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Bristol Old Vic welcome to the whole community grows with ‘Seeds of Change’ week celebrating black voices and empowerment

Seeds Of Change Week

Bristol Old Vic continues its mission to welcome people from across the city through its brand-new front doors. Seeds of Change (8–12 Oct), is a week of performance, events and discussions sharing stories of black experience and empowerment.

Within the context of Bristol’s Year of Change, Seeds of Change is a curated week of work investigating the mechanisms through which radical social change is, or might be, achieved in Bristol’s Past, Present and Future.

Throughout the week, Tom Morris and Olivier-Award winning Giles Terera(Hamilton: The Musical) will be exploring a new draft of Giles’ debut play about the Abolition movement, The Meaning of Zong, ahead of the play being fully staged at Bristol Old Vic in 2019. The results of these workshops will be shared on the evening of Thu 11 Oct.

Alongside this event will be a host of conversations, performances and films including the return of Miles Chambers and Edson Burton with their much-loved Curry Goat and Fish Fingers. First performed in 2016 across three sell-out nights, this funny, sharp, lyrical exploration of the highs and lows of friendship, writing and the forces that drive creativity returns to Bristol Old Vic’s new Weston Studio – a little darker, a little sharper, a little more salt peppering the humour.

For two nights only on the main stage, Phoenix Dance Theatre present their critically acclaimed smash-hit Windrush: Movement of the People, a lively celebration of the rise of multicultural Britain. Featuring an uplifting soundtrack from calypso, jazz and blues to ska, gospel and reggae, this thrilling new dance piece celebrates the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush that brought the first Caribbean migrants to the UK.

Across six nights, the short film Daughters of Igbo Woman will also be shown in Coopers’ Loft as a free event. Daughters of Igbo Woman is a transnational digital installation comprising a trilogy of literary films made in UK, Nigeria and Nevis respectively. It re-joins and gives voice to three separated and rendered invisible 18th century African women from one family. Nigerian writer Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo creates the grandmother’s voice, African British writer Ros Martin creates the daughter’s voice, and St Kitts & Nevis writer & film-maker Vida Rawlins creates the mother’s voice. There is also the chance to meet the Producer/Director Ros Martin on Wed 10 Oct for a Q&A after the film.

This week will culminate in a grand finale event: 50 Voices for Change, on Fri 12 Oct. 50 Voices for Change will be a celebration of free-wheeling conversational cabaret, of glorious music and powerful speeches from the history of civil rights, alongside personal moments of inspiration from Bristol artists of real vision from across a wide range of genres.

50 Voices for Change also marks 50 years of civil-rights activism since the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. Once again ‘50 Voices’ are brought to the stage to give their personal testimony about what social activism means to them and how they use their work and art to make change happen. Contributors include poetry slam champion and Bristol City Poet Vanessa Kisuule, poet and founder of Milk Poetry Malaika Kegode, performance poet Soloman O.B., singer-songwriter and Ujima Radio broadcaster Kizzy Morrell, Bristol-born singers Lady Nade and Dionne Draper and one of the newest additions to Bristol’s choral scene: Sønder Choir.  More artists to be announced next week.

50 Voices for Change is created in partnership with Ujima Radio, celebrating their 10th anniversary and following on from the 2015 event 50 Voices for Malcolm X, which featured local artists and activists (including both Bristol’s Lord and Elected Mayors Cleo Lake and Marvin Rees and spoken word artists Miles Chambers and Edson Burton).

LISTINGS INFORMATION:
Seeds of Change schedule
Mon 8 Oct
Daughters of Igbo Woman

6pm, free, Coopers’ Loft
Curry Goat and Fish Fingers
7.30pm, £8, Studio

Tue 9 Oct 
Daughters of Igbo Woman
6pm, free, Coopers’ Loft
Curry Goat and Fish Fingers
7.30pm, £8, Studio
Windrush: Movement of the People
8pm, £20-£12, Theatre

Wed 10 Oct  
Daughters of Igbo Woman
6pm, free, Coopers’ Loft
Meet the Producer (Ros Martin)
6.30pm, free, Cooper’s Loft
Windrush: Movement of the People
8pm, £20-£12, Theatre

Thur 11 Oct
Daughters of Igbo Woman
6pm, free, Coopers’ Loft
The Meaning of Zong play reading
7.30pm, £12-£10, Theatre

Fri 12 Oct     
Daughters of Igbo Woman
6pm, free, Coopers’ Loft
Voices for Change
7.30pm, £15-£12, Theatre

To book tickets:
www.bristololdvic.org.uk / 0117 987 7877

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New images reveal dramatic transformation at Bristol Old Vic, UK’s oldest continuously-working theatre

New tour dates announced for Tom Morris’ production of Touching the Void

Touching Void
Touching Void

Touching Void

Producers today announced that following the previously advertised dates, Tom Morris’ production of Touching The Void will tour to Perth and Inverness in Scotland, followed by an international engagement in Hong Kong.

Bristol Old Vic’s Tom Morris (The Grinning Man, Swallows & Amazons, War Horse) directs the first stage version of Touching the Void, adapted by The Lyceum’s David Greig (The Events, The Suppliant Women, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) from the award-winning memoir by Joe Simpson, which also became a BAFTA-winning film. They are joined by Designer Ti Green, Sound Designer and Composer Jon Nicholls, Lighting Designer Chris Davey and Movement Director Sascha Milavic Davies. The production has its official opening on Tuesday September 18th at Bristol Old Vic.

This production marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his battle back from the brink of death on the treacherous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes. Alongside this struggle is the appalling dilemma of his climbing partner Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the rope tying him to the severely injured Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the void, Simon is faced with the agonising decision to cut the rope that binds them…

The production will run at Bristol Old Vic (8 Sep – 6 Oct)Royal & Derngate, Northampton (920 Oct), The Lyceum (24 Jan-16 Feb 2019), Perth Theatre (6-9 March), Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (14-16 March) and Hong Kong Arts Festival (21 Feb–2 March).

LISTINGS

Touching the Void 
A Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fuel co-production
Based on the book by Joe Simpson
Adapted by David Greig
Directed by Tom Morris

Performance Dates:
Bristol Old Vic
8 Sep – 6 Oct
PRESS NIGHT: Tue 18 Sep 7pm
Tickets: £35.50 – £7.50
7.30pm / 2.30pm (SELECTED THUR & SAT MATS)
www.bristololdvic.org.uk / 0117 987 7877
@BristolOldVic #TouchingTheVoid

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
– 20 Oct
Tickets: From £11
7.45pm / 2.30pm (THUR & SAT MATS)
www.royalandderngate.co.uk / 01604 624811
#TouchingTheVoid @RoyalDerngate

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh
24 Jan – 16 Feb 2019
Tickets: £10 – £32
7.30pm / 2pm (WED & SAT MATS)
www.lyceum.org.uk / 0131 248 4848
@lyceumtheatre #TouchingTheVoid

Hong Kong Arts Festival
21 Feb – 2 Mar, 2019
Thu 21 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Fri 22 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Sat 22 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Sun 23 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Tue 26 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Wed 27 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Thu 28 Feb 8pm, HK City Hall
Fri 1 Mar 8pm, HK City Hall
Sat 2 Mar 8pm, HK City Hall
Tickets: HKD450.00 – HKD280.00
3.00pm (SAT AND SUN MATS)
www.hk.artsfestival.org / 852 2824 2430
@hkartsfestival #TouchingTheVoid

Perth Theatre
6 – 9 Mar: 7.30pm
Sat 9 Mar: 2pm
Sun 10 Mar: 3pm
https://www.horsecross.co.uk/venues/perth-theatre
01738 621031
@horsecrossperth #TouchingTheVoid

Eden Court Theatre
14 – 16 March
Tickets: £14 – £32
19.30/14.30 (fri/sat)
www.eden-court.co.uk / 01463 234 234
@edencourt #TouchingTheVoid

First Look: Rehearsal Images: Touching the Void

Bristol Old Vic and Lyceum Edinburgh announce two casts for double co-productions this Autumn

Touching The Void
Touching The Void

Touching The Void

Bristol Old Vic and Lyceum Ednburgh Join forces this autumn for two ambitious co-productions.

  • Two of modern theatre’s greatest storytellers – Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh’s Artistic Director David Greig – work together for the first time on world premiere Touching the Void.     
  • In September, Twelfth Night, opens The Lyceum’s 2018/19 season before transferring to Bristol Old Vic as the second autumn co-production between the two theatres. 
  • Also in September, Touching the Void opens Bristol Old Vic’s 2018/19 season, heralding the completion of its 10-year, multi-million pound redevelopment project.
  • Full cast of both productions announced today.

Casting for both Touching the Void and Twelfth Night was announced today, heralding the first two-production partnership between leading regional theatrical powerhouses, Bristol Old Vic and The Lyceum, Edinburgh.

In September, Tom Morris (The Grinning Man, Swallows & Amazons, War Horse) will direct the first stage version of Touching the Void, adapted by David Greig (The Events, The Suppliant Women, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). This production marks the first time the two Artistic Directors have creatively collaborated and will run at Bristol Old Vic from 8 Sep – 6 Octbefore going onto Royal & Derngate, Northampton (9–20 Oct), reaching The Lyceum (24 Jan until 16 Feb 2019) and subsequent national and international tour dates.

This production marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his battle back from the brink of death on the treacherous Siula Grande Mountain. Alongside this struggle is the appalling dilemma of his climbing partner Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the rope tying him to the severely injured Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the void, Simon is faced with the agonising decision to cut the rope that binds them…

Tom Morris said: “After 12 years of dreaming, I’m thrilled to finally be able to direct this quintessential story of survival which has become a classic in its own lifetime. This next chapter in Bristol Old Vic’s Year of Change season looks at the life-changing decisions of two extraordinary men whose story has transcended mountaineering history. They are individuals who faced agonising choices and triumphed in a battle for life itself.”

Touching the Void Cast:
Rising stars Josh Williams and Edward Hayter will play climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates respectively in this world premiere.  Josh Williams has been taking the UK theatre by storm since his professional debut aged 17 in Our Private Life (Royal Court Theatre), closely followed by Lord of the Flies (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). He has gone on to star in Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information (Royal Court Theatre), New Views: Is there a WIFI in heaven? (National Theatre),  Shivered (Southwark Playhouseand RSC’s Wendy and Peter Pan. He recently appeared in the Olivier-nominated new play One Night in Miami (Donmar) directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Edward Hayter makes his professional stage debut in Touching the Void. He trained at The Poor School before taking the lead role in films Burning Men and To Dream (both due for release later this year) as well as playing the role of Walsingham in the 2017 TV series Will.

They are joined by Fiona Hampton in the role of ‘Sarah’. Fiona works extensively in theatre, television and film. Recent stage work includes the role of ‘Beatrice’ in Shakespeare’s Globe’s Much Ado About Nothing, ‘Amanda’ inPrivate Lives (Octagon Theatre/Young Vic) and ‘Titania/Hippolyta’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre). She is best-known on screen for playing ‘Amelia’ in Kingsman: The Secret Service.

The Touching the Void cast is completed by recent LAMDA graduate Patrick McNamee as Richard. He is currently series regular ‘Ruby’ in the latest series of Our Girl on BBC1.

Touching the Void is a co-production from Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fuel.

Twelfth Night Cast:
The second co-production between the award-winning theatres will be Shakespeare’s perfect comedy Twelfth Nightwill be directed by The Lyceum’s Associate Artist Wils Wilson (The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland; Scuttlers, Manchester Royal Exchange). It will run at the Lyceum from 14 Sep – 6 Oct before transferring to Bristol Old Vic from 17 Oct – 17 Nov.

This gender-bending interpretation, widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, stars award-winning comedy and cabaret performance artist Christopher Green as ‘Malvolio’. Christopher is best-known for his enduring and endearing characters Tina C and Ida Barr, and experimental theatre works such asOffice Party, VIP, The Razzle and This Show Has No Name.

He is joined by Jade Ogugua as ‘Viola’ (How to Act, National Theatre of Scotland; The Barnbow Canaries, West Yorkshire Playhouse; The Tempest, Northern Stage and Oxford Playhouse) and Colette Dalal Tchantcho as ‘Orsino’ (Eddie and the Slumber Sisters, National Theatre of Scotland and Catherine Wheels; In My Own Words, Complicité).

The cast also includes Dawn Sievewright as ‘Toby’ (Pinocchio, National Theatre; Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre; Glasgow Girls, National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Guy Hughes as ‘Andrew Aguecheek’ (The Little Matchgirl, Bristol Old Vic and Shakespeare’s Globe; The Winter’s Tale, Cheek By Jowl), Sophia Kolinas as ‘Maria’ (Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Grey Bruce Arts Collective; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Canadian Stage).

They are joined by Brian James O’Sullivan as ‘Antonio’ (The Arabian Nights and The Winter’s Tale, The Lyceum; The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Dundee Rep; The James Plays, National Theatre of Scotland) andDylan Read as ‘Feste’ (Cockpit, The Lyceum; The Letter, Bouffon Scratchings).

Speaking of the production, Wils Wilson said: I’m very excited and a little humbled to be directing this wonderful play. It’s Shakespeare’s play of celebration and revelry – and like all good parties there are moments of joyful abandon, friendship, flirtation, and great live music – but also, confusion, thoughtless cruelty and embarrassment.  I love the play for its warmth and wit, and also for its brilliant and fearless exploration of human frailty.”

The creative team includes Musical Director Alasdair Macrae, (Cockpit and The Winter’s Tale, The Lyceum; The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil, Dundee Rep; The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland; and The James Plays, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre) and award-winning composer Meilyr Jones, whose original compositions for the production will be performed live on stage. Previously of the band Race Horses, Meilyr’s debut solo album ‘2013’ was met with huge critical acclaim and he has worked with Gruff Rhys, Stealing Sheep, Aldeburgh Festival and Tate Britain.

Bristol Old Vic’s Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett Elwood said: “Collaborating with other organisations is one of the joys of making work at Bristol Old Vic and we are thrilled to be working for the first time with our friends in Edinburgh – not only on the glorious comedy Twelfth Night, but the boundary-breaking new workTouching the Void. We can’t wait to welcome the Lyceum team to Bristol and our brand-new building and are looking forward to the adventures and opportunities this ‘theatrical exchange programme’ will bring.”

Speaking today, David Greig said: “It is a real pleasure to be working with Bristol Old Vic on these two very different plays, and a joy to be in partnership with a theatre that absolutely shares both our delight in adventure and our love of classic theatre.”

Fuel announces more work for 2018

Kate McGrath
Kate McGrath

Kate McGrath

  • Fuel Director, Kate Mcgrath announces more new work for 2018
  • Inua Ellams’ Acclaimed hit Barber Shop Chronicles to tour to America and Canada
  • World Premiere production of first-ever stage adaptation of international best-seller Touching The Void by David Greig and Tom Morris
  • Roy Alexander-Weise directs a new auto-biographical play, The Dark, by Poet Nick Makoha about his childhood escape from Idi Amin’s Uganda
  • Sound&Fury’s Charlie Ward plunges audiences into the world of recovering first world war soldiers in hospital wards
  • Andy Smith’s new play Summit Plays with time to show how a single moment can change the future
  • Tonight We Fly: Fuel presents a week-long festival of performance, conversations and workshops
  • Fuel’s ongoing collaboration with the wellcome trust sees artists throughout the programme consulting and learning from the work of scientists

Fuel Director, Kate McGrath confirmed more projects to take place in 2018 in the UK and beyond.

Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams’ acclaimed play (co-produced by Fuel, the National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse) about the melting pot world of the male barber shop, has completed two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre and a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Seen now by more than 62,000 people it has been attracting new and diverse audiences wherever it plays. This autumn it will embark on a tour of the USA and Canada, including a five week season at ART in Boston.

Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director Tom Morris will direct David Greig’s brand new adaptation of Joe Simpson’s huge international best-seller Touching the Void. It tells the terrifying story of Joe and Simon Yates’ successful but disastrous and nearly fatal climb of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. It was made into an award-winning film in 2003 and here is adapted for the stage for the first time. David Greig worked with psychologists and physiologists to try and understand better the mental and physical effects of surviving in such extreme conditions.  Touching the Void is a co-production between Fuel, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

The Dark is a new play by poet Nick Makoha. It tells the harrowing auto-biographical story of how he and his mother escaped from Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1978. Two performers play multiple characters in this exploration of memory which will be directed by the award-winning  Roy Alexander-Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre).

As part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Charlie Ward tells the story of how hospitalised First World War soldiers were played Charlie Chaplin films in an effort to cheer them up as they recovered from their wounds.  Sound&Fury is acclaimed for plunging audiences into highly immersive worlds, and this production is no exception as the sounds of war and the sounds of home merge to create a visceral and emotional soundscape that asks the question: Is laughter really the best medicine?

Andy Smith’s new play Summit mixes up timeframes and language to explore how a global crisis can turn the world on its head and how people attempt to cope. The production will go on a UK tour including a two-week run at Shoreditch Town Hall.

Tonight We Fly, a festival of performances and conversations, will take place in Leeds in autumn 2018. Full details of the programme will be announced in due course, but it will include workshops, discussions and performances including: Summit and Charlie Ward. Partners include West Yorkshire Playhouse, SlungLow, Transform, and Leeds International Film Festival.

Fuel has formed a three-year partnership with the Wellcome Trust which involves artists and scientists collaborating and sharing their experience and expertise. For this season David Greig will be working with academics Professor Mike Tipton – whose research examines the physiological and psychological impact of adverse environments on the human body – and Dr Magda Osman – who explores the psychology of decision-making in every changing situations.  In this collaboration the scientists are helping David to gain a deeper understanding of his characters.

LISTINGS

BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES

By Inua Ellams

#BarberShopChronicles

 

The tour will visit Tempe, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle, Stanford, London (Canada), Washington, Boston and Hanover

Full details will be announced soon.

SUMMIT
By Andy Smith
#summit

27 – 28 September 2018
Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester
PREVIEWS                      
https://www.martinharriscentre.manchester.ac.uk
0161 275 8951
The University of Manchester, Bridgeford St,
Manchester M13 9PL

2 October 2018
Axis Arts Centre, Crewe
www.axisartscentre.org.uk
0843 2080500
Cheshire Campus, Manchester University, Crewe, Cheshire,
CW1 5DU

3 October 2018
Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
www.wlv.ac.uk/arena-theatre
01902 321321
Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LY

4 October 2018
New Wolsey, Ipswich
www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
01473 295900
Civic Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2AS

9-19 October 2018
Shoreditch Town Hall
PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 11 October 2018
www.shoreditchtownhall.com
020 7739 6176
380 Old street, London, EC1V 9LT

26 October 2018
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
www.lpac.co.uk
01522 837600
Lincoln Arts Centre, University of Lincoln, Brayford
Pool, Lincoln LN6 7TS

30 October 2018
Lancaster Arts Centre
www.lancasterarts.org
01524 594151
Lancaster University, Great Hall Complex,
N Spine, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YW

1 November 2018
Rose Theatre, Edge Hill Unversity
https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/artscentre/
01695 575171
St Helens Road, Ormskirk
Lancashire, L39 4QP

6 November 2018
South Street, Reading
www.readingarts.com/south-street
0118 960 6060
21 South Street, Reading RG1 4QU

7 November 2018
Lakeside Theatre, Colchester
www.lakesidetheatre.org
01206 873261
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Square 5,
Colchester CO4 3SQ

8 – 9 November 2018
Dartington Arts Centre
www.dartington.org
01489 779471
Dartington Hall, Totnes, TQ9 6EL

 

TOUCHING THE VOID
Based on the book by Joe Simpson
Adapted by David Greig
Directed by Tom Morris
#touchingthevoid

8 September-6 October 2018
Bristol Old Vic
PRESS NIGHT: 18 September 2018 @ 7pm
www.bristololdvic.org.uk
0117 987 7877
King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED

9-20 October 2018
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
PRESS NIGHT: 10 October 2018 @ 7pm
www.royalandderngate.co.uk
01604 624811
19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP

24 January – 16 February 2019
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
PRESS NIGHT: 25 January 2019 @ 7.30pm
www.lyceum.org.uk
0131 248 4848
Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX

CHARLIE WARD
By Sound&Fury
#charliewardtour

11-22 September 2018
Theatre Deli, Sheffield
www.theatredeli.co.uk
202 Eyre Street
Sheffield S1 4QZ

25 September–6 October 2018
York Army Museum
www.yorkarmymuseum.co.uk
01904 461010
3a Tower Street, York, YO1 9SB

15 – 19 October 2018
Perth Theatre
www.horsecross.co.uk 
01738 621 031
Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ

30 October –  12 November
Leeds Town Hall as part of Leeds International Film Festival
www.leedsfilmcity.com
0113 376 0318
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3ADt

THE DARK
By Nick Makoha
Directed by Roy Alexander Weise
#thedark

9 & 10 November 2018
Tobacco Factory, Bristol
PREVIEWS
www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com
0117 902 0344
Raleigh Road, Bristol, BS3 1TF

21 November –   1 December 2018
Ovalhouse, London
PRESS NIGHT: 22 November 2018 @ 7.30pm
www.ovalhouse.com
020 7582 7680
52-54 Kennington Oval, London, SE11 5SW

The Grinning Man extends for three final weeks at Trafalgar Studios

The Grinning Man
The Grinning Man

The Grinning Man

London’s critically acclaimed new British musical The Grinning Man, now playing at the Trafalgar Studios, has today announced a final extended three week booking period until 5 May.  This is the very last chance for West End audiences to see this adored, award-winning production set in a fantastical world with a dark heart.  Directed by Tony-award winning Tom Morris (War Horse) The Grinning Man has enchanted audiences again and again, receiving wildly enthusiastic standing ovations at every performance.

The Grinning Man transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in December last year, following a hugely successful premiere at Bristol Old Vic, and has become an instant hit across the board – with a wealth of critics, bloggers and audiences raving about The Grinning Man’s London incarnation. As with the Bristol run, critics have heaped praise on the show, with a wealth of glowing reviews for the London production. The Times said “the cast are outstanding”, adding that “it’s a triumph”.  The Observer hailed the production as “miraculous” and the Daily Telegraph raved about the “spectacular puppetry”. The Sunday Express called it a “brilliant production” and praised the “awe-inspiring” puppetry. What’s On Stage sums it up: “It is a remarkable, entrancing achievement and a treat for anyone who likes their storytelling with plenty of dark magic thrown in.”

As well as critics and the general public, celebrities and creative minds have also heaped praise on the show. Graham Norton exclaimed: “What a magical, moving, funny treat of a show it is!” Harry Enfield said “the whole thing is amazing”, while Hannah Waddingham was “overwhelmed” by the production and Mel Giedroyc applauded the “beautiful score” which is “clever and haunting”, declaring ‘’I want to see it again”. Simon Callow said the show is “spectacular, theatrical and exciting,” while Ciarán Hinds declared: “There’s a speed of energy that’s going through everybody, the cast is phenomenal, the humour is brilliant.”

The Grinning Man, directed by Tom Morris, features an “outstanding” cast (The Times) led by Louis Maskell in the title role of Grinpayne, and Sanne den Besten as Dea, with Julian Bleach as vengeful clown Barkilphedro.  Also starring are Sean Kingsley, Julie Atherton, Amanda Wilkin and Mark Anderson.

Based on the classic Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) novel The Man Who Laughs, this romantic gothic musical love story, is brought to life by Kneehigh writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase) and “powered by an outstanding score” (Sunday Times) by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler. The Grinning Manreunites Tom Morris with two puppeteers who began their careers inside Joey and Topthorn in the original production of War Horse – Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié – now leading their own puppetry company Gyre & Gimble.

The Grinning Man joins several other recent Bristol Old Vic hit shows transferring to the London stage, including Swallows & Amazons at the Vaudeville, Peter Pan and Jane Eyre at the National Theatre and Long Day’s Journey Into Night starring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville at the Wyndham’s.

The Grinning Man is produced by Bristol Old Vic, Trafalgar Entertainment Group, Eilene Davidson, Richard O’Brien, KHAM Inc., David Adkin, Neil Laidlaw Productions and Pieter Toerien.


CREATIVE TEAM

Tom Morris is Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and was previously Artistic Director at BAC where he met many of the creative team behind this show.  Previous productions at Bristol Old Vic include: A Midsummer Night’s DreamKing LearThe CrucibleSwallows & AmazonsJuliet & Her Romeo, and Messiah (Bristol Proms). Tom has been Associate Director of the National Theatre since 2004 and was co-director of War Horse, widely considered to be amongst the most successful theatre productions of all time.

Tim Phillips is a Canadian composer who has written music for many screen productions, including HBO’s Entourage, the ITV serial Talk To Me and (with Murray Gold) the Channel 4 series Shameless.  He honed his theatrical craft at BAC through Filter Theatre. Marc Teitler is a composer whose work spans musicals, opera, film soundtracks and albums and has had music featured in Game of Thrones. His current commissions for original musicals include The Ghost Map (dir. Bijan Sheibani).  In collaboration, Marc and Tim have composed music and lyrics for The Circle (National Theatre).

Writer Carl Grose has worked extensively with Kneehigh theatre as writer and actor. His writing for the Cornish-based company includes The Tin Drum,Dead Dog in a SuitcaseThe Wild Bride and Tristan & Yseult. Other recent writing credits include Grand Guignol (Southwark Playhouse) andOedipussy (Spymonkey).

Puppetry was created by Gyre & Gimble, founded in 2014 by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié having met whilst performing in the original production ofWar Horse. Their work has appeared in productions as varied as The Hartlepool Monkey (Stratford Circus and Touring), The Lorax (Old Vic), The Light Princess (NT), Running Wild (Regents Park), Elephantom (NT and West End) and Shrek: The Musical (West End).

The creative team is completed by award-winning designer Jon Bausor (London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, Bat Out of Hell – West End), Costume Designer Jean Chan (Lionboy – Complicite), Music Supervisor Tom Deering (Wonder.Land – National Theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar – Regents Park), Lighting Designer Rob Casey (Up Next – National Theatre) and award-winning Sound Designer Simon Baker (Matilda The Musical – Olivier for Best Sound, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare’s Globe and The Caretaker – Old Vic).

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:30pm
Box Office: www.atgtickets.com/trafalgarstudios  0844 871 7632

Ticket Prices: From £22.50

Website: TheGrinningManMusical.com

Twitter: @GrinningManLDN

Bristol Old Vic’s “Messiah” to be screened at over 300 cinemas this Easter

Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of "Messiah"
Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of "Messiah"

Image from 2017 Bristol Old Vic revival of “Messiah”

CinemaLive are to release Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Wednesday 28 March 2018.

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce their partnership with Event cinema specialists CinemaLive to deliver the theatre’s critically acclaimed 2017 production of Handel’s Messiah to cinema audiences for Easter 2018. It is due to be screened in over 300 cinemas on the 28 March, including Bristol’s Vue Cinemas (Cribbs Causeway and Longwell Green), The Everyman and Bristol Showcase Cinema De Lux.

This dramatised production of Messiah is staged by Bristol Old Vic’s Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Tom Morris. It features internationally-renowned soloists Catherine Wyn Rogers and Julia Doyle, The Erebus Ensemble (Songs of Hope) and Europe’s most celebrated Baroque orchestra The English Concert, under the revered baton of Conductor Harry Bicket. Jamie Beddard (actor and Artistic Director of Bristol company Extraordinary Bodies) reprises his role from the 2017 theatre production as he performs the central non-speaking role of The Beloved.

Recorded in April 2017, Messiah returned to Bristol Old Vic following its sell-out debut at Bristol Proms in 2013. UK Theatre Web, Stage Talk, Classical Source, and The Reviews Hub all gave the production five-star reviews. The Times said “Director Tom Morris makes good use of the Old Vic’s intimate auditorium for this direct and impactful interpretation of Handel’s oratorio”. The Stage called it a “astonishingly beautiful” and “a relatable and very human story of loss and grief.”

Positioned between opera and theatre, this powerfully accessible interpretation of Handel’s seminal work explores the drama and struggle of faith, showing a bereaved community whose grief at the loss of their leader is transformed into hope through a narrative of resurrection. Inspired by early performances of the work, which were staged in theatres and concert halls rather than churches, including its first performance at Bristol Old Vic in 1782, it is a rare treat for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

CinemaLive Director Janelle Mason commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Bristol Old Vic to bring such a highly acclaimed and powerful production to our cinema audiences for Easter.”

Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and director of Messiahsaid: “The Bristol Proms, staged in our ancient Georgian theatre set out to bring live audiences closer to classical music. For this staging of Messiah, we collaborated with the peerless English Concert and some of the world’s finest vocalists: Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Joshua Ellicott, Brindley Sherratt and Julia Doyle, alongside the charismatic actor Jamie Beddard.  Our aim was to explore the emotional drama of Handel’s music in the unique intimacy of our theatre, and thanks to the talents of film director Nick Wickham, a broader audience beyond our theatre can now also feel this intimacy from a cinema seat.”

For more information, ticketing and a list of all participating cinemas in the UK and Ireland, please visit cinemalive.com

Bristol Old Vic unveils major rebrand in its Year of Change

Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic

As Michael Boyd’s new and ground-breaking version of The Cherry Orchard nears its opening, Bristol Old Vic celebrates this first production in the Year of Change programme by unveiling a new brand and website fit for its future.

At a moment when the world is experiencing unprecedented social, political and environmental upheaval, the theatre is exploring these ideas through a series of major productions looking at change in all its forms. The programme begins with The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov’s masterpiece, which bridges the divide between the longing to hold onto what is familiar, and the irresistible lure of the new. It opens on 1 March for a five week run, before transferring to the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Further highlights include the world premiere of Sally Cookson’s A Monster Calls, David Greig’s adaptation of Touching the Void, a fantastical Twelfth Night and the ultimate comedy of human change, A Christmas Carol.  Alongside these, Bristol Old Vic is also collaborating with The Bristol Post, Ujima and other arts organisations across the city in a re-examination of Bristol’s relationship with the Transatlantic Slave Trade which will culminate in a new production The Meaning of Zong, workshopped in the Autumn of 2018 and premiering in 2019.

2018 also marks huge change for Bristol Old Vic’s organisation as the theatre completes a major redevelopment project, this autumn. Since the 18th century, the theatre has been hidden from view and for the last 40 years could only be accessed through an imposing and very grand Georgian Hall. Finally, Bristol Old Vic can fling opens its new front doors and reconnect with its city once again.

Chief Executive, Emma Stenning said:“Bristol Old Vic is in the middle of a huge transformation. We are continuing to develop as a world-class theatre, alongside developing into a major heritage destination and commercial business able to provide beautiful events spaces for hire. We have had the previous logo since before Tom Morris and I arrived in 2009 so, at a moment of huge change to the organisation, it was fitting to mark this milestone through a new visual change too. We are absolutely thrilled by the finished product.”

Artistic Director, Tom Morris continued:
“As we knock down the walls which have hidden the most beautiful theatre in the country for 250 years, our aim is to welcome people from every part of the city to explore it, create work for it and share in its rich history and programme.  Throughout its long and turbulent life, this unique theatre has time and again been rescued and restored by the people of Bristol. It is above all, a theatre that belongs to Bristol and its people. The entire aim of the refurbishment has been to celebrate that relationship and better share the theatre with present and future generations of Bristolians. The new brand is designed to make that invitation loud and clear, in a welcoming, bold and truly Bristolian style.”
As Michael Boyd’s new and ground-breaking version of The Cherry Orchard nears its opening, Bristol Old Vic celebrates this first production in the Year of Change programme by unveiling a new brand and website fit for its future.

At a moment when the world is experiencing unprecedented social, political and environmental upheaval, the theatre is exploring these ideas through a series of major productions looking at change in all its forms. The programme begins with The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov’s masterpiece, which bridges the divide between the longing to hold onto what is familiar, and the irresistible lure of the new. It opens on 1 March for a five week run, before transferring to the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Further highlights include the world premiere of Sally Cookson’s A Monster Calls, David Greig’s adaptation of Touching the Void, a fantastical Twelfth Night and the ultimate comedy of human change, A Christmas Carol.  Alongside these, Bristol Old Vic is also collaborating with The Bristol Post, Ujima and other arts organisations across the city in a re-examination of Bristol’s relationship with the Transatlantic Slave Trade which will culminate in a new production The Meaning of Zong, workshopped in the Autumn of 2018 and premiering in 2019.

2018 also marks huge change for Bristol Old Vic’s organisation as the theatre completes a major redevelopment project, this autumn. Since the 18th century, the theatre has been hidden from view and for the last 40 years could only be accessed through an imposing and very grand Georgian Hall. Finally, Bristol Old Vic can fling opens its new front doors and reconnect with its city once again.

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First Look: Production Image of The Grinning Man