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Slung Low’s Alan Lane: ‘These are incredibly challenging times… if we are not careful, we will end up managing our own decline.’

Alan Lane

Alan Lane

‘I am the worst yoga person in the world – I’m terrible at it,’ announces Alan Lane.

(FYI Lane is currently participating in a 30-day yoga challenge).

Lane is the artistic director of the brilliant Leeds theatre company Slung Low, you might know him from his dismantling of all-comers and bearing of emotions on social media – often tongue in cheek.

Long story short, Slung Low’s signature style is spectacle: large scale, site specific & off-the-wall. They make work look as easy as breathing. It isn’t, of course.

We are talking at the end of a long day that has involved Lane stripping asbestos at Slung Low’s new home: The Holbeck Social Club.

Holbeck / Slung Low Sign

Holbeck / Slung Low

How would he describe the atmosphere of working in a social club? ‘Firstly, very comfortable, – that is mainly the nature of being in a Working Men’s club – equally if we’re open as a bar you an easily end up having a 3-hour meeting about which ales to serve. But we know this community, we’ve been a part of this community for nearly a decade now,’ Lane says.

‘We get it wrong sometimes, of course. But in occupying the club we ensured that we met with all the active members – these things take time and care. It’s the same with our shows, we see people working hard to make it work it is a huge team effort. So, we are really open about how hard this is.’

Slung Low recently unveiled a thrilling new programme of Pay What You Decide cultural classes for their second term, which starts next month and offers an array of cultural activities including Woodwork, podcasting, T’ai Chi and Mental Health First Aid.

‘When we had the idea for ‘Pay What You Decide’ classes some people thought we were mad,’ he says. ‘The first term was really successful with a decent take up and people were genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunities. It just worked.  It’s well exciting.’

The timing is significant. Figures reveal that children living in the most deprived areas are the most likely to lose their option to study arts subjects when the EBacc becomes compulsory.  What this means for a whole generation is grim, if you’re a young person. Slung Low are embedded in and speak directly with their community.

Critical success and an innovative approach to arts participation have seen Lane included in the annual 100-strong power list recently published by the Stage.

So different is the company’s innovative approach, I wonder how much it matters to someone like Lane. As in, he is responsible for a double decker bus that has been converted into a classroom and his idea of success doesn’t necessarily adhere to the typical structures of glory.

I congratulate Lane and ask him what it means to him.

‘Number 43! What it is, is useful to my mum and our neighbours here,’ Lane says, with a knowing laugh.

‘But seriously it is very welcome to receive coverage and recognition across the industry for work that is happening outside of London. These lists are, of course, problematic in the sense that they are always likely to exclude certain people and groups no matter how hard the creators try but it is really lovely to be included’.

There’s something wildly open about Lane, from the sincerity in his voice  to the tongue in cheek Tweeting about Michael Ball and Hull Trains. He has a fervour that you perhaps call wildly disconcerting: a certain vulnerability, too.

Anyway, as things get bigger, career-wise, does he still feel like he is in control?

He umms for a second.

‘We spend a lot of time on everything that we do,’ Lane explains. ‘We are incredibly productive and it is a big engine and team with brilliant people all across the organisation. We’ve worked really hard to be never surrendering and we are steering our own fate. How you do what you do is as important as what you do.’

Does he think the industry rewards a certain type of personality?

Lane begins. ‘I think it rewards serious types of leadership – we’re comfortable with certain types of leaders, less comfortable with those who want to question more fundamental elements of the theatre industry, not just what is on stage – it’s a bit more sophisticated now – especially the changing identity of artistic directors across prominent London theatres which is really positive. These are incredibly challenging times, though, and if we are not careful, we will end up managing our own decline.’

Recently the company produced the epic award-winning Flood by James Phillips as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. I ask him to tell me about that experience; geographically as well as being afforded substantial subsidy. ‘Hull is genuinely an amazing and magical place,’ Lane says, emphatically.

Man in Orange trousers - Flood

Man in Orange trousers – Flood

He continues. ‘On a personal and company level it was glorious. The investment and resources that a lot of companies never get – half a million people witnessed it – it was a rare thing. Some of that is to do with financial support, but a lot of that is to do with charismatic thoughtful courageous leadership. We were lucky with Martin Green as head of Hull 17. And we’ve been fortunate elsewhere to work for similarly inspiring leaders; Daniel Evans, Kully Thiarai, Erica Whyman. There are huge swathes of northern England that are forgotten, both culturally & politically, which is a scandal’.

As funding is wiped out on a local and national level, so too are the people trying to make it work. For Lane, it is a case of desperate times. ‘The system we have currently requires areas of the country to be abandoned and reduced to next to nothing,” he says, as exasperated as he gets. ‘We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world and the government is wrong to say that work is a route out of poverty, it isn’t for everyone; the age of austerity is a political choice. [The North East is forgotten by national government; it hasn’t even got a motorway]

What, I ask, is the most challenging aspect of making this kind of work? ‘Hard to achieve impact,’ he continues, ‘I’m 40 and it is still so vital to keep that personal artistic ambition driving on too– (a number of our principles it definitely like limited resources is what we’ve always wanted to do) Much of the freedom of the club is the community nature of it – real people using the space. The cultural sector is getting less ambitious, in terms of scale and I would say that we are making less…’

Team Slung Low- credit Joseph Priestley

Team Slung Low- credit Joseph Priestley

‘But we have so much ambition, I remember discussing an idea for a show with someone at The Barbican that involved a Land Rover charging across the stage…. It wasn’t possible to do it there. It can’t be done on stage and it needs the space and time that we’ve found in the north. The work we make might not be to everyone’s taste but it is purposely designed to fly in the face of the mundane. We make work for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces; we are a gang,’ Lane says, with a knowing laugh.

He says he hopes he has explained himself well. I just appreciate his honesty.

 

Bristol Old Vic launches virtual 3D tour of its new front of house spaces

Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic has released a 3D walkthrough of its newly refurbished front of house space following the recent completion of its multi-million-pound redevelopment, which opened to the public in September 2018. The 3D tour includes the new 1766 Bar & Kitchen and provides glimpses of the theatre’s Heritage Lottery-funded art installations and exhibitions. Viewers are also able to step inside the historic Georgian auditorium and explore the space from all angles.

The 3D virtual tour is an extension of Bristol Old Vic’s welcome to everyone, giving those with access requirements, or from further afield, an opportunity to step inside the historic building without physically being there. Using state-of-the-art technology, Bristol Old Vic is committed to using every possible opportunity to make the trip to the theatre as easy as possible.

Liam Wiseman, Heritage Engagement Manager said, “The 3D photography capture work we did at Bristol Old Vic has allowed us to enhance our visitor offer, giving everyone the chance to view and explore the entire building and familiarise themselves with it before visiting. Audiences can view our accessibility features and can even find their seat before a show. It has also allowed us to open our historic site to a wider audience that anyone can access wherever they are. With the software viewable in Virtual Reality as well, you can literally go on a virtual tour of the theatre, so give it a go!”

The walkthrough was created in conjunction with 3D Visual, a Bristol-based 3D marketing service provider, specialising in 360° photography and property mapping.

Business owner Rob Thomas said, “3D Virtual Tours are not only socially inclusive, they provide audiences with a taster of what they can expect. Mapping Bristol Old Vic means documenting history and providing everyone with the opportunity to view a cultural masterpiece from anywhere in the world.”

The virtual tour allows audiences to scope out the building ahead of their visit, familiarise themselves with the theatre’s access facilities and examine various fields of view in the auditorium. The walkthrough encompasses all four floors of the theatre, from the Theatre Pit to the Gallery and can be viewed in 3D, in ‘Dollhouse’ mode or as a Floor Plan. It can be accessed on any device, including desktop computer, tablet, iPad or mobile phone. For a more immersive experience, visitors can also access the walkthrough with a Virtual Reality headset.

The walkthrough can be accessed on Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Your Visit’ page and will remain there as a permanent part of the theatre’s mission to become as inclusive as possible.

“Magic Mike The Musical” World Premiere in Boston Prior to Broadway

Magic Mike

Producers Channing Tatum, Steven Soderbergh, Gregory Jacobs, Nick Wechsler, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan announced today that Magic Mike The Musical will premiere at Boston’s newly refurbished Emerson Colonial Theatre this fall prior to a Broadway engagement.

Preview performances will begin at the Emerson Colonial Theatre (106 Boylston Street) on Saturday November 30, 2019, with the official opening set for Sunday, December 15. The production will run in Boston through January 5, 2020.

Tickets for the Boston run will go on sale today, Thursday, January 24 at 1:00 PM EST at www.EmersonColonialTheatre.com, by calling 888-616-0272, and at the box office.

Magic Mike The Musical will be directed by Trip Cullman (Choir Boy) with an original score by Tony® Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), with a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Riverdale”), and choreography by Camille A. Brown (Once On This Island).

Casting and additional creative team members for the Boston production and future Broadway plans will be announced at a later time.

Set before the hit movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, this original stage production tells the story of college-student-turned-male-entertainer Mike Lane. Struggling to make ends meet, Mike takes a job dancing at an exclusive night club… and winds up loving every minute of it.  But as he scrambles to hide his alter ego from his dad and girlfriend, he finds himself needing to make some difficult choices. Can Mike follow his dreams without losing more than his clothes?

On behalf of his fellow producers, Channing Tatum said, “When we were shooting Magic Mike, I looked at myself in a thong and thought: ‘well Chan, say goodbye to your career!’  So the idea that seven years later a Pulitzer Prize-winning creative team would be making a full-fledged musical prequel is definitive proof that God loves strippers.  I couldn’t be more excited about the next chapter in the Magic Mike story.  So get ready, Boston. The road to Broadway begins on November 30!”

Director Trip Cullman said, “Magic Mike was made for the Broadway stage. I can’t imagine a more creative and fun team of artists to collaborate with to make this show soar.”

Nina Essman and Marcia Goldberg are the Executive Producers of Magic Mike The Musical. The production’s General Manager is 321 Theatrical Management.

“We are elated to welcome Magic Mike into the Colonial’s legacy of great musicals born in Boston,” says Erica Lynn Schwartz, general manager of the Emerson Colonial Theatre for Ambassador Theatre Group. “We made a commitment to reviving the city’s pre-Broadway tradition in the new chapter of this historic building. There is such enthusiasm in our community for pre-Broadway works, and on the heels of the success of Moulin Rouge! last summer, we are thrilled to announce this next engagement.”

The Magic Mike phenomenon began with the release of the movie, Magic Mike, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which opened to critical and popular success in 2012. A second film, Magic Mike XXL, directed by Gregory Jacobs, was released in 2015; the two films combined made almost $300 million. Magic Mike Live launched in Las Vegas in 2017 and opened in London last year; combined they have sold $36.5 million in tickets. The total number of ticket sales in the Magic Mike universe is currently over $335 million. Magic Mike The Musical is an entirely new theatre production that tells the story leading up to the first Magic Mike movie.

Bios:

 Trip Cullman (Director). Broadway: Choir Boy, Lobby HeroSix Degrees of SeparationSignificant Other. Select off Broadway: Days of RageThe LayoverLonely I’m Not, The Substance of Fire, Some Men, Bachelorette, Swimming in the Shallows (Second Stage); Punk Rock (Obie Award), Yen, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC); Significant Other (Roundabout); I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic); Choir BoyMurder Ballad (MTC); A Small Fire (Drama Desk nom.), Assistance, The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing, The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick); Dog Sees God (Century Center); Roulette (EST); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: Geffen, Alliance, Old Globe, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Bay Street, Williamstown Theater Festival.

Tom Kitt (Music) is a Tony®, Emmy®, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer whose credits include: Next to Normal; If/Then; Superhero; High FidelityBring it On, The Musical; Disney’s Freaky Friday; Dave; and The Public Theater’s NYSF. As a Music Supervisor, Arranger, and Orchestrator, credits include: Rise (NBC) American Idiot; Grease. Live!; SpongeBob Squarepants, The Musical; Jagged Little Pill; Head Over Heels; Everyday Rapture; and the Pitch Perfect films.

 Brian Yorkey (Librettist/Lyricist) received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score for Next to Normal. The show was also nominated for Best Book and Best Musical, and won the Outer Critic’s award for Best Score. Brian is currently the Executive Producer and showrunner of the Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why, which he created for television. Other credits include If/Then (Tony Award Nominee for Best Score), and The Last Ship (Outer Critic’s Nomination, with John Logan,Freaky Friday ( Disney Theatricals, Disney Channel Original Movie.)

 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Book) is an award-winning playwright, comic book writer, and screenwriter. Broadway credits include the 2016 musical version of American Psycho based on the classic novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa was also part of the team brought in to overhaul Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. His many plays include Abigail/1702 (NYS&F), Good Boys and True (2econd Stage Theatre), and Based on a Totally True Story (MTC). Roberto is the Creator and Executive Producer of the television series Riverdale on the CW network and Chilling Adventures of Sabina on Netflix. Additional television credits include Big LoveLookingGlee, and Supergirl. For MGM Films, he wrote new versions of both Carrie and The Town that Dreaded Sundown.

Camille A. Brown (Choreographer) Broadway: Choir BoyOnce on This Island (Nominee: Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, & Chita Rivera Awards), A Streetcar Named Desire; Off-Broadway: Toni Stone (May 2019), This Ain’t Not Disco, Bella: An American Tall Tale (Lucille Lortel Award Nominee), Fortress of Solitude (Lucille Lortel Award Nominee). Regional: Oo-Bla-Dee (Two River Theatre, June 2019), Once (Pittsburgh CLO – July 2019),The Wiz (MUNY), ink at the Joyce Theatre (February 2019) and the Kennedy Center with her company Camille A Brown & Dancers, Bella: An American Tall Tale and Stagger Lee (Dallas Theatre Center), Cabin in the Sky (Encores! City Center) and tick, tick…BOOM! (Encores! City Center) starring Lin-Manuel Miranda. Television: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (NBC), New Year’s Eve in Rockefeller Center (NBC).  Camille is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and a TED Fellowship.  She has also won the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and is a four-time winner of the Princess Grace Award.  www.camilleabrown.org

 Emerson Colonial Theatre. In its storied history, Emerson Colonial Theatre has debuted such seminal Broadway shows as Anything GoesPorgy and BessOklahoma!,Born YesterdayFolliesA Little Night MusicGrand Hotel and La Cage aux Folles, and most recently, the pre-Broadway world premiere of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. The building, which opened in 1900 with a production of Ben-Hur, is the oldest continuously operated theatre in Boston, as well as being amongst the most magnificent, having retained most of its original period details. A theatre for the community, Emerson Colonial Theatre is once again contributing to the rich cultural landscape of Boston with a new and varied program of Broadway shows, live music, comedy and events. The Colonial is an Ambassador Theatre Group venue. www.EmersonColonialTheatre.com.

@MagicMikeBway

www.magicmikebroadway.com

 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s FLEABAG Announces One-Week Extension

Fleabag

FLEABAG has announced a one-week extension due to popular demand! Preview performances will also begin one day earlier on Wednesday, February 27.

 Annapurna Theatre is pleased to present the New York debut of the DryWrite and Soho Theatre production of FLEABAG. FLEABAG is written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, making her New York stage debut, and directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s long-time collaborator Vicky Jones. The play will begin previews on February 27, 2019 with an opening night set for March 7, 2019 at SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam St.). This is a strictly limited six-week engagement through Sunday, April 14, 2019.

After its sold-out run in London, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s award-winning comedic play, comes to New York for 5 weeks only. The play that inspired the hit television series, FLEABAG is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life. Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.

“I can’t wait to bring the original FLEABAG to New York! It’s a dream come true,” said Waller-Bridge. “We couldn’t think of a more perfect home than the SoHo Playhouse, and we wouldn’t be here at all without the awesome team at Annapurna. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN.”

FLEABAG debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013 to rave reviews and won a Fringe First Award. It went on to play the Soho Theatre in London (revived in 2014 + 2016), before touring the UK (2015 + 2018), South Korea (2014) and Australia (2018) and an Edinburgh Festival revival as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase (2017), produced by Waller-Bridge’s production company DryWrite and Soho Theatre. The production also won The Stage Best Solo Performer Award, the Off West End Award for Most Promising New Playwright & Best Female Performance and was nominated for an Olivier Award.

FLEABAG was adapted into a BBC Television series in partnership with Amazon Prime in 2016 and earned Phoebe a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance. The series was also nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award, Television Critics Association Award and Critics Choice TV Award, among other accolades. The BBC and Amazon renewed the series for a second season, which will premiere in 2019.

Waller-Bridge also created and wrote the BBC America TV series “Killing Eve” starring Sandra Oh, which was nominated for two Emmy Awards and is currently in production for its second season.

 FLEABAG is produced by Annapurna Theatre’s Kevin Emrick and Skye Optican, as well as DryWrite and Soho Theatre.

The creative team for FLEABAG features Holly Pigott (scenic design), Elliot Griggs (lighting design) and Isobel Waller-Bridge (sound design).

TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets are available now via www.FleabagNYC.com, by calling 212-691-1555 or at SoHo Playhouse Box Office (15 Vandam St., between Varick St. and 6th Ave).

BIOGRAPHIES

PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE (Writer/Performer) is a multi-award-winning creative, garnering praise for her work as an actor, writer, creator and showrunner. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show Fleabag, which she wrote and performed, earned her an Olivier Award Nomination and a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, among other accolades. She also received a Special Commendation from the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize on behalf of the play. Fleabag was adapted into a critically acclaimed television series, and Waller-Bridge earned a BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Program. Waller-Bridge also served as the writer and showrunner of the first season of the celebrated television series Killing Eve, which recently earned her an Emmy award nomination for Outstanding Writing of a Drama Series. Both Fleabag and Killing Eve were renewed for second seasons, which will premiere in 2019. Waller-Bridge will only serve as an Executive Producer on the second season of Killing Eve, due to her Fleabag commitments for season two. Notable television credits include Crashing, which was her screenwriting debut, and Broadchurch. On film, Waller-Bridge appeared as the first female droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story. In addition to Fleabag, Waller-Bridge’s additional theatre credits include: The One (Soho Theatre), Mydidae (Trafalgar Studios), Hay Fever (West End), Tribes (Royal Court), Rope (Almeida), 2nd May 1997 (Bush Theatre, for which she earned an Evening Standard Theater Award Nomination in the category of Best Newcomer), Like a Fishbone (Bush Theatre), Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre) and Roaring Trade (Soho Theatre). Waller-Bridge is also co-artistic director of DryWrite Theatre Company.

 VICKY JONES (Director) is co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of DryWrite (with Phoebe Waller-Bridge). With DryWrite, she has commissioned and directed plays from some of the UK’s leading new writing talent, including Joe Penhall, Chloe Moss, Simon Stephens, Terry Johnson, Jack Thorne, Lucy Kirkwood, Ella Hickson, James Graham, Penelope Skinner and Mike Bartlett amongst many others. Vicky trained on the Royal Court/Channel 4 Young Directors scheme, the Gate Theatre Trainee Directors scheme, the National Theatre Studio Directors course and by assisting Katie Mitchell, Terry Johnson, Erica Whyman, Joe Hill-Gibbons and Patrick Marber amongst others. As a writer, Vicky’s first play, THE ONE, won the 2013 Verity Bargate Award (from over 800 entrants). Vicky worked as script editor on the TV version of FLEABAG. Other TV writing credits include “Killing Eve” and the Royal Court/ BBC 4 series of monologues “Snatches.” Vicky is currently the National Theatre’s Playwright in Residence and has an original TV series in development with HBO.

ABOUT ANNAPURNA THEATRE

Annapurna Theatre, launched in late 2017, is the live stage division of Annapurna. No matter the medium, whether television, interactive, film or theatre, Annapurna focuses on creating sophisticated, high quality projects that appeal to a diverse audience. Fleabag is the inaugural production of Annapurna Theatre. The division is also a co-producer of the National Theatre’s Broadway production of Network starring Bryan Cranston and West End productions of Nine Night, The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time and the upcoming productions of Home I’m, Darling and The Lehman Trilogy.

ABOUT DRYWRITE

DryWrite is an award-winning and Olivier nominated new-writing theatre company that challenges writers to work with specific briefs and goals to actively engage audiences. Founded in 2007 DryWrite has since worked with over one hundred playwrights and produced multi-award winning plays ‘The One’ and ‘Touch’ by Vicky Jones and ‘Fleabag’ by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. They have produced original work for theatres including the Soho Theatre, Roundhouse, York Theatre Royal, Hampstead Theatre, Trafalgar Studios and Latitude Festival, and have toured throughout the UK and internationally. They are currently an associate company of Soho Theatre. DryWrite is led by Co-Artistic Directors Vicky Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Producer Francesca Moody and Company Manager Charlotte McBrearty.

 

Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Fiddler On The Roof  transfers to the West End

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Credit: Johan Persson

Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof with Andy Nyman and Judy Kuhn transfers to the reconfigured Playhouse Theatre from 21 March for a limited run – with over 25,000 tickets at £20 or less across the run. The production, which opens on 27 March, with previews from 21 March, and is booking until 15 June, is currently running at the Menier, where it completes its sell-out run on 9 March. Public booking opens on 6 February. The full cast for the transfer will be announced shortly.

★★★★
‘A resounding success. This one is pretty perfect.’
Financial Times

Direct from its sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Tony and Olivier award-winning director Trevor Nunn’s ‘exuberant revival’ (Daily Telegraph) of the classic Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof transfers to the West End for a strictly limited run. The Playhouse Theatre will be specially transformed into an immersive space for this ‘shiveringly intimate chamber musical about family’ (The Times).

Old traditions and young love collide in this joyous and timely celebration of life. Tevye’s daughters’ unexpected choice of husbands opens his heart to new possibilities, as his close-knit community also feel winds of change blowing through their tiny village.

Featuring the iconic score including ‘Tradition’, ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker’, ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘If I Were a Rich Man’, and packed with Jerome Robbins’ original Tony award-winning choreography, Fiddler on the Roof ‘bursts from the stage’ (Financial Times), bringing new life to one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

Andy Nyman is an award-winning actor, director and writer who has earned acclaim from both critics and audiences for his work in theatre, film and television. As well asFiddler on the Roof, his work for the Menier includes Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins and Abigail’s Party (also Wyndham’s Theatre). Other theatre work includes Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen (Wyndham’s Theatre), and the original production of Ghost Stories (Duke of York’s Theatre/Arts Theatre) which he starred in, co-wrote and co-directed with Jeremy Dyson. His extensive television credits include Wanderlust, The Eichmann ShowCampus, Crooked HouseDead Set as well as his highly acclaimed performance as Winston Churchill in Peaky Blinders. This year he will be seen in the up and coming series Hanna. Nyman’s extensive film credits include The CommuterDeath at a FuneralKick-Ass 2Black DeathThe Brother’s BloomSeverance and Shut Up & Shoot Me, for which he won the ‘Best Actor’ award at the Cherbourg Film Festival in 2006. Upcoming films include Jungle Cruise and playing opposite Renee Zellweger in Judy. This year saw the release of the film version of Ghost Stories. Based on their own play, the film was written and directed by Nyman and Jeremy Dyson. Nyman also stars alongside Martin Freeman and Paul Whitehouse. In addition, he has collaborated with Derren Brown for almost 20 years, co-writing and co-creating much of Brown’s early TV work, he has also co-written and directed six of Brown’s stage shows winning the ‘Best Entertainment’ Olivier Award for Derren Brown – Something Wicked This Way Comes and recently a New York Drama Desk Award for ‘Best Unique Theatrical Event 2017’ for Derren Brown – Secret.

Judy Kuhn plays Golde. A four-time Tony Award nominee, she has released four studio albums, and sang the title role in the 1995 film Pocahontas, including her rendition of the song “Colors of the Wind”, which won its composers the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Her theatre credits include Fun Home (Public Theater/Circle In The Square Theatre), She Loves Me (Brooks Atkinson Theater), ChessThe Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Imperial Theatre), Les Miserables (Broadhurst Theatre), Rags (Mark Hellinger Theatre),Two Shakespearean Actors (Lincoln Center Theatre), King David (New Amsterdam Theater) and Metropolis (Piccadilly Theatre – Olivier Award Nomination), The Visit(The Williamstown Theater Festival), PassionThe Cradle Will Rock (City Center), Three Sisters (Intiman Theatre), Passion (Kennedy Center), Sunset BoulevardEli’s Comin’ , Dream True (Vineyard Theatre), The Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater), The Glass Menagerie (McCarter Theatre), Martin Guerre (Hartford Stage) and Endangered Species (BAM). Her film credits include EnchantedDay on FirePocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World.

From 1968 to 1986, Trevor Nunn was the youngest ever Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing over thirty productions, including most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables.  From 1997 to 2003, he was Artistic Director of the National Theatre, where his productions included Troilus and Cressida, Oklahoma!The Merchant of VeniceSummerfolkMy Fair LadyA Streetcar Named DesireAnything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has directed the world premières of Tom Stoppard’s plays ArcadiaThe Coast of Utopia and Rock n Roll; and of CatsSunset Boulevard, Starlight Express and Aspects of Love by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other theatre includes Timon of AthensSkellig (Young Vic); The Lady From The Sea (Almeida Theatre); HamletRichard IIInherit the Wind (The Old Vic), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), Cyrano de BergeracKiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre); Heartbreak HouseFlare PathRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadThe Tempest (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); Scenes from a Marriage (Coventry & St James), All That Fall (Jermyn Street & New York); A Chorus of Disapproval and Relative Values (West End).  Work for television includes Antony and CleopatraThe Comedy of ErrorsMacbethThree SistersOthello,The Merchant of Venice and King Lear, and on film, HeddaLady Jane and Twelfth Night.

Listings                                                                                                                         Fiddler on the Roof

Playhouse Theatre

Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

 Box Office: 0844 871 7631

Tickets from £20 

www.fiddlerwestend.com

 Twitter: @FiddlerWestEnd

Instagram: @FiddlerWestEnd

Facebook: /FiddlerWestEnd

 Performances:

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm until 30 March (matinees on Saturdays)

Tuesday to Saturday from w/c 2 April (matinees on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)

 Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174

Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971

Captioned performance: Wednesday 8 May

Audio Described: Wednesday 15 May

& JULIET – Miriam-Teak Lee to lead new musical with the iconic music of song-writer Max Martin

& Juliet

& Juliet is the joyous, new West End musical that asks: what if Juliet’s famous ending was really just her beginning? What if she decided to choose her own fate?

Soaring with the music of Max Martin, the acclaimed song-writer of some of the biggest pop anthems of the last 30 years, & Juliet is to star the award-winning Miriam-Teak Lee.

Miriam-Teak was awarded Best Actress in a Musical at The Stage Debut Awards for her role of Claire DeLoone in On The Town. She was one of the stars of the Original London Cast of Hamilton and will now take the lead role of Juliet in this vibrant new musical.

The production will play a limited season at Manchester Opera House, from Tuesday 10 September to Saturday 12 October, before beginning performances in London at The Shaftesbury Theatre on Saturday 2 November (Press Night: Wednesday 20 November at 7:00pm).

Tickets go on general sale on Monday 11 February.

Romeo & Juliet final scene. Juliet picks up the dagger and….gets a life.

This vital new musical sees Juliet getting over Romeo by running off to Paris with Nurse and her best friends on a whirlwind trip of romance and self-discovery. You know, like a normal young woman! Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway may have their own ideas but this is Juliet’s story now.  So don’t tell her how it ends.

A timely and timeless tale of one independent young woman writing her own story, & Juliet is a riotous comic blast of fun and glorious pop music that proves when it comes to love, there’s always life after Romeo…

& Juliet includes some of pop music’s most iconic songs, including …Baby One More TimeEverybody, Love Me Like You Do and I Can’t Feel My Face, written over a span of 25 years by internationally renowned song-writer Max Martin along with various collaborators, and all in brilliant new arrangements by the ‘Tony’ and ‘Grammy’ Award-winning orchestrator Bill Sherman.

Brought to life by an award-winning creative team in an explosive fusion of styles, & Juliet will be directed by Luke Sheppard (In the Heights) with a story by David West Read (Schitt’s Creek), electrifying choreography from Jennifer Weber and stunning set design from Soutra Gilmour.

Additional cast and creative team to be announced.

Max Martin and Tim Headington present & Juliet, which is produced by Max Martin, Tim Headington, Theresa Steele, Jenny Petersson and Martin Dodd.

& JULIET – PRODUCTION INFORMATION

Music                                                                                                Max Martin and friends

Book                                                                                                  David West Read

Direction                                                                                          Luke Sheppard

Choreography                                                                                 Jennifer Weber

Set Design                                                                                        Soutra Gilmour

Costume Design                                                                              Paloma Young

Musical Supervisor/Orchestrator/Arranger                           Bill Sherman

Lighting Design                                                                                Howard Hudson

Sound Design                                                                                  Gareth Owen

MANCHESTER SEASON INFORMATION

Opera House, Manchester

3 Quay Street

Manchester

M3 3HP

Tickets

On General Sale                Monday 11 February

Box Office                            0844 871 3018*
*Fees apply. Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your company’s access charge.

Performance Dates & Times

Tuesday 10 September to Saturday 12 October

Monday – Saturday:        7.30pm

Matinees:                            Thursdays & Saturdays at 2:30pm

LONDON INFORMATION

The Shaftesbury Theatre

210 Shaftesbury Avenue

London

WC2H 8DP

Tickets

On General Sale                Monday 11 February

Box Office                            020 7379 5399

Performance Dates & Times

From Saturday 2 November

Monday – Saturday:        7.30pm

Matinees:                            Thursdays & Saturdays at 2:30pm

Press Night:                        Wednesday 20 November at 7:00pm

Fane Productions presents ‘Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket’

Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket
Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket

Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket

Fane Productions presents an outstanding live season of world class events at one of London’s oldest and most beautiful theatres, the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Season launches March 10th with Broadway legend Patti LuPone. Tickets on sale 12pm, Friday January 25th

“Fane Productions are producing a season of ‘Sunday Encounters’ at Theatre Royal Haymarket: a unique collection of one-off encounters with some of the UK’s most inspirational and discerning voices from theatre, dance, comedy, politics and literature. In general, dark night programming of West End theatres has been of a sporadic nature, so it is a fabulous opportunity, and something of a first, for a theatre of such calibre to lease Sundays to an external producer for a full season of curated work. Working with Nigel Everett and his team at TRH has been a privilege. Fane Productions’ growing reputation for live spoken word and music events, and the obvious attractions of Theatre Royal Haymarket are proving a potent mix and the first ‘Sunday Encounters’ season is packed with famous names and faces from across the entertainment landscape.” James Albrecht, Creative Producer, Fane Productions.

The programme includes many rare encounters: Dame Judi Dench interviewed by Gyles Brandreth in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, Patti LuPone in conversation with Edward Seckerson, Sir Derek Jacobi interviewed by Anne Reid, Carlos Acosta in conversation with Mike Parkinson Jr, Kerry Ellis sings and is in conversation Gaby Roslin, and Jason Robert Brown crosses the pond for a concert with special guests. Dame Patricia Routledge talks about her life in musical theatre, whilst Charles Dance talks about his life on stage and screen, Michael Morpurgo comes to Haymarket for his 75th anniversary tour and Misha Glenny, the McMafia author and journalist, delivers a somewhat terrifying masterclass on organised crime and how it impacts on us all. Simon Schama: Wordy The Tour asks if words still pack a punch in the reign of twitter? The annual Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year comes to the Haymarket for the first time, and for Curious Arts Curate London Curious, the creators and curators of the Curious Arts Festival, take us on a series of a curious adventures with leading cultural and social historians, among them that godfather of London psychogeography Iain Sinclair. With more to be announced in the coming weeks, ‘Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket’ promises an exclusive, mind expanding, diaphragm exercising, musically compelling season of one-off events from March – June 2019. Why spend your Sundays anywhere else?

Nigel Everett, General Manager TRH says: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Fane Productions and opening our doors on Sunday’s to such an exciting and diverse programme.”

Patti LuPone says: “I’m excited to launch the Fane Productions ‘Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket’ season at the stunning Theatre Royal Haymarket. To appear at a theatre with such a rich theatrical history is a very happy way to end my time in London after several wonderful months in the West End with Company.”

Gyles Brandreth and Dame Judi said: “We are excited to be part of Fane’s ground-breaking season of special Sundays at London’s most beautiful theatre and particularly happy that all the proceeds from our show are going to GOSH, the Great Ormond Street Hospital appeal, because it’s such a worthwhile cause.”

Dame Judi added: “We had a lot of fun the last time we did this, so I’m looking forward to being with Gyles again, to being back at the beautiful Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and to supporting the Great Ormond Street Hospital.”

Gyles said: “As a schoolboy I saw all the greats on the stage of the Theatre Royal – Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson, Dame Edith Evans… Fifty years on, it’s thrilling to be treading those boards with the legendary leading lady of our time, Dame Judi Dench.  Bravo to Fane Productions for creating a season of amazing Sunday shows and bringing life (and top quality) to the West End on a Sunday.”

Full Programme:

March 10th, 7pm: Patti LuPone in conversation with Edward Seckerson

Broadway legend and two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone sits down with writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson to talk about her rich and varied career.

March 17th, 3pm: ‘Gosh, it’s Judi Dench in conversation with Gyles Brandreth’

Judi joins Gyles as they take us on a roller-coaster ride through her career, recalling some of the stars she’s known and worked with and ending with her performing a Shakespeare sonnet.

March 17, 7pm: An Evening with Charles Dance

In a very rare public appearance, Charles Dance discusses his remarkable 50-year career in theatre, film and television.

March 24th, 7pm: Kerry Ellis: An Evening of Music and Memories

West End and Broadway star talks to Gaby Roslin about 20 years in show business and performs songs from throughout her career.

March 31st, 7pm: An Evening with Jason Robert Brown and Special Guests

An informal, intimate concert with the renowned Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist, conductor, and director, Jason Robert Brown. Special guest to be announced in due course.

April 7th, 7pm: Anne Reid Interviews Sir Derek Jacobi

Two of the most celebrated British icons of stage and screen, Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid meet on stage in conversation for the first time.

May 5th 2pm: Dame Patricia Routledge: Facing the Music – A Life in Musical Theatre

In this fascinating encounter with the writer, presenter and broadcaster Edward Seckerson she recalls this very special part of her career with access to some rare and treasured recordings.

May 5th, 7pm Michael Morpurgo: 75th Anniversary Tour

Michael began writing stories in the early ‘70s, inspired by the children he taught in his primary school class in Kent. He has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Private Peaceful and War Horse.

 May 12th, 2.30pm: Misha Glenny: McMafia

Misha Glenny is an award-winning journalist and author; his international bestselling book, McMafia, was recently turned into the hit BBC TV series of the same name.

Described by The Guardian as ‘a world authority on global organised crime.’

May 12th, 7pm: Carlos Acosta in conversation with Mike Parkinson

For one night only, Carlos Acosta, the greatest male ballet dancer of our generation is in conversation with Mike Parkinson, youngest son of Sir Michael Parkinson. His story is as improbable and enthralling as his dancing, so expect captivating dialogue and Carlos might even be persuaded to dance.

 May 19th, All day from 12pm – 6.30pm: Curious Arts Curates London Curious

Join us for the day at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for ‘London Curious’ on Sunday 19th May where a series of a curious adventures with leading cultural and social historians, among them that godfather of London psychogeography Iain Sinclair, will take you into the heart of our great and teeming metropolis.

June 2nd, 7pm: Simon Schama: Wordy The Tour

Simon Schama asks if can words still pack a punch in the reign of Twitter?

Have the carriers of thought, the deliverers of argument, the elements of poetry, the sounds that make us human lost their force in the age of short attention span?

June 9th, 3pm: Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year

Mercury Musical Developments and The Stephen Sondheim Society presents the 13th annual STEPHEN SONDHEIM SOCIETY STUDENT PERFORMER OF THE YEAR competition and STILES + DREWE PRIZE.

Tickets on sale from midday Friday January 25th here: www.trh.co.uk

Or via the TRH box office number: 0207 930 8800.

 

Top theatres across the UK named at The Stage Awards 2019

The Stage Awards
  • Theatres of the year named – London Theatre: Bush Theatre, Regional Theatre: Nottingham Playhouse, and Fringe Theatre: Barn Theatre, Cirencester.
  • Open Door – part-funded by Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke – wins School of the Year, sponsored by TodayTix, for its work helping young people from low-income households prepare for drama school auditions.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman named Producer of the Year, sponsored by PRG, for the fourth time for her work including The Jungle, The Inheritance and Summer and Smoke.
  • Groundbreaking Down’s syndrome show in Africa helps Cardiff-based Hijinx Theatre win the International Award, sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group.
  • Battersea Arts Centre wins Theatre Building of the Year, sponsored by TAIT, following its restoration after a devastating fire in 2015.
  • Theatre’s unsung hero revealed as Pat Nelder celebrating his 41 years at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales.
  • Other theatres recognised include the New Diorama Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith in London.

Winners of The Stage Awards 2019, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, were announced at the Bridge Theatre, London on Friday, January 25, 2019.

Regional Theatre of the Year, sponsored by Evolution Productions, was won by Nottingham Playhouse for its acclaimed season including superb productions of Wonderland, Sweet Charity and The Madness of George III starring Mark Gatiss. The Bush Theatre was named London Theatre of the Year, sponsored by Managed Networks, with judges citing the diverse programming at the venue with hit shows including An Adventure and Misty. The Barn Theatre, Cirencester won Fringe Theatre of the Year, sponsored by encoreinsure.com, having only opened in March 2018 but already gaining national attention for its acclaimed productions of One Minute and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

School of the Year, sponsored by TodayTix, went to Open Door, which provides training and financial support for 18-25 year olds from low-income households. It is part-funded by actor Emilia Clarke, best known for playing Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. The project has received support from high-profile agents and casting directors, as well as partnering with leading drama schools including RADA and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman won Producer of the Year, sponsored by PRG. In the past 12 months, Sonia Friedman Productions has produced the West End transfers of critically acclaimed productions The Inheritance and The Jungle, as well as the Broadway transfers of The Ferryman and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Sonia Friedman Productions previously won Producer of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017.

Hijinx Theatre won the International Award, sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group, for its international touring work which saw it visit 67 cities in 16 countries. It also led a groundbreaking collaboration in Africa, which involved taking four actors with Down’s syndrome to Lesotho to create a piece with local drama students. This is particularly inspiring because Lesotho is a place where disability is perceived as a curse, and babies with disabilities are often abandoned at orphanages.

Battersea Arts Centre was awarded Theatre Building of the Year, sponsored by TAIT, following the reopening of the Grand Hall after a devastating fire engulfed the venue in 2015. The architects, Haworth Tompkins, have left the scarred walls on display in recognition of the building’s past. Recently, Steve Tompkins of the architecture firm Haworth Tompkins was named the most influential figure in the performing arts in The Stage 100 2019, in association with Spektrix.

The Unsung Hero award, sponsored by White Light, was given to Pat Nelder from Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Nelder has worked at the venue since 1977 joining as a junior member in the LX department, but has since worked in various roles and is now the capital development associate. The theatre’s artistic director Tamara Harvey said: “Quietly, constantly and with unceasing humility, he is the very best of us.”

Mark Shenton, associate editor of The Stage and judging panel member, said:

“At a time when regional theatre is facing serious challenges, the resurgence of the Nottingham Playhouse under new artistic director Adam Penford is particular reason to rejoice. The arrival of the brand-new Barn Theatre in Cirencester, a town previously unserved by a producing theatre, is also a sign of new regional vitality. The changing face(s) of London’s most inspiring theatres, onstage and off, are acknowledged by new producing models at both the Bush and the New Diorama that are bringing on plenty of new talent. I am proud to be part of a the judging panel that has championed and celebrated their achievements, as well as the ongoing and unrivalled changes to the commercial West End environment made by Sonia Friedman.”

Natasha Tripney, reviews editor of The Stage and judging panel member, said:

“It’s a pleasure to recognise the theatres that are changing the shape of the industry both via the work they programme, the people they work with and the level of support they are able to offer theatremakers, both in London, at the Bush Theatre and the New Diorama, and around the UK. New initiatives like Open Door are making it possible for talented young people to overcome financial barriers into the industry. Hijinx is touring inclusive theatre internationally, changing preconceptions. These are developments worth celebrating.”

The Stage Awards, in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd, are decided by The Stage’s senior editorial team, following extensive consultation with leading figures in the theatre industry and a public nomination process. The winners were announced on January 25, 2019 at a ceremony at the Bridge Theatre, London.

Previous winners of The Stage Awards include: the National Theatre, Sonia Friedman Productions, Royal Exchange Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Chichester Festival Theatre, Michael Grandage Company, National Youth Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, Arts Educational Schools, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

The Stage Awards 2019 are presented in association with Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd. Category sponsors for this year’s event include Ambassador Theatre Group, Charcoalblue, encoreinsure.com, ETC, Evolution Productions, Managed Networks, PRG, TAIT, TodayTix and White Light.

Winners in full

Regional Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by Evolution Productions
Nottingham Playhouse

London Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by Managed Networks
Bush Theatre

Fringe Theatre of the Year
Sponsored by encoreinsure.com
Barn Theatre, Cirencester

Theatre Building of the Year
Sponsored by TAIT
Battersea Arts Centre, London

Producer of the Year
Sponsored by PRG
Sonia Friedman Productions

School of the Year
Sponsored by TodayTix
Open Door, London and the East Midlands

International Award
Sponsored by Ambassador Theatre Group
Hijinx Theatre, Cardiff

Innovation Award
Sponsored by Charcoalblue
New Diorama Theatre, London for its programming model

Sustainability Award
Sponsored by ETC
Lyric Hammersmith, London

Unsung Hero
Sponsored by White Light
Pat Nelder, capital development associate at Theatr Clwyd

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FIRST LOOK: The rehearsal images of Sabrina Mahfouz’ s new adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses

2018 Box Office figures released by Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre

SOLT
  • Data jointly released for West End and rest of the UK for the first time
  • Resilience of UK’s theatre industry revealed
  • Strong audience and ticket sales figures from SOLT and UK Theatre members including several new records

Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre have released data for ticket sales across their member venues in 2018. The figures reveal a combined audience of over 34m and ticket revenue of nearly £1.28bn, from a total of 62,945 performances over the course of the year in the West End and across the UK.

London’s West End theatres drew in audiences totaling over 15.5m last year, resulting in box office revenue of over £765m – both record figures, generating over £127m in VAT for the Treasury. The year saw an increase in the number of performances to 18,708, up 2.8% from 2017. Hit shows including Hamilton had an impact on overall ticket sales in a very strong year for musicals, while plays experienced a dip in attendances and revenue.

Audiences for theatre across the rest of the country topped 18.8m, with a box office of over £509m. Theatres reported a slight increase in attendances, and also number of performances (44,237, up 0.2% from 2017), as well as a rise in income and average ticket price. This was largely due to increased yield at the biggest presenting houses, which bounced back after a small dip in 2017. Smaller producing theatres saw the largest dip in attendance and revenue, falling back in line with previous years after an unusually strong 2017.

2018 SOLT Highlights:

  • Attendances of 15,548,154 (up 3.0% compared to 2017)
  • Gross revenue of £765,800,051, (up 8.6% compared to 2017)
  • Average ticket price paid £49.25 (up 5.5% compared to 2017)
  • 77.5% of available seats filled
  • 18,708 performances

2018 UK Theatre Highlights:

  • Attendances of 18,806,659 (up 0.3% compared to 2017)
  • Gross revenue of £509,567,967 (up 8.4% compared to 2017)
  • Average ticket price paid £27.10 (up 8.0% compared to 2017)
  • 61% of available seats filled
  • 44,237 performances

Kenny Wax, President of SOLT, said:

‘As these figures show, London’s world-leading theatre industry is attracting larger audiences than ever after another record year. Increasingly, people seem to want to invest in high quality cultural experiences, and the West End is benefiting from this trend. We must be cautious heading into 2019, however, as the combined effects of some theatres going dark for renovations, major musicals closing and an uncertain political climate might have an impact in the coming months.’

Fiona Allan, President of UK Theatre, said:

‘2018 was generally a good year for the UK’s theatre sector, which proved robust in a difficult economic climate. London’s West End enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the rest of London and across the nations, with fantastic new writing and revivals originating all over the country and ending up in West End theatres, and West End productions touring the UK.’