Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announce 2019 season

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (portrait). Photo David Jensen
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (portrait). Photo David Jensen

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre  Photo David Jensen

 Season opens with Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Our Town

  • Continuing their successful collaboration from 2018, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and English National Opera present Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera, Hansel and Gretel
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns to the theatre for the first time in seven years
  • Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita concludes the 2019 Open Air Theatre season, as Jesus Christ Superstar transfers to the Barbican
  • Jamie Lloyd, Ellen McDougall and Dominic Hill join Artistic Director Timothy Sheader to direct the 2019 productions
  • Full cast and tour dates are also announced for To Kill a Mockingbird produced by Jonathan Church Productions, Curve and Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd, which embarks on a UK Tour from February

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced their 2019 season. Opening the season, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Our Town (16 May – 8 June) is directed by Ellen McDougall, Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre. Directed by Timothy Sheader, and continuing the 2018 collaboration which brought The Turn of the Screwto the Open Air Theatre stage, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and English National Opera present Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck (14 June – 22 June). A Midsummer Night’s Dream (28 June – 27 July) returns to the theatre for the first time in seven years in a new production directed by Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. To conclude the season, Jamie Lloyd directs Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita (2 August – 21 September) as Jesus Christ Superstartransfers to the Barbican (4 July – 24 August).

Our Town (16 May – 8 June) celebrates what it means to be human, the bonds that hold communities together, and our relationships with the ancient past and the eternal tomorrow. The Pulitzer Prize winning play is directed by Ellen McDougall, Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre. Ellen’s credits away from the Gate include: The Wolves (Stratford East); Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Remains of Maisie Duggan (Abbey Theatre, Dublin); The Glass Menagerie (Headlong); Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange Manchester) and Ivan and the Dogs (Olivier Award-nomination, Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre/Actors Touring Company/Soho).
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and English National Opera continue their 2018 collaboration with a co-production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel(14 June – 22 June). Sung in English, members of the ENO orchestra will be conducted by Ben Glassberg, with direction by Open Air Theatre’s Artistic Director, Timothy Sheader.

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, then directs a new production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (28 June – 27 July). Whilst at the Citizens Theatre, Dominic has won Best Director in the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) for OresteiaCrime and Punishment and Betrayal. He previously directed Peer Gynt at Dundee Rep (in a co-production with National Theatre of Scotland), which won four CATS and transferred to the Barbican.

The 2019 season concludes with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita (2 August – 21 September) directed by Jamie Lloyd. The musical premiered in the West End in 1978, and features a chart-topping score including Don’t Cry For Me ArgentinaOh! What A CircusAnother Suitcase in Another Hall, and the Academy Award-winning You Must Love Me, originally performed by Madonna in the motion picture. As Artistic Director of The Jamie Lloyd Company, Jamie is currently producing and directing Pinter at the Pinter, a season of Harold Pinter’s short plays in the West End.

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar transfers to the Barbican (4 July – 24 August), ahead of a North American Tour in the autumn. Casting to be announced.

Also announced today are the full tour dates and casting for To Kill a Mockingbird, first produced by Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2013, which opens at Curve Leicester on 7 February. Produced by Jonathan Church Productions, Curve and Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd the cast is led by Simon Robson in the role of Atticus Finch. The production visits: Milton Keynes; Birmingham REP; Norwich Theatre Royal; Rose Theatre, Kingston; Newcastle Theatre Royal; King’s Theatre, Edinburgh; Malvern Theatres; The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Cambridge Arts Theatre; Bord Gais, Dublin; Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford; The Lowry, Salford; Eden Court Theatre, Inverness; and His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen.

The role of Scout will be shared by Summer Jenkins and Eve Prenelle; the role of Jem will be shared by Stanley JarvisJaxon Knopf and Theo Josse Wilkinson; the role of Dill will be shared by Billy MarlowJoshua Pickering and Jack Riley.

Also featuring in the cast are Pearl Appleby (Mayella Ewell), Dave Fishley (Reverend Sykes), Joseph Fletcher (Arthur Radley), Kieran Hill (Heck Tate), Alexandra Mathie(Stephanie Crawford/Mrs Dubose), Ged McKenna (Judge Taylor/Walter Cunningham), John Omole (Tom Robinson), Carl Rice (Bob Ewell), Sarah Tansey (Maudie Atkinson), Paul Woodson (Nathan Radley/Mr Gilmer), Amanda Wright (Calpurnia) and Erica Birtles, Sophie CartmanValentine Hanson and Christopher D Hunt (understudies). Music is composed and performed live by Phil King (Luke Potter will perform at certain venues).

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Memberships are now on sale, and Members’ priority booking for the 2019 Open Air Theatre opens at 11am, Wednesday 28 November. Visit for more information.

Public booking opens at 11am, Tuesday 18 December.

Oily Cart announces the appointment of its new Artistic Director, Ellie Griffiths and its first ever Executive Director, Zoë Lally

Oily Cart
Ellie Griffiths

Ellie Griffiths

Oily Cart has announced the appointment of its new Artistic Director, Ellie Griffiths and its first ever Executive Director, Zoë Lally.  They will both join the organisation in 2019, succeeding co-founders Tim Webb MBE, Max Reinhardt and Claire De Loon who have stood down after 37 hugely successful years. These appointments are joint Chief Executive roles and together they will share the joys and responsibilities of artistic and strategic leadership.

Zoë Lally

Zoë Lally
Credit and copyright: Helen Murray ;

Ellie Griffiths is already familiar to Oily Cart audiences as a performer in Gorgeous, Something in the Air, There was an Old Woman, The Bounce and Tube and in 2016 she directed Mirror Mirror. Since then she has created the Upfront Performance Network and has made multi-sensory immersive performance for and by children and young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) the centre of her artistic life. Ellie comes with a national and growing international reputation as one of the most exciting makers of performance for children and young people with PMLD and for those on the Autism Spectrum. She will bring her creative talents to the fore to build on the company’s internationally renowned reputation as a trailblazer in the world of young people’s theatre.

As the organisation’s first ever Executive Director, Zoë Lally will work alongside Ellie on building the company’s national and international profile, highlighting the growing need for genuinely inclusive theatre performances in public venues, special schools and health settings.

Zoë joins the company as an experienced Executive Director, currently with Boundless Theatre making work for young people in the UK and internationally. Before Boundless she worked with one of London’s best known, diverse and life-changing youth theatres, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre. Zoë is a trustee of the Independent Theatre Council. Advocating for disadvantaged young people is essential to her working practice.

Lisa Mead, Chair of the Oily Cart Board comments: “From the outset, we knew that Tim, Max and Claire were an inimitable team, so we set ourselves the challenge not to replace them, instead to find a team with the essential “Oily Cart” values, coupled with a distinct vision for the company’s future.  We are thrilled with their joint appointment. Together they bring the experience, vision and the perfect amount of determination to build on the great foundations established by Tim, Max and Claire.  We cannot wait to welcome them through our doors in early 2019 and to see what exciting adventures they will take us on next.”

Ellie and Zoë will officially join Oily Cart in early 2019 and build on the legacy and ambitions of the company’s founders and  their unrivalled commitment to research, exploration and aspirations for theatre for young people.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh Announce David Thaxton as THE PHANTOM in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

David Thaxton
David Thaxton

David Thaxton

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh have announced that David Thaxton will play ‘The Phantom’ for a limited run from Monday 10 December 2018.

 As previously confirmed, Tim Howar will play his contracted dates with Mike and the Mechanics. His final performance as ‘The Phantom’ will be on Saturday 8 December and he will return to the role from Monday 13 May 2019. 

 Fresh from playing ‘Javert’ in “Les Misérables” at the Queen’s Theatre, David Thaxton’s other West End credits include ‘Enjolras’ in “Les Misérables”, ‘Raoul’ in “Love Never Dies” at The Adelphi Theatre, ‘Pilate’ in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Regents Park Theatre, and ‘Giorgio’ in “Passion” at the Donmar Warehouse, for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

 David joins Kelly Mathieson as ‘Christine Daaé’, Jeremy Taylor as ‘Raoul’, Amy Manford as the alternate ‘Christine Daaé’, Kimberly Blake as ‘Carlotta Giudicelli’,Ross Dawes as ‘Monsieur Firmin’, Mark Oxtoby as ‘Monsieur André’, Jacinta Mulcahy as ‘Madame Giry’, Paul Ettore Tabone as ‘Ubaldo Piangi’, Georgia Ware as ‘Meg Giry’ and Scott Davies as the standby ‘Phantom’.

 The cast is completed by Matthew Barrow, Matt Bateman, James Bisp, James Butcher, Bridget Costello, Sophie Cottrill, Hadrian Delacey, Morven Douglas, Paul Erbs, Hannah Grace, Philip Griffiths, Katy Hanna, Hettie Hobbs, Grace Horne, Lily Howes, Ellen Jackson, Adam Robert Lewis, Kris Manuel, Tim Morgan, Danielle Pullum, Rebecca Ridout, Anna Shircliff, Emily Smith, Rachel Spurrell, John Stacey, Andrei Teodor Iliescu, Claire Tilling, Victoria Ward and Danny Whitehead.

 In October 2016 the London production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a special gala performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre. In October 2011 the London production celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a spectacular staging of “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” which was screened live in cinemas all over the world and subsequently released on DVD. The production has now been playing for over 32 years.

 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA became the longest running show in Broadway history on 9 January 2006 when it celebrated its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record holder “Cats”. This coincided with the Broadway and the US national touring company celebrating an unprecedented 20,000 performances in the United States. On 1 January 2018 it celebrated its 13,000th performance and later that month on 24 January the Broadway production celebrated an amazing 30 years on Broadway.

 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has won over 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony’s on Broadway and four Olivier Awards in the West End. It won the ‘Magic Radio Audience Award’, voted by the public, in the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 starred Michael Crawford as ‘The Phantom’ and Sarah Brightman as ‘Christine.’ It is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Limited.

 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA became the first stage production to reach worldwide grosses of $6 billion. Revenues far surpass the world’s highest-grossing film “Avatar” (at $2.8 billion), as well as such other blockbusters as “Titanic”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars”. Worldwide, over 140 million people have seen THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages.

 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is currently showing in London, New York, Budapest, Copenhagen, Oslo, Prague and Sao Paulo and on tour in the US.


Royal & Derngate and English Touring Theatre announce Two Trains Running for the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award

Nancy Medina
Nancy Medina

Nancy Medina

Royal & Derngate Northampton in partnership with English Touring Theatre have announced that the winner of the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award, Nancy Medina, will premiere August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize nominated, TONY and Lucille Lortel Award winning Two Trains Running in the Royal Theatre, Northampton next Autumn as the opening show of the venue’s Made in Northampton Autumn season. The co-production costs will be supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust.

The news was announced this weekend at an Awards ceremony at Shakespeare’s Globe, where Medina was presented the Award by The Royal Theatrical Support Trust Chair Sir Geoffrey Cass and Sir Trevor Nunn CBE. The ceremony was attended by RTST Trustee Sir Ian McKellen CBE and a number of other leading names from British theatre.

August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate, described Nancy as an exceptional artist who will direct this play with great respect for the material and a keen eye for how this play illuminates our lives today.”

Nancy Medina said “I am thrilled to be directing August Wilson’s Two Trains Running for Royal & Derngate and ETT. It is about time that Wilson’s beautiful and poetic characters gain a wider audience across the UK.”

Nancy was selected from 70 candidates by a panel chaired by James Dacre (Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate) and comprising judges Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director of the Young Vic); multi-Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Sir Trevor Nunn CBE; Olivier Award-nominees Tanya Moodie and Samantha Bond; four-time Olivier Award-winner Paule Constable (Associate, National Theatre); and Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre).

James Dacre and Richard Twyman said “Nancy is a dynamic and accomplished director and we are thrilled to be working with her on the regional premiere of Two Trains Running.  August Wilson’s iconic play speaks directly to many of the urgent questions we face in our society today, it is a privilege for Royal & Derngate and ETT to share such an inspiring and powerful piece of work with audiences around the UK.”

Set in Pittsburgh, 1969, and the regulars of Memphis Lee’s restaurant are struggling to cope with the turbulence of a world that is changing rapidly around them. The diner is scheduled to be torn down, a casualty of the city’s renovation project that is sweeping away the buildings of a community, but not its spirit.

With compassion and humour, the master American playwright August Wilson paints a vivid portrait of everyday lives in the shadow of this defining moment in American history. When Two Trains Running premiered on Broadway in 1992, its production won TONY, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards and was shortlisted for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Nancy Medina was the 2017 Genesis Future Director Award winner for the Young Vic. She is an acting tutor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Course Leader for a post-16 Professional Acting Diploma at Boomsatsuma. Directing credits include: Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low(NT Connections/Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Curried Goat and Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate (Tobacco Factory Theatres), Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence of Memory (Rondo Theatre).

Punchdrunk to release The Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia to mark 18 years of the company’s existence

Punchdrunk's Tunnel 2009.
Punchdrunk's Tunnel 2009.

Punchdrunk’s Tunnel 2009. Photography by Stephen-Dobbie

Punchdrunk has announced The Punchdrunk Encyclopaediathe definitive book on the company’s work to date, which will be released to mark eighteen years of Punchdrunk’s existence. Written by Jo Machon along with the Punchdrunk team and published by Routledge, it will provide the first full-scale, historical account of one of the world’s foremost theatre companies, drawn from the collective memory and archives of the core creative team past and present.

Compiled in playful encyclopaedic format, just like the company’s mask shows readers are invited to make their own journey through the book, and explore the concepts and context that form the foundation of Punchdrunk’s work.

The book features writing from past collaborators and friends such as Adam Curtis, Lyn Gardner and Nicholas Hytner alongside core creatives includingFelix Barrett, Stephen Dobbie, Maxine Doyle, Peter Higgin, Beatrice Minns, Colin Nightingale and Livi Vaughan. A series of exercises also offer guidance on how to delve deeper into the company’s creative approaches.

From first ever production The Tempest to Masque of the Red Death and Sleep No MoreThe Punchdrunk Encyclopaedia charts the company’s rise and evolution over the past eighteen years.  It is suitable for anyone with an interest in the company’s work.

The book will be released on Friday 14th December but is available to pre-order now here.

Alexandra Palace to celebrate the reopening of East Court and theatre on 1st December

Restoration of Alexandra Palaces East Court photo by Lloyd Winters
Restoration of Alexandra Palaces East Court photo by Lloyd Winters

Restoration of Alexandra Palaces East Court photo by Lloyd Winters

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) will reopen its Theatre and East Court on 1st December 2018 with a series of events that encapsulates the vision for the venue. The reopening follows the completion of the three-year East Wing Restoration Project. In December, visitors can experience an eclectic arts programme in the sensitively restored Alexandra Palace Theatre whilst the East Court creates an open and accessible space in the complex to welcome visitors throughout the year.

The East Wing Restoration Project would not have been possible without the support of the National Lottery and Haringey Council. The East Wing Restoration is £27million project – the £18.8 million National Lottery grant was one of their biggest ever for a heritage project.

On the 1st and 2nd December, Alexandra Palace will open its doors to the public with a weekend of free events and celebrations as it begins its Christmas Carnival. On 1stDecember, the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers will return to the Alexandra Palace Theatre, following their performances as part of the BBC Proms, to curate a day of music and interaction. Families will be able to perform and rehearse with the renowned orchestra and performers – creating a new Christmas piece. The performance will be recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 over Christmas. Open to ages 7-plus and all abilities are welcome. Registration via is required.

On 2nd December, Haringey Music Service will be inviting its choirs, made up of young people from across the borough, to rehearse and perform in the Theatre throughout the day. This will be followed by a free finale performance from Haringey Music Service’s Symphony Orchestra.

Ally Pally Christmas Carnival will run from the 1st until the 16th December.  Throughout the period, the Palace will host performances from local choirs, free workshops run by the Palace’s Creative Learning Team, a Christmas market curated by the Crouch End Market and Muswell Hill Creatives, funfair and street food. The events will run alongside ticketed attractions including a Santa’s Grotto, film screenings with Luna Cinema and the Palace’s ever-popular Ice Rink and Pantomime on Ice. The full programme can be found at

Last month saw the announcement of Alexandra Palace’s first theatrical co-production with Headlong and Bristol Old Vic, Richard III will open in March 2019. The current programme includes performances from legendary club Ronnie Scott’s, Dylan Moran, Gareth Malone and the BBC’s long-running “Friday Night is Music Night”. Further events will be announced soon.

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of APPCTsaid: “This December, people from London and beyond will be able to explore this incredible space that has been hidden from the public. The Christmas Carnival is a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work that has gone into completing this immense project, but also give people a chance to experience the work of the Charity and our Creative Learning Programme. We would like to thank the HLF, Haringey Council and the countless individuals, trusts and businesses who have supported this project and helped make the reopening a reality.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, London said: “Alexandra Palace is one of North London’s best-loved landmarks and has played an era-defining role in popular culture, from the birth of television to the Pink Floyd-headlined 14 Hour Technicolour Dream.  The beautifully-restored theatre and East Court will build on this unique legacy, and is only possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players”.

Opening Weekend Schedule

Saturday 1 Dec
Christmas Family Orchestra & Chorus: 10:00 – 18:00
Performance at 19:00  

Join members of the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers for a very special Christmas Family Orchestra and Chorus workshop at the newly refurbished Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace! Professional BBC musicians and singers will work with you to create your own Christmas inspired soundscape.

The BBC will be recording this event for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Registration at

Sunday 2 Dec
Haringey Music Service activity: 14:00 – 16:00

Including performances from the Haringey Youth Music Service Orchestra and other ensembles.

About Alexandra Palace Theatre

Originally opened in 1875, Alexandra Palace Theatre was a home for spectacle and delight, where audiences were entertained by pantomime, opera, drama, ballet and music hall. A marvel of Victorian engineering, it was home to some of the most advanced stage machinery and mechanics of the age, allowing performers to disappear, reappear and fly through the air.

From those grand beginnings, it went on to be used as a chapel during World War One, a cinema and the theatrical testing ground of stage icon Gracie Fields before being closed to the public and used as a BBC prop store and workshop.

Following a multi-million pound restoration project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fud and Haringey Council, Alexandra Palace Theatre will reopen in December 2018 with a mixed programme of drama, music, comedy and family shows.

Alexandra Palace is surrounded by 196 acres of Grade II listed parkland and offers unprecedented views of the city. The multi-award winning destination maintains its original enterprising spirit by hosting an eclectic mix of live music, sport, cultural and leisure events throughout the year.

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust is the body responsible for maintaining and repairing the charitable assets of Alexandra Park and Palace as a place of public resort and recreation, forever, by Act of Parliament. The Charity aims to restore the iconic assets to create a successful and sustainable asset for all. For further information about the Park and Palace and the work of the Trust visit

New Adventures Announces Full Cast For Matthew Bourne’s ROMEO AND JULIET

Romeo and Juliet

New Adventures has announced full casting for the world premiere of Matthew Bourne’s “ROMEO AND JULIET” opening at Curve, Leicester on Monday 13 May 2019, as part of a UK tour to 13 venues including a four-week summer season at Sadler’s Wells from Wednesday 7 August to Saturday 31 August 2019.

Matthew Bourne’s “ROMEO AND JULIET” is a passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story. Bursting with youth, vitality and Matthew Bourne’s trademark storytelling, Britain’s brightest young dance talent join the New Adventures company for this World Premiere production.

As part of New Adventures’ ambition to support the next generation of on-stage talent “ROMEO AND JULIET” will feature the finest emerging male and female dancers from around the UK. The search began in April 2018 with a call-out for young dancers currently in training aged between 16 and 19. Attracting over 1000 applications and following a UK-wide audition tour, Young Cast members will perform at each venue alongside the New Adventures company.

Matthew Bourne said today “New Adventures’ “Romeo and Juliet” will be a celebration of youthful energy, talent and creativity both on and off-stage and, uniquely, in all aspects of Choreography, Design and Music through the appointment of a series of “Young Associate Artists”.   As we enter our fourth decade as a company I’m finding the development of young talent ever more important and fulfilling. Our new company of “Romeo and Juliet” features a staggering 97young dancers making their debuts with us; some are joining us as part of their third year of training, others have come through our Company initiatives such as “Swan School”, “A Summer Adventure” and of course, our production of “Lord of the Flies” which inspired so many young men to seek careers in dance. This time we have focused on nurturing young male and female dancers, and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that we have had to choose from throughout the UK. I’m particularly happy to be working alongside my Young Associate Choreographer, Arielle Smith, an exceptional young dancemaker of great maturity and vision. In turn, after 30 years as a professional choreographer, I look forward to being refreshed and inspired by what this team of young artists will bring to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love”. 

As previously announced the title roles of ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ will be played by six New Adventures rising stars and two exciting new dancers making their professional debuts.

Creating the role of Juliet will be Cordelia Braithwaite, currently performing as ‘Cinderella’ on the international tour; Seren Williams, who joined New Adventures in 2016 with Matthew Bourne’s award-winning production of “The Red Shoes” and Bryony Harrison who is making her debut with New Adventures on tour with Matthew Bourne’s legendary production of “Swan Lake”

 The role of Romeo will be created by Andrew Monaghan, currently ‘The Pilot’ in “Cinderella”, Paris Fitzpatrick who is playing the ‘Angel’ in “Cinderella” and João Carolino who joined the company in 2017 with “Early Adventures”

Making their professional debuts with the company are Harrison Dowzell, as ‘Romeo’, who auditioned for the Young Cast in Nottingham, andBryony Wood, as ‘Juliet’, discovered during the Young Cast auditions in Southampton. Both are in their graduate years at Performers College and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts respectively.

They are joined by leading New Adventures artists, Madelaine Brennan, Daisy May Kemp, Danny Reubens and Daniel Wright who will create the “adult” world of “Romeo and Juliet”.

Ben Brown, Reece Causton, Jackson Fisch, Kate Lyons, Stephen Murray and Mark Samaras who will come to this production direct from our USA Tour of Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella”.

 In addition there are sixteen young artists making their debut with New Adventures: Natasha Chu, Gaby Conn, Monique Jonas, Sharol Mackenzie, Hannah Mason, Asher Rosenheim, Catrin Thomas, Chris Thomas and Roisin Whelan; along with Benjamin Derham from Canterbury, Cameron Flynn from Aberdeen andBilly Scott from Plymouth who all performed in the Young Cast in the acclaimed New Adventures production of “Lord of the Flies” in 2014; and Alexander Fadayiro at Central School of Ballet, Jana Baldovino at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and Stanley Duventru-Huret at Urdang Academy who are completing their third year of dance training while on tour with “ROMEO AND JULIET”.

In addition to the full time cast above we will be joined by 6 young cast members (82 in total) at each venue making their debut with New Adventures:

At Curve, Leicester: Cerise Bedder, Austin Bladon, Megan Ferguson, Christian Knight and Alexander Love.

At Alhambra Theatre, Bradford: Pattarapong Chomchan, Zac Crowe, Bethany Curry, Yvette Levine, Hollie Smith and Tom Sutton.

At Royal & Derngate, Northampton: Matthew Brion, Jamie Blackadder, Edwin Cheng, Alanah Corbridge, Elise Ward and Karishma Young.

At Theatre Royal Plymouth: James Knott, Jamel Maarfi, Maea Morgan, Samuel Parham, Ella Roberts and Jessica Tarrant.

 At The Lowry, Salford: Katie Agarwal, Georgia Collier, Orla Collier, Brandon Hunter, Patrick King and Kayde-Samuél Wright.

At Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff: Rachel Brookes-Brent, Llewelyn Brown, Berwyn Cooper, Atlanta Hatch and Francesca Rees.

At Sadler’s Wells, London, Cast One:  Tanisha Addicott, Dan Baines, Emily Galvin, Ashton Hall, Hannah Kremer and Janacek Wood.

At Sadler’s Wells, London, Cast Two: Matt Cotton, Alexandra De Le Bastide, Hannah Joseph, Matthew Rawcliffe, Cleo Rose and Thomas Walton.

At Norwich Theatre Royal: Joe Barbrook, Chandi Brading, Freya Brown, Isis Clunie, Amonik Melaco and Jack Richardson.

At Birmingham Hippodrome: Lewis Baker: Órla Baxendale, India-Rose Cox, Savannah Ffrench, Alexander Love and Enrique Ngbokota.

At Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury: Matthew Amos, Eleanor McGrath, Charlie Mellor, Casper Mott, Rossana Samele and Holly Saw.


At Mayflower Theatre, Southampton: Dillon Berry, Samuel Dilkes, Bethany Hunt, Isabelle Evans, Arianne Morgan and Jago Mottart.

 At Theatre Royal, Nottingham: Austin Bladon, Megan Ferguson, Alistair Fernie, Victoria Keal, Jaimie Tank and Sua Tsubokura-Aguiriano.

At Theatre Royal, Newcastle: Louis Baxter, Sam Carruthers, Kayleigh Oborka–Letman, Lisa Robinson, Andrew Scott and Chloe Shutt

 New Adventures is committed to finding and developing diverse young talent from across the UK. Since “Lord of the Flies” in 2014 New Adventures has been supporting young dancers from this production on their journey into training and professional work.  The company have delivered various initiatives, including Swan School, two week-long intensives designed to prepare graduate level dancers for the audition process.

Continuing New Adventures’ commitment to developing off-stage talent we have recruited a team of Young Associate Artists to work alongside the Artistic team in the creation of this world premiere production. Arielle Smith joins as Young Associate Choreographer; Elin Steeleas Young Associate Set & Costume Designer and Ali Hunter as Young Associate Lighting Designer.

 “ROMEO AND JULIET” is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, collaborating with his entire New Adventures Associate Artistic team;Etta Murfitt, Associate Artistic Director, set and costume design by Lez Brotherston; lighting by Paule Constable; sound by Paul Groothuis; and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies, played live at every venue by The New Adventures Orchestra conducted by Brett Morris.


National Theatre announces new exhibition PLAYING WITH SCALE

Playing with Scale

This new free exhibition at the National Theatre explores how designers use set models for theatre-making. Playing with Scale unfolds the idea of a scale model and explains the importance of models as a design tool. The exhibition features model boxes from productions at the NT, archive materials, films, audio and photography.

The exhibition is curated by Eleanor Margolies (Jocelyn Herbert Fellow, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Graduate School, UAL) and is presented in collaboration with the Jocelyn Herbert Archive.

Curator Eleanor Margolies said: “I have been looking at the models created by designer Jocelyn Herbert for the last two years and became fascinated by all the different ways that set models are used in the designer’s process. So many conversations happen around and through the model – with directors and actors, set-builders and prop-makers. The exquisite miniature world of the ‘final model’ is only one part of the story. I feel really lucky to have had a glimpse into the usually hidden world of the studio, taking in early sketch models and digital 3D visualisations, and look forward to sharing this with visitors to the exhibition.”

The exhibition focuses on five productions designed for the Olivier stage: The Plough and the Stars (1977, designer Geoffrey Scott), Antigone (2012, designer Soutra Gilmour), The Comedy of Errors (2011, designer Bunny Christie), Exit the King (2018, designer Anthony Ward) and Antony & Cleopatra(2018, designer Hildegard Bechtler).

The exhibition shows how important models were for architect Denys Lasdun, who designed the Olivier auditorium, and how these five designers have responded in very different ways to this unique space.

Jocelyn Herbert was both a member of the Building Committee working with Lasdun and also designed productions for the Olivier Theatre. Scale models of the props and furniture Herbert designed for Galileo have been preserved within her archive at the National Theatre, and have recently been restored by Tabitha Austin, a student on the MA Conservation at Camberwell.

The exhibition explores why designers make scale models and brings attention to their collaborative work with directors, scenic artists, actors and designers of lighting and projection.

Related Talks and Events:

Exhibition Insight with Curator Eleanor Margolies Sat 1 December, 11.30am

How Designers use Model Boxes Mon 10 December, 6pm

Out of the Model Box: stories inspired by set models Sat 2 March, 12pm

Model Box Making Workshop Sat 2 March, 2pm

Drawing Set Designs with the NT Drawing Office Thu 21 March, 6pm

Home Announces new 2019 Theatre Season


HOME presents a new season of over 20 shows including Emma Rice’s West End Smash Hit Wise Children, 1927’s The Animals and Children Took to the Streets, acclaimed boxing drama One Night in Miami and Headlong’s Shakespeare’s Richard III

  • HOME announces a continued commitment to supporting artists to expand their practice and reach new audiences with new World Premiere productions from Scottee, Javaad Alipoor and Liz Richardson
  • Building-wide celebrations with landmark theatre projects at their heart, including the 25th annual Viva Festival
  • Internationally renowned artists and companies including Hofesh Shechter, The Tiger Lillies, Nassim Soliemanpour and Senior Serrano

Today HOME announced their new theatre season for 2019, with a continued commitment to bold international programming, nurturing new creative talent, and building-wide festivals and celebrations.

The season includes the acclaimed production of Wise Children directed by Emma Rice, whose work includes including Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter and Tristan & Yseult. Choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s Grand Finale is back following a sell-out run at HOME earlier this year; Headlong are back with their new production of Shakespeare’s Richard III; and theatre innovators 1927 present their smash-hit The Animals and Children Took to the Streets. Then in July, there’s Kemp Powers’ One Night In Miamidirected by former Royal Exchange Associate Director Matthew Xia. This powerful production imagines the pivotal moment in American history when Cassius Clay met his friends Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and American Football star Jim Brown following Clay’s heavyweight championship victory.

2019 marks the beginning of a new phase for HOME, where there will be a renewed commitment to not just producing new work, but also growing our collaborations with exciting artists. This season HOME supports World Premieres by Scottee, Javaad Alipoor and Liz Richardson. Javaad’s production Rich Kids of Tehran will be his first new commission since his landmark The Believers Are But Brothers brought him to national attention. Scottee’s new show Class will be his first show at the midscale, opening in HOME’s larger Theatre 1 space.

Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME said: “HOME exists to produce and develop new art and new artists, responding to our place in the city and the world. Across the next year, starting with Liz, Scottee and Javaad, we will embark on a new creative direction. By collaborating with a generation of artists and theatre-makers to create a fresh canon of work, we want to reach new audiences, help develop new cross-art form practice and tell new stories.”

As well as World Premiere productions developed with HOME, there is a carefully curated programme of new work featuring celebrated emerging artists and award-winning shows from international festivals. It includes Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas’s new production One, Iman Qureshi’s Papatango Prize winning play The Funeral Director, and a return of Scottee’s hit Fat Blokes. There are also acclaimed Fringe First winners withBreach Theatre’s It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, and Dressed by This Egg.

2019 will feature a vibrant programme of building-wide festivals and seasons which include major productions in the theatres. In April HOME’s annual ¡Viva! Festival of Spanish and Latin American art returns for a 25th year. It features the HOME-commissioned Kingdom by award-winning Catalan company Senor Serrano. HOME will also mark Refugee Week, with a mixed programme including Iranian artist Nassim Soleimanpour’s productionNassim.

Dave Moutrey added: “I believe HOME is at its most impactful when the work on our stages connects with the programme in our cinemas and galleries. In 2019, landmark theatre events sit at the heart of building-wide celebrations, bringing together artists and communities from our region and around the world. !Viva! has added resonance this year with such uncertain times in Europe. This festival promises to be an artistic antidote with another a joyous international cultural party. To mark the 200th anniversary of Peterloo in summer 2019, we’re planning a special programme exploring the timeless interaction between music and political protest. More details will be announced soon.”

Alongside all this, HOME will welcome the famous and the funny to its theatre spaces. Highlights include comedian Mark Thomas with his theatrical examination of our National Health Service in Check Up: Our NHS @ 70; RuPaul’s Drag Race favourite Jinkx Monsoon; and HOME regulars The Tiger Lillies taking a trip into theDevil’s Fairground.

HOME also offers a year-round platform where people throughout Manchester’s communities, especially young people, can engage with the arts. Highlights of a packed programme for 2019 include a new show from CAN Young Artists, and the return of National Theatre Connections Festival, bringing together some of the most exciting writers in the country with the theatre makers of tomorrow.

Gecko announces Arlene Phillips and Dominic West as its first patrons

Arlene Phillips
Dominic West

Dominic West

This announcement comes at an auspicious time for the company who have recently announced the London premiere for their most ambitious show to date, The Wedding, at the Barbican Theatre as part of the prestigious London International Mime Festival.

Arlene Phillips, CBE is a much-loved English choreographer, theatre director, talent scout, television judge and presenter, perhaps best known recently as a judge on hit TV series Strictly Come Dancing. Her and Gecko’s Artistic Director Amit Lahav became acquainted through their both having worked with the late choreographer Lyndsey Kemp, and Arlene has been a fan of Gecko’s work since 2015 when she saw Institute.

Dominic West is a Sheffield-born actor, director and musician. He is perhaps best known for his role in hit TV series The Wire and The Affair but has worked extensively across screen and stage in both UK and US. Dominic is starring in the upcoming BBC adaptation of Les Misérables by Andrew Davies, and in October 2018 was awarded the Canneseries Excellence Award at the international TV showcase Mipcom for his outstanding contribution in TV series.

Arlene Phillips

Arlene Phillips

Arlene Phillips said: “I’m thrilled and excited to become a patron of Gecko. It’s exciting theatre that combines dance with extraordinary music and soundscapes and a unique and strange storytelling style that draws you in. I’ve loved Gecko from the first moment I saw the company perform, and have the utmost admiration for Amit and the company.”

Dominic West said: “A Gecko show is always a thrillingly inventive concert of lyrical movement, breathtaking imagery and a wry humanity.  I have loved watching them for nearly two decades, since I first met Amit through the Argentinian group ‘De La Guarda’. In 2019 we’ll see a long overdue broadening of their resources and their audience and I am delighted to be associated with that”.

Amit Lahav said: “I am delighted to announce Arlene Phillips and Dominic West as our first Gecko patrons.  They have both shown real enthusiasm and encouragement for the company’s work over the years and are keen to support Gecko’s the future plans. Both Arlene and Dom have enormous experience and expertise in their respective fields in choreography, directing, performance and film and I look forward to continuing our conversations, reflecting on the industry and dreaming of future possibilities.  I have always declared relationships as the central ethos of Gecko and I feel a warmth and connection with our new patrons energised by a drive to keep seeing Gecko grow and pursue its dreams.  It is important to us that we have patrons who have a love for Gecko, a willingness to support our future development and who bring to the company diverse expertise – Dominic and Arlene are perfect ambassadors and great friends too”.

This exciting news marks the next phase in Gecko’s story. Since being established by Amit Lahav in 2001, the company has become the epitome of visceral, provocative physical theatre in the UK, with a unique language of movement, music and set design that come together to create a distinctive and unforgettable experience.

Now, in its 18th year, Gecko is the UK’s leading devising physical theatre company which, despite the increasingly challenging arts funding landscape in the country, creates increasingly ambitious shows performing to audiences across the UK and internationally. The company’s work is studied by students preparing for their GCSE and A’Level exams across England, and they are also guest artists as part of a new MA degree programme in Contemporary Physical Performance Making at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2019 the company will begin development of its next production. As an expert on movement, Amit has recently worked with directors Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall on imagery for the new songs on The Chemical Brothers’ 2018 world tour. He has also been working on movement for BBC 2’s documentary about Austrian painter Egon SchieleDangerous Desires: The Scandalous Life of Egon Schielebroadcast in November to mark the painter’s 100th anniversary of death. It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here.