age guide: 16+ (contains explicit sexual references and frequent use of strong language)

Duration: Approx 1 hr 30 mins


 Preview performance at the Unicorn Theatre on Friday 17 August 2018

 Tuesday 21 August to Sunday 26 August 2018

Edinburgh International Festival
Box Office: +44 (0)131 473 2000

Thursday 13 September – Saturday 6 October 2018

Unicorn Theatre

Box Office: 020 7645 0560


Is Heathers beyond criticism?


I’m quite intrigued by the recent revelations that Heathers is beyond criticism.

In recent times, the traditional press night has  become ever more nebulous. I got an email last week saying that there would be no press night for Heathers. It sounded like a theatre bulletin from another planet: who wouldn’t have a press night for an off-broadway hit, coming to town, in 2018?

This week, Andrezj Luwkowski wrote in The Stage: ‘This production has virtually sold out on the strength of the Heathers name, it scarcely needs reviews. But when you’re unashamedly charging your audience top dollar (top price ticket: £75), inviting scrutiny – or explaining why you’re not – feels like a politeness to them, as much as anything.’



We all understand the pressure that producers face and that everyone has to do advertising deals. We understand that in a world that contains The Band, critics probably aren’t at the top of the list like they might have been a few years ago.

Last night, though, there was a Gala evening. Baz BamigboyeOfficial London Theatre,WhatsOnStage were in attendance. Call me cynical, but this is not conducive to anything other than cheerleading.

It is the producers and PRs stage-managing the narrative and ‘buzz’ within an inch of its life. It’s kind of maddeningly admirable.

The mixed messages continue.  Heathers is a ‘work-in-progress’ and not a full scale production. However, producer Paul Taylor-Mills said: ‘‘I’m thrilled that within a year of The Other Palace we have a project that has gone from workshop to a fully realised production.” Confusing, right?

But it isn’t just the critics that are relegated to the theatre dead-zone. Glancing at social media it becomes increasingly clear that anyone who has an opinion to the contrary that Heathers is the greatest musical in 2018, is shot down in flames or called a troll and/or hater.

I suppose the cocktail of Carrie Hope Fletcher and Heathers is a fandom that ranks among the most uptight on the internet but, also, if for whatever reason you’re a fan of a show or a performer, it’s unpleasant to see them being criticised. I get that.

You only need to look at the comments under the West End Live performance (that has racked up 150,000+ views) to realise that Heathers is a cult show, driven by cult personalities.

Perhaps some of the vagueness comes from a place of insecurity, and perhaps they’re more aware than they care to admit that the entire operation is questionable. The mind boggles.

I think it is terrific that Heathers is in London, I admire the commercial-nous. But I just wish more people could see it at an affordable rate, with more transparency and a regard for the critical community.

Heathers the Musical at The Other Palace from 9 June to 4 August.

Applications open for National Theatre Young Technicians 2018

Applications are now open for National Theatre Young Technicians, a free programme offering an exciting opportunity for young people to develop their skills and learn about a variety of backstage and off-stage roles from top industry professionals.

The programme is open to 14-18-year-olds and participants will have the opportunity to take part in technical theatre workshops from a range of departments including lighting, sound, video and automation.

The programme will run for 10 Wednesday evening sessions between October and December 2018 and will introduce the group to the basics of technical theatre including lighting, sound and video. All participants will then be given the option to continue into term two (January–March) where they can develop their skills further. In the Easter and Summer holidays, participants will then have the opportunity to shadow NT professionals and provide technical support to the National Theatre youth programme.

A participant from last year’s programme said: “This programme is the most interesting and exciting thing I have ever taken part in.  I have learned so much, met so many amazing people, and made friends for life.  Everyone who helped out was so friendly and helpful, and every week was different and there was always so much to look forward to.”

Applications are open until 7 September 2018. To apply, visit the NT website:

The National Theatre is an equal opportunities organisation, committed to diversity.  We actively encourage applications from young BAME candidates and young women as we recognise these groups are currently under-represented in the field of technical theatre.

Workshop Dates:

Wednesday evenings 5-8pm

Term 1:

3, 10, 17, 31 October
7, 4, 14, 21, 28 November
5, 12 December

Term 2:

16, 23, 30 January
6, 20, 27 February
6, 13, 20, 27 March

Kim Cattrall, Lena Headey and Noma Dumezweni star in new short film released by International Rescue Committee and Shakespeare’s Globe

Refugee Week

The International Rescue Committee and Shakespeare’s Globe have released a new short film to mark World Refugee Day. A unique performance of Shakespeare’s speech ‘The Strangers’ Case’ from The Book of Sir Thomas More, the film features refugees from Syria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan alongside renowned actors including Kim CattrallLena HeadeyNoma Dumezweni and Jamael Westman in an expression of unity with all those who have fled conflict overseas.

Filmed in the Globe’s iconic outdoor and indoor theatres, Sawsan Abou Zeinedin, Sana Kikhia, Rayan Azhari and Mohanad Hasb Alrsol Badr are joined by actors from stage and screen as they stand in solidarity with Shakespeare’s rallying cry for humanity, which is as relevant today as it was 400 years ago. The film will launch the Globe’s programming for Refugee Week (18th – 24th June) and will be screened across the site throughout the week.

The Book of Sir Thomas More was written and edited by a team of playwrights including Anthony Munday, Henry Chettle, Thomas Heywood, Thomas Dekker and William Shakespeare. Depicting More’s rise and fall, it includes a dramatization of the May Day riots of 1517, when citizens turned on their immigrant neighbours. Thomas More memorably confronts the rioters, condemning their ‘mountainish inhumanity’ and urging them to consider the ‘the strangers’ case’: the plight of London’s refugees.

David MilibandCEO of the International Rescue Committee, said: “Shakespeare knew that refugees needed help and so should we. In his time it was the Lombards fleeing their homes and communities. Today people are fleeing their homes and communities in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. The people are different but the reasons are the same: To protect themselves and their loved ones from war, violence and persecution. And Shakespeare’s rallying cry for humanity is as relevant as ever. Now is the time to answer his cry and stand with refugees.”

Michelle TerryArtistic Director at the Globe, said: “If Shakespeare is our greatest humanist writer, then it is our humanitarian duty to respond to his own clarion call. ‘The Strangers’ Case’ is Thomas More’s sadly still relevant plea to the rioting masses as they attack and reject the “wretched strangers, Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage, Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation.”

Where better than the embrace of our wooden O, or the warmth of our Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, in an organisation that was conceived of and created by Sam Wanamaker who himself sought refuge in this country after being blacklisted by his own, to tell these kind of stories. But ‘The Strangers’ Case’ isn’t a story; it’s a hostility which is real, ongoing, and which must be fought. I’m so pleased we’ve been able to partner with the IRC to bring to life Shakespeare’s appeal to our “mountainish inhumanity”, in a rallying cry for compassion and empathy which echoes from his century to ours.”

Sana, a refugee from Syria who appears in the film said: “I am presenting myself as a refugee to help remove the stigma. I want to let the world know that being a refugee is not a burden. Refugees are survivors and have overcome so many difficulties and war. We need to rethink the way we look at refugees. I am happy to be called a refugee and help the case.”

The Jungle Holds Performance in Recognition of World Refugee Day

Nahel Tzegai Helene and Sara Mokonen Rahel in The Jungle West End. C
Nahel Tzegai Helene and Sara Mokonen Rahel in The Jungle West End. C

Nahel Tzegai Helene and Sara Mokonen Rahel in The Jungle West End. Credit Marc Brenner

The Jungle, currently in previews at the Playhouse Theatre, will today recognise World Refugee Day with all tickets to the evening performance offered to refugee charities, arts partners and guests from the cultural sphere. The production is set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais Jungle, which in 2015, became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people. A National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre, The Jungle is written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin. It transfers to the West End, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold following a sell-out run at the Young Vic in December 2017.

Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and celebrates its 20th anniversary between 18 and 24 June 2018. For two decades, the festival has brought together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and the welcome offered to them by British communities.  For this year’s World Refuge Week people are invited to celebrate Refugee Week’s 20th anniversary by doing one of 20 Simple Acts, which are simple actions everyone can do to stand with refugees and bring people together in their communities.   Thousands of people are expected to join Refugee Week’s 20th anniversary celebrations at hundreds of arts, cultural and educational activities across the UK.

The first footage was today released of the newly revamped Playhouse Theatre, where the traditional proscenium theatre has undergone an unprecedented transformation, unlike anything seen in a West End venue before. The stalls have been reconfigured to house Miriam Buether’s critically-acclaimed set design as seen at the Young Vic, where audiences are invited to sit at the benches and tables of the Afghan café in the Calais camp. The Playhouse Theatre also offers the new experience of watching from the Dress Circle, which has been renamed “Cliffs of Dover”. Whilst the circle will retain its traditional theatre seating, the unique and intimate experience is unlike anything regular Playhouse Theatre attenders have had before, with views over the dramatically transformed performance space below, which extends beyond the proscenium arch and over the stalls, enhanced by accompanying video screens, relaying close-up ‘live news broadcast’ style footage of some of the action. The in-the-round transformation reduces the capacity of the theatre to under 450 seats. Top price tickets are directly enabling 40% of the house to be priced at £25 and under, and a proportion of tickets will be held off sale to be offered to refugees and targeted groups in order to maximise diversity and accessibility. Bucket collections and donation stations are available at every single performance of the show.

This is the place where people suffered and dreamed.  Meet the hopeful, resilient residents of the Jungle – just across the Channel, right on our doorstep. The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the Calais camp’s creation – and of its eventual destruction. Join the residents over freshly baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café, and experience the intense, moving and uplifting encounters between refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK.

Official charity partner, Help Refugees, which was established alongside the Good Chance Theatre in the Calais Jungle in 2015, and is now the leading UK NGO in a new movement of International humanitarian aid, is supported by the production.

The company is made up of actors from around the world, cast are from Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Eritrea, England, Zimbabwe, Syria, Armenia, Congo, Wales, Scotland, The Gambia, Morocco, Lebanon and Germany.

Following its West End run at the Playhouse Theatre, The Jungle will have its American Premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, beginning December 4, 2018.

Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Kirdahy, Hunter Arnold present A National Theatre and Young Vic Co-Production with Good Chance Theatre.


Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Kirdahy, Hunter Arnold

in association with Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Paula Marie Black, Michael Desantis, Tulchin Bartner Productions, 1001 Nights Productions, Rupert Gavin, Brenda Leff, Stephanie P. Mcclelland, Richard Winkler, Jane Cee & Glenn Redbord present

National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre

by Joe Murphy & Joe Robertson
Directed by Stephen Daldry & Justin Martin
Set Miriam Buether
Costumes Catherine Kodicek
Lighting Jon Clark
Sound Paul Arditti

Musical Direction / Composition John Pfumojena
Video Duncan McLean and Tristan Shepard
Casting Julia Horan CDG
Executive Producer David Lan

The Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

First performance: Saturday 16 June
Final performance: Saturday 3 November
Opening Night: Thursday 5 July

Monday to Saturday evenings, 7.30pm
Thursday & Saturday matinees, 2.30pm

Box office: 0844 871 7631 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge

Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174

Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971

Prices from £15

Twitter: @TheJungleLDN
Facebook: @TheJungleLDN
Instagram: @TheJungleLDN


Dance Umbrella announces Four by Four – a 40th anniversary initiative supporting the choreographers of the future

  • Val Bourne CBE, Betsy Gregory and Emma Gladstone have invited Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Stephen Petronio, Akram Khan, and Rocío Molina to nominate an emerging talent to make work for future festivals
  • Dance Umbrella 2018 will take place from 26 September – 21 October in venues across London

Dance Umbrella, London’s flagship festival of international dance, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this autumn. To mark this milestone DU has launched Four by Four – a programme inspired by the festival’s four decades of artistic growth, a way of moving forwards by looking back.

In Four by Four all three of DU’s Artistic Directors, Val Bourne CBE, Betsy Gregory and Emma Gladstone, have invited an established artist from their time at the helm to nominate a ‘choreographer of the future’.

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Stephen Petronio, Akram Khan and Rocío Molina will each nominate four young, up-and-coming choreographers to receive funding from Four by Four to create a show that will be performed in future festivals. The selected recipients will be announced during the festival this autumn.

Emma Gladstone, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella, said: “We are delighted to announce our Four by Four nominators today. Through this new development programme we are able to continue to support and nurture exceptional talent, which is what Dance Umbrella has always striven to do. For this special anniversary year I wanted to find a way to acknowledge the history of DU whilst still looking to the future, and asking the wisdom of artists who have had a significant impact on the festival and the wider contemporary dance scene felt a good way to do that. ”

Val Bourne CBE who was Artistic Director from 1978-2007, said: “In my 29 years as founder Artistic Director of Dance Umbrella there have been so many highlights and I’m immensely proud to have brought so much international talent to our shores such as Anne Teresa and Stephen. I am hugely excited to discover who they will select as recipients of the support this initiative will provide, and I encourage anyone who cares about the future of contemporary dance to support this commissioning initiative in whatever way they can.

In Dance Umbrella’s first decade (1978–1988) choreographers such as Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Compagnie Cré-Ange, Steve Paxton and Mark Morris were among the international artists invited to perform in London, together with the UK’s Siobhan Davies, MAAS Movers, Rosemary Butcher, Richard Alston, Michael Clark, Jonathan Burrows and Shobana Jeyasingh among many, many more.

Over the years DU has gone on to provide an astonishing eighty artists with essential funds to make shows, acting as a catalyst by investing in their visions and enabling audiences to see truly pioneering dance. DU’s belief in the power of helping artists in this way still burns bright and Four by Four is a celebration of this legacy as the festival looks to the next forty years and beyond.

More information about how to donate and support for Four by Four can be found at




17c – BIG DANCE THEATER                                            UK PREMIERE
The Old Vic: Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 September 7.00pm
Saturday 29 September 2.30pm
Press performance: Thursday 27 September 7.00pm

Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with The Old Vic.
With support from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Greenwich Peninsula: Saturday 29 September 2pm & 4pm
BOXPARK Croydon: Sunday 7 October 12.30pm & 2pm
Somerset House: Saturday 13 October 3pm & 5pm
Press performance: Saturday 29 September 4pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella.
Produced by Complicité.
In partnership with Greenwich Peninsula, Croydon Council and Somerset House.


National Theatre, Cottesloe Room: Tuesday 2 October 5.30pm – 7pm
Vicky Featherstone in conversation with Ruth Little
Produced by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the National Theatre.
Supported by One Dance UK.

RED – WEN HUI                                                                             LONDON PREMIERE
Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room: Thursday 4 – Friday 5 October 7.45pm
Press performance: Thursday 4 October 7.45pm
Part of Southbank Centre’s China Changing Festival
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Southbank Centre.

CONCERT – COLIN DUNNE                                                         LONDON PREMIERE
The Pit, Barbican Centre: Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 October 7.45pm
Press performance: Thursday 18 October 7.45pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with the Barbican. With support from Culture Ireland.

VIA KANANA – VIA KATLEHONG                                                        UK PREMIERE
Part of OUT OF THE SYSTEM                                                                          
Shoreditch Town Hall: Wednesday 10 – Thursday 11 October 7.30pm
Press Performance: Wednesday 10 October 7.30pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall.

CRXSS PLATFXRM                                                                     FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE
Part of OUT OF THE SYSTEM                                                             

Shoreditch Town Hall: Friday 12 October 6pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with CRXSS PLATFXRM and Shoreditch Town Hall.

Sadler’s Wells: Tuesday 16 – Wednesday 17 October 7.30pm
Press performance: Tuesday 16 October 7.30pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Sadler’s Wells.

KoKERS – DADODANS                                                                      LONDON PREMIERE
Stratford Circus Arts Centre: Saturday 29 September 11am
artsdepot: Sunday 30 September 11am & 2pm
The Place: Saturday 6 October 10.30am & 2pm
Watermans: Sunday 7 October 11.30am
Press tickets available for all performances
For ages 3+
A Dance Umbrella Orbital London Tour in partnership with artsdepot, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, The Place and Watermans.

THRESHOLD – LE PATIN LIBRE                                                            UK PREMIERE
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink
Thursday 18 October 8.30pm
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 October 6.15pm & 8.45pm
Press performance: Thursday 18 October 8.30pm
Presented by Dance Umbrella in partnership with Alexandra Palace. Supported by Québec Government Office, London. Co-producers – Dance Umbrella (London), Danse Danse (Montreal, Canada), Théâtre de la Ville de Paris (France), National Arts Centre (Canada), Nuits de Fourvière de Lyon (France).

The full programme is attached and can be viewed online at