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The Olivier Awards. It’s not all that.

Olivier Awards 2019
Jason Manford

Jason Manford

THERE are many good reasons why The Olivier Awards with Mastercard are theatre’s biggest night.

Central to most of them are the performances by actors from your favourite west end shows having the time of their lives and at the height of their theatre powers, who demand the attention of the audience.

The cast of The Lion King performed. Why? Who cares really.

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment without ruining it by asking too many questions. Here, Come From Away, The Inheritance, and Company triumphed. Each took away four prizes at the ceremony, hosted by Jason Manford. Manford fronted the occasion once before, in 2017.

Let’s never speak of Catherine Tate.

Miraculously, Manford did a good enough job. On a purely technical level, it was going well until he bungled a musical number with Janie Dee and plugged Kander & Ebb musical Curtains, which he is starring in. It broke up the show’s momentum badly, in fact.

Anyway, Company picked up awards for best supporting actor and actress, best musical revival and best set design. A brilliant and brave Sondheim reinvention that deserved all the awards.

Kyle Soller - The Inheritance

Kyle Soller – The Inheritance

The Inheritance, though, my favourite show of 2018 and a marvel of a play that dealt with the bitter legacy of the AIDS epidemic, won best new play, as well as awards for best actor and director, and lighting design.

As luck would have it, during the interval I made my way down to the Arena bar and bumped into critic Ann Treneman. We had a glass of Chardonnay. Out the corner of my eye I saw Company producer Chris Harper and director Marianne Elliott. This was the first show that I really followed religiously from Launch to Opening Night, to Benefit Performance, to closing week. It was emotional, readers.

I was thrilled that Flesh and Bone won and equally elated that Monica Dolan, picked up her first ever Olivier Award, winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in All About Eve. Also, Sally Cookson won ‘Best Entertainment and Family’ for A Monster Calls. Proving ‘The Palladium Panto’ isn’t invincible.

Elsewhere, choreographer and director Sir Matthew Bourne was presented with a Special Award by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, (no Charlie) in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to dance.

But that’s just about your lot, though, as the rest of the occasion moved with all the unpredictable thrill and dynamism of a tax return.

Would I go again?

No.

It was far too long. I was hot in a tux; thank goodness for the Vodka Martini down the road at the Baglioni Hotel.

But if you’re a theatre lover, it was solid enough Sunday night entertainment.

Also, nice of Tom Hiddleston to show up.

If anyone summed it up best, however, it was Company Production Manager Igor, collecting on behalf of Bunny Christie (Best Set Design): “It was this or Countryfile.”

#OlivierAwards

FULL LIST OF OLIVIER AWARDS 2019 WITH MASTERCARD WINNERS

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Bailey for Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Patti LuPone for Company at Gielgud Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC
Come From Away – Book, Music and Lyrics: David Hein and Irene Sankoff; Music
Supervisor, Arrangements: Ian Eisendrath; Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen; Musical
Director/UK Music Supervisor: Alan Berry; and the band of Come From Away at Phoenix
Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
Blkdog by Botis Seva at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Akram Khan for his performance in Xenos at Sadler’s Wells

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY
A Monster Calls at The Old Vic

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Kelly Devine for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Sharon D. Clarke for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre

CUNARD BEST REVIVAL
Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York's Theatre

BEST NEW COMEDY
Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE
Flesh And Bone at Soho Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Jon Clark for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

ROYAL ALBERT HALL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN
Gareth Owen for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Catherine Zuber for The King And I at The London Palladium

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN
Bunny Christie for Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Monica Dolan for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
Katya Kabanova at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
The ensemble of Porgy And Bess at London Coliseum

BEST ACTOR
Kyle Soller for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS
Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

SIR PETER HALL AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY
The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL
Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

SOCIETY OF LONDON THEATRE SPECIAL AWARD

Sir Matthew Bourne

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Top 5 Shows of 2018 – (the hype is real)

Top 5 shows of 2018 by Carl Woodward

All these shows are 10/10s.

It has been quite a year for theatre.

But first I thought it would only be polite to look back at some brilliantly shit moments.

Chicago returned with Cuba Gooding Jr as Billy Flynn, which was not ideal. Crumbling shows do these things, of course, in the hope of charming the audience into thinking the show still has legs. Love Island’s Caroline Flack was eventually parachuted in as Roxie Hart – reportedly pipping Cheryl Cole to the part. I know.

Elsewhere, the show most likely to drive business into the assisted suicide sector of Switzerland’s economy: Foxfinder. The West End production of Dawn King’s dystopian play – last seen at the tiny Finborough in 2005 – was a crushing disappointment. A starry affair, though, featuring Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Heida Reed (Poldark).

 FoxFinder

FoxFinder

However, it closed 2 months early after reportedly playing to an average audience of 40 people. Oh dear. I was enraged at the stupidity of the production.

It wasn’t the only fiasco of the year, though, ‘cos I was also pretty distressed by Eugenius! Ben Adams and Chris Wilkin’s joyless 80’s musical returned to the Other Palace and looked all set to transfer to the Ambassador’s Theatre.

Sadly, for them, a key investor pulled out. I don’t think a show has ever made me want to eat my own teeth with despair, either. The less said about it the better.

Oh, and cult off-Broadway show Heathers transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. A horror of a show featuring Carrie Hope Fletcher. ‘The hype is real’ set a new low for witless PR. Note: Heathers was, in fact, beyond criticism.

Off-stage oddity was abundant, The Tricycle in Kilburn rebranded as Kiln Theatre. In one of the most pointless protests of all time. You want to know the location of this outrage, though, simply take a closer look at the people branding placards; they had the Brexit look about them.

But what a terrific year it has been for great theatre.

So, my Top 5 shows of 2018.

  1. Fun Home at the Young Vic, was a radical triumph. The Tony-Award winning musical based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 striking graphic novel memoir was all about growing up gay. But, if anything, it was all about the poignantly beautiful inspired lesbian protagonist and the complicated relationship with her closeted gay father. This was an unconventional 100-minute show set in a funeral home but full of life and bristling with ambition. Enchanting stuff.

A sensational Jenna Russell added majestic authority to an all-too-relatable, everyday drama. Russell invoked absolute magic. I sobbed. As did most around me.

Caroline, or Change

Caroline, Or Change

  1. Caroline, Or Change was exhilarating and distinct. Sharon D Clarke made mincemeat as Caroline, a black maid in Tony Kushner’s sprawling civil rights musical. Clarke’s vocals conveyed wilful submissiveness with tenderness, giving the production an incredible, stark atmosphere. Everything about it had a cohesiveness that only the greatest shows possess. Michael Longhust directed everything with exhilarating originality.

The glorious show stared life in Chichester – enjoyed a sell-out acclaimed run at Hampstead Theatre and is running at Playhouse Theatre until April 2019.

Go. See. It.

  1. Company is stylish, charismatic and an unselfconsciously incisive gender-switch Sondheim for the 21st Century. Elliott & Harper riotously rode the zeitgeist with this one. Bobby became Bobbie – a singleton facing her 35th birthday alone and Rosalie Craig embodied the role to classy perfection, which was a relief.

This slick and stylish amazingness also includes two of the best musical theatre performances of 2018 in the shape of Patti LuPone and Jonathan Bailey belting out 5-star, show-stopping excellence every night. Marianne Elliott’s excellent production reinvented Stephen Sondheim for today. A thrilling interrogation of a half-century old musical that deserves all the awards. Bunny Christie’s luminescent set is certainly the best thing on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Company was 2018’s most thrilling and sophisticated musical comedy.

  1. The Producers at the Royal Exchange was very, very funny and beautifully executed. I.e. unmissable theatre. Performed in the round, drawing the audience in, Raz Shaw’s brilliant revival of Mel Brooks’ musical felt horribly pertinent to the present. Timing, chemistry, acting and singing: all note-perfect.

Not for the first time, Manchester set the standard for world class theatre. Alistair David’s choreography was seriously good, too. A side-splitting and hilarious piece of work. Truly.

Anyway, at this point you’re probably wondering what the best show of 2018 is going to be.

Well:

  1. The Inheritance is probably the funniest play you’ll see about AIDS. Matthew Lopez’s two-part masterpiece manages to make you weep with laughter one moment and move you to tears the next. A brilliant rare theatre trick indeed.
The Inheritance

The Inheritance

 This is the play of the year, by the writer of the year, from the producer of the decade (Sonia Friedman), and if the beauty of The Inheritance doesn’t hit you round the head when you see it you might as well pack up and go home because it’s over. Don’t talk to me.

You can be hard pressed to find performances rarely so inspired, defined and compatible with the dozen exceptionally gifted performers. Stephen Daldry’s life-affirming production takes an unflinching look at what makes us tick, success, failure, love and heartbreak.

This is sublime 7-hour play that uniquely explores the lives of gay New Yorkers a generation on from the AIDS crisis, whilst also being a striking love letter to EM Forster and Howards End.

To call The Inheritance a once-in-a-lifetime piece of theatre perfection would be 100% accurate. Hey, even retired critic Michael Coveney liked it and he hates everything and everyone. *thumbs up emoji*

Broadway beckons, no doubt.

And that brings our list to a close. Not great news for Bananaman: The Musical, but pretty good news for theatre’s best people.

Shows that have made it to Carl’s  list of  top 10:

 

Nominations announced for 19th Annual Whatsonstage Awards

19TH ANNUAL WHATSONSTAGE AWARDS
  • Hamilton leads the musical categories with 12 nominations, Company follows with 9 nominations
  • The Inheritance leads the straight play awards with 7 nominations, with The Lieutenant Of Inishmore close behind with 6 nominations

Le Gateau Chocolat today announced the nominations for the 19th annual WhatsOnStage Awards via WhatsOnStage’s social channels, the only major theatre prize-giving decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves. The announcement of the nominations marks the opening of the final voting stage (until 31 January), with winners announced at the annual Awards Concert held on 3 March 2019 at The Prince of Wales Theatre.

WhatsOnStage’s Chief Operating Officer Sita McIntosh said today, “2018 has proved an incredible year for new writing – for both musicals and plays, providing some of the strongest competition we have seen in recent years across the nominations. The calibre of work populating not just the subsidised sector, but also commercial houses across the UK, shows a shift in audience appetite for new, challenging and diverse work, and it’s thrilling to see. The WhatsOnStage Awards unashamedly celebrate the best and most popular of UK theatre; shows that our readers pay to see and vote for in their droves.”

Hamilton continues to dominate awards season, leading the way with 12 nominations including Best Actor in a Musical nominations for Jamael Westman and Giles Terera who previously went head to head for the Olivier Award, with Terera winning; Best Actress in a Musical for Rachelle Ann Go; Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominations for Cleve September and Jason Pennycooke; and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical nominations for Christine Allado and Rachel John, as well as nominations for Best New Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design. Also performing strongly across the musical categories is Marianne Elliott’s gender swap production of Sondheim’s Company with 9 nominations, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors with 7 nominations, and Heathers the Musical and Six with six nominations each.

In the straight play categories, Stephen Daldry’s world première production of Matthew Lopez’s epic two-part masterpiece The Inheritance lead the field with 7 nominations. In addition to Best New Play, Best Director and Best Show Poster, the production dominates in the acting categories with stage veteran Vanessa Redgrave nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Andrew Burnap and Paul Hilton for Best Supporting Actor in a Play, and Kyle Soller for the Best Actor in a Play category. Soller faces stiff competition from Aidan Turner for The Lieutenant of Inishmore (one of an impressive six nominations for Michael Grandage’s major revival of Martin McDonagh’s play), Arinzé Kene for Misty, Colin Morgan for Translations, and previous WhatsOnStage Award winner Mark Gatiss for The Madness of George III. Both Translations and The Madness of George III secured 5 nominations apiece.

Best Actress in a Play sees Carey Mulligan (Boys and Girls), Charlie Murphy (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Katherine Parkinson (Home, I’m Darling), Patsy Ferran (Summer and Smoke) and Sophie Okonedo (Antony and Cleopatra) vie for top honours; whilst for Best Actress in a Musical, Rachelle Ann Go faces Adrienne Warren (Tina the Musical), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Heathers the Musical), Laura Baldwin (Eugenius!) and Rosalie Craig (Company); and in Best Actor in a Musical Westman and Terera are up against Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Tina the Musical), Jamie Muscato (Heathers the Musical) and Rob Houchen (Eugenius!).

Vying with Hamilton for Best New Musical are Eugenius!, Heathers the Musical, Tina the Musical and Six; with Best New Play, between Dust, Girls and Boys, The Inheritance, The Jungle and Misty. The strongly nominated The Madness of George III features both in Best Play Revival against Summer and Smoke, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Translations and The York Realist; and also in Best Regional Production alongside Death of a Salesman, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual, Romeo and Juliet and Spring Awakening.

Best Off-West End Production is a tight fought contest between DustEugenius!MistyThe Rink and Six; with Best West End Show, between fan favourites Bat Out of Hell Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables and Wicked.

Now in their 19th year, the WhatsOnStage Awards are the only major theatre awards decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves. Voting opens on 5 December, closing on 31 January 2019, ahead of the winners being announced at the Awards concert on 3 March 2019 at Prince of Wales Theatre.

Tickets are available via www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk from £20.00.

awards.whatsonstage.com

Twitter @WhatsOnStage #WOSAwards

Instagram @WhatsOnStage

THE NOMINATIONS IN FULL:

Best Actor in a Play sponsored  by Radisson Blu Edwardian

Aidan Turner, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Arinzé Kene, Misty

Colin Morgan, Translations

Kyle Soller, The Inheritance

Mark Gatiss, The Madness of George III

Best Actress in a Play

Carey Mulligan, Girls & Boys

Charlie Murphy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Katherine Parkinson, Home, I’m Darling

Patsy Ferran, Summer and Smoke

Sophie Okonedo, Antony and Cleopatra

Best Actor in a Musical sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms

Giles Terera, Hamilton

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Tina the Musical

Jamael Westman, Hamilton

Jamie Muscato, Heathers the Musical

Rob Houchen, Eugenius!

Best Actress in a Musical sponsored by Café de Paris

Adrienne Warren, Tina the Musical

Carrie Hope Fletcher, Heathers the Musical

Laura Baldwin, Eugenius!

Rachelle Ann Go, Hamilton

Rosalie Craig, Company

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Adetomiwa Edun, Translations

Adrian Scarborough, The Madness of George III

Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance

Chris Walley, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Best Supporting Actress in a Play sponsored by Tonic Theatre

Debra Gillett, The Madness of George III

Michelle Fairley, Julius Caesar

Michelle Fox, Translations

Sian Thomas, Home, I’m Darling

Vanessa Redgrave, The Inheritance

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

Cleve September, Hamilton

Daniel Buckley, Eugenius!

Jason Pennycooke, Hamilton

Jonathan Bailey, Company

Richard Fleeshman, Company

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical sponsored by Newman Displays

Christine Allado, Hamilton

Jodie Steele, Heathers

Patti LuPone, Company

Rachel John, Hamilton

Vicky Vox, Little Shop of Horrors

Best New Play sponsored by JHI Marketing

Dust

Girls & Boys

The Inheritance

The Jungle

Misty

Best New Musical sponsored by The Hospital Club

Eugenius!

Heathers

Hamilton

Tina the Musical

Six

 

 

Best Play Revival

Summer and Smoke

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

The Madness of George III

Translations

The York Realist

 

Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals

Chess

Company

The King & I

Little Shop of Horrors

Me and My Girl

 

Best Direction

Andy Fickman, Heathers

Marianne Elliott, Company

Michael Grandage, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Thomas Kail, Hamilton

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton

Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Six

Drew McOnie, Strictly Ballroom

Liam Steel, Company

Lizzi Gee, Little Shop of Horrors

Best Costume Design

Catherine Martin, Strictly Ballroom

Catherine Zuber, The King & I

Gabriella Slade, Six

Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Tom Scutt, Little Shop of Horrors

Best Set Design

Bunny Christie, Company

Es Devlin, Girls & Boys

Miriam Buether, The Jungle

Rae Smith, Translations

Tom Scutt, Little Shop of Horrors

Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light

Ben Cracknell, Heathers

Howard Hudson, Little Shop of Horrors

Howell Binkley, Hamilton

Neil Austin, Company

Tim Deiling, Six

 

 

Best Video Design sponsored by PRG XL Video

Daniel Denton, Misty

Dick Straker, A Monster Calls

Luke Halls, The Lehman Trilogy

Nina Dunn, The Assassination of Katie Hopkins

Terry Scruby, Chess

 

Best Off-West End Production sponsored by Les Misérables

Dust

Eugenius!

Misty

The Rink

Six the Musical

 

Best Regional Production sponsored by MTI Europe

Death of a Salesman

The Madness of George III

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual

Romeo and Juliet

Spring Awakening

Best Original Cast Recording

Bat Out of Hell

Come From Away

Everybody’s Talking about Jamie

The Grinning Man

Six

Best Show Poster

The Inheritance

The Jungle

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Little Shop of Horrors

Tina the Musical

Best West End Show sponsored by Joe Allen

Bat Out of Hell

Everybody’s Talking about Jamie

Kinky Boots

Les Misérables

Wicked

Award-winning play THE INHERITANCE holds special performance at the Noel Coward Theatre with Terrence Higgins Trust on World AIDS Day

THE INHERITANCE

The Inheritance, the 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Award-winning ‘Best Play’ by Matthew Lopez, must end its strictly limited engagement at the Noël Coward Theatre on Saturday 19th January. Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold  present the Young Vic production which opened in the West End on Saturday 13th October to widespread critical acclaim, with reviews recognising it as a modern classic, and one of the most important plays for many years.

Directed by multi Olivier and Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry, this landmark production held its world premiere at the Young Vic Theatre earlier this year where it ran for a sold out engagement.

The large ensemble cast of The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre includes: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Jack Riddiford, Kyle SollerMichael Walters and Vanessa Redgrave.

A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Matthew Lopez’s major new two-part play explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers.  What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

Spanning generations and many interlinking lives, The Inheritance brilliantly transposes EM Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ to 21st century New York.

On 1st December 2018, The Inheritance held a special performance for World AIDS Day with guests helping to raise awareness for Terrence Higgins Trust and their campaign to reach ‘zero HIV’ by ending new transmissions and eliminating HIV-related stigma.

Guests who attended on the day to show support for the charity included Stephen Fry, Stephen K. Amos, Colin Morgan, Bisi Alimi, Zoe Wanamaker, Gawn Grainger, Paris Lees, Tom Hollander, John Partridge, Laura Carmichael, SuRie, Jerry Mitchell, Freida Slaves, Andre de Shields and Michael Cashman.

On Friday 30th November, to mark both World AIDS Day and National Tree-Planting Week, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and cast from The Inheritance, along with representatives from Terrence Higgins Trust and London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, planted a tree in Potters Field. The ‘Tilia Cordata’ tree, planted outside City Hall and with a stunning view of London Bridge, in remembrance to all the lives lost to AIDS in the past 30 years.

Photography from both events can be downloaded HERE

Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity offering support, information and advice services for those living with and affected by HIV or poor sexual health.

Ian Green, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: 

The Inheritance is a truly beautiful piece of theatre and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. World AIDS Day is always a special and emotional day as we wear our red ribbons in remembrance of all the lives lost far too soon since the start of the HIV epidemic. But seeing The Inheritance made it even more special. This important play not only reminds us of how far weve come in the fight against HIV, but also how much more there still is to do  and all the trauma along the way.

Were honoured to have worked in partnership with The Inheritance to mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Money raised will help support our ambitious but achievable aim of getting to zero new HIV transmissions in the UK and, as importantly, the work we do across the country to eradicate the stigma and misinformation that still surrounds this virus.”

Sonia Friedman, Producer of The Inheritance, said:

“A huge thank you to Matthew Lopez, Stephen Daldry and to the astonishing cast and company of The Inheritance – the play, production, and audience reached new heights of emotion and intensity on World AIDS Day and it will be a day that every one of us in that theatre will cherish forever.

In the 1980s I was a young stage manager working at The National Theatre; all around me, in our industry, people were dying and struggling. I just felt it was wrong and that I had to do something, so I went to the Terrence Higgins Trust, and asked if I could do something, if I could help.

The voluntary work I did with them and other HIV charities formed who I am and it helped make me a Producer and therefore it is a privilege to be working with them again, 30 years later, for this very special performance. It was a day of remembrance, pain, hope and a day of connection.”

Guests who attended the special performance of The Inheritance on World AIDS Day took to social media in support, including:

Too choked with emotion last night to tweet my astonishment at @inheritanceplay – the most magnificent theatrical experience I can remember. It broke my heart and mended it again: I left the theatre believing in theatre again. I don’t have enough praise. See it!
Stephen Fry

This play, this cast, this production astound and embrace and uplift in ways before unimaginable.
Lord Cashman

I’m honoured to have been in the audience for the World AIDS Day performance of @inheritanceplay at the Noël Coward Theatre, let alone invited on stage. Never seen such rapturous applause. Go see it and please support @THTorguk‘s great work to help end HIV.
Paris Lees

Saw @inheritanceplay on Saturday, Parts 1 & 2. A thoroughly engaging, original piece of theatre. Phenomenal cast, brilliant production. So relevant. See it.
Stephen K. Amos

Matthew Lopez’s new play is directed by Stephen Daldry with set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti & Christopher Reid, music by Paul Englishby, UK Casting by Julia Horan CDG and US Casting by Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA.

David Lan, who programmed the original production as Artistic Director of the Young Vic, is Executive Producer for the West End production.

Andrew Burnap, John Benjamin Hickey and Samuel H. Levine are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

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So obviously ‘The Inheritance’ is fairly incredible

The Inheritance

Right – so I’ve seen The Inheritance (again) and it’s a pretty astonishing piece of work. The Young Vic’s show of the year: The Inheritance, written by Matthew Lopez and directed by Stephen Daldry, is as close to theatre perfection as it gets.

Is the hype real? Yes, folks.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

Theatrically, tonally, politically and conceptually it’s right up there with Tony Kushner’s sprawling Angels in America, and with a brilliant cast including Vanessa Redgrave – the only woman in the play.

This, in a nutshell, is where we begin:

A cosy room. A handful of YOUNG MEN sitting around writing.’

Paul Hilton kicks off Part 1 as Morgan, an embodiment of novelist E.M. Forster educating a group of contemporary privileged gay men in New York, lost in the millennial haze of a generation after the AIDS crisis.

Having a production like this at the Noel Coward Theatre (Broadway next – certainly) is more significant than ever. We are living in a divided world; more than two-thirds of same-sex couples avoid holding hands in public and hate crimes against LGBT people has more than doubled since EU referendum.

These are challenging times.

But this is a play of a lifetime – for the time. Release the doves, it’s finally happened. The Inheritance is a thrilling seven-hour, two-parter E.M. Forster inspired epic of New York gay life. Oh, and it is extremely special. Its theatre in all the right ways, it’s noisy in all the right ways, it’s brash and bombastic and funny and audacious and playful in all the right ways, and it’s smart in all the right ways, too.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

Along with the world-class sound by Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, one of the best things about The Inheritance is Jon Clark’s lighting. It illuminates the stage; the naturalistic suddenly becomes impressionistic. Falling shadows make the darkness itself visible. Light is used not just to show detail, but to hide it.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

Part 1, though, has possibly my favourite moments ever spent sat in a theatre. Bob Crowley’s excellent bare wooden set enables the exceptional cast to display constant movement and focussed performances, his minimal design of a moving platform creates a striking azure.

‘We need our community, we need our history. How else can we teach the next generation who they are and how they got here?’ asks the beating heart of the story: Eric Glass– played exquisitely by Kyle Soller – on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, while scene-stealing Andrew Burnap as Toby swaggers as his narcissistic partner. He flutters around gayly in a tight vest and speedos like an exotic bird. He’s also very funny and has cheek bones that could cut glass. Deftly conjoining these two central performances are the breathtakingly simple sequences between them that encapsulates Lopez’s jaggedly tender script; harrowing, heart-breaking, nasty and joyful.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

Part 2 is a drama littered with characters living an unfulfilled existence, trapped by the great silence and snappy dialogue that is the true villain of the piece. Having been swept along by Daldry’s vision for a day and night of entertainment, heartbreak and inspiration, Vanessa Redgrave appears as a woman who has lost her son to AIDS. Redgrave, 81, puts on a majestic display of stagecraft full of hypnotic pregnant pauses. By the end of the night, you feel that silence deserves to be broken by tumultuous applause. Which it is.

Everything that I have written about The Inheritance seriously understates the level of theatre sorcery going on here; this is a decadent, astute theatre triumph.

It is addictively binge-worthy and I can’t wait to go back.

N.B. Please note that the amazingness of this cast is indeed dangerous and anybody with an aversion to INCREDIBLE THEATRE should avoid.

The Inheritance is at Noel Coward Theatre until 19 January 2019. Wednesday and Saturday matinee performances. 

Top Show: London – The Inheritance (Pt. 1)

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First Look: The Inheritance Part 1

Full cast confirmed for THE INHERITANCE Noel Coward Theatre from 21 September

The Inheritance West End Cast Landscape Credit Johan Persson

Rehearsals are now under way for the highly anticipated West End engagement of The Inheritancethe new play by Matthew Lopez. Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold present the Young Vic production for a strictly limited season in the West End, with previews at the Noël Coward Theatre from Friday 21st September and opening performances on Saturday 13th October.

The Inheritance West End Cast Landscape Credit Johan Persson

The Inheritance West End Cast Landscape Credit Johan Persson

Directed by multi Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry, this landmark production held its world premiere at the Young Vic Theatre earlier this year where it ran for a sold out engagement and opened to huge acclaim, with critics recognising Matthew Lopez’s play as a modern classic, and one of the most important plays for many years.

The large ensemble cast of The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre is now confirmed and will include: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Vanessa Redgrave, Jack Riddiford, Kyle Soller and Michael Walters.

A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Matthew Lopez’s major new two-part play explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers.  What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

Spanning generations and many interlinking lives, The Inheritance brilliantly transposes EM Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ to 21st century New York.

Matthew Lopez’s new play is directed by Stephen Daldry with set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti & Christopher Reid, music byPaul Englishby, UK Casting by Julia Horan CDG and US Casting by Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA.

David Lan, who programmed the original production as Artistic Director of the Young Vic, is Executive Producer for the West End production.

Andrew Burnap, John Benjamin Hickey and Samuel H. Levine are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

LISTINGS

The Inheritance is produced by Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman Productions and Hunter Arnold

Co-producers: Elizabeth Dewberry and Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik , 1001 Nights Productions, Greg Berlanti, Rupert Gavin, Robert Greenblatt, Marguerite Hoffman, Mark Lee, Peter May, Oliver Roth, Scott Rudin, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Bruno Wang, Richard Winkler, Bruce Cohen/Scott M. Delman.

the Young Vic production of

THE INHERITANCE
By Matthew Lopez
Director Stephen Daldry
Design Bob Crowley
Lighting Jon Clark
Sound Paul Arditti & Christopher Reid
Music Paul Englishby
UK Casting Julia Horan CDG
US Casting Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA

Executive Producer David Lan

Noël Coward Theatre
St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AU

First performance: Friday 21 September 2018
Opening Night: Saturday 13 October 2018

Final Performance: Saturday 19 January 2019

Monday to Saturday at 7.15pm
Wednesday & Saturday matinee performances at 1.15pm

For full Part 1 and Part 2 performance schedule see HERE

West End transfer for THE INHERITANCE by Matthew Lopez, directed by Stephen Daldry

THE INHERITANCE
THE INHERITANCE

THE INHERITANCE

  • West End transfer announced for Matthew Lopez’s major new two-part play, The Inheritance, following its world premiere, sold-out run at The Young Vic
  • Stephen Daldry directs a large ensemble cast, including John Benjamin Hickey, Andrew Burnap, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Kyle Soller and Vanessa Redgrave.
  • 30,000 Tickets are available at £25 or under throughout the run
  • The Inheritance Parts 1 & 2 will preview from 21 september 2018 at The NöEl Coward Theatre in London’s West End, with tickets on general sale from Friday 18 May

Producers, Sonia Friedman and Nattering Way  today announced the West End transfer of the Young Vic production of The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez. Directed by multi Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry, Lopez’s major two-part world premiere will play a strictly limited season at the Nöel Coward Theatre, beginning previews on 21st September with an official opening performance on Saturday 13th October.

The Inheritance will finish its sold out run at the Young Vic Theatre on Saturday 19th May, where it opened to huge acclaim. Critics recognised Matthew Lopez’s play as a modern classic, and one of the most important plays for many years.

A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Matthew Lopez’s major new two-part play explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers.  What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

Spanning generations and many interlinking livesThe Inheritance brilliantly transposes EM Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ to 21st century New York.

Playing across two parts, which can be seen either in one day or across two evenings, Matthew Lopez’s epic new play is directed by Stephen Daldry with set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti & Chris Reid, music by Paul Englishby, UK Casting by Julia Horan CDG and US Casting by Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA.

David Lan, who programmed the original production as Artistic Director of the Young Vic, joins as Executive Producer for the West End production.

The majority of the original Young Vic cast will transfer with the production, including: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe,  Michael Marcus,  Vanessa Redgrave,  Kyle Soller and Michael Walters.

Andrew Burnap, John Benjamin Hickey and Samuel H. Levine are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.

LISTINGS

Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman Productions, Hunter Arnold,
1001 Nights Productions, Bruce Cohen, Elizabeth Dewberry, Rupert Gavin, Robert Greenblatt, Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Mark Lee, Peter May, Scott Rudin, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Bruno Wang, Richard Winkler
present
the Young Vic production of

THE INHERITANCE
By Matthew Lopez
Director Stephen Daldry
Design Bob Crowley
Lighting Jon Clark
Sound Paul Arditti & Chris Reid
Music Paul Englishby
UK Casting Julia Horan CDG
US Casting Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA

Executive Producer David Lan

Nöel Coward Theatre
St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AP

First performance: Friday 21st September 2018
Opening Night: Saturday 13th October 2018
Final Performance: Saturday 5th January 2019

Monday to Saturday at 7.15pm
Wednesday & Saturday matinee performances at 1.15pm

For full Part 1 and Part 2 performance schedule see HERE

Audio Described Performance:
Part 1: 22nd November 2018
Part 2: 23rd November 2018      

Captioned Performance:
Part 1: 8th November 2018
Part 2: 9th November 2018      

Website: InheritancePlay.com
Box Office: 0844 482 5140 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge
Group Bookings: 0844 482 5100
Access Bookings: 0844 482 5165

Prices from £15

InheritancePlay.com | @InheritancePlay

The Inheritance cast announced including Vanessa Redgrave, John Benjamin Hickey and Kyle Soller

The Inheritance
 
The Inheritance

The Inheritance

Young Vic has announced casting for The Inheritance, a major world premiere in two parts: 
Andrew Burnap (Toby)

John Benjamin Hickey (Henry)
Samuel H. Levine (Adam/Leo)
Kyle Soller (Eric)

With Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Hubert Burton, Syrus Lower, Michael Marcus, Luke Thallon and Michael Walters.

Vanessa Redgrave plays the role of Margaret.

The Inheritance gives a panoramic view of gay life in New York City today, a generation after the height of the AIDS crisis.

Of those fears, that activism, the new communities and the new kinds of isolation, what has survived? And what does the experience of the plague years mean to the young, overflowing with life, looking for love?

Due to demand extra performances have been added.

This production is supported by Nattering Way LLC and Sonia Friedman Productions Ltd.

This new play in two parts by Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man, The Newsroom, The Legend of Georgia Mcbride) is directed by Stephen Daldry (The Jungle, An Inspector Calls, Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader). Design is by Bob Crowley (An American in Paris, Skylight and Aladdin) with light by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti and Chris Reid, UK casting by Julia Horan CDG and US casting by Jordan Thaler CSA & Heidi Griffiths CSA.

Justin Martin is Associate Director. The Jerwood Assistant Director is Sadie Spencer. This role is supported through the Jerwood Assistant Director Program at the Young Vic.

The Inheritance 

by Matthew Lopez
direction Stephen Daldry

Main House 

Friday 2 March – Saturday 19 May 2018
Press Day Wednesday 28 March 2018