Shakespeare’s Globe announces programme for festival ‘Shakespeare and Race’

Shakespeare and Race
Shakespeare and Race

Shakespeare and Race

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the programme for ‘Shakespeare and Race’, a new festival of events opening 11 August. This is the first time in the Globe’s twenty-year history that the topic will be explored in depth over a week. Curated to draw attention to and provide a platform for scholars, practitioners and educators of colour in the teaching, study and performance of Shakespeare, this festival will highlight the importance of race to the consideration of Shakespeare not only in his time, but more urgently, in our own. The festival includes a play American Moor by Keith Hamilton Cobb, a workshop entitled Staging Race and Diversity in the Shakespearean TheatreThe Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture is to be given by Professor Kim F. Hall, a pre-show talk for Emilia with Morgan-Lloyd Malcolm, a panel discussion of actors who have played Othello, and an international symposium featuring Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and UCLA, who coined the term ‘intersectionality’. The festival starts and finishes with two theatre productions, Voices in the Dark and Hip-hop Shakespeare Unplugged.

Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper, Director of the Festival and Head of Higher Education & Research, said: “This festival aims to address the racial imbalances that exist not only in the industry of theatre but also in Shakespeare studies. As an iconic Shakespeare organisation we are duty bound to engage scholars and artists of all backgrounds and facilitate important and, at times, difficult conversations about the ways in which race is being represented in theatre and in the field. Shakespeare’s Globe must have this important conversation as a confident rebuttal to a dangerous regression to white privilege.”

Margaret Casely-Hayford, Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: Shakespeare’s ability to give an eloquent voice to people of different backgrounds and in widely differing emotional states speaks to and for all of us and is what makes him enduringly powerful. He is part of all of our heritage. I am thrilled by the fact that he articulated the passion and the anguish of Italian teenagers, Scottish royals, Roman statesmen, English peasants, Danish aristocracy, a Jewish merchant and an African who was a member of the Venetian military high command! In that context it is even more thrilling that there is so much intrigue about who really was his ‘dark lady’. It is clear that he was convinced that none of us is just one thing. The festival celebrates that fact and gives those of us who don’t ordinarily claim him so readily as part of our heritage, an ability and focus to do so.”

Opening the festival will be Voices in the Dark, personal stories written by young British Muslims performed alongside scenes devised by Intermission Youth Theatre. Highlighting the parallels between Shakespeare’s stories and these modern ones, scenes from his plays are woven into the evening. Intermission Youth Theatre is a charity working with young people who are disadvantaged, lacking in opportunity, at risk of offending or ex-offenders. All profits from the event will be donated to Intermission Youth Theatre, and Voices, a social start-up which aims to creatively challenge perceptions through the sharing and telling of people’s stories.

On 12 AugustAmerican Moor, an 85-minute play written and performed by African-American actor Keith Hamilton Cobb, will examine the experience and perspective of black men in America. There will be a post-performance discussion hosted and led by Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. The production has been performed across America, winning ‘Outstanding Solo Performance’ at the 2015 AUDELCO Awards. It was recognized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the script is now in the library’s permanent collection.

Keith Hamilton Cobb is best-known for his roles as Noah Keefer for ABC’s All My Children, for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, Tyr Anasazi in Gene Rodenberrys Andromeda, Damon Porter in CBSs The Young and the Restless, and Quincy Abrams for the series Noahs Arc (Logo Network). Other television credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boston Common, Suddenly Susan, One on One, The Twilight Zone, and CSI Miami. A prolific stage performer, Keith has performed in multiple Shakespearean plays, including HamletRomeo and JulietCoriolanusA Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as more contemporary roles in David Mamet’Race, August Wilson’s Jitney, and Lynn Nottage’Ruined.

On Monday 13 August, a workshop entitled Staging Race and Diversity in the Shakespearean Theatre will study the relationship between staging practices and racial diversity. This will examine the privilege white actors have and disadvantage actors of colour experience due to choices of costume, set and lighting. The workshop will ask questions such as ‘does staging Shakespeare in historical dress present a challenge to directors and designers when it comes to racial diversity?’ Actors and scholars will come together to experiment, challenge and debate long-held assumptions about the relationship between casting, staging and race. The workshop will be led by Dr Erika Lin, Associate Professor at the Graduate Centre of New York (CUNY) and Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, Director of the Shakespeare and Race festival and Head of Higher Education and Research at the Globe. Erika specialises in early modern English theatre and culture with particular attention to embodied performance, affect, spectacle, and audience.

The Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture is to be given by Professor Kim F. Hall on Tuesday 14 August. Kim F. Hall is the Lucyle Hook Chair of English and a Professor of Africana Studies at Barnard College. Her research and teaching cover Renaissance/Early Modern Literature and Culture, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Studies, Slavery Studies, Visual Culture, Food Studies, and Digital Humanities. Her book, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, (published 1996), used a black feminist approach to interpret Renaissance literature. She is currently working on two book projects: Sweet Taste of Empire, which examines the roles of race, aesthetics and gender in the Anglo-Caribbean sugar trade during the seventeenth century and a new project, Othello was My Grandfather: Shakespeare and the African Diaspora, which discusses Afrodiasporic appropriations of Othello.

Wednesday 15 August will see Morgan Lloyd Malcolm in conversation with the director Nicole Charles in a pre-show talk before Emilia. Morgan’s new play, Emilia, opens 10 August, directed by Nicole Charles. It will explore the life of Emilia Bassano, whom many consider to be the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, but was also a writer, poet, mother, feminist and woman in her own right. Playwright and screenwriter Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play Belongings (Hampstead Theatre, Trafalgar Studios) was shortlisted for The Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright Award, followed by The Wasp(Hampstead Theatre, Trafalgar Studios). In 2016, she was selected for the BBC TV Drama Writers Programme and commissioned to write a 60-minute original television drama.

A panel discussion entitled Women and Theatre in Britain will take place on Thursday 16 August. It will explore what it means to be a woman of colour working in theatre in 21st century Britain. Participants will be playwrights, actors, directors and prominent women in theatre. Joan Iyiola will be taking part in the panel. Joan’s credits include The Duchess of MalfiLife of GalileoBoris Godunov,Orphan of Zhao (Royal Shakespeare Company), A Season in the Congo (Young Vic), The White Devil(RSC), Eclipsed (Gate Theatre), and They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida). Further participants are to be announced soon.

Playing Othello, on Friday 17 August, will see a panel discussion with actors who have played Othello in recent years and who will share their experiences of the role. Playing Othello will be chaired by the author of the most recent Arden introduction to Othello, Professor Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University). The panel will include André Holland and Golda RosheuvelMore actors taking part in the panel discussion will be announced soon.

Golda Rosheuvel played Othello at the Liverpool Everyman earlier this year. Instead of a gender-swap, Golda played the role as a lesbian woman. Her theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet(Shakespeare’s Globe), A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer,, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (National Theatre), Electra, Carmen Jones (Old Vic), Marat/Sade, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra (RSC). Screen credits include Lady MacbethEastEnders and Holby City (BBC). André Holland plays Othello this summer at the Globe, which opened 20 July. André is best known for his roles in Academy Award-winning films Moonlight and Selma. The multi-award-winning actor’s other screen credits include 42 and The Knick. Theatre credits include Jitney (Broadway), Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons), Wig Out (Vineyard Theatre), The Brother / Sister Plays (Public Theatre) and All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare in the Park).

An international symposium will be held on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 AugustShakespeare and Race Across Borders: A Scholarly Symposium will bring together scholars from the disciplines of race, Shakespeare, theatre and performance studies to discuss the ways in which race is taught at university, discussed in the critical field and represented in performance. Featuring internationally renowned keynote speakers and panellists, the conference will generate important debate and open discussion about one of the most important and urgent issues in 21st-century Shakespeare studies.

Keynote speakers for the symposium comprise Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and UCLA. She coined the term “intersectionality” and is a leader in the intellectual movement of Critical Race Theory. Crenshaw is a co-founder of the African American Policy Forum and the Women’s Media Initiative. Luke Harris is Associate Professor of American Politics and Constitutional Law at Vassar College and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum. He has written a series of critically acclaimed articles on equality in contemporary America. Devon Carbado is the author of Acting White? Rethinking Race in a “Post-Racial” America (Oxford University Press). He currently teaches at UCLA School of Law and has won numerous teaching awards, including the inaugural Fletcher Foundation Fellowship. Ayanna Thompson has written extensively on the subject of Shakespeare and race, including Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race and Contemporary America (Oxford University Press) and, most recently, Shakespeare in the Theatre: Peter Sellars (Arden Bloomsbury). Professor Thompson is the 2018-19 President of the Shakespeare Association of America and Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University. Arthur L. Little is an Associate Professor of English at UCLA and author of numerous articles on Shakespeare, race and justice. Ania Loomba is the Catherine Byson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania where she researches and teaches early modern literature, race and feminist theory. Her latest publications include Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race and Sexuality (Routledge). Ian Smith is a professor of English and teaches courses on English, Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana studies at Lafayette College. His current research project, Black Shakespeare, examines Shakespeare’s interest in social and political racial identities. Joyce Green MacDonald is the author of Women and Race in Early Modern Texts (Cambridge University Press). She is the Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

Other speakers include Margo Hendricks (UC Santa Cruz), Kim F. Hall (Barnard College), Miles P. Grier (Queens College CUNY), Alfredo de Modenessi (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Carol Mejia-La Perle (Wright State University), Arne Pohlmeier (Two Gents Company), Tonderai Munyevu (Two Gents Company), Malcolm Cocks (Dulwich College and Globe Post-doctoral researcher on World Hamlet Globe-to-Globe), Taarini Mookherjee (Columbia University), Tripthi Pillai (Coastal Carolina University), Ruben Espinosa (UTEP), Michael Shane Boyle (Queen Mary University) and Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University).

The final event of the festival will be in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on 18 AugustHip-hop Shakespeare Unplugged, from Akala and The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company. The show will feature the renowned Hip-hop Shakespeare house band and a range of undiscovered young talent performing a medley of songs inspired by scenes and themes from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. Founded by MOBO-award winning hip-hop artist Akala, The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company is a music theatre production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists.  


First Look: Production Photographs for King Lear in the West End

Bush Theatre announces new Community Associate Companies

The Bush Theatre today announced its new Associate Community Companies as This New Ground Collective, led by Spare Tyre and The Neighbourhood Company, led by Artist Molly Taylor.

Bush Community Associate Companies form a long-term, collaborative, creative relationship with the Bush theatre and are given the same resource support and status as Associate Artists. The Bush, alongside Lead Artists chosen by the companies, will develop a programme of regular artistic interventions and activities with these groups which will lead to a centrepiece project performed at the theatre.

This New Ground Collective

This New Ground is an ambitious initiative to elevate the artistic talents of people with learning disabilities based in Hammersmith and Fulham. This New Ground began as a community choir for people with learning disabilities in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and has since snowballed into something much bigger. Through their exchange projects, they aim to raise the bar for what communities like theirs can achieve and create vital, relevant new artworks for audiences to engage with. Through research and public engagement, they take this work into diverse contexts to cover new ground and deepen our understanding of what is possible. Their Collective of learning disabled and non-disabled artists is the driving force behind everything they do and they will work with Spare Tyre Theatre Company to create a performance for the Bush Theatre.

We are delighted to be the Associate Community Company at the Bush. Our partnership is an opportunity for the collective to collaborate with ground-breaking artists and create innovative, diverse work for new mediums – inspiring social change and celebrating human experience of all kinds.’ – Nathalie Carrington, Artistic Director of This New Ground

I am looking forward to working at the Bush Theatre because it’s an opportunity for me to work with people who are full of creative ideas and I hope to create something that will be remembered for all time even when we are no longer here. Shakespeare done things we still talk about act out and perform, why not us!’ – Faisal Yusuf, Member of This New Ground Collective.

Spare Tyre (Lead Artist)

Spare Tyre is one of the UK’s leading participatory arts charities, with 40 years’ experience of producing bold and powerful theatre with voiceless communities. We use innovative performing and digital arts to challenge prejudice and transform lives, enabling unheard stories to be shared. We currently work with people aged 60+, learning disabled adults, economically disadvantaged communities, women who’ve experienced violence, and people with dementia and carers. We empower participants and artists to have ownership of the creative process enabling personal and political fulfilment and overall wellbeing. Equality, accessibility and diversity are at the heart of everything we do.

The Neighbourhood Company 

The Neighbourhood Company has been running at the Bush Theatre since 2015 as a monthly community theatre group for adults from the local area. The group celebrates and reflects the rich culture of our area and the everyday lives of its residents.  The group will take on writing, acting, producing and stage management roles as they transition to becoming a company in their own right. They will work with Artist, Molly Taylor to create their first performance as The Neighbourhood Company at the Bush Theatre in 2019.

Members of the The Neighbourhood Company said;

The Neighbourhood Project is important because it gets the community together and it is a place where everyone is valued and given the opportunity to thrive in their creativity. This is the only place I can get away from the stress of life, enjoy myself and learn new skills. It is a really special thing to be a part of.’

Bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and abilities is amazing.’

Being a part of it has made me realize how much love and pride people have for Shepherds Bush.’

Molly Taylor

Molly Taylor is a playwright and theatre-maker who specialises in creating original performances inspired by the everyday. She blends lyrical yet down-to-earth storytelling to celebrate the relationship between the microcosm –  small, personal, idiosyncratic stories – and the macrocosm; the communities we inhabit. Her work is often drawn from research and autobiography, and she has worked extensively in the participatory sector.

Recent projects include: See Me Now (Young Vic / HighTide / Look Left Look Right), an original performance created with male, female and transgender sex workers. In 2017 she wrote And Yet It Moves (Young Vic Taking Part), and in 2016 she wrote and created The Neighbourhood Project (Bush Theatre), with a community company of local residents.

As a playwright, her one-woman show Love Letters to the Public Transport System was produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, enjoyed a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, and won the Critics Circle Award at Adelaide Fringe 2018.

Current projects include Cacophony, a new play for the Almeida Young Company to be staged in July 2018, and Extinguished Things which be staged at Summerhall throughout the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Holly Smith, the Bush Theatre’s Community Producer said;

The Community Associate Companies is such an exciting project because it allows the Bush to create deep, meaningful and long lasting relationships with our communities. It’s an exciting opportunity to influence the artistic work of the Bush, as well as highlighting the voices of communities that are often not heard. The participants take a lot of ownership over the direction the project goes in which is a really lovely process to see and be a part of.

curious directive brings an Augmented Reality dining experience on board a long haul flight in Gastronomic

Gastronomy by curious directive
Gastronomy by curious directive

Gastronomic by curious directive

curious directive are renowned for bridging the gap between science and theatre.  Last year saw the company explore virtual reality with their ground-breaking coming-of-age thriller, Frogman, and now their new show takes a step further.  Working alongside 5 leading restaurants, Jack Lowe will be delivering a theatrical feast as audiences can experience an Augmented Reality dining experience on board a long haul flight in Gastronomic.

a curious directive and Norwich Theatre Royal co-commission. With support from National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio


Theatre Direction and Augmented Reality by Jack Lowe

Designed by Amelia Hankin with Sound design by Kieran Lucas

Creative Technology by Wisse Jelgersma and Marco Janmaat from VROwl (Holland) creating the AR software. 

Thursday 6 to Saturday 22 September at Norwich Theatre Royal, Stage 2

Experimental theatre-makers curious directive’s new show, Gastronomic is an Augmented Reality dining experience set on board an Airbus A380.   The show places the audience on a long-haul flight where passengers are looked after by three chefs.  40 audience members are treated to a five-course tasting menu, all simultaneously with their own in-flight screen.

As we fly over oceans, deserts and rainforests, food accompanies stories about why and how these chefs came to be here.

The cast includes Janet Etuk (Love, NT), Georgina Strawson (Frogman, curious directive) and Craig Hamilton (Jubilee, Chris Goode & co.) with dramaturgical support from National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio and dramaturgie by Stewart Pringle.

Directed by Artistic Director and Founder Jack Lowe, the show has been conceived with 5 restaurants in Norwich:

1)      Benedicts Restaurant, Head Chef, Richard Bainbridge (The Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, In 2015 he won BBC 2’s Great British Menu)

2)      Shiki, Head Chef, Shunsuke Tomii, ‘The sushi is terrific, not just for East Anglia but for anywhere in Britain’ – Jay Rayner

3)     Namaste Village, Head Chef, Dalsukh Jetani

4)      The Assembly House, Head Chef, Richard Hughes

5)      Kemp’s, Head Chef, Keith Cottrell

Artistic Director Jack Lowe gives us a sense of the show here ‘The inspiration behind the show began with a free online course (a MOOC) from Grenoble Ecole de Management called ‘The Geopolitics of Hospitality’. The course covered the ‘soft power’ of eating together. It provided some answers to how and why it is so important what, where and when politicians eat together.

Our show is looking at this question but also regular people on a flight. It isn’t addressing the politics of food. We are placing food outside of the morality of food itself, because fine dining has to do this. But we are treating food as art. Chefs believe great food can change the world, so we’re looking to make a play, in-part, about that belief.

As a step on from VR in theatre, like our show Frogman, we are using Augmented Reality (AR) to create another new grammar for a studio show. The AR keeps the show communal and lets audiences into a micro-world.’

The creation of Gatronomic has included a collaboration with all five chefs to deliver truly excellent food in a theatre setting.  The acting company have spent time with each chef and observed the five restaurants in full working mode and will be bringing these new skills to the roles.

It has also involved the development of new technology to give audiences a simultaneous experience of Augmented Reality live during the show. This has never been attempted anywhere in the world.

Founded in 2008, a Norwich-based company, curious directive is widely recognised for risk taking and genre-pushing theatre. A new National Portfolio Organsation (NPO), curious directive tours nationally and internationally new science-inspired work.


6- 22 September 2018

Norwich Theatre Royal

Tickets: 01603 63 0000

Shakespeare’s Globe announces full casting for Nick Bagnall’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love's Labour Lost
Love's Labour Lost

Love’s Labour Lost

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced full casting for Nick Bagnall’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, opening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Thursday 23 August.

Dharmesh Patel will play Berowne. Dharmesh returns to the Globe after starring in Barrie Rutter’s The Captive Queen in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse earlier this year. Other recent theatre credits include Titus AndronicusAntony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar (RSC), The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe). 

Kirsty Woodward is Princess of France. Kirsty appeared at The Globe in last year’s touring production of Tristan & Yseult, and has also appeared in Globe productions of Pericles and The Winter’s Tale. Her recent television work includes Bad Move (ITV) and Quacks (BBC).

Paul Stocker will play King of Navarre, returning to the Globe after appearing as Palamon in Barrie Rutter’s The Two Noble Kinsmen earlier this summer. Paul’s other theatre credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (West End), CoralA Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky(National Theatre Studio) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park). Television work includes DoctorsEastEnders and The Rack Pack (BBC).

Jade Williams is Rosaline. Jade has appeared in several Globe productions including Matthew Dunster’s Doctor Faustus, Raz Shaw’s God of Soho and Jessica Swale’s Bedlam. Jade’s other recent theatre work includes The Cherry OrchardThe Lower Depths (Arcola) and The Seagull (Chichester, National Theatre).

Tom Kanji will play Dumaine. Tom has appeared in numerous Globe productions including Michael Longhurst’s The Winter’s Tale, Dominic Dromgoole’s Pericles and John Dove’s Doctor Scroggy’s War. Other recent theatre work includes The Country Wife (Chichester) and The Box of Delights (Wilton’s Music Hall). Tom was also part of The Everyman Company 2017.

Leaphia Darko will play Katherine. Leaphia recently starred as Portia in Nicholas Hytner’s Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre. Other recent theatre credits include Cookies – The Cyberscene Project(Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Mary Stuart (Almeida).

Charlotte Mills is Boyet. Charlotte returns to the Globe stage after appearing in the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank schools production of Much Ado About Nothing earlier this year. Other recent theatre work includes The Country Wife (Chichester) and Abigail’s Party (Theatre Royal Bath). Television includes Moorside (BBC).

Jos Vantyler is Don Armado, also returning to the Globe after appearing in Barrie Rutter’s The Two Noble Kinsmen earlier this summer. Jos’s other recent theatre work includes For Love or Money and The Merry Wives (Northern Broadsides). Television work includes The Secret Files (BBC) and Here and Now (CBS)

Mark Rylance performs ‘Art, Truth and Politics’ as part of the Pinter at the Pinter season’

Mark Rylance will join the Pinter at the Pinter season for two special charity performances of Harold Pinter’s Art, Truth and Politics, originally delivered by Pinter upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.

As pertinent as ever, Pinter’s lecture will be performed in full by Mark Rylance on the 2 and 4 October at 6pm, before each evening’s performance of Harold Pinter’s one-act plays. One for the Road, The New World Order, Mountain Language and Ashes to Ashes are performed on 2 October, and The Lover and The Collection on 4October.

The performances are available to ticket holders of the corresponding one-act plays on 2 and 4 October. He will perform in aid of Stop the War, with £10 from every ticket for both evenings donated to the charity.

Mark Rylance said “Stopping our involvement in War is more important than Brexit. It would be more fun than winning the World Cup. It would solve many of our problems and make us a true world leader. We as a people, at our best, are nothing, if not diplomatic. We have to be. We live on a small island. It is our gift.

We are a nation of remarkable imagination, invention, and governance. Our love songs are listened to everywhere. Our poems, plays and stories are read everywhere. Our comedians are laughed at everywhere. Our games are played everywhere. Our sense of justice, governance and liberty is considered everywhere. Why have we caused so much suffering? And exported so much violence? We have a lot more to offer this troubled world than cluster bombs, mines, and electric batons. When will we wake up to who we are? We could be doing a lot of good with our language, good humour, and innate gifts of mediation, and peaceful reconciliation. We are an Island people, we know how to get along with each other in a small space. STOP THE WAR!

Harold Pinter was one of our earliest supporters and his Nobel Lecture is a revelation. Here is a man passionately dedicated to truth in the theatre and the world. It will be an honour to speak his words.”

These two charity events are part of the Pinter at the Pinter season, an extraordinary celebration of the most important Britisth playwright of the 20th Century, on the tenth anniversary of his death. Pinter’s twenty one-act plays will be performed in repertoire by a world-class cast.

Artistic Director Jamie Lloyd said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark Rylance to our special season, performing in aid of his chosen charity, the Stop the War Coalition. This is sure to be a powerful evening; one of the all-time greatest actors speaking the provocative and profound words of one of the all-time greatest playwrights and political agitators. The Nobel Lecture concerns the quest for truth in art and the scarcity of truth in politics. These performances couldn’t be more timely.”

About Stop the War Coalition

The Stop the War Coalition came together in 2001 to oppose the war on Afghanistan and the attack on Iraq. Millions of people got involved in the protests and demonstrations that followed. The mobilisations continued against the attacks on Libya and Syria and helped to forge an anti-war majority in Britain.

Unfortunately, our rulers continue to believe that war, the threat of war and the special relationship with the US should be at the centre of our foreign policy. With Donald Trump in charge the world has become more dangerous still. Stop the War played a big role in the recent protests against him. The need for a strong anti-war voice is greater than ever.

About Pinter at the Pinter

Pinter at the Pinter is a unique event featuring all twenty short plays written by Harold Pinter, arguably the greatest British playwright of the 20th Century, performed in the theatre that bears his name. They have never been performed together in a season of this kind.

The twenty plays will be presented in repertoire by a company of world-class creatives, many of whom were Harold Pinter’s friends and collaborators. The company includes Keith Allen, Ron Cook, Phil Davis, Danny Dyer, Paapa Essiedu, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Tamsin Greig, Jane Horrocks, Celia Imrie, Gary Kemp, John Macmillan, Emma Naomi, Tracy Ann Oberman, Abraham Popoola, John Simm, David Suchet, Maggie Steed and Nicholas Woodeson, with further casting to be announced.

Direction is by Jamie Lloyd, Patrick Marber, Lyndsey Turner, Ed Stambollouian and Lia Williams, with season design by Soutra Gilmour.

The season is presented by The Jamie Lloyd Company, ATG Productions, Ben Lowy Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions and Glass Half Full Productions.

Pinter 10

Pinter at the Pinter is part of the Pinter 10 partnership with the BFI, The Harold Pinter Estate and Faber & Faber, which is marking the 10th anniversary of Pinter’s death with a series of events celebrating the life of the most important British playwright of the 20th Century.

BFI Southbank will commemorate the anniversary with a season of Pinter’s film and television productions; Pinter on Screen: Power, Sex & Politics will take place at BFI Southbank throughout June and July. Further details can be found at

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time schools tour to visit 60 secondary schools across the UK

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

A specially staged production of the National Theatre’s award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will begin a 12-week tour to 60 schools across the UK in September 2018.

The production will visit five selected secondary schools each week across London and the UK, touring to the National Theatre’s six Theatre Nation partner areas: Outer East London in partnership with the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch; Wakefield, in partnership with the Theatre Royal; Doncaster, in partnership with Cast; Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland Empire and Sunderland Culture; Wolverhampton, in partnership with the Grand Theatre; and the Greater Manchester area in partnership with The Lowry, Salford.

The schools tour is a 90-minute version of the play performed in the round and will be followed by a Q&A session for students with the company. The tour is accompanied by a learning programme which includes professional development for teachers led by the NT and Curious Incident movement directors Frantic Assembly, as well as curriculum-based resources and workshops.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award®‑winning director Marianne Elliott. The novel has won more than 17 literary awards and is widely studied in schools. Simon Stephens’ adaptation is a set text for GCSE English Literature.

The play tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone, who is fifteen years old.  He stands besides Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington.  He has an extraordinary brain, and is exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.  He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

Speaking about the schools tour Simon Stephens said: “It means the world to me that Curious Incident will be touring schools around the country. I worked as a schoolteacher teaching kids in Dagenham in Essex 20 years ago. I loved it. I still think of myself as a teacher. I have seen firsthand how inspiring drama is to young people in schools. I believe the arts to be fundamental to our society. We can’t afford to lose them from our education system. I am delighted that our play will play its part in introducing young people to the theatre. I always hoped that Curious Incident was a play that could be performed anywhere, by anyone. The play is designed to provoke and inspire imagination and interpretation in its staging and inspiration in its audience. The tour will, I hope, provide the same kind of imagination and inspiration throughout the country.”

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “At the National Theatre we believe that all young people should have the opportunity to experience and participate in drama no matter where they are in the UK. We’re delighted to be touring this award-winning play to schools, and via our Theatre Nation Partnerships, we hope that bringing Simon Stephen’s brilliant Curious Incident to young audiences across the country will help to spark imaginations and encourage participation in theatre”.

The production is designed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable. Movement is by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton (who also composed music for War Horse) and sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph.  The Associate Director is Anna Marsland. Casting to be announced.

The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust and The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.

Bristol Old Vic announces new Ferment Producer as longstanding producer Emma Bettridge moves on

Ben Atterbury (photos by Aenne Pallasca and D.J. Cooper)
Ben Atterbury (photos by Aenne Pallasca and D.J. Cooper)

Ben Atterbury (photos by Aenne Pallasca and D.J. Cooper)

As the now legendary Ferment Fortnight enters its second week this summer, Bristol Old Vic introduced new Ferment Producer Ben Atterbury. He takes over from Emma Bettridge as her seven years at the helm ends in glorious style.

Ben Atterbury was a founding staff member of Cardiff’s The Other Room, a small but influential producing house with an emphasis on supporting the very best Welsh artists in making brave, bold theatre. Ben rose through the company to become the venue’s Associate Artistic Director, responsible for devising the visiting programme of work with a particular focus on the organisation’s artist development aims. While there, the venue won The Stage Award for ‘Fringe Theatre of the Year’ in 2016, and last year was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.

His most recent post was as Out of Joint’s interim producer, helping to shape the next chapter in the company’s history under the new executive leadership of Kate Wasserberg and Martin Derbyshire. He joins Bristol Old Vic full-time from August.

Speaking from Ferment Fortnight rehearsals, Ben said:
Being around for Ferment Fortnight in my first week is a gift. It’s a brilliant opportunity to see the huge amount of amazing work this programme is doing right now. Before I’ve even seen a desk, I get to chat to artists about their lives and their ideas.

I lived in Bristol before, and got to know the city well. I’m very passionate about it – it’s home. There is a creative energy running through the heart of this place like a stick of rock. I was always incredibly inspired by the work of Emma and of Bristol Ferment – applying for the job felt inevitable and I’m delighted and excited that I get to take on the challenge. 

The timing is also perfect; we’re about to reopen our new Studio and Front of House spaces, and there are exciting opportunities for artists in the city. There is a real drive to build on the tremendous successes of Ferment so far and we’re renewing our invitation to the artists of Bristol and the region to collaborate with us and make this new space their own. There will be many opportunities for the creative community in this incredible city to work together as we confront the ongoing challenges of meaningful artist development. I’m so excited to see where those conversations take us.”

Bristol Old Vic Ferment centres on artist development by representing a vibrant community of theatre-makers from Bristol and the South West, with whom we support and develop exciting and adventurous new work.

Ferment creates a playful structure through which the best artists can explore theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences. Over the eight years it has existed, Ferment has become a benchmark for other regional theatres, working with a huge variety of inspirational artists in a variety of ways to make the theatre of tomorrow.

Chloé Naldrett Elwood, Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Producer said:
“We are incredibly pleased to be welcoming Ben Atterbury into the fold, and to support him as he takes Ferment through the next stage of its evolution at this extraordinary time in the history of Bristol Old Vic. Ben is a brilliant creative producer who brings bucket-loads of passion for both Bristol and for its amazing community of artists. It is particularly exciting that he has lived and worked in Bristol before, and that Ferment has been able to draw such a great talent back to the city.  We can’t wait to see what Ferment looks like under his leadership.”  

She continued: “Under the passionate and inspired direction of Emma Bettridge, Ferment has grown and evolved over the last seven years, becoming a standard-bearer for artist development nationally and exemplifying the extraordinary creative spirit of Bristol. Emma’s legacy is seen in the work that she has carefully sown and nurtured and in the numerous artists she has championed and supported, and it is fitting that she herself is now off to tread her own creative path – we send her huge love and wish her luck.”

Bristol Ferment is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Grants from the Foundation are invested directly in artists and the development of their work, through bespoke programmes of research and development, mentoring, dramaturgical support and a variety of public-facing performances, including work-in-progress scratch events, such as Ferment Fortnight.

Ferment Fortnight runs at Bristol Old Vic until Sat 21 July

Les Enfants Terribles open submissions for The Stepladder Award to support a company mounting their first tour

The Stepladder Award
The Stepladder Award

The Stepladder Award

Les Enfants Terribles have announced the return of The Stepladder Award in collaboration with house and, new partners this year, The Other Richard. The Stepladder Award is designed to support fringe theatre companies making original work as they look to establish themselves within the UK theatre industry. The emphasis of the award is on supporting a company to mount a professional tour of their winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe show and build their company profile and structure.

Submissions for the award are now open. The judging panel will then see shortlisted shows during the second week of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and announce the winner during the third week of August.

The winner will be supported by house in booking an Autumn 2019 tour of their production and to aid the tour booking process, will receive production photography and filming from The Other Richard. The winner will also receive mentoring from Les Enfants Terribles as they prepare funding applications and plan their tour and in addition a programme of industry mentoring.

Oliver Lansley (Artistic Director) and James Seager (Producer) of Les Enfants Terribles said:
“Now in its second year, The Stepladder Award has been created to help companies make that next step up to becoming full time theatre professionals and to help them start to earn money. This was a crucial step in Les Enfants Terribles’ growth as a company and this opportunity is something that has long been missing from the UK theatre industry. We are thrilled that this year we will be partnering with The Other Richard for the first time, and teaming up once again with house to create this unique award.”

Last year’s winners ThisEgg with their show Me and my Bee, have had a successful touring year, performing their show at the Southbank Centre, HOME Manchester and the Sherman Theatre to name but a few.

As well as the Stepladder Award, Les Enfants Terribles’ other outreach initiatives continue to grow; The LET Award, now in its 7th year, where winners receive £1000, mentoring and a slot at Pleasance for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; and the LET Bursary, currently raising money to send a working class actor to RADA.

For further information about Les Enfants Terribles please contact
Fiona Porritt / [email protected]uk / 02036632168


Entry Requirements.

Application Form.

Sting to star in his critically-acclaimed musical The Last Ship in Toronto in Spring 2019

The Last Ship
The Last Ship

The Last Ship

Sting will star in the Canadian premiere of his critically acclaimed musical The Last Ship.  Presented by David Mirvish and produced by Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker, the limited six-week engagement runs February 9 through March 24, 2019 at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.

 This new production of The Last Ship, which has music and lyrics by Sting, has just finished a critically acclaimed 12-week UK & Ireland tour, which followed a sell-out run at Newcastle’s Northern Stage.

Sting will play the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White in Toronto.  Further casting to be announced.

Sting said: “It was a joy to see the show’s journey from the rehearsal room to the stage this year – first in my hometown of Newcastle then around the UK and Ireland. It was also extremely moving to witness the incredible audience response in each city we visited. It will be hugely exciting and a personal privilege for me to perform in the show in Toronto and I’m looking forward to The Last Ship continuing its journey there next year.”

David Mirvish said: “The Last Ship is a personal, powerful story of a community attempting to come to grips with societal and economic changes that will tear apart the very fabric that kept that community together. What makes it especially powerful and very moving is its point of view. It is written from a very personal place by a son of that community — the acclaimed singer/songwriter Sting.

“How lucky and privileged are we in Toronto to actually have Sting star in his own show? These opportunities — the stuff of theatrical legends — come along very rarely. We are indeed blessed that Sting has chosen our community in which to tell his own very personal story.”

The Last Ship will replace Girl From The North Country, which has had to postpone its Toronto engagement due to scheduling conflicts with the show’s author and directorin the 2018/19 Mirvish Subscription Season.  Girl From The North Country will play Toronto seven months later and will be the first show of the 2019/20 Mirvish Subscription Season.

Subscriptions to the 2018/19 Mirvish Season are now on saleMirvish subscribers will be the first to see The Last Ship. Single tickets to The Last Ship will go on public sale later this fall.

About The Last Ship

The Last Ship, which was initially inspired by Sting’s 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood  experiences, tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.

When a sailor named Gideon Fletcher returns home after seventeen years at sea, tensions between past and future flare in both his family and his town. The local shipyard, around which the community has always revolved, is closing and no-one knows what will come next, only that a half-built ship towers over the terraces. With the engine fired and pistons in motion, picket lines are drawn as foreman Jackie White and his wife Peggy fight to hold their community together in the face of the gathering storm.

This personal, political and passionate new musical from multiple Grammy Award winner Sting, is an epic account of a family, a community and a great act of defiance. The Last Ship features an original score with music and lyrics by Sting as well as a few of his best-loved songs; Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance.  It is the proud story of when the last ship sails.

The show is directed by Lorne Campbell, the artistic director of Northern Stage and has set design by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions – team behind the video design for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

 The Last Ship has a new book by Lorne Campbell, original book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey, orchestrations by Rob Mathes, musical direction by Richard John, costume design by Molly Einchcomb, movement direction by Lucy Hind, lighting design by Matt Daw and sound design by Seb Frost. Other members of the creative team are dramaturg Selma Dimitrijevic, associate director Jake Smith, casting director Jenkins McShane Casting and associate musical director Sam Sommerfeld.


The Last Ship is produced by Karl Sydow and Kathryn Schenker.