Posts

Maria Friedman and Anita Dobson join Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Fiddler On The Roof

Maria Friedman
Maria Friedman

Maria Friedman

Director Trevor Nunn; Choreographers Jerome Robbins & Matt Cole; Set Designer Robert Jones Costume Designer Jonathan Lipman; Lighting Designer Tim Lutkin; Sound Designer Gregory Clarke Hair and Wig Designer Richard Mawbey; Orchestrations Jason Carr; Musical Supervisor Paul Bogaev

Anita Dobson

Anita Dobson

Maria Friedman and Anita Dobson join the company of Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof, which is currently running at the reconfigured Playhouse Theatre until 28 September. Friedman plays Golde, and Dobson plays Yente from 18 June, taking over from Judy Kuhn and Louise Gold respectively. They join Andy Nyman (Tevye), Nicola Brown (Chava), Harriet Bunton (Hodel), Dermot Canavan (Lazar Wolf), Stewart Clarke (Perchik), Joshua Gannon (Motel), Matthew Hawksley (Fyedka), and Molly Osborne (Tzeitel), as well as Miles BarrowSofia BennettPhilip BertioliLottie CasserleyElena Cervesi, Lia CohenTalia EtheringtonShoshana EzequielIsabella Foat, Fenton GrayJames Hameed,  Adam LinsteadAdam MargilewskiRobert MaskellBenny MaslovRobyn McIntyre, Gaynor MilesEllie MullaneTania NewtonCraig PinderValentina Theodoulou and Ed Wade.

★★★★★

‘Musically, geopolitically, emotionally, this Fiddler raises the roof.’

The Guardian

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 has been specially transformed into an intimate space for this ‘shiveringly intimate chamber musical about family’ (The Times).

★★★★★

‘An evening to be celebrated as a spikily poignant reminder of what it is to be human in politically dark times. Both whirlingly energetic and achingly moving, it marks itself out straight away as one of the most uplifting nights possible to be had in the West End right now.’
The Arts Desk

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 featuring original choreography from Tony Award-winning Jerome Robbins alongside new choreography by Matt Cole, Fiddler on the Roof ‘bursts from the stage’ (Financial Times), bringing new life to one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

Olivier Award-winning Maria Freidman plays Golde. The recipient of three Olivier Awards for Maria Friedman By Special Arrangement at the Donmar Warehouse (1995), Best Actress in a Musical for her performance of Fosca in the West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion (1996), and for Ragtime (2003). Her other theatre credits include Merrily We Roll Along, Blues in the Night, Chicago, The Witches of Eastwick, Anna in The King and I at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lady in the Dark. In 2004 she originated the role of Marian Halcombe in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, The Woman in White, both in the West End and on Broadway. She is regularly associated with the work of Stephen Sondheim, having performed principle roles in Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, and as Mrs Lovett in concert performances of Sweeney Todd (Barbican). She also appeared in New York, Washington and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday. She has performed her critically acclaimed one woman shows – Maria Friedman – By Special Arrangement and Maria Friedman – By Extra Special Arrangement in venues around the UK and in New York including several seasons at Café Carlyle, and has most recently performed her new solo show From the Heart to sell-out audiences at Crazy Coqs. She has featured on many cast recordings and released several solo albums including Maria Friedman, Maria Friedman Live, Now and Then, and Maria Friedman Celebrates The Great British Songbook. On screen, her roles include Elaine Peacock in EastEnders, Trish Baynes in CasualtyRed Dwarf, the Narrator in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (DVD), and Mother Abbas on ITV’s Sound of Music Live. In 2013, she made her directorial debut at the Menier Chocolate Factory with Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. The production opened to critical acclaim, winning the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, transferring to the West End and Boston. Her other directing credits include High Society (The Old Vic) and the world première of the new musical Dusty (Theatre Royal Bath).

Anita Dobson plays Yente. Her extensive theatre credits include Annie (UK tour), 3Women (Trafalgar Studios), The Shadow Factory (Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), Budgie (Cambridge Theatre), The Three Sisters (Royal Court Theatre), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (National Theatre), Kvetch (Garrick Theatre), Lovely Shayna Maidel (Ambassador’s Theatre), Charley’s Aunt (Aldwych Theatre), The Vagina Monologues (Arts Theatre/UK tour), Frozen (National Theatre / Olivier Award nomination), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Thoroughly Modern Milly(Shaftesbury Theatre), Hello Dolly! (Theatre Royal Lincoln/ UK tour), Calendar Girls (Noël Coward Theatre), Bette and Joan (Arts Theatre) and Wicked(Apollo Theatre). For television her extensive work includes EastEnders (as series regular Angie Watts), Leave Him To HeavenNannySplit EndsThe World Of Eddie WearyRed DwarfSmokescreenI’ll Be Watching YouDangerfieldThe Famous FiveHighlanderGet Well SoonJunkSunburnThe StretchHearts and BonesUrban GothicThe Last Detective, Gigglebiz, Hotel BabylonMoving OnPompidouArmadaCall The Midwife and The Rebel; and for film, Seaview KnightsBeyond BedlamThe Tichborne ClaimantThe Revengers’ ComediesDarkness FallsCharlie, SolitaryThe Rise Of The KraysThe Fall Of The KraysLondon Road and The Fight.

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:

Tuesday to Saturday (matinees on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) until 31 August

From 2 September, Monday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday

Please check the website for full details of performance schedule.

Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174

Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971

Captioned performance: Wednesday 8 May

Audio Described: Wednesday 15 May

, , , ,

Nuffield Southampton Theatre’s Sam Hodges: ‘I want to take work to London but I don’t want to compromise our artistic identity.’

Sam Hodges
Sam Hodges in Rehearsals

Sam Hodges in Rehearsals

NST, Nuffield Southampton Theatres new venue is situated in the heart of the city and has a 450-seat main house alongside a 133-seat studio. The inaugural production at NST City is the world première of the Howard Brenton play The Shadow Factory, which is set in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. The production features state of the art technology and video projections by the Tony Award-winning 59 Productions. Exciting times.

Samuel Hodges is the creative and executive Director of NST Theatres. How would he describe the past few months? “It turned out to be a quadruple unknown,” he says. “This is a brand-new piece theatre in a brand-new building, there is also the community chorus amongst the state of the art technology – so we went into the process with so many variables. I’m really pleased with how it has come together – Howard has said it is his love letter to Southampton, the birthplace of the Spitfire aircraft.”

So, how is he dealing with the pressure of launching a brand-new venue? “Right now, there is a genuine sense of anticipation around the opening of this building, which has surprised all of us and exceeded all of our hopes. There is a genuine buzz of curiosity and investment. What’s interesting is not only the number of people but the distance they are travelling. In terms of our ability to be more accessible and more visible and be more open to people across the county,” says Hodges.

The Shadow Factory

The Shadow Factory

By contrast, Hodges is deeply aware of the gamble and pressure of getting a show like The Shadow Factory off the ground, not to mention the involvement of a community chorus. Making theatre with local amateur participants doesn’t diminish the art but gives it new purpose. “It has been glorious and exciting,” he says.

“I’m not going to lie, we were given the building far too late and were given the keys just before we started rehearsing the show. As a director you aren’t always sure of the tone of you work, because you are so close to it. I tend to enjoy design and movement. All previews are a time of balancing things. I do feel like we are doing justice to the story,” says Hodges.

His 2018 season, contains some inspiring projects, including co-productions with Theatr Clwyd and English Touring Theatre, while Hodges directs a workshop musical adaptation of cult film Son of Rambow. “It is an ode to the 1980’s – it’s a sort of modern day Oliver Twist,” he says. “It’s a musical I’ve been working on for three years with songwriter Miranda Cooper. It is a Nuffield Southampton Theatres workshop production in association with The Other Palace, London. Essentially an opportunity to workshop for 3 weeks and have public fairings along the way– it might get off book and be fully realised– it’s about getting feedback and having the space to develop it.”

This is the passion that drives Sam. Is he inspired by successes of other regional theatres like Bristol Old Vic? (which currently has two home-grown shows in town The Grinning Man and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.) “Our audience is incredibly diverse; in terms of age and background and embracing new ideas: they are up for it,” he says. “I want to take work to London but I don’t want to compromise our artistic identity. The reason for taking work into London, generally, is about developing the theatre and the cities brand on a national level – the reason I suppose I’m going slowly in that direction is that I want to make sure that by the time we get there is it isn’t by doing a celebrity-led version of the Important of Being Earnest. I do think Bristol are doing excellent work – it’s about work that lifts a theatre and lifts a city,” says Hodges

 

We talk about the writer/director relationship. I refer to the recent Twitter thread that I started ‘playwrights being told off.’ Does he think playwrights are bullied in the rehearsal room? “No. But I do feel that they can be a very odd and powerless situation for a writer. The sort of unspoken rule of a rehearsal room is that it is the directors room. Howard is an absolute joy: a combination of sage and calm and mischievous. I’d say it is about negotiation. You do worry the writer hates what you are doing – more often they are listening to the rhythm of their own words. I’ll come out of a preview but he’ll just say: ‘That word – needs to go…’ We’ve disagreed on quite a few things but that’s part of the process.”

The Shadow Factory stars Anita Dobson (aka Angie, of EastEnders) wife of rock guitarist Brian May as leading lady. How was it sitting next to a living legend in for the first preview? “Extremely surreal,” he says, laughing. “It’s a different level of legend isn’t it? He was pretty laid back and I think he enjoyed himself. He definitely gave Anita feedback – you always know when your actors have had their other halves in. Brian was the first person to buy a drink from our bar, which was pretty special.”

Craig David was recently announced as a patron of NST, a role that will see him championing the theatre’s work. Why him? “Craig David is Southampton born and bred,” he says when I bring this up. “We are trying to build a local network of support. We are expanding our programme of theatre to include music, amongst other things, within artistic the programme out patrons are figureheads but ideally, they are individuals through which younger audiences can come through the doors and share an affinity with. I must admit I did get a load of text messages after the announcement: Craig David – exclamation mark, exclamation mark, heart emoji. Craig joins our other patron Harriet Walter, I’ve always been a huge fan of Harriett’s and she lives just outside of the city,” says Hodges.

There is a still a challenge ahead, though, as he says “It’s not always about saying what you want – it’s about delivering what we said we would. One of our main focuses and priorities has been putting together a team that works for what we want to achieve. Which I think we have done. I feel immensely proud of all of our staff.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER OF THE SHADOW FACTORY

The Shadow Factory runs at the NST City, Southampton from 16 February to 3 March.

Box Office 023 8067 1771