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Death of a Salesman – God I love this show

Wendell Pierce

Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell have treated us to a mesmerising evening that is overflowing with suspended furniture, sliding door frames, live music, Arinzé Kene in a vest and a inspired new version of Death of a Salesman, at the Young Vic. 

Inspired as in the Loman family are black, which casts their drudgery in pre-civil rights America in a whole different light. This Salesman stars Sharon D Clarke and Wendell Pierce as Linda and Willy Loman. 

Elliott and Cromwell co-direct with attention grabbing pace. And 70 years on, Arthur Miller’s play has chilling resonance. And it’s all here: the pathos, time bending and drama of intense despair. This revival illuminates the classic as the past haunts the present time and place majestically. 

Memory and reality are never overplayed.

Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

It may demand a lot from audiences and take risks, but that’s what all great theatre should do. And if some don’t come off, it’s one of the few classic tragic plays that can usually fall back on its script or the astonishing performances of its cast.

Particular plaudits with Elliott & Harper’s impressive production, of course, go to Sharon D. Clarke who’s turned loyal wife Linda Loman into a thing of very slow-burning, bluesy pain. 

Wendell Pierce leads the collapse of the Loman family as the deluded Salesman: out of time. His Willy is lofty, pathetic and explosive. 

 Sharon D Clarke

Sharon D Clarke

The design by Anna Fleischle is a beautifully fragmented and disjointed shell of a home: The Young Vic shimmers in rich primary colours through short sharp bursts of light through a prism or wooden frames. Hats off to the glorious sound by Carolyn Downing and clever music by Temowo. 

Halfway through Act 1, though, I felt this was Marianne Elliott on both autopilot and at the peak of her powers: standing, at times, in the shadow of huge successes on both revivals of musical Company and Angels in America.

But Act 2 left me reeling and emotionally shattered. Make of that what you will. 

The final scene is 10/10. 

Personally, I thought the whole thing was so brilliantly executed that it should become a permanent fixture on The Cut. 

A perfect revival. 

Death of a Salesman runs at the Young Vic from May 9-June 29, youngvic.org

Sold out DEATH OF A SALESMAN run extended, £10 ‘Rush’ Tickets to be released

Wendell Pierce

Due to public demand, the Young Vic today announces that the currently sold-out production of Death of a Salesman will extend for an additional two weeks of performances until Saturday 13 July. These additional performances go on sale at 10.30am today, Wednesday 1 May, with tickets priced £10 – £40.

As part of its commitment to accessible tickets, the Young Vic also announces that every Thursday at midday a limited number of £10 ‘Rush’ Tickets will be released online for the following week’s performances. The scheme will begin from Thursday 2 May and will be limited to two tickets per customers, available online.

Following her recent award-winning successes on Company and Angels in AmericaMarianne Elliott co-directs Death of a Salesmanwith Miranda Cromwell, who worked as Associate Director on both shows. Together, they bring a unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an African-American family.

Wendell Pierce makes his UK stage debut as Willy Loman, with Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman, Arinzé Kene as Biff Loman and Martins Imhangbe as Happy Loman. The full cast also includes Ian Bonar as Bernard, Trevor Cooper as Charley, Joseph Mydellas Ben Loman, Nenda Neurer as Letta, Jennifer Saayeng as Miss Forsythe, Matthew Seadon-Young as Howard Wagner and Stanley, Maggie Service as The Woman and Jenny and Femi Temowo as Willy Loman’s Father and Musician.

Death of a Salesman is directed by Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell, with design by Anna Fleischle, lighting design byAideen Malone, sound design by Carolyn Downing, composition and musical direction by Femi Temowo, fight direction and additional movement support by Yarit Dor and casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG.

 

Full cast announced for Blues In The Night

Kiln Theatre

With the critically acclaimed The Son currently running at Kiln Theatre, and with Inua Ellams’ The Half God of Rainfall in rehearsals, Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham today announced the full cast for Blues in the Night – Susie McKenna directs Sharon D Clarke (The Lady), Debbie Kurup(The Woman), Clive Rowe (The Man) and Gemma Sutton (The Girl) the first major London revival in 30 years. The production opens on 24 July, with previews from 18 July, and runs until 7 September.

 ‘A man is a two-face, a worrisome thing

Who’ll leave you to sing, the blues in the night.’

Chicago 1939. One man, three women, their lives, memories and the sweet music that gets them through the night.

The Olivier and Tony Award nominated musical is a scorching compilation of 26 hot and torchy blues numbers that frame the lives and loves of four residents of a downtown hotel. Featuring soul-filled songs by blues and jazz icons Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and many more, this will be a sizzling night to remember.

Sharon D Clarke returns to Kiln Theatre to play The Lady – she previously appeared in The Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes. Her theatre work includes:Death of a Salesman (Young Vic), Caroline, or Change (Chichester Festival Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Playhouse Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Sleeping Beauty,  Vagina Monologues, Sleeping Beauty, Mother Goose, Puss in Boots Cinderella (Hackney Empire), Pigs and Dogs(Royal Court Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, An Oak Tree, Everyman, Amen Corner, Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), Romeo & Julie (Rose Theatre Kingston), Porgy & Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air), Ghost, Hairspray, Vagina Monologues, Chicago, We Will Rock You, Disney’s The Lion King, Fame, Rent and Mama I Want to Sing (West End). Her television work includes Holby City – as series regular Lola Griffin, Informer, Doctor Who, The Forge, Unforgotten, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Psychobitches and The Shadow Line; and for film, Untitled Girls Film, Rocketman, Tau, Sugarhouse, Secret Society, Beautiful People, Broken Glass and Tumble Down.

 Debbie Kurup returns to Kiln Theatre to play The Woman – she previously appeared in Poison. Her theatre work includes Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse), Girl From The North Country (The Old Vic/ Noël Coward Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre), Anything Goes (Sheffield Theatres/UK Tour), The Bodyguard (Olivier Award nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Adelphi Theatre), Chicago(Cambridge Theatre/ Adelphi Theatre), Sister Act (London Palladium), West Side Story (Prince of Wales Theatre), Tonight’s The Night (Victoria Palace), Rent (Prince of Wales Theatre/UK tour), Fame (UK tour) and Guys and Dolls (Sheffield Theatres). Her film work includes The Two Wolves, Hollow, Making of a Musical – West Side Story and 28 Weeks Later.

Clive Rowe plays The Man. His theatre work includes The Wind in The Willows (UK tour), Guys and Dolls (Royal Albert Hall), Me and My Girl(Chichester Festival Theatre), Jack and the Beanstalk (Wimbledon Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), The Hothouse (Trafalgar Studios),The Ladykillers (West End and UK tour), Kiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre/The Old Vic), No Naughty Bits (Hampstead Theatre), The Wiz (Birmingham Rep/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Company (Donmar Warehouse), The Fantastics (Duchess Theatre); Twelfth Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Trolius and Cressida (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), As You Like It (Wyndham’s Theatre), Simply Heavenly (Young Vic/Trafalgar Studio); and for the National Theatre, The Light Princess,  Carousel, Fuente Ovejuna, Caroline or Change, The Villains’ Opera, Money, Candide, Peter Pan, Guys and Dolls, Trackers (Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Guys and Dolls and Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Performance in Carousel). Rowe has returned to the Hackney Empire on numerous occasions to play The Dame in their Christmas pantomime for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre forMother Goose. For television, his work includes Will, So Awkward, Evermoor, The Kennedys, The Fun Police, All the Small Things, Doctor Who, Networked, Bloodrights, Say it with Music, American Voices, Paper Mask, After the War, Snakes and Ladders and Entertaining Angels Aware; and for film, Beauty and the Beast, Manderlay and Crime Strike.

Gemma Sutton plays The Girl. Her theatre work includes Follies (National Theatre), Sweet Charity (The Watermill Theatre), The Rink (Offie Award for Female Performance in a Musical – Southwark Playhouse), A Christmas Carol the Musical (LMTO), Strictly Ballroom (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), Gypsy (Chichester Festival Theatre/Savoy Theatre), Carousel (Arcola Theatre),Chicago (Leicester Curve)Drunk (Leicester Curve/The Bridewell), Hairspray (UK tour), Me and My Girl (Kilworth House), Legally Blonde – The Musical (Savoy Theatre), Gone with the WindImagine This (New London Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Lady Be GoodThe Boy Friend (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Children Will Listen (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). For television, her work includes West Side Stories, Gypsy: Live at the Savoy Theatre and Cilla.

Susie McKenna directs. She is currently Creative Executive Producer at Hackney Empire with the remit to develop new musical theatre for the venue – having left her role as Creative Director in January 2017. Her credits for Hackney Empire include CinderellaRudy’s Rare Records, , Beau Jest, Sit and ShiverKat and Tameka Show, La Variété, Sing Out, Alter Ego, Once on this Island and Ha Ha Hackney. Other credits include Oranges and Elephants (Hoxton Hall), A Midsummer Night’s Madness (National Black Theatre of Harlem, Hackney Empire Edinburgh Festival), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre London) and The Silver Sword (Coventry Belgrade Theatre, UK tour). Acting credits for theatre include Cats (Ambassadors Theatre), Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar and In The Midnight Hour (UK tour). For film her credits include Jack and Sarah.

KILN SEASON AT A GLANCE

THE SON

Until 6 April

 

THE HALF GOD OF RAINFALL

25 April – 17 May

Press night: 30 April at 7pm

Audio Described: 16 May

Captioned: 9 May

 

WIFE

30 May – 6 July

Press night: 4 June at 7pm

Audio Described: 4 July

Captioned: 20 June

 

BLUES IN THE NIGHT

18 July – 7 September 2019

Press night: 24 July

Audio Described: 8 August

Captioned: 22 August

A FRIENDLY SOCIETY (WORKING TITLE)

26 – 29 September 2019

 

WHEN THE CROWS VISIT

23 October – 30 November 2019

Press night: 29 October

Audio Described: 14 November

Captioned: 21 November

www.KilnTheatre.com

Twitter: @KilnTheatre / @KilnCinema

CAROLINE OR CHANGE full casting announced for the West End

'Caroline, or Change' Play performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, UK
'Caroline, or Change' Play performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, UK

‘Caroline, or Change’ Play performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, UK

Full casting has been announced for Caroline, Or Change, the celebrated musical written by Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America, with a soaring score from Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, which will run at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019.

As previously announced, the cast will be led by Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D. Clarke in a critically acclaimed virtuoso performance asCaroline Thibodeaux. She will be joined by Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Keisha Amponsa Banson, Alastair Brookshaw, Me’sha Bryan, Angela Caesar, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Sue Kelvin, Teddy Kempner, Ako Mitchell, Abiona Omonua, Vincent Pirillo, Tanisha Spring andLauren Ward with Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Zalika Henry, Laura Medforth, Timothy Quinlan and Teddy Wills.

Nine young performers have been cast in the roles of Noah, Jackie and Joe. Isaac Forward, Aaron Gelkoff and Jack Meredith will alternate the role of Noah, Mark MwangiKenya Sandy and Jeremiah Waysome will alternate the role of Jackie and the role of Joe will be alternated byJosiah ChotoDavid Dube and Raphael Higgins-Hume.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, this five-star production received phenomenal critical praise when it opened with sold out engagements at Chichester Festival Theatre and again at the Hampstead Theatre.

Louisiana, 1963. Revolution is in the air, though not so much for Caroline, the poorly paid maid toiling endlessly in the sweltering basement of the Gellman household. It’s a fantastical, magical place amidst the piles of laundry and singing washing machines, especially for eight-year-old Noah Gellman who sneaks downstairs to see her whenever he can. Yet a simple gesture to leave more money in Caroline’s pocket is about to test who and how far the winds of change can ever really reach…

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Caroline, Or Change is a playful, funny, and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval, set to an uplifting and profound score of soul, blues, classical and traditional Jewish folk music.

Olivier Award-winner Sharon D. Clarke is to reprise her critically-hailed performance in the role of Caroline Thibodeaux. Clarke has enjoyed a long established stage career with credits including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and We Will Rock You(Dominion Theatre). On TV, Clarke is known for playing Lola Griffin in BBC’s Holby City and from 7 October 2018 will guest star in the brand new series of Doctor Who.

Naana Agyei-Ampadu’s theatre credits include Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre), Che Walker’s The Frontline and Measure for Measure(Shakespeare’s Globe), Been So Long (Young Vic: Evening Standard Award nomination) and Feast (Young Vic).

Keisha Amponsa Banson’s previous West End credits include Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre/ Old Vic/ Shaftesbury Theatre), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

Alastair Brookshaw’s previous theatre credits include A Little Night Music (The Watermill), She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Theatre), The Grand Tour (Finborough Theatre) and De Profundis (Leicester Square Theatre).

Me’sha Bryan is a singer, songwriter and actor whose recent theatre credits include As You Like It (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Desire Under The Elms (Sheffield Crucible), The Lion King (UK tour), The Little Shop of Horrors (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre).

Angela Caesar’s theatre credits include Orlando and the Three GracesClown, and Into the Forest, (Theatre Peckham), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Porgy and Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (UK tour) Carmen Jones (Royal Festival Hall), An African Cargo (Nitro Theatre Company). Opera credits include Heart of Darkness (ROH), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne), Varjak Paw (The Old Vic) and The Silent Twins (Almeida Theatre).

Dujonna Gift-Simms made her West End debut in Motown: The Musical.

Sue Kelvin’s theatre credits include Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Private Lives (Gielgud Theatre), Travelling Light and A Streetcar Names Desire(National Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre), Chicago (Cambridge Theatre and Adelphi Theatre),  Beau Jest (Hackney Empire), Oliver! (London Palladium), Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) and Les Misérables (Palace Theatre).

Teddy Kempner’s theatre credits include Driving Miss Daisy (Theatre Royal Bath/ UK Tour), The Trial and The Bourgeois Gentilhomme (National Theatre),  A Month in the CountryHow To Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Chichester Festival Theatre),Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse),  Measure for Measure and Habeas Corpus (Peter Hall Company), Nicholas Nickleby (RSC, London and New York), The Three SistersThe Merry Wives of WindsorOthelloThe Suicide (all RSC), and Snoopy in Snoopy (Duchess Theatre: Olivier Award nomination).

Ako Mitchell is an actor and filmmaker whose theatre credits include Guys and Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Wild Party (The Other Palace), Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre), Fences (Duchess Theatre) and the role of Mufasa in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

Abiona Omonua’s theatre credits include Guys and Dolls (Manchester Royal Exchange), Hamlet (Tara Arts), Soul (Royal & Derngate and Hackney Empire), Dessa Rose (Trafalgar Studios), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre), Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Hairspray (original UK tour), and Hot Mikado (The Watermill).

Vincent Pirillo is an actor and Opera singer whose theatre credits include She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour), Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre), Inherit the Wind (The Old Vic) and Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield Crucible/ Savoy Theatre).

Tanisha Spring‘s theatre credits include Tina (Aldwych Theatre), Big Fish (The Other Palace), One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep) and Beautiful (Aldwych Theatre).

Lauren Ward’s theatre credits include Matilda (Cambridge Theatre and RSC/Courtyard Theatre), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Philadelphia Story (The Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Camelot (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Winter’s Tale and Pericles (RSC). Broadway credits include Matilda (Shubert Theatre: Tony Award nomination), Follies (Balasco Theatre) and 1776 (Gershwin Theatre: Drama League Award winner, Drama Desk Award nomination).

Ambassador Theatre Group, Gavin Kalin Productions, Glass Half Full Productions and Rupert Gavin, in association with Hampstead Theatre, present the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Caroline, Or ChangeBook and lyrics by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori and is directed by Michael Longhurst, with designs by Fly Davis, choreography by Ann Yee, musical direction by Nigel Lilley, lighting byJack Knowles, sound by Paul Arditti, casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG and children’s casting by Debbie O’Brien.

LISTINGS

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Book and lyrics by TONY KUSHNER
Music by JEANINE TESORI
Directed by MICHAEL LONGHURST
Starring SHARON D. CLARKE 

Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

www.carolineorchange.co.uk | @carolinewestend

Performance schedule:

First performance: 20 November 2018
Final performance: 9 February 2019

Monday to Saturday performances at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinee performances at 2.30pm
Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes including one interval

Box office details:

Website: www.carolineorchange.co.uk
Telephone: 0844 871 7631
Prices from £20

The full cast has been announced for KING IN CONCERT The Musical by Martin Smith At Hackney Empire

KING in Concert
KING in Concert

KING in Concert

Full casting has been announced for KING at Hackney Empire.

Marking 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and 30 years since the first performance of the late Martin Smith’s acclaimed musical KING, Hackney Empire, in co-production with London Musical Theatre Orchestra, presents a special concert version for two performances only by kind permission of Nick Fiveash.

Full casting has now been confirmed; Cedric Neal (who has just finished playing the Arbiter in Chess at the London Coliseum) plays Martin Luther King Jr and Debbie Kurup (Mrs Neilson in Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic/Noel Coward Theatre and nominated for an Olivier award in 2013 for The Bodyguard) plays Coretta Scott King. Sharon D. Clarke will play Alberta King. Sharon won an Olivier award for Amen Corner at the National Theatre and opens in Caroline, or Change at the Playhouse Theatre later this year. Alexander Hanson plays John F. Kennedy and Clive Carter will play J. Edgar Hoover. They are joined by Carole Stennett (Rosa Parks), Adam J. Bernard (Stokely Carmichael) and Matt Dempsey (Robert Kennedy), Naana Agyei-AmpaduDaniel Bailey, John Barr, Angela Caesar, Raffaella Covino, Adrian HanselOlivia Hibbert, Sinead Long, Jo Servi and Johnathan Tweedie.

Martin Luther King Jr knew he would marry Coretta Scott from their very first meeting. KING tells the story of their life together, and the strides, successes and sacrifices of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement that saw them change the course of history.

KING is directed by Susie McKenna with new orchestrations by Simon Nathan. The London Musical Theatre Orchestra will be conducted by Freddie Tapner and the concert will feature Hackney Empire’s community Choir led by Joseph Roberts.

Martin Smith was one of the West End’s brightest musical theatre stars starring in, amongst many others, Something’s AfootThe Umbrellas of

CherbourgThe March of the FalsettosCity of AngelsEvitaPhantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. Martin was also a prolific composer with his musical KING being one of his most treasured pieces. Originally performed as a one-off, semi-staged concert in 1988, Martin never lived long enough to progress his vision further, dying in 1994 at the age of 37.

CAROLINE OR CHANGE transfers to the West End starring Sharon D. Clarke

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

  • West End transfer announced for Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical, directed by Michael Longhurst.
  • Sharon D. Clarke to reprise the title role of Caroline Thibodeaux.
  • Playhouse Theatre, London from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019 following sold out engagements at Chichester Festival Theatre and Hampstead Theatre.

Caroline, Or Change, the celebrated musical written by Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America, with a soaring score from Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, will transfer into the West End’s Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018 to 9 February 2019.

Hailed by critics, in a virtuoso performance as Caroline Thibodeaux, Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D. Clarke will reprise the title role when the production transfers to the West End this autumn. Further casting is to be announced in due course.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, this five-star production received phenomenal critical praise when it opened at Chichester Festival Theatre last year and again following its transfer to Hampstead Theatre, where it is currently sold-out until 21 April.

Louisiana, 1963. Revolution is in the air, though not so much for Caroline, the poorly paid maid toiling endlessly in the sweltering basement of the Gellman household. It’s a fantastical, magical place amidst the piles of laundry and singing washing machines, especially for eight-year-old Noah Gellman who sneaks downstairs to see her whenever he can. Yet a simple gesture to leave more money in Caroline’s pocket is about to test who and how far the winds of change can ever really reach…

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, Caroline, Or Change is a playful, funny, and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval, set to an uplifting and profound score of soul, blues, classical and traditional Jewish folk music.

Partly inspired by his own boyhood, the book and lyrics are by Tony Kushner. Kushner is author of the ground-breaking Angels in America, his two-part epic drama about the AIDS epidemic in 1980’s New York which recently ran at the National Theatre, is currently playing at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York, was made into an HBO mini-series and inspired an opera and musical workKushner’s film credits include screenplays Fences starring and directed by Denzel Washington, Lincoln, Munich which he co-wrote for Steven Spielberg and forthcoming remake of West Side Story, also for Spielberg. Other credits include The Intellectual Homosexual’s Guide to Capatilism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, Hydriotaphia, Slavs!:Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness and adaptations of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children and The Good Person of Szechwan.

Music is by Jeanine Tesori. Tesori wrote the Tony Award-winning Best Original Score to Fun Home, alongside Lisa Kron’s book and lyrics, the music for Broadway, West End and inernational touring Shrek The Musical, eleven new songs for the stage adaptation of Thoroughly Modern Millie and the score for Broadway production, Violet. In addition to Caroline, Or Change, her work with Tony Kushner includes incidential music for Mother Courage and Her Children and their opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. Film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, The Little Mermaid: Ariels Beginning and Mulan II. Tesori’s opera The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me, premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2013.

Michael Longhurst directs. His credits include the recent revival of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (National Theatre) and Nick Payne’s Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall at Royal Court and in the West End and with Ruth Wilson and Jake Gyllenhaal on Broadway. Longhurst also worked with Gyllenhaal on his American stage debut in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (Roundabout Theatre, New York). Other credits include Gloria (Hampstead Theatre), Belleville (Donmar), Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Bath/West End), and Linda (Royal Court).

Olivier Award-winner Sharon D. Clarke is to reprise her critically-hailed performance in the role of Caroline Thibodeaux. Clarke has enjoyed a long established stage career with credits including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Porgy and Bess (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). On TV, Clarke is known for playing Lola Griffin in BBC’s Holby City.

Ambassador Theatre Group, Gavin Kalin Productions, Glass Half Full Productions and Rupert Gavin, in association with Hampstead Theatre, present the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Caroline, Or ChangeBook and lyrics by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori and is directed by Michael Longhurst, with designs by Fly Davis, choreography by Ann Yee, musical direction by Nigel Lilley, lighting by Jack Knowles, sound by Paul Arditti, casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG and children’s casting by Debbie O’Brien.

LISTINGS

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Book and lyrics by TONY KUSHNER
Music by JEANINE TESORI
Directed by MICHAEL LONGHURST
Starring SHARON D. CLARKE 

Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

www.carolineorchange.co.uk | @carolinewestend

Performance schedule:

First performance: 20 November 2018
Final performance: 9 February 2019

Monday to Saturday performances at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinee performances at 2.30pm

Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes including one interval

Box office details:

Website: www.carolineorchange.co.uk
Telephone: 0844 871 7631
Prices from £20

Hampstead Theatre announces full company joining Sharon D. Clarke for Caroline, Or Change

Sharon D. Clarke
Sharon D. Clarke

Sharon D. Clarke

‘That old copper statue by the Courthouse downtown, honouring the dead Confederate soldier, ain’t there no more…’

 Hampstead Theatre presents Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical Caroline, or Change following its critically acclaimed sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre last summer. Sharon D. Clarke will reprise her role as Caroline Thibodeaux in this highly anticipated transfer which is directed by Michael Longhurst.

  1. In quiet Lake Charles, Louisiana, the destruction of a Confederate statue might just signal that change is in the air…  But, whatever the progress of the civil rights movement, in the Gellman household things seem just the same – for now at least.  Eight year old Noah, heartbroken by the death of his mother and his father’s remarriage, sneaks down to the basement to spend time with the black maid he idolises, Caroline Thibodeaux: Caroline who runs everything.  Whilst the basement may seem a fantastical place – even the appliances have a voice of their own – Caroline’s work there is repetitive and badly paid.  But when Mrs Gellman comes up with a way for her to take a little more money home, the consequences for Caroline and Noah’s relationship are not what anybody might have expected…

An Olivier Award-winning musical with a hugely original, highly eclectic and uniquely American score, Caroline, or Change creates an uplifting and profound portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval.

Sharon D. Clarke will be joined by Naana Agyei-Ampuda, Alastair Brookshaw, Angela Caesar, Me’sha Bryan, Sue Kelvin, Teddy Kempner, Ako Mitchell, Abiona Omonua, Vincent Pirillo, Carole Stennett, Sharon Rose, Lauren Ward, T’Shan Williams.

Sharon D Clarke’s theatre credits include Caroline, Or Change (Chichester), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), An Oak Tree (National Theatre),Everyman (National Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Porgy and Bess (Open Air Theatre, Regents Park), Blues in the Night (Hackney Empire), The Amen Corner (National Theatre, 2014 Olivier Award Winner – Best Supporting Actress), Ghost (Original London Cast, 2012 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Actress and Manchester Theatre Award winner – Best Actress), Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Mama Morton in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Killer Queen in We Will Rock You (Original London Cast, 2003 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and WhatsOnStage Theatregoers Choice Award winner), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre, West End), Fame (Scandinavian tour), Rent (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), Mama I Want to Sing (Cambridge Theatre, West End), Asaka in Once on this Island (Birmingham Rep and West End, 1995 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Performance in a Supporting Role), Little Shop of Horrors (Leicester Haymarket Theatre) and Medea (Theatr Clwyd & Young Vic). Sharon has also starred in four Pantomime seasons at the Hackney Empire (Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Mother Goose and Cinderella, directed by Susie McKenna). Her film and television credits include DoctorsSilent WitnessHolby City – series regular, Unforgotten, You, Me and Them II, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Psychobitches, BushTau, Sugarhouse, Secret Society, Beautiful People, Broken Glass, and Tumble Down.

Tony Kushner returns to Hampstead following The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a key to the Scriptures in 2016 and Slavs! in 1994. Kushner’s plays include A Bright Room Called DayAngels in America – Parts One and Two and Homebody/Kabul. As well as Caroline, Or Change his collaborations with composer Jeanine Tesori include the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. Kushner has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille’s The Illusion; S.Y. Ansky’s The Dybbuk; Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan andMother Courage and Her Children and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film of Angels in America, and for Steven Spielberg’s Munich and Lincoln. His books include Brundibár, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, among other honours. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

 Jeanine Tesori won the Tony Award for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for the musical Fun Home. She has also written Tony-nominated scores for Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center); Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan) and Shrek – The Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire). The National Theatre’s 2006 production of Caroline, Or Change received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her 1997 Off-Broadway musical Violet (lyrics, Brian Crawley) opened on Broadway in 2014 and garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical Revival. Operas include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner, Glimmerglass) and The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy, Kennedy Center). Music for plays includes Mother Courage (dir. George C. Wolfe, with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline); John Guare’s A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater, dir. George C. Wolfe) and Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Gala). Film scores include Nights in RodantheEvery Day and You’re Not You. Jeanine Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was cited by the ASCAP as the first female composer to have two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway. She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University.

Michael Longhurst is an award-winning stage director. He returns to Hampstead Theatre following his acclaimed production of Gloria this summer. His lauded production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the National Theatre featuring live orchestral accompaniment from the Southbank Sinfonia is currently playing its second run in the Olivier.  Michael’s Royal Court production of Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall transferred to the West End, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and received four Olivier award nominations, and ran on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson who was Tony-nominated. He also directed Jake Gyllenhaal in his American stage debut at the Roundabout Theatre, New York in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. Other theatre includes Bad Jews (West End, Theatre Royal Bath & UK tour), They Drink It In The Congo and Carmen Disruption (Almeida), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and The Winter’s Tale (Sam Wannamaker Playhouse), Linda, The Art of Dying, Remembrance Day (Royal Court), A Number (Nuffield & Young Vic), Cannibals (Royal Exchange, Manchester), The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible), Dealer’s Choice (Royal & Derngate), The World Of Extreme Happiness (NT Shed), Stovepipe (site-specific promenade with the National Theatre, HighTide & Bush Theatre, Sunday Times’ Top Ten Theatre Events of the Decade), Midnight Your Time (HighTide), On The Beach (Bush Theatre), On The Record and Gaudeamus (Arcola), dirty butterfly (Young Vic, winner of the Jerwood Directors Award), Guardians (Pleasance & Theatre503, Fringe First Award). Michael trained in directing at Mountview after reading Philosophy at Nottingham University. In 2015, the Evening Standard named him as one of the 1000 most influential Londoners.

Cast List
Caroline Thibodeaux       Sharon D Clarke               
The Washing Machine    Me’sha Bryan
Radio 1                                 T’Shan Williams
Radio 2                                 Sharon Rose
Radio 3                                 Carole Stennett
The Dryer/The Bus           Ako Mitchell
Grandma Gellman            Sue Kelvin
Grandpa Gellman             Vincent Pirillo
Rose Stopnick Gellman   Lauren Ward
Stuart Gellman                  Alastair Brookshaw
Dotty Moffett                     Naana Agyeu-Ampadu
The Moon                           Angela Caesar
Emmie Thibodeaux          Abiona Omonua
Mr. Stopnick                       Teddy Kempner
Noah                                     Charlie Gallacher / Aaron Gelkoff
Jackie                                    Kenyah Sandy / Mickell Stewart-Grimes
Joe                                         Josiah Choto / David Dube

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Michael Longhurst
Designed by Fly Davis
Choreography by Ann Yee
Musical Direction by Nigel Lilley
Lighting by Jack Knowles
Sound by Paul Arditti
Casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG
Children’s Casting by Debbie O’Brien
Starring Sharon D. Clarke

12 March – 21 April

Press Night Monday 19 March

Hampstead Theatre announces two new productions for 2018

Hampstead Theatre

Hampstead Theatre announces the first two productions for 2018:

  •  The UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ breathtakingly witty Dry Powder will be directed by Anna Ledwich.
  • Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical Caroline, or Change transfers to Hampstead following its critically acclaimed sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre with Sharon D. Clarke reprising her role as Caroline Thibodeaux.

 Artistic Director Edward Hall comments,

 ‘We’re delighted that Sarah Burgess will make her UK debut at Hampstead with her new play Dry Powder. As the recipient of The Laurents/Hatcher award, one of America’s largest grants for new writing, Sarah is clearly making waves in the US, and we’re proud to introduce this bold new voice to British audiences. Anna Ledwich will direct following her critically acclaimed production of Beth Steel’s Labyrinth last autumn. Tony Kushner’s work continues to enthral audiences around the world and we are thrilled that he will be returning to Hampstead after iHO with his musical collaborator Jeanine Tesori and their multi-award winning musical. 

Partnering up with our friends at Chichester, this will be our first musical offering since Sunny Afternoon and I know it will be a special experience hearing Jeanine’s score in our intimate Theatre as the phenomenal Sharon D. Clarke makes her Hampstead Theatre debut.’

DRY POWDER
Written by Sarah Burgess
Directed by Anna Ledwich

26 January – 3 March

Press Night Thursday 1 February

‘Do we work in public relations? Because I’m starting to feel like I accidentally work in public relations’

Hampstead Theatre presents the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ breathtakingly witty and virtuosic comedy, Dry Powder. Directed by Anna Ledwich, this production explores the vision, the vulnerability, and the vilification of those shaping – and skewing – the economy.

New York City – open for business 24/7.

In the same week his private equity firm forced massive layoffs at a supermarket chain, Rick threw himself a lavish engagement party – which even featured an elephant – setting off a Public Relations nightmare. However, all’s not lost when you’re the titan of high finance – there’s still an abundance of cash in reserve and Seth, one of Rick’s partners, spots an opportunity to salvage the company’s reputation with an investment that’s both sound and PR-friendly.  But Jenny, the third partner, and Seth’s nemesis, has other ideas: she’s not in business to make friends. If there’s money to be made, she’ll do whatever it takes to generate the maximum return, irrespective of what the critics might say…

Sarah Burgess‘ play Dry Powder was a 2016 recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award and a 2016 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Dry Powder premiered at the Public Theater directed by Thomas Kail, starring Claire Danes, John Krasinski, Hank Azaria, and Sanjit De Silva. Her newest play Kings will receive its world premiere in 2018 at the Public Theater. Other plays include Camdenside (Ground Floor selection; Berkeley Rep; Kilroys list 2015) and FAIL: Failures (ANT Fest). Writer for The Tenant (Woodshed Collective) and “Naked Radio,” Naked Angels’ podcast series. Burgess has been a writer-in-residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Cape Cod Theatre Project. WP Lab and Ars Nova Play Group alum.

Anna Ledwich returns to Hampstead Theatre following the critically acclaimed Labyrinth. Her other Hampstead productions include Kiss MeDonny’s BrainThe Argument and the Olivier Award nominated Four Minutes Twelve Seconds Downstairs. Her other credits include The Stick House (Raucous Collective/Bristol Old Vic) and Lulu (Gate Theatre/Headlong) for which she received the New Directions Award. She was awarded the Michael and Morvern Heller Director’s Bursary at Chichester Festival and is an Associate Director at Theatre 503 and co-Artistic Director of Theatre on the Fly at Chichester Festival Theatre.

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Michael Longhurst
Starring Sharon D. Clarke

12 March – 21 April

Press Night Monday 19 March

 ‘That old copper statue by the Courthouse downtown, honouring the dead Confederate soldier, ain’t there no more…’

 Hampstead Theatre presents Tony Kushner’s and Jeanine Tesori’s celebrated musical Caroline, Or Change following its critically acclaimed sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre earlier this summer. Sharon D. Clarke will reprise her role as Caroline Thibodeaux in this highly anticipated transfer which is directed by Michael Longhurst.

  1. In quiet Lake Charles, Louisiana, the destruction of a Confederate statue might just signal that change is in the air…  But, whatever the progress of the civil rights movement, in the Gellman household things seem just the same – for now at least.  Eight year old Noah, heartbroken by the death of his mother and his father’s remarriage, sneaks down to the basement to spend time with the black maid he idolises, Caroline Thibodeaux: Caroline who runs everything.  Whilst the basement may seem a fantastical place – even the appliances have a voice of their own – Caroline’s work there is repetitive and badly paid.  But when Mrs Gellman comes up with a way for her to take a little more money home, the consequences for Caroline and Noah’s relationship are not what anybody might have expected…

An Olivier Award winning musical with a hugely original, highly eclectic and uniquely American score, Caroline, or Changecreates an uplifting and profound portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval.

Tony Kushner returns to Hampstead following The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a key to the Scriptures last autumn and Slavs! in 1994. Kushner’s plays include A Bright Room Called DayAngels in America – Parts One and Two and Homebody/Kabul. As well as Caroline, or Change his collaborations with composer Jeanine Tesori include the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. Kushner has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille’s The Illusion; S.Y. Ansky’s The Dybbuk; Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film of Angels in America, and for Steven Spielberg’s Munich and Lincoln. His books include Brundibár, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, among other honours. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

 Jeanine Tesori won the Tony Award for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for the musical Fun Home, which is currently playing on Broadway. She has also written Tony-nominated scores for Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center); Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan) and Shrek – The Musical (lyrics, David Lindsay-Abaire). The National Theatre’s 2006 production of Caroline, or Change received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her 1997 Off-Broadway musical Violet (lyrics, Brian Crawley) opened on Broadway in 2014 and garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical Revival. Operas include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner, Glimmerglass) and The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy, Kennedy Center). Music for plays includes Mother Courage (dir. George C. Wolfe, with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline); John Guare’s A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center Theater, dir. George C. Wolfe) and Romeo and Juliet (Delacorte Gala). Film scores include Nights in RodantheEvery Day and You’re Not You. Jeanine Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was cited by the ASCAP as the first female composer to have two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway. She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University.

Michael Longhurst is an award-winning stage director. He returns to Hampstead Theatre following his acclaimed production of Gloria this summer. His lauded production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the National Theatre featuring live orchestral accompaniment from the Southbank Sinfonia will return to the Olivier in 2018.  Michael’s Royal Court production of Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall transferred to the West End, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Play and received four Olivier award nominations, and ran on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson who was Tony-nominated. He also directed Jake Gyllenhaal in his American stage debut at the Roundabout Theatre, New York in If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. Other theatre includes Bad Jews (West End, Theatre Royal Bath & UK tour), They Drink It In The Congo and Carmen Disruption (Almeida), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and The Winter’s Tale (Sam Wannamaker Playhouse), Linda, The Art of Dying, Remembrance Day (Royal Court), A Number (Nuffield & Young Vic) Cannibals (Royal Exchange, Manchester),The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible),Dealer’s Choice (Royal & Derngate), The World Of Extreme Happiness (NT Shed), Stovepipe (site-specific promenade with the National Theatre, HighTide & Bush Theatre, Sunday Times’ Top Ten Theatre Events of the Decade). Midnight Your Time (HighTide), On The Beach (Bush Theatre), On The Record and Gaudeamus (Arcola), dirty butterfly (Young Vic, winner of the Jerwood Directors Award), Guardians (Pleasance & Theatre503, Fringe First Award). Michael trained in directing at Mountview after reading Philosophy at Nottingham University. In 2015, the Evening Standard named him as one of the 1000 most influential Londoners.

Sharon D Clarke’s recent theatre credits include Caroline, or Change (Chichester), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), An Oak Tree (National Theatre), Everyman (National Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Porgy and Bess (Open Air Theatre, Regents Park), Blues in the Night (Hackney Empire), The Amen Corner (National Theatre, 2014 Olivier Award Winner – Best Supporting Actress), Ghost (Original London Cast, 2012 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Actress and Manchester Theatre Award winner – Best Actress), Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Mama Morton in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Killer Queen in We Will Rock You (Original London Cast, 2003 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and WhatsOnStage Theatregoers Choice Award winner), The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre, West End), Fame (Scandinavian tour), Rent (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), Mama I Want to Sing (Cambridge Theatre, West End), Asaka in Once on this Island (Birmingham Rep and West End, 1995 Olivier Award Nominee – Best Performance in a Supporting Role), Little Shop of Horrors (Leicester Haymarket Theatre) and Medea (Theatr Clwyd & Young Vic). Sharon has also starred in four Pantomime seasons at the Hackney Empire (Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, Mother Goose and Cinderella, directed by Susie McKenna). Her film and television credits include DoctorsSilent WitnessHolby City – series regular, Unforgotten, You, Me and Them II, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Psychobitches, BushTau, Sugarhouse, Secret Society, Beautiful People, Broken Glass, and Tumble Down.

Hampstead Theatre and Under 30s

Hampstead Theatre has recently launched The Downstairs Club, a free membership scheme for under 30s that provides better access to Hampstead’s cheaper tickets across the Main Stage and Downstairs.

Hampstead has also launched their new young writers initiative, Inspire: The Next Playwright Programme. Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire: The Next Playwright Programme is a free opportunity for 18 – 25 year-old aspiring playwrights to develop their ideas, talent and craft under the mentorship of award-winning playwright Roy Williams over the course of a year.

Hampstead has received over 400 applications and successful applicants will be contacted shortly.

Roy Williams comments,

‘I am really chuffed and excited to be mentoring the Hampstead Theatre’s new young writers’ group. It’s all about finding new voices. Theatre will die without them.’ 

For more information please go to www.hampsteadtheatre.com

LISTINGS

Main Stage

PRISM

Written and directed by Terry Johnson

6 September – 14 October

THE SLAVES OF SOLITUDE

By Nicholas Wright

Adapted from the novel by Patrick Hamilton

Directed by Jonathan Kent

20 October – 25 November

CELL MATES

By Simon Gray

Directed by Edward Hall

30 November 2017 – 20 January 2018

DRY POWDER

By Sarah Burgess

Directed by Anna Ledwich

26 January – 3 March

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Michael Longhurst

12 March – 21 April

Previews, Mondays and matinees

Full Price: £30/£27/£18

Under 30s/Students: £15/£10*

Seniors (matinees only): £22/20

Groups For every 9 tickets get the 10th free

Access: £16

 Tuesday – Saturday evenings

Full price: £37/£32/£25

Under 30s/Students: £15/£10*

Groups For every 9 tickets get the 10th free

Access: £16

*Under 30s and Student concession seats are available in row A (£15) & Band C (£10)

Downstairs

NO ONE WILL TELL ME HOW TO START A REVOLUTION

By Luke Barnes

Directed by Anna Ledwich

21 September – 21 October

THE FIRM

By Roy Williams
Directed by Denis Lawson

27 October – 2 December

 

Hackney Empire has announced the full cast of its much-anticipated brand new pantomime for 2016, Sleeping Beauty

Hackney Empire has today announced the full cast of its much-anticipated brand new pantomime for 2016, Sleeping Beauty. The West End’s leading lady Alexia Khadime (Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King) will be returning to the site of her stage debut to star as Princess Tahlia (Sleeping Beauty). She will be joined by Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke who returns to Hackney Empire after her appearance in Mother Goose in 2014. They are joined by Gavin Spokes who makes his dameing debut, he joins the Hackney Empire family straight from his Olivier Award-nominated performance as Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls in the West End.

Following their 2015 pantomime which was seen by over 55,000 people Sleeping Beauty will run from 26 November 2016 to 8 January 2017 with Press Night on 1 December.

Alexia Khadim and Sharon D Clarke in Sleeping Beauty

Alexia Khadim and Sharon D Clarke in Sleeping Beauty

The full cast includes: Alexia Khadime, Sharon D Clarke, Gavin Spokes, Kat B, Tony Whittle, Darren Hart, Wayne Perrey, Georgia Oldman, Kiruna Stamell and Sharon Ballard. 

Sleeping Beauty will be written and directed by the theatre’s Creative Director Susie McKenna with music by Steven Edis. The award-winning team has been the creative force behind London’s number one pantomime for over a decade and will once again bring a classic story bang up to date. Sleeping Beauty will be McKenna and Edis’ 18th pantomime for Hackney Empire. 

In true Hackney Empire style that brings West End values at East End prices, this spellbinding spectacular family pantomime will be packed with colourful characters, knockabout comedy, show-stopping musical routines, magic and sparkle, played out in the beautiful Victorian Theatre.

Welcome to enchanted Hackneytonia; a land of fairies, unicorns and dragons where once upon a time, a princess is born.  Spurned at the celebration party, malevolent wicked fairy Carabosse casts an evil spell which changes the Princess’s life forever.  Will Princess Tahlia take charge of her own destiny?

Alexia Khadime (Princess Tahlia – Sleeping Beauty) has previously performed at Hackney Empire, playing Alice in the 2012 pantomime Dick Wittington and his Cat. Alexia’s other stage credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales), Les Miserables (Queens Theatre), Wicked (Apollo Victoria), The Lion King (Lyceum), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre) and the UK Tours of Whistle Down the Wind and Leader of the Pack. Her film and television credits include Les Miserables, and London Road.

Sharon D Clarke (Carabosse) returns to the Hackney Empire after most recently starring there in 2014 pantomime Mother Goose. Her extensive theatre credits include her Olivier Award-winning performance in The Amen Corner (National Theatre), as well as her Olivier nominated performances in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre) and Ghost (Piccadilly Theatre). Other recent credits include Porgy & Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Everyman (National Theatre), Pigs and Dogs (Royal Court) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre).

Gavin Spokes (Dame Nanny Nora) most recently played the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls (West End) for which he received an Olivier Award-nomination. Other Theatre credits include 1984 (Headlong/West End) One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre UK Tour), Laurel and Hardy (Watermill Theatre), Wind In the Willows (Northampton Theatre Royal), She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre). Recent television credits include Holby City (BBC), and Utopia (both Channel 4).

Kat B (Denzil the Dragon) returns to Hackney Empire after starring as the Snowman in last year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk. He previously starred in Mother Goose and Puss in Boots, Dick Whittington, Cinderella, The Wiz, A Christmas Carol, Aladdin, and The Kat and Tameka Show. Kat is best known for his antics on MTV Base where he has presented numerous shows around the world. His film and television credits include Waterland and Street Wise (BBC) and The Richard Blackwood Show (Channel 4). Kat is also the Artistic Director of Real Deal Comedy Jam and a regular on the Jongleurs Circuit.

Tony Whittle (King Eric of the Undecided) returns to Hackney Empire after previous starring in the 2012 pantomime Dick Wittington. He has starred in many previous Hackney Empire Pantomimes including Cinderella, Jack and The Beanstalk, Aladdin and Mother Goose. Other recent stage credits include Cinderella, Aladdin (both Imagine Theatre) and Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2.

Darren Hart (Ikoboo– Wolfman Servant to Carabosse the Dark Fairy) makes his return to Hackney Empire after starring as Clumsy Colin in last year’s pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk. His other theatre credits include Home (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Mother Goose (Hackney Empire), Lonely Londoners (National Theatre Studio), Clockwork, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood (all Theatre Royal Stratford East), That Face (Soho Theatre), Absolute Beginners (Lyric Hammersmith), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and His Dark Materials (both National Theatre). His television credits include Justin’s House and Gigglebiz (both BBC).

Wayne Perrey (Prince Gabriel of Westminsteria) makes his return to Hackney Empire after playing Prince Charming in Cinderella in 2011. He most recently played the role of Krish in Casualty (BBC). Other television credits include Doctors (BBC), Emmerdale (ITV) and Dalziel & Pascoe (BBC). Theatre credits include Between Empires (Edinburgh Festival), Once on This Island (Birmingham REP/Hackney Empire), Miss Bollywood (Royal Albert Hall/ World Tour), Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria) and Rent (Shaftesbury).

Georgia Oldman (Shimmerpop) makes her return to Hackney Empire after starring as Off Her Trolly Molly in last year’s pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk. She has just finished the international tour of James and the Giant Peach (Sell a Door).

Kiruna Stamell (Willowsnap) most recently played the role of Anna in The Government Inspector (Birmingham Rep). Other stage credits include Everyman, An Oak Tree, Great Britain (all National Theatre). Television credits include Father Brown, Holby City and Life’s Too Short (all BBC). Film credits include The Girl and Moulin Rouge.

Sharon Ballard (Blisstip) makes her Hackney Empire pantomime debut. Her recent film work includes the Me Before You and Delicious. She recently appeared in David Gest’s Time of My Life arena tour.

Susie McKenna (Writer /Director) has worked as an actress and director touring nationally and in the West End for over 25 years and is currently Creative Director of Hackney Empire. Her directing credits include the critically acclaimed Blues In the Night (Hackney Empire 2014)  A Midsummer Night’s Madness (Hackney Empire, New York and Edinburgh Festival), La Varieté, Once on This Island (Hackney Empire), Sit and Shiver (assisting Steven Berkoff), A Christmas Carol (Arts Theatre, London) Once on this Island (Hackney Empire, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse) and The Silver Sword (Belgrade Theatre/UK Tour).  Her acting credits include Chicago, Ragtime, Cats and The Witches of Eastwick in the West End and national tours of Hair, The Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar

Steven Edis (Musical Composer) has produced a magical mix of musical mash-ups, chart remixes and brand new music for the past 17 Hackney Empire pantomimes and this will be his 18th year of creating another original score. Steven has worked with the National Theatre, in the West End and on a variety of prestigious projects as composer, arranger and orchestrator. Credits include Volpone (RSC), The Captain of Köpenick (National Theatre), She Loves Me and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Chorus of Disapproval, Flare Path and Birdsong for the West End. Steven brings his vast experience to create a musical score that rivals a West End musical.

Tickets are now on sale.
@Hackney Empire

LISTINGS 

SLEEPING BEAUTY 

A Hackney Empire Pantomime

Press Night:  Thursday 1 Dec, 7pm

Written and Directed by Susie McKenna
Music: Steven Edis

Design: Lotte Collett

Musical Director: Mark Dickman

Choreographer: Carl Parris

Lighting: David W Kidd

Sound Design: Avgoustos Psillas

Assistant Director: Tony Whittle

Creature Design: Scott Brooker

Performances
Sat 26 Nov 2016 – Sun 8 Jan 2017

Tickets prices
Tickets from £36 – £10, concessions available
Groups of 10+ discount available at certain of performances

Signed Performances 

Sat 10 Dec at 1pm (relaxed performance) & 6pm.

Thu 15 Dec at 1.30pm & 7pm. 

Relaxed Performance 

Sat 10 Dec at 1pm (signed performance) 

Box Office: 020 8985 2424

www.hackneyempire.co.uk

Pigs and Dogs – Caryl Churchill communicates with vigour, that socially, politically and historically – we’ve got a long way to go

‘You Western-backed goats,
They forced us into slavery and killed millions. Now they want us to accept the sinfulness of homos.It shall not work.’

Pigs and Dogs at The Royal Court Theatre.

Pigs and Dogs at The Royal Court Theatre. © Alastair Muir

Both excitingly well made and strikingly formulaic. The three highly diverse leads are uniformly excellent. Sharon D Clarke is effortless in Caryl Churchill’s pertinent new play.

The title of the play is borrowed from  President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who said, “If dogs and pigs don’t do it, why must human beings?”

Pigs and Dogs boasts fine performances and nimble direction by Dominic Cooke. It doesn’t entirely evade the issue at its core – a brief history of homophobia and anti-homosexuality laws – instead it efficiently embraces the subject. Characters collide regardless of race or gender in a thrilling fifteen minutes.

This engaging piece succeeds well at what it sets out to do: wrapping an important message in a story told by rich voices. Nevertheless, both excitingly well made and dispiritingly formulaic; the actors pace the stage. The play is substantially based on material from ‘Boy-Wives and Female-Husbands’ by Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe.

A riveting short which, were it fiction, might be disbelieved as dystopia. For me, Churchill communicates, with vigour, that socially, politically and historically – we’ve got a long way to go.

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Fisayo Akinade
Sharon D Clarke
Alex Hassell

Director: Dominic Cooke
Lighting Designer: Jack Williams
Sound Designed: David McDeveney
Costume Supervisor: Lucy Walshaw
Stage Manager: Caroline Meer
Dialect Coach: Hazel Holder