Almeida Theatre: Figures Of Speech series 3 launched

FOS series 3
FOS series 3

FOS series 3

The Almeida Theatre today launched the third and final series of Figures of Speech, its major digital film project exploring the vitality of speech, the power of performance, and what visionary leadership sounds like.

The first instalment of series three is released today with Andrew Scott delivering American laywer and judge Edith Sampson’s 1965 speech ‘Choose One of Five’ and continues over the next three weeks with films featuring Amanda AbbingtonPearl MackieTobias Menzies and Iwan Rheon. They will perform significant speeches from pioneers, politicians and activists throughout history. The new films continue to examine what leadership means and the power of the spoken word in the 21st century.

 A divided politics, a divided country, a divided people.

 We’ve never needed leaders more.

 Figures of Speech places history’s greatest speeches centre stage through an anthology of films read by a range of actors released online, building a concert of dynamic voices and ideas from across the world as a dramatic response to social crisis.

The project launched in May 2017 and the first two series have featured speeches delivered by American politician Harvey Milk spoken by Ian McKellen; Virginia Woolf spoken by Fiona Shaw; Malcolm X spoken by Cush Jumbo; and American aviator Charles Lindbergh spoken by Russell Tovey.

Figures of Speech is available for free via a dedicated mini-site:

Alongside a growing anthology of films, the microsite features additional material exploring the speeches, the context within which they were first delivered and the choice to revive them. The site features guest-authored articles and filmed reactions from performers and audiences of people from local communities with direct connections to the themes explored. To complement the films, inspiring young leaders aged 15 – 25, from Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff and Liverpool, have been invited to respond with a speech of their own, crafted through an Almeida Participation programme, inviting previously unheard voices to share the platform. The Participation team will continue to work with young people in these regions offering leadership classes and workshops.

Figures of Speech series one and two have so far received a combined total of a quarter of a million views, both from clips on the Almeida’s social media channels and the full-length films on YouTube. Ian McKellen’s reading of Harvey Milk’s ‘Hope Speech’ has had over 70,000 views through social media and YouTube. Overall Figures of Speech has reached over a million people through its social channels alone.

Figures of Speech is conceived by Rupert Goold and directed by Anthony Almeida. It is the Almeida’s third major digital theatre event, following day-long durational readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey in 2015, which inspired audiences of over 50,000 people across the UK and around the world.


The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards


Last chance to see the West End transfer of Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed production of Hamlet starring Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Audiences have under a month left to enjoy the multi award-winning Robert Icke’s (Mary Stuart, The Red Barn, Uncle Vanya, Oresteia, Mr Burns and 1984) innovative production of Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott (SherlockDenialSpectre, Pride and Cock) live on stage, which must end on 2 September 2017 at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

BBC Two will broadcast this critically acclaimed stage production of William Shakespeare’s classic play, starring BAFTA and Olivier award-winning actor Andrew Scott in the title role.

 BBC viewers will have a front row seat at this celebrated production of Hamletwhich will broadcast on BBC Two in 2018. The programme was commissioned by Patrick Holland(Controller, BBC Two) and Emma Cahusac (Commissioning Editor, Arts) and is produced by John Wyver at Illuminations Television. Shot live in front of a West End audience, BBC viewers will be given close-up access to this generation’s most acclaimed Hamlet.

Following a sell out run at the Almeida Theatre, Hamlet has enjoyed a limited season in the West End, with over 55,000 people booked in so far across the entire run, equating to 96% of all tickets. 62% of Hamlet’s audience have been first time attendees. Over 28,000 seats were available at £30 or under, specifically for under 30s – with over 300 available for each of the 96 performances. 15,000 tickets were sold at £25 or less.

Robert Icke, Director (and Almeida Theatre Associate Director) says: “It has been a real joy to work with such a gifted and dedicated company of actors on bringing this most famous play to audiences in 2017. The production has been on a wonderful journey from the Almeida to the West End, and I am very much looking forward to this next step on BBC Two. To be able to offer our version of Hamlet to as wide and diverse an audience as possible has always been of paramount importance to us, and now we are thrilled to be able to bring it to people across the country.”

In celebration of the show’s final weeks at the Harold Pinter Theatre, the critically acclaimed Almeida Theatre production of Hamlet has offered a number of exclusive events and behind-the-scenes insights into the production including a cast Q&A and an In conversation with Robert and Andrew. The final event announced will run on 22 August.


 Tuesday 22 August – 2pm

Two of Hamlet’s key themes are madness and grief; and mourning, bereavement and emotion are central to the story. Director Robert Icke used psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz’s book THE EXAMINED LIFE as a reference point in rehearsals and one of the most feted aspects of the production has been that, in Andrew’s performance, these emotions feel unusually personal and raw. Robert, Andrew and Stephen discuss the character, the play and its themes of madness and mourning, sanity and survival, live from the Facebook Studio.

Watch the live stream from 2pm on Tuesday 22 Aug via Time Out London. Available to watch again in full after the event.



First Look : Productions images of Robert Icke’s Hamlet, at Almeida Theatre, with Andrew Scott playing Hamlet

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Following a critically acclaimed and sell-out run at The Almeida Theatre, Hamlet will transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre for a strictly limited season from 9 June – 2 September

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Olivier Award-winning director, Robert Icke’s (Mary Stuart, The Red Barn, Uncle Vanya, Oresteia, Mr Burns and 1984), ground-breaking and electrifying production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, starring BAFTA award-winner Andrew Scott (Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock, Denial, Spectre, Design For Living and Cock) in the title role, will transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre, following a critically acclaimed and sell out run at the Almeida Theatre. Hamlet will run for a limited season only from 9 June to 2 September 2017 with press night on Thursday 15 June.

Hamlet is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group (Sunday In The Park With George, Buried Child, Oresteia), Sonia Friedman Productions and the Almeida Theatre (Chimerica, Ghosts, King Charles III, 1984, Oresteia), who are renowned for introducing groundbreaking, critically acclaimed transfers to the West End.

Rupert Goold, Artistic Director, Almeida Theatre said “We’re delighted that with this transfer more people will be able to experience our production of Hamlet. Robert, Andrew, and the entire Hamlet company have created an unforgettable Shakespeare which we’re looking forward to sharing even more widely over the summer in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions and ATG.”

 Robert Icke, Director (and Almeida Theatre Associate Director) said “It has been such a thrill to work with Andrew and the extraordinary company of Hamlet on this play so far, and I’m delighted we’re going to continue our work on this play in the West End this summer. I’m also extremely proud to be working with the Almeida and our producers, ATG and Sonia Friedman, to be able to present this play in a way that genuinely throws the doors open to a bigger range of audience members. In an increasingly expensive industry, I can’t tell you how brilliant it is for them to commit to having 300 tickets priced at under £30 at every single show.”

 Andrew Scott, playing Hamlet, “I’m so thrilled and honoured to be playing this extraordinary role with these brilliant actors in Rob’s stunning production. We have been overwhelmed with the reaction to our interpretation of Hamlet and I’m so happy that we can share it with a larger audience. This is a play full of heart, compassion and humanity. I’m so happy that we are able to offer 300 tickets for under £30 to every performance in the West End run to allow everybody a chance to see the play.”

The confirmed cast for the transfer of Robert Icke’s production includes Marty Cruickshank (Player Queen), Jessica Brown Findlay (Ophelia), Calum Finlay (Rosencrantz), Joshua Higgott (Horatio),Daniel Rabin (Reynaldo), David Rintoul (Ghost/Player King), Andrew Scott (Hamlet) Juliet Stevenson (Gertrude), Luke Thompson (Laertes), Peter Wight (Polonius), Angus Wright (Claudius)and Matthew Wynn (Bernardo/Player 3/Priest). Further cast will be announced in due course.

Hamlet has design by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons,and video design by Tal Yarden. The Associate Director is Daniel Raggett. Casting is by Julia Horan.

Multi award-winning Director, Robert Icke, has adapted/directed at the Almeida Theatre Mary Stuart,Uncle Vanya, Oresteia (also West End, and for which Icke won the Critics’ Circle, Evening Standard and Olivier Award for Best Director) and the multi-award-winning 1984 with Duncan Macmillan (also West End as well as playing several UK and international tours, and a forthcoming Broadway run at the newly opened Hudson Theater).

His work as a director includes The Fever at The May Fair Hotel, Mr Burns at the Almeida, Boys andRomeo and Juliet for Headlong. He made his National Theatre debut directing The Red Barn, at the Lyttelton Theatre in October 2016 starring Mark Strong and Elizabeth Debicki.

Andrew Scott’s Hamlet at Almeida Theatre For Free, for anyone aged 25 and under from 10-13 April

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Andrew Scott in Hamlet

Hamlet for Free will run from Monday 10 – Thursday 13 April with five performances of the Almeida’s production of Hamlet, directed by Robert Icke with Andrew Scott in the title role, exclusively available to anyone aged 25 and under. Free tickets for Hamlet can be booked online now at

Alongside the play, Hamlet For Free will feature a programme of free performances, events, and workshops inspired by the themes and making of Hamlet. The Almeida will be open from 9.30am each day during the festival with the entire building and café bar dedicated to young people.

Festival highlights include:

  • Press Go, an interactive promenade piece created in response to the themes of Hamlet which will run throughout each day of the Festival. Press Go sees a group of fearless young actors invite their audience on a journey around Islington in a murder mystery thriller where every move they make has game-changing consequences. Win or lose, how this story ends is entirely up to the audience. Playing in teams of two they will visit multiple locations, with the choices they make along the way affecting how their journey unfolds. Combining storytelling, gaming and the ingredients of a classic psychological thriller, Press Go is a bold, cinematic and playful alternate reality game developed in collaboration with the Almeida’s Young Producers, written by Hannah Wood of StoryJuice Ltd and directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry.
  • Jacob Anderson (aka Raleigh Ritchie) will take part in Lads Lounge, a discussion about crisis in modern masculinity, and talk about his television and music career. Jacob’s debut album ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’ was released in 2016 and he can currently be seen on television as Greyworm in Game of Thrones.
  • A programme of workshops which will provide young people with the opportunity to learn from leading industry professionals including Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, award-winning spoken word artist Polarbear, Poet Vanessa Kisuule, stage and screen-writers Rachel De-Lahay and Vinay Patel, stage combat company RC Annie, immersive theatre-makers Coney, and members of the Hamlet cast. The Almeida technical team will demonstrate how lighting, sound and stage management come together to create a seamless performance and there will be opportunities to go behind the scenes at the Almeida to see how a production comes together.
  • Answers Back: Who the hell’s in charge here? a panel event on the themes of leadership and division explored in Hamlet, will feature a panel of young people discussing what makes a good leader and how young people can motivate social change in this period of global political unrest.
  • An Audio Described and Captioned matinee performance of Hamlet for young deaf or hard of hearing and blind or visually impaired audiences, preceded by a Touch Tour on Wednesday 12 April.

Hamlet for Free renews the Almeida’s commitment to ensuring affordable and accessible tickets for young people across the year. From The Treatment onwards, at least 500 £5 tickets per production will be available to audiences aged 25 and under, spread across a choice of four performances and audiences aged 26 – 30 will have access to a further 450 £15 tickets per production. See for further details of ticket schemes and concessions.

Rupert Goold, Almeida Artistic Director said: “Hamlet For Free celebrates the young people who belong at the heart of the Almeida’s community. We are delighted to be producing this entirely free festival around Robert’s production of Hamlet, harnessing the imagination and energy of the Almeida for what will be an electric four days. We want to open up the doors of the theatre and welcome everyone aged 25 and under inside to experience the shows we create, the actors on stage, the creatives off stage, and to offer a platform for young people to explore their own talent, at no cost. It’s vital to remove any barriers to attending and making theatre and we are excited to welcome first-timers, students and young theatre-makers. No one should feel that theatre “isn’t for them” and Hamlet For Free is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with audiences new to the Almeida and create a memorable and valuable experience. Hamlet For Free renews our commitment to ensuring affordable accessible tickets for young people across the Almeida’s artistic programme. We hope to see young audiences return for The Treatment, Ink and Against later this year with the discounted ticket schemes we’re rolling out.”

The full schedule for Hamlet For Free will be announced soon, with tickets for events available to book online from Monday 13 March. Tickets for free performances of Hamlet are exclusively available to anyone aged 25 and under from 10 – 13 April and can be booked now online at Tickets are limited to two per person. The provision of free tickets for Hamlet for Free has been generously supported by Gregory Nasmyth and Samantha Rowe-Beddoe.

Royal Court Theatre Gala Casting Announcement

  • Zawe Ashton, Kenneth Cranham,Aimee Ffion-Edwards, Deborah Findlay,  Harry Haddon-Patten, Lesley Manville, Kika Markham, Wunmi Mosaku, Kate O’Flynn, Maxine Peake, Stephen Rea, Lesley Sharp,  Andrew Scott and Meera Syal to appear in The Bash at the Royal Court Theatre Wednesday 2 November 2016.
  • 6 exclusive On Stage seats available.
  • Online auction prizes include a one-to-one acting class with Maxine Peake, dinner with  Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg, an exclusive Harry Potter and the Cursed Child experience with director John Tiffany, playwriting masterclass with playwright Simon Stephens, a Match of the Day experience with Gary Lineker, a Channel Four experience with Jon Snow, a day at London Fashion week with the Vivienne Westwood team and a day on set of writer Abi Morgan’s new drama The Split.
Royal Court Theatre Gala Casting

Royal Court Theatre Gala Casting

Initial casting has been announced for the Royal Court Theatre’s 60th anniversary fundraiser The Bash. A once in a lifetime performance including scenes from iconic Royal Court plays with actors including (in alphabetical order): Zawe Ashton, Kenneth Cranham, Aimee Ffion-Edwards, Deborah Findlay,  Harry Haddon-Patten, Lesley Manville, Kika Markham, Wunmi Mosaku, Kate O’Flynn, Maxine Peake, Stephen Rea, Lesley Sharp,  Andrew Scott and Meera Syal.

The evening will begin with a Moet & Chandon reception followed by a pre-show dinner before guests head in to the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs for the gala performance. Following the performances the theatre’s Front of House spaces will be transformed for a post-show party with DJs, live music, Caorunn Gin Cocktails, pop up dessert stands and POPS champagne popsicles.

Tickets start at £100 with 6 exclusive On Stage seats. See below listings for detailed ticket prices and breakdown. Tickets can be booked here

There is an online auction prior to the event where bids can be made on a host of money can’t buy experiences including:

  • A one-to-one acting class with Maxine Peake
  • Supper with actors Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg
  • A week’s work experience at the Royal Court Theatre
  • An exclusive Harry Potter and the Cursed Child experience with Director John Tiffany
  • A playwriting masterclass with playwright Simon Stephens
  • A Match of the Day experience with Gary Lineker
  • A week’s work experience at TV production company Sister Productions
  • A Channel Four experience with Jon Snow
  • A day at London Fashion week with the Vivienne Westwood team
  • A day on set of writer Abi Morgan’s new drama The Split

For all the lots and further details see

The Bash is sponsored by Aqua Financial and Vanity Fair.

The Royal Court is a registered charity and needs to raise £1.7 million per year through private donations. All funds raised on the night will go towards the 60 year mission to seek out, develop and nurture the boldest, brightest and best playwrights.


Hidden City announces six month extension for hugely popular Moriarty’s game

Due to overwhelming public demand Moriarty’s Game, which was due to end in September, announces a 6 month extension, booking until 1st March 2017. Tickets are now available, throwing open the chance for hundreds more teams to solve the mystery and explore the city’s secret side. Teams now have until March 2017 to discover London through a series of cryptic clues inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Short Story, The Final Problem.

Moriarty’s Game  © Soda Visual 

Launched in December 2015, Moriarty’s Game, created by cryptic city trail innovator HiddenCity, received critical and public acclaim and continues to sell-out its weekend dates. Teams of up to four have taken to the streets of London to crack cryptic clues and discover the city’s hidden gems.

Time Out says, “Puzzle fans will love this cross-London game”

Radio Times calls it, “As an entertaining activity to do with your friends, it was perfect – but as an offbeat tour around London it was also a slam dunk.”

The Stage says, “Fascinating urban adventure game that invites participants to explore hidden corners of the city”

Moriarty’s Game is the 28th trail created by HiddenCity and is inspired by characters from Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story, The Final Problem, published in 1893. Players find themselves exploring exhibitions, celebrating contemporary architecture and drinking in Georgian public houses as they solve puzzles sent via text messages, in search of Moriarty’s hidden safe house.

‘Professor James Moriarty invites you to celebrate the finest minds of London by solving his cryptic challenge, which he has personally prepared. Your goal is to find his safe house. Succeed and he will present you with an offer you won’t refuse.’

Each clue directs participants to a hidden location within walking distance, and asks a specific question about the surroundings. If participants reply with the correct answer they receive the next clue.

In Moriarty’s Game, explorers interact with the real world: studying botanical books, inspecting classical French paintings and delivering codewords to people they meet, as they uncover Moriarty’s true nature.

HiddenCity was created by two brothers who wanted to organise an alternative city experience for friends. HiddenCity now has trails operating in London, Manchester and Brighton.

For more information and to book tickets visit

Star studded opening night of Disney’s new musical Aladdin

Last night, Wednesday 15 June, saw the Opening Night of Disney’s new West End musical Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre, London. Watch celebrity arrivals on the carpet and interviews with the Aladdin cast and creative team including Dean John Wilson(Aladdin), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie) and Jade Ewen (Jasmine), composer Alan Menken and director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw at the post-show party at the National Gallery in the video below.

Guests included:
John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Tom and Giovanna Fletcher, Andrew Scott, Luke Evans, Cynthia Erivo, Jenni Falconer, Preeya Kalidas, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Katherine Kelly, Ricky Wilson, Rufus Hound

Tickets  are now on sale for performances up to and including 11 February 2017 for Disney’s new musical began preview performances on Friday 27 May. For further details please visit

Dean John-Wilson plays the role of Aladdin alongside Jade Ewen as Jasmine in the new musical based on the classic Academy Award®-winning animated film. Broadway cast member Trevor Dion Nicholas makes his London stage debut as Genie and is joined by Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar.

Aladdin features the timeless songs from the 1992 animated film as well as new music written by Tony®, Olivier© and eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop Of Horrors). With lyrics from Olivier Award and two-time Oscar® winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the BeastThe Little Mermaid), three-time Tony and Olivier Award, three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (EvitaAida), and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

Now in its third record-breaking year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where it has been seen by more than 1.5 million people, Aladdin’s global presence has grown to four productions on three continents. It opened at Tokyo’s Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in May 2015 and had its European premiere in December 2015 at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora, Hamburg. Aladdin will open in Sydney, Australia in August 2016.

Previous Disney stage productions in London have included Shakespeare in Love and the Olivier-winning productions of Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, which is now playing its 17th year in the West End.

Aladdin is designed by Olivier and seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, Olivier and two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnesand sound designer Ken Travis. Casting is by Jill Green CDG.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.


Prince Edward Theatre
28 Old Compton St
London W1D 4HS

Box Office number: 0844 482 5151

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