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Pleasance launches in-house award, The Indies!

The Indies are here

The Pleasance Theatre Trust celebrates its 33 years at Venue 33 with a new award, “The Indies”.

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In its 33rd year in Venue 33 on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Pleasance Theatre Trust is proud to launch The Indies, a new award celebrating the best shows at the Pleasance as voted by the companies and artists themselves.

The categories for The Indies are as follows:

Best Show Categories

Celebrating excellence across the programme as a whole.

Best Comedy, Cabaret or Variety Show

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Show

Newcomer Categories

Highlighting companies and acts bringing their first full show to The Pleasance.

Best Comedy Cabaret or Variety Newcomer

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Newcomer

Miscellaneous Categories

Best Poster Design

Spirit Of The Pleasance

Each company in the Pleasance programme can cast a single set of votes in the category relating to their own genre.

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The Indies highlight not only the best in Pleasance’s comedy and theatre programmes but shine a light on Festival newcomers, staying true to the Pleasance’s mission of supporting new talent in the arts industry. The Award also recognises the best poster design and gives a special recognition to a company who showcased the Spirit Of The Pleasance by going out of their way to help another company or act. This spirit is reflected in the Awards themselves, encouraging companies to celebrate the work of their peers.

The Award is named after Christopher Richardson’s (founder of the Pleasance) beloved dog Indie.

Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance said:

“I’m delighted to announce the Pleasance Indies in our 33rd year. Cultivating a supportive environment where ideas can be realised to their fullest potential has always been a cornerstone of the Pleasance’s mission and the introduction of these awards is a perfect way to both promote this sense of community amongst our artists and celebrate the wealth of creativity in our programme.”

Winners of The Indies will be announced on the Pleasance Twitter (@ThePleasance) account today (Thursday, 24 August) at 3pm.

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Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 6

Edfringe Festival Diary-Day 6

It’s 9.45am at Hotel Du Vin, Edinburgh and I am having a coffee with the Times Theatre critic: Ann Treneman. Ann was the Times political sketch writer for 12 years. We are talking about navigating the wonderful arena of theatre.

‘The theatre world is much crazier than the world of politics… Seriously,’ she tells me.

‘Amazing. We must go out for a drink before I fly home,’ I said.

‘Some of us have reviews to write, Carl,’ she replied with a smile.

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Ann Treneman

We talked about the various things, shows we’d seen etc, etc and so on.

‘Well, I always think of that terrific Michelle Obama quote: ‘When they go low, we go high,’ she smiles. 

I made my way over to the Traverse for Gary McNair’s one-man piece about the writer’s teen years when he chose Morrissey as a confidante. Letters to Morrissey is the theatre equivalent of a chunky chocolate bar. The audience was mostly male and mostly 25 to 44-years old. I can’t remember much else to be honest.

I head over to Pleasance for Cardboard Citizens’ remarkable version of the TV drama ‘Cathy’. Beautifully written by Ali Taylor, ‘Cathy’ is a new forum theatre show which looks at how life might be like today for the protagonist of Cathy Come Home. The show speaks stridently and is one with that comes with a pain at its heart.

Ed

Cirkopolis / Letters to Morrissey

I check my emails.

‘This looks like the kind of thing you’d like to crash,’ it read.

Attached was an invitation to the 2017 Federation of Scottish Theatre – Festivals Reception on Tuesday 22 August at 5.30pm at Dynamic Earth. It soon became clear that Scotland has got it right. The level of joined-up thinking and networking in the room was palpable: bringing the sector together and starting proper conversations. Brilliant.

After giving up on Google maps in this city I finally arrive at the EICC for Quebec company Cirque Éloize take on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Cirkopolis is never less than interesting. Dazzling acrobatics build up a remarkable parade of imagery, yet this lively show never quite touches the heart. ‘Entertaining’, is how I would describe this show. In an ideal world, the music wouldn’t be so loud, but nothing in life is ideal.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE ACCESSIBLE CIRCUS.

Anyway, the last show of my Edinburgh Fringe was Toxic Avenger at Pleasance Courtyard. I loved this show at Southwark Playhouse. I didn’t in Edinburgh. The cast are seriously talented and I think it’s the perfect venue and time slot, the show still boasts exquisite performances and is still really well sung. Hopefully some of the dumbed-down changes will be reversed, which includes but is not limited to squirting the audience with a water pistol.

This was my third time in Edinburgh and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the city so busy.

I’ve had a terrific time but now I must go. 

Thank you to the beautiful people of Edinburgh who treated me with such equanimity and friendliness. To all, great thanks.

I’ll be back…

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR LETTERS TO MORRISSEY 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR CATHY

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR CIRKOPOLIS

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR  TOXIC AVENGER

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THREE TALES OF LIFE AND DEATH-US comedy stars in three one-act plays at Assembly

Three Tales of Life and Death

In the world premiere of Pulitzer/Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas’s (Prelude to a KissAn American in ParisAmelie) zany and touching new play, THREE TALES OF LIFE AND DEATH, three stories collide in a world of voyeuristic theatre critics, bartenders with too much spirit and mysterious strangers looking for love in the afternoon.

In Phase 1, Love and Life, critics provide live commentary as the a couple make extra-marital love for the first time and the son of an overly anxious woman reflects on his mother and her tendencies to worry….,

In Phase 2, Death, as a bar tender is closing up for the night, a mysterious stranger walks in…

In Phase 3, Afterlife, in two separate scenes, two spirits encounter each other in Limbo and grapple with their former lives and what comes next.

Making their Edinburgh Fringe debuts, US comedy legends Richard Kline (of the US sitcom Three’s Company) and Pamela Shaw (Swingers), perform these three one-act plays directed by Manhattan Theater Club’s Associate Director Hunter Bird.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Venue:                        Assembly (Front Room), 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR

Dates and Times:      3 – 26 August at 15.50 (not 6, 9, 15, 22 August)

Running Time:          65 mins

Tickets:                      £6 on 3 & 4 Aug

                                    £11 (£10) on 5, 6, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24 Aug

                                    £12 (£11) on 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 Aug

Box Office:                0131 220 4348

 

 

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Edinburgh Fringe, Tago Korean Drum, Interview: “Our music is very sexy, intense, and sophisticated!”

TAGO Korean Drum II live
TAGO Korean Drum II live

TAGO Korean Drum II live

TAGO return to The Fringe 2017 with a new show which follows their enormously popular and successful Fringe debut last year.

‘FYI’ TAGO means ‘lighting up the world by beating drums’ and this young ensemble achieves it with a spectacular mixture of Korean traditional instruments – from gigantic drums to small percussion instruments – spiced up with extravagant martial arts movement.  TAGO’s performances are a masterful display of thrilling percussion and precisely choreographed movement that has wide audience appeal.

TAGO Korean Drum II live shot 4 players

TAGO Korean Drum II live shot 4 players

TAGO – KOREAN DRUM II is one of a collection of Korean shows at the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe supported by Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS), an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea. The collection, which consists of MEDEA on media, Behind the Mirror, TAGO: Korean Drum, Mind Goblin and SNAP is part of Korea/UK 2017-18 presented by the Korean Cultural Centre UK, a year-long cultural exchange in partnership with leading British cultural institutions, set to bring the best of Korean art to the UK.

I thought it would be nice to talk to TAGO master drummer Kim Si-Won. I was right. It was quite nice.

Here is what happened.

Hi! Can you describe TAGO KOREAN DRUM?
TAGO master drummer Kim Si-Won:  Our music is very sexy, intense, and sophisticated!  Korean drums play an important part in traditional Korean music; it’s an art that has been passed from generation to generation for hundreds of years.  In TAGO we harness our traditional music with a more modern touch combining traditional Korean instruments – from gigantic drums to small percussion – with some exciting martial arts moves!  And we wanted to break the assumption that all drums are round so we’ve built a square drum and put strings and a wooden keyboard on it so it takes four of us to play it!

Performers are always busy rehearsing, preparing or performing; how do you relax?
That’s a good question Mr Carl!  We actually practise for 3-4 hours a day because you have to constantly develop strength and technique to play the drums…but we love to find new places to eat, drink and relax.  Edinburgh has some great bars and we’re looking forward to trying out some malt whiskies.

You recently took part in the London Korean Festival. How did audiences respond?
It was absolutely amazing!  We performed a 30 minute set against a colourful backdrop and the audience were dancing and cheering.  The Kensington Olympia venue is gigantic and the sound of our drums was perfect for the big acoustics.  They also had lots of Korean food stands so we felt right at home.  We signed lots of autographs too and did many selfies with audience members.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Performing abroad, definitely!

How would you like this show to be remembered?
As a big, exciting and sexy show!  Also we would like people to enjoy the sounds of the different drums and percussion instruments, some of which you can only see if you come to Korea.

What do you like most about the city of Edinburgh?
The people are so friendly and the beer is great!  When we performed for the first time in 2016, we didn’t realise there were so many shows on – some of our Korean friends are here with their own shows – magic, illusion, dance, music – and we’re hoping to go and support some of them.  Last year we had to buy umbrellas…

TAGO Ho-goon Hyun on the big drum photo by Young Kyong

With the costs of putting on a show – what would be your advice for other international companies that want to bring work to Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
Don’t pack too much!  We send our biggest drums in advance and we take the smaller items on the plane with our luggage.  We could easily bring more then end up not playing them all – so, rather than have a big choice of instruments, we perform a specially designed international show that we know we can deliver.  If you try to pack everything, you can easily run out of money.

What is the Korean Arts scene like?
Really vibrant and diverse. The art of drumming has been around for centuries and you have to be very dedicated to train for many years before you can perform professionally.  Drummers usually started training intensely from the age of 10.  The K-Pop scene is huge now – Korean pop music – and young audiences are moving away from traditional art forms which is why our show is a combination of old and new.  Also the phenomenon of magic and illusion shows is very new to Korea and very popular and the Korean National Ballet (since 1993) is also very cool with people who like ballet.

What do you think audiences enjoy most about your work?
I think people really dig the huge sound of the drums – the sound really fills any performance space and it’s exciting to experience.  I think they also like our combination of drumming and martial arts moves – it’s a really hard thing to learn but very satisfying when you hear the audience cheering!

Are there any shows you are looking forward to seeing?
We are hoping to check out some comedy shows – we didn’t have chance last year – so we’re going to try and see Kwame Asante who we hear is a doctor as well as a comedian and our friends in the Korean magic show Snap which is also very funny.

 What is the most rewarding part of being a performer?
Being up there onstage with my friends is the best – we all met at university and set up Tago nearly 15 years ago.

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Kafka and Son at The Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh from 2-27 August

Alon Nashman in Kafka & Son

Alon Nashman in Kafka & Son

Alon Nashman in Kafka & Son. Photo-Credit-Cylla von Tiedemann

At the age of 36 Franz Kafka was still living at home, a petty bureaucrat, a failed artist, a timid Jewish son.  Ruling and ruining his life was his overbearing father Hermann.  What to do?  Kafka wrote a 50 page letter to his father in which he reveals deep connections between his life and his fiction.  Adapted from this monumental letter, Kafka and Son is a blistering, often hilarious dissection of domestic authority and a revelatory visit with one of the architects of the modern psyche.

Alon Nashman is a performer, director, creator, and producer of theatre. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, Alon has worked with theatres across the country and around the world. Selected credits include: The SummonedMuch Ado About NothingForestsScorched (Dora Award: Outstanding Production), DemocracyRemnants (Dora Award: Outstanding Production) Alias Godot (Tarragon Theatre),HamletAll’s Well That Ends WellBotticelli in the Fire/Sunday in Sodom (Dora Award: Outstanding Production),Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Dora Nomination), THIS (Toronto Theatre Critic’s Award, Dora Nomination) (Canadian Stage), The Wild Duck (Soulpepper), Hedda Gabler (Volcano / Buddies in Bad Times), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Dora Award: Outstanding Production) (Birdland Theatre), Macbeth (Modern Times),This HotelWedding Day at the Cromagnons (Theatre Passe Muraille), Howl (Threshold / Buddies in Bad Times)…, Talley’s FollyA Midsummer Night’s Dream (Resurgence), If Jesus Met Nanabush (De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre), The Barber of Seville (Persephone Theatre), Easy Lenny Lazmon and the Great Western Ascension(Dora Award: Outstanding Production) (Go Chicken Go), Reading HebronA Short History of NightRestitution, and Singapore (Factory Theatre), Hirsch, None is Too Many (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Hotel Loopy(Theatre Columbus), The Hobbit (Young People’s Theatre).

Alon was a principal actor/director with the “Shakespeare and The Queen’s Men Project” at U. of Toronto, and Narrator/Storyteller in Tales of Two Citieswith Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Alon last performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in Hirsch in 2013.

‘Nashman’s masterpiece… the experience is almost completely overwhelming. It is a true and unforgettable privilege to be able to see this performer in South Africa.’

Johannesburg Review, South Africa

 ‘Whether or not you are familiar with Kafka’s writings this is one tremendous solo performance piece you don’t want to miss. Highly recommended.’ Prague Fringe Review, Czech Republic

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Venue:                        Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Dates and Times:      2 – 27 August at 11.40 (not 15 & 16 August)

Running Time:          65 mins

Tickets:                      2 – 4 August £6.00

                                    5 – 8, 11 – 13, 18 – 20, 25 – 27 August £11 (£10)

                                    9 – 10, 17, 23, 24 August £10 (£9)

                                    14, 21, 22 August £9 (£8)

Box Office:                0131 556 6550

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Big In Belgium’ returns to the Edinburgh Fringe

Lies by Ontroerend Goed

Lies by Ontroerend Goed

Lies by Ontroerend Goed. Photo credit Thomas Dhanens


Following four award-winning seasons at Summerhall, Big In Belgium return with another showcase of the best productions from the Flemish part of Belgium

Julie Cafmeyer – Bombastic Declaration of Love

Enkidu Khaled – Working Method

Suzanne Grotenhuis – On Ice

Ontroerend Goed – LIES (£¥€$)

Mireille and Mathieu – Arm

Tibaldus – Ivona, Princess of Burgundia

Following the huge success of the four previous seasons at Summerhall which have included the award-winningUs/ThemOne Hundred Homes and The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions, Summerhall and Theatre Royal Plymouth return to present a fifth BIG IN BELGIUM season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and featuring some of the most significant theatre companies from the Flemish part of Belgium.  Each of the shows in this season has previously been very successful on the European mainland and are now presented for the first time to Edinburgh audiences, some translated and adapted, ready for breaking new grounds in English-speaking territories.

The works are subsequently progressed worldwide following their Edinburgh premieres by the above producing parties.

This year BIG IN BELGIUM is also presenting four of its productions within a brand new theatre space adapted for them within Summerhall in association with RBC/Upper-Church.

 Old boyfriend photos, emails, texts, audio recordings and poetry. Struggling with her love life, Julie Cafmeyerexperiences orgasms, despair, rejection and heaven. In an intimate setting, and with you the audience, she strives to create a genuine connection. A show that is both vulnerable yet utterly fearless, giving an insight into the heartaches that we all share. More than just another coming of age story, Bombastic Declaration of Loveredefines what theatre can be as we are taken along on a journey to find out what it is that we all define as love.

Can art really save the world? Belgian theatre-maker and performer Enkidu Khaled’s award-winning show Working Method is a unique form of creative interaction. His audience is complicit in analysing and simplifying the complex process of making theatre through artistic expression and reflection. Aworkshop and a performance all in one, Enkidu combines participatory actions with his own history, emphasizing the power of imagination and during the performance, analyses and simplifies the complex process of making theatre.

Three years ago, Suzanne Grotenhuis won a prize at the Belgian Theatre Festival with her first solo show. The money was meant to be spent on making a new show but realising she couldn’t afford this, bought a plastic ice skating rink and a pair of white figure skates with the money instead.

On Ice tells the story of why a young theater performer decides to buy an ice-skating rink. Why the ice skating rink somehow forms the solutions to a broken heart.

Its a story of loneliness, of bravery, and of complete absurdity.

Multiple Fringe-First winners Ontroerend Goed invite you to get under the skin of the well-to-do, the 1%, the super-rich, the ones who pull the strings, the faces we never get to see when they return to the Fringe with their latest production, LIES (£¥€$).

For one night, you can take their chairs. You call the shots. You’re in the centre of our economic system.  You shape the course. 

And who knows, you might make the world a better place, more fair, more responsible, 

because you’ll do things differently, for sure. 

Mireille & Mathieu unpack their paraphernalia at a flea-market. The objects and toys they pick up turn out to be bursting with stories. These little scenes, sometimes gentle and poetic, but more often cruel and comical, follow each other in quick succession. ARM is an introduction to Flemish humour: uncomplicated, excessive, nuts, and surreal – a performance bursting with delightful absurdities, original finds and hilarious scenes about love, violence and playing in its broadest meaning.

Timeau De Keyser, Hans Mortelmans and Simon De Winne – together known as Tibaldus are one of Belgian’s most exciting and innovative young theatre companies, producing work that is fierce, surprising and thrilling.

They have joined with five other actors and dancers to create a bold and radical contemporary reworking of Witold Gombrowicz’s (‘The Shakespeare of Poland’) ground-breaking masterpiece Ivona, Princess of Burgundia the story of a royal family and its household which loses its grip when Prince Filip suddenly becomes engaged to Ivona.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Venue:                                                Summerhall, Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL

Julie Cafmeyer

Bombastic Declaration of Love      4 – 27 August at 10.30 (11.30)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Enkidyu Khaled

Working Method                               4 – 13 August at 15.45 (17.00)

(not 7 August)

Suzanne Grotenhuis

On Ice                                                 4 – 27 August at 14.30 (15.45)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Ontroerend Goed

LIES (£¥€$).                                       4 – 27 August at 18.30 (20:00) and 20.30 (22.00)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Mireille and Mathieu

Arm                                                     4 – 27 August at 16.25 (17.15)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Tibaldus

Ivona, Princess of Burgundia         15 – 27 August at 15.45 (17.20)

(not 17 August)

Box Office:                                        0845 874 3001

 

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The Establishment: Eton Mess – Assembly George Square Theatre, Omnitorium

The Establishment
The Establishment

The Establishment

After a critically-acclaimed 2016 run of The Establishment at Edinburgh, Brighton and Prague Fringes, comedians Dan Lees and Neil Frost are bringing their new show The Establishment: Eton Mess to the Ed Fringe 2017 as part of the Assembly Festival.

The show combines the best of clowning, quick wit and British stiffed lipped eccentricity to bring two ultra-privileged British gents from a bygone era to the stage. Struggling to hold on to their values, wealth and power in the modern world, their whimsical world of cricket, tea and secret arms deals is under threat and they’re not giving up that easily.

The Establishment: Eton Mess is an extremely fun, high-spirited show which touches on many of the important issues that face us as a nation today.

The Establishment: Eton Mess is produced by Honky Bonk, a theatre company specialising in physical comedy and clown influenced contemporary performance. The Establishment were finalists in the highly regarded New Act of The Year (NATY) Top of the Bill Showcase 2017 at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.

Dan Lees (www.danleescomedy.com) studied at Ecole Phillipe Gaulier in Paris and has toured his one man show Brainchild all over the world including Berlin, Prague, Adelaide, London & Edinburgh, it was directed by Complicite Theatre’s Mick Barnfather and received the Judges’ Award for Theatre at the London Mimetic Festival in 2014. Dan performed with Phil Burgers, Edinburgh Comedy Winner in Bewhatthefuck at Edinburgh Festival 2014 and featured in Living With Monkey a pilot for TV by Nina Conti. Dan is also co-founder of the London Clown Festival.

Neil Frost (www.neilfrostcomedy.com) studied at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. In 2015 he was nominated for the Prague Fringe Inspiration Award for his one-man show Everything’s Possible, Nothing’s Available. Neil has worked with pioneering immersive theatre company Shunt on their show The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face.

Both Neil and Dan tour regularly with Clowns Without Borders UK (www.clownswithoutborders.org.uk) a charity that aims to relieve suffering through laughter and play, of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and other situations of adversity. They have performed in India, Greece and in February this year they will be touring Refugee Camps in Serbia.

Another much-needed chapter in our national legacy of lampooning the powers that be, building on Peter Cook, the Pythons and The Fast Show…You can imagine this going down very well indeed at the Palladium or the BBC.” ★★★★Stage

“Very cleverly observed.”  ★★★★½ Reviews Hub

“Enjoy the charming chutzpah of Dan Lees and Neil Frost…They don’t miss a beat.” ★★★★Skinny

“One of the best shows I’ve seen…top class” ★★★★★ Mumble Comedy

Web: establishmentcomedy.co.uk Web: assemblyfestival.com

Twitter: @estabcomedy Facebook: /estabcomedy Instagram: estabcomedy

 

LISTING INFORMATION

Venue:  Assembly George Square Theatre, Omnitorium, EH8 9JZ

Time:  17:00 Running Time: 60mins

Dates:  02 – 28 August. Previews 2 – 4 August. No show Sun 6th and Mon 14th August

Tickets: Previews £6; 7 & 8 August 2-4-1 tickets £10.50; 5, 9-10, 15-17, 21-24 & 28 August £8; 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 August £10.50

Bookings: assemblyfestival.com, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square, Assembly Checkpoint and Assembly Rooms

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London cast and Edinburgh transfer announced for Nassim at the Bush Theatre Studio

Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 - 29 July 2017
Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 - 29 July 2017

Nassim at the Bush Theatre 25 – 29 July 2017

The Bush Theatre has announced that their production of Nassim written by Nassim Soleimanpour (While Rabbit Red Rabbit) and directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (One Cold Dark Night, Islands) will transfer to the Traverse Theatre for a full run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. Nassim’s new play Nassim will preview at the Bush Theatre Studio from 25 – 29 July before opening at the Traverse on 3 August, with a press night on 4 August.

Casting is also announced today for the London run of Nassim. For each performance across the run, a different cultural figure will join Nassim on stage to perform his new work. Performers will include: British-Egyptian actor and activist Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93), actor Vivienne Acheampong (City of Glass, Rainbow Class), playwright and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (Apologia, Woman in Gold), director Phelim McDermott (Akhnaten, A Christmas Carol), writer and performer Sabrina Mahfouz (With a Little Bit of Luck, Breaking the Code) and actor Hattie Morahan (Anatomy of a Suicide, A Doll’s House). Casting for the Edinburgh run to be announced.

Nassim Soleimanpour’s audacious theatrical experiment explores the power of language to unite us in unknown, uncertain times. Nassim is the Iranian playwright’s second play to receive its UK Premiere at the Bush Theatre. The first, BLANK, was produced as part of the Bush Theatre’s annual new writing festival, RADAR, in 2015. This will be the Bush Theatre’s first production to transfer to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall in 2009.

Dear performer. I want to show you something. Did you know, in Farsi my name is written like this:  ‘.ROUPNAMIELOS MISSAN si eman yM’

No rehearsals. No preparation. Just a sealed envelope and an actor reading a script for the first time.

Nassim follows Soleimanpour’s globally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been translated into 15 different languages and performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including Sinead Cusack, Ken Loach and Whoopi Goldberg. It had already been performed hundreds of times in more than a dozen languages by 2013 when Soleimanpour was first permitted to travel outside his native Tehran.

Nassim a Bush Theatre commission – is written by Nassim Soleimanpour, directed by Omar Elerian and designed by Rhys Jarman. Lighting design is by Rajiv Pattani with sound design by James Swadlo.

Khalid Abdalla (performer) is a British-Egyptian actor and activist. Notable film credits include The Kite Runner and United 93. Further film work includes Assassin’s Creed, Our Kind of Traitor, In the Last Days of the City, Tigers and Green Zone. He is a founding member of the Mosireen Collective of Egyptian filmmakers, focusing on documenting the events leading up to and following the 2011 revolution in Cairo. He himself has starred in and produced several documentaries, including The Square, which won the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.

Vivienne Acheampong (performer) recently completed her run in City of Glass at the Lyric Hammersmith. She returns to the Bush Theatre following her one woman show Rainbow Class (RADAR 2015) which she later took to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Further stage credits include Monster Raving Loony (Soho Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (West End), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (First Light Theatre/ West End) and Julius Caesar (St. Ann’s Warehouse).

Alexi Kaye Campbell (performer) was born and brought up in Athens, Greece, then trained as an actor in London and New York. He appeared in several television series before turning to writing. He returns to the Bush Theatre following his play Apologia, a revival of which is currently running in the West End. Other writing credits for the stage include Sunset at the Villa Thalia (National Theatre), Bracken Moor (Shared Experience/ Tricycle Theatre) and The Faith Machine and The Pride (both Royal Court). He recently wrote his first film, Woman in Gold, which was directed by Simon Curtis and featured Dame Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.

Phelim McDermott (performer) is most widely-known as an award-winning theatre and opera director. He is a founding member of theatre company Improbable and collaborates regularly with ENO and Metropolitan Opera, New York. Notable directing credits include Akhnaten (ENO) which won the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production, A Christmas Carol (West End), The Enchanted Island (Met Opera), The Addams Family (Broadway), Philip Glass’s Satyagraha and Così fan tutte (Improbable/ ENO/ Met Opera) and Shockheaded Peter (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ Lyric Hammersmith/ West End/ Little Schubert Theatre, Off Broadway/ World Tour) which won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. Further productions with Improbable include Lost Without Words and Theatre of Blood (National Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Young Vic), The Hanging ManCinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Lifegame and the multi-award-winning 70 Hill Lane. He has a longstanding interest in using improvisation in rehearsals and performance, and is a regular improvising guest with the Comedy Store Players.

Sabrina Mahfouz (performer) was raised in London and Cairo. She is a playwright, performer, poet and screenwriter. She returns to the Bush Theatre following productions of her plays Battleface and Dry Ice. Further writing for the stage includes With a Little Bit of Luck (Paines Plough), SLUG (Nabokov), The Love I Feel is Red (Tobacco Factory Theatre), Chef (Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Soho Theatre) and Clean (Traverse Theatre). She is also known for her poetry collection How You Might Know Me and the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. She created the television series Breaking the Code and further work with the BBC includes, Railway Nation: A Journey In Verse and We Are Here.

Hattie Morahan (performer) won the Best Actress Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her portrayal of Nora in A Doll’s House (Young Vic).  She returns to the Bush Theatre following her performance of Nassim’s BLANK (RADAR 2015). Further stage credits include Anatomy of a Suicide and The City (Royal Court), The Changeling (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Dark Earth and the Light Sky (Almeida Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Crucible), The Real Thing (Old Vic), The Seagull, Three More Sleepless Nights, Time and the Conways, Some Trace of Her, Iphigenia at Aulis and Power (all National Theatre) and Family Reunion (Donmar Warehouse). On television she is best known for her roles in My Mother and Other Strangers, The Outcast, Ballot Monkeys, Arthur & George, Outnumbered, Eternal Law, Money, The Bletchley Circle, Marple, Sense and Sensibility and Bodies. She appeared as the Enchantress in the recent Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Other film credits include Alice Through The Looking Glass, Mr Holmes, Summer in February and The Golden Compass.

Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright and performer) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker best known for his multi award-winning play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Nassim’s play BLANK premiered in the UK at the Bush Theatre’s RADAR festival in 2015, also playing in Amsterdam and Utrecht with further performances all over the world including in Argentina, Australia and India. Further plays include Blind Hamlet which premiered at LIFT Festival 2014 prior to a UK tour and productions in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin and has been commissioned to write a new play for Teater Momentum (Denmark).

Omar Elerian (director) is Associate Director at the Bush Theatre where he directed One Cold Dark Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton. He also co-directed the Olivier nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre alongside Daniel Goldman. He was also Associate Director on The Royale by Marco Ramirez, Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans and Chalet Lines by Lee Mattinson. Other directing credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams (Bradford, Yorkshire), Testa di Rame (Festival Inequilibrio, Italy) and Les P’tites Grandes Choses (Maison de Arts du Cirque et du Clown, France).

Rhys Jarman (Designer) previously designed the set for MONEY: The Game Show at the Bush Theatre. He was one of the winners of the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize, for his design of Varjak Paw for the Opera Group.  Further stage design credits include James and the Giant Peach and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Northern Stage), The Time of Your Life (Gecko/ Battersea Arts Centre/ BBC), The Dreamer (Gecko/ Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre), The Machine Stops (Pilot Theatre/ York Theatre Royal), Hurling Rubble at the Sun, Hurling Rubble at the Moon (Red Ladder Theatre Company/ Park Theatre), Institute and Missing (both Gecko/ World Tours), The Nutcracker (Nuffield Theatre), Holes (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/ Arcola Theatre) and Three Way (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Forthcoming work includes Alice in Wonderland (Northern Stage), How I Hacked My Way to Space (Unlimited Theatre) and The Wedding (Gecko). He also designs work for outdoor events, opera and television.

Bush Theatre Studio
25 – 29 July
Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
3 – 27 August

Press Night 4 August, 4pm

LISTINGS

25 – 29 July, Bush Theatre Studio
3 – 27 August, Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
NASSIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Nassim Soleimanpour
Directed by Omar Elerian
Designed by Rhys Jarman
Press night: 4 August, 4pm, Traverse 2, Traverse Theatre
TICKET PRICES

Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking
Phone: 020 8743 5050
In person:   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online: bushtheatre.co.uk

Traverse Theatre
Adult:
£19.50 (£13/ £9 previews)
Concessions: £14.50/ £9.50

Booking
Phone: 0131 228 1404
In person: 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
Online: www.traverse.co.uk

ALSO AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm
26 – 28 July at 7.45pm, Bush Theatre Attic
3-27 August (not 14 August) at 6pm, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
THE B*EASTS
A Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend production
Written and performed by Monica Dolan
Directed by John Hoggarth
Designed by James Button
Produced by Suzanna Rosenthal for Something for the Weekend
Press are welcome to attend from 4 August, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

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Bush Theatre announces previews for Monica Dolan’s debut solo play before opening in Edinburgh this summer

The Beasts by Monica Dolan

The Beasts by Monica Dolan. Click on the image to book your tickets.

The Bush Theatre has announced that this summer it will be hosting a run of The B*easts, written and performed by Monica Dolan (W1A, Appropriate Adult, The Witness For The Prosecution). Three previews of the production will take place in Theatre’s recently refurbished Attic on 26 – 28 July, before opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Referencing the modern obsession with putting your own child first against our responsibility as a society towards our children as a whole, this dark tale – written by and starring BAFTA award-winning actress Monica Dolan – explores how far one mum will go to put what her child wants first.

Dolan’s first solo play, a searing ‘What If?’ story, explores the pornification of our culture and the sexualisation of our children. In a society where sexuality and gender are such a huge part of who we are, how we identify, and how we are defined, The B*easts looks at how soon is too soon to strive for perceived sexual ideals. Can the journey to reach that supposed perfection start before we are even consciously aware of the journey we have begun?

The B*easts follows the repercussions of an event which could plausibly present itself and unfold within today’s culture. It invites us to examine our culture from an extreme perspective, taking a circumstance that we see as abhorrent and abnormal and showing how it can germinate in what we have come to regard as normality. As Tessa, the central character says, ‘you only have the choices you can see’. So when, and how, do you start noticing that your moral compass may be being directed by popular culture?

Click here to buy your tickets for The B*easts at the Bush Theatre

“Dolan is about the best actor on TV at the moment” (The Guardian)
“A fantastic actress” (The Daily Telegraph)
“[A] superb performance” (Independent)

Monica Dolan (writer and performer) is a Middlesbrough-born actress who has recently appeared on television as Angela in Mid Morning Matters With Alan Partridge, straight-talking Senior Comms Officer Tracey Pritchard inW1A, Alice More in Wolf Hall, Tess Wall in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, MI5 director Judith in Complicit and Janet McIntyre in The Witness For The Prosecution. Her film credits include MP Angela Northman in Eye In The Sky, Marion in Pride, chain-smoking headmistress Miss Alvaro in The Falling, Angela Ashbourne in Alpha Papa(The Alan Partridge Movie) and Ann Hamilton in The Arbor. Onstage she has appeared as Lisa in The Glory of Living, Megan in Plaques and Tangles, The Artist in Birth of a Nation (all Royal Court), in The Same Deep Water as Me (Donmar Warehouse), and as Lady Macbeth in Max Stafford-Clark’s ground-breaking production of Macbethwith Out of Joint. Monica has worked at the National Theatre and extensively at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she took on the roles of Regan and Masha in Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull. Monica’s most notable role was as killer Rosemary West in ITV’s 2011 drama Appropriate Adult, for which she won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

LISTINGS

26 – 28 July at 7.45pm, Bush Theatre Attic
3-27 August (not 14 August) at 6pm, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
THE B*EASTS
A Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend production
Written and performed by Monica Dolan
Directed by John Hoggarth
Designed by James Button
Produced by Suzanna Rosenthal for Something for the Weekend
Press are welcome to attend from 4 August, Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)

FURTHER PREVIEWS
Etcetera Theatre, London
24th July, 8:30pm
25th July, 6:30pm
29th July, 6:30pm

TICKET PRICES

Bush Theatre
From £10 (Attic)

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking
Phone  020 8743 5050
In person   Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Online  bushtheatre.co.uk

Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly)
Previews: £6.50
Weekday: £10 (Concessions: £9)
Weekend: £11 (Concessions: £10)

Booking
Online www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk
Phone 03333 444 167

Location
Underbelly Cowgate (Big Belly), 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JX

Recommended Age

14+

Running time
60 minutes

Twitter
@Monica Dolan, @SFTWshows, #TheBeasts, @followthecow, @bushtheatre

ALSO AT THE BUSH THEATRE IN 2017

1-4 June
SHEPHERD’S BUSH COMEDY FESTIVAL
Presented by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and PBJ Management

15 Jun – 22 Jul
HIR
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Nadia Fall
Designed by Ben Stones
Lighting Designed by Eliott Griggs
Sound Designed by Elena Peña
Press night: 20 June, 7pm
Captioned: 7 Jul, 7.30pm
Audio described: 15 Jul, 2.30pm

20 Sep – 21 Oct
RAMONA TELLS JIM
A Bush Theatre production
Written by Sophie Wu
Directed by Mel Hillyard
Press night: 22 Sep, 7pm
Captioned: 13 Oct, 7.45pm
Audio described: 7 Oct, 2.45pm

18 Oct – 25 Nov
OF KITH AND KIN
A Bush Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production
Written by Chris Thompson
Directed by Robert Hastie
Designed by James Perkins
Press night: 20 Oct, 7pm
Captioned: 3 Nov, 7.30pm
Audio described: 11 Nov, 2.30pm

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David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon lands at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

David Walliams on stage with the cast of The First Hippo on the Moon

David Walliams on stage with the cast of The First Hippo on the Moon © David Parry PA Wire 1

3…2…1… Blast Off! Edinburgh Festival Fringe audiences will have the chance to experience an explosively funny space adventure as David Walliams’ stage adaptation of The First Hippo on the Moon touches down in Edinburgh this August.

Following a hugely successful 2016 Fringe run with Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass and fresh from an incredibly successful UK tour, The First Hippo on the Moon which has been adapted for stage by award winning theatre company Les Petits.

The fantastical adventure features puppetry, music, mayhem and a giant space race to the moon! Suitable for ages three and up the show provides an uproarious escapade the whole family will relish and delight in.

The production is based on David Walliams’ original children’s book with illustrations by Tony Ross, The First Hippo on the Moon is a hilarious and extraordinary space adventure which sees the enormously rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and ingenious Shelia compete to be the first hippo to make it to the moon. The First Hippo on the Moon tells the tale of the importance of team work and dreaming big.

David Walliams has taken the literary world by storm and his brilliantly funny stories are adored by children the world over. He has achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and quickly developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. His books have been translated into over 45 languages and sold over 9.5 million copies in the UK alone. One of his most successful titles Gangsta Granny was adapted for the stage in November 2015 by Birmingham Stage Company and continued on tour until January 2017.

The production has been adapted for the stage by Les Enfants Terribles and Les Petits’ Artistic Director Oliver Lansley whose recent adaptations have included the immersive dining experience Dinner at the Twits and Olivier nominated Alice’s Adventure’s Underground. The puppets for The First Hippo on the Moon have been directed and designed by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell who have previously collaborated on Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at The Old Vic and the National Theatre’s productions of Elephantom, War Horse and Raymond Briggs’ The Bear. Les Petits was set up as the sister company to Les Enfants Terribles whose work includes The Game’s Afoot, The Terrible Infants and The Trench.

CHARACTERS

Shelia is the protagonist of The First Hippo on the Moon. Her dream is to the first hippo in space and she is helped to achieve her wish by her group of animal friends Keith the giraffe, Scratch and Sniff the Porcupines and Derek the Ostrich. After an epic space race, she beats her old hipposchool friend Hercules to it and becomes the first hippo on the moon.

Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III is the antagonist of The First Hippo on the Moon. He is enormously rich hippo who paid for a gigantic Hippo Space Centre to be built to send him into space. He arrives on the moon just after Shelia, and she returns to Earth in his rocket.

Derek is an ostrich, often pessimistic about the scientific implications of building a rocket and flying it into space. We learn about Derek’s sadness in finding out that ostriches can’t fly. This spurs him on to helping Sheila in chasing her dream.

Scratch and Sniff are a porcupine double act. They are talented with power tools, and can even rub their porcupine quills together to make fire.

Keith is a kind hearted giraffe. He helps Shelia on her quest to become the first hippo on the moon by using his extremely long neck to keep a look out.

Silver Bob is a big hairy gorilla who first appears to Sheila as a disembodied voice in the jungle. He offers wisdom and enlightenment to Sheila, and loves to talk in mystical monkey metaphors. Bob educates Sheila in the best way to fuel a rocket (with poo), all in the fashion of a big song and dance routine.

CREATIVE: BIOGRAPHIES

DAVID WALLIAMS – WRITER OF THE BOOK

David Walliams is one of Britain’s most popular writers and comic actors.

As a children’s author David is one of the most popular writers for children today selling over 11 million books around the world. His books have been translated into over 45 languages. The World’s Worst Children, his first collection of short stories, is a number one bestseller across all books having sold over 250,000 copies in 7 weeks. Grandpa’s Great Escape, his latest novel, was the overall number one and remained at the top of the charts for four weeks having sold over 700,000 copies to date.  Awful Auntie has now sold over 657,000 copies and was the biggest selling book, across all categories, published in 2014. It also won both the National Book Awards ‘Children’s Book of the Year’ and ‘Audiobook of the Year’.

Little Britain, which he co-created with Matt Lucas, started on Radio 4 and soon progressed to BBC1. The show has won numerous international awards including three BAFTAs, and now plays in over 100 countries. Little Britain Live performed to a million people in the UK, Ireland and Australia. David and Matt followed Little Britain with the hugely popular spoof airport documentary series Come Fly With Me.

David has proved himself as a dramatic actor in BBC2’s Capturing Mary with Dame Maggie Smith, in BBC1’s Agatha Christie series Partners In Crime, as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me for BBC4, and on the stage in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land starring alongside Sir Michael Gambon. He received the Comedy Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his performance as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Grandage.

His film credits also include The Look of Love, directed by Michael Winterbottom, Great Expectations directed by Mike Newell, Dinner For Schmucks with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd and directed by Jay Roach, Run Fat Boy Run directed by David Schwimmer and starring Simon Pegg, and Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn.

Currently David is writing a screenplay for Dreamworks Animation with the director Edgar Wright.

Since 2012 David has appeared as himself as a judge alongside Simon Cowell on one of the biggest shows on TV, Britain’s Got Talent.

David is proud to be a trustee of Comic Relief, a charity he has personally raised over £7m for.

 

TONY ROSS – ILLUSTRATOR OF THE BOOK

Born in London, Tony Ross went to art school in Liverpool and has since worked as a typographer for design and advertising agencies. His cartoons have appeared in famous publications the world over. His first book Hugo and the Wicked Winter was published in 1972. Tony has since written over 100 books and illustrated over 2000!

David and Tony’s other two picture books together, The Slightly Annoying Elephant and The Bear Who Went Boo! were both number one bestsellers. David and Tony have also worked together on six of David’s phenomenally successful children’s novels – Billionaire Boy, Gangsta Granny, Ratburger, Demon Dentist, Awful Auntie and Grandpa’s Great Escape.

 

LES PETITS – THEATRE COMPANY

Award-winning children’s theatre company Les Petits was established in 2013 as the children’s arm of critically acclaimed parent company Les Enfants Terribles (ALICE’S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND, THE TRENCH, THE TERRIBLE INFANTS, THE VAUDEVILLIANS). Using well-known and loved children’s literature, we aim to take stories from the page and bring them to life on the stage in creative and exciting ways.

The company is run by James Seager and Oliver Lansley and has become known for its striking design aesthetics, use of puppetry and song and immersive approach to storytelling.

Les Petits’ work includes the hugely successful ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, an immersive experience for children aged 5 – 10 years, currently playing at The Vaults, Waterloo this summer.

Les Petits is also known for their adaptions of CAPTAIN FLINN AND THE PIRATE DINOSAURS based on the popular book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.  FLINN has toured to venues across the UK between 2012 and 2015, won the Primary Times Award and had runs at the Underbelly at The Edinburgh Fringe and Queen Elizabeth Hall at The Southbank Centre as well as touring abroad to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

 

OLIVER LANSLEY – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF LES PETITS / WRITER

As well as a founder of Les Petits, Oliver is an actor, writer, director and Artistic Director of Les Enfants Terribles, which he founded in 2002.

As an actor he’s best known for playing Kenny Everett in the BAFTA-winning The Best Possible Taste which earned him a Best Actor nomination at the RTS Awards. Other credits include The Wrong Mans, Sherlock and Misfits.

Oliver’s first published play Immaculate was listed in the top ten best-selling plays at Samuel French London in 2010, other published works include Les Enfants Terribles: Collected Plays, Flies and The Infant.  Oliver has since seen his work produced all over the world and translated into several languages.

LET’s work includes The Terrible Infants, The Trench, Earnest and the Pale Moon, The Vaudevillians and most recently, the Olivier Award nominated Alice’s Adventure’s Underground – Oliver writes and is directly involved in all aspects of the company’s output, often also as Director.

A past winner of Channel Four’s Multi-Talented Award and also a Broadcast magazine Hotshot. Oliver co-created BBC 2 series Whites, and Rose d’Or nominated ITV2 series FM.  He has written on numerous other productions including Nick Frost series Mr Sloane, Rotters starring Comedy Award Winners Dr Brown, Sam Simmons, Jon Kearns and Frank Skinner; and Alan Davies’s Little Cracker for Sky, which he also directed.

He’s currently developing new television projects for HBO, FX and the BBC.

 

NICK BARNES – DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER

Nick is a puppet designer and maker. He studied drama at Hull University and theatre design at the Slade School of Fine Art. Whilst at the Slade he won a scholarship to travel to France and train with Philippe Genty at the International Institute of the Marionette. There he became fascinated by bunraku style human puppets and in particular the interaction between puppet and puppeteer.

In 1996 he founded Blind Summit Theatre, and was the co-artistic director for many years. During that time he performed, designed and directed for the company. Productions include The Table, Low Life, Martin’s Wedding, 1984, and Mr China’s Son. The company also created the puppetry for Madame Butterfly, (ENO, Metropolitan Opera), Shunkin, A Dog’s Heart, The Master and Margarita (Complicite), Faeries (ROH Covent Garden), Kommilitonen! (Royal Academy of Music), El Gato Con Botas (Tectonic Theatre) and His Dark Materials (Birmingham Rep). In 2012 Blind Summit directed the puppetry in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Nick left the company in 2013 and remains an associate artist.

Nick now works as a freelance puppet designer, director and maker. Projects with Finn include The Lorax (Old Vic, London), and Ariodante (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, DNO), for which he was co-puppet designer and Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre/Regents Park) for which he was associate puppet designer. He is an associate artist of Gyre and Gimble. Other recent puppetry work includes a giant firebird for the BBC proms and puppet design/direction for Mr Popper’s Penguin’s (Kenny Wax Ltd).

 

FINN CALDWELL – DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER

Finn is a director, designer and performer; he is co-artistic director of Gyre & Gimble, a theatre company specialising in puppetry.

As director of puppetry and movement, Finn’s work in theatre includes Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Old Vic), The Bear (Puppetry Director – Pins & Needles), Running Wild (Regents Park Open Air and Chichester Festival Theatre), The Tempest (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Alice’s Adventures Underground and Adventures in Wonderland (Les Enfants Terribles),  Ariodante (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), The Light Princess (NT), War Horse (NT, West End & internationally), Dream Space (Globe Theatre), Rubies in the Attic (Riverside Studios), Shrek: The Musical (West End), Climate (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Edinburgh Fringe First Award winner Tom Thumb (Edinburgh Festival & tour).

As a director Finn’s work includes Lardo (Old Red Lion) and The Elephantom (Co-director – NT & West End). As a performer he has appeared in Saint Joan, War Horse, Or You Could Kiss Me and Punchdrunk’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (all National Theatre), Hamlet and Julius Caesar (RSC), Complicite’s A Dog’s Heart (La Scala), Blind Summit’s Lowlife (LIMF), Madam Butterfly (ENO), Brighton Rock (Almeida), Elephant (BAC), Antigone (Old Vic), and Macbeth (Albery). Films include Alice and The Suicide Brothers. His upcoming work includes the new musical production The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic) and additional movement direction on the new musical Groundhog Day (Old Vic Theatre).

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Les Petits presents

David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon

Venue: Pleasance Beyond, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

Dates: Wed 2 August – Sun 20 August, (not 15th), 12pm
Prices:

Aug 2, 3, 4 £7

Aug 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 £12 (£10.50)

Aug 9, 10, 16, 17 £11 (£9.50)

Aug 14 £9 (£7.50)

 

Running time: 60mins

Tickets available at www.edfringe.com or www.pleasance.co.uk