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Angel Exit Theatre’s The Drive comes to Dorchester as part of a preview tour before premiering at Edinburgh Fringe

The Drive
The Drive

The Drive

Angel Exit Theatre, The Dorset company that brought you The Ballad of Martha Brown, The Secret Garden and Moonfleet are back in Dorchester on 7 July with The Drive, a brand new show.

The Drive recounts an unexpected Nordic road trip which sees two estranged friends thrown together on a tense journey from London to Oslo. The further Becky and Nat get from home the closer they come to confronting the demons of their shared past.

Spliced through with humour, slick physicality, an original contemporary soundtrack and video projection, The Drive is a show about friendship, grief, the fragility of memory, turning 40 and coming of age in the 1990s. It also looks at who owns the truth when something can’t be proven.

Part of a six date preview tour of the South West, the play will then head for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 4 -19 August.

Created after two periods of research and development, firstly at the Marine Theatre (Lyme Regis) R&D By the Sea in spring 2016 and then at Lighthouse in spring 2017, The Drive is a contemporary story which represents an exciting new direction and challenge for Angel Exit Theatre.

Director’s Lynne Forbes and Tamsin Fessey explain “We felt there was a need to create a piece of work with two women at its centre. A show in which female friendship was at the foreground of the storytelling. We were also interested in the reconstructive nature of memory and how in the process of remembering we create our own versions of the stories which shape us. The use of video projection reflects the content stylistically and adds to the idea that our personal narratives are constructed in the same way that a film is edited and framed; a notion that the writing also explores.”

The Drive is produced in association with Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. The production has received funding from Arts Council England, Borough of Poole Culture Fund, West Dorset District Council, Activate and Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.

Tickets are £12 full price or £10 for Members of Dorchester Arts, under-18s or those on low income, and are available from the Dorchester Arts box office on 01305 266926, in person at the Corn Exchange (weekdays 10am – 4pm) or via www.dorchesterarts.org.uk.  Members of Live for 5 aged 14 – 25 can buy tickets for £5 (see Dorchester Arts website for details).

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 heads to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

HULL UK CITY OF CULTURE 2017
HULL UK CITY OF CULTURE 2017

HULL UK CITY OF CULTURE 2017

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 will head to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August to bring the spirit of its vibrant cultural scene and its unprecedented year in the national spotlight to the world-renowned arts festival.

Hull 2017 will present five, highly regarded, exciting theatre companies across Edinburgh, including the four Hull-based companies, Middle Child, Bellow Theatre, Pub Corner Poets and Silent Uproar and the internationally acclaimed, Norwich-based curious directive with their Hull 2017 commission, FrogmanNot afraid to tackle hard-hitting issues head on or push the boundaries of theatre, these companies serve up form-busting shows from gritty drama laced with original music to live theatre fused with virtual reality.

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017 said: “Hull is a hotbed of creative talent and its exciting theatre scene one of the reasons it was awarded UK City of Culture status. These terrific theatre companies are already making waves and the Edinburgh Festival is a fantastic opportunity to perform to new audiences and bring some of the buzz of Hull 2017 to this world-renowned event.”

Award-winning theatre company curious directive will premiere Frogman at the Traverse Theatre’s new venue CodeBase, in a co-production with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Hull’sThe Deep aquarium and The Old Market co-production, in association with Brisbane Powerhouse and with guidance from The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Known for making work that bridges science and art, Frogman is a coming-of-age thriller set on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1990, told through live theatre and 360 film in Virtual Reality.  The company have previously won The Scotsman Fringe Firsts for Pioneer (2014) and Your Last Breath (2011).

Associate Artist of Paines Plough and Hull Truck Theatre Supported Artists   Middle Child will perform All We Ever Wanted Was Everything at Paines Plough’s award-winning pop-up and plug-in Roundabout venue at Summerhall. The show, a Hull 2017 commission and one of the highlights of its second season, Roots and Routes, was written by award-winning writer Luke Barnes with original live music by James Frewer. A timely piece of gig-theatre, the production is a three-act anthem set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to 2007’s Broken Britain and today’s Brexit Britain looking at a generation who were promised everything, but what happens when their dreams don’t become reality? This will be Middle Child’s fifth appearance at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with previous shows including Weekend Rockstars(2015) and Ten Storey Love Song (2016).

Bellow Theatre return to the Fringe with Bare Skin on Briny Waters at the Pleasance followed by the success of Billy Through the Window in 2015. Led by Maureen Lennon and Tabitha Mortiboy, Bellow are Supported Artists of Hull Truck Theatre, and a New Diorama Theatre Emerging Company 2017/18. Bellow are renowned for intimate, moving and DIY aesthetics and telling brave and stirring female-centric stories. Originally developed for Hull’sHeads Up Festival, the play explores survival and escape in forgotten seaside towns, with a pair of young women struggling to keep their heads above water. The show features live original folk music and is designed by Naomi Kuyck-Cohen with lighting design from Will Monks.

Pub Corner Poets, Emerging Artists of New Diorama Theatre, will be making their Edinburgh Festival Fringe Debut with Sad Little Man, a stand-up tragedy performed by the mind of a young man in shock at The Vault. The company are a theatre and poetry collective dedicated to using the arts to challenge and overcome social boundaries and to give young people, be they artist or not, a chance to voice their opinions. Written by Josh Overton, winner of The Times Playwriting Award 2015, Sad Little Man is a multi-media, spoken word spillage, fusing performance poetry with physical theatre. An autobiographical piece of new-writing set in the four seconds of cognitive dissonance – the time it takes to process the suicide of his girlfriend.

Silent Uproarwill make their Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut with A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) at the Pleasance after a sell-out run at New Diorama TheatreWritten by recent Olivier Award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho), this is a fun, silly cabaret musical about depression with music and performance from Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky & Mannish). Silent Uproar is a new writing company renowned for confronting uncomfortable and vital issues affecting people today; they are Supported Artists at Hull Truck Theatre and Emerging Artists of New Diorama Theatre.

To bring the spirit of Hull City of Culture 2017 to the Edinburgh Festival, Hull 2017 will take members of its volunteer team there on Monday 7 August to flyer for the theatre companies and promote what Hull has to offer visitors on the city’s most iconic street, The Royal Mile.

THEATRE CREDITS & LISTINGS INFO

BELLOW THEATRE | BARE SKIN ON BRINY WATERS

Written by Tabitha Mortiboy and Maureen Lennon

Directed by Maureen Lennon

Designed by Naomi Kuyck-Coen

Lighting by Will Monks

Cast: Charlie Sellers, Maureen Lennon

Dates: 2 – 28 August

Press Performance: from 2 August

Time: 1pm (60 mins)

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard: Bunker 1

Ticket prices: £11/£10

Recommended for ages: 14+

Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible / Captioned performance: 14th August

Underscored with live folk music Bare Skin on Briny Waters tells the story of Annie and Sophie, two young women whose life has led them to the edge. A story about survival and escape, which asks how a generation of young women can forge their own path in the world.

 

curious directive | FROGMAN

Theatre Direction and Cinematography by Jack Lowe

Designed by Camilla Clark with Sound design by Peter Malkin

Creative Technology by Ed Greig (Deloitte Digital) and Software Development by German Munoz.

Dates: 4 – 27 August

Press Performance: from 8 August

Time: Various times (60 mins)

Venue: Traverse Theatre (CodeBase)

Ticket prices: £19.50/£14.50/£9.50

Recommended for ages 14+

Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible / All shows are 80% BSL interpreted (the patron must make themselves known to the company in advance)

A coming-of-age supernatural thriller set on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1990s, Frogman is one of the first Virtual Reality theatre pieces and is sure to ignite discussions about the exciting future of the cross-over of digital tools and storytelling.

 

MIDDLE CHILD | ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING

Written by Luke Barnes

Music by James Frewer

Directed by Paul Smith

Cast: Alice Beaumont, Bryony Davies, Emma Bright, James Stanyer, Joshua Meredith, Marc Graham, James Frewer

Dates: 4 – 27 August

Press Performance: from 7 August

Time: 8.45pm, (75 mins)

Venue: Summerhall: Roundabout

Ticket prices: £14/£12 £17/15/12/10

Recommended for ages 14+

Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible / Hearing Loop Enabled / Captioned Performance by Ipads: 9, 16, 23 August

A new piece of gig theatre, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, is a three-act anthem set across three decades, from 1997’s Cool Britannia to 2007’s Broken Britain and today’s Brexit Britain. A generation promised everything, but what happens when dreams don’t become a reality?

 

PUB CORNER POETS | SAD LITTLE MAN

Written by Josh Overton

Directed by Tyler Mortimer

Cast: Dannielle Harris, Oliver Strong

Dates: 23 – 27 August

Press Performance: from 23 August

Time: 7.30pm (60 mins)

Venue: The Vault, Paradise Green

Ticket prices: £10/£8/£5

Recommended for ages: 14+

Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible

Sad Little Man is a multi-media, spoken word spillage fusing performance poetry with physical theatre. An autobiographical piece of new-writing set in the 4 seconds of cognitive dissonance – the time it takes to process the suicide of his girlfriend – this is a stand-up tragedy about a young man in shock.

 

SILENT UPROAR | A SUPER HAPPY STORY (ABOUT FEELING SUPER SAD)

Written by Jon Brittain

Directed by Alex Mitchell

Music by Matthew Floyd Jones

Sound by Ed Clarke

Cast: Madeleine Mac Mahon, Sophie Thompson, Ed Yellend

Dates: 2-28 August

Press Performance: from 2 August

Time: 2.20pm (60 mins)

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard: Above

Ticket prices: £12/£7

Recommended for ages: 16+

Accessibility: Wheelchair Accessible / Captioned performance: 24th August

Written by Olivier Award-Winner Jon Brittain, A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is a fun, silly, cabaret musical about depression with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky & Mannish), and Sound Design by Ed Clarke (Olivier Award Nominee).  Silent Uproar is a new writing company renowned for confronting uncomfortable and vital issues affecting people today.

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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

The Scottish Drama Training Network, Pleasance Theatre Trust and Mark Thomson team up for the World Premiere of Snowflake at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Network

The Network. Click on the image to read Lucy Vaughan’s blog about The Network

  • Eight drama graduates from five Scottish colleges have been selected to work with Mark Thomson, former Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre Company, in Snowflake written and directed by Thomson
  • Snowflake, produced by The Network, receives its world premiere on 2 August at the Pleasance Above as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • Snowflake is the first production by The Network, the new partnership between The Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN) and the Pleasance Theatre Trust

In January this year The Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN) and Pleasance Theatre Trust announced a new initiative to support Acting, Performance and Technical Theatre graduates from Scotland’s Colleges and Higher Education Institutions as they make the transition from training to industry.

SDTN, in partnership with the Pleasance, is establishing a new graduate pathway, a production ensemble called The Network. It is supported by leading theatre professionals, and will produce new work at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Mark Thomson, the Lyceum Theatre Company’s former Artistic Director backed this initiative which now sees the development of Snowflake, a new show written and directed by Thomson.

SDTN held four audition days at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with over 80 candidates drawn from SDTN’s Network of 18 colleges and higher education institutions across Scotland.

22 candidates attended a recall audition in Edinburgh, out of which eight were selected to join The Network. The eight young actors joining Mark Thomson, SDTN and the Pleasance this summer will be:

Harvey Reid, Edinburgh College

Heather Horseman, Dundee and Angus College

Jatinder Randhawa, New College Lanarkshire

Michael Johnson, Fife College

Shyvonne Ahmmad, Edinburgh College

Mirren Wilson, Edinburgh College

Rachel Dunlay, Fife College

Russell Dudley, North East Scotland College

Creative production arts and technical graduates will also be part of The Network’s creative team.

Lucy Vaughan, Director of SDTN said: “Following an intensive process of workshops, auditions and re-calls, held over three months and involving more than 100 Acting and Performance students from the colleges and universities in our Network, we are delighted to have identified the eight exceptional actors from across Scotland who will be our first ever Graduate Ensemble performers.

This new initiative created by SDTN and the Pleasance Theatre has been designed to bring together professional expertise to support emerging talent and these young theatre makers will now have the opportunity to develop the skills learnt in training, by working with one of Scotland’s leading theatre directors, Mark Thomson and creating new work for the Edinburgh Fringe.”

Snowflake has been inspired by the experiences and input from students across the SDTN Network and is a reflection of the struggles that face the generation which has grown up in a digital environment.

Mark Thomson, Writer and Director of Snowflake said: “I am very encouraged after meeting more than 80 young graduates from courses across Scotland to have cast eight talented young actors for The Network’s production of Snowflake this summer. There is clearly a rich talent pool of young emerging actors in Scotland that perhaps remain under the radar and I’m looking forward to developing the ideas that have emerged over my time with them thus far.”

About the partnership

SDTN’s graduate initiative is a new, industry standard, training pathway for drama graduates in 2017. Providing an essential post-training ‘bridge’ for the performers and theatre technicians between education and beginning a career in the Creative Industries, this graduate initiative forms the very latest programme supported by Pleasance Futures, the development arm of the Pleasance Theatre Trust.

The initiative is for the Network’s Colleges and Higher Education Institutions and students from across Scotland who will graduate by July 2017.

Snowflake by Mark Thomson

2nd Aug 2017 – 28th Aug 2017 at 1pm (excluding 15 and 22 August)

Pleasance Above – Pleasance Courtyard

Suitable for ages 12 and above

Tickets available at: www.pleasance.co.uk

Read Lucy Vaughan’s blog about The Network here.

Director Mark Thomson 

Mark Thomson was Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company from April 2003 – June 2016 during which time he directed over 20 productions including; world premieres of Donna Franceschild’s Takin’ Over the Asylum and D C Jackson’s The Marriage of Figaro; his own plays A Madman Sings to the Moon, Pinocchio; as well as his adaptation of James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and in 2011, Wondrous Flitting. Mark directed The Caucasian Chalk Circle (2015) which won four CATS awards and earned him a nomination for Best Director at the UK Theatre Awards. His production of Waiting For Godot starring Brian Cox and Bill Paterson was nominated for several categories, including Best Director, and won Best Production at the CATS.

Mark was Artistic Director of the Brunton Theatre Company from 1997 – 2002, directing 21 shows and winning a Herald Angel Award for his play A Madman Sings to the Moon, and a Scotsman Fringe First and a Herald Angel Award for his play Moving Objects. Prior to that he was Assistant Director at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Royal Shakespeare Company and Associate Director at Nottingham Playhouse.

Scottish Drama Training Network

The Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN) is a unique organisation dedicated to developing practice-based drama training in Scotland. A Scottish Funding Council Initiative, SDTN is based at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and is a network organisation of 17 colleges and higher education institutions who provide practical drama training in Theatre, Film, Television and Radio subjects. SDTN works in partnership with education and industry to support the development of publicly funded, practice-based, drama provision in Scotland.

The SDTN Colleges and Higher Education Institutions are:

Ayrshire College, City of Glasgow College, Dundee and Angus College, Edinburgh College, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh Napier University, Fife College, Glasgow Clyde College, Glasgow Kelvin College, Inverness College UHI, New College Lanarkshire, North East Scotland College, Perth College UHI, Queen Margaret University, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland

Pleasance Theatres Trust & Pleasance Futures

In 2017 the Pleasance celebrates its 33rd season presenting work on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Each year the Pleasance presents around 250 shows on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, selling almost 25% of all tickets on the festival. In 2015 the Trust launched Pleasance Futures. This development strand of the Pleasance directly funds specific opportunities for people both on and off stage. Each year the Pleasance commits around £130,000 into selected Pleasance Futures projects.

The Pleasance is a not for profit organisation with venues in Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and two venues and rehearsal rooms in London that operate all year round. The Pleasance has become world renowned for spotting great talent and has been the launch pad for a great many careers in the entertainment industry, creating a network of people performing and working in the creative industries that now spans the globe

 

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Award winning play Girls coming to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Girls - A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls – A Talawa Theatre Company, HighTide and Soho Theatre production. Photo by THE OTHER RICHARD

Girls, the funny and fiercely passionate play by award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko will make its Edinburgh Festival premiere in 2017. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Girls examines the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday’s news.

“Why is everyone so bloody obsessed with hashtags?

Can you use it to shoot your way out of here?”

Three everyday girls, three best friends forever and three big issues: love, sex, religion. But when they’re kidnapped from home, their world is turned upside down. Hope and despair blur, jokes and fights become one, and the only hashtag that now matters is survival. Girls is a play about enduring friendship, the power of imagination and how the West often turns a blind eye to the stories behind headlines.

Theresa Ikoko wrote Girls when she became curious about the girls in the headlines, as well as those that are left unnoticed. With a background in criminology, Theresa works with gangs and serious youth violence offenders in the community, plus young women affected by gang and serious youth violence.

Theresa is a Talawa Writers’ Programme Playwright and continues to work closely with both HighTide and Soho Theatre.

Directed by Elayce Ismail (The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre; Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, Gate Theatre; Nanjing, The Yard), Girls won critical acclaim in its opening performances at London’s Soho Theatre, the Birmingham Rep and HighTide Festival in 2016. Girls follows Theresa’s debut play Normal, which was part of Talawa Firsts in 2014 and staged at HighTide Festival in 2015.

Girls was the joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), and was shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award (2015).

www.talawa.com  

@TalawaTheatreCo / @_HighTide_ / @sohotheatre / @TheresaIkoko

LISTINGS

Girls

Venue: Pleasance 2, Pleasance Courtyard

Dates: Tuesday 22 – Sunday 27 August, 12pm

Age Recommendation: 14+

Running Time: 90 mins without interval

Prices: £12 / £10.50 weekend | £11/£9.50 weekday
Box office: www.pleasance.co.uk | 020 7609 1800

Pleasance brings Requiem For Aleppo for a special, one-off charity performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Wednesday 16 August

Requiem for Aleppo

Requiem for Aleppo

“Aleppo is no longer – all that is left are its stories”– Anonymous, Citizen of Aleppo

Following a sold-out world premiere of Requiem for Aleppo at Sadler’s Wells in April, this very special event takes place in Edinburgh on 16th August as part of the Pleasance’s programme for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.

In response to the human tragedy of Aleppo composer David Cazalet has written Requiem for Aleppo, a personal lament in music which fuses Christian liturgy with early Arabic poetry, mixing the beautiful voices of Juliana Yazbeck and Abdul Salam Kheir with more formal choral composition and counterpoint.

Choreographer Jason Mabana has set the ‘big, evocative score’ (The Times) to dance, bringing together a ‘crack team of international dancers’ (The Stage) to emphasise the truly international element of this piece. The result is a uniquely moving performance interwoven with powerful real life testimony of former residents of Aleppo. Following the sell-out world premiere of Requiem for Aleppo at Sadler’s Wells last April, this powerful collaboration between musicians, dancers and those affected by war is already creating waves and is coming to Edinburgh on 16th August before touring the Middle East. Now is the chance to see this exceptional collaboration, a collective expression of solidarity with the people of Syria, and a way of donating money to those suffering in Syria as all profits from ticket sales go to the internationally renowned charity Syria Relief.

Fringe audiences will see a slightly reworked version of Requiem for Aleppo with a couple new pieces added to the show. Also, for the Edinburgh production the company is joined by Jacob O’Donnell – BBC Dancer of the Year 2015.

Anthony Alderson, Pleasance Director said: “In the year of 70th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Festivals, festivals created to reunite Europe and the world through art and creativity following war, this piece is not only an expression of our unity and support for the people of Aleppo in a period of conflict but also a poignant reminder of why our festivals were founded and what they celebrate.”

The work introduces 12 dancers from across the world. Cazalet’s original music is a combination of Requiem Mass lyrics set to choral music, linked by Arabic poetry from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, also set to music, and interwoven throughout with the voices of people from Aleppo telling their real-life stories – stories gathered from recent interviews and which have fed into the development of the work.

Syria Relief is the largest Syria focused charity registered in the UK. With a solid network of committed management and logistics staff on the ground inside Syria, Syria Relief operate in some of the most hard to reach areas of Syria, including besieged areas.

With this level of expertise on the ground, Syria Relief implements humanitarian projects inside Syria in a number of different sectors from education, healthcare, livelihood, protection to food security and sponsoring orphans in the most desperate areas. Syria Relief is directly supporting civilians and displaced communities while providing the tools and training to help them become self-sufficient in their altered circumstances. Since their work started in 2011, they have touched the lives of 2 million people distributing more than 75 million dollars worth of aid.

Composer David Cazalet said: “I want Requiem for Aleppo to be a reminder, now and ongoing, of the suffering of a people and what the world has lost. It is an appeal to our common humanity – an expression of grief articulated in movement, song and design. It is a refusal to pay silent witness to a humanitarian crisis”. Requiem for Aleppo is written in memoriam for the lives that have been lost, destroyed, dislocated and displaced, it is a lament for the destruction of a city of great sophistication, history and tolerance whose loss is humanity’s loss.”

The dancers taking part are Arabella Scalisi (Italy), Beno Novak (Slovenia), Elisa Chou (Spain), Hae Haeyeon Lim (South Korea), Ines Pinheiro (Portugal), Jessica Eirado Enes (Italy), Naima Souhair (The Netherlands), Raoul Riva (France), Rob Bridger (UK), Sarina Sitinjak (Canada), Simone Zambelli (Italy) and Wennah Wilkers (The Netherlands).

Further info on creative team can be found at www.requiemforaleppo.com.

‘…duets of softly curving and mutually supportive intimacy are outstanding… this is a powerful statement of intent’ – The Times

“Requiem for Aleppo is more powerful than the biggest bomb” – Dr Elie Elhadj, former resident of Aleppo

“Requiem for Aleppo is a brilliant act of love, remembrance and empathy… a celebration of our common humanity, values and hope.” Fardous Bahbouh, Journalist & Oscar-winning documentary translator